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The Hot Stove: N.C. State reactions, Pata, Marve, ticket prices and the last dance at the OB

Have to admit this has to be one of the busiest/craziest times for me ever covering this university. This week, we have the final game at the Orange Bowl against Virginia on Saturday, the 1-year anniversary of Bryan Pata's murder (Wednesday), the Robert Marve situation, the start of the basketball season this week, the fallout from the N.C. State loss and the release of the information regarding season-ticket sales next year at Dolphins Stadium.

Did I miss anything? Is anything else going to happen this week? I'm not complaining. After all, this job is a lot of fun. But, man, my head feels like scrambled eggs these days. So much to talk about. So much to think about. So much to share.

Let's start with Saturday and my thoughts on the N.C. State loss. First of all, I didn't think UM would win this game easy, but the last thing I thought was the Canes would actually lose. We all knew Kirby Freeman was limited, but his final numbers -- 1 of 14 with three interceptions -- blew me and just about every member of the media away. I'm not going to call anybody out, but I'll share this gem. When I walked off the field at the OB Saturday, I asked a potential recruit if he could do better than 1 of 14. His response after shock and laughter when hearing Freeman's final numbers was "with my eyes closed."

Freeman, for all of his heart and passion for UM (I have a lot of respect for him as a person) is someone who simply cannot handle pressure and can't be called upon to play quarterback if the Hurricanes hope to win. There is just no other way to put it. He had his moment against FSU. But his confidence is completely shot. You can't be nervous in a game like this. And I'm not sure he will ever recover. The Canes' hopes the rest of this season rest on the injured ankle of Kyle Wright. And even though he practiced last week and Randy Shannon said Wright was making progress -- I'm not convinced Kyle is really anywhere near 100 percent. And I think he'll have to play injured the rest of this season.

Getting back to the game. The biggest thing that hit me in the postgame locker room were two things -- seeing the pain in the face of Derrick Morse and a conversation with receiver Darnell Jenkins about pressure. I spoke of being a REAL HURRICANE a few weeks ago, but it becomes most fresh again and more apparent on Saturdays like this past one. As I did my postgame interviews, I looked over to see where Morse was after I had finished speaking to him. He was still sitting in his locker more than 20 minutes after the media was first allowed in the lockerroom and way after coach Randy Shannon was done speaking his mind. Morse was fully dressed in uniform, just staring into the ground. I'm not saying everyone in that locker room wasn't depressed. There was plenty of pain and anger to go around. But there are certain guys, leaders of this team who are shell shocked and really can't believe what their team is going through. That doesn't mean they are better teammates or better Hurricanes. But to me, they're just more of what you as fans have come to understand what UM greatness was once about. Morse epitomizes that feeling, that losses just aren't meant to be accepted. Unfortunately, there really aren't a lot of guys on this roster like Morse.

One of those key ingredients is being able to handle pressure. I spoke to Jenkins about that very subject Saturday. One of coach Randy Shannon's major sticking points this season has been about having to compete for your job every week. Jenkins told me offensive coordinator Patrick Nix reminded players on offense of it last week. While Jenkins said it drove him to get even more excited for the game, he said obviously had the adverse affect on Freeman. He said players were trying to calm Freeman down all game, giving him pep talks. Now, I'm not saying Shannon's approach is wrong. But what it has done is obviously proven who are the guys that can handle that pressure and who can't. And unfortunately for UM, there are just a lot of guys on this team who can't handle pressure.

Shannon said Sunday he felt bad for his seniors, felt many of them deserve a trip to a bowl game. And he said he hasn't given up on winning the ACC championship -- which now requires a cobweb of upsets (Virginia Tech losing to FSU, North Carolina losing and UM taking care of business the rest of the way). But I honestly can't see UM winning any of its remaining games except Saturday against Virginia. For those of you without a ticket, the game will be televised on ESPN2. UM's next road game, at Virginia Tech, will be a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC.

The rest of these will be quick hits.

** Regarding the situation with freshman quarterback Robert Marve and his arrest last Wednesday for punching in a mirror and then running away from cops in Coconut Grove, I've been told Marve could end up speaking to the media Tuesday about what has been troubling him. I've been told most of it has to do with family troubles and that Shannon is being understanding about the situation. For the record, Marve practiced last Thursday -- after Shannon became aware of the situation. If Marve is disciplined, I don't expect it to be something too extreme.

** Today, I attended athletic director Paul Dee's press conference concerning the new ticket packages and seating arrangements at Dolphins Stadium next season. Seems like the West End Zone Crew -- made up of general admission and family zone ticket holders -- are getting the short of the stick. They're being moved upstairs to the 400 section. GA to the West, FZ to the East. The UM student section will now be behind the west end zone. Dee basically told me he didn't feel to bad about it because the renewal rate of season ticket holders in the West End Zone was about 17 to 18 percent on a yearly basis. UM has the task of trying to fit its 48,000-plus lower bowl seats at the OB into a space of 27,000-plus at Dolphins Stadium. UM is hoping most of those folks in the lower bowl will try to eat up the 10,000-plus club level seats.

** In other tidbits, Dee said UM is likely to announce its first home opponent in December and it will likely be a conference opponent. UM plays North Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida State and Virginia Tech at home next year and still has an out-of-conference opponent it is trying to find.

** Also, the Hurricanes will be forced to play on the dirt infield the Marlins play on through the 2010 season. UM is the only major Division I-A program in the country who will have to play on dirt.

OK, now to our participation portion on this week's blog... With the anniversary of Bryan Pata's death this week and the end of an era at the Orange Bowl, I figured I'd leave you a forum to write on either subject this week. I'm going to create a blog where you can pour your hearts out. Feel free to fill them with your words.

FYI, tomorrow night's live Q&A is going to take place from 8 to 9 p.m. at Canespace.com. But I'm warning you, I'm planning on attending tomorrow night's basketball game at The BankUnited Center while its happening. So please be patient with me.

Comments

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Thanks for all the info, Manny.

Thanks for all the great info...

-Can you give us an in depth look at the Basketball team?

Thanks

Navarro,

good nugs. My hair is standing up just thinking about Pata.

I'll leave on this note:

"UM is the only major Division I-A program in the country who will have to play on dirt."

Thank you Paul Dee and Donna Shalalalala, we the fans appreciate the time you gave to this university. Now get the fvck away from this program you back-stabbing bigots.

LOL @ that comment by that potential recruit about if he could do better. Better days are on the horizon...

TO MORSE AND ALL CANES IN PAIN:

It's always darkest before the new dawn...

To all the Freshmen and Sophomores:

Feel the pain, then turn it to anger then use it in practice and games...use it to win with. That's how the great Canes teams of the past used their losses..

Great work Manny!

I got a chance to see my last game in the OB and I had a ton of fun dispite the loss. After the kicker (known now to my buddies as Hooshka even though his name is pronounced house-ka) missed his first kick, I had the sudden urge to just have a little fun with him and heckle a bit. He then went on to go 4-4 and hit the game winner. Maybe I should take some blame for that.

I also wanted to say that I thought the defense was pretty stellar. They limited NC State to as few yards as possible considering how much they were on the field. The running game also impressed me.

I have a quick question that urked me a bit during the game. I noticed Freeman only made the one pass (in which Jenkins had time to go get a wristband for alcohol, stand in line for a beer, chug it and get back to the field to catch the ball), and I'm wondering if there's any possible way that the walk-on Monts could've performed better than that atrocity? I've never played football in pads or on a team, but I'm pretty sure I also could've done better than 1 for 14. Seems to me like even a walk-on coulda done better. Any thoughts from anyone? (I won't boo Kirby cause afterall, he is still an amateur and still wants to win every game, but that was pretty ugly.) Any feelings out there about Nix's playcalling of bootleg's on third downs? I thought that was pretty terrible too. 2nd down seems to be better for those play calls.

Thanks as always Manny. And definitely a shout out to Pata's family and friends. It's a shame that the investigation led to nothing, but at this point I would be willing to bet that the Pata family and his friends want to move on from that and just remember Bryan for what he meant to them. I, myself, did not know Bryan, but I'll never forget that he was a Hurricane and was loved by all. R.I.P. Pata '06

I feel very sorry for the season ticket holders who now have to pay like $900 for 400 level seats. That's pretty angering. And now "at least" 2010 playing on that in-field dirt!? That's just disgusting and recruits are definitely not going to like it.

On a different note, R.I.P. #95. You will never be forgotten.

Manny!!!! Good chit as usual bro. Appreciate ya

"UM is the only major Division I-A program in the country who will have to play on dirt."

Posted by: Aqua | November 05, 2007 at 05:49 PM marlins lease expires after 2010 .... temporary nuisance

Thank you Paul Dee and Donna Shalalalala, we the fans appreciate the time you gave to this university. Now get the fvck away from this program you back-stabbing bigots.

Posted by: Aqua | November 05, 2007 at 05:49 PM you misuse bigot ... aim your misguided anger at the city of Miami politicos NOT my heroes

Shalalalalalalala is my hero too. Who else could've gotten Miami into the top 55 schools (academically) in the country? I don't care for Dee, but I wouldn't want his job. Miami fans are so hard to please.

http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/mifl/graphics/ds-pricing-map.jpg sticker shock

AZ: top 52 (usnews)

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/110507aab.html ABC to televise U v. vatech 3:30p 11/17

ACC All Access spotlights the 5 greatest games at the storied Orange Bowl 6:30p 11/6 on FSN

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/hurricanes/sfl-umalltime07,0,1907889.poll
all-time U poll ... VOTE

http://sports.espn.go.com/espntv/espnMicrosite?showID=FBCG
in lieu of the Orange Bowl farewell, ESPN suits send gameday to williamston, massachusetts for amherst college v. williams college ... memo to ESPN: DROP DEAD

ESPN to Miami: DROP DEAD

LOL @ the recruit's response...I just have to know was it J. Harris??? I'm happy somebody who's interested in the Canes has faith in himself. I'm def looking forward to the future of the Canes.
P.S. They are doing a lot of ppl dirty concerning the price and sections of the new seating arrangement @ D. Stadium, but I'm quite happy. It's about time we get to sit behind the end zone. (I'm a student) At every other school, that's where the student section is!

what in the world is espn thinking? i know college football pretty well...what is so big about amherst and williams college? that is just sad...guess they have always been anti canes on gameday though.

what happened to the backfield with james and cooper that emerged in the texas am game? it worked reall well in the red zone and we have not seen it since. does anyone know why UM didnt use it vs nc state or georgia tech? could have really helped in both games...or using the formation with cooper at qb? does anyone know why those were absent for the past month?

Up here in Atlanta, it is starting to get cold. I pulled out my 7 year old's long sleeve shirts and had to stop - a tear came to my eye. I was looking at an orange and green jersey-type shirt with the big number 95 on it and the words "DEFENSE". He had it last year, but for some reason I didn't "see" it until this past weekend. It's not any sort of official licensed shirt (it may be a Target brand shirt for all I know). Hit me like a ton of bricks.

Rest in Peace, Bryan.

Manny

Since you will be at the Cane BasketBall game tonight can you keep us posted on how they are looking and I would DEEPLY appriciate more news on a regular basis about the Basketball team since I am a dispalced fan in Orlando

Thanks

Manny,

Thank you for the continued news updates and research you're puting into these blogs. Keep up the great work! I wanted to share my two-cents on a few things.
One, I am SO FURIOUS AT THE FAKE AND TWO-FACED "CANES FANS." Let me be clear, I am a Miami Hurricanes FAN. Win or loss, I will watch their games. I may ask out loud, "What kind of play was that?" or "What the heck are they thinking?". But, I won't go and badmouth these guys when they lose only to jump on the bandwagon when they win. I took to heart the piece you wrote on standing in the mirror and asking if you're really a fan. I realize some people on this blog are NOT Canes fans. Some have their team spirit in Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, LSU, ect. I have mine RIGHT HERE. I'm not one of those orange-and-green-wearing-everyday people, but I am solid in what I believe. I would just like to see people trying to take positives out of the events that are happening and try to build on it. No one will ever get anywhere dwelling on the negatives. While constructive critisism is a great thing, and should be given where needed and wanted, some of the comments on here have been flooring. I feel bad for the seniors as well, regardless of whether they're "Larry's Boys." I also have faith in Randy Shannon and his ability to coach. I believe he knows what characteristics he wants in his players and prospective recruits; and that he has shown he can go out there and get them. For those of you that expect nothing less than a 12-0 season with a NC, get out. We were 7-6 last year with several players going pro, graduating, and some getting major injuries. While I hate to use the term "rebuilding year", that's what's happening. We're breaking in a new coaching staff and throwing the third offensive coordinator at our QB's in the last 3 years. Take a look at the freshmen Randy Shannon has out there. Great progress. Take an even harder look at the recruits he's got with verbal committments. We also need to remember these guys are not "athletic robots." They have lives, family, school, and even personal issues to deal with (like Marve). Football isn't the only thing that affects these players. I hope no one is ruthless enough to bring up Saturday's defeat to a player who's walking around on campus. In the end, I'm a Canes fan. I'm in for the long haul. While I'd like to see all of you on here be positive and give constructive criticism instead of bashing, I know it may not be that way. I think our efforts right now are to go out there, win that game in the OB for this years squad AND all the previous Canes teams who've taken that field. We're also going to have 5-star offensive lineman Matt Patchan in the crowd along with several other recruits. Let's fill the stands, cheer on our team, and show everyone on ESPN2 that the University of Miami has fans and can rock the OB regardless of the short-term results. Go Canes!

That is too funny about what the UM QB recruit said. Doesn't he realize he will be coached by the same clown who coaches Kyle Wright & Kirby Freeman and last years worst D-I QB Reggie Ball. Didn't Reggie Ball have the nation's best wide out last year. Oh yeah when he messes up is Randy gonna play musical QB's with him too. Or blame him in the media. It all comes back to coaching! Wake up Cane fans no one wins with a freshman QB just look at Notre Dame.

Nicely written also lets be POSITIVE. MIAMI is not going to be down too much longer and trust me if we had a good qb Miami could easily be 8-1 right now.

Freshmen quarterbacks can win and Jacory will!

I thought when the Dolphin's Stadium deal was done we were told the dirt would only be there for 1-2 seasons. Now it's "at least" 3; what's going on here?

When I got my season ticket info/renewal packet on Saturday (after coming home from that pathetic performance mind you) my jaw practically hit the floor when I turned to the pricing page. The price for my tickets almost doubled.

But then I thought about what buddies of mine who have Gators/Noles season tickets pay. UM is giving it's fans a first-class facility, and that's going to cost us. Secondly, the U's athletic dept needs to start earning more to be competitive with other top-tier programs, and this is one of the ways to do it. We can't complain about piss-poor facilities and then balk when we're asked to contribute to make things better.

I would love to write about Pata here or the state of the CANES, but I cant get my mind off of what I just saw was happening with the season ticket prices next year.

When the announcement was made for the switch. Everything we were told is how much more MIAMI would make off each ticket and how they got to keep more box and club seat money. If that was all true; Why do the tickets for my smae seats go up $140 and each and every other ticket in the stadium go up.

By the way the Troll needs to go. She has not helped this athletic department at all.

Optimus, I understand your point about us not being able to "complain about piss-poor facilities and then balk when we're asked to contribute to make things better" but I do feel we have the right to complain a little. I'm an alumnus of the U and season ticket holder for a few years now. I have seen my ticket prices go up a bit (10% increase from last year in the alumni section) but that's Ok. I feel fine with a 10% increase. This year I would have been OK with a 50% increase because, after all, we're getting a much better stadium. But, in essence, what they are doing next year is horrible. The alumni section will now be in a worse position in the stadium (with seats that are already farther from the field of play). Also, they are going to have one less home game next year (6 games as opposed to 7) and they are asking us to pay 90% more next year per game?? Plus, if we want a parking pass it will be 25 bucks to park across the street (the Dolphins charge 20). I'm sorry, I know this facility is better and somebody has to foot the bill, but I'm not going to. You want to charge me with a 50% increase this year, then a few 10% increases per year until you get me for the 90% it will hurt, but I'll be fine. You want to guarantee me that my 90% increase this year will freeze prices for 5 years or so, fine. But a 90% increase in a crappier location with parking prices that are more expensive than the Dolphins game? Come on!! I hope people wake up and realize how badly they are getting screwed on these ticket prices and do the same thing I'm doing. Thanking the U for the many great years and thanking them for making the decision of whether or not to renew an easy one. At least, for me, a 90% increase for crappier seats, is an easy decision.

