583

Sabol a big reason why you love the NFL

There are a lot of people with better insight than I about Steve Sabol, who passed away at age 69.

People who knew him better, talked to him regularly, were more involved with the incredible legacy he left along with his father at NFL Films.

I spoke to him a handful of times over the years, working on one story or another. The one I remember most was in around 2000, when Jon Gruden was all the rage and NFL Films had done some great work showing “Chucky” to the masses.

I told him I would only take a few minutes of his time, and it turned out to be closer to half-an-hour _ an eternity for most newspaper interviews where you’re basically looking for a few quotes to fill out a story.

The story had to do with how big Gruden had become with all the facial expressions and sideline theatrics. Talked to players, people in the advertising business about Gruden’s marketability, the whole deal.

Sabol was easily the most fun to talk to and the most illuminating. “The way I see Jon Gruden is like he’s a lion tamer, and he snaps his whip and the cats are on the stools.”

He told me Gruden was the most telegenic and one of the most charismatic coaches he’d ever filmed.

Remember thinking at the time I could easily envision the “cats are on the stools” line being being included in an NFL Films piece.“ Sure enough, at one point, it happened.

Sabol was surprised how easy it was to put Gruden on a microphone and get virtually unlimited access. A lot of that had to do with Gruden, who loved the attention, but I’m sure Al Davis knew it was happening and signed off because of who was handling it.

It was Sabol, after all, who penned “The Autumn Wind is a Raider,” which essentially became a club anthem and is played with regularity at the Coliseum.

Nobody cared more about the legacy of the Raiders and the NFL than Davis, and so many of the works of NFL Films were priceless in glorifying the brand.

During our phone coversation, and one or two that followed, Sabol was always curious about Davis, the organization, how it was functioning. It was his job to chronicle the NFL and the work he and his father did through NFL Films in promoting their sport is unmatched in the annals of sport.

With highlights, results and everything about the NFL essentially available with the touch of a keystroke, NFL Films still gets great access and does good work but it can’t possibly have the kind of impact it had while the Sabols were introducing what would become the quintessential American sport to the public.

Any historical perspective on the NFL includes Steve Sabol as major player.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Raider Riff

    Raider O Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:43 am
    Riff,

    Not in the 1st.

    ——–

    Gotcha.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    It’s never too early for draft talk.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    496.Klas Tjorborn Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:42 am
    Raider O Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:39 am
    Players to consider in the 1st.
    CB: Xavier Rhodes
    DE: Brandon Jenkins (out for the season)
    NT/ DT: Johnathan Hankins (Go Buckeyes)!
    ——
    STOP IT, STOP IT NOW! NO MORE DRAFT TALK! IT’S ONLY WEEK 3!

    ++++++++++++

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but the Raiders could hang 70 points a piece on Pittsburgh, Denver and Atlanta and I’d still be talking draft.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    500.Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:44 am
    Has anyone ever thought that MAYBE McFadden will never be the player he was in 2010, after this Lis Franc business?

    The guy has had turf toe twice, Lis Franc, and a few other injuries, and took a helluva pounding in college.

    He may be turning into Stephen Davis right before our eyes.
    +++++++++++++++++

    Oh I’ve considered this…but I don’t like to dwell on it because it’ll make me puke if I do.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    We tinkered with it and it backfired, I just said that.
    =================================================
    The major tinkering would obviously be the ZBS, but it seems apparent that Reggie had decided to revamp the interior of the OLine.

    Satele gone, Wiz to center, sign Brisell, draft Bergstrom.

    Hard for me to accept that Bergs was considered the best player available. Maybe he was, but the fact that he can’t make the active list on Sundays isn’t a good sign.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m not a fan of drafting OL in the 1st unless:
    1- it’s a LT
    2- not a top 15 pick, and I have a team full of talent and I need an OL.

  • CanuckRaider

    Re: Post #436: You nailed it Bob…Straight to the head of the class.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Palmer threw that pass to McFadden down near the end zone late, for sure, but there was still no reason for him to drop it.

    ******************************

    The McFadden of 2010 would have caught it with one hand and turned upfield and into the end zone with no problems.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:39 am
    Guys,You can’t have it both ways. I think DMAC is being smart going out of bounds. You do want him to stay off the PUP list right?

    ******************************

    What good is a healthy McFadden going into a game as a 2-7 team?

    I would rather be 4-3 and try to figure things with him on PUP.
    ——————
    Vegas, You really don’t think if there is an oppurtunity for DMAC to break one he won’t go full steam ahead? I believe he knows when to turn it on and when to play it safe.
    I really think he’s being smart. It is also possible that missing the motivation/confidence that our last coach inspired in him is not helping matters. Just sayin.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    The McFadden of 2010 would have caught it with one hand and turned upfield and into the end zone with no problems.
    ==============================================
    Especially if Slo was trying to tackle him.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    IMO, it is early for draft talk.

