The One Blemish on a Perfect Favre Weekend

The Green Bay Packers and their fans rolled out the red carpet for their former quarterback Brett Favre this past weekend and it couldn’t have gone much better.  Except for one matter that made the Packers look small.

The Green Bay Packers and their fans rolled out the red carpet for their former quarterback Brett Favre this past weekend and it couldn’t have gone much better.  Except for one matter that made the Packers look small.

For Favre his induction ceremony into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field this past weekend signified that the prodigal son had returned home to the adoration of 67,000 fans.  The once intense anti-Favre fervor was long gone.  And Favre clearly relished every minute of it.

We all know the history:  a hall of fame career in Green Bay, three MVP Awards, a Super Bowl victory and then a messy divorce after sixteen wonderful fun-filled years.  Favre was self-exiled from Green Bay for many of the past five years in part fearing fan reaction and wondering how to get back in the good graces of Packers fans that he truly loved.  And as it turned out there was little to worry about.  The fans that adored the awe-shucks future NFL HOF from southern Mississippi before still love him now.

The Packers HOF induction ceremony was carried live throughout most of Wisconsin on the Packers television network.  It was also carried on the NFL Channel tape-delayed  on what was a delicious smorgasbord of an All-Day, All-Packers, Favre-A-Palooza.

Attending were many former coaches most notably Mike Holmgren, Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg, Mike Sherman and current Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.

Front office luminaries Ron Wolf, Bob Harlen and Mark Murhpy also attented.

It was a who’s who of former Packers team-mates lead by personal friend and presenter Frank (Bag-o-Donuts) Winters.  William Henderson, Mark Chmura, Mark Tauscher, Donald Driver, Antonio Freeman, LeRoy Butler and others were seen in the crowd.

Favre went out of his way to mention anyone and everyone who touched his life while with the Packers from his family to the equipment managers and grounds crew.  Everyone was mentioned except Ted Thompson.  Perhaps there is still a small bit of resistance to fully embrace Thompson, the man most credited with hastening Favre’s exit from Green Bay?

It might also be that Thompson was responsible for the one blemish on an otherwise perfect weekend.

Favre and several of his team-mates were scheduled to participate in what is called the Brett Favre Legends (flag-football) Game vs. a team of past NFL stars led by former Eagles/Vikings QB Donovan McNabb, Ron Dayne, Mark Schlereth, Roger Craig, Ed “Too Tall” Jones and others.  Participating player rosters were listed as subject to change by the organizers.

An official recorded attendance of 22,597 was recorded for Sunday's game with Favre's team earning a narrow one touchdown victory.  Tickets were priced from $34 - $55 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Favre 4 Hope Foundation, which directly benefits several charities, including Make A Wish, Special Olympics, Rawhide Boys Home and Ribbon of Hope.

So why might Thompson be the villain?

The Brett Favre Legends game is being held 145 miles away in Madison, Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.

Why you ask? 

The official word is that the Packers (Thompson?) did not want to tear up the grass surface at Lambeau Field after recently hosting a Kenny Chesney concert.  There was fear of more damage from the participants in the flag football game.

Really?

Common sense says that an aged group of former NFL players playing flag-football are not going to do much damage to anyone’s turf.  True, the Packers would have had to paint the field, but in less than a month they will do that anyway. 

Would this charity game really have hurt the field? 

Probably not. 

Yet the Packers chose to withhold the use of Lambeau Field where Favre starred for so many memorable years. 

It could have been one last time where he could lead his team of former Packers in front of thousands of adoring fans.  One last look for the ol’ gunslinger throwing a seam-route to ‘Free’, or a deep go-route to Andre ‘Bad Moon’ Rison.  One last time to be introduced to a thunderous ovatation jogging from the Packers tunnel as he had done countless times before.  One last time for Packers fans to cheer on Brett Favre playing a game in Lambeau Field.

And from a financial standpoint it is easy to forecast a crowd that would have doubled the Madison attendance mark earning that much more for for charity.

The game was by accounts entertaining and probably a lot of fun.  Yet it would have been more memorable had it been held in Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

It didn’t have to end that way.  It diminishes an otherwise perfect weekend and makes the Packers look small.

