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My Dinner With Andre

CTE could end the game of Football as we know it

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That's like saying some people drown in the ocean, so others shouldn't whine about shark attacks when they observe that there are sharks in the water.

It's not about "whining or not whining". It goes back to if Randle El could reasonably expect that he might be disabled from playing football. I think the answer is yes.

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PHILADELPHIA -- A federal judge denied preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims, fearing it may not be enough to cover 20,000 retired players.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody asked for more financial analysis from the parties, a week after players' lawyers filed a detailed payout plan.

"I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their [families] ... will be paid," Brody wrote in a 12-page opinion issued Tuesday.

The proposed settlement, negotiated over several months, is designed to last at least 65 years.

Some critics have argued that the NFL, with more than $9 billion in annual revenues, was getting away lightly.

And poof the problem was solved for less then 12% of one years revenue.

Hard to expect that you might be permanently disabled when the study had not come out. The lawsuit wasn't settled till 2014. And you have a prominent owner in 2000 saying that there is no lasting effects.

You are totally looking at it from everything that is known in 2015 rather then what was known by players in previous to the year 2000

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1. Brain trauma affects one in three players in the National Football League, according to The New York Times.

2. During the 2013 season there were 228 concussions diagnosed, a NFL Health and Safety Press Conference report showed.

3. Pro football players are eight times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia than the general population, based on The New York Times report.

4. Receivers and corners suffer more concussions than other players.

5. One-third of all concussions are not listed in the league’s official injury report.

6. In 2013 the league dedicated a lump sum of $675 million to settle claims brought by thousands of former players.

7. Roughly 28 percent of former players are expected to have compensable injuries regarding the 2013 claims, according to NFL’s actuaries.

8. The Department of Veterans Affairs brain bank revealed that 76 out of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE, a degenerative brain disease.

9. There’s an average of 167 total concussions in the regular season, including games and practices, according to the NFL Health and Safety Press Conference.

http://fansided.com/2015/01/17/9-nfl-concussion-statistics-youll-want-know/

September 2000

Dallas owner says Aikman should ignore concussion concerns

Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones tells ESPN that he’d push Aikman to ignore concussion concerns if it was a key game “since all data that we have so far don’t point to lasting effects, long-term effects from the head trauma.”

In 1999

The NFL Retirement Board rules that Mike Webster’s head injuries from his years playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs left him “totally and permanently” disabled as “the result of head injuries he suffered as a football player.” The ruling isn’t made public until it’s uncovered by FRONTLINE/ESPN reporters Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/timeline-the-nfls-concussion-crisis/

Read it and learn

From the article that you've citied in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/sports/football/actuarial-reports-in-nfl-concussion-deal-are-released.html?_r=0

Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the N.F.L., declined to comment and referred questions to a lawyer representing the league, Brad Karp.

Karp said that the actuaries had based their findings on medical diagnoses reported by the players who sued the league, so the findings were inflated.

The methodology was purposely designed to err on the side of overestimating possible injuries to ensure that adequate funds would be available to pay all awards, under the then-capped settlement structure,” Karp said in an email. “The actuaries’ models do not reflect a prediction of the number of players who will suffer injuries. They are intended to show the court that even if unexpectedly high numbers of players were injured, there still would be sufficient money to pay the claims."

The lawyer (Karp) is being slimy as expected. There is no reason why basing the data on only those who sued the league (a VERY small percentage of players) would actually overestimate injuries.

The NFL's overall legal strategy is slimy, but Karp is right about those numbers. First, they're overestimating injuries to try to convince the court the settlement number is high enough. Second, it's a case of symptom-based sampling.

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That's like saying some people drown in the ocean, so others shouldn't whine about shark attacks when they observe that there are sharks in the water.

It's not about "whining or not whining". It goes back to if Randle El could reasonably expect that he might be disabled from playing football. I think the answer is yes.

So you're suggesting that the distinction of what we know now about the correlation between head injury playing football and incidence of CTE is not significant in light of the information Randle-El had at his disposal while or prior to playing about other, different kinds of disabilities he could be susceptible to?

