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Thread: Michael Sam, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, says he is gay

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    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Default Michael Sam, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, says he is gay

    Michael Sam, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, says he is gay - College Football - Jon Wertheim - SI.com


    Michael Sam, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, says he is gay


    Missouri's Michael Sam, the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year, led the league with 11.5 sacks in 2013.

    Yesterday, Michael Sam was known principally as a fierce and ferocious 260-pound Missouri defensive end, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a potential high-round pick in May's NFL draft. From the draftnik's notebooks: He holds the point of attack. He has a good motor.

    He can play 4-3 or 3-4.
    True, Sam played unremarkably at the Senior Bowl last month, but he was stationed for the first time at outside linebacker. His maturity -- he's already 24 -- and work ethic reside on the extreme edge of the bell curve.

    Yet for all he accomplished in four years at Columbia, today Sam became known as something else, something unique in the history of football: an openly gay player on the cusp of his career. Regardless of his 40 time or his performance in the three-cone drill or his Wonderlic score,

    Sam is now the most intriguing prospect in the NFL. In an act that is at once courageous, unprecedented and postmodern, he has asserted that he is gay. "I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player and I'm gay," he told The New York Times.

    A year ago, NFL teams were rightfully criticized for asking potential draft picks questions on the order of "Do you have a girlfriend?" This year, Sam will save them the trouble of having to ask.

    If Jason Collins demolished one barrier last year -- declaring that he was gay within days of finishing his 12th NBA season -- Sam laid ruin to another by coming out before the draft. Where Collins is a Stanford grad from Los Angeles, Sam is more than a decade younger and hails from Hitchcock, Texas (pop. 7,200). And unlike Collins -- who surprised his twin brother with his revelation -- Sam's sexuality was not a closely guarded secret at Missouri. Sam says he came out to his Missouri teammates last August. Coaches and classmates also knew he was gay well before today. Multiple sources have told SI that Sam strongly considered making an announcement late last summer and was willing to play his senior season as an openly homosexual athlete. (He decided against it at the last minute.)

    Word of Sam's intentions to come out spread beyond Mizzou. Last month, an SI writer approached Sam at the Senior Bowl and asked whether he would like to collaborate on a piece about his sexuality. Sam politely demurred, but he hardly appeared troubled or surprised by the inquiry. He assured the writer that it was okay that he had asked and added matter-of-factly, "It's going to be a big deal no matter who I do it with."

    It's telling, too, that no one in Sam's orbit "outed" him, enabling him to tell his story on his terms and timetable. At some level this is a story about a generation gap. Sam and his cohort were raised in the era of Will & Grace and Modern Family, not The Brady Bunch, let alone My Three Sons. Friends, coaches and teammates all invoked the same line: It just wasn't a big deal.

    It remains to be seen, of course, whether Sam's sexuality will be a big deal in the NFL. The history is stubbornly uneven. As intensely analyzed as Sam will be, the NFL and entire Republic of Football will come under great scrutiny. When it was recently revealed that multiple key members of the 1993 Houston Oilers were gay, the response -- then and now -- was a collective shrug. "Listen, those guys that we're talking about were unbelievable teammates," said Pro Bowl linebacker Lamar Lathon. "And if you wanted to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first. Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys." On the other hand, it was barely a year ago that 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver warned that a gay teammate wouldn't be welcome in the locker room, and barely a week ago that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma expressed concern that a gay teammate might look at him in the shower.

    There were murmurs last season that four prominent NFL players were going to come out en masse, buffered by "straight allies" such as punter Chris Kluwe and ex-linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo. While the rhetoric of acceptance suggested that perhaps a football locker room wasn't the benighted cave it's been cracked up to be, the fact remains, the players never emerged. Instead? There were Kluwe's allegations that his special teams coach in Minnesota expressed a desire to "round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." And the troubling free agency of Kerry Rhodes.

    As for where Sam will get drafted, consider that he is the 11th man to win the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award. Each of the previous 10 winners was drafted prominently, eight in the first round.

    Sam is a trailblazer and, by definition, that means embarking with no map or template. Nevertheless, he has equipped himself. His team of advisors includes Howard Bragman, an L.A. publicist with experience helping celebrities come out. Sam met with Collins in L.A. and spoke to Ayanbadejo. Last week plans were also afoot to put Sam together with former NFL cornerback Wade Davis, who came out in 2012, and Robbie Rogers, the openly gay L.A. Galaxy midfielder. As more athletes come out, a community of support has formed and fortified.

    This we know: All the inevitable homophobic tweets and slurs will be offset by overwhelming support. As state after state recognizes marriage equality and Google devotes its daily "doodle" to protest Russia's homophobic legislation, and even the sitting Pope appears to accept homosexuality, figures like Sam are respected far more than they're reviled. For whatever short-term grief or dissonance he may encounter; for however many NFL teams decline to draft him, preferring not to deal with sexuality issues (or, in fairness, the attendant media circus); for whatever catcalls he hears in stadiums and in the trenches; he will be celebrated globally.

    Consider: Barely a week after attending the State of the Union as a guest of Michelle Obama, Collins plans to spend much of Monday flying back to Washington, D.C., for a White House dinner. Suffice it to say, a year ago, he was not getting these invitations. It is the diminishing ranks of the intolerant, who now reside on the margins of society and the curb of the culture.

    "Any stigma is fading," said Martina Navratilova, one of the first in the lineage of openly gay athletes. "It's all becoming a question of when not if. The next when is an active gay athlete. It's happening brick-by-brick and pretty soon, we'll have the whole house." She then took a second, to chuckle in happy disbelief. "We've hit this tipping point, this flood, this ... I don't know what the term is."

    Actually, there is a word for this: progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Scorp View Post
    My fellow 1982 Scorpion! Never occurred to me that penises go into ears until your twitpics
    @NickoMoralesXXX
    @Sexy_Seth_1982 awe sexy! You're just too cute to be true- I can't take my eyes off of you-

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Good for him, I hope he has happy and successful NFL career

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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    Wow, that is incredibly brave of him. I hope his team mates aren't douche bags to him now.

    Meryl doesn't even try anymore. She just calls Lanvin and asks for curtains with a belt.~Bitter
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    Yeah, buddy!
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Default Kent State Wrestler Suspended Indefinitely For Homophobic Michael Sam Tweets

    He looks like a few french fries short of a happy meal.

    Kent State Wrestler Suspended Indefinitely For Homophobic Michael Sam Tweets / Queerty

    Kent State Wrestler Suspended Indefinitely For Homophobic Michael Sam Tweets



    Just one day after NFL draft prospect Michael Sam made us all proud by publicly coming out, Kent State wrestler Sam Wheeler took to Twitter to offer his poetic commentary.


    “I can’t even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart [sic] or that fag from Mizzou…”, he tweeted, following up with this little gem later — “O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now.”


    Wheeler’s comments have landed him in hot water with school officials, earning him a suspension from competing. And as the Associated Press’ SEC Defensive Player of the Year, you have to wonder if he feels like it was worth it to get his uninspired hate speech into the Twitterverse.


    His coach had this to say: “I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward.”


    Can’t leg lock your way out of this one, Sam.


    And we don’t need to make the obvious leap that that he protests too much. But if he ever did hook up with Michael Sam, he could be known as Sam Sam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Scorp View Post
    My fellow 1982 Scorpion! Never occurred to me that penises go into ears until your twitpics
    @NickoMoralesXXX
    @Sexy_Seth_1982 awe sexy! You're just too cute to be true- I can't take my eyes off of you-

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    “I can’t even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart [sic] or that fag from Mizzou…”, he tweeted, following up with this little gem later — “O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now.”

    Wonder why they corrected his actual tweet where he showed the world he doesn't know the difference between they're and there. See the actual tweet above.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Michael Sam’s Father Is Really Not Happy That His Son Is Gay / Queerty

    Michael Sam’s Father Is Really Not Happy That His Son Is Gay

    It takes a brave man to take on an institution like the NFL. But Michael Sam, the Missouri football player who came out over the weekend, had another hurdle to overcome: his own family. In particular, his father, for whom Sam is named, is especially unhappy with the news.

    “I’m old-school,” Michael Sam Sr. told The New York Times. “I’m a man and a woman type of guy.” How old school? He took another of his sons to Mexico for the express purpose of losing his virginity, with a woman of course.


    The Times story illustrates the difficult background that Michael Sam has had to overcome to achieve success. He is one of eight children. A sister drowned when she was two years old. One brother was shot and killed during a break-in; another hasn’t been seen since he left for work one day in 1998 and is presumed dead. Two other brothers are in jail. The family was well known in its hometown of Hitchcock, TX, for being troublesome.


    Michael Sam found salvation in football, which caused a rift between him and his mother, a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in sports. Sam was fortunate enough to find a coach who mentored him. He was even luckier to have a friend whose parents (the father was president of a local bank) took Sam into live with them. That family, the Purls, were instrumental in setting Sam’s sights on college.


    Sam says now that he is “closer to my friends than I am to my family.” While he was out to his friends, teammates and adoptive family for some time, he only texted his father with the news last week. Michael Sam Sr. got the message while celebrating his birthday at a Denny’s near his home in Dallas.


    “I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.”


    While Sam Sr. says he loves his son, he openly doubts the idea of an openly gay NFL player, even if that man is his son. The Times article says that Sam Sr. “grumbled” that NFL Hall of Famer Deacon Jones “is turning over in his grave.” Actually, to be fair to Jones, we have no idea how he would have felt.


    Michael Sam Jr. acknowledges that his family life was tough. “It was very hard growing up in that environment,” he says. “Everyone would say, ‘There goes those damn Sams.’”


    Sam is determined to rise above that past and to prove something to his family. “I knew the good in my family despite Hitchcock’s wariness about them. They didn’t know our background and the adversity we had to endure. I wanted to succeed and be a beacon of hope in my family.”


    Whether his family likes it or not, he’s well on his way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Scorp View Post
    My fellow 1982 Scorpion! Never occurred to me that penises go into ears until your twitpics
    @NickoMoralesXXX
    @Sexy_Seth_1982 awe sexy! You're just too cute to be true- I can't take my eyes off of you-

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Jesus the poor guys family life sounds so sad. His father attitude is really disappointing .
    kasippu and Beeyotch like this.

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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    “I’m old-school,” Michael Sam Sr. told The New York Times. “I’m a man and a woman type of guy.” How old school? He took another of his sons to Mexico for the express purpose of losing his virginity, with a woman of course.


    Michael Sam found salvation in football, which caused a rift between him and his mother, a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in sports
    So, he doesn't believe in evil old sports, but he's perfectly alright playing pimp for his son? Alrighty then.....

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    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Default Is This Openly Gay NFL Hopeful Michael Sam’s Boyfriend?

    Is This Openly Gay NFL Hopeful Michael Sam’s Boyfriend? / Queerty

    Is This Openly Gay NFL Hopeful Michael Sam’s Boyfriend?



    We’ve only had a few days to drool over hunky, newly out NFL prospect Michael Sam, and he may already be taken.


    MediaTakeOut is reporting
    that the cute, lean guy in these pics with Michael is his boyfriend.


    They’re also making some pretty obvious jokes about Sam “sacking” the boyfriend, but you know that’s the first thing you thought as well.


    Take this news with a grain of salt, because MTO isn’t exactly the most reliable source in the world. However, since Sam is actually out it’s certainly more plausible than the recent stories surrounding Aaron Rodgers. Because that dude is definitely not gay.


    If it is true, we think the two guys look adorable and can totally see Michael Sam becoming the first out and proud gay NFL-er and this cute, so far nameless guy his First Dude rooting on the sidelines. Perhaps they could double date with 49-er Colin Kaepernick and his rumored boo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Scorp View Post
    My fellow 1982 Scorpion! Never occurred to me that penises go into ears until your twitpics
    @NickoMoralesXXX
    @Sexy_Seth_1982 awe sexy! You're just too cute to be true- I can't take my eyes off of you-

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    fgg
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    it took a lot of guts for this guy to come out in the arena he's in - good for him! his dad should be proud that his son is alive and productive (and assumingly a nice person) with half of his other kids missing, dead or in jail, jeez!

    i hadn't heard the colin k rumors.
    rockchick and kasippu like this.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard any of the Kaep rumors, either.


