NFL Films’ weekly and seasonal highlights gave a fans a fix during the midweek and off-season before multiple ESPN channels and the NFL Network spread football joy year-round.
The man behind NFL Films was Steve Sabol, who transformed the gridiron sights into cinematic treasures. Sabol, who died Tuesday of brain cancer at age 69, was the face of professional sports’ greatest propaganda machine in 1962. He and his father, Ed, turned the NFL from a niche sport in the mid-1960s into today’s international empire.
Sabol began every show with the innocuous “Hi, I’m Steve Sabol” and concluded every show on a positive note. I’ll never forget watching Super Bowl highlight films with my father and brother before Super Bowl XV in 1981. I was hooked then and 31 years later — with dozens of VCR tapes filled with NFL highlights in my storage closest — I’m still hooked.
NFL Films is the league’s living history book, and Sabol wrote nearly every chapter.
GAME OF THE DAY
Philadelphia (2-0) at Arizona (2-0), 3:25 p.m. The Eagles have won each their first two games by one point, the only time in NFL history. The Cardinals haven’t started 3-0 since 1974.
STAT OF THE WEEK
The Vikings may have found their quarterback of the future in Christian Ponder. The second-year pro has a 110.6 passer rating and leads the NFL with a 75.8 completion percentage. Minnesota is 1-1 after two weeks.
When running back Shonn Greene rushes for more than 100 yards, the New York Jets are 4-0.
Oakland tight end Brandon Myers had career highs in catches (six) and receiving yards (86) last week.
Tampa Bay defensive end Adrian Clayborn had a sack and forced fumble in the Buccaneers’ last game against Dallas.
ON THE AIR TODAY
Chiefs at Saints, KGAN, noon
Bears at Rams, KFXA, noon
Texans at Broncos, KGAN, 3:25 p.m.
Patriots at Ravens, KWWL, 7:20 p.m.
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