Again, I would suggest if this was the case, then why would the NFL doctors seek to discredit findings on CTE research?

I think the exact nature of the disability and the rate of correlation of playing to type of injury is important information towards making the decision on whether it's worth it to play. If the NFL set out to hide this information from the public, that suggests a failure of their responsibility towards their players, IMO.

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That's like saying some people drown in the ocean, so others shouldn't whine about shark attacks when they observe that there are sharks in the water.

It's not about "whining or not whining". It goes back to if Randle El could reasonably expect that he might be disabled from playing football. I think the answer is yes.

I think its about total disclosure. Most people who play football accept that they will suffer pain after their career is over. Disability involving permanent brain damage at the age of 35 is not something most people signed up for. That's why this is a big deal -- especially since the NFL has known for years about this.

There's a reason Tagliabue was trying to rush the process so he could get elected to the HOF immediately after he retired -- because he knew he'd have no chance once all the CTE info he covered up (and then passed on to Goodell) came to light. He is a far bigger piece of scum than Goodell IMO.

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Hard to expect that you might be permanently disabled when the study had not come out. The lawsuit wasn't settled till 2014. And you have a prominent owner in 2000 saying that there is no lasting effects.

You are totally looking at it from everything that is known in 2015 rather then what was known by players in previous to the year 2000

The owner is an ignoramus, Aikmen could probably sue him.

I'm looking at it from everything that was known as far back as the 1920s, and basing it on what I knew already when Randle El was in college. Something can be common knowledge without a pubmed article and a lawsuit.

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That's like saying some people drown in the ocean, so others shouldn't whine about shark attacks when they observe that there are sharks in the water.

It's not about "whining or not whining". It goes back to if Randle El could reasonably expect that he might be disabled from playing football. I think the answer is yes.

I think its about total disclosure. Most people who play football accept that they will suffer pain after their career is over. Disability involving permanent brain damage at the age of 35 is not something most people signed up for. That's why this is a big deal -- especially since the NFL has known for years about this.

There's a reason Tagliabue was trying to rush the process so he could get elected to the HOF immediately after he retired -- because he knew he'd have no chance once all the CTE info he covered up (and then passed on to Goodell) came to light. He is a far bigger piece of scum than Goodell IMO.

Exactly.

The issue is not the findings themselves. The issue is what the NFL tried to do with them. That's the bottom line here. The league's responsibility its players was to give them as much information as possible about potential risk, not to hide it from them to cover their butts.

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So you're suggesting that the distinction of what we know now about the correlation between head injury playing football and incidence of CTE is not significant in light of the information Randle-El had at his disposal while or prior to playing about other, different kinds of disabilities he could be susceptible to?

I'm suggesting he likely knew what post concussion syndrome was, as players had retired from it. He likely knew that getting hit in the head often could lead to dementia if he happened to know who Mohammad Ali is. Players were already retiring from post concussion syndrome in the early 90s.

why would the NFL doctors seek to discredit findings on CTE research?

The NFL doesn't want to be liable for the long term health of its players. It's that simple. If they can pay a lower amount now rather than later, then sure they'll pay up. Delaying a trial is a common legal strategy, especially for any large entity that has the ability to do so. Large entities delay in the hopes that a witness dies, the legal environment changes, the political environment changes, public perception changes, etc.

I think the exact nature of the disability and the rate of correlation of playing to type of injury is important information towards making the decision on whether it's worth it to play.

You don't need to read legal settlements and whitepapers to make that kind of decision.

Don't get me wrong, I see it as a "workplace injury". The NFL should be liable. I'm just skeptical that Randle El couldn't have had some kind of clue that football was worse for his long term health than baseball.

