Ed and Steve Sabol were the founders, John Facenda was the voice and now the music of NFL Films has died. Sam Spence, longtime composer for NFL Films died Saturday at 88 years old after being in poor health the previous few months.

If you have ever watched an NFL Films video over the past 50 years, you have heard Sam Spence’s orchestral music grace the legendary passes of Bart Starr and the slow motion runs of Gale Sayers among many legends of the game in the last half century.

Spence started at NFL Films in 1966 and composed some of the most legendary pieces of music for NFL Films features until the mid 80’s. While Spence’s music has been used less frequently in recent time, Spence’s music sometimes still graces the football action as well as on some TV shows and movies.

Growing up, I was hooked with the classic NFL Films videos of past Super Bowls and Spence’s music was a big part of that. You cannot listen to Spence’s music without associating it with some of the most legendary and iconic moments in NFL history.

So as we get ready to enjoy Super Bowl 50, take some time out and prepare for the game by listening to some of Sam Spence’s best work as NFL Films’ composer. You may not recognize all of these songs by title but once you listen, it’ll immediately take you back.


Classic Battle


Up As She Rises


The Magnificent Eleven




Ramblin’ Man From Gramblin’


The Pony Soldiers


Forearm Shiver


The Equalizer

[Houston Chronicle/Photo: NFL]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp