Category Archives: Football

Roll Tide, Crimson Pride

Well, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide took home its third national championship in four years by beating the snot out of Notre Dame. That gives head coach Nick Saban four national championships, those three plus one with LSU, and ties him with Wallace Wade for the number of Alabama championships won. He’ll need three more to get up to Paul “Bear” Bryant’s level, who won six championships despite losing two bowl games. Declaring winners back in those days was far less clear, to be certain. (Interesting note, Saban will need 11 more SEC championships to tie Bryant, but with two SEC championship wins, he’s only behind three other coaches in Alabama history.)

The game was won 42-14, the same score/drubbing given to Auburn in 2011 that convinced BCS rankings voters to grant Alabama the number 2 spot and a chance at the national championship despite a late season loss to LSU. Despite the absolute ease with which Alabama rolled over Notre Dame, there are still some conspiracy theorists that think the referees handed UA the game. Which seems pretty ridiculous, especially if you’re someone that actually watched the game. It was brutal. Notre Dame had the ball for 15 minutes in the entire game. Different calls would not have changed the outcome much, if at all.

Anyway, I could do like the announcers were doing by the middle of the second quarter and start talking about Alabama’s chances next year, or I could analyze and hypothesize about what the potential losses of several key Crimson Tide players will do to the team, or blah blah blah. I’m not a sports writer. Never was, never will be. I never even liked football when I first came to UA. Hated it. People down here treat it almost religiously. I thought (and still think) that soccer is a way better sport.

But going to UA… it grows on you a bit. I’ve still never been to a game, never set foot inside the stadium. Only stadium I’ve been in is Legion Field in Birmingham. But, still, it grows. Though many of my friends, as in all of the ones currently going to UA, don’t have to remember being at school during the years of Mike Schula, the years when Leigh Tiffin was an absolutely horrendous kicker and not our top scorer… though they get to remember the glory days of Saban winning three national championships, I grew up with some of the tough patches. And, really, I grew up with them. Even though I was 18, 19, 20 years old, I grew into football with the rough spots. Before, I couldn’t have named a single player. Now? …well, I know a handful.

I’m not going to get religious about football. And I’m still not crazy about my school or state, as both have some MAJOR problems that need fixing… But every once in a while, it feels nice to be part of a community that takes pride in some extraordinary accomplishments. And I’m okay with that.

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Tide Rolls To Championship, Guerrilla Theatre Tonight

I’m still behind a post… got caught up watching the semi-finals for the BCS National Championship for college football. Or, at least, that’s what it seemed like, since the SEC Championship was between the No. 2 (Alabama) and No. 3 (Georgia) ranked teams. And it was a hard fought battle, perhaps the toughest game for both teams, apart from the single match each lost earlier in the season.

But Alabama won in the end, partly due to poor time management (which we nearly suffered from in the first half) and, ultimately, a slip of the foot. And, of course, 60 minutes of hard playing beforehand (though most of Alabama’s strongest plays came in the second half). And now, the Crimson Tide will be heading to the National Championship for the third time in four years, if I’m remembering correctly.

And after all that, I still can’t write a post to cover for yesterday because tonight is the last Guerrilla Theatre of the year.

I’ve talked about Guerrilla Theatre a lot, and I love going to it. It’s a chance for performers that would not necessarily be given a shot on stage to show their talents. It’s a chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity for. And it’s just a grand old time. Seriously, there’s some amazing talent that performs at these things. I’ve only missed one Guerrilla Theatre this year, and I hate that I did. I don’t plan on it again.

Per usual, doors open at 10:30, it starts at 11 and there’s a $2 entry fee. Get there early, like around 9:30, because the line is very often very long, and the UATD/APO family is huge, so spots are limited.

I’m sure I’ll come up with something new to write for yesterday tomorrow.

…say that 10 times fast…

Oh, and of course, Roll Tide.

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Tuscaloosa May Not Be Safe Today

I don’t know if you pay any attention to football… but here in the state of Alabama, it’s pretty much impossible to not hear something about college football. Here in Tuscaloosa, it’d take a very severe coma and being locked in a room 300 feet underground not to hear about it. Especially this year. The University of Alabama Crimson Tide was one of four ranked undefeated college football teams going into their game today.