    Good luck to Michael Sam. I hope he has a great career and life.
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    I'm really happy for him he had the courage to come out, and did so in his own way and not outed. I have zero interest in who he is dating, why are people reporting on that? It's none of our business. He's said he's gay, leave him alone. Good luck in the draft, Michael. I've heard he's a 3rd - 5th round pick so will be keeping my eye on where he goes.

    Hadn't heard about the Kaep rumours.
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    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Default How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam’s Coming Out

    How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam’s Coming Out - The Daily Beast

    How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam’s Coming Out

    Public relations guru Howard Bragman got a call from the agents of top football prospect Michael Sam to do something many would have advised against: coming out before the NFL draft.

    On February 8, Howard Bragman, one of the top public relations people in the country, was getting ready for a dinner that would change history.




    The guest list that night included a smorgasbord of former major league athletes, many of them gay, cherry-picked by Bragman for the occasion: San Francisco 49ers running back Dave Kopay; San Diego Padres outfielder Billy Bean; NFL cornerback Wade Davis; and two straight guys, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (who’ve been sacked after coming out in support of gay marriage). Also in attendance were Chuck O’Donnell, Bragman’s husband of six years, and Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski of OutSports.com.

    Bragman summoned the group to his house in Los Angeles to help break one of the decade’s most explosive stories. It was a story that would capture the attention of the entire world, including the president and first lady, eventually overshadowing even the Sochi Olympics.

    What made this dinner so special was the guest of honor, a young man by the name of Michael Sam.

    “I wanted him to meet other gay athleles who have gone through this,” Bragman tells me. “These guys paved the way for people like Michael. I thought it was important for him to meet them.”

    Three weeks earlier, Bragman received a call from Sam’s agents, Joe Barkett and Cameron Weiss, asking whether he could help their client, a top NFL draft prospect from the University of Missouri, do something many would have advised against: coming out before the NFL draft.

    Bragman had to look Sam up.

    “Even after I met Michael, even after I knew what we were dealing with, I don’t think anyone knew how big this story was,” Bragman admits.

    While most PR people are busy keeping their gay clients’ sexuality under wraps, Bragman has become the go-to guy for high profile celebs and athletes looking to bust out of the closet.

    Born in Flint, Michigan, Bragman says he was a “fat gay Jewish kid… who grew up to be a Martian.” At 6 foot 4 inches, he’s one of the most recognized public relations figures in the country. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1978, he moved to Chicago where he got his big break working for one of the biggest agencies in the world, Burson-Marsteller. He started his first firm, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, in 1989. Then came Fifteen Minutes, a midsize public relations agency he still owns today. He’s also the resident PR guy for Good Morning America, where his weekly appearances cover anything from Britney Spears to Justin Bieber.

    His first big gay case was Dick Sargent, who starred opposite Elizabeth Montgomery as the second Darrin in Bewitched. Sargent’s coming out in 1991 on Entertainment Tonight stunned everyone, including Sargent himself, who thought nobody would care. The story became front page news, earning Bragman the reputation of Hollywood’s new gay whisperer. Since then, Bragman has handled more than a dozen big comings out, including country singer Chely Wright, Family Ties’ Meredith Baxter, Esera Tuaolo, a retired nose tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, and Sheryl Swoopes, a three-time WNBA MVP.

    But Sam’s case was in a league of its own. As a prospective mid-round NFL pick, Sam had the distinct honor of ostensibly becoming the first openly-gay player in the league’s history.


    Last month, Jason Collins, a 35-year-old NBA veteran, made history when he became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. But Sam was about to shatter another big first, in a notoriously homophobic sport. And unlike Collins, Sam was doing it at the beginning of his career—a whole other ball game.


