|Bill Belichick remembers the genius of Steve Sabol: ‘He was a great friend’||09.22.12 at 2:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Few people have ever made the impression on Bill Belichick that Steve Sabol made over the course of his “football life.” It was Sabol’s unbridled passion for the game of football that impressed Belichick so much that when NFL Films and Sabol approached the Patriots coach with the idea of following him for an entire season, Belichick agreed.
So, with the news of Sabol succumbing this week to brain cancer at the age of 69, Belichick paid tribute to an NFL legend that brought America inside the game unlike no one ever did before.
“There aren’t many people that I think have done more for the NFL or done more for football than Steve has. He was a great friend. I’d say my favorite memories of Steve are going to owners’ meetings and just sitting around talking. Steve was a great storyteller, both on film and in person. He had a great appreciation for the game, the history of the game, the people and the past really, as well as the present. But he had a great memory, great experiences in the past. I just loved to talk to him, just talking about football. He was really special.”
So special were Sabol’s innovations in documenting the NFL that Belichick took special notice. That admiration and respect led to the production of the inaugural “A Football Life”, which aired in 2011. The Belichick documentary spawned a series that is now among the most popular on the NFL Network.
But what perhaps made the biggest impression on Belichick was something Greg Cosell brought up this week on Sirius NFL Radio.
“Whoever it was, they always knew Steve would never make them look bad,” Cosell said. “And he could have many times.”
And it was with that trust that Belichick allowed the access in 2009.
“I think it’s hard these days to find somebody like Steve that was never about him,” Belichick said on Friday. “It was always about the game, it was about the entertainment. All the things he did, I don’t think he ever made anybody look bad. That wasn’t the point, even though we all had some bad moments, we had fumbles and whatever but you were sort of able to laugh at yourself the way he presented it. It seemed like every time he did something, you walked out of there with either a smile on your face or a great appreciation for what he showed and his ability to show a close, unique look at the game until so many of us never saw until he presented it, or the way he presented it. I’ll miss Steve, he’s really special. The job he’s done for NFL Films, the recognition he’s gotten he certainly deserves; a really special guy.”
2013 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2013 NFL DRAFT
- Patriots Sign Fourth Round Pick Josh Boyce
- Report: Patriots Restructure Julian Edelman's Contract
- New England Patriots Links 5/24/13 - Chandler Jones 'Ramping Up' for Year...
- Bill Belichick and The Greatest Coaches Ever
- New England Patriots Links 5/23/13 - Amendola, Jenkins Top Receivers at...
- Patriots Claim OT Kevin Haslam; Waive R.J. Mattes
- Patriots Spend League High $140K In Guaranteed Money For UDFAs