And today, due to unfortunate faults in defense, crazily well-made plays by the opposing offense, turnovers and fouls (some of which were rather suspect in being called/not called), the No. 1 Crimson Tide lost 29-24 to No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies. It’s a rather crushing blow for fans of the Tide, who truly expected a repeat of three seasons ago, an undefeated season leading straight to the National Championship, which would be the third one in four years. Unfortunately, unless at least two of Notre Dame, Oregon and Kansas State lose a game, UA may find themselves going to the Sugar Bowl instead. They are likely to finish their last two games without defeats and be sent to the SEC championship against, most likely, Georgia, but the National Championship may be now out of reach with so few games left.

Football’s very important down here. I feel like writing about anything else would get me ignored/yelled at by the populous. So, I’m writing about this. Because, with the loss of Mitt Romney and the Crimson Tide in the same week, I feel that Tuscaloosa may not be the safest of places to live in at the moment. I might not leave my apartment tomorrow.

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Breaking The Leg – Disney Guerrilla Theatre

Alright. So, I’m not going to talk about much today, though there have been several fun things I would love to talk about soon, like racist sandwiches and the “Are you gay?” Malaysian guideline… No, tonight I’m going to promote the first night of Guerrilla Theatre at the University of Alabama.

Tonight is the Magical World of Guerrilla! Doors open at 10:30 p.m. and the show starts at 11. Entry is $2 now (Oh, no! Inflation! Must be that communist Barack Obama’s fault…) and it’s suggested you hang around in line starting at… say, 9, 9:30? Because there’s limited space and Guerrilla is quite popular. And it’s at the Allen Bales Theatre in Rowand-Johnson Hall on UA’s campus. It’s all in that link I posted, the event on Facebook.

That’s the one thing I miss about the alternate venues… They had much more seating. I mean, they were way worse for Guerrilla than the Allen Bales is, don’t get me wrong. But if the intimacy and acoustics of the AB could combine in a TARDIS-esque fashion with more seating, that’d be stellar.

Anyway, it’s Disney themed tonight. People will be dressing up. Not me, though. I’m not the best at dressing up in costumes… and my APO pledge name was Beast, a la Beauty and the.

I’m a fuzzy guy that sang Beast’s song, “If I Can’t Love Her” from the Broadway musical, for Senior Showcase, so it fits.

I bet there will be Disney-themed acts tonight, too, which could be great fun. Personally, I just want to perform in at least one this year. And do a recital somehow. I’ll have to work that out with Raphe.

In other news, Alabama tore Arkansas to tiny little pieces in football today, and Auburn only just barely beat the University of Louisiana-Monroeville in overtime. Pretty awful, let me tell you.

Anyway, you should come to Guerrilla. It’s a good time on a Saturday night (that lasts until about 1 a.m., but you’re fine with that, right?).

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My First Super Bowl Sunday: A Recap

Okay. So as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party, never watched a Super Bowl game all the way through… none of it.

That has all changed.

I rooted for the Giants because, first, they were the underdogs, but second and more importantly, most all of my friends watching the game were very anti-Patriots. …also anti-Titans when I shouted that out as a joke. Oh, well.

We weren’t a bunch of football obsessed people, so there was a lot of just simple hanging out and chatting. There was food, there was fun, I met some cool new people (who, depending on how hard hitting those bottles were on their system, may or may not remember me)… it was in general a good time. I even committed my first slight party foul and tipped a drink.

Woo.

The game wasn’t immensely exciting, though the Giants had a couple of extremely memorable plays. Particularly the game saving catch. The half time show was alright, I suppose… I particularly enjoyed Cee-Lo Green’s appearance and the wacky way the show ended… But, as we all know, the real reason to watch was the commercials.

Most of which were disappointing.