 

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Comments (39)

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D.D.Driver's picture

July 20, 2015 at 07:25 am

Meh. Let it go. There are plenty of times when I need to tell my 7 and 10 year old to stay off the lawn for one reason or another. They do a lot less damage than retired NFL players and my lawn ain't exactly Lambeau Field.

Rather have a blemish on "The Perfect Favre Weekend" (sounds like a Mad Magazine parody of a Cosmo headline) than risk a blemish on the turf at Lambeau.

We are less than two weeks away from training camp, people. The Packers are one of the SB favorites. Can you feel the excitement in the air?

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NickPerry's picture

July 20, 2015 at 07:41 am

Interesting take Jeff. I thought it was fitting the game be played at Lambeau myself and share your opinion, I doubt a game of flag football would have harmed the field in the least. While watching the ceremony I saw a glimpse of Ted T only twice. It's hard to get a take on Ted as he always seems to have that same look on his face. I don't imagine the "Feelings" between Favre and Thompson have mended much since 2008 and doubt they ever will. But at the end of the day it was a awesome weekend (Though I'm a bit Favred out again) and was great for the Packers, Favre, and most importantly the fans.

Now we can get back to football. Training Camp opens in 9 days and I can't remember being this excited about the start of a season in a long time. The next time we see Brett Favre the Packers could be 10-0 or 9-1 very easily on that Thanksgiving Night. This is shaping up to be a awesome season!

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MagnumGB's picture

July 20, 2015 at 04:16 pm

None of the original article makes much sense. Thompson has the power to manipulate what happened this weekend, and has such a dislike for Favre that he kept the flag game from happening there, but allowed everything else?

Is there any evidence whatsoever that TT is vindictive like this? Why not blame this on Mark Murphy or the grounds crew?

If you've been on the field at Lambeau recently you will have noticed the severe damage done by the Kenny Chesney concert. It was considerable, especially with the preseason now only a month away. One flag football game would likely not have caused major damage, but it may have interfered with the process needed to get the field back up to speed. The GB crew does a good job, and likely wants to keep Lambeau out of a Soldier Field situation.

Yeah, it would have been nice for the flag game the be at Lambeau but none of us has any real clue as to why that didn't happen. Likewise, none of us has any real clue as to Thompson and Favre's relationship. Sure, they don't seem like big time pals, but TT has always seemed pretty impersonal and business-like (that's the general criticism, not that he's the opposite, which is what is kind of being said here).

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:16 am

I disagree with the gist of this article. Given the bad blood between the two, there is no way that I know of to tell whether TT's absence was by mutual consent, or at the request of Favre, or TT's refusal. Given that Favre called TT a liar (link), it's understandable for TT to have refused to attend. Personally, I'd give more credence to TT's word than Favre's, and I would suggest that TT showed more magnanimity by congratulating Favre by text both times Favre led the Vikings past GB in 2009. My bet would be TT's absence was at Favre's request or by tacit acquiescence. [Edit: Nick's comment appeared while I was writing mine. Nick states that TT was present. The article mentioned front office personnel that were present without mentioning TT, leading me to believe TT was not present. I gather TT was not a prominent attendee, at any rate.]

I see insufficient reason to risk ripping up the field 10 days before training camp opens. I'd agree that attendance probably would have been better if the exhibition had held at Lambeau, but I am a fan of the Green Bay Packers, not the Favre foundation. I imagine that Mark Murphy might have had input into that decision, though I could be wrong. I am sure that many charities would like to hold events on the field at Lambeau. [Edit: The gist of the article is that the author suggests that someone in the front office or in the organization (TT? - use the author's method) was petty in regards to Favre. I know of no real evidence that TT acted in a petty manner at anytime towards Favre., other than making the correct business decision towards Favre in 2008.]

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/07/17/exclusive-brett-favre-on-record....

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croatpackfan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 11:04 am

I think I agree with you on this matter and have nothing else to say. History showed that small soul belongs to Brett, not to Ted!

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zeke's picture

July 20, 2015 at 08:58 am

" It diminishes an otherwise perfect weekend and makes the Packers look small."

