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What comes now for NFL after tumultuous season?

Monday - 2/4/2013, 1:20am  ET

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during an NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game news conference at the New Orleans Convention Center, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Pro Football Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Super Bowl closes a tumultuous year for the NFL.

Suicides by former NFL players. Thousands of others filing concussion lawsuits. New studies linking football to brain disease. Still no testing for human growth hormone. The specter of other purported performance-enhancing products -- deer-antler spray, anyone? -- being peddled to players.

A pay-for-pain bounty scandal. A lockout of officials resolved only after a ludicrous game-ending call. Zero minority hires for 15 coach or general manager openings.

And yet the league is as popular as ever.

Advertisers paid nearly $4 million per 30-second television commercial for the right to reach the 100 million or so Americans expected to tune in to Sunday's Super Bowl between the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens and NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Eleven of the 12 most-watched TV programs during the last 2
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