Longtime NFL Films president Steve Sabol will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Hall’s Centennial class. It’s a deserving honor for Sabol, who deserves credit not only for his work at NFL Films but for innovations in how sports are watched in general.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 15, 2020
Sabol passed away in 2012, but his ideas are still felt throughout the world of sports broadcasting. From USA Today’s Chris Bumbaca:
Among NFL Films’ greatest achievements is the innovation of wiring players to provide live audio feeds. Other innovations such as montage editing, music behind sports films and ground-level slow motion are all credited to Sabol.
Technology means we now have the ability to access player mic audio during games, in some cases even listening in live, but Sabol was at the forefront of that idea, recognizing the potential value for viewers.
We are honored to announce the selection of our very own Steve Sabol, the bastion of NFL Films, for the @profootballhof Class of 2020.
Here's a reminder of his artistic vision and love of football that changed the game forever: pic.twitter.com/7Pyp8h6WOR
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 15, 2020
Sabol will join his father and NFL Films co-founder Ed in the Hall of Fame. It’s a nice reminder that people off the field (and not in the owner’s box) can occasionally shape sports in important, long-lasting ways. They’re rare, but if a hall of fame is meant as a museum to the most important figures in the sport, they certainly deserve a place as well.