Saturday, January 23, 2010

1967 Sports Illustrated feature on Ed Sabol

From the Nov. 20, 1967 issue:

It's great fun to take a look at the early days of NFL Films, when "They Call It Pro Football" was something they'd made earlier that year. But here's an intriguing bit, from that article:

All of the NFL highlight recaps one sees on television this season are the work of Sabol. So is the official NFL championship game film. His off-season show, Edwin Sabol Presents, muscled into prime time last spring and ran all summer.

In an earlier post on this blog, I shared what I'd found in the New York Times TV listings from the spring and summer of '67. But it's only in this article that I've seen the weekly show described as "Edwin Sabol Presents."

The credits sequences on the team highlights for the '66 season -- those that I've seen, that weren't omitted from videotapes issued by NFL Films -- are for a show called "NFL Action." There's a quick-edit sequence of about 5 seconds, and then you see the film's introduction by Frank Gifford. (I picture Frank hopping from city to city in the spring of '67.)

I'm mystified. Was Sabol pulling the SI writer's leg? Was the series actually called "Edwin Sabol Presents" in 1967? I lean toward the former, since there's no evidence of the latter.

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