Cory's Corner: I Don't Want Fun Year Spoiled

Better planning is needed to fight COVID-19

The last thing I want to talk about is COVID-19. The Packers are having one of the best starts in franchise history with a 4-0 record to go along with 38 points a game. 

But what good is that going to do if Green Bay isn't able to finish? 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been forced to play musical chairs with the NFL schedule thanks to coronavirus problems. And I totally get that. However, this isn't baseball where teams can play multiple seven-inning doubleheader just to catch up. The NFL only plays once a week. Not to mention, the NFL did a disservice to the Steelers for taking away a bye week already, but the further we get into the schedule, the tougher it will be to make up games. 

There will be coronavirus flare ups, especially within the teams that are barely treading water. Why would teams like the Jets, Giants and Falcons be extra vigilant about virus awareness when they haven't won a game?

That's why it's time to start forfeiting games if teams deliberately disobey league protocals. That's a huge step because doing that at the pro level is talking about losing millions. If the entire season is played, the NFL stands to make close to $10 billion in media contracts alone. 

Goodell is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The owners are technically his boss, but he is also entrusted as being a steward of the game by making sure the credibility remains the same.

But this isn't solely on the players. The NFL had a feeling of invincibility coming into this season because it never had anything universal. The season opener saw the Chiefs let in 17,000 fans to Arrowhead Stadium, while many other stadiums have remained ghost towns. Also, at the end of the day, do you really trust guys in their 20s to make the best possible choices? I know myself at that age and I would've broken protocal more than once already. 

That's why I suggested back on Aug. 1 that the league should go into a bubble. Now, I know that many of you hate that idea, but if it's the best opportunity to actually finish a season, what's wrong with it? The NBA and NHL have proven that bubbles do work. And if that means breaking it up into divisional bubbles, or even having all 32 teams in one bubble in say San Diego or Honolulu. At the very leaset, the NFL shouldv'e built in more bye weeks, but then again, how long does the NFL want to keep playing? Do they really want a Super Bowl in May?

Regardless of how well the Packers have been doing, this has been an entertaining season. The Cowboys cannot get out of their own way, the Chiefs are still lightning in a bottle and the Bears of all teams, just beat Tom Brady and the Bucs. 

I don't want this season to be wiped out because of poor decision making. I want better planning and some better answers for more eventual problems. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (52)

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Since'61's picture

October 10, 2020 at 06:42 am

The NFL has no excuse because unlike the other major sports they have had the most time to prepare. They had 4-5 months to figure out how they would play their season during this global pandemic. Lack of a national plan or guidance has not helped either.

Now, forcing teams to forfeit may be the last, best, approach for the league but that has flaws as well. Suppose one team wins 2 or 3 games by forfeit while other teams end up playing all 16 games.
Or a team earns two forfeits in 2 consecutive weeks and then plays a team that has had to play their games during that period. One team is well rested while the other hasn’t.

What if these or other scenarios happen during December when nearly every game has playoff implications for at least one of the teams.

If the outbreaks continue it might be best for the league to shut down and quarantine all the teams for 2-3 weeks, get everyone past Covid and extend the season into March or even April if necessary. I realize that wreaks havoc on the off season schedule but it could be the only way to play the entire season plus the playoffs.

As for the bubble approach I don’t know how many games you can play on the same field in one day even on an artificial surface. Especially if that’s being done week after week.

The Packers are Ok so far and they are playing very well so I would hate to see this season upset when we are on such a good roll. But as usual the league has screwed up yet another situation they should have planned for and handled better. No leadership from Goodell as usual. Thanks, Since ‘61

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marpag1's picture

October 10, 2020 at 11:16 am

Yes, it's all very clear and simple when you are not the one who actually has to do it.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 10, 2020 at 07:55 am

Yes, its would be terrible if the Packers mess up with a whole bunch of infections and spoil this season. But Cory, you sound like some of these heavy handed governors that said to "comply or else". This early season breakout is helpful in the fact that the players get the understanding they need to be extra careful. I would think the coaches have been instructing them that how easy it is to get and games could be forfeited and do you want to spoil the season. This bye week is probably the greatest chance for the players to get infected, for they have some dead days with nothing to do. But they are still adults, with responsibilities and choices. Time to understand that the goal of this season is not to mess things up with contracting the virus.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 10, 2020 at 08:13 am

The reason the people in authority have to be heavy handed, as you put, it is because we have created a generation of dumb asses who can’t make the right decisions on their own. Now don’t get me wrong, if the 20 something’s want to make themselves sick swilling micro-brews with their bro’s in dive bars, that is their choice. The trouble is when Monday comes around they all go to their jobs and spray their infections around to all their co-workers and everyone else. Of course, I am just one of those selfish old farts who doesn’t have the decency to get sick and die so the millennials can party down, dude.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 10, 2020 at 08:49 am

The players have to come to the realization that the goal for the end of the season is more important than them having fun or whatever they do now. No heavy handedness from the front office or the league will change that.

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Coldworld's picture

October 10, 2020 at 02:20 pm

The players union is in fact at the forefront of those taking a hard line. Rightly. Employers have obligations.

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MTmind's picture

October 11, 2020 at 10:19 am

@Packer_Fan that’s basically a metaphor for society. And it’s clear that the ones who have not come to that realization will continue to cause this to drag on and on and on.

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Hematite's picture

October 10, 2020 at 09:37 am

Excellent post,, well said.

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Coldworld's picture

October 10, 2020 at 08:18 am

There is a difference between becoming infected such that a game can’t proceed and a knowing, which really means deliberate intentional, decision to flout protocols by a franchise. I’m fine with coming down like a ton of bricks in the latter case. Fine them pro rata tv revenue for games lost and make them draft last in all rounds next year.

Personally I’d apply the negligence standard of a person in that position should have expected that course of behavior to result in infection. That way the league sets the bar by agreeing and disseminating protocols that teams have to follow.

Accidental infection there really isn’t much one can do about, but willfully jeopardizing the season is something that owners have a right not to tolerate if they want to keep fans and the product healthy as well as generating revenue.

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jurp's picture

October 10, 2020 at 09:16 am

Your point about willful negligence and unintentional infection appears to be the tack taken by the league: https://titanswire.usatoday.com/2020/10/08/tennessee-titans-covid-19-out.... In one news release I've read, two GMs and the NFLPA want to come down on the Titans as harshly as possible.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:30 am

'said to "comply or else".'

Sounds a lot like every Executive. Democrat or Republican, including Trump.

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Lphill's picture

October 10, 2020 at 08:40 am

The NFL at some point if necessary can pause the schedule for 2 weeks and this would extend the season to the end of January , it would make everything equal for every team and also help some teams get healthy from injuries , I think this is the backup plan moving forward also since there are no fans disrupted we may be seeing games postponed and played Monday through Thursday nights which is not a bad deal either .

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Leatherhead's picture

October 10, 2020 at 11:19 am

Covid makes some people sick, but unless you are already old and sick you will recover. Proven treatments are available. A vaccine is on the horizon. I don’t see why we don’t resume our lives. Covid is part of the landscape now and I’m just going to keep living my life. Everybody associated with the Packers is there voluntarily.

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Bure9620's picture

October 10, 2020 at 02:38 pm

We are quite a ways away from a vaccine......several are in stage 3 however many drugs, vaccine and devices fail phase 3...Plus to mass produce a vaccine for 100s of millions of people will take a long time......Front line medical personnel will be the first to be vaccinated

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Lare's picture

October 10, 2020 at 03:27 pm

"Covid makes some people sick, but unless you are already old and sick you will recover."

That is simply not the case according to the CDC. There are thousands of cases of people under 50 years-old who have contracted Covid and died.