You are making a lot of assumptions in order to come to that conclusion, as evidenced by the number of "might be's" and "probably's" throughout the article. Given everything else I've read about how the ceremony was handled, "small" is the last word that comes to my mind regarding Packers' management. Maybe my expectations are too low.

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BubbaOne's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:23 am

RUBBISH! As long as you're looking for blemishes, Scott Favre shooting his mouth off management was to blame re all that happened and Brett would feel the same if he was 80 yrs old.

I didn't watch the retirement. I'm a Favre fan but my ultimate allegiance is to the Green and Gold. Did Favre apologize for costing the team a higher draft pick/multiple picks or apologize for his actions surrounding training camp? Did he once say "I'm Sorry"? I doubt it.

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Evan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:36 am

"Did Favre apologize for costing the team a higher draft pick/multiple picks..."

Huh?

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BubbaOne's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:45 am

For the uninformed Favre said he wouldn't go to certain teams limiting TT's options. A third round pick was all we got for a HOF QB. Favre's comments played a roll.

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Evan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:59 am

Ah...I thought you were commenting on him winning games and costing the team draft position...ha.

But I actually don't remember that. I remember Favre wanting to be released so he could go to Chicago or Minnesota. And I remember TT refusing that but saying he could pursue a trade, and only the Buccanneers and Jets showing interest (and the Jets having to convince Favre to accept a trade there). I don't remember Favre saying he wouldn't go to certain teams. I thought it was more Favre's initial reluctance to accept a trade anywhere as to force his release.

From Peter King's recent story:

"On the Saturday before the Packers were due at training camp, I visited Favre at his home outside Hattiesburg, Miss. He and wife Deanna were there, and agent Bus Cook. We went to dinner with some relatives, then back to the house on his 465-acre spread. That day, Thompson asked Favre for a list of teams he’d agree to be traded to. Favre wouldn’t give him one. If Favre couldn’t go to Minnesota or Chicago, his preference was to force Thompson’s hand, and come back to play quarterback for the Packers. For Thompson, that was a non-starter."

http://mmqb.si.com/2015/07/15/brett-favre-packers-divorce-number-retired...

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

Since I refuse give King a click, does his story mention if he wrote about this back at that time?

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Evan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

I had to give him an extra click to go check for you....so, sort of defeats the point...ha.

But he doesn't link to any story from back then, but I'm sure he covered it extensively.

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

Ha, thanks! Kind of like when my Mom and Dad would agree on who to vote for so they wouldn't cancel each other out. I didn't have the heart to tell them the next two folks behind them probably cancelled them anyway.

Not a big King fan, that's why I was wondering.

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Evan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

He's definitely pretty obnoxious at times (case-in-point, his PAT crusade), but I still skim MMQB every week.

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BubbaOne's picture

July 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

Evan, you're making my point. By Favre not giving him a list and forcing his hand it limited TT's negotiating ability w/ other teams.

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Evan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 11:41 am

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with your broader point - Favre wanted to be released, why would he help TT broker a trade he didn't want - I just think you sort of mischaracterized it.

It wasn't Favre saying he wouldn't go to certain teams - It was actually TT who didn't want him to go to certain teams (Chicago and Minnesota). Favre just wanted to be released so he could go where he chose - of all the crap that went down in that situation, that's not really something I can fault him for.

I don't think the Packers had much leverage in those trade negotiations regardless. And both TT and Favre played a role. Teams knew TT wouldn't send him to a division rival, thereby limiting the pool of possible teams. And teams knew that Favre returning to the Packers as a back-up wasn't a realistic option. So, those factors coupled with Favre's initial refusal to accept a trade hurt the Packers' leverage.

Don't get me wrong. I did and still do side with TT in all that. I think he handled the situation as well as anyone could have and it took HUGE balls. But I do sympathize with Favre's take that if TT didn't want him to play for GB anymore, that's fine, but then let him go. I'm glad TT didn't, but I get why Favre would be upset by that.

