Academic journal article Journalism History

Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media

Academic journal article Journalism History

Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media

Article excerpt

Vogan, Travis. Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media. Urbana University of Illinois Press, 2014. 238 pp. $90.

Author Travis Vogan writes that sportscaster Bob Costas once said that NFL Films productions "had become more entertaining than the National Football League's actual games." The story that Vogan tells about how NFL Films rose to such prominence is an interesting read for the sports fan and for those who appreciate the relationship between sports and media.

The book begins with the history of NFL Films. It details how young filmmaker Ed Sabol created Blair Motion Pictures with the intent of becoming a documentarían. After a disastrous attempt at filming whalers off the Atlantic coast, Sabol decided to change Blair's direction to more manageable subjects. It was during a topics search in 1962 that Sabol discovered that filming rights for the National Football League's 1962 championship game were being auctioned. Sabol doubled the winning bid from the previous year and was awarded the rights. During his preparations for filming the 1962 game, Sabol contacted his son Steve, who had a less than stellar career as a college football player, and convinced the younger Sabol to join the endeavor. Steve Sabol became Blair Motion Pictures', and later NFL Films', creative director-the latter a position he would maintain until his death in 2012.

Vogan includes a good, albeit short, history of the beginnings of the National Football League in 1920, including the formation of the league in the showroom of a Hupmobile auto dealership in Canton, Ohio. Surprisingly, one of those in attendance at the birth of the league, George Halas, owner of the Chicago Bears, thought NFL Films was a nuisance sent to spy on his organization. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.