Tag:Steve Sabol
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:29 pm

Top Ten with a Twist: Books we want to read

It's time for a biography on Ed Sabol and his son, Steve. (US Preswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the controversy surrounding the new Walter Payton biography, written by Jeff Pearlman, I got to thinking about the other books we need to read but that haven’t been written yet. I’m not talking about a season in the life book of the 2010 Packers or the latest words written by Mike Ditka (at least five authored or co-authored by the Bears coaching icon), but about subjects we don’t really know and on topics we would love to explore.

For this Top Ten List with a Twist, I’m discounting what a publisher might say if he/she was presented with some of these ideas (namely, the idea that blah, blah, blah won’t sell or that nobody has ever heard of blah, blah, blah). Some of these ideas, no doubt, would work, and maybe, one day, you’ll see one of them on the shelf of your nearest book store in the cart of your Amazon.com page.

Without further ado, here are the Top Ten books we absolutely deserve to read.  

10. The inside story on the NFL lockout: Yeah, maybe many football fans wouldn’t care about a book like this, because they only wanted the work stoppage to end as soon as possible so they could continue to watch the game they love, but I bet it would be fascinating. What is the relationship between Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith really like? How were the compromises finally reached? Did Jerry Jones really tap his fists together and walk out of a negotiation session to make a point? For those  who reported and analyzed the entire ordeal, it would be a mind-churning look from behind the curtain.

9. Bill Belichick end-of-career autobiography: Although he almost always comes off completely uninteresting during his midweek and postgame press conferences -- hell, he eats his lunch during teleconference calls with the media! -- the recent NFL Network documentary showed that he’s an interesting dude. The fact he got a little emotional during a trip to the Meadowlands was almost shocking, and I’ve seen interviews with him before that are really, really good. If he let down his guard, like during that documentary, his autobiography would be a fascinating study of the best coach in football. There have been big-name authors who have written big-name books about Belichick, but when his career is over, I want him reflecting on the impact he’s made and the reason he did it all the first place.

8. A biography on Tom Brady’s hair: We’ve already had the obituary for Brady’s shorn locks. Next, we should have a book that tells the tale of the entire two-year history of the hair that helped Brady land that lucrative Uggs endorsement.

7. Sid Gillman biography: Gillman is the most important coach you might not remember. Unlike Paul Brown (who has a stadium named after him and a legacy in Cincinnati) or Vince Lombardi (who you might have heard a little something about) or Woody Hayes (a decent-enough coach at Ohio State) -- all of whom were Gillman contemporaries -- Gillman has fallen through the cracks of history. And considering, he’s the father of the modern passing offense, that’s a shame.

Rex and Rob Ryan (US Presswire)6. Rob/Rex Ryan quote book: This could even be made into one of those peel-a-page-every-day calendars, like the Jeff Foxworthy redneck gags or the best of the old Far Side comic strips. But if you like to laugh (or just shake your head), this book would be a big seller. You could have Rex talking about not wanting to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings or Rob discussing how Calvin Johnson would be the Cowboys No. 3 receiver behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. See what I mean? It’d be high hilarity.

5. Bryant McKinnie in the Blind Side, part II: Since McKinnie was the one to replace Michael Oher as the Ravens left tackle, McKinnie should have his own Michael Lewis-penned biography. I’m pretty sure McKinnie didn’t live in foster homes and on the streets before he was adopted, like Oher, but McKinnie has had struggles with his weight and he did (allegedly) spend $100,000 on a bar tab this offseason. It’s not as heartwarming as the Oher book, but a tome about McKinnie would be pretty fun.

4. The early struggles of black players: You know all about Jackie Robinson in major league baseball, but if I asked you who the broke the color barrier in the NFL, you probably wouldn’t have any idea. Hell, I read a long article about the NFL’s integration the other day, and I couldn’t tell you the guy’s name*. But this is an important -- and somewhat complicated -- history. Black players participated in pro football at the turn of the 20th century, and they also were part of teams in various professional leagues until the NFL stopped signing them in the early 1930s. It would be an interesting look at an era that, just like much of society, was decidedly unfair for anybody who wasn’t white.

*After blacks were excluded from the league in 1933, Kenny Washington was the one to break the barrier in 1946, one year before Robinson did it in baseball.

3. A Cam Newton investigation: Don’t we deserve to know who Newton’s bag man is or if there was a bag man at all? Not that it would make any difference in his pro career, but don’t you want to know if Newton’s father really demanded $180,000 from Mississippi State for Newton’s service? Maybe Auburn fans wouldn’t, but I certainly would.

2. NFL Films biography: People underestimate the importance of Ed and Steve Sabol. Proof of that was that it took so long for Ed to earn his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But the NFL -- and the NFL fans -- owe them a huge debt of gratitude, because the way you watch football today might not be possible if NFL Films hadn’t been created on the backs of the Sabol’s in the 1960s. I want to know how it started, the obstacles they faced in the early years and the impact the company has made to this day. It’s a book the Sabol’s deserve to have written.

