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Can anyone recommend a good football-related book?


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#1 Raider Nation

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

Summer is coming up. I'll have a lot of down time, so I want to get some reading done. Why not read about my favorite subject -- football. I checked out Amazon, but it's too overwhelming. There are literally over 300 pages of books involving football stories. I'd like to buy one which somebody can personally recommend.

To narrow it down even further, I'd love to read about life in the trenches by players from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Football books I've read which I can recommend are:

Next Man Up

Final Confessions of NFL Assassin Jack Tatum

A Civil War: Army vs. Navy a Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry

Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty


Stuff like that...

Thanks! :banned:

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#2 sspunisher

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

Look up those books you mentioned on Amazon, then look for the "customer's also purchased" area. Keep an eye out for the books with higher ratings and more customer reviews. I haven't gotten around to reading any but I've been eyeing some of the Bill Parcells and Rex Ryan books.

Edited by sspunisher, 24 May 2012 - 08:35 PM.


#3 Synesthesia

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

Try Paper Lion by George Plimpton- possibly the biggest classic in the field of NFL non-fiction. Journalist joins the '63 Lions during camps and reports about the experience. Steven Fatsis did something similar with the 2006 Broncos in A Few Seconds of Panic, too. Sort of an outsider's insider's view of football.

#4 Bruno2

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:36 PM

From one Raider fan to another... You should read Bad###es- The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death and John Madden's Oakland Raiders, by Peter Richmond.

#5 Raider Nation

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:47 PM

From one Raider fan to another... You should read Bad###es- The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death and John Madden's Oakland Raiders, by Peter Richmond.

My favorite player ever. It's in my checkout cart now. :thumbup:

Thanks to the two previous posters as well.

Synesthesia, I read Paper Lion a million years ago. And the movie was awful, as I recall. (Or it just didn't age well)...

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#6 massraider

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:21 PM

Check out Paul Zimmerman's Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football. Also Ron Jaworski has a good X's and O's book out. You're a gambler, no? Get The Smart Money. Great read.

#7 Raider Nation

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:30 PM

Check out Paul Zimmerman's Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football. Also Ron Jaworski has a good X's and O's book out. You're a gambler, no? Get The Smart Money. Great read.

Yeah, Jaws' book was with Cosell and SalPal I believe. About the most important NFL games. The Smart Money is a must-read, agreed. I recommended it to everyone several times in the gambling thread.

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"


#8 Kevrunner

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:12 AM

"I Am Third" by Gale Sayers

Nevada Senator Harry Reid was impressed by "light-skinned' Obama's lack of 'Negro dialect"


#9 RUSF18

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:59 AM

I found The Smart Money on bookcloseouts.com a few years ago for like $3. It's been on my shelf for years without me actually turning to it but I've heard Halberstam's "The Education of a Coach" on Belichick is great.

#10 Black&Gold

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:49 AM

For your fiction.....I like Bleachers by Grisham. High School glory days...
HERE WE GO!

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#11 Da Guru

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:02 AM

I rented a condo in Florida a couple of years ago and stumbled on this book about Texas football in the 60s under Darrell Royel. Although it is dated now is was quite interesting. http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B00005WEQ0

#12 Matt Bitonti

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:54 AM

When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL by Stefan Fatsis Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won by Tobias Moskowitz The Blind Side by Michael Lewis The Draft: A Year Inside the NFL's Search for Talent by Pete Williams Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan

#13 matttyl

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:49 AM

Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan

Have to second that one. Just finished that one, the Drew Brees book, and the Blind side all last week on my honeymoon. All great books.

#14 Grateful Parrot

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:16 AM

I remember as a teen reading Rocky Blier's(sp) biography? How he got shot in Nam and returned to the Steelers. Very good read, I might have to find it myself and read it again.

#15 Herb

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:52 AM

You've probably read it already, but as it's obvious and hasn't been mentioned yet, Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger. Great book. (movie and tv show also excellent)

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#16 Sabertooth

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:53 AM

I've heard that Tony Dungy's book on leadership is really good, but have not read it. When Pride Still Mattered was a good biography of Lombardi, warts and all.

