The Pandemic Super Bowl LV

There is a game today in the NFL, and the last one for a good long while. As you may have heard there are a couple of decent quarterbacks involved. One is hands down the best in the league now, and the other is quite arguably the best in the league ever. So, there is that, and it has gotten most of the hype. But there are some other liner notes to hit.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s son, Brett, is an assistant coach on the team (linebackers). Brett Reid was involved in a terrible accident Thursday night, and he admitted to having been drinking. Two children were our, one of them critically. Reid the younger did not travel with the team, and, obviously won’t be coaching. As long as father Andy is there, the Chiefs should be okay, but this has to be a distraction. Now before people get all ginned up about why he is not yet under arrest, I don’t know, but will lay pretty good odds that the police and state’s attorney want to get the actual blood test results back before charging and arresting. Even expedited, that doesn’t happen overnight. But, irrespective, Brett Reid is in for some serious trouble, especially as he has previous drug and road rage incidents. Also, apparently Chefs DC Steve Sagnoulo’s wife makes killer meatballs that powered the defense through last year’s Super Bowl win, but she couldn’t get them there this year for Covid reasons. That has to crush Honey Badger and friends!

On the Tampa side, they of course did not have to travel. Brady and Bruce Arians have mostly settled in with each other, are having fun, and Gronk too. They seem to be pretty fast and loose right now, which given this stage, is a very good thing. Tampa’s defense is underrated, actually pretty darn good. But can they slow down Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce? They sure had a problem in that regard earlier in the year. But Tampa has some pretty killer receivers too with Gronk, Brate, Godwin, Evans, Scotty Miller and Antonio Brown. Mahomes is too fast, and too slick, he is going to get his passes off. The key likely comes down to whether the Bucs can sufficiently protect Brady so he does too. And the Chiefs will be coming hard and furiously for Brady from start to finish. The Chefs sure seem the better team overall, but it is hard to discount old Father Time Brady, and I won’t. If forced to bet, I’d take KC; thank goodness I don’t have to.

There entertainment is some guy called the Weekend. Never heard of him. Is it Saturday, Sunday, or all weekend? Ah well, though there were storms last night and early this morning, but things are looking pretty good now and for the game

Music today is for Eureka, and I have renamed the Robert Palmer classic “There’s No Telling Where Carson Went”. Have some fun folks!

96 replies
  1. RMD says:

    TB’s D won’t be as strong with Jordan Whitehead wearing a harness and sporting a torn labrum. He was impressive in the games up to the point he got hurt.

    Pulling for the Tom and Gronk show.

  2. Pete T says:

    I just stumbled in here wondering if this is the place to ask about immunization?

    But before I get my butt kicked out of here – looks like low 70s and dry in Tampa today. I wonder if they are going to cover up that god damned Pirat Ship.

    Go Chefs.

    Great music choice. BTW it’s The Weeknd – yeah I had to look it up:

    • bmaz says:

      Pirate ship still there, but they are barred from firing the cannons during the game. It just cracked me up that the guy is big enough to headline the Super Bowl halftime, and I never heard of him in my life.

        • e.a.f. says:

          The Weekend, good singer! From Ontario Canada. He just is into another style of music. You don’t have to be old to not know about him, but it helps, if you’re not from Canada.

          Loved the Robert Palmer video. Remember the song well, but loved it when he sang with the line up of models behind him in those outfits. Now having written that, one could be tossed out of your feminist group back in the day, but hey, they did look fabulous and the song was to die for. It was fun. this video has a good version, like his timing and then of course the guitar player with the hat, nice.e

        • bmaz says:

          As to Robert Palmer, he was seriously great. I know full well the original video, and almost posted that one. I, seriously, went to a Halloween party one year with a couple of quite intentionally costumed “Robert Palmer girls”. No, I was not Robert Palmer, can’t for the life of me remember what I went as, but they were absolutely spot on.

          But I usually, if not always, prefer posting live music clips so people know that the best artists really can pull it off live without overmixing and overdubbing, and the great ones really can.

  3. pablo says:

    I live in Berlin and the game begins after midnight. I will in no way stay up to watch it (I have NFL Gameday), and I don’t want wings and beer for breakfast. I also have a choice of staying off line until tomorrow afternoon or knowing the results in advance. Choices, choices! Love the Bucs (and Falcon and Giants, guess where I’ve lived), but don’t mind if Brady gets sacked a few times.

    • rosalind says:

      made me flash back to taking a quick nap at my London B&B then padding downstairs w/my can of warm beer and bag of crisps to watch the 49ers v. Bengals game in Miami 1989 on the funky tv in the little den. added bonus: after the go-ahead TD the camera cut to a couple of my co-workers in the stands cheering wildly.

      • Boba says:

        a little further back to seeing the Patriots finally break through, the scrappy Tony Eason led 1983 Patriots against the mighty Bears. Oh it was game, for one possession. First year AFRTS was able to broadcast it in Europe and I “had” to watch, beginning to horrible end. Last few years haven’t been all that bad, but methinks the cycle is changing direction.

    • scribe says:

      What’s wrong with wings and beer for breakfast?
      I mean, really?
      If you don’t want to find out, be sure to not look at Bild on the newsstand. They do like to cover football, love them some Brady and Mahomes.
      Also, you getting the snow?

        • vvv says:

          It might well be as long as the sauce hasn’t all been absorbed into the crust.

          Also, I skip the anchovies for brekkie (altho’ I like ’em otherwise.)

        • e.a.f. says:

          cold pizza for breakfast is fine, its nutricious, etc. Nothing wrong with cold pizza for any meal.

          As to not staying up late at night to watch football, woos. My aging sibling stays up to catch tennis from all over the world, and yes some times that is starting at 2 a.m. west coast time in Canada. Guess some of are tougher than others or more devoted to sports or just don’t have to go work.
          Back to pizza, its good with morning coffee also.

        • e.a.f. says:

          beer and pizza, omg, how terrible. You drink Canada Rye with it in the am if necessary. its been decades, but I still remember, must try it once more before I go for blood tests

  4. P J Evans says:

    OT blast from the past: George P Schulz, who was Reagan’s Secretary of State, has died. He was 100.

  5. bmaz says:

    So, from the stadium just now, there was a clear shot of the Patriots plane arriving with the 76 immunized healthcare workers Kraft has brought to the game. It was really kind of cool. The Tampa airport is right there by the stadium and it was a beautiful thing seeing it land and taxiing. Those 76 heroes are going to have the time of their lives.

  6. scribe says:

    TJ Watt, a/k/a Watt the Younger, meet Jesse James.
    When it comes to getting jobbed, being a Pittsburgh Steeler practically guarantees it.

    Watt out-performed Aaron Donald, the DPOY, in every relevant statistical category, so they gave Donald the DPOY.

    This is why I don’t watch the NFL awards show. I know I’ll be disgusted.

  7. RMD says:

    Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human, when asked if he’s training Tom Brady, had no comment.
    Tom Brady, when asked if he’s working with world-class sprinters to improve his speed, had no comment.
    The writer of this post, when asked if he had any idea if the above is true, had no comment.

    So, there it is folks. Tom Brady is challenging Usain Bolt for fastest human in the world…..right after the Super Bowl.

  8. Pete T says:

    Fun fact – or not so fun for me.

    I think the human attendance today may be less than the one and only SB I went to.

    That would be SB III or, I believe, the first to get the name Super Bowl – the first two being NFL-AFL Championship Games.

    Yes, New York Jets vs BALTIMORE Colts. Namath (the $400,000 man – quaint now eh) vs Johnny U in the Miami Orange Bowl.

    They gave away tickets to fill the stands and my Aunt, rest her soul, got me one. 50 freaking yard line up about 20 rows from field level North stands.

    And I didn’t keep the stub. Doh.

    Don’t get me started on Orange Bowl nostalgia: OB games, Super Bowl games I couldn’t afford to attend, Hurricanes, Dolphins.

    • bmaz says:

      We’ve had three SB’s here, the first being Scribe’s Steelers versus his most hated team, the Owboys. I was at that one, and have been to the various events for all of them. I “would” have gone to more if the Pack had made it here, but no. Thing is, it is all such a teeming mess anymore. Forget the game, their events like FanFest and the concert the night before can easily draw 75,000 people. It is absolutely wild. And we are getting another one two years from now.
      The NFL loves coming here because Phoenix/Scottsdale really do an incredible job on them. I might go, but kind of doubt it. Unless you get comps or are willing to spend $20,000 for a decent seat (I’m not), it is much more enjoyable to watch it on your big screen.

      Funny story about SB XXX. My friend and I just walked down to the stadium and waited until just before kickoff and then started trying to scalp a couple of tickets. Found some people desperate to get in the stadium and they said “what will you give us?” We were like $300 a piece (we each had another couple of hundred in reserve but denied it). So we go in right as kickoff about to start and the seats were like 15 rows up and in the NW corner of the stadium. They were stupid good seats. Right by where the NBC game crew, including Joe Montana were. Friend and I just looked at each other and laughed.

      The people we got them from were sitting in the row in front of us. Then a parade of cameras came to take pictures of the people. Turns out they were the Lawrence family (think Joey Lawrence and family) and they had a hit sitcom on NBC at the time. All their tickets were comps, and that’s why they didn’t care about coughing them up so cheap! Then, at halftime, Diana Ross did the show and then literally got picked up by a helicopter and left. Quite a day.

    • sand says:

      A history tidbit that ties into Superbowl III: There were two brothers (of seven siblings) that played football at Monsignor Bonner high school in Drexel Hill (just outside Philly). The older of the two, Al, went on to play linebacker at Villanova, then with the World Champion Jets in Super Bowl III. The younger, Bill, might have been there too, but he had broken his neck in a toboggan accident in 1965. He joined the Augustinians and went back to teach at Bonner. He died in 2006 and has been declared a Servant of God. If he is ultimately canonized a saint, he would be the first known quadriplegic to be canonized.

  9. rosalind says:

    for those interested: “The NFL announced that the 2021 national anthem will be a duet performed by GRAMMY-nominated artists Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church ahead of this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The national anthem will be preceded by a performance of ‘America the Beautiful’ by GRAMMY-award winning artist H.E.R. Warren “WAWA” Snipe will perform both songs in American Sign Language.”

    my annual bet is whether the anthem will be sung live or lipsynched. imma put my $ down this year on: live.

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    Bruce Springsteen has a two minute commercial for Jeep.
    He calls for unity and a Kumbaya moment.
    I hear ya Bruce, with one caveat “No fucking philly-busting”

  11. Peterr says:

    Here in KC, the local media has been all-Chiefs all week long — surprise, surprise.

    The weather forecasters have been giving the weather for both Tampa and KC. “Today in Tampa it will be wonderful weather . . . and here in KC, we will have a Green Bay kind of week. It’s windy, snowy, and single digit cold. Welcome to the Frozen Tundra South.”

  12. Peterr says:

    With temps today hitting a high of 10, we’re going with warm and cozy comfort food tonight

    We’re starting things out with some local sheep’s milk garlic & herb cheese and crackers, with some nice Irish whiskey to get things going. Dessert will be a fantastic pear pastry that has had me salivating all afternoon. In between will be featuring a turkey pot pie made with some of the leftovers from the last time I smoked a turkey.

    Go Chefs!

  13. Peterr says:

    They make a big deal about introducing the guy doing the ASL translations, and then they don’t show him for more than a passing shot?

  14. scribe says:

    Lasagna here tonight, just finished making the guac for dipping chips.

    If I had to bet I would say the same thing as I did 2 weeks ago when Biebs went into The Frozen Tundra up against Mr. Distracted-by-his-engagement Discount Doublechek and the rest of the cheese: “Don’t bet against Brady.”

    “Ever”, even if he is a greybeard.

    I will say, this will most likely come down to whose defense is better at punishing the opposing QB. The way the Chefs were against the Brownies – with the body slams and such – tells me they decided to channel the Jack Tatum criminal element vibe. I hope the refs don’t let it degenerate to that as it would be a bad look for King Roger and The League.

    Now, to change the channel to the game.

    And lots of commercials. Ugh.

    And I do hope the Bucs win, just to ram it further into Cheatin’ Bill’s legacy.

      • Peterr says:

        Both defensive coordinators know that you aren’t going to win if you just let either of these two QBs sit back and do their thing.

      • scribe says:

        There’s aggressive, and then there’s making like the Philly Flyers circa 1975. KC is just too far over the line – as I write this 2 defensive holds and an unsportsmanlike. And now offsides on a 4th and 5 FG attempt, making a 1st down, which turned into a 2nd Gronk TD on the next play, with another defensive holding against Gronk.


  15. Eureka says:

    There’s probably gonna be no telling where the money went, either, when all is said and done. Waiting on this Wentz trade is like waiting on a birth past the due date. Thank you bmaz, may the pace of the song quicken things along … music to walk to.

    Snow removal complete — heavy, wet, snow here today and temps about to go down with single digit wind chills.

    That Britt Reid thing broke my heart for all involved and brought all of Andy’s (family’s) time here rushing back again, capped by his exit following the (horrible) season that started with Garrett’s death at training camp. I still don’t know how he did that (coached under those circumstances) … different times. While this SB is small potatoes in that big picture, it did give me a bad feeling about the game for KC today (distraction indeed).

    Go Big Red, Mahomes & crew, go KC.

    I’ll take the stop!

    • Eureka says:

      9-year-old Mahomes betting against Brady (and for his future coach) didn’t work out so well (but for that rematch); in a clipping that keeps getting recirculated and which Peterr has surely seen (and will accordingly function as a “receipt” for whichever team wins tonight):

      Jayson Jenks: “In 2005, Patrick Mahomes picked against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Now he’s going to play against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

      Pretty adorable in any case.

  16. scribe says:

    A couple halftime notes, beyond the stuff upthread.

    I caught the second half of the halftime show. Nicely done, under the constraints. No elaborate staging or whatevs to move in or out, thus no need for a crew. Costumes on the dancers were … odd, but incorporated masks so, OK.

    Quick run out to the supermarket and enroute the rock station on my car’s radio played one of my all- time favorite songs, the Moodies “The Story in Your Eyes”. Making me smile.

    Nice to see Russell Wilson wearing a suit while sitting at King Roger’s hand in the throne room. It’s a matter of respect, dressing “up” for an occasion. I would love to see a return to the day when coaches wore jacket and tie on the sideline, instead of being walking advertisements for whatever NFL-approved clothing of the week the League is trying to move this week. IIRC, a couple years back some coach or other got yelled at by the league for wearing a jacket and tie, maybe even fined.

    Also nice to see Russell Wilson winning an award and that being his route to King Roger’s throne room. He’s one of the smarter, more articulate players today and doubtless deserved the recognition.

    I wanna say something about the league busting through the underbrush to get in a complete schedule on time, but Biebs is back under center and I wanna watch.

  17. scribe says:

    Well, how ’bout that?

    I’ll have to go back and look at my preseason predictions here in the trash barrel to be sure. But, I recall having predicted a SB of Brady vs. Ben or Mahomes, with Brady having a good chance of winning. Because he’s Brady.

    I also recall BMAz talking about how Brady with Arians and his offense and the receivers they have, blowing the top off the field would be a weekly thing. Didn’t quite turn out that way – tonight it was the crushing ground game, of all things. And Gronk.

    If there was any question on who was more important to the dynasty of the Cheating Cheaters of Cheatertown, well, Cheatin’ Bill got hisself a good quarterback and, like you do when riding a tiger, you hold on. Tight. He did and he’ll go Canton on the strength of that. But 100 years from now, “letting Brady go to Tampa” will be colloquial shorthand for the worst decision ever made.

    Bild Zeitung is reporting (a/k/a speculating) Brady’s head-to-head with the Honey Badger had something to do with the Badger saying something about Giselle.

    And I didn’t hear Bad Teammate LeVeon Bell’s name called once.

    • bmaz says:

      Brady did indeed attempt more deep passes than anybody in the league this year, and the results seem pretty good right now. Rodgers got more points off of them, but Brady’s drew an absurd amount of PI’s. So he worked himself into Arians’ system, and vice versa (even more important maybe), pretty well. Fournette ran well, especially that one run, though the stick movers were every bit as important. Underrated is that Fournette had some great receiving yardage too.

      • scribe says:


        Interesting stat for the analytics freaks in the neighborhood. Mahomes ran 495 yards while being chased, possibly the all-time record for this stat (which is only about 5 years old).

        No. I am quite serious.