But I applaud you for taking a stand and hope that all Republicans follow your lead in ignoring all health officials and taking any precautions (like facemasks, social distancing and hand sanitation) to protect themselves from this mild health situation.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 10, 2020 at 04:45 pm

Yes, I believe what I’m being told. Because I’m too stupid to think for myself.

Thousands of deaths of people under 50? Sounds like the flu, to me.

Of the big 200,000 number they keep, less than 10,000 had no co-morbidity.

And Lare, try to read better. I distinctly endorsed keeping your distance . I distinctly endorsed keeping your hands clean, and I distinctly said people should wear a mask if they want to. I’m in favor of precautions; I’m not in favor of forcing people to do things against their will. Would you like it if I could force you to do things against your will?

You’d better think about that.

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jurp's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

Okay, so if you don't wear a mask because you don't want to, and you infect someone who goes on to infect someone who dies, you are explicitly responsible for that person's death because of your callous and selfish disregard for the health and well-being of your fellow citizens. This is NOT what this country was founded to be. Your selfishness and stupidity do NOT trump your fellow citizen's lives.

Grow up.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 11, 2020 at 01:19 pm

How did the someone catch it? Were they wearing a mask? Did they keep their hands away from their face? And how did the third person catch it if they followed CDC recommendations?

This virus has a 99.6% survival rate, higher if you aren’t old and sick already. People don’t make you sick, you make yourself sick by not keeping your distance or practicing good hygiene.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 12, 2020 at 09:29 am

Jurp. According to the CDC, 85% of people who caught the virus wore masks always or most of the time. 5% said rarely or never.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 11, 2020 at 02:39 pm

Science over Sorcery. Plenty of twenty to thirty somethings succumbed to the pathogen. From vulnerable populations to marathon runners.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 11, 2020 at 04:00 pm

Then wear a mask. Just don’t force me to.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 11, 2020 at 04:00 pm

Then wear a mask. Just don’t force me to.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 11, 2020 at 08:59 am

The Hospitals are at 80% capacity. If the hospitals are full and new cases can't get care then it's going be a huge problem.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 11, 2020 at 01:08 pm

Only a very small percentage of people who get this require hospitalization. Only 3% of emergency room cases involve the virus.

A year ago, I didn’t have to wear a mask. Now I do. Why? Who has that authority? How did they get it? Are there any limits to this authority? Why is it different from state to state?

And how effective are these masks? I mean, if I blow a digested burrito out, that gas is going through my skivvies, a thick layer of denim, and your mask before you smell it. And you will . So that mask will stop a 40 micron virus?

We have been herded and stampeded in our reaction to this virus. Fearful people are easier to control.

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fordguy's picture

October 11, 2020 at 02:38 pm

So we know your exact answer, you're saying that the hospitals are at 80% capacity because they're all covid cases? No one else is in any hospital bed other than for covid?

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flackcatcher's picture

October 10, 2020 at 01:32 pm

I find myself in general agreement with the comments here. While I understand Cory's argument, as a practical matter it is physically impossible to 'lock away' and entire football organization. At best all the NFL can do is punish after the fact. A single lost game revenue of what? Millions of dollars should sharpen the mind of any owner and player. All in all we have been very lucky when it comes to Covid-19. What the medical community has learned has been really humbling. It's a lesson on why we should treat the unknown with care. Professionally, we've been drilling our people for years now on this possibility, and find out most of what your doing is wrong, is quite a shock. There are a lot of lessons to learned here... Football wise I with '61. The virus is a known factor now, and making adjustments throughout the league dealing with it is what an organization should do. If they panic now, that's strictly on the owners and Goodell. The good news is we will have vaccines that look to be effective by the early part of 2021. And we have treatments that work. While the cost has been awful, this will be a major game changer in how this nation, and the world deals with pandemics in the future. So, with care and a little luck. We should see the completion of football this year. (Stares really really REALLY hard at lucky helmet...)

