Viewers of the NFL Playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans on ESPN were treated to a nice surprise on Sunday, the arrival of a previously unannounced 30 for 30 documentary. The newest addition to the award-winning doc series will feature longtime Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders owner Al Davis, whose maverick machinations often found him at odds with the National Football League.

“Al Davis vs. The NFL” is set to premiere on ESPN on February 4 at 9:00 p.m. The doc is directed by Ken Rodgers, VP & Senior Coordinating Producer at NFL Films. Rodgers has been behind the bulk of NFL-related 30 for 30 docs, including Deion’s Double PlayThe Two BillsThe Four Falls of Buffalo, and Elway to Marino. Rodgers has essentially been directing one 30 for 30 a year and was due for a new one.

Davis’s run-ins with the league in which his Raiders played are legendary. The principal owner and general manager of the Raiders from 1972 until his death in 2011, Davis was involved in multiple lawsuits regarding the franchise. He famously filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL when they tried to block his initial move from Oakland to LA and later sued the NFL when he decided to move them back, claiming that the league sabotaged his effort to build a stadium in LA. He also sued the NFL over the TV rights to the LA market even after the Raiders had moved away.

The lawsuits and legal issues are also coupled with Davis’s successes on the field. The Raiders won three Super Bowls under Davis’s ownership, as well as an AFL championship in 1967. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to