Steve Sabol, who ran NFL Films for more than 25 years after the Emmy-winning production company was created by his father, died Tuesday after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 69. Sobol was originally a cameraman for the company, which pioneered the use of wiring players and coaches for sound, helping give fans inside perspective on the sport and its stars. NFL Films also pioneered now-standard sports-film effects like ground-level slow motion and montages; its popularity made it a key player in helping elevate football past baseball to become America’s favorite TV sport. Much of that push was attributable to Sabol, who took over as president in 1985, winning more than 40 Emmys and overseeing 107 Emmys for the company. Sabol enshrined his father Ed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, just learning he had an inoperable brain tumor, according to NFL.com.
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