Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On the Passing of Steve Sabol, Football Film Mastermind

Steve Sabol influenced more than football filming. (AP Photo)
Anyone that visits BDD or reads our Twitter feed on a regular basis knows that our primary focus is basketball. On such an occasion as the passing of a luminary, however, conventional barriers can be bypassed out of respect.

Those mourning Steve Sabol, an engine powering the NFL Films machine for the past 50 years, number more than we can imagine. After an 18-month ordeal with brain cancer, the NFL films president died Tuesday morning at the age of 69. Whether his impact in an person's life was direct or simply held as a passing gesture, Sabol will be missed.

True, this can be said of most people after their deaths. But Sabol, in his way, revolutionized the way sports are filmed. His 35 individual Emmys for work with NFL Films are a testament to this, as are any number of NFL video clips or documentaries. Sabol's goal was to allow fans of American professional football to see the game he loved from new angles, beginning with his work as a cinematographer and continuing through his rise to company president.

It would be a stretch to say that Sabol is the sole inspiration for multi-camera tracking, which enables more advanced analysis of NBA games or the camera angles that chafed some viewers during this year's NCAA tournament, but his enterprising interpretation of the game he loved will have a residual effect on the way every sports broadcast is seen for a long time, if not forever.

Follow @BeatsDimesDrive on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment