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NFL Films founder Ed Sabol dies

The founder and winner of 52 Emmy Awards passed away at 98.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The innovator and creator of NFL Films has passed away.

Ed Sabol, who created NFL Films in 1964 and watched it flourish along with the league it documented, passed away at his Scottsdale, Arizona home on Monday. He was 98.

Sabol served as president of NFL Films until 1995. His son Steve succeeded him until his death in September of 2012.

A winner of a staggering 52 Emmy Awards, NFL Films' unique, ground-breaking coverage of the NFL helped elevate professional football's place as America's true past time. Using slow motion replays, dramatic music and the "voice of God" in narrator John Facenda, football contests (and especially Super Bowl highlights) became similar to dramatic Greek epics that are still replayed in die-hard NFL households today.

The Hall of Fame recognized Sabol's contribution to the NFL in 2011, when Sabol was enshrined as his son Steve served as his induction speaker.

"We began making the game personal for the fans, like a Hollywood movie," Sabol said to the Associated Press prior to his Hall of Fame speech. "Violent tackles, the long slow spiral of the ball, following alongisde the player as they sidestepped and sprinted down the field. The movie camera was the perfect medium at the time to present the game the way the fans wanted to see it."