1. An investigation into the rise of CTE: There have been a few journalists (the Newark Star Ledger’s Jerry Izenberg and the New York Times’ Alan Schwarz are two who come to mind) who do fine work keeping watch on the NFL’s relationship and response to the rise of head injuries that continue to devastate retired players and keep us reminded about what a brutal game football is to those who play it for your enjoyment. But from the premature death of Steelers legend Mike Webster to the shock of what Chris Henry’s brain looked like during his autopsy, from the suicide of Dave Duerson to the continued work of those who track of the rise of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this is a book that needs to be written. And the sooner, the better.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 8:13 pm

Ed Sabol: 2011 Hall of Fame Class

Posted by Ryan Wilson

"He's a legend, what he brought to the table, what he brought to the game. Still to this day, NFL Films plays a major role in shaping our thought process of the game of football, and allowing you to get a closer glimpse of each player and team, coaches." - Deion Sanders on Ed Sabol

"My dad has a great expression. He always says, 'Tell me a fact and I'll learn, tell me the truth and I believe, but tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever.' Interestingly enough now, my dad's story is going to be in Canton and hopefully that will live forever, too." - Steve Sabol

                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news

Ed Sabol has never played in an NFL game but he has everything to do with the current success the league enjoys. He founded Blair Motion Pictures in 1962 (it would become NFL Films in 1964). He went on to win 91 Emmy's and NFL Films is still the gold standard when it comes football and film-making.

"I've dreamt the impossible dream and I'm living it right now," Sabol said Saturday night. "This honor tonight really goes to NFL Films. I just happen to be accepting all the accolades. … I just want to say one thing: I've been very, very happy to have been your boss for all these years. You're a great bunch of people, dedicated, hard-working and loyal, and the reason I'm sitting up here."

After Sabol ended his speech, NFL Network's Rich Eisen summed it up best: "How awesome was that?" 

According to NFL.com, Sabol first put a microphone on a player and coach during a game in 1965. The most famous was putting a microphone on Chiefs coach Hank Stram in Super Bowl IV, where the Hall of Fame coach could be heard telling his team to "Just keep matriculatin' the ball down the field, boys."

Sabol, 94, remains one of the most revered figures in the league. During Friday's enshrinement dinner, the Canton Repository reports that, "When Sabol — the man whose creation, NFL Films, helped skyrocket pro football into the popularity stratosphere — struggled to get to his feet when introduced, the discomfort showing on his face. Helped by his son and presenter, Steve, in his own battle against brain tumors, the elder Sabol eventually stood, drawing a loud ovation from the thousands in the Civic Center."

Son Steve presented his father for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 10:12 am

Sabol trying to make it to father's HOF induction

Steve Sabol is trying to stay positive during treatment for a brain tumor (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King caught up with NFL Films’ Steve Sabol in his latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, and the opening scene is a touching moment when Sabol bear-hugs King and thanks him – and his readers – for all their support while he undergoes treatment for a brain tumor.

It reads like an emotional moment, but not of sadness. Perhaps of hope, because for now, Sabol seems positive – even though it’s unclear what his future holds.

A brief moment from King’s story:

"I've got to ask you something morbid,'' I said.

"Good!'' he said. "Ask me anything!''

"What's the prognosis?'' I said. "Are you going to make it?''

"I don't know,'' he said. "I haven't asked. I don't want to know.''

But he did tell one of his doctors he had to make it until August, when the Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct his father, Ed, the founder of NFL Films. "You'll make it,'' the doc said. Talk about buoying Steve Sabol's spirits.

Some great stuff in the MMQB about heaven and about how Sabol’s life has pretty much been exactly that. Give it a read.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:16 pm

Steve Sabol undergoing treatment for brain tumor

Posted by Will Brinson

NFL Films President Steve Sabol was recently hospitalized after suffering a seizure while in Kansas City at an awards show. Initially, it appeared that the prognosis was good for Sabol, 68, as he was upgraded to "stable" condition. However, the NFL reported on Friday the news that Sabol is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.

"(Steve) will begin treatments soon," a statement from NFL Films said. "Steve is in good spirits and is deeply appreciative of everyone's good wishes."

Extensive tests following Sabol's hospitalization led to the discovery of the tumor, and Sabol is expected to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment soon.

The news is obviously gut-wrenching, especially as it comes on the heels of a joyous moment for the Sabol family, when Steve's father Ed was named a member of the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 10:18 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 1:29 am

Steve Sabol hospitalized, in stable condition

Posted by Will Brinson

Scary news out of Kansas City: NFL Films president Steve Sabol was hospitalized Monday night, according to the NFL.

Sabol, 68, was in Kansas City at the 101 Awards to accept the Lamar Hunt Award on behalf of NFL Films when, according to NFL.com, he suffered a seizure.

He was "taken to a hospital, underwent a series of tests over the weekend and was awake and alert Monday." There is some slightly good news, however: according to multiple reports, Sabol is now listed in "stable" condition.

Sabol is, for many people in a younger generation of football fans, almost the "voice of football." While he doesn't necessarily announce games, much of the game's history is narrated with his rich, distinctive voice.

His father, Ed, was recently selected for the NFL Hall of Fame and founded NFL Films.

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Posted on: August 7, 2010 9:09 pm

NFL Hall of Fame introductions are spectacular

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL Hall of Fame decided to test out a new form of introductions at Canton this year, and to say that it's a success is a pretty large understatement.

They took the always awesome voice of Steve Sabol (of NFL Films) and had him narrate highlights of the inductee's career with interspersed clips of the inductee's presenter discussing the greatness of their career.

Typically, an introduction involves a "Here is so-and-so to induct this great man" line followed by someone close to the inductee spending five or so minutes in front of a podium talking about the inductee and delivers a much more palatable -- especially for television viewers -- and energizing introduction to the inductee's speech.

Just like any other NFL Films experience, the result is a mix between thrilling and chilling.

Of course, Chris Berman still plays the role of Master of Ceremonies (and actually recorded the longest induction speech of the weekend!), so it's not a perfect situation. But there's no question that the folks in charge at Canton struck gold with their decision to eschew the typical inductee introduction.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com