Time to get the ESPN U package from DirecTv, it should be cheaper than buying season tickets anyway.

anyone who wondered where hassan has been i am working in Iraq someone please send me game tapes please email me hassy_1@yahoo.com

People now know why this program when into the toilet. How can you have a redshirt junior QB go 1 for 14 with 3 interceptions. Why is he nervouse? Did he practice? Did he know how to run the plays? Amazing. Oklahoma is playing a redshirt freshman and look at them. This is a prime example of Larry Coker recruiting. In a glass half full way of thinking this season is the foundation for the future under Randy Shannon. Now we know who is mentally tough and who isn't. Future recruits knows what to expect.

I'm pretty pissed about the ticket situation. I have to pay double now for seats comparable to what I had at the OB (30 yard line, Sec E). This is all BS. The athlectic department is screwing everyone.

next years team is going to be awesome with marve or jacobs at the helm and the speedy WR from miami, and the #1 corner in the entire united states committed to the U

what do you think our team will be like next season, with a better QB

What's up with the WEST END ZONE man for 08. I have only been to a few games and have sat in the west end zone each time. They are the true fans and the one's that make all the noise, why move them to the upper bowl. That is some major BS and will piss off a lot of fans. On the QB situation, freeman sucks we all know it and Wright is average at best. We will have 3 QB's to choose from next year and Freeman should move to punter or something he is good at. I have all the hope of winning the ACC but I know the chances of that are about dead after the loss to NC state. Lets get into a bowl game, win it and move on to bringing in a great recruiting class. We need to find quality kids who know how to win and it starts at QB.

Thanks Paul D. and Donna S. for making Hurricane home games more of a friendly environment for our competition. They needed that extra edge.

On the other hand - give Shannon some time...he will turn this around, dirt on the field or not.

Allen, I can certainly appreciate your frustration. However, $345.00 for alumni tickets really is nothing in comparison to the rest of the college football landscape. And a season-long parking pass on stadium ground is less than $200, which is a far cry from the $1250 for a season pass at the OB. Not to mention the fact that I don't have to park in some guy's backyard in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods in South Florida.

Yup, the alumni seats are in a worse location than at the OB, but they are now next to the student section, which is exactly where they should be. As a fellow alumnus, I share your frustration. However, this is exactly what happened to all of the Dolphins season ticket holders when they made the move. The layout of Dolphins Stadium doesn't mirror the OB, so some people have to get moved around. The students belong in one of the endzones, and I am glad the alumni will be next to them. I always thought that was a problem with the seating layout at the OB.

The more you have to pay, the more the school makes! I think we forget sometimes that the U is a private institution, and has to rely more on donations then the other schools in the state.

"Bull Gators" have to pay a lot more to get the same seat up at The Swamp, and they like doing it!! They brag about it!! It's a status symbol to their fans!! Just about everywhere you look in the south the fans have to pay MUCH more to go to games.

And they have to pay donations to have the right to pay more!! It's a vehicle to raise money for a non-profit organization. It's a free market economy as well as the American way!! Go 'Canes!!

Manny,

Your not suppose to speak to recruits at the game and you know that. All that does is make it harder for UM.

Manny,

Your grammar is horrible. Your insight is only slightly better.

I'm amazed you keep your job.

i've come to accept ESPN to be the single greatest foe of UM with the exception of maybe FSU...but this decision to do gameday from amherst college or whatever...i mean WTF??? do they have NO SENSE of history over there or do they just not care.

i hope they're bombarded with hate mail...but i know they won't be since so many canes fans don't care all that much because we're not contenders for the national championship...

on a second thought, maybe we need to blame ourselves...

there IS a God...

CORAL GABLES - Miami Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon announced Tuesday quarterback Kyle Wright week will start Saturday against Virginia in the team's final game at the Orange Bowl.

Wright missed last week's game against North Carolina State with an ankle injury. Shannon said Wright completed a full practice Sunday, and has full mobility.

"He's fine," Shannon said. "He's ready to go. He'll start."

Nervous? Apparently they never got the memo from the former players, "don't get injured or you may never see the field again!"

