Mind of Sabol: Running Backs

Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Looking Back, Mind of Sabol, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Nick Calabrese, Sabol, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Steve Sabol

By Nick Calabrese

Editor’s Note:  NFL Films headquarters is located in New Jersey, where last year the State Senate declared that October 2 would be known as Steve Sabol Day.  To help celebrate last week, we published our first “Mind of Sabol”  blog post, on Coaches.  Here today, we bring you the second post in the series.  Let us know your thoughts on this look into Steve’s famous card catalog by leaving a comment below or tweeting @NFLFilms with #MindofSabol.

Jim Brown

“The North Star – by which all other runners set their compass.” – Steve Sabol


“When McElhenny finished up his career, the football writers presented McElhenny with a plaque. ‘Wouldn’t football be a beautiful game,’ the inscription read, ‘if everybody played it like Hugh McElhenny.'” – Steve Sabol

Hugh McElhenny

“A true artist of the Gridiron, descendant of Grange, ancestor to Payton. McElhenny was a Running Back. Almost no one has brought to that calling the same art and bravura that identified his game. They lifted his broken field running to the edge of the concert hall. Somebody said it was the closest approach he’s ever seen to ballet on the football field.” – Steve Sabol


“He had the proverbial speed and quickness of a great Running Back, as well as a marvelous sense of invention that could turn a routine offensive tackle play into a big gainer.” – Steve Sabol

Dickie Post

“When the speed of his pitch was the topic, one could never be certain where the truth ended and fantasy began.
Passed him like a Ferrari smoking a rollerblader.
He moves around so much you’d swear he was twins.
Trying to tackle Gale Sayers was like trying to catch a candy wrapper in a wind storm.”
– Steve Sabol

Gale Sayers

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