#17 Sweet Love

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:12 AM

My friend wrote this book On Being Brown. It is essays and interviews and really is a fun book on what it is like to be a fan. He is a good writer, so it flows well.

I am reading Sean Payton's book, and it looks like it was written by a 9th grader...just terrible.

#18 Chase Stuart

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:20 AM

Sweetness is great. I really recommend it and think Jeff Pearlman should be proud of that story. It's a fascinating read. I actually never read Maraniss' book, but John Eisenberg's That First Season is a great book on Lombardi. I did a book review of it here: http://www.pro-footb...om/blog/?p=8927 You probably won't enjoy it as much, but I liked Don Maynard's autobiography. I also think Jon Rand is a good writer. His book "Run It! And Let's Get the Hell Out of Here!" is a listing of the 100 greatest plays in history. Perfect leisure reading for a trip down memory lane. I did a podcast with him about it here: http://www.pro-footb...om/blog/?p=2108
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#19 Lab

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:25 AM

I'm about to start Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, which I've heard is absolutely excellent. I'd also second the recommendations for Blind Side and Friday Night Lights. Both are excellent books.

I've also heard Few Seconds of Panic (about the sportswriter who goes through training camp as a kicker for the Broncos), and Scorecasting (about economics and probability of sports) are also very good. But I have not read those yet.

Edited by Lab, 25 May 2012 - 07:28 AM.


#20 vasco75

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:25 AM

Really enjoyed this one... Romo: My Life on the Edge: Living Dreams and Slaying Dragons by Bill Romanowski

#21 RUSF18

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

It's away from the biography types you're seeking but Chip Brown's "The Essential Smart Football" just came out and it's getting tremendous reviews. I was first exposed to him through his work on Grantland where he would break down key plays in NFL games from an Xs and Os perspective, complete with diagrams but doing it in an easy to understand way. Believe the paperback is $10 and the Kindle version is $6.

#22 Chase Stuart

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

It's away from the biography types you're seeking but Chip Brown's "The Essential Smart Football" just came out and it's getting tremendous reviews. I was first exposed to him through his work on Grantland where he would break down key plays in NFL games from an Xs and Os perspective, complete with diagrams but doing it in an easy to understand way. Believe the paperback is $10 and the Kindle version is $6.

Strongly recommend the book along with the website, smartfootball.com. I should know, I write there from time to time. Chris Brown is an excellent writer in a space (football Xs and Os) where there are very few good authors.
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#23 mad_dog

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

I really enjoyed Under the Tarnished Dome. Maybe a not so balanced look at ND football during the Holtz era, but a very entertaining read. Goes into Holtz's coaching tactics, questionable ethics, steriods, etc.

If you are a big ND football fan, probably stay clear.

I have read the majority of When Pride Still Mattered. It is good, the last 100 pages really drag though, my opinion.

#24 Matt Bitonti

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

in 1999 rex ryan wrote a book on the 46 defense. I've never read it but it's probably interesting.

#25 apalmer

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

About Three Bricks Shy of a Load

#26 johnadams

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:00 AM

Stabler's autobiography (IIRC, it was called Snake) was one of my great teenage influences. One of the PG stories I tried to replicate was the part about Belitnikoff falling asleep in team meetings with his eyes open (among many great stories). Spent several years trying to perferct this in classes, finally finding the right formula my junior year during Biology. Unfortunately, Stabler didn't mention how to control snoring.

#27 belljr

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

Friday Night Lights
I bow to the awesomeness of :homer:  

#28 Todd Andrews

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:05 AM

Endzone by Don Delillo

One of the greatest living American novelists and a great book, even though published decades ago.

Loosen up Sandy baby - John Riggins

I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager, and never did it again - Mitt Romney

Frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is. They have descended from the realm of reasonableness that was the mark of conservatism. They dream of anarchy, of ending government. - Bruce Bartlett (Reagan Economic Policy Advisor)

 

Wisdom here.


