Man, that was one hell of a film.
ESPN just premiered the newest installment of their 30 For 30 documentary series "Al Davis vs. The NFL," detailing a rivalry between Raiders Owner Al Davis and former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle that soared to great heights — over the desire for Al Davis to move the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles for a better stadium and to be in a bigger market. Rozelle and several owners fought vehemently against the Raiders to move the team. Davis' fight against the NFL paved the way for other franchises to fight for better television deals, access to build stadiums and expansion teams.
My biggest takeaway from the film has to start with the state-of-the-art CGI that was used to recreate Al Davis and Pete Rozelle. The "Deep Fake" technology that was used for this is something I've never seen in a sports documentary, or really any documentary for that matter. NFL Films was also able to nail the disembodied voices of the two at such a level that if you had your eyes closed you could've assumed that it was really them speaking. The scripts that were used for the recreations were pretty realistic to what you would imagine each person would say if they were still with us today.
Secondly, Al Davis was a certified G. What a visionary. What a badass.
The documentary not only showcased his passion and vision for the Raiders but how he accomplished making it into the franchise it is now. He injected his personality and will to win into this organization, won three Super Bowls and passed down to his son Mark Davis. He saw where the Raiders could go before anyone else did and did whatever it took to get the Silver and Black to the promised land, despite the trials and tribulations that came with it.
Also the man had drip for days: Al Davis was a complete style icon. The streets need that windbreaker and vintage silver-plated Alain Mikli 614 sunglasses ASAP.
Lastly, I love the way history repeats itself over time and how the NFL over 35 years came back to help the team they once faced in a court of law. After such an intense battle, Mark Davis learned from his father's struggles in getting the Raiders inside the new Allegiant Stadium in the desert.
"I got my ass kicked trying to move to LA," said Raiders Owner Mark Davis in the 30 For 30. "They threw us to the curb. But we got up, brushed ourselves off and went back to work. What I learned throughout the whole process with my dad and the National Football League and the wars and everything is that maybe it's a little easier to get things done with sugar rather than salt.
"And that's the approach I took. Once we got the deal done in Las Vegas and brought it to the National Football League, Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft came to our assistance. But it's funny, like I say, first they kicked my ass, then they came and helped me. That's the way of the National Football League."
Overall, I loved how educational the documentary was for the casual viewer and the level of detail that was put into making it.
Here's some of the reactions the documentary has received on social media:
View photos of Mr. Davis' legacy with the Silver and Black as Head Coach, Owner, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and the architect of the Raiders' Commitment to Excellence.