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SBD/February 7, 2011/People and Pop Culture
Get This On Tape: NFL Films Founder Ed Sabol Voted Into Pro Football HOF
Published February 7, 2011
LOT OF DEBATE AROUND SELECTION: In Cleveland, Tony Grossi noted the "longest discussion" among voters debating the candidates was for Sabol, taking up 37 minutes. Grossi: "That wasn't surprising because the debate on Sabol was whether his unique role in advancing the popularity of the NFL outweighed the merits of a deserving player" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/6). In Charlotte, Darin Gantt noted Sabol's candidacy elicited the "most spirited debate" among voters (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/6). SI.com's Jim Trotter, an HOF voter, wrote with an "expanding backlog of players, he faced questions not only about whether he was deserving of selection, but also the larger issue of whether a coach or contributor deserves a spot over a player" (SI.com, 2/6). In Dallas, Gosselin noted Sabol became the "annual wild card in the selection process -- a dark horse who powered his way into the class on the strength of superb Saturday presentation." Redskins Exec VP & GM BRUCE ALLEN said of Sabol, "He's received 100 Emmys, but that's sort of Hollywood. This (honor) says we appreciate what the fans are seeing. ... The phrase I've heard from the selection committee was, 'Can we write the history of the game without mentioning so-and-so?' We can write the history of the NFL without Ed Sabol -- but we sure wouldn't be able to watch it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/6).
FITTING TRIBUTE: In Philadelphia, Paul Domowitch reports all 140 NFL Films employees who worked Super Bowl XLV yesterday "wore red socks ... in honor of the man who built the company they work for." NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL also wore red socks "to pay tribute" to Sabol. Steve Sabol said, "That was one of my dad's sartorial idiosyncrasies. Even if he was wearing a tuxedo, he'd always wear red socks" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/7).