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A less fun NFL kickoff

Updated: September 6, 2012, 10:41 AM ET
By Jemele Hill | ESPN.com

Joe Namath, one of football's original pop stars, had a great line when explaining why he played football despite painful knee problems and an assortment of other injuries.

"When you win," Namath said, "nothing hurts."

Hurt. Pain. Those words have been imbedded in football culture forever. Football players always have used their ability to withstand pain as a way to prove they're worthy of playing the sport.

It's their identity.

But as ...

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