Tributes to Steve

Sabol Files, Steve Sabol

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to all those who have sent along condolences, kind words, comments, blog posts, and emails since Steve’s death.  Like his work, the tributes to this great man have been poignant.  Following are excerpts from and links to some of them.  Later today, we’ll resume our regular posting here on TCIPF.

  • “NFL Films is a rare example of cinematographers placing style over substance and actually making the product infinitely more substantial. Steve Sabol did this effortlessly, for 50 years. It was his natural state of filmmaking. ” — Chuck Klosterman
  • “The phone keeps ringing as I write this, with people in the game who want to say something about Steve Sabol.  One GM, distraught, [said], ‘No one, no one, did more for the game in NFL history than Steve Sabol.’” — Peter King
  • “Sabol was an eternal youth and an auteur. He stood always on the edge of childlike joy knowing that all he did in his adult life was shape the image of the sport he loved.” — Richard Sandomir
  • “If you love football, working for Steve Sabol was the greatest job in the world.” — Ray Didinger
  • “Steve Sabol liked to call NFL Films’ first feature, They Call It Pro Football, the Citizen Kane of football films, and he didn’t overstate. Every game televised today incorporates NFL Films’ technical innovations and aesthetic.” — Michael Oriard
  • “Steve began experimenting in the mid-1960s, pioneering techniques that still define sports coverage, documentary film, even reality TV.” — Rich Cohen
  • “Steve was an artist. This isn’t hyperbole; he was an accomplished artist who exhibited in many galleries across the country.”  — Allen Barra
  • “When we started Fox Sports, no one was more helpful than Steve, and in a short time he became a great, great friend,” David Hill said. “He was always there to listen to one of my idiotic ideas. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Steve, and no one, absolutely no one, could rock a pink shirt while talking about the NFL as well as he could.” — Hollywood Reporter
  • “Football had a history,” Mr. Sabol told the Wall Street Journal. “We made it into mythology.” — Stephen Miller
  • “Young kids in this business, we really need to understand the impact that Steve Sabol had …He was one of those people that we have to learn from.” — Ray Lewis
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