ESPN is diving into one of the most intense feuds in football history for its latest 30 for 30 documentary, Al Davis vs. The NFL. The upcoming film, which comes from director Ken Rodgers, looks back on the bitter relationship between Davis and NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.
The latest 30 for 30 project focuses on the late Raiders president and his “Just win, baby” attitude, which led to a years-long feud with the NFL that included a lawsuit in federal court, when the Raiders accused the league of “restraining competition” in 1980. Al Davis vs. The NFL continues to follow the story into the ’80s, when “the best commissioner of any sport” and the creator of the “finest organization in professional sports” continued to face off as their differences only grew over time.
Today’s trailer gives a glimpse at the sworn enemies’ tense relationship as Davis searched for a permanent home for his team. “There’s only one thing that matters is who wins,” Davis insists. “You have to win.”
“Over the course of the 101 years of NFL history, no figure had been as divisive as Al Davis and no relationship has been as fraught with tension as that between Davis and former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle,” ESPN teases in the official Al Davis vs. The NFL description. “Theirs was a civil war that almost tore the NFL apart, but instead, led to the financial dominance and state-of-the-art stadiums of today’s NFL. Sometimes the greatest forms of evolution come through acts of revolution, and no one fought against the status quo more than Al Davis.”
Rodgers, who works as the VP & Senior Coordinating Producer at NFL Films, returns to 30 for 30 for the upcoming film after directing multiple documentaries in the ESPN series, including Deion’s Double Play (2019), The Two Bills (2018), The Four Falls of Buffalo (2015), and Elway to Marino (2013).
Al Davis vs. The NFL premieres just days before Super Bowl LV on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 9/8c on ESPN. Watch the full trailer in the video above.
Where to watch 30 for 30