Put Down The Ducky Trash

Is another fine Saturday with a host of great college football games on tap. It’s hard to get anything past the king of sports, ESPN, and they have chosen Autzen Stadium, home of the Oregon Ducks, as the site of their ESPN Gameday. Now there may be a few other college football games going on today, for instance there is a rumor that there is such a game up there in the big mitten of Michigan. But we’ll get to those also-rans in a minute.

The game of the day, in this case actually night, is the University of Oregon versus Arizona State University Sun Devils. Oregon comes into tonight’s game ranked Number 9 in the country and the Sun Devils number 18. I Have said it before, but if you’ve never been to a game at Autzen Stadium, you just don’t know. The place is freaking crazy and loud. They do it right up there in Eugene. The Ducks are the enemy for a Sun Devil fan, but I can honestly say I’ve never been to a more fun, and wild, stadium for college football game. Today, the Ducks have a wounded wing in tailback LaMichael James being out. James is killing this year and had three straight games of over 200 yards rushing going. But today his cleats will likely be filled by super freshman DeAnthony Thomas. The Ducks’ only loss this year is to LSU in the opener, so do not be fooled by their record, they are still big, bad and can flat out fly on the field turf in Autzen.

ASU, so far, has been a curious team. The Devils started the year with absolutely a ton of promise, but have been literally decimated by injuries. The hardest hit has been the secondary, led by stud All Pac-10 corner Omar Bolden. The Devils have an inconsistent ground game, which makes QB Brock Osweiller, who is tall and very good, a target. If the Devils linebackers can contain the Ducks just a bit, and ASU can get a halfway decent running game going, they have a real shot. Those are huge “ifs” though, and I just don’t see it; look for the Quackers to roll. But it would look to be a very entertaining game to watch, and since it is the late national night game on ESPN, everybody in the country can. Go Devils, put those Duckies down!!

Because I need to stay alive for another week in order to turn the Emptywheel blog into ALL BABY JESUS TEBOW, ALL THE TIME, I will also report there appears to be another big rivalry game today; in fact, it just started. That, for those scoring at home (and even if you are alone) would be Michigan/Michigan State. Yep, the Wolvereenies are gonna visit Sparty in Lansing. Big Blue is 6-0 and Sparty 4-1; but Michigan has run into the Green Machine looking good the last few years and gotten taken to the cleaners, thus starting a downhill spiral for the remainder of the season. But the Merlots are helmed by Brady Hoke now, and even though this is in Lansing, it just feels like it is Michigan’s year in this grudge match. The Big Blue defense is gelling a little, although still giving up big points. On the other hand, it is pretty windy, which could turn some of Denard Robinson’s floating passes into sitting ducks. Michigan is also hobbled by Brandon Herron and Marvin Robinson being out for the game on defense. Kirk Cousins is a lot better suited to pass in the wind than Robinson. Close game, but I think the Bo Merlots pull it out and move to 7-0.

I am going to add some more content on NCAA and a pro section in a bit, but this will get folks going for now.

Okay, a few additional NCAA games of interest. Texas A&M is up 24-14 on Baylor and ultra flashy Heisman candidate RGIII, aka Robert Griffin III, at half. Baylor gave up a TD with only seconds left in the first half. RGIII is the real deal though. My sleeper team I keep harping on, the Wisconsin Badgers, are quietly blowing out yet another opponent, this week Indiana. I want to see a Wisconsin-Boise State BCS Championship game, but unfortunately we will likely see more professional criminals from the SEC because the BCS is a criminal racket.

The Oklahoma State popsicles at the Whorens could be a decent game, but hard to see it; more likely OSU throws all over Texas big. Illinois is way better than I thought when they eked out a win over ASU early in the year; they are good and should continue the woes of Ohio State. Clemson, under coach Dabo Swinney, is surprisingly solid so far, and should have no problem with the Terps at Maryland and moving their record to 7-0. Only away games at Georgia Tech and South Carolina stand between the Tigers and a possible undefeated season.

