Sport

John Facenda posthumously honored with Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award

The voice of NFL Films — sometimes called the Voice of God — is being honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Facenda, who helped grow the game of football by narrating so much great NFL Films footage before he died in 1984, is the recipient of the 2021 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. The award, which goes each year to a recipient with a long record of contributing to the sport through radio or television, usually goes to someone who’s still living. But Facenda may have the voice that is most associated with the sport of football, and so he is being recognized many years after he became the voice of NFL Films.

“For nearly 20 years, John Facenda’s resonant voice was, and even today still is, synonymous with the power, strength and character of the NFL,” Hall of Fame President David Baker said in a statement. “His narration of the league’s history, the legacies of those who played and coached in it and the stories of its greatest moments and memories helped generations of fans fall in love with the game and make it America’s passion.”

Facenda spent many years as a local sportscaster in Philadelphia when Ed Sabol approached him about working at NFL Films in 1965. Facenda kept working for NFL Films until his death at age 71.

“It’s fitting in a year that Steve Sabol joins his father, Ed, in the Hall of Fame that John Facenda’s decades of professionalism and excellence at the highest level will be recognized as the recipient of the Pete Rozelle Award for 2021,” Baker said.

The award will be presented to Facenda’s son, Jack Facenda, during the Hall of Fame’s enshrinement weekend.