Sports

Chaminade Madonna High School To Get Lights For Football Field

For the first time in 56 years, the Chaminade Madonna Lions will actually get the chance to play a home football game at night.

And for anyone familiar with the Broward County football scene, it’s a pretty big deal.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I am able to announce the commencement of a process which will equip Vince Zappone Field with permanent outdoor lighting,” Chaminade Madonna President Judith Mucheck said in a school release. “Earlier this week, I personally met with officials from the City of Hollywood to initiate the permit applications which are necessary to receive City approval for the installation.”

Mucheck said that the school will be working with Musco Lighting to put in lights that don’t cause a large disturbance to area homes.

Chaminade Madonna is a small Catholic high school with around 600 students. It is located in the heart of Hollywood and is surrounded by homes.

Some of these homeowners have opposed lighting for the football field for years due to the expected disruption it would cause.

Despite not having lights and being forced to play home games during the hottest part of the day, Chaminade Madonna has fielded some really teams over the years- including winning multiple state championships.

It was one of the few major high school football programs in the Miami area to not have lights.

“Since the founding of our school 56 years ago, we have called Hollywood our home. We have successfully graduated thousands of young people who have gone on to make their mark in the world, many of them right here.”

Read the full announcement below:

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RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Sandra D. Hart/ Facebook

Alabama Tennis Team Choreographs Justin Bieber’s “Baby” On Long Trip, Wins Our Hearts

If you’ve ever been close to the day in and day out of college sports, then you know how boring and monotonous off the field activities can be.

And for the Alabama Crimson Tide Men’s Tennis team, one recent road trip proved just too much.

So instead of testing out new sounds for when they make contact with the ball (seriously, why do tennis players do that?), the boys decided to do something a little more sensible.

They choreographed the whole of Justin Bieber’s “Baby”- all three and a half minutes of it.

You have to admit that it is pretty good actually.

WATCH:

So next time you run into a tennis player on campus, you may want to ask him for a dance lesson. Who knew?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us

Cover Photo Credit: Youtube/ Screengrab

It’s Time For FIU Students And Grads To Stop Cheering For UM, So FIU Can Rise

This story was originally published on risemiaminews.com on June 11, 2015.

By Santiago Archieri

Growing up in Miami, there was one clear-cut favorite of who I would root for.

When my best friends and I would gear up in our orange and green outfits, we screamed our hearts out in Sun Life stadium. The “U” was what it was always all about.

As the college years went on, I saw two of my best friend’s transition to Duke and Gator fans, while some of us went to Florida International University. Although the University of Miami was my dream school for as long as I can remember, I had to become a Golden Panther.

I was there at every tailgate, stayed till 1 AM at a football game, hell, I even became an FIU cheerleader.

But up until a few weeks back I was conflicted.

Read More: Haters Gonna Hate, But MLS Soccer In Miami Will Work With Beckham

It was one of the biggest college baseball games in Miami in recent memory, as FIU traveled 9 miles to Coral Gables to play the Hurricanes. For me, was it going to be UM or FIU gear that I donned at Mark Light?

Turned out to be FIU.

But not everyone has a smooth transition to acquaint themselves with “Panther Pride”. The University of Miami is the big brother school of FIU, and they never are humble about it.

This is completely understandable. I know the legacy “The U” holds, I know their 6 football national championships (and yes I include 2002), I know the bad boy Hurricane days.

I know it all, but going to FIU makes me realize how much pride I have for my own school.

As FIU is celebrating its 50th year as a university, it is well on the rise. FIU is one of the biggest schools in the nation when it comes to students enrollment, has some top notch undergrad programs and a fast growing law school.

And like some other sports in South Florida, fans start to fill the stadium when FIU starts winning.

The glory days of T.Y. Hilton displayed that fact, as fans started to stand on the top deck of the small stadium to cheer on the then conference winning football team. T.Y. led us to a new conference, led us to constructing a bigger stadium, and potentially saved FIU football.