In baseball, both the Rangers and the Cardinals look solid at this point, with both able to close out their League Championships in game six; the Rangers are at home tonight, while the Cards are at Milwaukee tomorrow.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
108 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    @Jim White: And UM put on those white bumblebees at teh last minute–they were supposed to wear normal uniforms.

    As I tweeted this morning, it appears this rivalry is a bigger deal here in Grand Rapids than in A2. Meaning, everyone at the Farmer’s Market and at my wine/beer/deli/bakery were trash talking about the game and buying LOTS of food. But then, there are divided loyalties here. And if you’re in A2, chances are higher you’re at the game if you’re obsessed with it. It appears everyone here just holds Super Bowl calber parties.

    Anyway, I hope the Spartans conitnue to kill themselves with penalties.

  2. emptywheel says:

    I gotta say (mostly for Randiego’s benefit), this defense is VASTLY improved over last year. They’ve still got some holes. But it is night and day between the sieve we had last year and this defense.

  3. emptywheel says:

    Jeebus, we are SO lucky that wasn’t a pick. Denard’s gotta avoid throwing balls to 7 guys in green.

  4. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Yep, and as I noted, they have a couple of significant people out on D too; although they were also out last week. So, the defense really is improved under Hoke.

  5. Bob Schacht says:

    Those new Wolvereenie uniforms are something else. I guess they heard that the Detroit Cats were having good years, so they’re gonna change their name to the Michigan Tigers?

    I hope that after the game, rather than laundering these striped wonders, someone takes them out and burns them.

    Bob in AZ

  6. Bob Schacht says:

    Robinson had one great run for the Wolvereenies, but his passing is off. I think it must be a case of “happy feet,” as someone used to say. He’s not setting his feet before he throws.

    Oh, and it is really nice to see the Michigan Tigers force some Spartan punts.

    Bob in AZ

  7. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Well, and given the 70ish yards of penalty yards against the Spartans, they look like the far better disciplined team.

    I might finally get over my Lloyd regret with Brady 2.0.

  8. emptywheel says:

    @Bob Schacht: His mechanics are off, that’s definitely true. But it is also REALLY windy today. One of the farmers at the market today got a big head gash when his aluminum tarp pole broke and gashed him in the face (after which all the farmers started taking town their tarps in spite of the cloud weather). And I actually think the wind is trickier throwing downwind than upwind.

  9. emptywheel says:

    In other Big 10.2 news?

    Pity the Brewers, who are just the third best team in WI right now. These Badgers are good.

  10. Bob Schacht says:

    Since I’ve been a St. Louis Cardinals fan for about 50 years, I have been watching the NLDS playoffs with interest. This series reminds me a lot of the 2006 Cardinals, who squeaked into the playoffs with only 83 wins. No one expected them to make it very far, but they played with a kind of gritty determination that reminds me of this year’s teams. Also, Detroit committed 8 errors in that 5 game series, and the Brewers this year look to challenge that abysmal performance. The Brewers finished 8 games ahead of St. Louis in the regular season, but they’re down in this series, 2-3, and the Cardinals only need to win one of the next two games to make it to the World Series.

    Bob in AZ

  11. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Well, the way I look at it, they’ve given us an entire field’s worth on stupid penalties, even before you get to the two fumbles (and the failure of 7 green shirts to catch a ball thrown right at them).

    If UM doesn’t somehow win this they are–just as I’ve been saying–way overranked.

  12. chetnolian says:

    And there’s an F1 race in Korea, with BMAZ’s bete noir Hamilton on pole. Oh I know Vettel has the Championship but the season’e not over and I’m waiting to see if JB will be runner up.

    And something you guys will probably never even have noticed. There’s a Rugby Union World Cup going on in deepest New Zealand. This morning’s semifinal was the most amazing game of rugby I’ve ever seen. Dark horses Wales had their captain sent off (very controversially) after twenty minutes and thereafter played with fourteen men. That’s usually curtains, but at the end of eighty lost to France by only one point and were in the game up to the last minute.