        I guess they use computers or lasers or something to track how far quarterbacks run with The Boy Named Suh and Firecracker JPP chasing them with bad intent. But track them they do.

        The lead headline on today’s BoGlo was one for the ages: “Tom Brady Completes Revenge Tour For The Ages With No. 7”. The lede is even spicier/saltier. If you can slip around the paywall it’s at this link: Shaughnessy had fun writing this one.

        FWIW, my Stillers will get their #7 before Cheatin’ Bill and his Cheatertown Cheaters.

        As many commenters have pointed out, the fault behind Brady leaving is one shared between Cheatin’ Bill and Kraft. At any time, Kraft could have told Cheatin’ Bill that, no, we are not going to trade Brady or no, we are not going to let like-another-son-to-me-Tommy walk away. He didn’t. It’s just, as Shaughnessy noted, that when there’s credit to be bestowed Kraft is sure to be at the head of the line and when there’s blame to be spread, he’s nowhere in sight. It’s what Kraft is.

        Now that Cheatin’ Bill has turned a championship team into a 7-9 team that didn’t make the playoffs and Brady has turned a 7-9 team that didn’t make the playoffs into a championship team, expect a very cold, raw wind to blow in Nantucket and Foxborough. All winter long. The Boston sports media are nothing if not vicious, and they’ve been honing their tomahawks for a long time, waiting and gathering wool.

        In other news, it’s looking like the Iggles will trade Carson Wentz to da Bearss, getting in return a running back, a first one year and a third the following, and Nick Foles. Longtime readers of this site will recall, as I do, that I’ve long said the ultimate destiny of the Iggles is tied to Nick Foles. He just keeps coming back (and winning, when he does). Philly Philly. Chip Kelly’s gift that keeps on giving.

        Harlan’s play-by-play on the streaker was one for the ages, even if the guy wasn’t really streaking. I mean, he never fully lost his pants. From the videos out there, the streaker actually did a pretty good job of humiliating the one security guard when he broke a tackle near the 40 and the guard wound up ass over teakettle, grinding his nose into the turf. A dozen or so years ago I was at a Phillies game at CBP, an afternoon “Businessman’s Special”, when between innings late some guy decided (doubtless with the help of alcohol) to cross from the left-center bleachers onto the field, leaving his clothing with “friends”. The ensuing hilarity resembled Hollywood’s recreation of the crowd at a cockfight. The Coliseum throngs in “Gladiator” – too tame to be a valid comparison. At the time Deadspin invited stories and comments so on a lark I wrote about 500 words in my best descriptive, creative writing-class style, nonetheless accurate. They put it up, unedited (but with “f’g awesome” staff compliments!) but, sadly, it has been wiped in one or another of their site upgrades. In the mind’s eye of memory, I can still see the meter-maid-uniformed security guard, built like a fireplug, sent out to herd that drunk toward the gate. Taking no guff and poking and swatting his butt with her billyclub, after each swat or stumble the howling masses grew louder with cries for blood or worse.

        In other words, typical Philly fan behavior.

        I’m just hoping baseball lets fans into the stands and sooner rather than later. (I really need to heckle and hector an ump, if only to get more lung exercise to continue shaking them free of the corona crap I still cough up.) Over the last year we seem to have learned just how important sports are in our lives and national psyche. When Korean baseball came up on ESPN, it didn’t matter that the games started in the wee hours of the morning (or just around midnight on Saturday night, for their Sunday afternoon games). I was enjoying the pace and patter of the announcers from my bed, half awake, just like listening to a transistor radio enroute to falling asleep. The games and schedules and trash talk and announcers and all the rest give us a national rhythm, having on the one hand replaced the old agrarian rhythms of plowing, planting, weeding, harvesting and making it through the winter and on the other melding with school years and summer vacations. Somehow, the NFL managed to muddle through, put through a full schedule and all the playoffs and finish on time. I’d like to think baseball will be able to do likewise. Pitchers and catchers report starting this time next week, so we’ll soon find out.

        No one got sick with corona from on-field contact. AFAIK no one on the Dodgers took ill when one player tested positive immediately before the end of the World Series and participated in the celebration.