#29 Don Quixote

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:18 AM

Recently read this one: The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football

Good stuff on the early history of football, including figures such as Walter Camp, and TR's involvement in helping to establish what would become the NCAA. :thumbup:

#30 TheDirtyWord

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:29 AM

America's Game - Michael McCambridge

One of the best I've ever read...would actually be surprised if based on what you've read, you hadn't read this already.
"I'd like to tell you about what was actually the finest performance of my rookie season, but, shoot, I promised her I wouldn't." - Joe Namath

#31 houndirish

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:00 PM

Run to Daylight by Vince Lombardi. Easy read with lots of great player stories that are told so anecdotally you feel like you were in the room when these events unfolded. It's hard not to enjoy this book.

I was very young when I read Paper Lion. I didn't like it as much as it's reputation, although it is well written. I thought it kinda dragged. Although the stories and quotes from Night Train Layne are outstanding.
Joe Montana after getting blindsided by Leonard Marshall in the '91 NFC Championship Game:

"Everything hurts"

#32 azgroover

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:26 PM

Sweetness is great. I really recommend it and think Jeff Pearlman should be proud of that story. It's a fascinating read.

:goodposting: Pearlman is a great writer. If you liked Boys Will Be Boys, get Sweetness. Much was made about it exposing the bad side of Payton, but that's a tiny part of the whole story and Pearlman was actually pissed that the publisher went that angle in marketing the book.

#33 DawnBTVS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:30 PM

Patriot Reign by Michael Holley. Really fun behind the scenes read of the 2001-2004 seasons for the New England Patriots with lots of access to situations that most fans never hear about. It's touched/recapped on again briefly in his newer book War Room.

The Education of a Coach by David Halberstram. As much flack as Bill Belichick gets, this is pretty much the biography of him as a coach and person. Insightful and Halberstram is a great writer of various subjects.

Edited by DawnBTVS, 25 May 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#34 loose circuits

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:50 PM

I've heard that Tony Dungy's book on leadership is really good, but have not read it.

QUIET STRENGTH is a good one

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#35 Black

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:18 PM

The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty
http://www.amazon.co...=I37C1BBQ6TYOX6

Total Access: A Journey to the Center of the NFL Universe (Rich Eisen)...one year in NFL, combine thru Superbowl.
http://www.amazon.co...=I393M2AO0BIQKA

War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team...from writer of Patriot Reign.
http://www.amazon.co...37980400&sr=1-1

America's Game, Michael MacCambridge (Author)
http://www.amazon.co...d=I5J31LUGS8SSV

#36 Hersh

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:33 PM

Out of their League by Dave Megyessy (former player) is a good read.

I will prepare and then, perhaps, my time will come!                                                     

                                                              - John Wooden


#37 Raider Nation

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:11 PM

I'm about to start Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, which I've heard is absolutely excellent.

http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=622246&view=findpost&p=13773387

You're gonna love it! I wish I could read that again for the first time. Enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who shared recommendations. There's a lot to digest.

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"


#38 Kleck

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:41 PM

When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss

:goodposting: Great read.

#39 Johnny Blood

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:20 PM

To narrow it down even further, I'd love to read about life in the trenches by players from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Then it is a no-brainer. You should read "Instant Replay" by Jerry Kramer (and Dick Schaap). http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0385517459

It's an absolute classic and many think it is the best football book ever. It's the ultimate book from the player's perspective and covers a single NFL season in great depth. It has sold millions of copies and was a sensation when it came out.

Edited by Johnny Blood, 26 May 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#40 Raider Nation

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:31 PM


To narrow it down even further, I'd love to read about life in the trenches by players from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Then it is a no-brainer. You should read "Instant Replay" by Jerry Kramer (and Dick Schaap). http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0385517459

It's an absolute classic and many think it is the best football book ever. It's the ultimate book from the player's perspective and covers a single NFL season in great depth. It has sold millions of copies and was a sensation when it came out.

Just ordered. Thanks. :thumbup:

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"


#41 menobrown

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:32 PM


To narrow it down even further, I'd love to read about life in the trenches by players from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Then it is a no-brainer. You should read "Instant Replay" by Jerry Kramer (and Dick Schaap). http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0385517459

It's an absolute classic and many think it is the best football book ever. It's the ultimate book from the player's perspective and covers a single NFL season in great depth. It has sold millions of copies and was a sensation when it came out.


I was going to suggest this exact same book. One of the first football books I ever read and hooked me on the game. It fits the description of what you are looking for perfectly.

#42 elguapo07

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

This is a bit off the board but i thought it was pretty good and it was an easy read. Rough and Tumble by Mark Bavaro

#43 Synesthesia

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:00 PM

Also, you definitely can't miss out on Monday Night Jihad.

On second thought, yeah, you probably could.

Edit to add description:

He thought his deadliest enemy knelt across the line of scrimmage. He was wrong! After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Riley Covington is living his dream as a professional linebacker when he comes face to face with a radical terrorist group on his own home turf. Drawn into the nightmare around him, Riley returns to his former life as a member of a special ops team that crosses oceans in an attempt to stop the escalating attacks. But time is running out, and it soon becomes apparent that the terrorists are on the verge of achieving their goal—to strike at the very heart of America. This softcover edition also includes a teaser chapter of the next Riley Covington thriller.
Written by a member of the NFL; gives readers an insider look at the world of professional athletes and military intelligence. Examines the challenges of homeland security in large-venue events. Explores the tension between the desire for revenge and the constraints of the Christian faith, especially as it relates to Islam. Jason Elam has recently returned from Iraq, where he visited and supported the troops. You can read his journal at mondaynightjihad.blogspot.com.

Gold!

Edited by Synesthesia, 26 May 2012 - 10:02 PM.


#44 eakfootball

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:13 AM

Didn't read through the whole topic, so it might have been mentioned already, but "Next Man Up" by John Fenstein is my favorite of all time. He follows the Ravens for 2 seasons and you learn more stuff about how a team is run than you would have ever known.

#45 Raider Nation

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:42 AM

Didn't read through the whole topic, so it might have been mentioned already, but "Next Man Up" by John Fenstein is my favorite of all time. He follows the Ravens for 2 seasons and you learn more stuff about how a team is run than you would have ever known.

You could have at least read the original post. ;)

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"


#46 hefectus

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

"Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper" by Stephen Dubner.

#47 Joexx

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:38 AM

When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss

:goodposting: Great read.

Excellent Read!

#48 Maurile Tremblay

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:53 AM

Snake, by Ken Stabler, is a fascinating read.

North Dallas Forty is a classic; and if you don't want to read the book, the movie is also very good (but slightly tamed down).

Turning the Thing Around, by Jimmy Johnson, is interesting.
I can't believe I've played the Lotto every single week for 15 years and I've only won $136 million.

#49 Raider Nation

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:35 PM



To narrow it down even further, I'd love to read about life in the trenches by players from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Then it is a no-brainer. You should read "Instant Replay" by Jerry Kramer (and Dick Schaap). http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0385517459

It's an absolute classic and many think it is the best football book ever. It's the ultimate book from the player's perspective and covers a single NFL season in great depth. It has sold millions of copies and was a sensation when it came out.

I was going to suggest this exact same book. One of the first football books I ever read and hooked me on the game. It fits the description of what you are looking for perfectly.

Just wanted to say thanks to both of you for this recommendation.

I am only three chapters in (they are still in training camp) and I already love it. It's like I'm reading Hard Knocks. Fantastic.

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"


#50 Raider Nation

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:35 PM

Snake, by Ken Stabler, is a fascinating read.

He liked the nightlife a little bit, didn't he? :banned:

In the poker game of life, women are the rake.

Mike knows him as "Alberto Jose Alburquerque"





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