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The risky business of football's future

How much longer can the NFL rely on ratings and revenues for its legitimacy?

Originally Published: October 27, 2010
By Howard Bryant | ESPN.com

There has been over the past several years a smugness emanating from many corners of the NFL, largely based on television ratings in which even routine regular-season games have dwarfed baseball's October showcases, the playoffs and World Series. The ratings make for strong evidence, in football circles, that the NFL has no peers.

Revenues and interest have been exploding, reinforcing the perception of the game's invincibility, even as knowledge about the physical danger to its athletes ...

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