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BubbaOne's picture

July 20, 2015 at 02:33 pm

"but then let him go"

IIRC, the 3rd round pick for Favre was used to draft CM3. TT would be derelict in his duties if he released Favre.
Favre should know after 17 yrs in the league he's a commodity w/ value. So TT didn't want him to go to Minny or Chicago; there's still 30 other teams. Favre's response was either naïve or arrogant (that he was above it all). Either way he affected the situation for your team and mine. Re his hurt feelings...TFB.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 20, 2015 at 06:32 pm

I'm with Evan on this. The best way to look at this is as strictly a business proposition. There is nothing wrong with Favre wanting to force TT's hand. It is not Favre's responsibility to maximize his trade value for GB. So Favre's decision not to provide a list of teams to which he would accept a trade is perfectly in line with sound negotiating strategy. TT acted correctly and got the most he could for Favre. Nothing to see here, IMO.

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Pack88's picture

July 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

I have promised myself that I would not ever respond to these poor Brent posts, but I have to say what part of He had a contract so if he wanted to play football he had to go where the Packers assigned his rights or be the most expensive baack up in the league couldn't he understand!. IF he wanted to play elsewhere he should have signed a shorter contract!

BTW my favorite #4 memory is him getting drilled in 2010 and helped off the field!! I will never forgive that egotistical AZZ for his antics in 2008!
Pack88

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

Jeff, always love your writing. Unfortunately, this seems like picking nits to me.

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aaronqb's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:35 am

Are you sure that Thompson is the one who decided to do the flag football game in Madison? According to the Packer website, Ted Eisenreich is the director of Facilities and Fields. I don't know if he reports up through Thompson, but I suspect not.

Why must there be a villain in all of this? Let it go. Thompson may not be the most charismatic guy, but he has done a masterful job with the Packers. They arguably have the best roster in the NFL and maintain a healthy salary cap.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 20, 2015 at 11:26 am

I have need in myself to tell again that I became Packers fan in Aaron Rodgers era. I do not have any bitter feelings towards Brett Favre. I admire him as player. But everything I learned about Brett Favre personality from reading emotionally non involved articles, I may say that Brett is not so nice person as many wants him to be. This line has nothing to do with his place in Packers history, but has everything with fans of him (like you, Jeff).
I would really like to know how many "charity" games of any kind was played on Lambeau Field turf? As I remember even players wife & gf was playing their "against breast cancer" charity on training field. So, why this game should be treated as special one?
I think that Brett Favre get ultimate honor by ceremony which was held on the Lambeau Field. Remember, no player, coach nor manager is more important than Packers. Brett Favre surely not.
That is how I see situation! Brett Favre get all credits for what he gave to Packers. But he is not bigger than Packers. No player is!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 20, 2015 at 06:38 pm

Using Lambeau is rare, Croat. IIRC, there was an event in 2006, 2011, and the Kenny Chesny concert in June of this year (2015). Packers have said that the window for off-season events at Lambeau is May to June. I do note that GB is going to allow the Wisconsin Badgers to play a college football game at Lambeau in September, which clearly is more likely to damage the field than any flag football game. There may be reasons GB is allowing this. GB might need to use Camp Randall in Madison someday in the future, perhaps, if something untoward were to happen at Lambeau.

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EdsLaces's picture

July 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I'm not totally sure who's to blame for Favre leaving. Honestly ...probably cause I'm an old hippie who just can't remember or maybe I just don't want Tom we had Aaron coming in to take his place and all that but here's my one problem. I loved what Brett had to say this weekend I thought it was all pretty classy. Minus ....when he was in the middle of that stadium full of people that adored him for so many years I just wish he would have taken 10 seconds hell maybe even 5 to say to the fans ...I'm sorry. Not a long drawn out thing just something like to you fans I'm sorry for the way it all went down or for playing for the Vikes or any of that. I know it wasn't all his fault and I know there was red tape and blah blah ....just a little ...tiny...I'm sorry. It would have totally fixed it for me.

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EdsLaces's picture

July 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm

To*

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The TKstinator's picture

July 20, 2015 at 02:17 pm

Nah.

