There are other tasks at hand. The tentative $765 million settlement reached to try to make concussion-related lawsuits brought by thousands of former players go away was put on hold last month by a federal judge in Philadelphia. Even if or when that is finalized, there will be weekly injuries to heads and other body parts that sideline prominent players, destined to be a part of a violent sport in perpetuity. There is the standing murder charge against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was an emerging star but now is in jail. There are the officiating inconsistencies that prompted Goodell to raise the idea of having the league office oversee instant replay reviews at all games.
That's another topic for another day. As kickoff approached Sunday, the attention was on football, just the way the NFL wants it.
During his pre-Super Bowl news conference, Goodell dismissed a question that referred to the weather by saying: "I'd like to think that we're going to get focused on the game.
"That's really what this is all about."
AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen contributed to this report.
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