KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: NFL FILMS AND THE RISE OF SPORTS MEDIA

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME                  TRAVIS VOGAN
Posted:  Aug. 21, 2014

Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports MediaNFL Films changed the way Americans view football. Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media traces the subsidiary's development from a small independent film production company to the marketing machine that Sports Illustrated named "perhaps the most effective propaganda organ in the history of corporate America."
 
Drawing on research at the NFL Films Archive and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and interviews with media pioneer Steve Sabol and others, Travis Vogan shows how NFL Films has constructed a consistent, romanticized, and remarkably visible mythology for the National Football League. The company packages football as a visceral and dramatic sequence of violent, beautiful, graceful, and heroic gridiron battles. Historically proven formulas for presentation--such as the dramatic voiceovers once provided by John Facenda's baritone, the soaring scores of Sam Spence's rousing background music, and the epic poetry found in Steve Sabol's scripts--are still used today.
 
From the Vincent Price-narrated Strange but True Football Stories to the currently running series Hard Knocks, NFL Films distinguishes the NFL from other sports organizations and from other media and entertainment. Vogan tells the larger story of the company's relationship with and vast influence on our culture's representations of sport, the expansion of sports television beyond live game broadcasts, and the emergence of cable television and Internet sports media.
 
Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Mediapresents sports media as an integral facet of American popular culture and NFL Films as key to the transformation of professional football into the national obsession commonly known as America's Game.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is a book for anyone who really is into the history of pro football. Here is the story of the rise of the NFL network before there really was any cable with so many stations to choose from. This story actually started out by the name of Blair productions and Ed Sabol, Steve father owned that company. Together they decided to buy the rights to the 1962 NFL championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants played in Yankee stadium. That film the highlights if you ever get the opportunity to see is really good for their first production. Form their they get the opportunity to sign a deal with the NFL to film games during the season this works out and by adding music and the voice of John Facenda. By 65 Blair films was gone and it was now NFL films, they had sold Pete Roselle on the idea of the league having their own films their brand so to speak. Then they started with weekly highlights of the games on Sunday. So for a kid like me living in a small town in middle of the desert in California, I could keep up with all of the teams and of course my Packers. Then they started having specials, Halloween Vincent Price did one with the scariest football players and they had others they don’t show those anymore I think some of them they might think are to violet for today’s viewing. Any way from there the author takes through the journey of cable TV, ESPN, and other networks that started with sports programing. I don’t think anyone thought ESPN, was going to be as big as it got. In time it turned out that the best deal the NFL ever did was buy Blair films, for now you have the creation of the NFL network. I don’t know if they, Ed or Steve, really thought that it would or could get as big as it has, but I do know they were right in that there was money in filming the games and through that they help with camera and sound technology just to name a few. I found this to be a fascinating book and full of a lot of information about the game and the history of pro football. I got this book from net galley.

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