        We need to replace the fear which has gripped us for a year now with measured, prudent caution, a determination to get back to work and normal life, a decent respect for others, politicians relinquishing the power they’ve grabbed on the pretexts of fear and uncertainty, and gratitude for all we’ve been through, events which have shown those who troubled to look just how strong and resilient our character, individually and as a nation, is. It’s been some months already since I first wanted to pop the advertising guru who invented the phrases “in these uncertain times”, “in the current difficulties” and all the other bullshit which they’ve been using to simultaneously scare people and manipulate them to buy whatever crap they’re selling. All times are “uncertain”, every year and every day is “difficult” and you could be hit by a bus today or tomorrow. Or not. As a wise judge once said, not to me: “suck it up, cupcake”.

  18. Hopeful says:

    Odd stat:

    Tom Brady and Barry Bonds both graduated from the same high school in San Mateo, CA; Junipero Serra High School.

    Both can be considered GOAT in their sport.

  19. Bay State Librul says:


    The Poet
    The Spike
    The Kevin Harlan Call
    The penalties
    The scraps
    The “silence” from Nantucket
    The Tommy E Curran prediction
    The Brady Factor: How I Got Here and Where will this Lead?

  20. Bay State Librul says:

    57.6% TV Rating in Boston for Super Bowl 55
    It may have beaten theTampa market.
    Why didn’t Belichick play Malcolm Butler in the Pats loss in previous Super Bowl.
    Anyone have the answer?

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      I always want to see those ratings broken down by quarter. I’m guessing that once it became clear that Mahomes’ heroics wouldn’t succeed, people started ditching the game in the 4th when everyone was obviously exhausted and a mess. (Not me–I watched it all in Connecticut. Despite a couple feet of snow outside many were out on foot, not worshiping at the church of football.)

  21. e.a.f. says:

    As I’ve written before don’t understand American football, as with many other sports, but yes I did watch some of the game yesterday and there was this one moment when a player was falling down backwards and threw the foot ball, now that was cool! Loved it. Yes, there was a Canadian playing on one of the teams, from Quebec no less.

    I’m amazed that quarter back is 43. OMG, that is old I’d think for football give the amount of pounding their bodies take. I know Gordie Howe played hockey until he was 50, but he was an amazing athelete and had an amazing body. Guess that quarter back comes into the same category, but I do wonder what his brain would look like. In the meantime he is looking good.

    Looks like everyone had a good time and we all sure need a diversion such as the “Super Bowl. Now we don’t get the ads during the game in Canada, but they are played on the news, some of them were really fun. Even if you don’t follow football, the ads are usually worth it. Bruce Springsteen has aged a tad, but still very cool and he still sounds like him.

  22. Eureka says:

    [Annoyed that they will wait until later Tuesday or early Weds. to announce this trade, so the chyron-makers can declare it “Wentz-day!”]

    Like I said the other day I’m *strenuously* practicing my “no comment” on the potential for Wentz for FOLES etc., but this is quite the money and personnel laundering operation to get half our statue back while losing the other. Have I mentioned the intervening years of pain? Foles, however, would make a great mentor and QB2/3 (depending on who they draft).

    The Bearss are trying to sweeten the pot (to Wentz’ taste for success) by adding “passing game coordinator” to DeFilippo’s QB coach title (DeFilippo being the bad-cop results-getting QB coach for Wentz’ pre-SB tenure). (Reading between the last several days’ lines, Wentz, preferring Colts, was effectively thwarting the Eagles getting a decent deal from _anyone_ via his Colts preference which fairly tamped down any need for the Colts to compete; Bears obviously know this, too. Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s camp has joined in telegraphing ‘no rush’ vibes. Nobody likes a stalemate!)

    The sad (RIP Doug Pederson Era) thing is that the Colts had already taken on Dougie P’s protegee — and Wentz BFF-slash-last QB coach/PG coordinator of record — Press Taylor as QB coach. Pederson had held the line with owner Lurie on keeping Taylor (he of “Philly Special” fame) and was fired in part because of that insistence. (The other part famously being Wentz’ “fractured” comments — which Wentz’ ‘people’ chose to aim at Pederson before buck-shotting the whole organization after Pederson was fired.)

    Never trust a purveyor of shitty beer bearing statuary.

    … because then you “have to” sign your undepicted headcase QB to a fat franchise contract and **all this** happens.

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