Brash & Outspoken Defensive End Lyle Alzado Profiled on NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’

‘Lyle Alzado: A Football Life’ Premieres Friday, November 21 at 9:00 PM ET on NFL Network

“Take all the things of Lyle Alzado and throw them out the window because here is the one thing that he always was and it was the most consistent thing in his life: Lyle had a good heart.” – Matt Millen

After a 15-year NFL career and a Super Bowl championship, defensive end Lyle Alzado is still remembered for his incredible talent on the field and larger than life persona off it.

NFL Network’s series A Football Life continues Friday, November 21 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of Alzado – nicknamed Darth Raider – a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end with the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Raiders, who played with an intimidating style and relentless drive to get after the opposing quarterback. The one-hour, NFL Films-produced documentary focuses on Alzado’s professional football career, but also gives insight to his personal life, commitment to philanthropy and transition into acting. Additionally, the show highlights Alzado’s fight with heavyweight champion boxer, Muhammad Ali. Lyle Alzado: A Football Life also addresses Alzado’s use of steroids and human growth hormone, and how he believed it is what caused him to develop an inoperable brain tumor.

Following the premiere of Lyle Alzado: A Football Life on NFL Network, the episode – along with the entire A Football Life series – will be available on NFL Now, the League’s next-generation video service. Providing fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, NFL Now dynamically personalizes each fan’s viewing experience, allowing them to follow their favorite NFL teams and players. Visit for more information.

Every episode of A Football Life – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Among the topics discussed in Lyle Alzado: A Football Life are:

  • How his upbringing and relationship with his father affected who he was as a person
  • The impact he made on the Denver Broncos organization and how he felt the team let him down during their Super Bowl appearance
  • Being traded to the Cleveland Browns
  • Alzado’s love of giving back, specifically to children in need
  • Alzado’s fight with heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali
  • His trade to the Los Angeles Raiders and Super Bowl XVIII victory
  • His transition into acting
  • His attempted comeback and excessive use of steroids in the process, which he initially denied
  • His diagnosis with an inoperable brain tumor and how he spoke out about the danger of steroids

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

Lyle Alzado: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people and more:

Peter Alzado – Lyle’s brother

Janice Alzado-Lotz – Lyle’s sister

Sharon Sarvak – Lyle’s first wife

Mark Lyons – Lyle’s childhood friend

Ira Gordon – Lyle’s childhood friend

Howie Long – Raiders teammate

Tom Jackson – Broncos teammate

Billy Thompson – Broncos teammate

Matt Millen – Raiders teammate

Terry Frei Denver Post

Craig Morton – Broncos teammate & cornerman for Ali fight

Claudie Minor – Broncos teammate

Bill Pickel – Raiders teammate

Greg Townsend – Raiders teammate

Joe Theismann – Former Redskins quarterback

Kathy Alzado-Murray – Lyle’s fourth wife

Provided below are some select quotes from Lyle Alzado: A Football Life:

“People can portray me anyway they want because I don’t give a damn… But don’t you analyze me and don’t you tell me what I am until you get close enough to understand what I am. Then you can make an analysis of me. But don’t you dare do it until then.” Lyle Alzado in an interview in 1983

“Lyle was physically fearless, but I think emotionally he wasn’t.” – Peter Alzado

“Lyle wanted my father to love him. That is what he wanted more than anything.” Janice Alzado-Lotz

“He was relentless. He was all out on every play. He never quit, he was always after the quarterback. It was almost like it was a survival thing for him.” Billy Thompson on Lyle’s success on the field

“Take all the things of Lyle Alzado and throw them out the window because here is the one thing that he always was and it was the most consistent thing in his life: Lyle had a good heart.” Matt Millen

“The cameras were on and the lights were bright. He looked for an opportunity to pop Ali. He was going to knock him out.” – Claudie Minor on Lyle’s fight with Muhammad Ali

“Lyle was born to be a Raider.” – Howie Long

“It was a very rare form of brain cancer. I think he felt that was retribution. He had a lot of guilt attached to doing the steroids and lying about it.” – Peter Alzado

“He made a deal with the Devil. He got fame and fortune. And it was time for the Devil to collect.” – Mark Lyons

“How much of Lyle was Lyle? And how much of Lyle was steroids?” – Tom Jackson

This season, A Football Life airs Friday at 9:00 PM ET on NFL Network. Below is the broadcast schedule for upcoming episodes of A Football Life:

  • December 5 – Roger Staubach (9:00 PM ET); Dick Butkus & Gale Sayers (10:00 PM ET)
  • December 19 – Keenan McCardell & Jimmy Smith
  • January 2 – The 2006 Rose Bowl


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