Tomorrow, the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet in North Texas and elect the Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Results will be announced at 7 p.m. ET during an NFL Network special. There are 5 spots for 15 nominees.
Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL films, is one of the finalists. Here's one view of why he should receive the award. Here's another and another and another. As CNN says, “Through Ed Sabol's lens, the NFL and its players became mythic.”
“Big Ed”, as he's known, is now 95 and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. CNN says he's playing down the idea of being elected to the Hall of Fame and “fully satisfied with a career of bringing the drama of Sunday's gladiators to America's TV screens.” I don't think so.
Ed's daughter, Blair Sabol, the irreverent fashion writer once known as the Abbie Hoffman of Seventh Avenue , (and my principal reason for reading the Village Voice back in those days) is Ed's daughter and my friend. Blair tells me the Hall of Fame award is a huge deal and would mean the world to Ed. They are keeping their fingers crossed for tomorrow.
So if any of the 44 people who vote tomorrow are on the fence and wondering if it would mean a lot to Ed, please know that it does.
NFL Films revolutionized televised sports. And without it, there would be no visually recorded history of what happened at games through the years, no way to look back and re-watch the great moments. As one writer said, “You can't tell the history of the NFL without including Ed Sabol and NFL Films.”
Via USA Today:
NFL Films contains more than 100 million feet of footage, including 9,000-plus games. It has won nearly 100 Emmy Awards….Unlike baseball, the Pro Football Hall of Fame does not have a special category for non-players who made significant contributions to the sport.
….”Take all of the other candidates, stack their accomplishments, and they haven't had the impact on the game that Ed Sabol has,” said Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, a Hall selector campaigning for Sabol. “It wouldn't be the incredible monolith it is without NFL Films.”
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Big Ed too.