I mean, come on. If you’re going to pay that much money to get a commercial on during the Super Bowl, make it good. And make it new! What is up with showing commercials we saw a month ago? Or leaking the commercials early? Yes, I’m looking at you Ferris Bueller commercial. Even if you were nostalgically fun (not for me, since I’ve yet to see that movie (please don’t kill me)), I saw you a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t need a repeat.

There were some great movie trailers that I’m excited for, too…

But I’m going to break down my best and worst moments of the Super Bowl (all but one of which are commercials):

Best moments:

5. “The Catch” – Okay. I’m not really a big football fan. To be honest. But I like well played sports. I like risky maneuvers that pay off. I like skill. Ergo, I really liked this crazy Giants play that shouldn’t have worked.

4. “Doritos: The Bribe” – Wow. This one was one that was actually kind of dark, but still pretty funny. And it was much more satisfactory to me than the other Doritos commercial.

3. “The Voice – Vocal Kombat” – I really love this show. It is SO much better than American Idol. There’s no berating. There’s actual teaching, coaching from singers, singers that don’t swap out every week. There’s constructive criticism, there’s banter, and there genuinely seems to be a real caring nature from each of the coaches imparted onto each of the singers. It’s great. And this premiere? It’s hilariously over-the-top, off-the-wall ridiculous. I love every second of it. Especially the Cee-Lo parts. That guy is simply entertaining.

2. “M&Ms – That Kind Of Party” – This thing is terrible. And hilarious. Terriblious? Hilarible? Anyway, quite good.

1. “Audi – Vampire Party” – This appeals to everyone that disdains Twilight… and everyone with a sense of humor. This is well done and set a great tone of humor. One that wasn’t met well, but it was still great. My favorite, by far. (Well, not super far. The others I listed are awesome.)

Honorable Mention. “NBC lineup – Brotherhood Of Man” – I put this as an honorable mention because I didn’t see it until after the Super Bowl. But that allows me to link you to the longer version! Borrowing from “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” this showcases some of the best shows on television, even if NBC doesn’t realize it.

Best Trailer. “The Avengers” – I will again link the long version. Because it’s great. I’m really hoping this movie is as good as it could be.

There were others I could’ve included in this list, like the fat dog, that were fun, but I have to stop at some point, right?

Worst moments:

3. “Debbie Spenditnow” – This wasn’t one I got to see in my area… but I definitely saw it later. The only reason it’s number three is because it wasn’t in my area. But it’s definitely stupidly racist enough to get on the list.

2. “GoDaddy.com – Body Paint” – I have never liked GoDaddy commercials. They were alright when no one knew who they were. Now they’re just annoying and stupid. Please make them go away.

1. All the bad beer commercials – Seriously. What happened to the Budweiser frogs or “Whazzup?!” Those were fun beer commercials. The rescue dog commercial was cute, and had a nice message at the end… but there were sooo many beer commercials. And they were, by and large, no good at all. And Bud Light Platinum? Well, I’ll let my friend John Davis talk to you about that.

And that about sums it up. More good than bad, that’s for sure. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to talking about real issues.

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What A Super Sunday

Okay. So, for those completely living under a rock, how did you get internet access? Usually going under rocky parts makes my internet access go bye-bye.

For those living under a slightly less literal rock, today is Super Bowl Sunday. That joyous day in which people by and large pretend to care about the NFL now that college football is over, mostly to hang out, watch some sports, eat some food and laugh at entertaining Super Bowl commercials. Oh, and to take bets on what wardrobe malfunction the half-time show will try out next.

Fun fact about the Super Bowl: I’ve never watched one.

Seriously, never.

But that changes today! I’m going to be going off to hang out with some friends and watch some Super Bowl commercials, occasionally paying attention to football related things happening on the screen. I even bought pretzels.

I don’t even have a team to support. (Although, a tiger from Alabama picked the Patriots… and being a UA alum, I’m pretty sure I’m suppose to disagree with anything they say…) Like, seriously, I haven’t watched a single game all year (though I have watched parts of the game), and I don’t hardly even know any of the players. Most people from my state seem to root for the New Orleans Saints (and a fringe group quietly supports the Tennessee Titans), but they’re not playing. Neither is Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram or Mt. Cody, who are some of the only players I’ve ever actually watched being that they were around during my college football watching days. …days which are still happening.

