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King: Overtime rule change not likely this year

Though we’ll continue to bang the drum that the overtime rule needs to be changed until the vote is taken on Wednesday — and, if it fails, beyond — Peter King of SI.com believes that the proposed alteration to sudden death for the postseason only won’t pass during the 2010 league meetings.

As one NFC G.M. told King on Sunday night:  “Is there a poll anywhere with fans demanding a new format for
overtime?  Where’s the demand coming from?  I don’t hear it from fans or
from players.”

One source of the demand is King himself, who has been calling for change for a while now.  We’ve also been clamoring for a new rule, and not just in the wake of the NFC title game.  I first made the case after the Chargers beat the Colts on a first-drive touchdown in the 2008 wild-card round.  Less than a month later, it appeared that the worst-case scenario was coming as the Steelers drove toward the end zone against the Cardinals, trailing by three with time running out in the fourth quarter.

After the Saints advanced to Super Bowl XLIV after receiving the ball to start overtime and scoring a field goal, our official rooting interest for the title game became a wish that one team would win on the first drive of overtime.  But for Tracy Porter sitting on a route and/or Reggie Wayne failing to get in front of him, it may have happened.

It’s the only way the rule ever will change.  Believe me, if it ever happens in a Super Bowl, the rule will change in the wake of what will be the biggest morning-after fog since a tie in baseball’s Midsummer Classic made Bud Selig look like a product marketed by Summer’s Eve.

So why not get it right before the wrong outcome occurs?  Though we realize that NFL owners are a conservative bunch (we don’t mean that in the political sense), what’s riskier than the biggest event of the year being undermined by millions of casual fans believing that the final outcome of the game was anything other than fair and just?

And while King lays out four specific reasons supporting his belief that the rules won’t change, there’s one big reason to push it through.  The league supposedly has entrusted to the Competition Committee the authority to identify rules that require change, to study the alternatives, and to identify a solution.  If the full ownership isn’t willing to defer to the work of the very body charged with determining what’s best for the game, why even have a Competition Committee?

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49 Responses to “King: Overtime rule change not likely this year”
  1. Hauschild says: Mar 22, 2010 10:37 AM

    That’s good news for those that enjoy keeping the integrity of the game.
    Let’s hope reasonable minds prevail and these people move on to more important issues.

  2. Chapnasty2 says: Mar 22, 2010 10:43 AM

    “Is there a poll anywhere with fans demanding a new format for overtime? Where’s the demand coming from? I don’t hear it from fans or from players.”
    GREATEST POINT EVER!! Florio, please find these things, or are you turning into Obama and the libs where if people don’t want something you just pass it anyways thinking we dont know any better.

  3. raw B says: Mar 22, 2010 10:47 AM

    The NFL is F’ing up lately…..Goodell should just change the rule and tell the owners to shove it….And dont even get me started on the possible lock out……
    Its sad a coin toss all but can decide our superbowl right now.

  4. RagnarTheBloodAxe says: Mar 22, 2010 10:48 AM

    I don’t know a single NFL fan that likes the overtime rules. In fact, everyone I know thinks it should be setup more like what it is in college. The rule is crap, the NFL knows it is crap, but hey… it let’s them rig games like they did for the Saints in the title game. One, or two, or four bad calls in a row, and just bring in the field goal kicker for Katrina Bowl XLIV.
    Horray?

  5. TJO5 says: Mar 22, 2010 10:53 AM

    I kind of liked the idea that both teams should get the ball in overtime,except that I favored a plan where team B only gets an equivalent number of downs to match or exceed team A’s result. After reflection however I feel that it may be better to do away with overtime altogether and have outcomes determined in regulation- that way players don’t have to risk injury in extended games.
    This is easily achieved by a scoring change that makes the first team to reach a score the one that will win at the conclusion of the game.
    Team A scores 30 points – Team B ties it up with a field goal with 3 minutes left- the game ends-Team A wins because they achieved their scores first.
    Strategy would change as teams would need to go for the 2 point conversion to win near the end of close games,or have to try for a 1st down on 4th and short because a field goal would only tie it up late in games and they need a touchdown.

