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Nike plans to “have some fun” but “respect traditions” with NFL gear

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In 2010, a Nike executive created a stir by suggesting that, once the company inherits the NFL apparel deal from Reebok, dramatic changes will be made to team uniforms.  Some were fascinated by this; others feared that the pro teams would begin to operate like the Oregon Ducks and their “snowflake” approach to helmet, jersey, and pants selection.

With the date for the handoff approaching, we recently dusted off those quotes in order to caution folks against buying any of the current Reebok jerseys until the new Nike designs arrive.  The league responded by saying that dramatic changes to logos and colors won’t occur.

On Wednesday, Nike CEO and president Mark Parker addressed the situation in an appearance on CNBC.

According to SportsBusiness Daily, Parker said, “[People] are wondering, ‘Well, what are you going to do?  Are you going to get crazy with the uniforms?’  We’re actually going to have some fun, but respect the traditions of these teams at the same time.”

It’s unclear how much “fun” Nike will be allowed to have.  Still, keep in mind what league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT last month:  “Logos are controlled by teams and the NFL.  That will not change.  Teams have to apply to league to make changes to logos and colors.

Thus, while it may be something more than “zero fun, sir,” Nike won’t have the ability to do whatever it wants, and teams that change their uniforms will still need the league office to sign off.

So far, we’ve seen a subtle revision to the Panthers logo, and teams like the Rams and Steelers have suggested that their alternate uniforms could change.  (Surely, new Rams coach Jeff Fisher has no interest in the blue and yellow duds that the team wore when beating Fisher’s Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.)  The Seahawks apparently plan something more comprehensive.

We’ll all find out whether and to what extent every uniform changes at some point between now and the draft.  Until then, continue to think twice about buying any of the remaining Reebok jerseys.

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78 Responses to “Nike plans to “have some fun” but “respect traditions” with NFL gear”
  1. babyhorsemorgan says: Feb 22, 2012 6:07 PM

    Just for fun they going to make the football pants into buttless chaps. But no other major changes.

  2. joetoronto says: Feb 22, 2012 6:08 PM

    Just don’t touch the Raiders jerseys, that silver & black is classic.

  3. rascalmanny says: Feb 22, 2012 6:08 PM

    Great.

    Just what I need. More Nike nonsense.

    When is their contract up?

  4. seahawks4alltime says: Feb 22, 2012 6:09 PM

    What’s this I see about the Seahawks planning something more comprehensive. What are they planning for their jerseys/colors/logo?

  5. smartbutlazy says: Feb 22, 2012 6:13 PM

    Denver is going back to the orange unis and relegating the blue to the home alternate.

  6. skito13 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:14 PM

    It’s about time that the uniform design gets with the times! Most current uni’s are high school lookin ancient…old..plain,etc.

  7. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 22, 2012 6:15 PM

    Screw traditions, I want to see some creativity!

  8. raider17 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:16 PM

    Do not touch the Silver & Black!!!

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  9. eaglesnoles05 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:17 PM

    Eagles need to wear an all green uni at ome point. Looks great in video games, but they never do it.

  10. alexb64 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:18 PM

    I’m sure they’ll do a great job & they won’t at all be jerseys only 9-year-old boys think look cool. Surely.

    “Here’s our Raiders design, As you can see we maintained the team’s iconic look & feel with respect to their team history. Then we put THIS TOTALLY SICK ASS SILVER NINJA GORILLA ON THE SLEEVES!”

  11. upyoursnfu says: Feb 22, 2012 6:19 PM

    $$$$$$

  12. domezo says: Feb 22, 2012 6:19 PM

    people need to stop having their panties in a bunch about changes in teams uniforms. its a new decade we’re not in the 90’s or 80’s no more! you would want your car to look like did back in 90’s now would you? or your cell phone to look like early 2000’s? think about its not a big deal teams will play they same. new looking uniforms is what this league needs

  13. packerpride03 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:20 PM

    Make some long sleeves like back in the day

  14. johnnyb216 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:20 PM

    They better leave their grimey mitts off the packers uniforms. Otherwise I’m done buying ANY kind of NFL merchandise.

  15. maxvv says: Feb 22, 2012 6:21 PM

    I’m terrified that they’re going to mess with the Jets’ jerseys. We may suck from time to time, but at least we look pretty good doing it.

  16. alexb64 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:21 PM

    skito13 says:
    Feb 22, 2012 6:14 PM
    It’s about time that the uniform design gets with the times! Most current uni’s are high school lookin ancient…old..plain,etc.

    how does a uniform “get with the times”? Adding iPads to the shoulders? WIFI connectivity?

  17. jimmysimpson55 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:22 PM

    Great, a bunch of tree-hugging idiots from Portland, OR get to “have fun” with American icons. Get ready for a lot of gay pride outfits disguised as uniforms.

  18. 1captain1 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:26 PM

    Suddenly thousands of Chinese Children will know what the NFL is as they earn their living stitching the jersey’s together with their tiny Chinese hands.

    Great marketing!

    I’m glad I’m an American Consumer. Now get balkc to work you Chinese rugrats!

  19. kevpft says: Feb 22, 2012 6:26 PM

    For the most part, I don’t like what Nike does with unis. Though I do love the Oregon update we last saw, I don’t want the whole NFL looking like that. It’s a sport so heavily connected to tradition that it would be inappropriate to trash tradition for the unis.

    As for the Seahawks, whatever they do to their overall look – and I could see something like an Oregon-style update working well for them – I hope they keep the seahawk image itself, as is. There’s not much that’s iconic about that team, but that terrific seahawk graphic is.

    And just to help prove that I’m not against all change, I think those Maryland football uniforms by Under Armour are fantastic.

  20. beavertonsteve says: Feb 22, 2012 6:27 PM

    I’m guessing Nike is talking more about incorporating different fabrics, cuts and those types of design changes. When I look at jerseys from the 70’s and 80’s I am glad there have been advances in those areas.

  21. arnoldziffel says: Feb 22, 2012 6:33 PM

    I don’t like the sound of this.

    Part of the Packer tradition is in the uniform … we don’t need some organ grinder from Oregon messing with it.

    Go print some tee-shirts, Nike …

  22. themonster49 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:36 PM

    No. No No Nooo! No Nike, that’s a bad Nike!

    Change is inevitable, change is good, change is progress, blah blah blah.

    That is what people pushing change will tell you, they forget the statistical part of it. The odds are not in favor of the change. Dramatic is new, we don’t like new, we fear new, we react and burn new like crazed cavemen.

    Now for actually important things, bring on the change! That’s called evolution, but as far as this goes… unless the change is something we can all agree with, like the old jersey’s hanging and not fitting tight (like HS jerseys) and the new jerseys fitting and being stretchy, that was a good change, kind of like changing out of the 80s, after it’s gone we’re all embarrassed about it and try to distance ourselves from it.

    But as far as; Colors, Fonts, Logos, Additions, etc. etc. Heck no Nike! No No No!

  23. mistersmith22 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:38 PM

    babyhorsemorgan says:
    Feb 22, 2012 6:07 PM
    Just for fun they going to make the football pants into buttless chaps. But no other major changes.

    ——————–

    All chaps are buttless. That’s the definition of chaps.

  24. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Feb 22, 2012 6:38 PM

    I’m just happy that Reebok doesn’t have the contract for headwear anymore. Their hats were brutal.

  25. dougydougdoug says: Feb 22, 2012 6:43 PM

    joetoronto says: Feb 22, 2012 6:08 PM

    “Just don’t touch the Raiders jerseys, that silver & black is classic.”

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want all those inner-city gang bangers to have to go get new prison tats…well, then again, when are they ever NOT in jail?

  26. kilo0986 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:49 PM

    Just change the texans logo and name and we’ll be good

  27. bigzant82 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:53 PM

    OK change the Raider Jerseys there plain and ugly

    change my cleveland browns jerseys and pants & logo im tired of having the most ugly jersey in the NFL :(

    If you change the broncos back to orange remember all them super bowls they lost with them?? when they changed they won 2x super bowls
    how bout changing the bills back too the 2002-2010 jerseys those were great and how bout changing the falcons and ravens

  28. jutts says: Feb 22, 2012 6:56 PM

    About time, Reebok’s hats, mens polo’s and even their sweatshirts were butt ugly. I’m sure Nike can do a better job. I also hope the prices go down a little. $100 beans for a golf shirt is a bit steep.

  29. mdc21787 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:56 PM

    thank god SOMEONE will pull my redskins’ look out of the mid 80’s

  30. briang123 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:56 PM

    All I want is for the Eagles to go back to Kelly green or wear the Kelly green uniforms once a year.

  31. raiders757 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:56 PM

    Nike best keep their “fun” away from my Raiders, or THE Nation is going to find a way to have little fun making their lives a living hell.

  32. gb4mn0 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:58 PM

    All the vikequeef toads are suffering wedgies hoping Nike won’t get to redesign their gender bending Helga hats to somethings less effeminate.

  33. wetpaperbag3 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:00 PM

    skito13 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:14 PM

    It’s about time that the uniform design gets with the times! Most current uni’s are high school lookin ancient…old..plain,etc.
    ==================================

    Spoken like someone under the age of 25. No sense of history, tradition, and class.

  34. jade amor says: Feb 22, 2012 7:01 PM

    I love the fact that the opinions of people regarding uniforms differ so much. I was talking about this with some of the guys I work with, and we all agree that the worst uniforms are always the ones that no one wants to change. Just reading through the comments above, I saw a comment to leave the Raiders alone, and another to leave the Packers alone. those are 2 of the worst uniforms. The best ones are the ones that have been updated in the last 20 years. We all agreed that the best uniforms (in no order):
    Ravens, Bucs, Patriots, Broncos, Jags, Panthers, Bills, SeaHawks
    And we all thought the worst uniforms were the teams like:
    Packers, Colts, Bears, Browns, Steelers, Raiders, Redskins

    I am not saying my taste in uniforms is better than your taste, or any of that. I just like new designs versus old designs. I dont think there is anyone out there that thinks the Bucs from the 70’s in that nasty creamsicle garbage was better than the way they look now, lol

  35. mdc21787 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:05 PM

    alexb64 says: Feb 22, 2012 6:21 PM

    how does a uniform “get with the times”? Adding iPads to the shoulders? WIFI connectivity?

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    it’s called style man. old block style numbers, bland color schemes…the nfl needs some innovation. and honestly as a redskins fan, our uniforms SUCK!!!! teams like us, the dolphins, bengals, and chiefs need to seriously reconsider our uniforms. tradition is fine and dandy but tradition is not defined by holding on to uniform designs from the 80’s. we dont need to go as far as the ducks do, but damn a little innovation and style will ignite the fanbases and induce a little swagger for teams like us.

  36. emperorzero says: Feb 22, 2012 7:14 PM

    Don’t knock the Rams blue and yellow uniforms – their only Super Bowl victory came with those jerseys and they haven’t done much since getting away from the “Notre Dame” look.

  37. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2012 7:15 PM

    If there was a change to the Raider’s gear, it would be the silver face mask to black; everything else is untouchable.

  38. madenatewell says: Feb 22, 2012 7:23 PM

    I’m glad Nike is coming…the hats were crap most of the shirts were crap, just a bunch of crap…

    As a panthers fan, I’m glad they leaked the new logo…but it gave us fans too much time to sit an wait to see what they do with it. I hope that this “subtle change to the helmet” for Carolina is better than “just incorporating the logo to the uniform” as team reps say…that makes no sense…a Nike made Panthers jersey, with those colors could be SICK, just don’t do any “Super Cam” stuff…hes still got more to prove

  39. bigguy54 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:24 PM

    There has been a ton of stuff about this on Seahawks sites for months. The major change is the helmets are going to be a darker blue, and hopefully they joked about feather trim. We will also get an alternate jersey that many think will be a throw back and not the lime green. I liked the green jerseys they sold with blue numbers, the game ones had white according to NFL rules. I also heard that Seattle will be a test market for the combat jersey’s, we will see. There is no way the NFL let’s Nike do the crap they have done with Oregon. It looks like the unis might be released at the draft, then we can all stop guessing.

  40. joelvis72 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:31 PM

    maxvv, I’m not much of a Jets fan but I love their old green-helmeted uniforms of the 1980s.

  41. carlsbadboltfan says: Feb 22, 2012 7:33 PM

    smartbutlazy says: Feb 22, 2012 6:13 PM

    Denver is going back to the orange unis and relegating the blue to the home alternate.

    ————————————————————–
    My son walked into the living room while I was watching Denver play & they were wearing those UGLY orange uni’s. His response? “Who are those guys? The Home Depots?” (He was 3 at the time).

  42. jade amor says: Feb 22, 2012 7:39 PM

    I also think the uniforms look better when the pants match the jersey. A few examples, I have seen the Cardinals wear red jerseys and red pants, looks awesome. I have seen the pats do it with blue pants/jerseys, and the Ravens with black pants/jerseys.

  43. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 22, 2012 7:42 PM

    - They need to redo the Cardinals. When they came out I thought they were horrible and it still hasn’t grown on me.

    – Same with the Vikings.

    – Don’t touch the Bears, Steelers, Saints, & Raiders. Classics.

    – The Patriots need to wear Red full-time.

    – Ravens need to wear black and make the purple the alternate.

    – Browns…need a whole new color scheme. Yea I know they’re the Browns. But, you can’t do much with the color Brown other than what they’ve done and what they’ve done is pretty bad.

    – Seahawks. I think it’s obvious.

    – Colts need a new design as they transition from the Manning era.

    – The Chiefs uni’s I just don’t like. You can argue with me all you want its just personal.

    – Lastly, the Packers…Well don’t worry about changing their uni’s. They should just fold all together and get them out the league.

  44. ctbucsfan0429 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:44 PM

    I’m all for changing things up a BIT, but please let’s finally get rid of all those throw back uniforms. It was a novelty when they broke them out years ago, but now it’s getting old and ugly.

  45. radrntn says: Feb 22, 2012 7:52 PM

    it’s impossible to change perfection

  46. joetoronto says: Feb 22, 2012 7:59 PM

    dougydougdoug says: Feb 22, 2012 6:43 PM

    joetoronto says: Feb 22, 2012 6:08 PM

    “Just don’t touch the Raiders jerseys, that silver & black is classic.”

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want all those inner-city gang bangers to have to go get new prison tats…well, then again, when are they ever NOT in jail?
    *************************************************
    That’s it, put your ignorance on display, loser.

  47. phillyocmd says: Feb 22, 2012 7:59 PM

    No problem, I’ll wear my Halladay and Lee t-shirts all year long! Has everyone seen what they did to the USA bball logo. Don’t ____ with my Eagles. However, Andy Reid in a green “Frosty the Snowman” uni would be hysterical!!

  48. eyeh8goodell says: Feb 22, 2012 8:01 PM

    I’m sure Reebok is thrilled you’re “cautioning people against buying their products”.

    And no, Nike won’t be lowering prices. They already charge well over $100 for a pair of crappy shoes they pay little kids pennies a day to make over in Asia. They won’t be cutting you any slack at retail.

  49. nineroutsider says: Feb 22, 2012 8:10 PM

    I hope they feather the Seahawks jerseys like they do for the Ducks. It doesn’t get worse than that. Use more of that florescent green too…

  50. rushmatic says: Feb 22, 2012 8:22 PM

    jimmysimpson55 says:

    Great, a bunch of tree-hugging idiots from Portland, OR get to “have fun” with American icons. Get ready for a lot of gay pride outfits disguised as uniforms.

    _____________________

    What a miserable life you must lead.

  51. dspears06 says: Feb 22, 2012 8:23 PM

    Why do we even have to change anything. Screw nike, keep everything the same

  52. tunescribe says: Feb 22, 2012 8:24 PM

    The mentality of the video-game generation has wreaked enough havoc with American culture as is. Don’t mess with NFL tradition, Nike.

  53. yankees2009 says: Feb 22, 2012 8:33 PM

    I’m hoping my G-men go back to something similar to the 90’s uniforms, especially the G-I-A-N-T-S on the Navy blue helmet. Not a huge fan of the NY on the current helmet… not bold enough. I wouldn’t be against seeing the red jerseys return as an alternate for one or two games a year, either.

    The Jet’s should go back to the uniforms they wore in the early 90’s. That shade of green was much better, and the helmet was one of the best in football.

    People hated the orange bronco uni’s of the 80’s and 90’s, but they should make a return to those IMO (for nostalgic purposes mainly… I guess they were quite ugly).

    The Bengals still have one of the best helmets in football, but their uniforms have become too flashy recently (they look quite different than they did back in 2005… maybe the material changed?). In any case, they too should make a return to their uniforms of the late 90’s, early 2000’s. The Bengals were horrible during that span, but their uni’s were one of, if not, the best. Make an alternate orange uniform in that design as well.

  54. swannypit77 says: Feb 22, 2012 8:40 PM

    I’m really getting sick and tired of Nike. Actually, maybe fans should run out and buy Reebok jerseys while they can. I just bought a Steelers authentic recently and only paid $150.00. It’s the one nice thing about Nike taking over. I loved the Reebok beanies and knit hats. Ultimately, I buy gear and apparel because it’s Steelers apparel, not because of who makes it!!

  55. nfceastisbeast says: Feb 22, 2012 8:41 PM

    Seattles uniforms are horrendous. As are the Cards, Ravens, Rams, Vikings and Broncos. The Bills were the worst until they went back to the classic look they now wear. The Saints are by far the best as long as they don’t wear the black over black. I guess I’m just old, i like the classic look. love the Giants, Jets, Steelers. Colts need an update and Falcons need to go back to their 70’s look.

  56. strahan92 says: Feb 22, 2012 9:18 PM

    Leave the Giants unis the American way they are: Red, White & Big Blue.

  57. farvite says: Feb 22, 2012 9:32 PM

    I doubt teams will be able to help themselves here. A team or two will get sucked into the vortex.

  58. Angry Orange Man says: Feb 22, 2012 9:37 PM

    Meh, I don’t really care what they do as long as it doesn’t look all XFLish.

  59. katrinasafterbirth says: Feb 22, 2012 9:40 PM

    Get rid of the ‘gay’ G on Green Bays helmet…no need for that political garbage in football. I assume that is what the G stands for…Gay.

  60. bigjim50010 says: Feb 22, 2012 9:59 PM

    1captain1 says:
    Feb 22, 2012 6:26 PM
    Suddenly thousands of Chinese Children will know what the NFL is as they earn their living stitching the jersey’s together with their tiny Chinese hands.

    Great marketing!

    I’m glad I’m an American Consumer. Now get balkc to work you Chinese rugrats!
    *********************************************
    as he types away on his chinese made laptop….and watching the NFL on his chinese made HD tv…..

  61. eyeh8goodell says: Feb 22, 2012 10:22 PM

    as he types away on his chinese made laptop….and watching the NFL on his chinese made HD tv…..

    ——————–

    Alot of your products will be made in places like Bangladesh from now on. These companies are finding out they can get away with paying employees even less there and subject them to even more horrific working conditions.

  62. fmwarner says: Feb 22, 2012 10:51 PM

    “We’re going to have some fun” scares the crap out of me coming from Nike. The NFL says the teams have control over logos and colors, but you know what? All those college teams have control too, and they all got sucked in. New fabrics, cuts and the like are fine. But don’t try to make the NFL look like the XFL.

    (And if I could make a personal request, get rid of the stupid name and number font the Eagles use. Block numbers and sans serif letters, please.)

  63. kevpft says: Feb 22, 2012 10:55 PM

    strahan92 says: Feb 22, 2012 9:18 PM

    Leave the Giants unis the American way they are: Red, White & Big Blue.

    —————

    Wondering if he realizes that the French and Russian flags are also red, white and blue. :)

  64. naanunaanu says: Feb 22, 2012 11:00 PM

    As far as the Ravens go

    I would like ….

    Helmet: a purple facemask with black helmet with the shield logo

    HomeJ : mostly purple with black n MD gold trim
    Away: white with black n Md gold trim

    HomeP: black n purple trim
    Away: white with black n Md gold trim

    Alternet: ALL BLACK

    Just a fans input… I always use the throw back 96-99 style in madden

  65. gator2006 says: Feb 22, 2012 11:06 PM

    “have some fun” but “respect traditions” – that’s what she said?

  66. naanunaanu says: Feb 22, 2012 11:06 PM

    And can the Ravens sub-contract Under Armor ? You know cause their local and have great products look at the Terps Uni we saw against the hurricanes those were amazing

  67. 1phd says: Feb 22, 2012 11:12 PM

    All chaps are buttless. That’s the definition of chaps.
    —————————————————

    Not when someone is wearing them.

  68. fatfreddystubbs says: Feb 22, 2012 11:29 PM

    domezo says:
    Feb 22, 2012 6:19 PM
    people need to stop having their panties in a bunch about changes in teams uniforms. its a new decade we’re not in the 90′s or 80′s no more! you would want your car to look like did back in 90′s now would you? or your cell phone to look like early 2000′s? think about its not a big deal teams will play they same. new looking uniforms is what this league needs
    ————————————————–
    first off, nobody is getting their panties in a bunch over it, but second, believing that there are teams in sports (Packers, Yankees, USC football, for example) that have uniforms that shouldn’t be messed with doesn’t mean those people long for the days of rotary phones, Chevettes, and Commodore 64’s.

    And you say it’s what the “league needs”. A league that’s basically the most popular United States sports league ever right now needs changes to their uniforms? THAT’S what they need?!

  69. panthers34 says: Feb 23, 2012 12:07 AM

    I would love to see the Rams switch their alternate to the “fearsome foursome” blue and white. Panthers need black pants and to make the alternate blue the full time home jersey.

  70. jeffesky says: Feb 23, 2012 12:15 AM

    The major change will be in the alternate uniforms where they be off the hook. however, teams will have ok them and most wont. the normal uniforms will be minor changes for most teams founded before 1970. Teams after that period will have more changes. the seahawks are a focus because of thier ties with nike,the blazers,the ducks and of course paul allen who owns the blazers and the hawks. what the team adopts may very well be off the hook.

  71. eagles512 says: Feb 23, 2012 12:46 AM

    If they mess with tradition by even one stitch, I will be pissed. Uniforms have been ruined enough already.

  72. supremeomega says: Feb 23, 2012 6:29 AM

    Some tool think the Colts should change their unis because Manning is leaving?

    You do realize that the Colts played in Baltimore before Manning was alive and had a rich history and tradition. There is this Johnny Unitas guy that played for them. You should look him up on google…

  73. imopen7 says: Feb 23, 2012 7:30 AM

    “Nike is gonna have some fun”
    Are they gonna take all the children that work for them to a game or a “play60″ event? That would be fun.

  74. godzilla111111 says: Feb 23, 2012 10:43 AM

    Nike cannot make any time accept its designs. Entirely up to the team with league approval.
    Personal Vent-The Bengals uniforms are so ugly I can barely stand to watch the Ravens beat them.

  75. Deb says: Feb 23, 2012 7:19 PM

    I hate the Steelers’ current alternate uniforms and would like to say a change there would be welcome. But then I remember Oregon, Georgia, and Maryland … and can only think “God help us.”

  76. omaha189 says: Feb 23, 2012 7:49 PM

    chiefs need to make some changes. im greying tired of the classics

  77. jutts says: Mar 9, 2012 1:44 PM

    I wonder if they will be made by children in Indonisa some where? Let’s see, Material=50cents, Labor=50 cents, and the price? $100. That’s My guess.

  78. northstars1991 says: Mar 10, 2012 12:28 AM

    Really, I think Nike and Reebok should just F__ Off! Leave it to the never ending greed of billionaire owners exploiting every cent possible at the expense of the game, history and tradition of NFL Football. To hell with it, I’m so tired of this ____!

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