…yeah.

So, in light of all the football related revelry that will occur in my and other people’s lives today, there’s not much I have to say.

I will, however, probably be writing about my first Super Bowl experience later. Likely the highs will be commercials. The lows? …probably commercials. But we’ll see.

And goooooo winning team! Woo!

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BCS National Championship: A State Holiday

So, there’s a big ol’ football game going on today. In case you haven’t heard. Pretty much the entire state of Alabama is taking sides or is conspicuously invading Louisiana.

Because this is the ReGame of the Century! The Game of the Century already happened, so this is kind of the sequel. That somehow is supposed to be better.

I’m as confused as you.

Anyway, I’ve been whittling away at my next political blog post, but I feel it’d be a bit… out of place… today. Also, since many of my readers get here from my Facebook, likely a post about the hypocrisy of most of the current GOP presidential nominees would go mostly unread.

And I likes my stuff getting read.

So I am, once again, copping out. Been doing a lot of that lately. Sorry. I’m sure I’ll make it up by making outlandish statements only a liberal could love.

If you like football, go watch the game. If you don’t like football… Um… I’m sure YouTube could provide some entertainment. Or maybe give “Castle” a looksee. Good show, needs the boost to its ratings that won’t happen tonight of all nights.

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Did You Know There Are Funny Videos On The Internet?

So, work being the evil demon that it is, especially tonight (but, hey, I totes get extra money for being dragged out extra time), I don’t have a decent post written right now. And I was going to chit chat on Glenn Beck and protesters. Which is always a winning combination.

I’ll have to save that, I guess.

Since I don’t have anything really legitimate, I’ve decided to link you all to a few entertaining videos I’ve found lately.

First up, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” as performed by DeStorm and Nikka Costa… after translating the lyrics with Google Translate through 9 different languages. I really want to do something like this for Guerrilla Theatre at UA now.

Next, since Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” are on a winter hibernation period, along with Stephen Colbert and “The Colbert Report,” I have to get my political jollies somewhere else. Enter Lawrence O’Donnell and “Rewrite.” He’s perhaps a little more wooden than Stewart, and the lack of peer pressure to laugh makes it a bit more difficult, but this video comparing porn producers to GOP members and slamming Newt Gingrich for being less well liked than porn stars is both humorous and poignant.

Now, I can’t recall if I’ve linked this video before, but I do so enjoy Stewart. This one is Jon Stewart’s plea to the GOP to not vote in Gingrich. It’s quite fun, as he often is.

Also, while I have graduated and am no longer in the group, I always enjoy listening to my a capella alma mater Subject to Change sing a song. And when my friend Stephen Swain is in the lead, it is either awesome and striking, or awesome and hilarious. This song about a cowboy is mostly the second, but some of the first.

That’s all for now! (My WalkenBieber sequel isn’t up just yet… I’ll let you know as soon as it is.) Just to leave you with a random thought… If the first LSU vs. Alabama game was the “Game of the Century,” what exactly is the BCS National Championship game? Re-Game of the Century?

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Let’s Fine Fraud To The Max

Instead of talking about my typical genres of blathering (film, politics, and excuses for not having much to write about), I will once again venture into the murky realm of something I really don’t actually know terribly much about: Sports, subset football.

Except not really. You’re pretty much safe for now.

Listening to the news on the radio this morning, I discovered that Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, known for being the inspiration behind the classic sports film (a.k.a. movie I didn’t watch) “Rudy,” is being fined more than $380,000 by the non-football related SEC for performing a pump-and-dump scheme.

Props to Rudy for being part of a scheme that sounds both really awkward and yet still potentially sports related, I guess. And getting the Securities and Exchange Commission involved means most sports people will be too confused to know what’s going on.

