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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Steelers 38, Packers 31

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

GREEN BAY, Wis.Really looking ahead to kickoff …


Game: Steelers (6-8) vs. Green Bay Packers (7-6-1)

Time: 4:25 p.m.

Site: Lambeau Field

TV, radio: CBS (national), WDVE-FM, ESPN Radio 970

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Steelers page. Alan Robinson, Ralph Paulk and I are here. That pic up there was shot at 2:12 p.m. Pittsburgh time, as the tarp was being peeled back.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. theplanisworking says:

    I am rooting for 3 things today……

    1) Steelers.
    2) 1 foot of snow.
    3) Below zero wind chills.

    And that is just for Florida.


  2. Bizrow says:

    • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

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    • 12/22/2013 12:40 PM

  3. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Via Twitter….Jarvis Jones now questionable today with an illness.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    What type of illness?

  5. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Nothing described….I’d be surprised to see him out there.

  6. JMB says:

    I hope we win, but if we lose, then we get a better draft pick: win/win!

  7. theplanisworking says:

    Well, he is from Georgia, maybe he doesnt like snow? ;)

  8. Anchor says:

    It feels wrong, but let’s go Jets

  9. Carlos Danger says:

    I am torn – I have lacy and jordy playing on my team for the fantasy football championship this week, but I obviously want the steelers to win. So I am hoping for a high scoring game where the steelers win.

  10. Rob says:

    Just sat down in The Lazy Boy to these three options – Cowboys/Redskins, Texans/Broncos followed by Patriots/Ravens. I love watching football but I find it difficult when there is not a single team to root for.

  11. What’s that playoff scenario again? Jets are winning and Miami is being shut out in Buffalo. What were the other ones?

    Baltimore losing?

  12. 21sthebest says:

    The Steelers need to go 2-0 while the Jets go 2-0, the Ravens go 0-2, the Dolphins go 0-2 and the Chargers go either 1-1 or 0-2.

  13. twentytwo22 says:

    Playoffs and Tank going well today

    8-7 Miami L
    7-8 NY Jets W

    8-7 Dallas W
    7-8 NY Jets W
    7-8 St. Louis W
    6-9 Tennessee W
    6-9 Buffalo W

    Oakland at San Diego (7-7)
    New England at Baltimore (8-6)

  14. twentytwo22 says:

    NY Giants (5-9) at Detroit (7-7)

  15. pattonbb says:

    I just watched Luke Kuechly make 24 tackles for the Panthers. And he had a pick. One of the most dominating performances I’ve ever seen.

    Let’s Go Steelers!

  16. twentytwo22 says:

    Taylor’s lack of ball skills isn’t cute anymore. He needs to go.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:

    Did we take Daniel Sepulveda over him?


  18. twentytwo22 says:

    1st and 10 at midfield, false start and delay of game. Defense gets shredded.

    New England up 7-0 and at the Baltimore 6.

  19. twentytwo22 says:

    Nice touch on the deep ball by Ben. Brown runs under it and makes a nice gain.

  20. twentytwo22 says:

    The Steelers’ offense stopped themselves on their first drive and scored a TD on their second.

    New England up 14-0.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Is there any way BOTH NE and the Ratbirds can get a loss?

  22. twentytwo22 says:

    Game turning.

    Green Bay 1st and 10 at the Steelers 35 and they end up punting. The Steelers take over at midfield after a 40 yard return by Brown.

    Early.. Oakland 7 San Deeahgo 3.

  23. twentytwo22 says:

    OK. Only mention Baltimore. Baltimore is losing 17-0.

  24. twentytwo22 says:

    Steelers punt from the plus 40. :/

  25. Sarah says:

    3rd and 2…..hand off 6 yards deep. Ugh….

  26. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE BYLSMA !!! ;)

  27. Sarah says:

    He’s not the only coach in town.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Fire the RiverHounds coach? ;)

    I know you have pointed this 6 yards deep handoff sitaution all year. Just have to see what the offseason brings us.