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Leatherhead's picture

October 10, 2020 at 03:27 pm

How we deal with pandemics in the future........

China developed the virus in a Wuhan lab. It got loose. China knew it had a problem and let people spread it to Europe and the U.S. and around the globe. They lied to the World Health Organization about it. They promoted the false “wet market” cover story. Chinese doctors associated with the Wuhan lab have disappeared.

How we deal? How do you think we should deal with future biological attacks? This won’t be the last.

As far as us, wash your hands and don’t stick your dirty finger up your nose or in your mouth or eye. Keep your distance. If you think you want to wear a mask, fine. But there’s no reason we can’t get on with our lives.

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packerbackerjim's picture

October 10, 2020 at 04:01 pm

Or get on with your deaths, if that’s the gamble you wish to make.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 10, 2020 at 05:19 pm

Exactly. Freedom of choice. Make choices and accept the consequences of that choice.

That’s much better than “we have the right to force correct behavior,“ whatever that is.

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BBlake's picture

October 10, 2020 at 04:16 pm

I don't wear a facemask to prevent me from catching Covid.

I wear a facemask to prevent me from catching the "stupid" from people who don't.

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Bure9620's picture

October 10, 2020 at 04:56 pm

Stupid has been spreading quickly lately.......

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Johnblood27's picture

October 10, 2020 at 05:25 pm

stupid has been an epidemic ever since jimmy carter was elected and clinton took divisive, leftist politics to an extreme with a healthy assist from teddy turner and CNN.

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jurp's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:47 pm

Nice revisionist history. Stupid has become epidemic ever since the GOP's attack on our public education system began under St. Ronnie.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 11, 2020 at 02:46 pm

They can't handle the truth, but Clinton was also a cheap pawn for wall street and helped ship off manufacturing with nafta and bush the dumber put a nail in the coffin with Most Favored Nation status for communist china. It is still a now ultra-rich vs the common man divide in the Country. Find a solution or get run into the ground. Oligarchs are making a killing off this pandemic. Unify!

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jurp's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:46 pm

Your "freedom of choice" could be the cause of another person's death. Despicable.

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CoachDino's picture

October 10, 2020 at 09:14 pm

There is no "Right" decision when it comes down to it. Are the players at any real risk of serious health consequences. The science and statistics so no. Does being a NFL players make you likely to spread the disease more than the average American? Yes.

So though the players will be fine they still could infect the very small % of people that may become extremely sick or die that are not: Over 70 and or have other preexisting illness. This is clear. They could also impact those that are in the high risk category.

Nothing 100% but risk wise it's similar to other seasonal viruses. Issue is no one has developed immunities as very few people have contracted it (being brand new) like many of the other more common and even much deadlier viruses.

So ya, the players aren't really at risk of harm's way, but there are millions of people that are. These players just by their job will spread it more increasing risk to others.

So where's the "Right" answer. No one knows for sure. Even the stats I've put out there are only compiled from 6 months or so of data.

Hence the huge debate, are we are country based on individual freedoms or one that sees a need for less individual freedom and more government control. There are needs for government intervention just seems, as individual, we all have an opinion as to how far it should go.
Being a business owner I myself do not interject my personal beliefs as I have responsibilities to more than myself in what I do. I have made great sacrifices due to this, the NFL is also a business and has responsibilities to the community and in their case the nation. Follow the Government Guidelines and do what is morally right. Is that too much to ask? Like it or not it is the same Government that has allowed these freedoms and liberties like no other. Oh, how do you define morally right? Theres another debate you will never get 100% agreement on. Double Whammy

That said I want to see the Packers play 19 games this year and hoist the trophy named after the man, myth the Legend.. Lets Go Pack

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Leatherhead's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:05 pm

We are a nation of freedoms. Debate soon to be over. This will be resolved by bloodshed. For myself, I’ve lived too long as a free man in a free country to change now and I won’t be forced by rioting wokesters so you tell me what happens.......

