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November 17, 2011

11:01
A.M.

Q&A with Tracee Hamilton

Total Responses: 42

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Tracee Hamilton

Tracee Hamilton

Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinions and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there were a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor Metro etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive

About the topic

Tracee Hamilton discusses the week in sports.

Q.

Last week

What an intense chat last week, let's hope that this week is a little calmer, with more questions about food and drink. But, for what it's worth, I thought inserting [sic] in your response was a funny, subtle takedown of a ridiculous and insulting question/comment. Gene Weingarten would have been proud, even if you did apologize.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'm for less intensity this week. I should never answer fire with fire, and I did feel bad. I never did find out what he/she was upset about. Whose wife was under attack? I realize as the representative for all media I should know, but I still don't.

And good morning to all. I am chatting after doing TK's radio show. Let me start with a HUGE apology, but no get-together today. I've had a fairly bad week and I need to take care of something this afternoon. That, coupled with word that the occupiers are going to disrupt traffic, seems to me to make today a bad day.

I am willing to pick Dec. 8 as our day, and to offer two choices, Chadwicks at Friendship Heights (not technically Maryland but close) or the Matchbox they just built near Twinbrook Metro unless someone has some better Red Line suggestions.

And the Hax-Hamilton chat is on the books for Monday, Nov. 28, at noon. We wanted to call it "You got advice in my sports! You got sports in my advice!" but thought no one would get it except probably this bunch and her bunch. So that's done.

Next week, with the holiday, there will be no chat. I think last year we tried it on Wednesday and it was crickets. So we'll skip next week, go Monday the 28th, and then decide if we also want to chat Dec. 1.

Yeesh, that's a lot of housecleaning! Let's get to the questions!

– November 17, 2011 11:02 AM
Q.

Nats

Just when you think the Nats Hot Stove activity is going to be the story, their catcher goes and gets kidnapped. Obviously relieved regarding the outcome of this story. Any thought on whether teams will discourage players from visiting their homes in the offseason? I know they have contracts which prohibit dangerous activities, if the kidnappings escalate, going to Venezuela may be more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Can't prohibit them from going to Venezuela when you funnel players to the winter leagues in Venezuela. Ironic, isn't it?

– November 17, 2011 11:04 AM
Q.

Penn State Mike McQueary

Now police are saying there was no record of McQueary reporting the incident to the police. This guy does not deserve to be on administrative paid leave. He should be gone from the school!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

There are so many unanswered questions here. I will say this: I would clean out the entire coaching staff if I were hired as the university president, and that of course includes McQueary.

– November 17, 2011 11:06 AM
Q.

Maryland Athletics

Any chance UMd will send a message that academics are important and cut the programs with the lowest graduation rates or GPAs over, say, the last 10 years (excluding of course football and basketball, which would never be cut)? the Post's reporting did not say whether academics entered the equation.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am quite sure that some or all of the programs cut had higher GPAs than the programs you mentioned. I am sure the school will give lip service to academics but the bottom line is, they were going to cut programs and I'm sure they looked for some large rosters and high costs. No matter what they cut, it was going to hurt, and it was going to upset people.

– November 17, 2011 11:07 AM
Q.

U Md cutbacks

I hope you don't mind my submitting this question a few days early, but it's very important to my family. Do you know if the current cutbacks in the U Md athletic department are the end of the story, or just the beginning? I ask because my nephew is being recruited by the Terps' wrestling team. He likes the program, likes the school (he plans to major in engineering, one of Maryland's strengths). But the last thing he'd want to do is see his sport dropped in the middle of his career. I think he should look elsewhere. I think any real risk that Maryland would drop wrestling is too much risk. Other schools want him, so go where you don't have worry about reading in the paper that your college athletic career suddenly and without warning has been aborted. I would hope that, simply has a matter of journalism, the Post would press U Md on this point. How many other sports are at risk?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The Post wrote a story about the wrestling team in the last week to two weeks. You should find that. I would do it for you but I'm under the gun here today and have to quit on time (and using an air card so not the fastest conditions). I can't possibly say if there will be further cuts and neither at this point can Maryland. I would also be aware that Maryland isn't the only school to cut programs and that wrestling has been a target in recent years because of Title IX concerns. So I guess if it were my son I'd look for a stable athletic department, one that wasn't overextended on sports teams and one that had a winning and profitable football team. Because that's where the money comes from, in the end.

– November 17, 2011 11:09 AM
Q.

Wilson Ramos & Venezuela - Section 405

I've seldom agreed more with a column than your "safe at home" column about the Wilson Ramos kidnapping. 

My own weird, I-feel-guilty-for-even-thinking-this second thought when I first heard was "My God! Flores is down there too. What will we do for catcher if something happens to him too" before I (figuratively) slapped myself and offered a lapsed Catholic's prayer for a safe outcome for Wilson Ramos.

The fact that Wilson's going to play the season in Venezuela this winter is credit to his guts. I predict that on Opening Day here, he'll get a stronger ovation than Stras or Zim, and it'll be deserved.

Section 405

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thanks, 405! It was such a strange situation; I was asked if I wanted to write a column when he was kidnapped and I couldn't think of what I would say, until he was released safely. And yes, he'll get a huge ovation.

(And lest anyone think I took the time to find that link because it was my column, 405 provided it, for which I am grateful. Posters as producers, that's my motto!)

– November 17, 2011 11:10 AM
Q.

Woodbridge

Rex, Becks, who cares? Obviously this whole season is a write off. I would hope that Shanny is thinking towards next season. He can't possibly justify keeping either of them for any reason, not even for backup purposes.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oddly, that's what I wrote for tomorrow's paper (or today's web, or whatever). And not so oddly, I concur.

– November 17, 2011 11:12 AM
Q.

Sandusky Case Judge

Has been on the bench for 47 years! That's a lot of judicial experience. Apparently you have to search far and wide in PA to find a judge w/no ties to Penn State.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think that's the case out that way, in law enforcement and all sorts of areas, which makes me wonder if this investigation might be better served being handled outside the area.

– November 17, 2011 11:14 AM
Q.

The Airless Cubicle Ponders the Aesthetics of Team Sports

The Redskins are not fun to watch. I could never love the Ravens. And yet there is something about football that makes it the best of all sports to watch on TV. The intricacies of offense; the blockers versus the rush; the wild 60-yard pass that might or might not connect; these are joys in and of themselves. On Saturday there are so many college games to watch one can't choose and on Sunday, there is usually one NFL game that does not involve local teams. Baseball is best on the radio, basketball best live, and hockey is for Saturday nights even when one isn't in Canada. Football is the artist's game.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't disagree except when you watch the Skins, then you watch almost any other team, you really see the differences. I like the college game, minus all the scandals. Glad college hoops is back. Gives us another option, anyway.

– November 17, 2011 11:15 AM
Q.

Shanny credibility

How does Shanny have any credibility when he is supposed to be an expert on QBs and has been so wrong on Campbell, McNabb, Grossman, and Beck. If he was CEO for a company, the stockholders would have fired him already.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The best QB the Skins had during his tenure is the one he ran out of town -- Campbell. That he thinks either of the current guys is an NFL starter ... good grief. I just hope he's blowing smoke and waiting for the draft.

– November 17, 2011 11:18 AM
Q.

What to do Tracee?

What do I do with the plastic Joe Paterno that has been sitting on my desk for the last 2 years?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That depends on how you're feeling at this point. You could go anywhere from putting it in your drawer to running it over with your car. Only you know what's in your heart.

– November 17, 2011 11:19 AM
Q.

CAPS

Hi Tracee, What is going on with the Caps? This does not look like the same team that started off the season at 8-0. Also, will Alex Semin make it through the whole season or will he be dealt? Thanks.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think he makes too much to be dealt, but I don't think the Caps would ignore offers. He's a talent and they're going to get as much out of him as they can, whatever way they can. It just might not be pretty. And remember, it's November. None of this matters.

– November 17, 2011 11:21 AM
Q.

Penn State

Hey Tracee, I went to the Penn State-Nebraska game last weekend. I was wary of what kind of reception Nebraska fans would receive, not because of the "riots" from the Wednesday prior, but instead because of the hostility that many Nebraska fans faced when the two played in State College in 2002. Things went very well; everyone I met was welcoming, and people were much more interested in discussing the game than in rehashing the events of the week prior. Most people were in agreement that it was a good thing that Penn State was playing Nebraska (a team whose fans are known for their geniality). Do you foresee any problems for Penn State in Columbus this weekend, or do you think that the pleas for empathy and kindness from university leaders there will prevail? --RHG--
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't have a feel for Columbus the way I would Nebraska, so I'm not sure, RHG. There SHOULD be some empathy from OSU fans given what they went through with their school, on a much smaller scale, as we now know, but it doesn't always work that way, does it. I guess we'll have to see. I am guessing OSU will step in quickly to suppress offensive signs and in general keep order.

– November 17, 2011 11:23 AM
Q.

re: Penn State Mike McQueary

Do not mistake what I am about to say as lack of outrage. in the late 2003/early 2004 timeframe, my daughter's new husband was physically assaulting her. The Baltimore City police were called. Since - according to these 2 fine BPD officers - there was no assault because she admitted that he never doubled up a fist, they were "unable" to file a report. Daughter went in person to the station house (I took her) to make a report and was given the runaround. To this day, there is nothing on record against my former son-in-law and he is not a Big Name in Town. Based on this incident I warn each of you, DO NOT assume that just because there is no police record, that a call was not made.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am sorry for your daughter. You make a good point, and I do not make that assumption. That is one reason I say that I wonder if this investigation should be conducted by an entity unconnected with the university. 

– November 17, 2011 11:24 AM
Q.

Penn State's future

Tracee, I have some peripheral experience with one of the major corporate scandals of recent times and I think that experience offers a clue of what Penn State has in store for it. Basically, anybody with any connection of any kind to Sandusky, the AD, and probably Paterno will either have to leave the football program/athletic department or they will be ruled out as a possible replacement for those who have already gone. Given how long Sandusky was there, I think it would be impossible to find a coaching candidate with a Penn State background who won't face the questions, "Didn't you see anything unusual about his behavior? Are you too close to Paterno and Sandusky to fully clean up their mess?" That may not be fair but it's the likely scenario. BTW, good luck going to a bowl game this year, Penn State. Who's going to want that baggage? Recruiting will likely be a nightmare and I think they're probably going to have to hire an interim head coach from outside of the program to oversee things during the investigation (I think Bradley and the other assistants will all be called to testify at either Sandusky's trial or the other trials or before the other investigating bodies and I don't see how they can coach). And good luck eventually finding a coach both willing to step in and also capable of turning around things. I think Penn State football is headed for the wildnerness for several years.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I agree with all of this. They have to clean house. They have to hire a president first, then an AD. They then should hire a coach with no ties to Paterno or Sandusky or Penn State, someone who comes in with no expectations of being JoePa and no baggage. It will not be easy. They are in for some tough times.

– November 17, 2011 11:25 AM
Q.

Turner Gill shows signs of life

I was starting to think he was a goner, but he did well last week: showed some fire, went for the win - he obviously has not 'lost the team.' I hope he ends up being successful and staying for a long time. Seriously! (I mean, you know, not TOO successful ....) -K-Stater
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, we'll see. I'm certainly not sold yet. But thanks, K-Stater!

– November 17, 2011 11:29 AM
Q.

Penn State

Just a quick thank you for your thoughtful, gutsy, and spot on commentary over the last couple of weeks. I'm a woman, sometime sports fan, with a long history of child welfare work, and I was really moved by your honesty and intelligence. So sincerely, truly, thanks.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thank you.

– November 17, 2011 11:30 AM
Q.

Wrestling programs

ISO: A wrestling program at a school with a stable athletic department, a winning and profitable football team, and a good engineering program. Perhaps this young man should look west to Nebraska. They just completed a new wrestling and basketball complex. The showerheads in the locker room are equipped with speakers that play music from an ipad in an athlete's locker. Now that's a perk.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

There you go!

– November 17, 2011 11:31 AM
Q.

Comments Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?

Do you have anything to say to the many commentors that have criticized the lack of substance in your recent Redskins columns?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

My job is to try to write something light and different and do it pretty early in the morning so it can go online, I might add. I'm not at Redskins Park doing reported columns. I would suggest that those who don't like it, not read the column. I've never understood this. There are aisles in the supermarket I don't need. I don't recommend tearing them out. There are who sections of the bookstore that don't interest me. I don't recommend burning the books. If you don't like the column, that's fine. Don't read it.

– November 17, 2011 11:32 AM
Q.

Redskins Loyalty

I love the Redskins, but have officially gone on record with my Redskins group that they have until 2019 - yes, sometime - to show some kind of progress. In 2019, after 20 years of the Danny, if no improvement, I'm going to become a free agent fan. One can only look at how poorly things have been run, think about how easily they could have been better, and tolerate it for so long.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

If that happens, I hope you get a good agent and a lucrative offer from another team! If only...

– November 17, 2011 11:33 AM
Q.

Lets go Hoyas

I know its not college basketball season, but the Hoyas will be playing your Jayhawks next monday night......at midnight. Ugh. You gonna stay up to watch? I'm pretty sure its past my bedtime.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I might catch the end of it, because with my various health issues I seem to be getting up earlier and earlier in the morning. 3 seems to be the new time. So I'll DVR it but maybe see the end live! Fun!

– November 17, 2011 11:36 AM
Q.

McQueary and the police reports

Has anyone else pointed out that just because there isn't a paper report does not mean he did not talk to the police? It just means there is no way to verify that he did.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, I do think a lot of people realize that.

– November 17, 2011 11:38 AM
Q.

Where's the love for Uncle Bill?

I see your frenemy Gary Pinkel was picked up for DUI last night in Columbia. I remember being in Alabama when Ken Stabler was arrested for the same thing - and my bro-in-law said "no judge or jury in this state will convict Kenny," and he was right! So maybe the SEC is a good place for MU after all! More importantly, any props for the Wildcats after last weeks exhausting 4OT win? Geppetto Snyder has done it again!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That was amazing and yes, Snyder has done quite a job in Manhattan. And yes, that hurts.

– November 17, 2011 11:39 AM
Q.

Assumption

But you JUST DID make an assumption by calling out McQueary! Maybe you are too close to it, Tracee?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

And we have McQueary saying he did stop it and the police saying they have no report. And I'm saying I'm not buying either of those statements yet. If I was trying to bash McQueary, I'd use the police statement to call him a liar. I am very deliberately not doing that. I'm waiting for evidence, such as a grand jury report, not emails to friends, and local police who say there wasn't an official report (which doesn't mean he didn't talk to a cop).

– November 17, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

Police Reports

Disappear all the time in university towns. As a Special Agent for the Feds it can be fun and challenging to find copies of arrest reports etc in college towns. Kid may disclose it but some how some way the report of the incident or arrest gets lost. Wouldnt be surprised if that was the case or the Asst coach is lying. And Penn State's conduct regarding these incidents would be repeated at most Div 1 schools especially if the program had a national rep. Child molestation is the most covered up crime in the country. And the most difficult to prosecute. I had a case where the ex spouse had kids lie and say they were molested sexually. Subject was convicted on their testimony.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The feds have no jurisdiction in this instance, right? I mean no reason for them to move in and take over?