  29. twentytwo22 says:

    Offense stopped at midfield, GB 40 and GB 43. bad job.

  30. Sarah says:

    All year? Twice I think….

  31. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, confusing you with someone else.

  32. Now, Haley is coaching a revived offense. Remember yourself!


  33. theplanisworking says:

    Not an especially smart thing for Tomlin to say this week about Bell vs. Lacy. Never a good thing to put bulletin-board material up for the opposing team, or player.

    BTW, touchdown Lacy. :(

  34. Sarah says:

    No worries. I hope you’re right the off season brings changes.

  35. DJ says:

    Mr. Clock Management working his magic again.

  36. Pucknutz says:

    Why Mr. Tomlin not call time out after running play ????? Had two of em left ????

  37. twentytwo22 says:

    One TO left and they run 2 plays in the last 40 seconds from GB 15.
    Great field position all first half = 10 points.
    Receive second half kickoff.

  38. Sarah says:

    Erm…..cos he sux at clock mgmt?…..

  39. DJ says:

    We’ll call a timeout with about 3:48 and Green Bay having the ball, and then save one going into halftime.

    We really should not make scoring touchdowns this difficult.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Who are these announcers?

    Ben Gugglenburger?
    Antonio Jones?

    YIKES !!!!!!!

  41. theplanisworking says:

    Awesome sequence!

    Fake punt, the Ben runs it in!

    Where was this from the beginning of the season?

  42. Brandie says:

    Danny Smith Does Something Right! Even A Blind Squirrel…

    Now Big Ben For Six!


  43. Sarah says:

    Go Gugglenburger!!!

  44. theplanisworking says:


    Our SCIRING muppet has joined us.

    Hope you are hanging in there, kid.

  45. Brandie says:


  46. Brandie says:

    Keep On Truckin’!

  47. Brandie says:

    Pinned them really far back! Ruh roh!

  48. Brandie says:

    AND NOW…


  49. Sarah says:

    That’s just a travesty

  50. Lad 9 says:

    And they call the NHL a garage league! There was nothing right about that sequence.

  51. pattonbb says:

    Worst call of the year. Just embarrassing for the nfl. What a bunch of idiots.

  52. Pucknutz says:

    Blocked punt –unbelievable – possesion? – batted ball forward…. not changeable??? My head hurts figuring this one out!

  53. TJ says:

    Another week and another blown call by officials that could effect the playoffs. Yet the Steelers lose a draft pick for Tomlin stepping on the field. Goodell and his officials are jokes. That was a piss poor call. Clark was down by contact before the lateral.

    Goodell wants to uphold the integrity of the game by taking away a draft pick from the steelers but yet he continues to parade out these so called officials that blow call after call after call week after week.

    Btw why wasn’t that punt ruled a touchback? #31 had his leg in the end zone when he touched the ball.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Steelers should have had possession at the 7.
    No penalty, no GB ball.

    Yep, great reffing there.
    And, it couldnt even be challenged.

  55. Lad 9 says:

    I saw that TJ and Mr clock management should have challenged there!

  56. Sarah says:

    Not sure why the Clark knee down couldn’t have been challenged. Good to know there’s more than one garage league.

    But let’s take a draft puck away for stepping on the field.

  57. Lad 9 says:

    That is a real impressive answer by the Steelers. Wish we would have seen that resolve months ago.

  58. theplanisworking says:

    Tomlin tried to challenge, and they said it wasnt challegable.

    GODell should be embarrassed, but he cant be.
    Doesnt possess that trait.

    And, I would rather the Steelers lose a draft puck, than a draft pick! ;)

  59. DJ says:

    My question is whether Mr. Clock Management articulated the proper challenge, that Clark’s knee was down before the lateral.

    If he didn’t, and our booth with all that time did not tell relay it to the field, then I blame everybody.

  60. theplanisworking says:


  61. TJ says:

    If it was a change of possession why wasn’t it automatically reviewed?

  62. pattonbb says:

    NFL officiating makes professional wrestling refs look smart.

  63. theplanisworking says:


    WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL YEAR????????????????????