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Are the Red Sox throwing up a roadblock?
    The scoop is Cherington, an Amherst College Alum, will be running the
    team come 2012?
    An unnamed source is reporting that LL is being a prick. What a mess
    Who do you believe?

    From Chicago’s Dave Kaplan report: from an “unnamed source”

    “Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is looking to make a point at the expense of Theo’s happiness and his desire to go to Chicago. I didn’t believe that ownership group for one second when they said that they wouldn’t stand in Theo’s way if he wanted out of Boston. They are furious that he wants out and they are trying to make a point. Theo helped bring them two World Series titles and they have no loyalty to him and his happiness. They messed with Terry Francona and that was just an incredibly pathetic move and now they are trying to make life very tough for Theo,” he said

  14. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Ask John Henry.

    I heard those two sports-talk DJs were committing EW-level media analysis to suss out who the anonymous sources in the Globe (the Globe-Sawx suffer under much the same ownership group, mind you) hit piece(s) were, and they did such a good job of it that Henry felt compelled to drive over to the station and go toe to toe with them for over an hour and a half.

    This Yankee fan looks forward to a very entertaining winter courtesy of the Sawx and smiles.

  15. Jim White says:

    Stinky night for the Gators. Too many injuries and a horrible non-call on what should have been interference on a punt that gave Auburn their first TD.

    In the meantime, Rock Chalk Jayhawk, just tied the Land Thieves 10-10 early second quarter in Lawrence.

  16. P J Evans says:

    @bmaz:
    i’ve been watching files failing to upload at another site. Takes the thing twenty-some minutes to decide it’s not going to load the files, and you can’t leave the page while it’s thinking.

  17. JohnT says:

    Okay, a few additional NCAA games of interest. Texas A&M is up 24-14 on Baylor and ultra flashy Heisman candidate RGIII, aka Robert Griffin III, at half.

    Waaaaaiiiittt just a minute there, he’s a far second to the guy in Palo Alto *g*

  18. JohnT says:

    Oh, btw, went to occupysac with MaryM today and have breaking news:

    Cindy Sheehan plans on sitting in at Cesar Chavez Park to get arrested

    Talked to her ex for a second (nice guy)

  19. bmaz says:

    @JohnT: You seen the dude’s numbers???

    SPLITS CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT

    Season 114 142 1520 80.3 10.70 66 19 1 10 212.9

    That’s 80.3% completion with 19 TDs and only 1 interception. Oh yeah, he’s got over 300 yards rushing too. I agree the Heisman is likely Luck’s, but this RGIII is putting up scary numbers against decent competition.

  20. Mauimom says:

    You realize I had to get up at 6 am to watch the damn Michigan – MSU match???

    Still watching football: Oregon vs. your Sun Devils.

  21. bmaz says:

    @Mauimom: Devils were hanging tough for most of the game, but it is slipping away now as the defense tires a little and the Quacks are running free.

  22. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    Why do Billy Beane and John Henry have in common?

    Soccer.

    Four of the Globe’s sports writers are picking Dandy Don’s Dallas today
    (4:15 kickoff)
    Are you in their camp?

  23. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: From hanging around here as long as you have, you should know by now that my rooting interests are, in the following order:

    Pittsburgh Steelers
    Who’s playing Dallas?
    Philadelphia Iggles
    Noo Yawk Jints

    with

    Who’s playing the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS? and
    Who’s playing Bieber and Cheatin’ Bill?

    moving up quickly, and possibly having already surpassed the Jints.

    I haven’t had to rank that lower end v. the Jints, because I have derived a considerable, and more than sufficient, amount of entertainment from Tony Romo’s follies, such that I have not had to pay that much attention down the ladder.

    So, while today’s Owboys at Bieber match is, like last week’s J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS at Bieber, one in which ideally I’d like to see both teams lose, barring that result, I’ll take the Patsies. it promises to be a bit of a toss-up, if only because the Ryan brothers have no doubt been trading notes on how to defend Bieber. I’m hoping Romo’s tendency to mess his drawers in The Big Moment will evince itself again today at Foxboro, but even barring that, I think the Patsies will overcome.