– November 17, 2011 11:45 AM
Q.

Kaufman Stadium naming rights

Should the naming rights to Kaufman stadium be sold to a corporate bidder?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'd hate to see that happen but the Royals could use the money, I'm sure. Everything changes.

– November 17, 2011 11:46 AM
Q.

Who Would Win?

If the scheduling gods would have it the the Redskins v Colts on the last weekend. Who wins the game.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think the Redskins could beat the Colts. I think 405, RHG, AHG, OUMom, TAC, TBHitW, MVMd and a few others could beat the Colts.

– November 17, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

Mangino in Light of Sandusky

T-Ham, just a sad afterthought in light of the Penn State mess: Mark Mangino was fired rather promptly for your alma mater for "humiliating" players with verbal abuse, but Jerry Sandusky got a pass (either de facto or de jure) at level after level - lowest to the highest - from people who knew in some way something was off. Whether they knew explicitly he was showering with young boys, or just got a vibe that he wasn't behaving exactly as an adult should, it went on for over a decade. Mangino commits, in comparison, a minor offense against adult men who play for him, and boom, he's gone. Is it a reflection of the institution, general priorities in the world of college football (where uniformed grown men are in more need of intervention from abuse than naked ten-year-old kids), that Mangino had no reputation or legacy worth saving from the underside of a bus or a sad mix of all three? ~Pats Fan
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think some of it is a reflection of the huge difference between Penn State football and KU football. Gene Wojciechoski (sp) was a guest on TK's show this morning and he said that there were rumblings around college football for years about Sandusky, that coaches in other programs talked about him being off, something going on. No one did anything? But one school will turn in another over buying a kid a meal? I don't understand the world.

– November 17, 2011 11:49 AM
Q.

Long Beach State

I know it's early but the Long Beach State VS Pitt game was a shocker. Huge loss for Pitt. I guess PITT husband turned on the game and thought it was an easy "W"... wow...
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

See above...

– November 17, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

Garden rock chaulk

Did you make it to Madison Square Garden for the college hoops this week, including Kansas? My sister made the trek from DC with some other KU alums and said it was a great take, despite the Jayhawks losing.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

No, I didn't go; I bought my nephew tickets instead. Haven't gotten the full report yet. Didn't think we'd beat Kentucky but I think he had a good time anyway.

– November 17, 2011 11:51 AM
Q.

Pittsburgh Wife

It's my fault, Tracee. I flipped to the Pitt game to check the score just as Pitt tied it 25-25. That's all I watched, but evidently it was enough. PH didn't watch any of it. Sigh! Vote for Morse (breakout player), Espinosa (rookie), Clippard (set-up man) and Storen (closer) at the Gibby award page. Let's go 4 for 4!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You should know you can't flip on a game if you haven't been watching. Jinx!

– November 17, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

Mike Krzyzewski breaking the record

Now that Mike Krzyzewski has broken the all time wins record, how long until Duke basketball is embroiled in a bigger scandal than Penn State football? One week?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'll be honest; I don't think we'll see a bigger scandal than Penn State in a long, long time.

– November 17, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Quick kick

Many years ago, my college team used something called a "quick kick" where they punted, usually on 3rd down and long, deep in their own territory. If the 'Skins are ever in this situation with a lead, perhaps they could avoid a fumble or interception. The NFL season is trashed, the NBA is wait until next year, When is spring training?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Three months, as the crow flies.

– November 17, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Kilgore

What are the odds that Kilgore will host a Nats offseason chat when he returns from Milwaukee? So many directions the Nats can go and so much buzz about this team, I think it would be a great chat session.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't know. I am sure he will if asked. He loves to chat. He's a chatty boy. I was hoping he'd get sent to the mountains of Venezuela for several months but alas, Milwaukee, where they have beer and brats, which I believe are Kilgore's favorite things.