  64. Dom says:


  65. twentytwo22 says:

    Every play should have open ended challenges. As long as it isn’t a judgement penalty everything is fair game for whatever reason.

  66. 21sthebest says:

    Because the refs didn’t realize that Clark had possession.

  67. Dom says:

    I noticed that both Chris Carter and Stephenson Sylvester have both been in, in addition to the other three linebackers. Who has been on the bench when there is an extra LB?

  68. twentytwo22 says:

    10 point lead don’t do anything stupid. The 2013 Steelers do something stupid.

  69. theplanisworking says:

    Tell that to GODell.
    I agree with you.

  70. Dom says:

    As you were saying…

  71. Lad 9 says:

    Jarvis Jones is inactive – illness.

  72. Dom says:

    Thanks but I am aware of that. We’re running with five linebackers.

  73. Pucknutz says:

    Held em to 3…. ok

    Side note: love that snow coming down… did not catch the temp, but don’t look “brutal cold” … football in Dec. that what it should look like !! lol
    Can’t accuse the Steelers of “tankin” this game.

  74. TJ says:

    Troy has guessed wrong on almost every pass play today

  75. Barb says:

    They just did. I can’t believe how bad the defense STINKS! Ben has to try and pull it out again.

  76. DJ says:

    The ref said that we could not challenge whether we had possession before batting the ball out of bounds.

    That indicates to me either the proper challenge was not voiced by our coaching staff or the refs butchered it.

  77. DJ says:

    There we go. Waste a timeout there.

  78. TJ says:

    Tomlin’s response would be…. “We wanted to make sure we communicated the proper play call and we had not done that so we called a time out”. “Our defense was not doing a good job executing in the 4th quarter and we felt going for it there that whatever would happen would happen quickly”.

  79. TJ says:

    Ben has been spotty at best today

  80. Rob says:

    Why was Mcbriar in at qb?

  81. Jandy says:

    The Steelers will likely find a way to lose this one…and that is sad. Had to pop in and say hey to the Loonies :)

  82. pattonbb says:


    crap….He looked down.

  83. Jandy says:

    Dayum, Troy runs like Superman speeding even in slow motion!!

  84. TJ says:

    Fumble… But it’s the Steelers; will be ruled down by contact and Steelers will lose s draft pick

  85. pattonbb says:

    Strike that.

    That’s a fumble all the way.
    Steeler ball.

  86. pattonbb says:

    Great post.

  87. theplanisworking says:


  88. Rob says:

    Nevermind it was a mistake by NFL Network stats guy.

  89. twentytwo22 says:


  90. twentytwo22 says:

    IDIOT *****(* TEAM

  91. TJ says:


  92. twentytwo22 says:

    2 DOWNS
    = 80 SECONDS

    1:28 = 88 SECONDS




  93. twentytwo22 says:


  94. SeanAY says:

    But wouldn’t the response be, “We cannot rule down by contact because we ruled on the field they did not have possession.” How could Clark be down by possession if they cannot establish via replay he had possession?

    Still a terrible call, but that’s not on Tomlin.

    Despite, you know, everyone’s desire to pin it on him.

  95. twentytwo22 says:


  96. TJ says:

    And there ya go

  97. Sarah says:

    And then that. Good thing we preserved the clock for them.

  98. Sarah says:

    They’re 20 yards off the LOS

  99. theplanisworking says:

    Where did everyone have the desire to pin that on Tomlin?

  100. TJ says:

    Tomlin should not be on the team plane

  101. SeanAY says:

    Those saying that the challenge failed because the coaching staff may not have voiced he correct challenge.

  102. Sarah says:

    Well TG.
    But that was ridiculous.

  103. Dom says:

    Playoff hopes are still alive.

  104. Hell Unleashed says:

    Whew! Now someone get Tomlin a guide to clock management for Christmas…

  105. twentytwo22 says:

    **** MIKE TOMLIN

  106. TJ says:

    Troy is lucky that Flynn did not go to Nelson.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Thats everyone?