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Teague was not the only tobacco insider conceding a hazard. Harris Parmele, Lorillard's director of research, in 1946 had commented privately on how Certain scientists and medical authorities have claimed for many years that the use of tobacco contributes to cancer development in susceptible people. Just enough evidence has been presented to justify the possibility of such a presumption.23 The American Tobacco Company in the summer of 1953 took the extraordinary step of sponsoring a series of secret animal tests in the laboratories of the Ecusta Paper Corporation, makers of much of the worlds cigarette paper, with the goal of finding out whether it was the tobacco leaf or the cigarette paper that was causing all this cancer. Their conclusion, distributed only privately, was that tobaccoand not the paperwas the culprit.21

Tobacco industry insiders by the mid 1950s clearly knew their product was dangerous. In December of 1953, when Hill and Knowlton was exploring how to respond to the uproar surrounding the publication of carcinogens in cigarette smoke, one tobacco company research director commented in a confidential interview: Boy! Wouldn't it be wonderful if our company was first to produce a cancer-free cigarette. What we could do to competition! Another remarked on how fortunate it was for us (ie, for cigarette manufacturers) that smokers were engaging in a habit they can't break.24 The mid-1950s cancer consensus was clearly (albeit privately) shared by the companies; and the reality of addiction was also starting to be concededat least in internal industry documents.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/21/2/87.full

evolution_120207_250.jpg

More than 4,500 former athletes -- some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer's that they blamed on blows to the head -- had sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field while glorifying and profiting from the kind of bone-jarring hits that make for spectacular highlight-reel footage.

The NFL long has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that safety always has been a top priority. But the NFL said Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football's lawyers to "do the right thing for the game and the men who played it."

The settlement most likely means the NFL won't have to disclose internal files about what it knew, and when, about concussion-linked brain problems. Lawyers had been eager to learn, for instance, about the workings of the league's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was led for more than a decade by a rheumatologist.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000235494/article/nfl-explayers-agree-to-765m-settlement-in-concussions-suit

But they settled out of court. Smart of the NFL to settle and for so little when you compare what the year estimated income from pro football and the settlement amount.

Good stuff Low.... thanks for posting that.

I do see Psygolf's point. Personal responsibility is sorely lacking in todays society- The lawyers and PC run amok is just disgusting to me. There is no substitute for using ones judgement. I think a healthy distrust of gov't agencies and corporations is necessary.

Money corrupts all

Money and power both corrupt.

And those with it will do whatever they can to retain it.

The Big Short and Spotlight are two movies that illustrate this axiom in vastly different entities.

The NFL is no different.

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Teague was not the only tobacco insider conceding a hazard. Harris Parmele, Lorillard's director of research, in 1946 had commented privately on how Certain scientists and medical authorities have claimed for many years that the use of tobacco contributes to cancer development in susceptible people. Just enough evidence has been presented to justify the possibility of such a presumption.23 The American Tobacco Company in the summer of 1953 took the extraordinary step of sponsoring a series of secret animal tests in the laboratories of the Ecusta Paper Corporation, makers of much of the worlds cigarette paper, with the goal of finding out whether it was the tobacco leaf or the cigarette paper that was causing all this cancer. Their conclusion, distributed only privately, was that tobaccoand not the paperwas the culprit.21

Tobacco industry insiders by the mid 1950s clearly knew their product was dangerous. In December of 1953, when Hill and Knowlton was exploring how to respond to the uproar surrounding the publication of carcinogens in cigarette smoke, one tobacco company research director commented in a confidential interview: Boy! Wouldn't it be wonderful if our company was first to produce a cancer-free cigarette. What we could do to competition! Another remarked on how fortunate it was for us (ie, for cigarette manufacturers) that smokers were engaging in a habit they can't break.24 The mid-1950s cancer consensus was clearly (albeit privately) shared by the companies; and the reality of addiction was also starting to be concededat least in internal industry documents.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/21/2/87.full

evolution_120207_250.jpg

More than 4,500 former athletes -- some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer's that they blamed on blows to the head -- had sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field while glorifying and profiting from the kind of bone-jarring hits that make for spectacular highlight-reel footage.

The NFL long has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that safety always has been a top priority. But the NFL said Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football's lawyers to "do the right thing for the game and the men who played it."