Thats how I know the program is in transition. That statement is supposedly deep rooted into every Canes player who walks in the door but I guess it all of a sudden is lost in translation.

Hi Manny
Question for tonight.
Is Jacory enrolling early?

Question...IS PATRICK JOHNSON STILL COMMITTED? TigerRag.com and Scout say he's highly interested in LSU. Fact or Fiction?? And an update on people enrolling early and news on the recruits still committed vs. looking. I also heard that Sean Spence and Marcus Forston had a good time in Chapel Hill, NC over the weekend. Any news on their level of committment??

The ticket price increases are ridiculous. How many of us asked for all those amenities? I hope the nice bathrooms, tv screens, jumbotron, and concession stands are worth neutering any home field advantage we ever had. Welcome the wine and cheese corporate crowd.

Deelicious and Shalala should be strapped to the OB when it is imploded by the city of Miami. UM's administration should have pushed the OB situation years ago, but sat on their arses. COM gets some blame too for just taking the rent and never re-investing any of it. Thanks for ruining it for the fans.

There's not much left to say so I'll bid the Legion farewell until the pinging starts.

2007: I would describe this year as sifting through the clutter of a burned out building. See what's left and prepare to rebuild. GOAL? Get to a bowl.

2008: This will actually be our rebuilding year. Hopefully Harris and Cook will enroll early, so one of the three freshman can emerge to start the season. There is some youth and talent here, with much more lurking. If they can develop a QB, the rest will follow. GOAL? Get to a bowl and make a run at the Coastal division.

2009: It will take at least this long before we will have enough planes in the air to make a serious run at the ACC BCS game. GOAL? Win ACC.

2010: If UM is not poised for an NC run, its time to Zook RS, and hire a big time coach to enhance Shannon's roster. The other possibility of course is that Shalala, et. al. will have successfully neutered this once proud program. GOAL? #6.

Well, that's what I think anyway.

Arrivederci Folks.

Hello all , I havent posted in a few weeks as I have thought hard and many hours on our canes situation. And some are right that we should not just bash the bad performers out there , for I truely believe they want to win , but some of them just dont have it in them to be clutch players. We all know that there is countless other QBs that could have done better , but that is not the point, the point is we need to support our canes and players and look to the future. I as many get sick at what I see much of the time lately, although I know it is not done on purpose, so I look to the recruits coming in and the coaching growing into a coheasive staff with a solid single purpose. If you are a true Cane Fan, then you need look no further than the mirror and you will know in your heart that we will be back where we belong among the elite in collage football. ---- Love ya canes !!!! and I have faith in Shannon , and our players and recruits I cant wait to see you all in the new stadium and spill my beer they as I cheer when you score a TD for us !!!!!!! Thank you all for your effort!!!!!

The Hurricanes aren't going to be a football power again. I think that's obvious.

When two nationally top-ranked quarterbacks (Berlin and Wright) both attend the same school and both suddenly "forget how to play quarterback," it's not the players or the talent level; it's the system.

When a school's recruiting classes consistently rank in the top 10, and the team loses games to the dregs of NCAA ball (NC State, UNC) and can't beat even mediocre programs (GA Tech, Louisville) and gets humiliated by the good programs (LSU, OSU), it's not the players or the talent, it's the system.

It doesn't add up. Something stinks in Denmark.

Okay, so the 'Canes are in a transition period: new coach, et cetera, et cetera. They can't compete for a national title until they get out of it. I can buy that.

But when they consistently lose to teams like NC State and UNC--when their offense simply cannot play--then the standard old excuses don't wash anymore.

Miami Northwestern can beat UNC and NC State.

I believe either the conference or the school has instituted a policy change, and one result of it is that its sports programs will not be as successful as they were; they won't be the dominant powerhouses they once were.

The glory days are over. It's a new era at UM: call it "the Shalala era."

That's okay. I can live with that. But I don't like the deceit. I don't like the way the fans are strung along with implied promises of a future as great as the past.

The school doesn't owe the fans a championship football program, but it does owe itself and everybody the truth.

I don't have to know what's really going on with UM football. But so long as what I'm told doesn't jive with what I see, I won't be seriously interested in what the team does, and if I were a top high school football talent, I'd read the writing on the wall.

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