    I didnt blame Tomlin for that.
    I blamed the refs.

    If Tomlin deserves blame for anything, its poor clock management.

  108. twentytwo22 says:


  109. SeanAY says:

    Double edged sword there.

    On one hand, why not kneel twice and kick the field goal? The only thing I can think of is that they were afraid of the turf being as it is, they could muff the snap / Suisham could slip / etc.

    Score the TD, and you’re forcing hem to march down the field.

    Which, unfortunately, is exactly what they did.

  110. SeanAY says:

    I’m sorry, did I mention you?

  111. Wild Bill says:

    We had em all the way.

  112. theplanisworking says:

    Well, that was interesting, to be sure.
    After taking a 10-point lead, then blowing it, then retaking the lead, then almost blowing that, the Steelers hold on for the win.

    Mr. Bell had a great game today (his fumble was because he tried to get more yards, not a concern). Fake punt, blocked field gaol were the good things on ST, giving up huge returns on kickoffs horrible on ST……..

    Coach Tomlin needs to learn clock management. I dont know how a head coach in the NFL can possibly be so bad week after week………………

    Refs awful today , especially with that blocked FG……… then they said it couldnt be challenged, when I thought all change of possessions were indeed challengable. Just a bunch of clowns week after week.

    Miraculously, the Steelers still alive for a playoff berth. Remarkable. Many things have to happen for the dream to come true, and I dont think 7-9, or 8-8 teams deserve to be in the playoffs, but………..

  113. Drew71 says:

    Any bowl games on tonight?

  114. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t have a problem with them going for the touchdown instead of burning time and kickin a field goal. I don’t like the chances of bad things happening with a kick in the snow.

    What I have a problem with is how they allowed the long run back after the TD. Somebody make a tackle

  115. theplanisworking says:

    People do that to me, so………..

    but you did say everyone, so you didnt have to mention specific people, now did you?

    I just mentioned I didnt pin that on Tomlin.
    Hence, not everyone said it.

    You’re welcome. :)

  116. twentytwo22 says:

    The mud game against the Dolphins was 0-0. The Steelers got inside the Dolphins 10 and they took knees and kicked the FG to win 3-0. Many other examples.

    Scratch what I just typed. They did the same damn thing. They threw incomplete on 1st down with Miami having a TO left and less than 80 seconds.

    1-6-MIA 6
    (1:19) 7-B.Roethlisberger pass incomplete short right to 39-W.Parker (55-J.Porter).

    2-6-MIA 6
    (1:13) 39-W.Parker right guard to MIA 5 for 1 yard (91-V.Holliday).

    Timeout #3 by MIA at 01:07.
    3-5-MIA 5
    (1:07) 7-B.Roethlisberger sacked at MIA 6 for -1 yards (sack split by 90-R.Wright and 52-C.Crowder).

    Timeout #1 by PIT at 00:20.
    4-6-MIA 6
    (:20) (Field Goal formation) 3-J.Reed 24 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-60-G.Warren, Holder-9-D.Sepulveda.

    MIA 0 PIT 3 Plays: 9 Possession: 3:56

    2007 season. Idiots. They really haven’t learned.

  117. SeanAY says:

    Ok, fine.

    DJ said it.

  118. Chuck H says:

    Thanks to terrible kickoff coverage. The Steelers had better work on that little problem.

  119. 38-31 Steelers in overtime and in all that snow! It should be a bit easier versus the Browns at home next Sunday unless Pittsburgh gets hit by a lot of snow like Green Bay was this past Sunday.

  120. pattonbb says:

    Was that Shamarko that made the kickoff return tackle?

  121. Ian Rappaport says that Penn State Coach Bill O’Brien might be leaving Penn State for a coaching job in the pros, but I’ll only believe that when it’s officially confirmed.

  122. pattonbb says:

    I think he’s gone if he gets an offer. His buyout isn’t that bad.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    I was reading somewhere, that O’Brien had his buyout reduced earlier this year……… so that may not be an obstacle any longer. I am like you however, I wont believe it, if it happens, until it is confirmed. He has built up a lot of feelings in State College.