– November 17, 2011 11:57 AM
Q.

horsing around

Will anybody ever use this phrase any more?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I hope not. It was painful to read in the grand jury report but to hear him use the words ... ugh.

– November 17, 2011 12:00 PM
Q.

Speaking of crickets

The Cowboys are coming to town, and the best Redskins news I can find is that Rex is happy to be back in the saddle.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It's amazing to hear the both Rex and Becks are full of confidence. Based on what, I do not know. I am all for self-confidence, but yeesh. What games are they watching?

– November 17, 2011 12:01 PM
Q.

Matchbox

The Matchbox on Rockville Pike is not really convenient. It;s a pretty good walk from Twinbrook. I would think anywhere in Friendship Heights or Bethesda would be a better option, especially b/c Twinbrook is so far outside of the city. I think sticking to Friendship Heights would be better for the DC/VA crowd who may wish to attend
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oh, wow, it's like a block from Twinbrook Metro. I just did it. Well, I didn't go to Matchbox, I went two blocks the other way to the radio station but I really thought that was close. But Twinbrook is a haul. So if no one objects, Friendship Heights wins by virtue of one vote to none. :) So Dec. 8, Friendship Heights. We're doing this as a Happy Hour thing, right? So 5-7 p.m.? Someone will have to periodically slap me to keep me awake but I'm sure there will be a few takers.

– November 17, 2011 12:01 PM
Q.

McQueary and the State College cops

Just because they have no record of it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Maybe I'm way to cynical.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

This is what I'm saying and the other posters are saying. You aren't the only one. That's why I think it's important to wait and see what comes out in the investigation.

– November 17, 2011 12:01 PM
Q.

no record of McQueary reporting the incident to the police

Just because there is no record doesn't mean he didn't talk to someone. I've got no dog in this hunt but didn't people learn anything from the Duke lacrosse case?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think they learned exactly what you just said. No one is drinking the Kool-Aid on the police denial, folks. It's okay.

– November 17, 2011 12:02 PM
Q.

I never did find out what he/she was upset about.

"Whose wife was under attack? I realize as the representative for all media I should know, but I still don't." What the hell are you talking about? Your chat is far too insider-y; it would be great if you would open up the chat for the rest of the readership, instead of just your friends.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sorry; I was attacked in last week chat for the media's attack on "the wife." I never did find out what wife the person was talking about. Paterno's? Sandusky's? I thought maybe someone knew. I didn't mean to be insider-y; it just turned into a thing because I was snarky in my reply and then someone jumped on me. I apologized and I did feel bad but I hate being lumped in a group like that.

And as for the "just your friends" remark: I answered 68 questions last week and maybe five of them were people I could identify. I answered 105 emails over the weekend, and none of them were from people I know. I think I am about as open to the readership as I can be.

– November 17, 2011 12:04 PM
Q.

JoePa doll

I'm leaving mine on my desk. Does that make me an evil person? Because according to your rubric, I am (nevermind that I am also angry about the allegations). Glad you're sitting in judgement, Trace.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Of course not. That person seemed to be asking for options other than leaving it on his/her desk. You can do whatever you want with it.  Take a deep breath. I don't care what you do with your JoePa doll.

– November 17, 2011 12:06 PM
Q.

Fed jurisdiction

Depends. Since the school receives federal research grants, there's a good chance that there can be some fed oversight. Same if one of those victims was from out-of-state at the time (transporting a minor over state lines).
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's what I wondered about -- transporting a child over state lines. Also wondered if something found on a computer would do the trick. Surely they've looked.

Okay, I've apparently angered enough people for one day. I've got to get moving to get home from beautiful Rockville. Thanks, everyone, for joining me. Sorry I had to stick to an hour today; I'll try to do better next time. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

– November 17, 2011 12:09 PM
Q.

 

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