Sports Feuds Over the Years

Al Davis vs. the NFL
Photo: Brad Mangin/SI

Al Davis vs. the NFL

The late Al Davis and the NFL had a love-hate relationship...with not much love. In April 1966, Davis was named commissioner of the AFL, and he quickly started signing the NFL's top quarterbacks. Three months later, the two leagues merged (AFL owners blocked Davis from the meetings), and to Davis' chagrin, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle was given the top seat. Davis returned to the Raiders, where he took over managing duties and bucked the league at every opportunity. In 1980, Davis attempted to move the Raiders to the L.A. Coliseum without proper league consent. The NFL filed an injunction to block the move, and Davis retaliated with an antitrust suit. Davis eventually won the lawsuit and was awarded $35 million in damages from the league. Adding prideful insult to financial injury, the Raiders won the Super Bowl the following year, forcing Rozelle to present Davis the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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