Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films, died Tuesday at age 69 from brain cancer. He and his father, Ed, created more NFL memories than the teams they filmed for a half-century. Steve Sabol was called the heart of NFL Films, and was as good behind the camera as in front of it.
In 1971, long before ESPN or the NFL Network, a neighbor told me of a new television show, NFL Action, an NFL Films production. We faithfully watched the local broadcasts. A rooftop antenna pulled in airings from Chico and San Francisco. We watched those, too.
Years later, I had occasion to contact Sabol while writing for the Press-Tribune. Roseville's Dan Bunz was featured in an NFL Films clip of the top tackles that included his Super Bowl XVI goal-line stop.
A call was placed to Sabol in Mount Laurel, N.J., and a message was left.
Sixty minutes later, Sabol called me back. He provided the necessary information, chatted, and then graciously accepted my thanks. Somehow, he was more genuine and friendly than he appeared on TV.
On Tuesday, the Sabol tributes flew fast and heartfelt on social media outlets.
Some said he changed the way we watch the NFL.
Changed? Let's say created.
What to watch
Baseball, A's at Detroit, 4:05 p.m., CSNCA: It's the second game of a brutal 10-game stretch on the road for the A.L. wild-card front-runners.
What to do
Baseball, Colorado at Giants, 7:15 p.m., AT&T Park: Matt Cain goes after win No. 15, the most of his career.
What is your favorite all-time NFL memory?
1958 NFL Championship
Joe Namath's guarantee
1972 Miami Dolphins
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Is the Raiders' season in jeopardy already?
Total votes: 295
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