  24. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    Well thought out rooting plan.

    Dizzy’s advice for Becket, Lackey, and Lester with two switcheroos.

    Switch “nightwalkers” for “beer guzzlers, video gamers, and fried chicken lovers”

    Replace “room” for “dugout”

    “One day in the ripe wisdom of advanced years, Mr Dizzy Dean, commenting on baseball nightwalkers, remarked that they were foolish men. “you stay in your room like I used to do,” said Diz, and you can’t get in trouble.” — The John Lardner Reader (from Newsweek, way years ago)

  25. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    Yeah, and BMAZ will love this, the FSG (Fenway Sports Group) is into NASCAR (ALA Jack Roush’s “Men and Speed”) as well.

  26. bmaz says:

    @jo6pac: AWESOME! I love Laguna Seca; was there many summer for the August Monterey Historics, and been up there for a few other things too. I miss my last Porsche.

    I watched most of the Korean (short nap in the middle). Pretty decent race; worth watching on Tivo. Shame it was not the nice Button on the podium instead of the dreaded Hamilton.

  27. rosalind says:

    my oldest brother dragged me to Laguna Seca one hot August day for the motorcycle races and i promptly became addicted, especially the amazing wall of noise at the start of the races with all the engines revving. got to watch kenny roberts at the height of his powers.

    favorite moment was standing by the cork-screw turn during the sidecar race when this one guy kept getting bumped out of his seat every single time around. the driver would slam on the brakes, the passenger would scramble back into the seat, until the next time around and – pop! – out he’d fall.

  28. chetnolian says:

    @emptywheel:

    Very late but it was a “dangerous” tackle. Probably deserved a yellow card (ten minutes in the sin bin) but not a red one (sending off for the whole match.

    And btw to Jo6pac the Korean GP was ok, but not edge of the seat stuff.

  29. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Arghhhhh! We’re getting the Eagles-Skins game down here instead of the Lions while waiting for the Texans on the late game. How are the Lions looking today?

  30. 4jkb4ia says:

    If we had a Temple in Jerusalem, today’s sacrifice would be ten bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs. I think the number of bulls is right. This is absolutely apt for today. Notice that there are enough sheep for one side of a football team.

    I am absolutely glad to be wrong about the Cardinals. Different holiday, but if we had been only one game away from the World Series, it would have been enough. I will see if I can check in for the game but the sink is a disaster area after the three-day Yom Tov. I am avoiding it by reading the newspaper. It is a gorgeous day to be out in the sukkah next door.

    (Last night, my husband discovered “Annie Get Your Gun” on TV. I had never seen it, in any form. We allowed the Tigers to be crushed–Schlereth had just come into the game. And my husband grew up in Detroit.)

  31. phred says:

    Good luck to your Cards… I’m just hoping the Brewers don’t allow them a 9 run inning ; ) Man oh man, what happened to the Michigan Putty Tats last night?

    Edited to add this is in response to 4jkb4ia above : )

  32. bmaz says:

    Hi folks, how ya doin? As you can tell, we are a little slow here today. Marcy is working on a couple of big pieces and trying not to pull her hair out over the Lions. Turns out Jim Harbaugh can coach em up I guess, cause the 49ers are playing very tough. And I was going to finish off an Awlaki post I have been working on for a long time, but am side tracked by some duties here at the homefront. So, I bumped this Trash post to the top of the queue for your viewing and commenting pleasure. This is the one weekend of the season we can all be assured the Arizona Cardinals won’t suck totally and lose miserably.

  33. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Though former Cardinal Kyle Vanden Bosch certainly started his game well today.

    Actually, I’m going nuts bc for the second MI game this weekend, my team’s opponent brought a truckload of stupid penalties and yet we’re still not really capitalizing.

    One of my closest friends, btw, taught Jeff Backus, who just saved our game, in college.

  34. rosalind says:

    @bmaz: (oh dear, is marcy trudging through the sludge that is Darth’s craptaculour tome? talk about takin’ one for da team)

  35. scribe says:

    Nice little puff piece in the paper he owns, about the sports teams he owns.

    This, OTOH, is just plain funny. Watney’s job is being a dumb-ish blonde who looks good on TV.

    Meanwhile, my cable provider and TV are going nuts trying to figure out which channel will carry the Owboys at Patsies, which will drop out, and when. While they’re doing that, I get commercials rather than the Kitties.

    Nice job by the Jints, BTW, in coming back v. Buffalo.

    Oooh. Romo just threw a pick. My day is looking up even more than before. My Stillers have won, the Iggles held on to win, and now the Owboys are giving it away early in the first.

  36. rosalind says:

    nasty crash at the Indy race in Vegas, 15 cars, fiery debris. driver Dan Wheldon airlifted to hospital after many doctors worked on him on the track. scary.

  37. scribe says:

    @bmaz: Why do I hear that in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice?

    Switched channels to see about the Vegas race, but nothin’ but ads. Good commercial with Mario Andretti, for Honda.

  38. rosalind says:

    @bmaz: tweet from ashley judd (wife of driver Dario Franchitti) “Thanks everyone for prayers. No update on Dan yet except unconscious but vitals are good. Everyone here very scared. Pray for medical team.”

  39. rosalind says:

    @bmaz: uhm, i believe it relates to the enthusiastic manner in which mr. harbaugh celebrated the win, resulting in him tearing his shirt almost off then barely exchanging “how de dos” with Marcy’s guy. the locals here are already referring to it as “What’s your deal? Part 2″*

    *reference to the exchange between Pete Carroll & Harbaugh after Stanford whupped USC.

  40. Bob Schacht says:

    @rosalind: I just saw the replay on Fox. Mr. Harbaugh’s enthusiasm seems to have resulted in a bone-crushing handshake, and then a slap on the back hard enough to dislodge anything stuck in Schwartzy’s throat. Schwartzy was just pissed because he didn’t really need or want the Heimlich maneuver.

    Bob in AZ

  41. rosalind says:

    @Bob Schacht: yeah, i just caught the replay – definitely the slap on the back. missed it live as i was temporarily blinded by the flash of Harbaugh belly.

    and a new rivalry is born.

  42. scribe says:

    @Bob Schacht: This is the second week in a row Harbaugh has done something which would lead reasonable people to question (a) his sportsmanship and (b) whether he is just too much of an asshole. Last week, against Tampa, he had his offense go for it, and convert a 4th and 3 (with a pass) at a time when SF was up by the narrow score of 41-3.

    He needs to go see Principal (no, not Skinner) Roger the Clown and get his wallet lightened. Now, before this descends to the level of Buddy Ryan putting bounties on people.

  43. scribe says:

    @bmaz: Dammit.

    The thing is, I can’t remember the last Indy car driver to be killed on the track, it seems like it’s been so long. I guess that’s a tribute to the safety improvements in the sport; I remember that in the older days a year at Indy was almost always punctuated by a death, or at least a serious, career-ending injury.

    May he rest in peace.

  44. scribe says:

    Looking at the way the Patsies are playing, it wouldn’t surprise me if they throw this one away.

    I can live with that; that means they have the same number of losses as my Stillers.

  45. rosalind says:

    Oakland QB out with broken collarbone. Silver & Black held on for the win, 24-17, over the Brownies.

  46. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: I like Rob. He needs to get a head coaching job next year so I can root for him without, by mistake, be rooting for the ‘Boys.

  47. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: That’s part of why I like him. Rex is a conservative frat boy. Rob’s the free spirit, w/the Ryan brain w/o the bullying.