  124. And the Steelers got a lot of help in that regard, and, hopefully, they can get that same kind of help next Sunday as well.

  125. Pitt versus Bowling Green in the Pizza Bowl in Detroit will be played the night after Christmas at 6pm.

  126. DJ says:

    Le’Veon Bell a huge game despite his first fumble in the pros. It’s going to be fun watching him in the years to come. I think he is going to be a beast. Zero issue with picking him over Lacy.

    McCarthy obviously up very late last night reading the Tomlin primer on Clock Mismanagement.

  127. DJ says:

    Yes, I said it.

    Here’s what I do if I’m Tomlin. I immediately go over to the refs while they’re huddling to remind them of what they all just saw . . . that Clark HAD POSSESSION because he lateralled the ball BEFORE it was batted.

    You don’t chance that the refs will not remember that given their haste to focus on batting the ball. That’s called taking control. And by not taking control, the refs huddled and focused on only one aspect of the entire play, the last part of it.

  128. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Justice was served after the refs did everything they could for the Pack.
    We’ll get a lower pick in May….But the Steelers deserved to win today.

  129. I would like to thank the Packers at this time for not scoring that touchdown after rushing 70 yards down the field to the red zone, as well as for allowing the Steelers to score the go ahead touchdown so they’d have one last chance.

  130. SeanAY says:

    But it was ruled on the field he didn’t have possession. Any argument by Tomlin to the contrary, therefore, should have been met with the response “Possession is not a challenge able situation.”

    Now, that in and of itself is ridiculous. But in my opinion, so is saying that when Tomlin was told they didn’t have possession, he should have responded “Yes huh!”

    They pooched the call. Not his fault.

  131. SeanAY says:

    Leveon was a beast today. I loved that he was able to get big gains by going around the edge and through the middle. He seemed totally comfortable in the open field. And man alive, does he ever NOT fall forward?

  132. cherokee23 says:


  133. pattonbb says:

    I’m a big Lacy fan, but Bell probably fits this scheme better. Plus Lacy does have the injury history. I think they’re both going to be good.

  134. Drew71 says:

    WHO’s playing Bowling Green?

    Never heard of them.

    So are they like Barry Horowitz or Steve Lombardi to Bowling Green’s Ric Flair?

  135. 21sthebest says:


  136. DJ says:

    I heard nothing from the refs about possession until after the red flag was thrown. I think if Tomlin took control there and reminded them of Clark picking it up and lateraling the ball, there would have been a different outcome

    And if all aspects of the play were not in doubt — including possession — then why were the refs even huddling?

    Here’s the rule:

    Illegal Bat — Article 8
    A player may not bat or punch:
    (a) a loose ball (in field of play) toward opponent’s goal line;
    (b) a loose ball (that has touched the ground) in any direction, if it is in either end zone;
    (c) a backward pass in flight may not be batted forward by an offensive player.
    Exception: A forward pass in flight may be tipped, batted, or deflected in any direction by any eligible player at any time

    It was in reality a backward pass by Clark, but only after he had possession. At the point Hood touched it he was thus “an offensive player.” I think we should have had the ball but been assessed a penalty.

  137. DJ says:

    I take that back as violating section (c) since the ball was not in flight when batted.

    There may not have been any violation at all by Hood.

  138. DJ says:

    Here’s exactly what was said but only AFTER the flag was thrown:

    Lead referee Carl Cheffers: “Possession in the field of play is not a challengeable aspect of a replay.”

  139. Bizrow says:

    IMO we’ve seen Steeler football, the past two weeks

    On TV anyways

    Kudos to Ben, kudos to a team that would not be denied

  140. TJ says:

    You missed the fake Punt?

  141. SeanAY says:

    Yes, he did say those things.

    But he also said after the flag was thrown that the Steelers never established possession, which is why they threw the flag for the batted ball.

  142. TJ says:

    I would like to know how possession is not a play that can be challenged….