This year, Panther fans saw our swimming and diving team win the conference, they saw the baseball team win the conference title as an 8th seed, they tuned into ESPN to watch FIU own the number one play on SportsCenter when Dennis Mavin hit a ridiculous half court, double pump buzzer beater in the conference tournament for basketball in Birmingham.

All these small things start to add up for FIU fans. The UM-FIU baseball matchup was a perfect example. As I walked in, it was amazing to see so much navy blue and gold.

In a sea of Hurricanes, I could see fellow Panthers, and even though it was a loss, I am sure every FIU fan there was beyond excited to root for their team.

Bring up the empty stadiums, the tough sports history, and the fact that FIU might not have an amazing reputation. But this is all going to change in the future, and it starts with people being proud of their school.

The biggest question I received all my senior year in high school was “Why FIU?”

And now, I know it to be the best decision I ever made. I see those true FIU fans, and know that they are starting to create a trend that can’t be stopped.

What do you think? Should FIU grads stop cheering for UM and better support their school? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photo Credit: emerille/Flickr

Miami Hurricanes Celebrate First Practice Under Mark Richt With Badass Video

The Mark Richt era has begun at the University of Miami and it is looking pretty damn cool.

Well at least this hype video remix from the first day of Spring Practice does:

Coach Richt Mic’d UpMark Richt’s first practice at The U: “HIGH TEMPO”

Posted by Miami Hurricanes Football on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Posted by Miami Hurricanes Football on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

 Richt also spoke to reporters after the practice:

Mark Richt Post Practice – March 15, 2016“It’s a blessing. It’s an honor. I don’t take it lightly at all.” – Coach Richt after Day One of Spring Practice

Posted by Miami Hurricanes Football on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Coming off a disappointing 8-5 season which saw the firing of Al Golden, the Canes are looking for some new energy from its new head coach.

Richt indicated in a post practice press conference that he was excited about the opportunity to lead his alma mater on the field and to coach quarterbacks (his old position at the U) again.

The Canes will hold another 14 Spring practices before their Spring Game on April 16th. That game will be free to attend and will be held at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Cover Photo Credit: Miami Hurricanes Football/ Facebook Video (Screengrab)

You Might Get Punched: A College Student’s Guide To Court Storming

It is both exhilarating and intimidating; the fuel of the youth and the burden of the curmudgeon; the moment when overwhelming hysteria meets eager anticipation, uniting in triumphant beauty. Court storming.

Some have experienced the sensation but many more have watched the familiar scene unfold on the T.V. in front of them.

A potent example took place a few weeks ago when the Colorado Buffalos upset divisional competitor and ninth ranked Arizona in a nationally televised game.

And thanks to Arizona head coach Sean Miller, we now have a reason to dispute and debate the prospect of court storming until, once more, we lose interest after a lack of action.

After his team’s 75-72 loss, Miller spoke out saying, “eventually what’s going to happen in the Pac-12 is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan… out of self defense.” Miller continued on to voice a specific frustration over a lack of concern for player safety.

And the hard truth is that he’s not wrong. The decent of hundreds of college students down onto the same floor as the visiting players is nothing but an unruly, chaotic mess, and has long been a nightmare for coaches. As a fan, you want nothing else. It is the unspoken marketing pitch for every big game; if we beat the unbeatable, we storm the court and we go berserk.

However, more than that is another hard reality; court storming is near impossible to stop. The S.E.C. is the only conference with a formal penalty in place, an incremental fine that extends up to $250,000.

While it has reduced the frequency of occurrences, it has far from stopped them. In the waning seconds of a 2014 South Carolina upset win over 17th-ranked Kentucky, the public address announcer warned Gamecock fans not to storm the court for risk of fine. The school ended up coughing up $25,000, something the students—most of which pay between $26,000 – $45,000 to attend—didn’t seem to mind.

What we can do, however, is be smart. In the face of a crisis we must not blink, but instead learn from our past blunders.

This is, perhaps, the kind of situation that would benefit from a sort of last resort, instructive list of principles. Allow me to digress.