We are charging towards a destination none of us wants.

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jurp's picture

October 10, 2020 at 10:50 pm

Tell us - do you stop of red lights? Do you go into restaurants without a shirt? Do you steal instead of paying for items in a store? If not, why not? All of these laws are an infringement of your freedom.

So, are you also a militia member? Planning on overthrowing the government or just imposing your "freedom" onto the rest of us non-dumbfucks?

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BAMABADGER's picture

October 11, 2020 at 01:34 am

1) Yes, I stop at traffic red lights, that is a state law at least in Alabama.
2) It depends... I only go shirtless in a restaurant if the owner does not have a sign posted "No shoes, no shirt, no service." I always wear shoes because my feet are ugly.
3) No, I don't steal, that is the job of democrat politicians.
4) No, I am not a militia member, but thanks to the 2nd Amendment of our US Constitution it is my legal right. No law broken there. I will use those guns to defend my family and property. This is within Alabama state law.

I would wager Leatherhead isn't a militia member. I believe he would most likely defend individuals from anarchists like AntiFa and the BLM organization whose goals are to overthrow our democracy and your and my freedom. @jurp, name calling is not a attribute of a true, mature Packer fan. I know you won't do it, but you owe Leatherhead an apology. A mature Packer fan allows the open debate of differing opinions. GPG!

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Leatherhead's picture

October 11, 2020 at 11:57 am

I’m not in favor of imposing anything on anybody. I’m in favor of freedom of choice. And no, I’m not trying to overthrow the government......that’s the Democrats.

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Bure9620's picture

October 11, 2020 at 06:07 am

Authoritarianism

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Hematite's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:31 am

And that destination is a trump dictatorship.
That's what we are charging toward.
A strange wish for a "free" man.

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BoHunter's picture

October 11, 2020 at 09:36 am

I would put Trump in charge of the NFL season, He would ensure that the season was finished and clean up a lot of the other crap going on in the league. Roger is a clown, puppet might be a better word.

Cheers,

BoHunter

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fastmoving's picture

October 11, 2020 at 10:30 am

Haha......a loooser who is dumb like shit and weak like hell, who run everything he got from his father right into the ground. Who ruined America so its not sure we will ever recover. Worst covid management in the world, a idiot we should all be ashamend of. He and his Fox sucker base have no brain, dont understand anything. But all these brainwashed cover here whole wolrd with here stange consiracys. For morons only, of course. Trumps lowlife russian fanboys.
The least american clown who is a coward and the Unmoral himself. The only thing Trump is good at is hate, stupidity and racism
Compared to Trump Goodwell is a genius and a hero. Like everyone else on this planet.

No one is safe in Trumps world, but Im sure you know that. He stands against everything AMERICA is all about

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fordguy's picture

October 11, 2020 at 02:58 pm

TRIGGERED

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stockholder's picture

October 11, 2020 at 04:29 pm

You need to use a Facts checker. Your opinions should be about the packers. Not Politics. He is our president. Elected by people. Your Lucky to be an American. Act like one.

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Hematite's picture

October 11, 2020 at 06:06 pm

You need to check your facts.
The wannabe dictator lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, therefore was not elected by " the people ".

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edp1959's picture

October 11, 2020 at 07:07 pm

You need to educate yourself, popular vote does not elect the President. So yes he was elected by the people.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 12, 2020 at 11:10 am

By the people in charge, you meant to say.

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fordguy's picture

October 11, 2020 at 08:51 pm

Another Demorat that's short on the facts. "I pledge allegiance....................
and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands". No where is the word Democracy
used when voting for our President. Popular vote don't mean shit.

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Michael Nault's picture

October 11, 2020 at 10:22 am

A bubble would not work in the NFL. too many people per team. Either the players get with the program, or forfeit some games. It's up to them

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raedwallaceee's picture

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