    The review plays to determine if a WR had POSSESSION of the ball during a catch

    They review plays to determine whether a team had POSSESSION of a fumble before a defender went out of bounds

    They review whether a RB had POSSESSION of the ball when his knee hit the ground and if it was ruled a fumble they determine whether the ball was clearly recovered by a team.

    I really am baffled as to how they can say that could not be challenged.

    But let’s forget about the lack of review on this play; what clearly needs reviewed is the continuing deterioration of officiating on the field. Goodell preaches about the integrity of the game but continues to allow obvious incompetence to take place during NFL games week after week.

  143. TJ says:

    I would like to know how possession is not a play that can be challenged….

    The review plays to determine if a WR had POSSESSION of the ball during a catch

    They review plays to determine whether a team had POSSESSION of a fumble before a defender went out of bounds

    They review whether a RB had POSSESSION of the ball when his knee hit the ground and if it was ruled a fumble they
    determine whether the ball was clearly recovered by a team.

    I really am baffled as to how they can say that could not be challenged.

    But let’s forget about the lack of review on this play; what clearly needs reviewed is the continuing deterioration of officiating on the field. Goodell preaches about the integrity of the game but continues to allow obvious incompetence to take place during NFL games week after week.

  144. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe if they stopped constantly changing the rules the officials might actually know what the rules are.

  145. Bizrow says:

    Or if the powers that be, quit secondguessing the guys on the field

    You screw up, you get fined and or suspended

    Milo, you have points there, changing rules, then get secondguessed, didn’t the refs recently go on strike about all the stuff from the NFL bigwigs?

  146. TJ says:

    I don’t think it’s second guessing; I think it’s fear. Perhaps not on this particular play but I believe a lot of mistakes are made because they are afraid of becoming the story. The fact that they are not full time employees is something else that continues to amaze me.

    The biggest thing that I honestly believe should be added to the list of things that could be challenged is..

    15 yard penalties for hits to the head — officials see a head move and out comes the flag. I saw one team penalized this year when the defender made contact with the head of his teammate and not the receiver. If you want to enforce safety that’s fine but it happens so fast and a 15 yard penalty is huge; that to me should be able to be reviewed.

  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    It really is a mess this year. If the officials had ruled possession had changed on the field the play would have been automatically reviewed. But since they did not it couldn’t even be challenged ? Who comes up with this stuff ? They need to bite the bullet & do it like college. Every play reviewed upstairs with no more under the hood.

  148. pattonbb says:

    That’s exactly what Tunch was saying on the radio. Nobody knew the rule.

  149. Milo Hamilton says:

    The ironic thing is that they got the rule right, it’s just that all 7 guys missed the most important thing – Ryan Clark possessed the ball.

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Part-time refs.
    How can they be expected to learn every rule every year?

    Full-time refs needed.

    Follow the $$$$$$$……… GODell doesnt want to spend the piddling little extra to do refereeing correctly.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    The full time thing is a red herring. I know one of these guys. They are full time in every way but name only.

  152. theplanisworking says:

    So you are saying that it wouldnt help?

    I trust your knowledge on knowing one of them.

    Just looking for ways to improve a bad situation.

  153. DJ says:

    In responding to the red flag, there was certainly no statement by the ref about the Steelers never having had possession before the ball was batted. Again, not one ref was focused on it because they were so intent on calling the batted ball rule.

    By NFL rule definition, there were two “loose balls” on the play. One on the field goal block and a second after Clark possessed it and then lateraled. By definition, that’s our ball and there should have been no penalty at all.

  154. DJ says:


    If anything, our field goal team captain and our Coach should have “gently reminded” each of the refs what had, in fact, happened and what each ref had just seen but had apparently forgotten, in their zeal to call the infamous batted ball rule (in homage to Kenny Stabler).

  155. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I agree…..This team could’ve folded up a couple months ago, and they didn’t.

  156. Ghost says:

    You’re right, Plan. Not doubting Milo’s account of the ref he knows, but I believe most refs do in fact have Monday to Friday jobs. Ed Hochuli is a trial lawyer, for example.

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