Oakland Raiders Offer Condolences to Sabol Family
John Doublin – Sep 19, 2012
On Tuesday, the NFL lost an icon and a man that did more to make the NFL the premier sport in American than perhaps anyone, ever. The president and co-founder of NFL Films, Steve Sabol lost his 18 month battle with brain cancer, he was 69.
Sabol meant a lot to the NFL in general, but he had a special place in the hearts and minds of Raider Nation. For it was Sabol who wrote the now world-famous poem, The Autumn Wind.
The Autumn wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
His face is weather beaten
He wears a hooded sash
With a silver hat about his head
And a bristling black mustache.
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.
That poem has become a source of pride for Raider fans everywhere. There are social media groups that use this poem as their name. Fan clubs, web sites and all sorts of Raider-centric affiliates refer to this poem for inspiration. It is just as recognizable and quoted as many of the famous Al Davis quotes, like "Just Win Baby!" and "Commitment to Excellence."
This poem personifies the Raiders in every sense and fans identify with it.
Steve Sabol was the creator of this poem. He wrote it in the 1970's to be the backdrop of an NFL Films production of the same name that depicted the successes of the Raiders of that era.
Sabol sat in the sound booth with John "The Voice" Facenda and coached him into delivering one of, if not the most iconic narrative performances of his illustrious career. It had to be better than "right" or "good enough." For Sabol, it had to be perfect—and it was!
Today, the Raiders organization recognized the contributions to the game made by Sabol on their official site as they reached out to the Sabol family with offers of condolences and a heart-felt tribute to Steve.
Steve Sabol is survived by his wife, two children, his father and co-founder of NFL Films, Ed Sabol. He will be greatly missed not only in the NFL community, but especially in Raider Nation.
Rest in peace, Steve...rest in peace.
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