Vontaze Burfict: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change

AP

Multiple fines didn’t get through to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, but a suspension did.

Burfict is suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season for multiple violations of player-safety rules, including a hit to the head that gave Steelers receiver Antonio Brown a concussion. Burfict told Josina Anderson of ESPN he knows the hit on Brown was wrong and that his style of play will have to change.

“Like I told coach [Marvin Lewis], I wish I could take that play back because I probably would’ve hit him low,” Burfict said. “I don’t like hitting low, but I have to change because it’s getting flags because I hit him high or hit him in the helmet, and it’s so hard to determine where to hit the offender because they’re gonna tuck their body, and you have to pretty much tuck with them.”

At the same time, Burfict believes he’s being singled out by the officials.

“I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble,” he said. “My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.”

Burfict has a long history of personal foul penalties and fines. We’ll find out starting in Week Four if Burfict can remain an effective player, while changing the way he plays.

115 responses to “Vontaze Burfict: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change

  1. You aren’t being singled out, there are many players that get fines and suspensions. Brandon Merriweather is a good example. He has already had 2 suspensions.

    That is BS, I will just have to hit them low. What you can’t hit them in the head, so you have to go below the knees? Really?

    How about you hit them where you were taught between the shoulders and thighs, you know the trunk, the biggest part of their body!

    Anyone that has been hit in the gut should attest, that will let a small guy bring down a big guy faster than you could imagine.

    Try thinking for once instead of being ignorant.

  2. No Your not singled out. Every player in that game that tried to break another players neck was flagged. It just so happens that you were the only one.

  3. Singled out? Well, he is the most egregious cheap shot artist since Albert Haynesworth, so maybe he has a point.

  4. What an idiot! You’re being “singled out” because you’re the dirtiest player in the NFL. NO OTHER REASON!!!!!

  5. Cheap shots and stupid penalties are all that I would like to see Vontaze change about his game. The game is changing, so you have to change with it. Plays happen fast and at times it can be hard to adjust, but there’s no excuse for a dirty hit. Stay aggressive but play smart.

    – Bengals fan

  6. I’m still baffled how Talib wasn’t suspended for the face mask penalty during the Super Bowl. Talib absolutely needs the same lesson as Burfict because someone is going to get hurt.
    And Burfict just needs to shut up and accept his penalty.

  7. So now we know that he is not just a scumbag, but a delusional scumbag. That play gets flagged every time regardless of who the defender or receiver is. If he cant understand that, he will never get it.

  8. “I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble,” he said. “My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In today’s NFL, that hit on Brown gets flagged 999 times out of 1000, number 55 or not. It is just a reality of the game in the post concussion settlement league.

  9. Burfict’s persecution complex reveals his true delusion. He is focusing on the one hit and blames the refs for the other illegal hits. He is truly a talent but unless he finally gets it he will tragically be another great talent who did not live up to potential – for e.g, Pacman Jones!

  10. You play hard and you play dirty! You are being singled out because you are a dirty player! Aw poor number 55!

  11. You are incorrect Mr. Burfict. That hit would have gotten a penalty and a fine no matter who the culprit was. You got the additional suspension due to your history though.

  12. Martin Shkreli: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change. Sean Penn: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change. Kanye West: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change. Bernie Madoff: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change. Miley Cyrus: I’m being singled out, but I’ll have to change.

  13. This guy is a joke and i will never have an ounce of respect for him after watching him try to intentionally twist Cam Newtons ankle repeatedly after the play was over

  14. What can be said that hasn’t been said a hundred times. Another cry baby in Cincinnati.
    Vontaze-
    The fact is that you are a filthy player, you feel the need to bring your vigilante, gang mentality on the field. So yes, you will continue to be watched closely (and flagged quickly) until you can show you can play this game within the rules.
    But you have no one to blame but yourself, it’s not the refs fault, it’s not Goodell’s fault, it’s your fault. So let’s quit with the “I’m a victim” BS. Learn from your mistakes.

  15. If he’s truly serious about this then maybe it’s a step in the right direction. No fan of his, but he IS a beast of a player and deserved his suspension. If he does change and uses his talent LEGALLY he’ll still be a great player. We’ll see if he can or not.