Rule #1, always protect the players. Security for the players and coaches alike is no longer debatable. While coaches receive an escort, it must be customary for players to receive the same protection while leaving the court. It is far easier to protect twelve players than it is to prevent hundreds of students from storming the court. What’s more is that it allows security personnel to act with justified authority in the event that a student posse a threat to a visiting player.

After Kansas St.’s upset win over rival Kansas last season, campus police issued a student a disorderly conduct citation for forcefully bumping Kansas forward Jamari Taylor in the midst of a court storming celebration. The current policy states that it’s the responsibility of individual conferences and schools to provide appropriate security, which only leaves 351 different Division One schools each with their own protocols. There is no excuse, with several designated officers in charge of immediately securing the players the chances of a violent altercation decrease exponentially.

Rule #2, the game must be over. It is unrealistic to think that security ought to restrain students for 2-3 minuets following the game to give players enough time to escape the scene, not to mention, it essentially defeats the purpose behind court storming. But there is, however, a remaining responsibility that must be assumed by the students; do not storm if the game is not yet over.

In a 2009 matchup between Washington St. and Oregon, fans began storming the court after a late Washington St. basket… with .3 seconds still left on the clock. The team was issued a technical, allowing Oregon the opportunity to send the game to overtime where they eventually won. Waiting is hard, but what’s even harder is earning a loss for a team that you don’t even play for.

Rule #3, do not go over, under or through game staff and officials. It’s a pretty straightforward and encompassing rule. There are numerous reporters, analysts, cameramen and officials all surrounding the court. There are also numerous points of entrance to the court. Above all, there are hundreds of students all eager to share and take part in the celebration. The individuals who are being paid for their services at the game do not share the same feeling.

Rule #4, protect the players! I need not touch on the dynamics of college sports revenue and how it’s allocated, but the priority of player safety is unparalleled.

Even the prohibition of court storming, which would initiate outrage from fans, would likely have a greater financial impact than hiring a few extra security guards.

Rule #5, remember that you don’t want to fight a player. The evolving technology that we’ve all gotten used to can be deceiving, let me assure you, you do not want to engage in a fight with the 215lb, six-foot-eight forward that you’ve been mocking all night. Those are, already, not great odds and when you combine them with the raw emotion following a heartbreaking loss you are perfecting the ingredients for a recipe that you do not want to taste.

Rule #6, do not enter the court if you cannot also exit it. Yes, this is a necessary rule. In 2013, following their win over Duke, North Carolina St. forward C.J. Leslie assisted a student who had fallen from his wheelchair in the midst of storming the court. The student later admitted it was, the “dumbest thing” to do. If you are not readily able to fend for yourself amongst a heard of wild and crazed fanatics, please do not even attempt the exercise.

Rule #7, don’t forget that we’re all on the same team. Before the game it was a mass migration with everyone heading for the arena. During the game and as the camera pans over the student section a roar erupts in unison, a collective and exultant battle cry. It’s a sad tale when group members are hurt by their own, but it’s a story that has been told before.

In 1993, what became known as the “Camp Randall Crush” left 70 Wisconsin fans injured after storming the court in their team’s win over Michigan. It’s undoubtedly a moment to cherish and celebrate, but in doing so, you must also look out for the kid that sits three rows ahead of you in class.

Report on the Camp Randall Crush:

RULE #8, ALWAYS PROTECT THE PLAYERS!!

Rule #9, remember what you’re celebrating. Just like the Cup Noodles that sits ominously at the back of your pantry, court storming can get old real quickly. It is a rare gem that must be kept scarce in order to preserve its value. Storming the court in light of any circumstances beyond a notable win is a disservice to every basketball fan in the country.

In December of 2014, University of Alabama-Birmingham students stormed the court after a marginal twelve-point victory in order to protest the school’s cut of the football program. But fear not, it’s not too late to save the name of court storming for future generations.

Rule #10, don’t look stupid. This is your chance. Many schools never grace the highlight tapes of ESPN, but you can guarantee that a court-storming win will earn you a spot. Don’t blow it. You don’t want to be the person that hurdles sideline reporters and falls on their face on national T.V. You don’t want to run on the floor with .3 seconds left and cost your team a win. You don’t want to be the headline, you want to save that for the big win.

