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A Tribute to Steve Sabol and NFL Films

I've been a fan of the NFL since I was a 7 year old boy and in all these years, my passion has never waned. As a kid in the 80's, I watched football every chance I got, and that included anything produced by NFL Films.

In-fact, if I had to pick a reason why I love football so much, I would have to credit NFL Films as one of the biggest reasons. In my opinion, no entity has captured the drama and humanity of a sport the way NFL Films has with its coverage of the game of professional football.

NFL Films has been responsible for many innovations such as their famous close-up of a football spiraling through the air, and fitting players and coaches with microphones in-order to bring us the game within the game. Nothing enhances the game more than watching the combatants experience the emotional highs and lows as the contest unfolds. You watch a game through the eyes of NFL Films and you get to see such things as the center placing his hand on the football right before he snaps it or the eyes of a ferocious middle linebacker get big as saucers as he listens to the quarterback call out his cadence.

When you're watching an NFL Films production, it's almost like you're seeing a dramatic motion picture. I was too young to really appreciate the NFL in the 1970's, but thanks to Youtube and NFL network DVDs, I've had a chance to watch actual network broadcasts of some games from that era and they just seem so ordinary to me, but I grew up watching highlights of those same games via NFL Films productions and they made them seem larger than life, almost mythical. I still get goosebumps when I hear John Facenda narrate a piece from the 70's accompanied by one of their famous musical scores.

I have many NFL Films produced vhs tapes from the 80's and 90's that I still watch with pretty decent regularity. As a kid, the NFL week wasn't complete until I watched "Inside the NFL" hosted by Len Dawson. During the season, I knew that every weekend, I could count on finding an NFL Films show on late at night and I sometimes enjoyed watching those more than the actual games. Even to this day, it's a thrill when I can sit down and watch an NFL Films production on ESPN or the NFL Network. 

Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films, was just inducted into the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame.

His son, Steve Sabol, a co-founder and president of the company, has been the face of NFL Films for as long as I can remember and has won countless awards for his many contributions.

I was saddened to hear that Steve Sabol was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Get well, soon, Steve.

I doubt the NFL would be as popular today without the many wonderful moments captured on film by your company.