So, let me explain. Using his claim to fame, Ruettiger created a company that sells sports drinks, Rudy Nutrition. The company uses penny stock options (whatever the heck those actually are). Reuttiger invited his neighbor Stephen DeCesare, an experienced penny stock organizer, into the company. DeCesare was apparently the primary organizer for the scam, but we’ll ignore that for now. The scam they used, the pump-and-dump, is when falsified, misleading misinformation is used to garner hype and therefore get people to buy stock in the company. Reuttiger’s company apparently falsified taste test results, made claims of outselling Gatorade 2-to-1 in the southwest, talked about their huge national base, et cetera. Once the hype is garnered, people buy a bunch of stock in the company you already have a ton of stock in, driving the stock prices up. Then, you sell and profit. For Reuttiger, that profit was apparently around $11 million.

And he’s being fined less than $400,000. 3.4806% of his profits, in fact.

I get taxed around 11% or so for my work at Walmart, but this guy lies to people and makes himself an instantaneous millionaire (if he wasn’t one already) and he just has to pay less than the sales tax for buying his stupid drinks would be in pretty much every state?

This seems to be a lesson that suggest cheaters DO prosper.

Now, I’m not sure how similar other fraudulent cases, like Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme or ENRON’s “steal from your employees” scheme, are to this one. Nor am I certain how the punishments always turn out.

But it seems to me that making money fraudulently should be punished, not frowned upon.

Oh, sure, it’s not like he necessarily screwed over investors or anything. Well, other than all the investors jumping into a company at a higher cost than they should have had to with hopes of the company actually being semi-successful. It may not be as massively damaging as a Ponzi scheme, but it’s still a super crappy move to make. And super illegal. And super wrong.

And I have a proposal. Instead of letting the people profiting off of lying, cheating and stealing money from investors and the market walk away with over 90% of their “winnings,” why not… take it all away and then some?

Let’s say I hold up a bank and steal… oh, $11 million. I’m, like, Danny Ocean. I’m really good. Except, unlike Ocean, I get caught. I go to jail, serve my time, get out… do you think my $11 million should be waiting for me on the other side? Well, how about $10.5 million, is that okay? Or should I give it all back?

Just because someone didn’t physically steal hard cash doesn’t make it any less wrong.

The way I see it, you should not have that money. If you did not do the illegal thing, you would not have that money. So, my proposal is, why not take it all away? Take away every last penny they earned from the scheme. Every single one. And then, slam them with a fine that reflects the scheme appropriately. Like, say, fine them exactly how much money investors spent on you in your scheme.

Don’t have it? Do like a bank does when a person in debt dies: Liquidate some assets.

The money gathered from the fine and reclaiming of the fraudulent finances can first be spent paying back all the people that spent money on the scheme. Just pay them back exactly what they spent with some amount of interest, like they had put it in a savings account instead. Maybe they’d’ve done something else with the money that earned them more, maybe less, oh well. Can’t be perfect.

Then, the money that’s left? Goes to the government.

Suddenly, we have a criminal who has his crime practically undone and is definitely without a doubt punished, victims who are justly compensated, and a slightly more monied government. Everybody that should wins.

I bet that, if things were done like this, we’d likely see Wall Street cleaning up its act toot sweet. And the government would certainly have more money in its pocket (and I don’t mean in the pockets of the politicians like it all seems to be these days).

And none of this house arrest thing for rich people, please. Let them go to prison just like us poor folk.

P.S.: No, I haven’t seen “Rudy.” Nor have I seen “Hoosiers” or “Sandlot” or “Coach Carter” or “Raging Bull” or “Rocky” or whatever the heck else “classic” sports films you might mention. Except for “Angels in the Outfield” and “Rookie of the Year.” Oh, and “Air Bud” of course. But who hasn’t seen that?

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Too Much Focus On Football?

So, okay. In case you were completely unaware (a.k.a. probably don’t give a flying flip), this season of college football has been… dramatic. It’s something I’ve touched on before when last I talked about the BCS and how it’s kind of a dumb system.

Well, today, it got crazier, with No. 1 LSU getting to play a rematch with No. 2 Alabama for the BCS National Championship, Alabama just squeezing past Oklahoma State.