  • Just Fire Baby

    This whole “Carson threw it too late” business really chaps me.

    So when Lou Murph was held out to dry last year by Soup and Palmer, with late and high throws over the middle, Lou was labeled “Soft” a “puzzy” and “alligator arms”.

    When McFadden has the same thing pretty much happen, only the ball actually nailed him in the chest on the pass, he is allowed to sulk because he doesn’t like the direction of the offense after 5 quarters of football?

    Double-standard of epic proportions!!!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    McFadden doesn’t look as motivated and hungry as he was the last 2 years with Hue. Maybe he is mad about the Scheme and having Knapp back.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Vegas, You really don’t think if there is an oppurtunity for DMAC to break one he won’t go full steam ahead?

    ***********************

    I would have liked to see him try, that’s all I am saying.

    That was the most “quit” I have seen from any of our players so far this season.

  • Raider Riff

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:53 am
    This whole “Carson threw it too late” business really chaps me.

    So when Lou Murph was held out to dry last year by Soup and Palmer, with late and high throws over the middle, Lou was labeled “Soft” a “puzzy” and “alligator arms”.

    When McFadden has the same thing pretty much happen, only the ball actually nailed him in the chest on the pass, he is allowed to sulk because he doesn’t like the direction of the offense after 5 quarters of football?

    Double-standard of epic proportions!!!

    ———

    Your point is solid.

    But I dont think DMC is showing any signs of sulking or giving up. He F’d up on that catch, no doubt.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Memo to all: DMAC and Palmer are the least of our worries.

    Basically it boils down to us all being FRUSTRATED with everything/everyone that has anything to do with the Raiders. Understandably

  • Raider Riff

    Alright guys. Im out.

    We’re all so bored right now were starting to imagine and pontificate how motivated DMC is. We’re really running out of things to talk about.

    Later.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    You People are no fun. Where is YA? He enjoys talking draft as much as I do.
    Never too early for draft talk.

  • Raider Riff

    Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Memo to all: DMAC and Palmer are the least of our worries.

    Basically it boils down to us all being FRUSTRATED with everything/everyone that has anything to do with the Raiders. Understandably

    ——-

    Bingo. Ok, now Im really leaving.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Yeah, DMAC should have caught it. But Palmer being late screwed it up too. Think DMAC wasn’t fully aware how much room he had left and thought he was running out of real estate to keep his feet in. Screwed his footwork up and caused him to forget about job nbr 1 – catch the freaking ball.

    Just another example of poor execution. Like Reese’s toss on the reverse.

    Offense is not being run crisply and that’s a reflection on the coaches too.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    With Steeler injuries, at least Raiders have opportunity to score this week (maybe). Can’t imagine how they are going to stop Steeler passing game, though. Our corners belong in the UFL.

  • Dakota

    Lol Vegas (most of you know him as JFB) still hating on our one very good player….while still pimpin’ for Slowlando McLazy.

    SMH

    sad

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    What the hell happened to Tx? Did he get job? Get arrested?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Lol Vegas (most of you know him as JFB) still hating on our one very good player….while still pimpin’ for Slowlando McLazy.

    SMH
    ============================================
    Slo-mania, like liberalism, is mind debilitating.

  • Dakota

    I am concerned about Mlonetree.

    I think he may have laid down in a forest somewhere and “returned to Mother Nature”.

    I’ll miss that guy!

  • Dakota

    At least MLonetree died thinking the Raiders were on the upswing…..he didn’t have the 2012 Raiders slap him in the face with a dose of reality.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Dakota Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:08 am
    At least MLonetree died thinking the Raiders were on the upswing…..he didn’t have the 2012 Raiders slap him in the face with a dose of reality.
    —————-
    What happened?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    I’m concerned about Bo Schem.

    Doesn’t seem likely that he’d completely disappear over the Condo thing.

    Hope he’s OK.

  • Dakota

    The company that owns the LA Kings, Staples Center, a minority interest in the Lakers, and which is planning to build the LA football stadium is for sale.

    I want it.

    Think they would take a check?

  • AmysInCharge

    Steve Sabol,..BFD that he died,..I do not care,..and he did what?…what, continued on what his dad started. Does that make him some friggin genius?…innovator?…baloney, that dude did nothing but inherit a film company and the SAME people doing all the work for his father just kept doing it, but OMG Steve Sabol was a pioneer,..my asss,…he did nothing and I wont mourn him at all…HOWEVER he did one thing right,…when his dad died he didnt do anything stupid like hire some Big Dummy to run it into the ground…I have spoken.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Lol Vegas (most of you know him as JFB) still hating on our one very good player….while still pimpin’ for Slowlando McLazy.