The settlement most likely means the NFL won't have to disclose internal files about what it knew, and when, about concussion-linked brain problems. Lawyers had been eager to learn, for instance, about the workings of the league's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was led for more than a decade by a rheumatologist.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000235494/article/nfl-explayers-agree-to-765m-settlement-in-concussions-suit

But they settled out of court. Smart of the NFL to settle and for so little when you compare what the year estimated income from pro football and the settlement amount.

Good stuff Low.... thanks for posting that.

I do see Psygolf's point. Personal responsibility is sorely lacking in todays society- The lawyers and PC run amok is just disgusting to me. There is no substitute for using ones judgement. I think a healthy distrust of gov't agencies and corporations is necessary.

Money corrupts all

Money and power both corrupt.

And those with it will do whatever they can to retain it.

The Big Short and Spotlight are two movies that illustrate this axiom in vastly different entities.

The NFL is no different.

Yep. And just like any other corporation- They won't go out of their way to address an issue unless it starts impacting the bottom line. Corporations are not here to protect our health and wealth- they are here to enrich shareholders and executives.

And in that regard...The NFL is status-quo. I wouldn't expect anything different.

It's on the fans- the customer- to shine the light and demand change or boycott.

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2 Q's

1) How long has the average NFL player been playing contact football before they reach the NFL?

2) How long is the average NFL career?

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Teague was not the only tobacco insider conceding a hazard. Harris Parmele, Lorillard's director of research, in 1946 had commented privately on how Certain scientists and medical authorities have claimed for many years that the use of tobacco contributes to cancer development in susceptible people. Just enough evidence has been presented to justify the possibility of such a presumption.23 The American Tobacco Company in the summer of 1953 took the extraordinary step of sponsoring a series of secret animal tests in the laboratories of the Ecusta Paper Corporation, makers of much of the worlds cigarette paper, with the goal of finding out whether it was the tobacco leaf or the cigarette paper that was causing all this cancer. Their conclusion, distributed only privately, was that tobaccoand not the paperwas the culprit.21

Tobacco industry insiders by the mid 1950s clearly knew their product was dangerous. In December of 1953, when Hill and Knowlton was exploring how to respond to the uproar surrounding the publication of carcinogens in cigarette smoke, one tobacco company research director commented in a confidential interview: Boy! Wouldn't it be wonderful if our company was first to produce a cancer-free cigarette. What we could do to competition! Another remarked on how fortunate it was for us (ie, for cigarette manufacturers) that smokers were engaging in a habit they can't break.24 The mid-1950s cancer consensus was clearly (albeit privately) shared by the companies; and the reality of addiction was also starting to be concededat least in internal industry documents.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/21/2/87.full

evolution_120207_250.jpg

More than 4,500 former athletes -- some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer's that they blamed on blows to the head -- had sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field while glorifying and profiting from the kind of bone-jarring hits that make for spectacular highlight-reel footage.

The NFL long has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that safety always has been a top priority. But the NFL said Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football's lawyers to "do the right thing for the game and the men who played it."

The settlement most likely means the NFL won't have to disclose internal files about what it knew, and when, about concussion-linked brain problems. Lawyers had been eager to learn, for instance, about the workings of the league's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was led for more than a decade by a rheumatologist.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000235494/article/nfl-explayers-agree-to-765m-settlement-in-concussions-suit

But they settled out of court. Smart of the NFL to settle and for so little when you compare what the year estimated income from pro football and the settlement amount.

Good stuff Low.... thanks for posting that.

I do see Psygolf's point. Personal responsibility is sorely lacking in todays society- The lawyers and PC run amok is just disgusting to me. There is no substitute for using ones judgement. I think a healthy distrust of gov't agencies and corporations is necessary.

Money corrupts all

Money and power both corrupt.

And those with it will do whatever they can to retain it.

The Big Short and Spotlight are two movies that illustrate this axiom in vastly different entities.

The NFL is no different.

