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“Disease is the one thing _ boy I tell you, it’s tough to lick,” he said in 2008, talking about the leg ailments that had restricted him to using a walker. “It’s tough to lick those diseases. I don’t know why they can’t.”

A few years earlier, he said: “I can control most things, but I don’t seem to be able to control death.”


Former AP Football Writer Dave Goldberg and AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan, Janie McCauley, Stephen Hawkins and AP freelance Michael Wagaman contributed to this report.