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    Monday
    Aug012011

    Ed Sabol, NFL Films and The Hall of Fame

    Image courtesy of http://www.tracksounds.comEd Sabol was born in 1916, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Sabol was a World War II veteran, and, upon returning to the States after the end of World War II, he worked as a salesman in his father's clothing factory.

    Sabol used a motion picture camera that he received as a wedding gift to record his son Steve's high school football games.  Encouraged by his work with the motion picture camera, Sabol founded Blair Motion Pictures in 1962. He named the film company after his daughter.  One of Blair Motion Pictures' first major television contracts was the 1962 NFL Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.  NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle was so impressed with Sabol's film of the 1962 NFL Championship Game that Rozelle was eventually able to convince the NFL to purchase Blair Motion Pictures, rename it NFL Films, and each NFL team gave Sabol $20,000 to film all NFL games and create a highlight video for each NFL team. 

    NFL Films has been credited as one of the significant factors in making the NFL one of the most watched professional sports leagues in North America. NFL Films is famous for its creation of annual highlight films for each NFL team, for making films such as Truth in 24 and Lombardi, and for putting together many highly entertaining television shows (most notably Hard Knocks, HBO's hit mini-series in 2010 that featured a behind the scenes look at life in the New York Jets' training camp).

    For the many achievements of NFL Films in marketing the NFL, Ed Sabol was enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011. According to Profootballtalk.com, "NFL Network is running four original hour-long specials this week to honor the new Hall of Fame class every night this week at 8 p.m. and it starts Monday night with 'Ed Sabol: King of Football Movies.'"

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