    “It’s certainly one of the two biggest comings out ever,” says Bragman. “This and Ellen. But hers was in a different time. You didn’t have social media back then. I don’t think the president tweeted about it,” he says. “This broke stereotypes. Football is where gladiators compete in America today.”


    What made this coming out even more sensitive was the fact that many in the media world were expecting the announcement. Sam had already come out to his teammates in August, and was seen holding hands with his then-boyfriend around campus. Nobody wanted to “out” him, but it wasn’t exactly a big secret either. As Bragman puts it, “Too many people were sniffing around.”


    It was becoming clear on that Saturday that the story wasn’t going to hold. “Far too many people knew we trying to break on Monday.” That’s when Bragman decided on what he calls a “sneak attack.” Sam would make his announcement on Sunday, a full 24 hours ahead of schedule.




    To help him get ready, Bragman sat the 6 foot 2 inch, 260-pound, SEC defensive player of the year down for a series of mock interviews that covered more than 150 possible questions—a grueling media bootcamp aimed at tackling any unforeseen surprises.

    Bragman scheduled only three articles in three different media outlets: The New York Times, ESPN, and Outsports.com. There was no shortage of stations and newspapers interested in the story. But Bragman kept it to a minimum.

    “We live in a world where you don’t have to tell your story 28 times,” Bragman says. “If you tell your story once or twice and you tell it well, and handle it right, it’s going to go viral anyway.”


    It was a mad dash to get the interviews done. Camera crews occupied several rooms in Bragman’s house. But even though the stakes were high, Sam turned out to be a natural. He was calm, honest, and personable which, according to Bragman, are the most important qualities for anyone looking to come out publicly.


    “He’s just a big ol’ teddy bear,” Bragman says. “He’s very lovable.”


    Once the story hit the Internet, Bragman’s inbox blew up. The story became the lead in every news program in the country. Nightly News, Good Morning America, and The Daily Show all covered it. Even CBS’ Face The Nation andABC’s This Week, programs usually dedicated to D.C. politics, allocated entire segments to Sam’s story.


    The first lady personally chimed in, tweeting, “You're an inspiration to all of us.” Even the president offered his support, thanking Sam for “leading the way.”


    During the Missouri versus Tennessee basketball game days later, Sam received a long standing ovation when his image was shown on the arena Jumbotron.

    Sam’s coming out wasn’t without a hitch. Some questioned its timing, suggesting he should have waited until after the May draft before telling the world he was playing for the other team. About a dozen unnamed NFL execs and coaches toldSports Illustrated they believed Sam’s prospects were seriously damaged by the announcement. On the CBS Draft Board, Sam dropped 70 spots, moving from #90 to #160, overnight. (CBS Sports did move Sam back to #110 the following day.)

    “We took a little bit of criticism for coming out before the draft,” Bragman says. But he has no regrets. “If we waited until after the draft people would have said, ‘Oh great, now he comes out and the team is stuck with him, not knowing what they got.’”


    Even so, most hailed Sam’s coming out as one of the smoothest in sports history. PR Newser, the industry’s top trade site, called Bragman’s rollout a “masterpiece.” Already a regular on Good Morning America, requests for Bragman to appear on TV panels came pouring in. His phone was ringing off the hook.


    “I’m a very lucky guy,” Bragman says. “I’m having fun, and I’m proud of what I do. I have a lot of gratitude for everything I have in my life. I take nothing for granted.”


    Whether or not Sam’s coming out was indeed a success will become clear come May, when the draft begins. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess.


    “It was about as effective as it could have been,” said Chris Kluwe. “This is just the first step. Mike has come out. He let people know, ‘Hey I’m a gay football player.’ But that’s not the end of it. The rest of the story is, will the teams give him a fair shot?”


    Either way, Bragman knows he took part in a moment that truly can be called a game-changer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Scorp View Post
    My fellow 1982 Scorpion! Never occurred to me that penises go into ears until your twitpics
    @NickoMoralesXXX
    @Sexy_Seth_1982 awe sexy! You're just too cute to be true- I can't take my eyes off of you-

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