The Ten Most Important Figures in NFL History

My Own List – Therefore official

10) GEORGE PLIMPTON

Got you from the start! The sophisticated New York author spent a training camp with the Detroit Lions in the 60’s, played QB for one series in an exhibition game, and wrote one of the greatest sports books of all time, PAPER LION. He helped humanize the game for millions.

9) THE GUY WHO INVENTED INSTANT REPLAY

Probably many guys. Instant replay was actually first used on an Army-Navy telecast in 1963, (Roger Staubach QB for Navy) and it changed viewing TV forever. And when they began to slow replays down, it changed even more. The subtleties of the game could now be made apparent to the casual viewer. We all got smarter. Pretty soon, we all knew as much as Vince Lombardi.

What replay has screwed up is officiating. Replay review during games not only slows things down, it takes away from the legitimacy of the NFL game officials, who I think are the best in any sport. At the very least, take away the little red flags the coaches throw when they want to challenge a play. And if a challenge fails, a team should lose more than just a time out the rules currently penalize them. Like, maybe the coach’s office desk??

8) ED SABOL (And, by extension, John Facenda)

In 1960, Ed Sabol bid for the rights to film the NFL championship game – for three grand. From this start, an empire was born, called NFL Films – the greatest propaganda use of film since Leni Reifenstahl. At some point in your life, whether you know it or not, you’ve watched something from NFL Films. They have slowed the game down to give it a ballet like grace, and made the violence almost poetic. Their music, their words, everything they do is brilliant. And, speaking of words, you have to note the late, great John Facenda, the quintessential NFL Films voice. Even though it’s doubtful he ever talked about “frozen tundra” just hearing his voice means football for millions.

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My Own List – Therefore official

10) GEORGE PLIMPTON

Got you from the start! The sophisticated New York author spent a training camp with the Detroit Lions in the 60’s, played QB for one series in an exhibition game, and wrote one of the greatest sports books of all time, PAPER LION. He helped humanize the game for millions.

9) THE GUY WHO INVENTED INSTANT REPLAY

Probably many guys. Instant replay was actually first used on an ufabetบนมือถือArmy-Navy telecast in 1963, (Roger Staubach QB for Navy) and it changed viewing TV forever. And when they began to slow replays down, it changed even more. The subtleties of the game could now be made apparent to the casual viewer. We all got smarter. Pretty soon, we all knew as much as Vince Lombardi.

What replay has screwed up is officiating. Replay review during games not only slows things down, it takes away from the legitimacy of the NFL game officials, who I think are the best in any sport. At the very least, take away the little red flags the coaches throw when they want to challenge a play. And if a challenge fails, a team should lose more than just a time out the rules currently penalize them. Like, maybe the coach’s office desk??

8) ED SABOL (And, by extension, John Facenda)

In 1960, Ed Sabol bid for the rights to film the NFL championship game – for three grand. From this start, an empire was born, called NFL Films – the greatest propaganda use of film since Leni Reifenstahl. At some point in your life, whether you know it or not, you’ve watched something from NFL Films. They have slowed the game down to give it a ballet like grace, and made the violence almost poetic. Their music, their words, everything they do is brilliant. And, speaking of words, you have to note the late, great John Facenda, the quintessential NFL Films voice. Even though it’s doubtful he ever talked about “frozen tundra” just hearing his voice means football for millions.




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