 

 

Cover Photo Credit: John Smith/Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0).

Sorry Heat Fans, LeBron And Pat Riley Did Not Meet In Secret Last Week

Despite a Twitter storm and rumors circulating around the interwebs, LeBron James did not have a secret meeting with Miami Heat President Pat Riley last week.

One news website even ran with the rumors, using photoshopped Tweets from Sun-Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly as a source.

Kelly quickly came out and set the record straight about the Tweets:

James had been in Miami for a few day mini-vacation last week to workout with his former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade and enjoy the warm weather.

Many people started speculating that the visit meant something a little more serious and that James could perhaps be planning on returning to play in South Florida.

“What do I go there for? Go there ’cause I want to,” James said in an interview last week according to ESPN. “I would love to go to L.A., but I’ll take 2½ [hour flight] over 4½. I’ve got a house in L.A., but it makes more sense for me to go south than go west. But I go because I want to.”

But the moral to this story yet again is to not believe everything that you read online.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here’s How The Warriors Turned Steph Curry Into A Well Rested Bionic Superhuman

Before blossoming into the greatest shooter the sport has ever known, Steph Curry was defined by his fragile ankles.

Over the course of his first 3 NBA seasons, Curry missed 66 games, most of that coming after his initial operation, as he sprained his ankle five times while playing in 26 games the following year.

If his 2012 surgery failed, he was faced with the bleak prospect of inserting tendons from a cadaver into his ankle in the hopes that they would function better than the ones nature provided for him.

Luckily for Curry, the NBA, and anyone who ever wished that Steve Nash and Pete Maravich would have an And1 basketball baby, his last surgery is looking like it could be his last ankle surgery.

Steph’s problems were actually a pretty easy fix, as they were due to a mess of scar tissue, bone spurs, chips, and cartilage filling his joints “like crab meat.”

Dr. Richard Ferkel essentially vacuumed it all out, and the next face of the NBA was reborn.

“I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but rehabbing for two years. I feel like I’m never going to be able to play again. This ankle thing is not gonna be my life.”

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Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

Curry took advantage of as many resources as he could to fuel his 2nd chance in the NBA. Before every game now, Curry straps on his Zamst ankle braces (designed for post-sprain activity) and a pair of Under Armour sneakers created specifically for his feet.

Every team is looking for an edge somewhere in keeping players healthy and consistent. It is an accepted fact that this is the new market inefficiency in sports. But few organizations pursue this avenue with the vigor and resources of the Warriors.

They hired Australian sports science guru Lachland Penfold this offseason, and according to owner Joe Lacob, the goal is to “have like, a video game fatigue meter. A guy like Lachland will be able to go up to Bob and Steve [Kerr] and say, ‘Guys, he’s at a 77, and our threshold is 75 for Safe to Play.'”

The NBA’s new SportVU cameras that track and measure almost any movement on the court have combined with the GPS trackers the team wears in practice to give the Warriors unprecedented insight into their players’ health and its relation to their game.

The Warriors place a premium on their players’ mental acuity as well. Steve Kerr has made it a team goal to reduce personal stress, and the Warriors run complex drills to test their nervous system, as Curry described in an interview with Tech Insider:

“We overload our sensory system, nervous system, in our training with different lights. There are little beams that we have on the wall, and I’ll be doing dribble moves and reading the lights that are associated with different moves. Different colors mean to do a different move, and you have to make that decision in a split second and still have control of the ball.”

What do Steve Kerr, Chip Kelly, the Vancouver Canucks, and Jason Bourne all agree on? As the line from Robert Ludlum’s famous 1990 book goes: “Rest is a weapon.”

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Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

Before Kelly even arrived in Philadelphia three years ago, the Vancouver Canucks signed a deal in 2009 with Fatigue Science.

