Rozelle did have some rough times to deal with in the early days. One of them being an antitrust lawsuit brought against the NFL from their rival the AFL, although the lawsuit was eventually thrown out there was friction between the two leagues. He also had to suspend star players Paul Hornung and Alex Karras because of gambling allegations which brought him praise among the owners in the league. One of the hardest decisions Rozelle ever made in his tenure as commissioner was to give the go ahead to play football just two days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it was a decision that bothered him for many years. He would later call it the most regrettable decisions he had ever made.
In 1974, the NFL suffered the first work stoppage because of labor disputes, while it was solved quickly, it was a sign of things to come in that part of the game. The NFL had competition for the first time since the AFL with the World Football league starting up. They only lasted one year but drove the prices up in the ranks of professional football. He also had to contend with owners wanting bigger and better stadiums with the cities they resided footing the bills. They threatened to move out of those cities if they refused. Rozelle fought hard to keep each and every franchise where they were but ran into Al Davis the owner of the Oakland Raiders. In a bitter court battle Davis sued the NFL for his right to move his team to Los Angeles and won only to move the team back to Oakland years later. Rozelle would have another league to contend with in the early 80's when the United States Football League formed, they were another short lived league that helped the prices rise for the cost of an NFL player. The 80's brought several challenges the USFL attempted to sue the league and were ultimately awarded $3.00 . There were drug scandals and a short strike in 1987 that Rozelle decided to bring in replacement players after one week, rather than have the league miss anymore games due to the work stoppage. The strike only lasted three weeks before the issues were resolved and the regular players were back. Rozelle would retire in 1991 after dedicating more than 30 years to the NFL.
Rozelle had his challenges and he faced them head on. He was a true innovator and one of the best promoters the world of sports has ever seen. What he did with the NFL is what we see today, every Sunday in households all across America, we are tuned in to see our favorite team play. If it wasn't for Pete Rozelle that NFL emblem might not be what it is today, he changed the game. When I tune into the Super Bowl I'll be sure and remember Pete Rozelle built the league into the juggernaut that it is, truly one of the greatest commissioners that the any league in United States has ever seen.