When former Oilers quarterback Ken Stabler sued the New York Times and NBC for $ 20 million, it was funny

A look back at August 27, 1982.

HOUSTON – Before he came to Houston, he was a raider. A villain, but not a cheater. Then he sued to clarify his name.

It’s August 27, 1982, and former Oilers quarterback Ken Stabler is suing the New York Times and NBC for $ 20 million in federal court in Houston.

“This lawsuit is a libel and defamation lawsuit,” Attorney Craig Ball told KHOU 11 News in 1982.

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The lawsuit is in response to news from the year prior to Stabler’s association with a convicted New Jersey bookmaker: A possible violation of the National Football League Constitution that fines players knowingly connected to players suspended or excluded from the league.

The lawsuit also alleges that an NBC television news clip suggests Stabler once shaved points: playing badly on purpose to appease players.

Stabler had been monitored in Houston, law enforcement officials told the New York Times, although it had never materialized.

In the end, the NFL finds that Stabler didn’t break any of his rules.

And what about the lawsuit? It’s over in 1985. Stabler drops his case on the newspaper and closes with NBC.

“Mr. Stabler is not to blame,” Ball told UPI.

How much money does NBC get for Stabler? It’s confidential, but “Mr. Stabler is very satisfied and happy,” Ball adds.

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