No professional squad has a more brutal travel schedule than the northwesternmost team in North America; the Canucks traveled one third of the distance to the moon en route to their 2011 Stanley Cup Finals loss, so it’s only natural that they would be interested in the effects of sleep, or the lack thereof, on the body.

A 2012 Harvard Study placed Fatigue Science’s armbands on orthopedic surgical residents and found that they averaged 5.3 hours of sleep per week, and because of this, the risk of medical error increased by 22%. Significant fatigue basically has the same effect on the body as being drunk.

Kelly has said that he believes that “an elite athlete needs between 10-12 hours [of sleep] a night.”

He was a college football pioneer in so many ways at Oregon, and he was practically the only college coach who was seriously investing in sport science.

As Chris Brown wrote for Grantland in 2014 about the basis of Kelly’s research (which was conducted on Australian-rules football):

“Many of those studies used heart rate, GPS, accelerometers, and gyroscope monitors worn by players in practice to determine how to train for peak game-day performance and how to prevent injuries. These studies also tracked the movements that players made in games so teams could mold practices and training to what players did on an individualized and position-by-position basis.”

The Eagles were 18th in Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost to injury metric the year before Kelly arrived.

They invested a ton of money in his programs, placed trackers on their players’ wrists in practice, and finished 1st and 2nd in his subsequent seasons. Kelly has since been fired from the Eagles and is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan used to show up for work before sunrise. But things have changed for him.

“I thought that showed dedication and work ethic. I don’t do that anymore, because I realized it is more important to be rested and ready than it is to beat everybody to work.”

Pete Carroll has long embraced the importance of sleep, and the Seahawks now schedule their travel and training schedules to maximize their players’ sleep efficiency.

Richard Sherman has become one of Carroll’s acolytes on this issue, emphasizing how the head coach’s focus on good sleep was central to their Championship season of 2014 in an open letter for Sports Illustrated.

The pace of innovation in sports is accelerating. The Moneyball Era opened the floodgates for a reevaluation of everything.

Once available only to elite athletes, this technology that monitors players’ health and performance and helps explain their inextricably linked relationship is becoming more widespread and affordable.

If these advances could help alter the course of Steph Curry’s career, and thus, the history of the NBA, imagine the possibilities they could create in neighborhoods across the country.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

This Former NFL Great Called Cam Newton “Boy” In A Truly Disgusting Tweet

After walking out of a post game press conference in the aftermath of losing the Super Bowl, Cam Newton was attacked on Twitter by a former NFL player in a fashion that many believe was racially driven.

Bill Romanowski, a longtime NFL linebacker who played for four team and won the Super Bowl four times over the course of a 15 year career called Newton a “boy” after bashing his behavior in the post game press conference.

Newton refused to answer some questions and answered others in one word.

Here’s the tweet in full: (as saved by someone before Romanowski deleted it)

It is not the first time that Romanowski has shown hostility towards Newton.

In an interview with Bleacher Report, Romanowski said that if he were still in the league that he would try to hurt the Carolina Panthers quarterback.

“Are you kidding me?,” Romanowski said in the interview. “I’d hit him as hard as I possibly could, and probably at the bottom of the pile I’d try to get him by the neck and choke him. Hopefully he can’t breathe for a long time.”

After facing a storm of backlash on Twitter, Romanowski deleted the tweet where he called Newton “boy” and sort of apologized for it.

Newton and his Panthers were defeated by the Denver Broncos 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.

WATCH: Cam Newton walks out of Super Bowl post game press conference. 

Cover Photo Credit: Screengrab/Twitter

Celebrating An American Addiction Fifty Years In The Making

Nick Hickman

The decorations are up and the festivities are well in the works, for this Sunday, our Nation’s baby turns fifty.

Her roots can be traced back to the beautiful union between the AFL and the NFL in 1966. What soon came to be known as the Super Bowl was born out of a desire to crown a single champion between two unaffiliated leagues both competing for the spotlight.

Now, she owns an unofficial annual holiday at the beginning of every February. She is unmatched and untouchable. She is achievement personified, but is just as prosperous as she is cultural. In only fifty years time, she has infiltrated America’s bloodstream, pulsing and ripping through our veins as often as the air we breath.

