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A game of mortals

Originally Published: January 24, 2005
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

When future Hall of Famer Reggie White died early on the morning of Dec. 26, 2004, he was 43. While the sporting world mourned the passing of a man who was far greater than the sum of his considerable parts there was, for some, this nagging thought: Another NFL player had died before his time.

White had a disease known as sarcoidosis, a respiratory ailment that affected his sleeping. Steelers center Mike Webster died prematurely, too, at the age of 50 in 2002. A year before, Vikings offensive ...

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