  6. FlourideSoldOut says: Mar 22, 2010 10:54 AM

    Why can’t they just keep playing?
    At the end of regulation, take a TV time out, put 5 mins. on the board and pick up where you left off, just keep doing it till you get one team with more points on the board then the other team when the time runs out, just like regulation play.
    You could even eliminate the coin toss altogether: visiting team gets to pick at the start of the game when they want the ball first, at the start of the game or at the start of the second half. When you get to OT, there would be no coin toss, you just keep playing the game as of the fourth quarter were 20 mins. instead of 15.
    Yeah maybe the game in theory could go on indefinitely, so for the regular season after you’ve added 5 mins. 3 times (a fifth quarter so to speak) you call it a tie. In the playoffs, well somebody’s gotta win…

  7. jb347 says: Mar 22, 2010 10:54 AM

    The best solution I’ve heard is the auction-style one, whoever came up with that.
    Teams bid on field position if their offense takes the field. The closest team to their own goal line gets the ball. Sudden death.
    Solves the problem with the current solution (starting field position is a couple first downs from field goal range). Also avoids the dreaded college system. Also avoids a long, drawn out overtime which the players don’t want (increased risk of injury, etc).

  8. east96street says: Mar 22, 2010 10:57 AM

    “Is there a poll anywhere with fans demanding a new format for overtime? Where’s the demand coming from? I don’t hear it from fans or from players.”
    Exactly. But we need to change it because Florio says so. Even though his ridiculous, and now proven wrong, theory is fans will abandon the game if it happens in a “big” game. Happened in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl set a record for the most watched TV broadcast in history. The fans not only didn’t leave, but more showed up than ever before. The fans understood that the “rules” didn’t cost the Vikings the game, turnovers did. Yet, Florio continues to beat his drum. Florio if you so desperately want a rule change named after you, let it be a rule that no player is allowed to wear a bad toupee on the sideline. You can have your legacy that you so desperately want and the fans and the players can have the game the way they want it. We all understand that your partnership with NBC has allowed you to swing a big stick around the League. You’re even a part of practically every NFL Network documentary nowdays. Congrats. You worked long and hard to earn it. Now, if you would be so kind, try not to abuse it. Report the news and stop trying to make the news. If Detroit hired Millen and kept him around for as long as they did, someone will give the GM job you’re apparently campaigning for. Give it time.

  9. SlimEagan says: Mar 22, 2010 10:57 AM

    I still don’t think there is any need to change the overtime rule. If you are the kicking team, part of the sport is covering the kickoff to ensure a poor drive start by the receiving team and NOT taking penalties. If the Bills were to lose the toss, give up a decent return and a penalty gives the other team a potential field goal to win the game then it’s nobody’s fauly but the teams. You can’t blame the coin for poor coverage and bad defense. Besides, just because the offense if attempting a field goal, that doesn’t mean they’re gonna make it every time. Just ask Scott Norwood.

  10. dboom92 says: Mar 22, 2010 11:02 AM

    Becaue football people know OT is and always has been perfect the way it is…
    Now all you Pencil neck dipshits can whine about how Preseason is too long and how there should be an 18 game schedule.

  11. Greg B. says: Mar 22, 2010 11:06 AM

    Seems to me that a far bigger problem is the pass interference rule. If an official calls defensive holding, that’s 5 yards and a first down, but if he thinks it is pass interference then it can be 40-50 yards or first and goal on the one yard line. That is crazy — no other penalty is so extreme. Change that rule first.

  12. ZombieRevolution says: Mar 22, 2010 11:10 AM

    “So why not get it right before the wrong outcome occurs? ”
    The theory being that every overtime win to date has been wrong. I think more people are okay with rule than sites like this one would like to believe. Don’t change things because pompus lawyers think things needs to changed.
    It is so simple even a layer could get it- if you get the ball in overtime- score. If you defend in overtime stop the other team and then score. You know- do what you are paid to do.

  13. AlanSaysYo says: Mar 22, 2010 11:11 AM

    One extra period. Same rules. Not that hard.

  14. blitzburgh1 says: Mar 22, 2010 11:24 AM

    AlanSaysYo says:
    March 22, 2010 11:11 AM
    One extra period. Same rules. Not that hard.
    Ding ding ding!!! We have winner!

  15. raw B says: Mar 22, 2010 11:26 AM

    dboom92 says:
    March 22, 2010 11:02 AM
    Becaue football people know OT is and always has been perfect the way it is…
    Stupid, Stupid comment. Its never been perfect! LMFAO, So because its “Been that way” we shouldnt find a better way? Im sure you also dont want Instant replay in baseball cuz they didnt have it in 1890. Its about GETTING IT RIGHT, not tradition.

  16. bluestree says: Mar 22, 2010 11:27 AM

    Seems obvious to me most fans like OT the way it is, judging from these comments and the fact their is no evidence of overwhelming support for a change.
    “You can’t blame the coin for poor coverage and bad defense.”
    Pretty much sums it up.

  17. Rat says: Mar 22, 2010 11:32 AM

    It’s fine the way it is, but you know that it’ll get changed after the next time the Giants, aka Roger Goodell’s favorite team, loses an important OT game.

  18. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Mar 22, 2010 11:37 AM

    how come noone mentions the playoff game between the Packers and Cardinals
    it was actually the Cardinals D that stopped the Packers and got the win even though the Packers won the coin toss

  19. bigtrav425 says: Mar 22, 2010 11:39 AM

    Well maybe they should take one i dont know anyone personally that LIKES the OT the way it is.for 60 minutes all 3 phases of a team get to compete for a win but in OT only 2 get to play to try and win?…please tell me how in the world that makes sense…Oh wait it doesnt!

  20. Dewey Axewoond says: Mar 22, 2010 11:48 AM

    First things first:
    Florio–
    Rod Blagojevich called–he wants his haircut back.
    The best idea is to leave the damn game alone.
    Or, if you must change something, add an OT period of an extra 5/10/15 minutes. If the game remins tied after that, it’s goes to sudden death.
    Possession at the start of each subsequent period would continue to alternate, the same as during regulation. That way, the only coin toss that occurs/matters is the one at the start of the game.
    By keeping the game the way it is–THAT is the best way to preserve the competitive integrity of the game.
    No artifical starting points, no mandated posessions, no coin tosses, no stupid “first to reach X amount of points”–none of that stuff is in the game now (except the coin toss), why IMPOSE something new and foreign. The more you stray from the original rules/design/formula of the game in concocting OT, the worse it will be.
    The BiQueens did not lose the NFCCG because of a coin toss, they lost it because they turned the ball over, again, and again, and again, and again.
    They lost because Favre is an arrogant narcissist who puts his own ego ahead of everything else, and has a unique talent for throwing picks at the best possible time.
    They lost because their defense failed to stop the Saints.
    Anyone who cries or complains about the outcome of that game as “unfair”–or any other OT game decided on the first drive–is a b!tch, plain and simple.
    You didn’t get the outcome YOU wanted, so now you want to punish the rest of the league and it’s fans so you can feel better about losing?
    Sour grapes.
    You knew the rules when you went into the game, and you weren’t complaining THEN.
    Before the league begins mirroring the tyrannical practices of the federal government, and IMPOSING policies on the people that they don’t want, FORCING things upon them that are not even in their own best interests, it better think long and hard (yes, “long and hard”–settle down, Mike) about the permanent damage it could be doing.
    Somethings you CAN’T go back from.
    Any radical departure from the existing rules should be done by a league-wide referendum:
    Owners, coaches, players, and a coalition of fans–a true representational cross-section.
    THEY should collectively make decisions about what’s best for the game as a whole; it should NOT be done by a small special interest group whose primary motivation is bitterness.
    And the best thing for the game is to preserve its competitive integrity, by using the equitable rules that are already in place to solve any potential gripes about inequity.

  21. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 22, 2010 11:49 AM

    Put up a POLL Florio…Im with you, the rules need to be changed.

  22. grandpas_hog says: Mar 22, 2010 11:50 AM

    Is there anything worse than sitting through college OT watching two team trading cheap scores because they started inside the redzone?
    It’s a freaking circus, and the NFL should learn from this.
    What’s next? If a team wins in regulation by 7 but had 1 more offensive possession, should we give the losing team one last chance to score?
    Why are special teams and defense no longer considered as important to the outcome of a game as offense?
    What a joke.

  23. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 22, 2010 11:55 AM

    Hasnt the competition committee (CC) been proved to be a bad idea since back when Polian pushed through the rules about PI to give the Colts a competitive advantage? Has that improved the game? Lets do away with the CC already.

  24. Chapnasty2 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:03 PM

    @ warren
    No one mentions that game because Favre wasn’t the losing QB. It’s pathetic.

  25. kire562000 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:08 PM

    This is game played by adults. How is it not fair that your defense could not stop the other team from scoring. Last I checked, you are required to play BOTH offense AND defense. Stop crying because your defense could not stop the other guys from scoring. You had your chance to stop them and you didn’t. Too bad for you.
    PLAY DEFENSE get the ball back and score, it’s quite simple.

  26. Tomthebombtracy says: Mar 22, 2010 12:10 PM

    I think what greatly diminished the outrage of the Saints scoring on the first posession against the Vikings was that Favrew had a chance at the end of regulation to win and in effect they were already in sudden death.
    The real problem will come when something that happened to the Steelers happened. The Falcons drove for a tying score at the end of regulation of a high scoring game, then won the toss and won the game on the first posession.
    Effectively they had two straight posessions.
    Vikings have no bitch with loss to Saints…they should have won in regulation.

  27. Mark0226 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:11 PM

    Keep It Simple Stupid.
    Option 1 – No Change
    Option 2 – Move kickoff forward 5 yards.
    Option 3 – Eliminate coin toss, not only in OT, but to start the game. Follow Baseball on this one. Home team receives the ball in 1Q and OT.

  28. XXINYG says: Mar 22, 2010 12:15 PM

    Dumbest idea of all time. On the off chance that a Super Bowl goes to overtime (which it hasn’t), then the team who wins the toss has to go down the field to win the game on the first drive. What a nightmare indeed! A Super Bowl that’s so competitive that it goes to overtime??
    If this “nightmare scenario” ever happens, it’ll go down as probably the greatest Super Bowl of all-time since none of the games have ever sniffed OT before.
    So, there’s really no urgency to change the format at all – there’s a made up sense of urgency by media members who think they can get ahead of this ‘nightmare’ by preventing it – and then there’s the rest of the world who like the game the way it is.
    If a team wins the toss and takes the ball, drives down and scores they DESERVE to win the title. End of story.

  29. spyboots says: Mar 22, 2010 12:22 PM

    “If the full ownership isn’t willing to defer to the work of the very body charged with determining what’s best for the game, why even have a Competition Committee?”
    Because the committee wasn’t created for the owners to “defer” to EVERYTHING they suggest. It’s their job to “suggest,” then the owners can vote on it.

  30. AndyReidIsABadCoach says: Mar 22, 2010 12:22 PM

    You want a fair Overtime rule? Do a coin toss and then a full 15-minute quarter (at least in the playoffs). It would be commercial free and pretty exciting! Whoever is leading after that would win the game. If not, then you play another quarter, but I highly doubt someone would not be leading after an additional 15-minutes of football due to fatigue.

  31. XXINYG says: Mar 22, 2010 12:25 PM

    Florio: “Did you guys see that NFC Title game – man the Vikes sure got screwed by the overtime rules.”
    Any idiot with a brain: “They didn’t get screwed, they shouldn’t have turned the ball over five times.”

  32. dboom92 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:28 PM

    LOL, I live in the biggest sports market in the world and seriously don’t know a single person who thinks the current rules are unfair. This entire non-issue was sustained only by Florio wannabees and Vikings fans.
    Next….
    I wonder how many supporters of “fairness” OT reform are also parents who demand trophies every time their athletically inferior kids strike out in little league?

  33. Ca_Viking says: Mar 22, 2010 12:33 PM

    If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
    Just because a couple of liquored-up idiot sportcasters (i.e. Petered King) want something changed doesn’t mean that the greatest organization in sports should bow to these no talent clowns.

  34. Drat says: Mar 22, 2010 12:36 PM

    I have no problem with the current sudden death system. But if you are going to change things, don’t turn football into a different sport than it is now. The college system sucks beyond comprehension. When a college game goes into overtime, I just turn off the TV.
    Simplest solution: play extra quarters until someone wins. Will that be tiring and taxing on the players? Yeah, so what. They’re making millions of dollars.
    And me, who’s spending my money to watch these millionaires, i get more football.

  35. swede700 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:36 PM

    “Is there a poll anywhere with fans demanding a new format for overtime? Where’s the demand coming from? I don’t hear it from fans or from players.”
    Ummm, we’ve been clamoring for it for years. We clamor for it everytime someone wins with a field goal on the first drive. Who is this “NFC GM” anyway? I want to know who he is so I can start spamming the team’s in-box with requests for him to be fired.

  36. ChicagoNiner says: Mar 22, 2010 12:38 PM

    I have a simple and straight-forward idea to keep OT fair….
    I read a quote by a league official that says that 50% of the games were won by the team that won the coin flip – until 1994. It’s now close to 60%.
    So what changed? That’s when they moved kickoffs backward by 5 yards (for both regulation and OT) – presumably to increase kick returns and scoring.
    So why not move it back? During regulation, they can continue to kick from the 30 so that they get the benefit of higher scoring during regulation. But in OT situations, the receiving team is 5 yards further from scoring. The league’s own history shows that the receiving team would have roughly 50/50 odds.

  37. daffy87 says: Mar 22, 2010 12:39 PM

    Leave overtime alone. If you don’t want to lose on the first posession, then get a stop from your defense. Or better yet, use that first 60 minutes to beat your opponent lol. Teams should stop playing so conservatively at the end of regulation. If teams hate the OT rules so much, then make your teams play aggressive and either win it or lose it in regulation. If you go to overtime, then neither team has a right to complain if they lose. Let’s do the math. 32 teams play 16 games a year. That comes out to 512 games. In the 2009 season, 13 games went to overtime. That comes out to about 3% of games. Leave the rules alone.

  38. Zero says: Mar 22, 2010 12:43 PM

    Leave everything exactly as is but put a clause in that says each team must have one possession before a winner can be declared. If neither team scores on the first drive it is true sudden death, but if it is on the first drive of OT the defending team at least gets one shot. This will stop things like we saw in the Vikings vs Saints, were 1 pass interference (That was kind of a bad call anyway) won the game for the Saints without giving the Vikings a chance to come back.

  39. BleedGreenMtState says: Mar 22, 2010 12:45 PM

    Just add the decision to initial coin flip. You win the coin flip in the beginning of the game you get first choice. that might be to get the ball first, which side to defend or that IF there is OT you get the ball. Each team alternates choices until each determination has been made. this way the choice is not so directly tied to the coin flip as much as it is the strategy around determining the importance of the decisions made at the start of the game.
    This makes it about strategy and decision making opposed to the luck of the flip. No OT rule changes needed. Let’s face it this problem is not because the team that gets the ball first wins its that the team that gets the ball first is based solely on luck and has nothing to do with skill.
    PS – Please stop with the team that has the ball at the end of regulation gets it in OT wherever the clock stopped in regulation. This has to be one of the most ridiculous suggestions going. How can anyone think that completely altering the end of a tie NFL game would be good for the game.
    I can just see it now. Instead of trying to run a two minute offense in an attempt to score just as time expires the team instead runs the same old offense knowing that as soon as the clock expires they just get more time and get the ball right where they are.
    I have to think that the people suggesting this change are the wives that hate football and are trying to destroy the sport so their husbands stop watching.

  40. BostonISaChraphole says: Mar 22, 2010 1:05 PM

    Florio wanting overtime changed is really more about him blowing his new buddy Peter King. Peter is the biggest “Media Star” or “Whore” that has given PFT any pub so he wants to reward him by agreeing with the guy on almost everything he craps out of his mouth.
    Leave overtime alone, all this is being done for Payton Manning because he didn’t get a chance in overtime 2 seasons ago.
    Go on Vacation with Peter King somewhere and enjoy a latte, get a room and stop trying to change things that are not broken.

  41. bunbun says: Mar 22, 2010 1:20 PM

    PK misses the point. The system is not broken. Football is played (off vs. def, def vs. off) and a winner produced. It is now time to go home. If your pootums is hurt because your celebrity failed, got knocked an his ass, etc. means one thing and one thing only. WORK HARDER NEXT YEAR. If you, as a fan are so heavily invested emotionally perhaps you need to legitimize living, by finding other pursuits. Good Luck to you sir.

  42. TorVikeFan says: Mar 22, 2010 2:09 PM

    east96street said: “The fans understood that the ‘rules’ didn’t cost the Vikings the game, turnovers did…”
    Actually, it was the refs who cost the Vikings the [NFC title] game. Whether the refs were bought-off or merely grossly incompetent is an open question.
    And, I’m sure that, had the Vikings won the coin toss and scored on their first possession in the NFC title game, you, as a Saints fan, would have been entirely ok with that. Yeah, sure. Not in a million years.

  43. raw B says: Mar 22, 2010 2:55 PM

    dboom92 says:
    March 22, 2010 12:28 PM
    LOL, I live in the biggest sports market in the world and seriously don’t know a single person who thinks the current rules are unfair
    Not surprised at all that comments such as yours come from a new yorker.

  44. The Wishbone says: Mar 22, 2010 2:56 PM

    @ Florio,
    Did you really just compare the SUPER BOWL to the MLB all-star game?!
    Wow. That’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever written. Far dumber than saying Terry Bradshaw is dead.

  45. Mark0226 says: Mar 22, 2010 3:35 PM

    @TorVikeFan
    Another sore loser Vikings fan. The refs forced five turnovers. The refs forced Favre to throw a low flying duck across his body. The refs tackled Rice, allowing Tracy Porter to jump in front of him to intercept Favre’s last pass as a Vikings QB. The refs allowed it to get to OT, so that Florio would have a something to write about.
    If the Vikings won the coin flip, I would hope that the #1 defense in forcing turnovers got yet another one. If they did not, and the Vikings scored, then I would be pissed at the Saints defense for their inability to stop the Vikings. Their inability to stop the Vikings already cost them the lead late in the game, but the defense came through with an INT when the game was on the line. I would expect nothing less than this in OT.
    Here’s a question for everyone. If it’s so easy to score at the end of the game or in OT, then why don’t teams score on every drive?

  46. east96street says: Mar 22, 2010 4:17 PM

    TorVikeFan says: “And, I’m sure that, had the Vikings won the coin toss and scored on their first possession in the NFC title game, you, as a Saints fan, would have been entirely ok with that.”
    Clearly, you’re new here (on top of being a moron). I have been a Giants fans my whole life and have been posting here as a Giants fan for over three years now. I have NO fondness for either the Saints or the Vikings. I was completely indifferent as to who won. Clearly, you’re such a sad little fanboy that you can’t face the fact that your favorite team, literally, handed the game to the Saints. Sad. But to think I had any interest in who won that game is outright wrong. Once NY is out, I just watch the games as a fan of football. Whoever wins, wins. It doesn’t impact my favorite team, so I don’t really care. East96Street is in Manhattan, BTW.

  47. TorVikeFan says: Mar 22, 2010 6:47 PM

    To: Mark0226 and east96street
    It’s true that the Vikings almost gave away the NFC title game with their unforced turnovers. But the operative word is “almost”. Even with the turnovers (one of which would have been overturned, if roughing-the-passer had been correctly called), if the refs had not been completely biased or grossly incompetent, the Vikings had a better than 50% chance of winning the game IMHO (after all, they out-gained the Saints almost 2-1). 3 of the crappy calls occurred in the overtime (the bobbled catch called a first down, the fumble recovered behind the line of scrimmage on 4th down, which should have resulted in the Vikings getting the ball, and the Leber phantom pass interference call).
    And that isn’t just my opinion. See this ESPN report:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRd5jkJ1dEo
    So, before you take a cheap shot at me, maybe you should learn or face the facts first.

  48. LeQ says: Mar 22, 2010 8:37 PM

    It would be argued by anyone with a general sense of NFL history (i.e. not Florio) that two of the greatest games ever played were the 1958 title game between the Colts and Giants, and the 1982 divisional playoff between the Chargers and the Dolphins……both went to overtime. Leave it alone.

  49. piccolo says: Mar 23, 2010 12:23 AM

    How about this to prevent what happened in OT during the NFC title game: don’t turn the f#cking ball over 5 times in regulation.
    With Love,
    Pic

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