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jcinpa's picture

July 20, 2015 at 03:36 pm

I believe as you do. Jeff someone didn't want him there I remember one of the big 3 saying something like he will never play at lambeau again. Maybe he could have a yearly flag fb game there kind of like the softball game for charity Favre never stopped giving to those charities you know. I think that says something wonderful about him & Deanna both

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

July 20, 2015 at 05:42 pm

Favre has DEFINITELY played at Lambeau as a non Packer after the infamous "divorce."

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Big T's picture

July 20, 2015 at 04:13 pm

Glad Brent Favre went out with honor..

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4thand1's picture

July 20, 2015 at 04:33 pm

Blemish? This event was planned out long ago by the Packers organization. No one person had a say in it. Lets not make any mountains out of mole hills, when it was everything everyone hoped for. Now let training camp begin, GOPACKGO!

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vj_ostrowski's picture

July 20, 2015 at 08:06 pm

I don't care whose "fault" it is in the GB organization (but you can take it to the bank that it was Mark Murphy keeping the game from happening there), I'm personally glad that they didn't kowtow to him.

He (and a lot of vocal fans) seem to think that the Packers need to bend to every one of his tossed off little whims. Like subtly "suggesting" that he walk out with Starr for a game (to avoid being booed) and then backing out when Bart gets sick and he can't get his way. Bill Johnson on ESPN Milwaukee even said that "he's a legend and you do WHATEVER a legend wants", which is exactly the kind of poisonous thinking that caused Brett's ego to grow and spill into an entirely separate locker room in the first place.

I think making him take his ball elsewhere was the right move, if they wanted to tell the guy that he's not wagging the dog here anymore.

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4thand1's picture

July 20, 2015 at 09:22 pm

I take it you didn't get a ticket.

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vj_ostrowski's picture

July 20, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Yeah, I had literally no interest in some flag football game featuring has-beens. And I didn't watch a single Favre-related thing all weekend.

But sadly I missed that great episode of Lawrence Welk I keep hearing about, too.

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GBFANINGA's picture

July 21, 2015 at 08:59 am

Let's just get over it

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GBFANINGA's picture

July 21, 2015 at 08:56 am

Don't try to make something out of nothing - this is between Favre & TT - maybe it's true , maybe not - why do people always have to look for something to blemish an otherwise perfect event - as Hillary would say , at this point does it really matter ?

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GBFANINGA's picture

July 21, 2015 at 09:18 am

Bottom line is , Favre was being honored for his 16 years of being a Green Bay's quarterback - & no one can deny that those 16 years he gave to us fans weren't the best & we wouldn't trade them for anything - what other team can boast of having a QB like that ! - the dirty laundry that came afterwards should not be a factor in his legacy - it's what he did on the field in those 16 years that matter !

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vj_ostrowski's picture

July 21, 2015 at 09:42 am

Obviously there's no NFL star for "# of women you propositioned who were not your wife" or "number of times you tried to throw your former teammates and coaches under the bus", so I'm happy to say that the on-field work that Brett Favre did for us was spectacular. With the exception of most playoff games after 1998, of course.

He absolutely deserves to be honored for his statistical prowess, longevity, and his place in the history of quarterbacking. You can't write it without him.

But why should his off-field foibles be off limits?! How can they be? I can't look at the guy without seeing how self-interested he is. I feel bad for his wife and kids, even if they themselves don't. It was embarrassing to watch a 40 year old man behave like a teenager, in so many ways. He's praised for being a down-home, good ol' boy - "one of the good guys" (Holmgren apparently spoke to his high character, which makes me think that Holmgren was concussed somewhere along the way), but he's really like one of those senators that's toe-tapping in the men's room while vilifying LGBT people in public. That's who Brett Favre is to me, and I can't separate it out. I feel I shouldn't have to.

You have a right to feel differently, as do I.

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vj_ostrowski's picture

July 21, 2015 at 09:43 am

*star should be "stat"

I haven't had my coffee yet.

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NewNikeShoes's picture

July 21, 2015 at 02:58 pm

I'm pretty sure what @yahoo was saying was that he was given the HOF award for only his contributions to the football field, nothing more, nothing less.

And I stand by that, as he single-handedly made football fun(atleast for me).

I will agree he's a pretty bad human being, but we aren't giving him some community award, we are giving him a HOF award.

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