  16. “I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble”

    No, Von Miller plays hard you play dirty and that is what get’s you in trouble. It’s not the rule changes Lawrence Taylor played with abandon in the golden time for SB era defenses, he didn’t play like that. You play football like it is a street fight, that is what gets you in trouble. Well, that and being a remorseless repeat offender attempting to decapitate a defenseless receiver.

  17. He targetted Brown’s head with a vicious shot that could have paralyzed him. But he’s being singled out. A guy who is a known cheap shot artist. The real problem is that teams need to be disciplined for employing guys like this.

  18. He is right. Just start aiming at the knees. Not just him but every defender. After a few career wrecking knee injuries, Roger will be presenting a shiny set of nfl endorsed flags for everyone to wear. It’s a rough sport people. Players get hurt. But the league thinks they can legislate injuries out of the game. I’m all for not aiming at th head. But if the player ducks down well then head contact is inevitable. From peewee football you are taught to get low when you are going to get hit. Don’t run like a fence pole I was always taught. And that’s fine. But head contact will happen. Deal with it.

    Mark Cuban is right.

  19. Yes, that’s exactly what is happening. You are being singled out because your actions on the field have created a reputation.

    Everyone has excuses these days. Nobody wants to take any responsibility for their own actions.

    Grow up Burfict.

  20. “I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble,” he said. “My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.”

    —————————————

    No the hit on AB anyone would’ve been flagged for. You were kind of lucky to not be ejected honestly.

    But I do have some sympathy for defenders because he’s right when he says it’s hard to know where to hit them when they tuck their body at the last moment. But always go low, that’s a start.

  21. As a bengal fan who saw EVERY game, I can say that Vontez was sometimes flagged on legal hits, just because he’s Burfict. Those of you who haven’t seen every game, but just highlights of a couple of hits, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Haslett has said he and Burfict are going to make some changes, and that has already started, I see. It’s good to see because Burfict is an extremely talented player.

  22. It’s clear that most of the posters here would prefer he die than play another snap of football. As a football fan that hates his dirty style but loves his aggressiveness, I think he said the right things. If he believes what he said he may be on the path to a great career. He has the ability, just needs to figure out how to keep the aggression at the right level.

  23. If you were on the stealers team it would have been a legal hit and they would have sung praises for it. Get over it stealers fans he’s a game changer and I’m glad he’s a Bengal. Who DEY !!!

  24. oldschoolomen says:
    Feb 23, 2016 9:15 AM

    “If he was 55 in black and gold, he’d be universally praised.”
    ——————–
    Well yeah, because then he would be Joey Porter, a superior linebacker and better human being.

  25. And stop saying go low. Every tackle should be aimed at the waist, adjust from that target. Don’t put the head area as your first target area and then just take out the guys legs because you don’t want a penalty. Change your mentality and make wrapping up at the waist your top priority. ..adjust play accordingly. It’s that simple

  26. ghostrider45 says:
    Feb 23, 2016 9:21 AM
    “If you were on the stealers team it would have been a legal hit and they would have sung praises for it. Get over it stealers fans he’s a game changer and I’m glad he’s a Bengal. Who DEY !!!”
    ———————-
    He certainly changed the wildcard game. I’m glad that you’re glad.

  27. If the Bengals had any integrity they would can this dirt bag along with Pacman. They cost them their 5th straight 1st round playoff game.

  28. Spazz says:
    Feb 23, 2016 9:23 AM
    oldschoolomen says:
    Feb 23, 2016 9:15 AM

    “If he was 55 in black and gold, he’d be universally praised.”
    ——————–
    Well yeah, because then he would be Joey Porter, a superior linebacker and better human being.
    —————-
    Even if we’re talking about Arthur Moats, I stand by it.

  29. I wouldn’t say he is going to change. He’s claiming it.

    But he also had a few excuses like ‘the game has changed’.

    Really VB? It changed when you were in HS. It’s not like he’s some grizzled vet with 10-12 years experience learning this five plus years ago.

    Everyone and his mother has been trying to get him to stop making bonehead plays since he was in HS. You know when he tried to take out fellow USC recruit Matt Barkley’s knees. Later he went to ASU and destroyed their season and many games with his bonehead plays. Now he destroyed the Bengals season. Has the light turned on? We’ll see.

    His style of play isn’t aggressive. It’s STUPID. He’s trying to hide that everything is about the rule changes, but it’s not. It’s that PLUS a lot of other stupid crap.

    Then he tries to pass the buck, like he did to his college coach to NFL GM’s at the combine. It wasn’t VB’s fault. Now he’s saying, it’s because he’s #55 and it wouldn’t of happened to someone else. That’s some delusional thinking there.

    Right now he’s all talk. He’s played out of control and stupid forever. I hope he changes, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Because on the field his head reminds me of Forrest Gump.

  30. Talib agrees. He admitted to trying to break someone’s neck and got a 26k fine for it.

    The NFL has a credibility issue. Multiple offenders like Talib and Suh still get away with it. Burfict doesn’t (3 game suspension for first suspension, longest ever, no appeal) because he’s a Bengal, and we all saw in that wildcard game, a Bengal player just doesn’t get away with what other teams players so often do.

    It’s mainly because of the Owner. Not a league favorite like the Rooney’s, and for that Mike Brown doesn’t have the influence.

    Still no reason for the league to let the Steelers coaches play such heavy role in that “victory”, but they did and it is what it is. And fans everywhere realize it. If it was the Pats, the league would have been outraged. Draft pick taken, heavily fined etc.

  31. Guess there will be lots of broken knees out there next year. Doesnt matter where this dude hits you, that spot is gonna brake. One of the hardest hitters in football. Glad hes on my team.

  32. Poor poor convict being singled out.

    Nope just you being unprofessional trying to take another man’s livelihood away by injuring him

    Poor poor convict

  33. In all fairness he doesn’t just go high. He has went after Big Ben’s knees as well. He is dirty from more than one angle.

  34. Burfict and Jones should’ve been released from the Bengals before they made it back to the locker room after the game. Cincinnati had that game in the bag, and those two goons snatched it from their 51 teammates, because they cared more about being tough guys than winning.

  35. How many Bengal games do you guys watch?I`m guessing only the ones against your favorite team when your bias. He`s never been suspended but got the 2nd longest ever for a on field play.That is a double standard.Accumulation?That has started at 1 game for every other player.That is a double standard.Too many personal fouls? Not in the top 10 in the league and the same amount as the CENTER for the Steelers Cody Wallace who had the dirtiest play of the season and wasn`t suspended.That is a double standard.You can like him or not but how the NFL handles players from different teams differently is a joke.The Steelers have been the dirtiest team for 40 years and Harrison`s 1 game suspension in 2011 is the only game a Steeler has ever been suspended for on field play. That is a double standard. You guys can cry excuses all you want but it is still a fact.

  36. I can celebrate guys who play overly physical, and sometimes the message sent is worth 15 yards, but Vontaze has established that he lacks the emotional control necessary to stop his physicality from reaching into the area “beyond football.”

    Honestly, sadly, I think it comes from fundamental lack of respect for a fellow competitor. He would do the same to A.J. Green the if they wore different colors one day.

  37. Re: the hit on Brown.

    This is a penalty in today’s NFL, like it or not, for anyone. But to call that hit dirty is crazy. He could have pulverized Brown and/or dropped his head and really tried to ring his bell instead of catching him with a glancing blow.

    Now the ankle twisting and unnecessary shot on Maxx Williams, those are just dirty.

  38. Sounds like James Harrison when he was racking up his fines (and ultimately a suspension). While Harrison said he couldn’t change, he did – although that may be partly because his playing time started going down due to his age.

    I guess we’ll see on Burfict.

  39. The fact that the Bengals still employ this guy really tells you about all you need to know about that organization. It’s not wonder that Marvin Lewis cannot win a playoff game. It truly is the inmates running the asylum. Just listen to this guy talk and Pac-Woman ranting after that game…despicable quite frankly.

  40. At least he’s not trotting out the, “I’ll win my way, I refuse to change” line that Newton’s been riding.

    He feels like he’s being singled out, and he’s being a little passive-aggressive with the “I guess I’ll hit guys low now”, but otherwise he is actually saying he needs to change, which is good and increasingly unusual to hear.

  41. Come on…I would of hit him low. What? You never would of hit him if you actually had a brain. There is a reason this guy went from one of the high draft picks to not drafted at all…it was not for his playing. Another loser that Lewis decided his playing ability was more important than character. You surround yourself with stupid players and you will never win the playoffs.

  42. In Vontaze’s world, playing dirty and out of control = “aggressive”. Those who saw him play in college know what a dirtbag he was on the field. He was and still is a personal foul machine. He’ll never change.

  43. If you were to build a bad boys defense. This guy could be part of the base along with Graig Hardy and Packman Jones.

  44. Rolo Tomassi says:
    Feb 23, 2016 5:50 AM
    Too bad the Bears can’t sign this guy for 2 games a year vs Green Bay.

    mmmmmmmm

    Yeah… and theBearsssssssssssssss…. will still lose. LOL

  45. ghostrider45 says:
    Feb 23, 2016 11:16 AM
    All I hear from stealers fans is wahhh wahhh guess the crying towels will be out in full support next year. Who DEY!!!

    Still not as much crying as was heard from Bengals fans after the Steelers knocked them out of the playoffs!! Dey aint nobody!!!

  46. johnc44 says:
    Feb 23, 2016 10:34 AM

    How many Bengal games do you guys watch? I`m guessing only the ones against your favorite team when your bias. He`s never been suspended but got the 2nd longest ever for a on field play. That is a double standard. Accumulation? That has started at 1 game for every other player. That is a double standard. Too many personal fouls? Not in the top 10 in the league and the same amount as the CENTER for the Steelers Cody Wallace who had the dirtiest play of the season and wasn`t suspended. That is a double standard .You can like him or not but how the NFL handles players from different teams differently is a joke. The Steelers have been the dirtiest team for 40 years and Harrison`s 1 game suspension in 2011 is the only game a Steeler has ever been suspended for on field play. That is a double standard. You guys can cry excuses all you want but it is still a fact.
    _______________________________

    WAHHHH, WAHHHHH, BOO HOO. This slimebag along with PacMan Jones cost you guys your best chance at winning a post season game . You need to get rid of those two and maybe you might just go beyond the first round next year.

  47. Just because you are singled out from a group of D-Bags does not make you any less of a D-Bag. Chances are, you’re an even bigger D-Bag and stand out from the crowd of lesser D-Bags.

  48. You Steelers fans are so funny. Your team had Hines Ward, Joey Porter and James Harrison on them at some point to name a few.
    So all your crying about Vontaze roughing up your guys falls on deaf ears.
    You should be happy with the guy. Without him you would not have advanced past the first round. Even the whole lot of good that did you…

  49. “Without him you would not have advanced past the first round. Even the whole lot of good that did you…”
    —————-
    And without him the Bengals might have advanced beyond the first round for the first time since ???. Whole lot of good having Burfict did you…

  50. Steelers fan here but this is intended to be a very neutral and fair observation. Every team has its share of players who are dirty. The Steelers sure do. And true football fans are disgusted when they see players from their own team doing it. I have not watched a ton of Bengal games although I have seen every game Burfict has played against the Steelers. I’ve seen Burfict…kick someone in the face after being blocked to the ground, make dangerous tackles that are almost guaranteed to lead to serious injury, take cheap shots at players heads that could lead to paralysis, taunt unnecessarily and take stupid penalties that ended his teams season when he was unprovoked…the list is really long. With that being said Pittsburgh has several players who I wish were cut from the team as their style of play is despicable (I’m looking at you Mike Mitchell and Cody Wallace). This type of behavior needs to be SUSPENDED out of the game. Fines are irrelevant. Apparently even the destruction of the team goals and hopes of the fans mean nothing to you or anyone who plays like you. The only thing that will make a difference will be the fans taking a stand against these types of players. Bengal fans (the good and decent ones who didn’t behave like animals) deserve better and should be heard. Same goes for Steeler fans. And Giant fans. And Panther fans. The list goes on and on. I choose to support the greats I’ve seen, most recently Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller among many others league wide like Calvin Johnson, as players worthy of spending money on their jerseys for my kids. And propping them up as role models because they are gentleman and decent human beings. That’s the NFL I grew up loving. Not the Mike Mitchell and Vontaze Burfict version we forced to watch now. The sooner concussion lawsuits end your careers the better as far as I’m concerned.

  51. This is EXACTLY what needs to be done. HIT ‘EM LOW!! When the League and NFLPA see Russell Wilson or Aaron Rogers or Rob Gronkowski or Cam Newton go down with broken legs or torn ACLs, only then will things change. You’ll see players line up to sign waivers absolving the NFL for head injuries and they’ll get rid of the flags and fines for hits to the head.

  52. And to the Bengal fans who complain about Hines Ward…please stop already. He was the most feared downfield player of his era. He played within the rules. Keith Rivers had his jaw broken on a legal block because he wasn’t looking for it. They changed the rule so he continued to play within them.he knocked out several Ravens players face to face. Ask Ed Reed. Same can be said for James Harrison. Even he was smart enough to learn. Neither one of them were ever so out of control that they singlehandedly destroyed their teams playoff chances. If you want to keep justifying his style of play you deserve precisely what you get…heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss. Take a close look at the YouTube videos if you think Joey porter was to blame for the Cincinnati implosion…the escaped wild monkeys from the zoo wearing orange and black are to blame.

  53. 2015 Personal Fouls

    UR=Unecessary Roughness, RP=Roughing the Passer

    2015:
    Olivier Vernon – Dolphins: 6 (5 RP, 1 UR)
    JJ Watt – Texans: 4 (4 RP)******
    William Gholston – Buccaneers: 4 (1 RP, 3 UR)
    Jerry Hughes – Bills: 4 (1 RP, 3 UR)
    Von Miller – Broncos: 4 (3 RP, 1 UR)
    Jaye Howard – Chiefs: 4 (3 RP, 1 UR)
    Cody Wallace – Steelers: 3 (3 UR)******
    JR Sweezy – Seahawks: 3 (3 UR)
    Brandon Browner – Saints: 3 (3 UR)
    Kyle Wilson – Saints: 3 (1 RP, 2 UR)
    Vontaze Burfict – Bengals: 3 (3 UR)
    Kevin Minter – Cardinals: 3 (1 RP, 2 UR)
    Will Hill – Ravens: 3 (3 UR)
    Timmy Jernigan – Ravens: 3 (1 RP, 2 UR)*****
    Andre Branch – Jaguars: 3 (3 RP)
    Erik Walden – Colts: 3 (3 RP)
    Damontre Moore – Giants: 3 (3 RP)
    Ezekial Ansah – Lions: 3 (2 RP, 1 UR)
    Michael Bennett – Seahawks: 3 (2 RP, 1 UR)

    Where’s the public outcry over all these players? The truth is that Burfict is being singled out for doing to the Steelers what the Steelers have been doing for decades. Burfict had 8 personal fouls in 2013 and the NFL did nothing. He had 3 in 2015 (while injuring 3 Steelers players, 2 on clean hits) and suddenly the NFL wants to crack down on him. Meanwhile Joey Porter and Mike Munchak got slaps on the wrist. Ryan Shazier knocked Gio Bernard out with the crown of his helmet and doesn’t even get so much as a flag because he didn’t “line him up”. The double standard is obvious to any objective person.

  54. Let the Bengals fans have their Burfict, and Pacman Jones for that matter. They’ll continue to make stupid plays, the Bengals fans will continue to complain about the refs, and they’ll continue to be one and done in the playoffs; if they even make the playoffs. There is a reason for their futility. Here’s to you Cincy fans. You deserve him!!

  55. To all the idiots who keep saying that Burfict lost the game for the Bengals,Your nuts! The hit on Brown was a penalty but wasn`t in the top 50 “dirty” plays this season alone.It was 15-0 in the 4th quarter when Shazier knocked Bernard out.Burfict brought them back into the game with several great plays.Without those plays there wouldn`t have been a lead to blow.
    Without his emotion there wouldn`t have been a comeback.The Pac Man penalty put them in FG range not Burficts and Hills fumble cost them the game not Burficts penalty.Steeler fans love their dirty players but cry like babies when someone does the exact same thing to them.Why don`t Steeler fans think Mike Mitchell and Cody Wallace should be out of the league? Their just as dirty.

  56. I`m a 50 year old white guy so i don`t pretend to have a full understanding of racism but it`s pretty easy to notice that long haired,tattooed,emotional black players are treated much different than short haired,clean cut well spoken white players are by fans and media and it`s a shame. A Players past should be considered when considering punishment but should never factor into calls made on the field and it clearly has with Burfict.All players should be treated equal on the field or it effects the integrity and outcome of the games. If you believe all players who commit 3 UR penalties in a season should be banned then fine but if it`s just him and players who look like him then that`s a you problem.

  57. David Bruton was injured and out for the season after Cody Wallace cheap shot that was far later and dirtier than Burficts hit and he had as many UR penalties on the season but there was no uproar about him why?
    where was Steeler fans worrying about him and crying about he could`ve been “killed” like they did the Burfict hit? Way too many racist hypocrites on here. a penalty ? yes but the rest of this crap is BS

  58. PFT loves the Steelers says:
    Feb 23, 2016 1:16 PM
    Where’s the public outcry over all these players? The truth is that Burfict is being singled out for doing to the Steelers what the Steelers have been doing for decades. Burfict had 8 personal fouls in 2013 and the NFL did nothing. He had 3 in 2015 (while injuring 3 Steelers players, 2 on clean hits) and suddenly the NFL wants to crack down on him. Meanwhile Joey Porter and Mike Munchak got slaps on the wrist. Ryan Shazier knocked Gio Bernard out with the crown of his helmet and doesn’t even get so much as a flag because he didn’t “line him up”. The double standard is obvious to any objective person.
    ———————
    Burfict doesnt’ get a clean slate every year. His suspension is for the total body of work. And you specifically list “unnecessary roughness”, but later you say “personal fouls”. If you want to combine the two (they are differentiated on PFF) then this suspension is long overdue.

  59. I see the Steeler whiners are out in force….what a bunch of complete “wusses!” The hit on Bell was CLEAN, the hit on Brown was not. But let’s talk about the un-flagged hit by Shazier on Bernard. That was a travesty that not only was it not flagged, and Shazier was not fined, but a turnover was awarded to the Squealers. Because of that game, I ceased to be an NFL fan. Sent all my Bengals memorabilia to a friend, for free. I am done with it. But for Squealer fans to act like they are victims when it comes to dirty football is like Tiger Woods crying ‘rape.’ Grow up and get a clue about reality…the Squealers wrote the book on dirty football. What goes around comes around, so take what you have coming to you like men (if you can find a man in the entire Squeal City)!

  60. I remember watching James Harrison in the late 00s and early 10s, and NOW Steeler fans want to cry about dirty play.

  61. The difference between players like Harrison,Ward and Porter when being compared to Burfict is that Harrison,Ward and Porter lead their team to multiple Superbowls. Burfict leads his team to another off season of talking about no playoff wins. 26 years…..WOW!

  62. When the Steelers are able to keep their own coaches from committing personal fouls against players and instigating rumbles out on the field, then they can complain. Until then, put a lid on it, whiners. You were lucky the refs handed you an unearned victory and you proved you weren’t playoff caliber material when Denver knocked your socks off anyway. Just like Tebow. LOL.

  63. akaodoyle says:
    Feb 23, 2016 9:14 AM
    James Harrison comes to mind as someone who adjusted quietly…

    ________________
    Actually when the changes first happened, he came out and said he was going to go low and hit people in the knees, and all the Steeler fans backed him up.

  64. The penalties should change. UR = 30 yard penalty and an ejection from the game. Hit on a defenseless player = 30 yard penalty and ejection from the game with a 2 game suspension. Also a fine on the team OWNER for $50k. The Bengals would lose every game with Burfict there and go bankrupt.

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