NEW YORK (AP) - As John Mackey's dementia got worse, the costs were piling up for Sylvia Mackey.
Yes, her husband was a tight end good enough to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He was a star of the 1971 Super Bowl, when he caught a tipped 75-yard touchdown pass in the Baltimore Colts' 13-10 win over Dallas.
But he made less than $500,000 in his 10-season career, less than a backup long snapper makes in one year these days. The cost of his care was escalating and his wife had to augment his pension of less than $2,500 a month and what's left from the sale of their California home by working as a flight attendant for United Airlines.
So Sylvia Mackey, who had met both Paul Tagliabue and his wife, Chan, wrote to the former commissioner, then in the final days of his tenure. Both Tagliabues adopted the cause immediately and new commissioner Roger Goodell supported it enthusiastically when he took over in September...