I know he passed away yesterday, but I just wanted to mention Steve Sabol and share some thoughts about him.
Football is yes just a game, but for my family and I'm sure many others it is one of the first experiences I can recall of my family being together. We all loved one another, that was never in question, but it was my first introduction of what it was to be overtly emotionally invested and rooting for something as a family. I'll never forget the sounds of the game as relayed to us by NFL Films, Facenda's voice, the music, the MUSIC! The chill bumps as legends of old were shown in glorious slow motion. The amazed looks shared between my brother and I or with my father as we saw the amazing plays unfold. There are few things in one's life like finding common ground with family, even over something as trivial as a game. The memories of those moments stay with me to this day.
The NFL used NFL Films to spin their own legend. It was a brilliant piece of marketing and innovation. Intentionally or no, they helped me forge lasting bonds from a very early age with my brother and father. Watching Rich Eisen struggling with emotion as he announced the passing of Mr. Sabol it struck me how instrumental he and his father have been to so many. I hope he and his family knew that before he passed. I hope his family can take some small measure of peace from how much he meant, whether we knew it or not, to so many. Wherever you are Mr. Sabol I just want to thank you and your father.
Rest in peace.