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Keepers of the FlameNFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media$
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Travis Vogan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038389

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038389.001.0001

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The NFL’s Smithsonian

The NFL’s Smithsonian

(p.79) Chapter 3 The NFL’s Smithsonian
Keepers of the Flame

Travis Vogan

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the NFL Films archive, the largest sports film archive in the world. Building from the authenticity and emotional power the company assigns to film, president Steve Sabol calls the NFL Films archive “the soul of the NFL,” “the NFL's Smithsonian,” and “football's wine cellar.” NFL Films' archive consists of two main parts that serve overlapping functions: a fire-proof, temperature-controlled, limited-access vault that houses and safeguards nearly all the film the company has created and purchased since Blair Motion Pictures' beginning; a film library that organizes copies of footage for inclusion in the company's productions and for sale to clients. This chapter examines the NFL Films archive's role in the company's efforts to create, circulate, and control the National Football League's image.

Keywords:   footage, NFL Films archive, Steve Sabol, film library, productions, National Football League, films

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