You know, since the BCS’s creation in 1998, and including this year, the SEC has been the conference with the National Champions 8 times? Tennessee in 1998/99, LSU in 2003/04, and LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Florida have all grabbed it at least once in the past 6 years (this year included). And the SEC is the conference that was suggesting a sort of playoff system?

Ah, well. Interesting stuff.

But, as interesting as all that is, that’s not really my point. (Though I’m contractually obligated to say Roll Tide and trash talk LSU now. Um, our state’s tiger could beat up your state’s tiger. Yeah. Betcha feel that burn.)

With all this football hubbub, and with Alabama having a mighty strong beginning in basketball this year (a 7-1 record and a standing at No. 12), I’ve been hearing a whole heck of a lot of sports talk. Heck, as my previously linked post and at least one other (which apparently made a rather erroneous presumption) have maybe keyed you in on, I’ve even joined in on the sports talk. I usually reserve it for my chats about my predictions for the World Cup, but hey. Going to UA can kind of get to you.

In fact, I was attempting earlier tonight to explain to my mother exactly why the BCS is a faulty, rather moronic system, designed to create pools of money out of smaller pools of money and not really bothering to represent any sort of accuracy of competition. At which point my mother got kind of annoyed, said she really didn’t care about football in the slightest, and then proceeded to mumble in a loud, not really mumbling voice about how schools focus way too much on football and other sports.

But, we’re in the South, so, football.

Now, back when I worked for The Crimson White, I remember the discussion of money made off of sports programs coming up. Apparently, as I recall, the University of Alabama is one of the few schools that actually earns money from its athletic department. The money UA makes off of football pays off the huge amount of money UA spends on football, covers all the other money pit sports like women’s basketball, and then has some left over, likely for Nick Saban to swim in.

Or something.

But when I say a few… I think the number was something like 14 or 16. 14 or 16 schools in the nation that are members of the NCAA do not lost money from their athletics departments and actually gain some money.

If that’s accurate, that’s a little shocking.

And so, as always, I wonder if the anti-sports lobby (my mother) has a point. Do schools pour too much money into athletics and sacrifice too much from other areas the school needs to focus on? Like… education?

But, really, we can ignore the schools that lose money for this argument. It’s actually better to point at the schools that make the money. If it is in fact true that the University of Alabama earns more money from the athletics department than it spends… where exactly is that extra money going?

It’s something I’ve wanted to know for years but never heard an answer for. Meanwhile, the price of going to school climbed higher and higher each year, the school got more and more crowded, the food options became more and more limited (and ridiculous), and many educational departments (such as the ever disdained liberal arts) simply twisted in the economic wind.

Of course, the greek system got more land and houses and the athletic department never wanted for anything. Likely, all of this is still quite true.

…anyway.

Alabama continues to grow as a school. And there are some amazing educational opportunities to be found there. Our MBA program, our law school, our astrophysics program… really, a large chunk of our graduate programs host a bevy of praise. The school has many high-ranking, highly awarded scholars and scholarship recipients. It also hosts a program with Cuba that created the first major arts endeavor by a group of Cubans since, like, 2001 or something (back in 2009, I believe, with the production of “Un sueƱo de una noche de verano”).

Lots of opportunities. The fact that it was in state wasn’t the ONLY reason I went there.

But, still… it has its problems, too. Openness from the administration is certainly one of them. A greek-run political machine that has waaaay too much real world power is another. But a nearly fanatical focus on the Crimson Tide athletics (especially football) that may come at the sacrifice of a more well-rounded education in every department? That may be the biggest problem of all.

And it isn’t just UA with this problem, I’m certain. Maybe schools are focused far too much on trying to garner money and fame through athletics and are not focusing enough attention on what they should be doing: educating students.

The fact that a college student who is good at football can make it through to his junior year and be illiterate (which a professor friend of mine told me happened to her when she was teaching in Louisiana) is a sign of misplaced priorities.

Maybe a playoff system isn’t the only thing we should lobby when it comes to sports. Maybe we should also lobby for a more balanced application of funds to favor all students int their educational endeavors.

Or maybe I’m just a crazy lib arts double major that hated being stuck in buildings constantly on the verge of collapse. You pick.

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