  48. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: The Kitties would do a hell of a lot better – both on the field and by themselves – if they were to grow up a little and knock off the stupid penalties. Those have been killing them all year and are a mark of an immature team. They are thisclose to being a playoff team and one which will win in the playoffs. Once they get the discipline – they’ve been taught, but don’t want to do it – they will beat the snot out of their opposition because they will have turned themselves into a mature, winning team of winners. This loss may have been the best thing for them.

    Let’s hope that “grow up and win” is the message they get.

  49. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: I think the lesson their coach gave them today is to kick more shit out of people.

    Which I’ll take, for now.

    But yeah, particularly in the 4th quarter, they’ve killed themselves.

  50. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Yup. You don’t have to break the rules and be penalized to be savage and win. These Kitties have been revelling in the attention they’ve gotten, and have substituted believing their press for actual football.

    Da Bearz beating the snot out of Minny. Urlacher safety on McNabb.

  51. jo6pac says:

    @bmaz:
    Sorry to hear about Weldon, sad day in Indy racing.

    Sanford wins
    9ers win
    Raiders win
    Good day on the left coast

    bmz great day at the track Porsche brought all former drivers that could make it any if any still drove they had the same cars as they drove in the Porsche race days of the past.

    I had a 57 Speedster from 72 to 76 then nothing until I bought a 2008 Cayman S in March. Fun is all I can say.

    This is week about riding my bicycle around the area until Friday

  52. orionATL says:

    @rosalind:

    one of the sounds in the world i absolutely love to hear is the long, loud, rising whine of a motorcycle engine reving up to higher and higher speed.

    addictive, like drums hammering.

    where i live the main street, a few dozen yards away from the house, has a straightaway of 1/2 mile or so.

    anytime.

    day or night.

  53. 4jkb4ia says:

    OK, I’m home. 5 innings to go. Against this lineup you can never have too many runs. I am seriously on edge.

    But I am glad to be listening on the radio. John Rooney and Mike Shannon, as previously said elsewhere, don’t sound as if they are asleep.

    (Come on, bullpen, do your thing.)

  54. 4jkb4ia says:

    12-6, top of the 9th. This could happen, folks. Really, it could. Even Jason Motte is not likely to blow a 6-run lead with neither Braun nor Fielder on the horizon. /bitter over Mets loss

  55. 4jkb4ia says:

    They said.
    They said this day would never come.

    They said when Adam Wainwright got hurt that the season was over.
    They said when Ryan Franklin completely failed to perform that the season was over.
    They said when even the Red Sox announcers noted that the Cardinals had collapsed that the season was over.
    They said when the Cardinals lost to the Cubs!! on a momentous Friday night that the season was over.
    They said when Jason Motte blew the aforementioned lead that the season was over.

    None of this was true.

    (It was a great speech! Come on!)

  56. 4jkb4ia says:

    Mike Shannon announces, “And the Cardinals are National League champions and headed to the World Series.” Like this happens every day. Not that it ever gets old. And at least Kotsay did not strike out with the bat on his shoulder :)

  57. Bob Schacht says:

    @4jkb4ia: This NLCS reminds me a lot of the 2006 World Series, which the Cinderella Cardinals won, 4-1, aided in no little way by Detroit errors (8 in 5 games). In this year’s series, Milwaukee had 7 errors just in the last two games! This year’s Cardinals also display a kind of gritty determination, like the 2006 crew, taking each game one at a time.

    However, the Rangers are an incredible team with a lot going for them.

    Bob in AZ

  58. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: He’s not that crazy, that he’d consider going into the middle of that circus.

    No. The Sawx will get the baseball managerial equivalent of … mmm … former RNC Chairman Michael Steele. If Ozzie Guillen were available, he’d be a perfect fit for the Sawx job.

  59. quebecois says:

    @bmaz: Horrible crash, started watching three laps before the crash, and I was commenting to a buddy that this was going to be bad. Very, very sad.

    And for Korea, I can only say: Why the long face Mister Hamilton?

  60. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    You think the Red Sox triumvirate is fucked up.

    How about A.J. Hinch as a hunch?

    I like Joe Torre, Ryne Sandberg or Alan Trammell….

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