Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Ghost of NFL Films

Hi Colleen,

For the record:

I saw a late interview with Steve Sabol and his Dad on NFL Network and Steve repeated a lie Ed had told on Father's Day the year before about "a janitor suggested in 66 or 67 (before I was hired in 68) about a ballet with tch-tch-tchkaikovsky's music".   First of all, when I suggested a ballet to Ed during my hiring interview, I had not decided on which composer and music I would use were I to actually create a ballet.  So it sounds like the Sabols were denying my legendary work for the league by turning me into a janitor at the very least and denying my real contributions to the "Legend of NFL Films".

The thing that bothered me about Steve's quoting his Dad was I always thought of Steve as an equal, a filmmaker; someone who respected other's work, not someone competing for top dog fame.  Where is the thanks from the league for my contribution of the ballet and the Follies to its fame and fortune?   Hidden under Sabol & Son, aka NFL Films.  I admired Steve's work ethic as a filmmaker and skill as an executive but I was saddened when I heard him voice the party line on me and explains why I wasn't given a clean shot at doing more creative, memorable work for NFL Films, a loss for the league and the countless fans of my work.

Given your loyalty to the Sabols, Colleen, I don't expect sympathy for my complaint but I feel the need to air my grievances to Steve's assistant who was kind and respectful to me while vetting my memoirs with Steve.  In the John Wayne/Ford movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,  the truth is hidden and "the legend" is what is printed.  Sounds familiar to me.


Simon Gribben

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