NFL Films President Steve Sabol, the award-winning sports broadcaster credited with revolutionizing televised pro football, died Tuesday from brain cancer at the age of 69.
"Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement from the league confirming Sabol's death. He was diagnosed in March 2011 with a tumor on the left side of his brain after being hospitalized for a seizure.
In 1964, the former art history major and all-Rocky Mountain Conference running back at Colorado College began working with his father, Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL Films. Steve's high school football games in Philadelphia gave Ed his only experience filming sports before winning the rights to chronicle the NFL championship game in 1962.
Many techniques taken for granted today -- like slow-motion, reverse-angle replays, microphones on players, and highlights set to pop music -- were innovated by the pair.
"We see the game as art as much as sport,'' Steve Sabol told The Associated Press before his father's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction last year, adding that the perspective helped "nurture not only the game's traditions, but to develop its mythology: America's Team, The Catch, The Frozen Tundra."
No one has earned as many Emmys in as many different categories as Steve Sabol, the AP reports. He received 35 awards for writing, editing, cinematography,producing and directing.The father-son team also received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003.
Also an accomplished collage artist, Sabol exhibited his work at the ArtExpo in New York, the Avant Gallery in Miami, the Govinda Gallery in Washington, the Milan Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Garth Davidson Gallery in Moorestown, N.J.
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