Yep. And just like any other corporation- They won't go out of their way to address an issue unless it starts impacting the bottom line. Corporations are not here to protect our health and wealth- they are here to enrich shareholders and executives.

And in that regard...The NFL is status-quo. I wouldn't expect anything different.

It's on the fans- the customer- to shine the light and demand change or boycott.

Please give us the NFL change that will satisfy the bra burners.

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

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2 Q's

1) How long has the average NFL player been playing contact football before they reach the NFL?

2) How long is the average NFL career?

Id imagine NFL is a bit rougher than Pee-wee.

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2 Q's

1) How long has the average NFL player been playing contact football before they reach the NFL?

2) How long is the average NFL career?

Id imagine NFL is a bit rougher than Pee-wee.

No doubt, but I can remember getting my bell rung more often in PW football compared to HS.

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2 Q's

1) How long has the average NFL player been playing contact football before they reach the NFL?

2) How long is the average NFL career?

1. Long.

2. Short, according to conventional wisdom but there is a 'survivor bias'. IE: Good players last longer. I have a hunch that most players that drop out of the league do so due to a skill deficit or old age rather than injury.

Another interesting question, which is admittedly pretty narrow in focus...what other activities do players engage in before and after football that could lead to similar injury? Can someone like Matt Mitrione get a settlement even though his post-NFL career might cause brain trauma?

For those who don't know who he is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Mitrione

He had a really tough weekend. Was sad to watch.

http://www.mmafighting.com/2016/1/22/10815038/matt-mitrione-to-undergo-surgery-on-broken-orbital-bone

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.

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2 Q's

1) How long has the average NFL player been playing contact football before they reach the NFL?

2) How long is the average NFL career?

1. Long.

2. Short, according to conventional wisdom but there is a 'survivor bias'. IE: Good players last longer. I have a hunch that most players that drop out of the league do so due to a skill deficit or old age rather than injury.

Another interesting question, which is admittedly pretty narrow in focus...what other activities do players engage in before and after football that could lead to similar injury? Can someone like Matt Mitrione get a settlement even though his post-NFL career might cause brain trauma?

For those who don't know who he is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Mitrione

He had a really tough weekend. Was sad to watch.

http://www.mmafighting.com/2016/1/22/10815038/matt-mitrione-to-undergo-surgery-on-broken-orbital-bone

Didnt see the fight but heard about the eye pokes. Tough loss.

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.

Are you ok with the way they sought to initially discredit medical findings on CTE?

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.

Full responsibility? no. Full medical care? yep. With the caveat being that acceptance implies understanding and full responsibility of risk. ie....getting out ahead of it and cutting down on lawsuits later.

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.
Are you ok with the way they sought to initially discredit medical findings on CTE?

Should they have said..."yep, this is all on us!" -?

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.

Are you ok with the way they sought to initially discredit medical findings on CTE?

This is the real issue, everyone realizes its a violent sport but most probably not to the extent that it really is. Let people decide what happens to their own bodies just provide all the information so the players can make an educated decision on their futures. Hell, if people want to smoke crack its their body and up to them.

The NFL salary is probably the main factor when weighing the options. "Yeah I'll take that risk to become an instant millionaire."

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Some of you need to find another sport & hobby before hypocrisy takes over completely.

If everyone was only this riled up over the water in Flint.

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I don't know about "bra burners."

But I'd personally be happy if the NFL didn't try to discredit medical findings about health risks to their players anymore and instead worked in a partnership with doctors who are looking to keep players safer.

They are working with professionals to improve the safety of the game...to expect them to accept FULL responsibility for any ailment a former player has after they retire is unrealistic.
Are you ok with the way they sought to initially discredit medical findings on CTE?

Should they have said..."yep, this is all on us!" -?

It's not one or the other. There is a happy medium between accepting full legal responsibility and actively seeking to discredit agreed upon scientific medical findings.

How about, "we had no idea the full extent of how head injuries are contributing to this disease. As the standard bearer for all levels of football, let's immediately seek to make the game safer for everyone who plays it."

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