Admit it, we’re hooked. We’re all addicted. Last year, a record 114.4 million people tuned in to watch Brady and the Patriots capture Super Bowl XLIX. There are approximately 111.1 million people living in Spain and the U.K. combined.

Aside from Super Bowl Sunday, only Thanksgiving can boast a higher statistical consumption of food.

The Super Bowl of two seasons ago between the Denver Broncos—who will compete again this year—and the Seattle Seahawks drew a record $119 million bet in Las Vegas casinos. It’s a sport played and adored by only one country in the world, but as American’s, we’re obsessed.

And part of the absurdity is that we’re all obsessed for different reasons. Sure, it’s likely that the large majority of viewers will watch for the sheer competition of the game, but many will be enticed by the halftime show and even Grandma and great-aunt Alice will tune in just to watch the commercials.

Usually we pay for clever tools to help us avoid commercials, but on Super Bowl Sunday, advertising brands will be competing nearly as hard as the athletes to capture your attention.

Though who can fault them? The rationale is simple. Say, for example, that just 5% of all viewers are motivated by an advertisement, spurring them to vote with their dollar. The resulting translation is an additional 5,720,000 customers to the responsible company.

Consequently, advertising companies will be willing to pay substantially for the privileged platform that is the Super Bowl. Thirty seconds during last year’s game sold for a record $4.5 million. According to Business Insider, that number has since grown 11% to a new average of $5 million per for this years game.

Money surrounds the Super Bowl in every corner and every aspect. Last year’s contest commanded more than $330 million in advertising revenue. This year, tens of thousands of passionate fans will pack Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, a venue that cost $1.3 billion to build.

Coldplay will headline this year’s Halftime Show after being selected as one of three finalists for last year’s game. Wall Street Journal reported that—along with Katy Perry and Rihanna—the three candidates were initially asked to pay the NFL for their performance in Super Bowl XLIX.

The Super Bowl is our baby and our addiction, and this year, both will turn fifty. It’s a small milestone in the scope of historical significance, though it’s a progression that shows no signs of slowing down.

Super Bowl Fifty will have its seats packed and its commercials rolling. It’ll have a remarkable halftime performance with brilliant effects and aesthetics, all this can be expected.

And too, you should expect the same next year, and the year after that. The NFL doesn’t need a headline like a fiftieth-anniversary to command our attention on Super Bowl Sunday.

In fact, it’s likely that they don’t even need to make any additional improvements or changes to the event at all. Barring nuclear annihilation, the NFL will be gifted next year with another energetic audience of hundreds of millions of fans.

As long as the money keeps coming, the fans will continue to be provided with a product that stimulates the deepest competitive trigger in all of us. And as long as the NFL’s product is in place, our cherished addiction will never cease.

 Cover Photo Credit: Kathy Drasky/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Auburn Just Sent Out The Best Response To Crazy Fans Who Stalk Recruits On Twitter

For most people, the first Wednesday in February doesn’t really have any major significance – other than being a major let down after their massive Groundhog Day parties the night prior. (Do people do Groundhog Day parties? They should.)

But for College Football fans, the first Wednesday in February takes on a different meaning altogether thanks to National Signing Day.

For the uninitiated, National Signing Day is the first day where a high school senior can sign a “National Letter Of Intent”, which basically locks them into attending a certain college for the next year.

For the crazed, National Signing Day is a legit holiday. Thousands of people on Twitter actually spend large chunks of their lives tweeting at high school students in the hopes that they will attend the team the nut roots for. (Of course, most do not engage in this type of activity.)

It has become a real problem and some schools have tried to rein in their fan-bases as a result.

But Auburn University may have the best response to this social media problem.

Just take a look at this handy flowchart that the folks in the Auburn Compliance Department tweeted out:

Seems pretty straightforward.

When in doubt, don’t tweet at random teenagers! It is creepy and not helpful to your team at all.

Cover Photo Credit: Auburn Alumni Association/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

 

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