    ****************************

    Slo-Mania had a few coals go out this weekend, but Big Ben is here to through some kindle on that fire!!!

  • DJ Johnny

    If Raiders liked what they saw in any of the guys they worked out wouldn’t we be hearing of a signing by now?

    Plus, if they are interested in any of the guys they brought in, don’t they need to be at practice getting ready for Pittsburgh?

  • Dakota

    527.Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:11 am
    Dakota Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:08 am
    At least MLonetree died thinking the Raiders were on the upswing…..he didn’t have the 2012 Raiders slap him in the face with a dose of reality.
    —————-
    What happened?

    ___________

    MLonetree packed a bottle of water and a bag of trail mix, put on his hiking shoes, selected his favorite forest, found the spot with his favorite view and settled down to let Mother Nature take him home….at least that is how I picture it.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Cahier’s, maybe.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    DJ Johnny Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:16 am
    If Raiders liked what they saw in any of the guys they worked out wouldn’t we be hearing of a signing by now?

    Plus, if they are interested in any of the guys they brought in, don’t they need to be at practice getting ready for Pittsburgh
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My guess is they won’t bother announcing it until after practice. I mean, do they ever?

    Whoever they signed will be at practice today. Cork or someone will probably be at practice and see who it is before any official annoucement comes.

    Just a guess, though.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    AmysInCharge Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:15 am
    Steve Sabol,..BFD that he died,..I do not care,..and he did what?…what, continued on what his dad started. Does that make him some friggin genius?…innovator?…baloney, that dude did nothing but inherit a film company and the SAME people doing all the work for his father just kept doing it, but OMG Steve Sabol was a pioneer,..my asss,…he did nothing and I wont mourn him at all…HOWEVER he did one thing right,…when his dad died he didnt do anything stupid like hire some Big Dummy to run it into the ground…I have spoken.
    ——————-
    Tell me how you really feel.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:12 am
    I’m concerned about Bo Schem.

    Doesn’t seem likely that he’d completely disappear over the Condo thing.

    Hope he’s OK.
    —–
    Probably too embarrassed to show up around these parts. Bet he reappears under new handle.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Slo-Mania had a few coals go out this weekend
    =========================================
    The first cracks in the dam appear.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    CALI★GROWN ‏@408RAIDER
    Can’t even troll the donkey blog cuz we haven’t won a game yet.. #NationProblems
    Expand
    Reply Retweet Favorite
    —–
    LOL

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Dakota Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:16 am
    527.Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:11 am
    Dakota Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:08 am
    At least MLonetree died thinking the Raiders were on the upswing…..he didn’t have the 2012 Raiders slap him in the face with a dose of reality.
    —————-
    What happened?

    ___________

    MLonetree packed a bottle of water and a bag of trail mix, put on his hiking shoes, selected his favorite forest, found the spot with his favorite view and settled down to let Mother Nature take him home….at least that is how I picture it.

    ————————
    I’ll take that as my farewell to mother earth.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Lonetree is a solid dude.

    I sent him some somewhat ghetto-ish, Raider and A’s gear that didn’t quite jive with the non-22 year old JFB, so he can give it to his nephew.

    His nephew’s mom, his sister I would guess, wrote me back a thank-you note.

    Thank-you notes this day and age? Unheard of, unless you are stand up folks.

  • mcfadden20.

    Code muthafukkin Black ..Let’s go Raiders

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 19th, 2012 at 8:21 am
    Lonetree is a solid dude.

    I sent him some somewhat ghetto-ish, Raider and A’s gear that didn’t quite jive with the non-22 year old JFB, so he can give it to his nephew.

    His nephew’s mom, his sister I would guess, wrote me back a thank-you note.

    Thank-you notes this day and age? Unheard of, unless you are stand up folks.
    —————–
    I like people that are appreciative

  • The Big Banana

    BSJ’s worst nightmare came true. An injury to Condo cost his Raiders a victory against a hated foe. Something he never believed was in the realm of possibility.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    After Michigan loses to Notre Dame this week, BSJ may have to be on suicide watch.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Pro Football Weekly ‏@ProFootballWkly
    RT @MiamiDolphins: Congrats to @reggie_bush, who has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week!
    Expand
    Reply Retweet Favorite
    —-
    :(

  • DJ Johnny

    Silverandblackpa,

    Thanks. That sounds about right.

  • The Big Banana

    Lol, we’re back to making offensive players of the week out of B list players? Sad.

  • AmysInCharge

    I saw that about Reggies award,..however look close, theres an asterik. (*Raiders) ;)

  • Just Fire Baby

    Reggie Bush > Darren McFadden