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Another plaintiff is former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers memory problems. There are other big names, too, players who helped make the league what it is today and are paying the price, including former Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett.

As the new season kicks off, they are a sad reminder that the NFL has failed its former players.

Not that much of this matters to the average fan. Their big concerns, as told to Goodell in a fan forum Wednesday, were putting an end to blackouts and cheaper preseason tickets.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg