NFL slams brakes on notion that Goodell’s role will change soon

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In the immediate aftermath of the NFL’s latest and most public embarrassment in court, things seemed different. Owners began speaking out for the first time about the importance of changing the rules to reduce the Commissioner’s role in the process, and it seemed to be not a matter of “if” but “when” the ultimate authority over the Personal Conduct Policy and conduct detrimental to the game would be referred to a neutral arbitrator.

It still may be a matter of “when,” but it’s now clear that the “when” will arrive “not anytime soon” and only after the NFL Players Association makes a major concession in exchange for the shift.

Steelers owner Art Rooney recently applied an extended timetable to the process.

“Look, I think more than likely we’re not talking months here,” Rooney told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “We’re most likely talking years.”

From a collective bargaining standpoint, it’s the smart play. If the NFL comes off as desperate to alter the current system, it will be difficult if not impossible for the league to secure a concession for giving the union something it has wanted for a while. From a legal standpoint, it’s also the smart play, because the league’s position in the Tom Brady case could still be vindicated on appeal.

“I don’t sense that there’s an urgency to it, that we feel like – particularly in reaction to Judge Berman’s decision – that’s something we’ve got to address immediately,” Rooney said. “We’re appealing that decision, we feel confident about the appeal and so that’s going to be another process that takes a considerable amount of time to be resolved.”

From a P.R. standpoint, that may not be the best move, especially if the league office intends to continue to wield its power in a way that compels the NFLPA to challenge the NFL’s decisions in court, and that results in the players winning more and more and more court cases.

As a practical matter, the NFL’s ultimate power over players on matters of personal conduct and conduct detrimental to the interests of the league impacts a small handful of players per year. And yet in that small handful of cases, the league office keeps stepping on rakes. From a big-picture, public-confidence standpoint, the smartest play would be to press pause on the determination to always drive hard bargains and instead to find a graceful way out of this mess.

The players, for example, would be willing to swap final say for the power to suspend players who obstruct investigations. That should be enough to get this done now, and it would go along way toward giving the NFL’s naysayers one less thing to stop saying nay about.

And yet the NFL keeps saying nay to what would be, and should be, an easy solution to one of its biggest problems.

82 responses to “NFL slams brakes on notion that Goodell’s role will change soon

  1. Goodell needs to go…

    If the owners keep him, someone else needs to take over the labor management portion of his job…

  2. A festival of clowns (owners) standing by their public clown. How sweet!!
    The NFL makes mega money despite those who run the sport NOT because of them.

  3. The one positive is that Goodell finally seems to listening to his lawyers instead of maverick malcontents like Kensil and that should help avoiding penalties that invite NFLPA challenge in the courts. But its early- let’s see what Goodell does next time that there’s another high profile spousal abuse case or another situation where owners are exerting undue pressure.

  4. He should get a raise TBH. So glad someone in the League office has the stones to stand up to that corrupted, tainted and cheating organization who were irrelevant until the filming and bugging began.

  5. It’ll take something to fatten the wallets of the owners- if they said we’ll give you neutral arbitration if you give us a 18-game regular season would the PA bite?

  6. He’s managed to smear a stain over the league with his mishandling of issues. But it seems most owners support him (money is important to them). I think he should relinquish discipline responsibilities. The “Enforcer” article that ran in Time magazine seems to have gone to his head. He should focus on the business side of the NFL and let someone else manage the day to day issues as they arise. IMO.

  7. Time to accept the fact that 31 of the 32 owners fully support the job Roger Goodell is doing. He’s not going anywhere so dry up the tears, enjoy the games, and find something else to complain about.

  8. Roger Goodell should never again be in a position where he has to use the word integrity. The transcripts outed the duplicity of league office as a whole and Goodell in particular. How can anyone take the gang that can’t shoot straight seriously on anything regarding personal conduct

  9. Goodell is surrounded by lawyers who don’t feel like they’re being useful unless they’re pushing some agenda that will get them into a court room.
    And they are really, really bad lawyers.
    Combine that with an egomaniac commissioner who is not a lawyer, never mind a good one, this is what you get.
    Goodell is a punch line.
    Jeff Pash is a terrible consigliere and was shown to have an extreme bias against one of the teams he’s supposed to be supporting.

    Owners are in their insulated palaces and not interested or schooled in the details of these cases they profess to know about. Seriously, where do they get their information?
    Do owners really believe they will win the Brady appeal?

  10. More people watching football more now then ever so Goodell must be doing something right. He tried to catch a cheater and lost no embarrassment in that when everyone knows the person cheated. Players have beaten women, children, & have tried ti cheat the game and now some hate on him for trying to clean up the game. Back in the day these plsyers would get away with whatever they want now they go to court and still get what they want. Its a sad day when fans rather see people beaters & cheaters play football and hate on a man like Goodell trying to clean up the game & do things right.,

  11. And yet the NFL keeps saying nay to what would be, and should be, an easy solution to one of its biggest problems._
    ____________________________________
    And that easy solution to their biggest problem is getting rid of Goodell. There is no reason in the world that Goodell the Narcissist deserves a 36th chance (or whatever number it is). Since he went underground, the fans and the league have been able to focus on the game again. What possible reasons are there to continue to employ the man, especially when very controversial issues ie, concussions and essential changes to the CBA, are about to surface. If the guy has to stay hidden to keep protests under control, what good is he.

  12. About 15 years ago it became strangely fashionable to hate the commissioner of your favorite pro sport. I never understood why. The nature of the job forces you to make tough decisions and not everyone will agree with all of them.

    NBA fans hated David Stern
    MLB fans hated Bud Selig
    NHL fans hate Gary Bettman
    NFL fans hate Goodell

    New NBA commissioner Adam Silver and new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred are still in their “honeymoon phase” with fans so they are very popular. However, the fans will eventually turn on them. Mark it down.

  13. The chickens are coming home to roost, Roger Goodell!!! You reap the fruit of your stupid ways!!! And lose all of your fancy fooseball powers!!!!

  14. The owners are smoking crack. This is destroying the value of the game.

    I thought these guys loved money. If they do, let Goodell focus on collecting checks from cable companies.

  15. When the NFL makes a statement these days, I find myself automatically deciding that they are lying and then work backwards to support my case.

    If they asked me why I think this way I would say: “I learned it by watching you!”

    The More You Know

  16. Nobody really “cares”…billions being made for the Bread and Circus spectacle that Goodell and the 32 Owners provide.

    The mob will have it’s games…to paint it’s faces for, to get wasted via watered down domestic ale, to throw copius amounts of on shore (and off shore) cash at voa gambling and fantasy gambling.

    The mob only cares about this…and they shall get it until the billions stop flowing.

  17. If this is the same policy as the “Full Confidence In Whosits” policy, then the announcement will be Monday morning.

  18. The league doesn’t need a new policy, they need a new person enforcing the policy. The policy has worked for many many years before Goodell started gumming it up.

    The reality is, no matter who delivers the punishment, the players will appeal. That is how the system works, typically whenever you hear about a suspension, you hear how they are going to appeal. This is even when they have done somethingn terribly wrong, such as Hardy or Peterson. The is especially glaring when the players appeal their PED suspensions, you know the ones that aren’t up to the NFL, they are the very specific punishments that they agreed to.

    Goodell has made some critical mistakes with the personal conduct policy. Instead of trying to resolve them reasonably, he seems to double down. IMO it is too late to have someone show him the error of his ways. So the realistic options are to have someone else enforce the policy (whether it be a neutral party OR someone else in the NFL offices) if they want to keep Goodell or get rid of Goodell.

    If something has been around for 60 years and been handled by multiple people correctly, it seems ludicrous to assert that it must be changed because the moron running it now is screwing it up. Goodell has and keeps trying to prove that any policy that he has his hands on he will screw the pooch on, so how is changing it really going to help.

  19. Fanboy Rule No. 1: you must hate Goodell.

    Fanboy Rule No. 2: you must hate ESPN.

    Fanboy Rule No. 3: you must tell everyone how much you hate Goodell and ESPN. If asked why, you must say “because.”

  20. Put your money where your mouths are, fans. If you are so discontent, then stop watching and giving the league money. It shows them nothing if you continue to contribute to the league’s record breaking revenue and ratings while you complain about how Goodell and the owners are ruining the league. #hypocrisy #youwontdoit

  21. The NFLPA are no saints. Where is that HGH testing they expressly agreed to in the CBA years ago? Maybe the NFL should sue the NFLPA over their lack of implementation on that.

  22. People please, the fact the NFL has set itself up as the bad guy in the offseason is keeping fans engaged and giving folks someone to root against and it keeps folks engaged. Roger and the owners are laughing all the way to the bank. If you think this is anything but contrived you are crazy.

  23. Nothing will change Goodell is to Pig Headed to see the truth. He will go out kicking and screaming ” I am Commissioner Mr. Wonderfull”

    The judge was kind to Rodger not ruling on NFLPA points including his “mischaracterizations of the facts”.

    There is the possibility that going forward with the Brady appeal that Goodell has (appropriately named) BOOBY TRAPPED himself into the court ruling that he lied.

    The 2nd Court or Judge Berman on remand could make Goodell’s reputation pay the price to the point the owners act to oust him.

  24. .
    Rooney: ” We feel confident about the appeal. ”

    In other words :

    A. Brady cheated.
    B. Brady lied.
    C. The Wells Report was 100% accurate.
    D. Exponent is infallible.
    E. Mortenson was right.
    F. Berman knows nothing about the law.
    .

  25. In my opinion, this is a classic case of not just an individual but a group or organization needing to understand their strengths.

    Goodell must be good on the $/operation side of things or he wouldn’t have lasted this long. Billionaires don’t loose money willingly. So keep him doing that.

    He has proven himself to be an abject failure in the realms of disipline and overall P.R. for the league.

    He’s got a knee jerk, “I am God” mentality when it comes to disipline. Unless of course, he chooses to cover things up (insert assorted “gates” here) or under react for whatever motivation pleases him. There’s NO consistency.

    As far as P.R., Let’s be honest, with all of the media experience he has now, he couldn’t go back in time and land a hosting gig on a cable-access show (for those 25 & under, google it) airing at 3:am.

    My best friend is a huge Baseball fan and we used to talk about how screwed up his league was. Now I hear a lot of, “What do you think of your league now????”

    The owners better make changes quick. I know of two fans that will not continue their Sunday Ticket next year because as they both said, “It’s starting to become like ordering WWE programming.”

    It’s taken decades for the league to build what it has. It’ll take no time by comparison to destroy it.

    Go Hawks!

  26. NFL Bangs Head on Wall.

    Ouch! That hurts.

    NFL Bangs Head on Wall.

    Ouch! That hurts.

    (repeats process ad infinitum)

    And then wonders why it has a headache…

    These morons will never learn that even the NFL has to be fair in it’s CBA authorized brand of justice.

  27. wilsonatmd says:
    Sep 19, 2015 10:42 AM
    It’ll take something to fatten the wallets of the owners- if they said we’ll give you neutral arbitration if you give us a 18-game regular season would the PA bite?

    They already charge for pre-season. TV rights. Tickets. You name it, they charge for it.

  28. I respect Florio’s opinion most of the time. He paints both points well here. Problem is, this isn’t a be PC thing. The NFL is running things like dictatorship, and needs to be stopped with that. I don’t approve of unions either….but that is the problem here. The NFl wants all the control, and the NFLPA wants the call. To be blunt, both idiot parties need to just man up, and admit, and work toward the same goal. That is, a business model that is crazy profitable and they can both win if they stop being bone-heads.

  29. Good. The extra power the players gave him was in exchange for for a bigger piece of the pie. Now the whiney little millionaires want both. That breeds attitudes like Kamitis.

  30. I bet if Ginger finds something on the Steelers, and takes away a draft pick, suspends player(s), Rooney will change his mind. That’s the problem. There are too many owners that haven’t been wrongly persecuted by Ginger yet. Nobody thinks he’s a problem until it’s their team.

  31. I hear a lot of complaints and negativity, but all I see is tremendous opportunity for everybody involved to work out an agreement to address this issue and many others all at once. This is now a catalyst for cooperative change for the benefit of all relevant parties.

  32. Goodell , Blandino, Brady, Belicheat, Kessler, the Patriots, Greg Hardy, Rice, and the like have ruined pro football. It’s nothing more than a three ring circus and part-time soap opera. Put on a good college game instead

  33. Wow! How many of us didn’t see that coming? I actually don’t think the owners are as clueless as they seem to be here. I think, if what’s being said about the Concussion movie is true, they know they’re in deep trouble come December and they might as well keep Goodell around as a ….. dare I say it….fall guy.

  34. thestrategyexpert says:
    Sep 19, 2015 12:11 PM
    I hear a lot of complaints and negativity, but all I see is tremendous opportunity for everybody involved to work out an agreement to address this issue and many others all at once. This is now a catalyst for cooperative change for the benefit of all relevant parties.
    ————–
    Roger? We were wondering where you were….still in the state of denial, we see.

  35. 4thqtrsaint says:
    Sep 19, 2015 12:11 PM
    I bet if Ginger finds something on the Steelers, and takes away a draft pick, suspends player(s), Rooney will change his mind. That’s the problem. There are too many owners that haven’t been wrongly persecuted by Ginger yet. Nobody thinks he’s a problem until it’s their team.
    —————
    Let’s play who’s the next team! I think it’ll be the Seahawks, they’re good, they win and they are slightly disfunctional…ripe for Roger and his minions.

  36. I agree with ‘stafordsyear’ who says “They don’t want to lose their puppet” They also don’t want to lose their real or perceived connection to the U.S. Senate, since Commissioner Goodell’s dad Senator Charles Goodell, was a sitting U.S. Senator when Goodell was hired) or any real or perceived threats of the late Senator Spector’s threat coming true, that someone in the Senate might move to remove the NFL’s anti-trust exemption, which could cause the league to lose billions of dollars of revenue. Follow the money trail and that should lead to the more likely answer.

  37. Why do all of the analyst and media act like he’s the reason the NFL is so profitable right now?

    We, THE FANS, who watch the games and buy the products, are responsible for that.

    Any halfway-decent CEO could get just as much out of broadcasting rights as Goodell.

    #FIREGOODELL

  38. The appeal is leverage. The players should let it just run out then go ahead and start their own league where they can take care of their own. The cities are what’s important not goofy team mascots and logos. Get it done. #savefootball

  39. kcchefs58 says:
    Sep 19, 2015 11:18 AM
    Put your money where your mouths are, fans. If you are so discontent, then stop watching and giving the league money. It shows them nothing if you continue to contribute to the league’s record breaking revenue and ratings while you complain about how Goodell and the owners are ruining the league. #hypocrisy #youwontdoit
    —————————
    They have us because you can’t support your team without supporting the NFL. I’m not going to stop rooting for the Pats because the NFL is made up of a bunch of corrupt, lying sons of you-know-whats.

  40. NFL has as much chance of winning the appeal as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets have at winning the SB this year…..NO CHANCE!!!!!

  41. bobleblah says:
    Sep 19, 2015 10:52 AM

    Big denials usually precede big changes…
    ==================================
    I HOPE that is true. Goodell is a big clown who is clueless about what to do about player conduct. IF the owners are stupid enough NOT to see that they can also don clown suits and JOIN the CIRCUS!!!

  42. Eventually the owners will all come around to the realization that it is not how much Goodell makes them, but how much more a competent, trustworthy person with actual business sense would earn them. The difference is probably billions, given how the autopilot from Airplane could do a better job than Goodell.

  43. The secret is not drafting or continuing to employee players that break the law or break the rules. Just cut them and be done with it, regardless of how good he plays! Simple answer, no appeals.

  44. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Sep 19, 2015 10:42 AM
    He should get a raise TBH. So glad someone in the League office has the stones to stand up to that corrupted, tainted and cheating organization who were irrelevant until the filming and bugging began.

    —————————–
    Doubt anyone really believes this. Goodell and his staff are seen as the Keystone cops that got tripped up and revealed for who they are by a 5 cent problem…

    The inconsistencies, the cronyism, the fundamentally lack of professionalism across the NFL leadership is STUNNING

    If this were a public business, Goodell would have been fired last year.

    Deflategate was a small unimportant issue that he let become a major pitched battle (that he lost) – Concussions are not unimportant and have the potential to do significant PR damage to the league. So far he has avoided engaging – very interested in how he manages this over the next 2 seasons. Dont think its a problem? Look at the participation rates in youth leagues – they are declining.

    I dont have confidence Goodell will get it right….the combination of his incompetence, ego and thirst for absolute authority will eventually hurt the NFL – and impact the Revenue.

    Once the Revenue is impacted, he will go.

  45. A finely crafted marionette is hard to find. Once you have a good one that responds well to your control it’s hard to justify purchasing a new one.
    The owners would be foolish to shed themselves of Goodell. He does exactly as they say when they say it. Any backlash associated with their absurd directions is directed solely at Goodell while the owners smirk and count their billions.
    Goodell is a permanent part of the NFL landscape. Any notion that his role will change is crazy talk.

  46. Stand fast, NFLPA. There is no need for concessions. Just wait for the next Goodell overplay. And win in court. Again. There is absolutely no need to concede anything. Just be patient. Even if they NFL never changes, you will always beat them in court.

  47. Oh, and don’t forget. Just this week they Goodell decided to not punish a player who took another players helmet off and slammed his head onto it because they were worried about it getting overturned. They are absolutely that stupid.

  48. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Sep 19, 2015 10:42 AM
    He should get a raise TBH. So glad someone in the League office has the stones to stand up to that corrupted, tainted and cheating organization who were irrelevant until the filming and bugging began.
    —————-
    Sad and wrong about so many things.

  49. If nothing else, Roger is a total reactionary. He went too easy on Ray Rice and got burned. After that, he got tough. Surely, he will not go after another NFL icon without real proof. The owners pushed him to go after Brady because they believed the Spygate penalties were too soft. Basically, Roger has no backbone and no conviction. He’s a weak commissioner who is good at tv deals, has ESPN in his back pocket, and is compensated well. He has no problem with any of that. It is more likely than not that Tom Brady will win his appeal, but what’s the big deal with that? He’ll just lose the same issue twice. It will also help Tom Brady because it will be backup for Judge Berman.

  50. purpleandgoldforever says:
    Sep 19, 2015 2:00 PM
    Comes down to this — the NFLPA agreed to it. Now suddenly they don’t think it is right.

    Shoulda held your ground BEFORE the proverbial poop was no longer in a group!
    ——————-
    The NFLPA gave in to Goodell’s authority in these matters in exchange for concessions on issues of safety and pay–not everyone in the NFL makes millions.

  51. A lot of people hate Tom Brady and Roger Goodell for the same reason. Those two guys are very, very successful people. I feel bad for all the people out there who aren’t doing well. It seems like a lot of those people target the top achievers. I guess maybe misery does want company.

  52. The sooner everyone realizes it’s the NFLPA that wants judges to have the final say and it’s the owners that dislike the embarrassment, the closer we’ll be to a viable solution.

  53. Good! They put Goodell in place so they should back him. Is he a genius? No. But at least he has the stones to discipline the most cheating organization of all time. Decision overturned! Yep. But at least he exposed them.

  54. I think that it would be important to clearly define what constitutes “obstruction” and “cooperation” with an investigation. For instance, it is easy to say that not sharing and/or destroying content from Brady’s phone is obstruction, but it is a slippery slope to make it a requirement for a player to have to voluntarily give up their private and personal cell phone for a league (not legal) investigation. The players would have their back against the wall if they chose not to share such personal information, which may or may not be relevant to the case, due to concerns about the privacy of the content. It isn’t like the NFL has been free of leaks, whether from Combine test scores to reasons for PED suspensions to whether and to what extend balls were deflated, etc. It would be difficult to trust that anything provided would be appropriately safeguarded.

    And beyond cell phones, if the league wants someone suspended, they may have potential to trump up charges of “non-cooperation” for seemingly arbitrary things if it isn’t expressly defined. That would be bad for the players… I’m not really a player advocate, and typically side with the NFL in most situations, but this could become ugly for the players if they concede this without appropriate language to still protect their interests.

  55. ebdug says:
    Sep 19, 2015 3:28 PM
    The sooner everyone realizes it’s the NFLPA that wants judges to have the final say and it’s the owners that dislike the embarrassment, the closer we’ll be to a viable solution.
    ——–
    Which is why it was the NFL that filed the case in NY that landed before Judge Berman?

  56. When Goodell came into the league in 2006 he inherited a league that was going a hundred miles an hour toward profitability. Roger Goodell hasn’t done a single thing in his ten year run that made the league better. All he has done is ride the momentum of his predecessors and the work of Bob Kraft and other owners’.

    It was Kraft who headed the TV Committee which did most or the work that has pumped all the new money into the league. It was Kraft that saved Goodell from his self made near disaster in trying to negotiate the 2011 CBA. It took Kraft to take Goodell from the brink that he and his minions had taken the league he was supposed to have led.

    It wasn’t the CBA or section 46 that created the League’s 0-5 record in Federal court. It’s been Roger Goodell’s incredible incompetence that made the NFL a laughingstock. It is no coincidence that Section 46 was was never a problem in all the years before Goodell became head of the league.

    So now the league is being led by a convicted liar, abuser of power, and a self aggrandizing petty, little man His only skill has been to manipulated= tho owner’s selfish tendencies to overlook the general good and their own personal competitive gain.

    The irony of this is that Goodell’s father was a good man, who had a “Profiles in Courage” moment when his personal integrity was more important than his own personal power. His son on the other hand has come to opitomize a small man who would shamelessly lie, misinform, and maliciously manipulate for the sake of his own power and monitary gain.

  57. After deflategate I’m having a real hard time believing anything at all that comes out of the league office, they could announce there are games being played this sunday and i’d have to go confirm that with someone reputable (I.O.W not espn) to confirm it’s actually true.


  58. stburke40 says:
    Sep 19, 2015 7:39 PM

    ebdug says:
    Sep 19, 2015 3:28 PM
    The sooner everyone realizes it’s the NFLPA that wants judges to have the final say and it’s the owners that dislike the embarrassment, the closer we’ll be to a viable solution.
    ——–
    Which is why it was the NFL that filed the case in NY that landed before Judge Berman?

    They were trying to find a sympathic judge. Still are. It ain’t gonna work.

  59. jbloggs13 says:
    Sep 19, 2015 11:03 AM

    The owners are smoking crack. This is destroying the value of the game.

    I thought these guys loved money. If they do, let Goodell focus on collecting checks from cable companies.
    ___________________

    Destroy the value of the game? Yet you’re here commenting about it on a blog on a Saturday morning. Tomorrow you’ll be spending all day glued to your television watching whatever teams are your favorites. Some destruction of the game.


  60. patfanken says:
    Sep 19, 2015 9:01 PM

    … The irony of this is that Goodell’s father was a good man, who had a “Profiles in Courage” moment when his personal integrity was more important than his own personal power. His son on the other hand has come to opitomize a small man who would shamelessly lie, misinform, and maliciously manipulate for the sake of his own power and monitary gain.

    It should also be noted that Sirhan Sirhan’s bullet put Goodell’s father in power, and eventually led to Roger’s position as commissioner. Who would have thought that a political assassination 5 decades ago would lead to the downfall of the nation’s sport?

    It isn’t a stretch to assume that Rosy Grier’s tackle back then led to Goodell’s current disdain for all players.

  61. Good old Artie …playing up the team unity. Artie is a nice guy…but he is the chosen one. It’s funny …the Chief was a street smart man who used commen fairness to be succesful. Son Dan was also old school
    but really effective and respected. Now Artie ,,,big firm guy …who
    has no real passion other than the party line and the status quo…which
    means Artie unlike his predecessors will never help the players.
    It’s a shame. His father and grandfather were always fair and took
    contrary positions to hardline owners who wanted to ruin the players
    union. This took guts but was based upon what was good for the league. Artie had a chance to become what his dad and grandfather
    were ,,,..but he seems to have no interest other than to rubber stamp
    Roger’s decisons.

  62. Goes to show, not all the power resides in N.E. A simple majority of owners are his boss. Don’t like it? Complain to the owners.

    Goodell is a man with a job. Like it don’t like it. But he has a mandate.

  63. Good ell is a politician plain and simple. If I blow this football psi way out of proportion, attack the most winningest team the last 15 years with the largest witch hunt in league history I will get some credibility back that judge jones and doty both found him to be an incompetent liar. Problem is when keep doing the same and expect a different outcome it won’t happen. Herman in the unlikely event gets this back will skewer Goodall on the issues hi cites but left open in his decision. Another bad move to appeal by these owners who can’t. Beat the pats on the field now are trying to beat them in court with a frivolous court case.

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