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PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Carter-Williams had Allen Iverson cheering from his suite and left LeBron James impressed. Stan Brock Jersey . Not a bad start for MCW. It was an even better one for the Sixers. Carter-Williams had a debut to remember, using 22 points, 12 assists, and nine steals to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Miami Heat 114-110 on Wednesday night. The rookie out of Syracuse nearly upstaged Iverson on a night Philly feted his spectacular career. "You see what he can bring on a big stage," 76ers rookie head coach Brett Brown said. MCW was the MVP of the fourth quarter, picking up two more steals, harassing James in the lane, and sealing the win from the free-throw line. Spencer Hawes scored 24 points and put the Sixers ahead for good with a 3-pointer, then a driving layup for a 109-108 lead with 2:01 left. "Everything was clicking tonight," Carter-Williams said. "If we can consistently play together, then we can be a good team." The guys in the locker room might be the only ones who think that. As the NBA season tipped off, the over-under out of Las Vegas for total wins for the 76ers this year is 16.5, the lowest of any team in the league. Against the two-time defending champion Heat, no one in Philly cared. James missed five of six shots in the fourth, losing the ball on one drive down the middle, then blowing a 6-footer on the next possession. Shane Battier missed all seven 3-pointers in the game and the Heat missed 10 straight shots in the fourth -- after scoring a whopping 45 points in the third. The Heat needed all those points to rally after the Sixers dominated from the opening tip. They made their first 11 shots and raced to leads of 19-0 and 26-4, putting the champs on their heels a night after they received their rings. James had 25 points and 13 assists and Chris Bosh scored 22 for Miami. Miami guard Dwyane Wade sat out to rest his sore knees. Coach Erik Spoelstra says he wanted to give Wade an extra day to recover with the Heat playing in consecutive nights. Wade scored 13 points for the Heat in their 107-95 win over Chicago on Tuesday. Carter-Williams also hit four 3-pointers, had seven rebounds and his nine steals set an NBA first-game record. "I couldnt think of a better way to start your NBA career," James said. For most of the game, the Sixers played more like the team in the hunt for the championship, not one in full blown rebuilding mode. Iverson, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving and Moses Malone were among the former Sixers on hand for opening night. The Heat surely could have used Wade. Wade, though, had walked into locker room both knees wrapped in ice and an understanding it was too early in the season to push himself. He said it was "just being smart." "It was not pre-planned, it was something our trainers and coaches came to me with," Wade said. "Its early in the season, its just a precaution." James said Wade could take all the time he needed. "If he needs to take the second game of the season, the 30th game, 50th game, 80th game, thats the way it is," James said. After all, the Heat were a double-digit favourite to rout the Sixers, and expected to have little trouble against one of the worst teams in the NBA. Not so fast. Evan Turner scored 26 points and the Sixers dominated only hours after Iverson announced his retirement, ending a 14-year career. Carter-Williams had a steal and dunk to open the game, Turner dunked over James, and Hawes tossed in a layup for a stunning 19-0 run to open the game. James finally banked in a shot with 7:07 left in the first to end Miamis scoring drought. The Sixers still led 29-11 even with a lineup that included Tony Wroten, Lavoy Allen and Daniel Orton on the court. Who? Exactly. "Weve got a lot of pride, the guys that have been here and done it," Hawes said. The Heat, though, became the Heat and used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to pull to 51-49 at halftime. James hit a 3 that made it a one-point game, and Udonis Haslems inside layup gave the Heat their first lead of the game, 60-59. Ray Allen hit all four 3-pointers in the quarter, James made three and the Heat shot a sizzling 10 of 13 from 3-point range in the third. They finished 16 of 22 (73 per cent) from the floor overall and stretched the lead to 94-85. "Were a comfortable team, we always feel like we can win a game," James said. Just not this one. Earl Campbell Jersey .Y. - Geno Smith shouted a couple of mighty expensive expletives. Rueben Mayes Jersey . Or take a relaxing vacation somewhere warm. Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored, Ray Emery stopped 32 shots and the Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.Danny Koevermans has officially retired. The former Toronto FC designated player played three of his 15 professional seasons with the team. He scored 17 goals in 30 games in Toronto. Koevermans, 35, played for Sparta Rottterdam, AZ, and PSV in his native Netherlands before coming to Toronto, and finished his career with FC Utrecht. Tom Dempsey Jersey. Koevermans also spent time with Netherlands in international competition. ' ' '
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TORONTO - Dwane Casey was more composed than you might expect after his team surrendered 101 points in defeat on home court Wednesday night. Lamonte Hunley Jersey Store. The reason being; this loss - 101-89 at the hands of Minnesota - came in the second game of the exhibition season, a time of trial and error for the Raptors. "[We are in] no way a finished product," Casey said after the loss. "I dont think you can talk to a coach in the NBA now that is where they want to be. Were definitely not where we want to be defensively." "Weve got to fight through things, weve got to fight through adversity and I like it," he continued, stressing that a night like this, at this stage should be used as a learning experience. "I like that it showed us tonight what we have to work on, especially defensively." Casey and his staff will go back to the drawing board on Thursday, as they do after each preseason game - win or lose. For them, October is a month-long chess match, a card game thats all about gathering information, utilizing it in the gym and choosing how much of it they wish to reveal before the games count. Its a month of experimentation and tactical development. "In preseason you stick with your coverage," Casey said, pointing out that through two games the team has yet to switch into the zone defence theyve been working on. "You dont try to do anything tricky, you dont try to game plan. Were still trying to learn our defensive fundamentals." Zone coverage is expected to be a big part of what the Raptors do defensively this season -- or better yet, what they can do when the situation deems it necessary. Whether theyre using a small lineup or simply masking some of their weaker second-unit defenders, it is a trick theyd like to have up their sleeve. But for now it remains in the sleeve. "You dont want to show them too much in the preseason," said Rudy Gay, who scored 11 points in the losing effort to Minnesota. Defensive Slippage For Casey the message is, has been and will remain focused on defence. After holding the Celtics to 89 points on 40 per cent shooting in Mondays preseason victory, the teams recommitment on the defensive end took a step in the wrong direction, most notably in the third quarter where they were outscored them 28-16. "We had a lot of mental breakdowns on the defensive end that were going to come in here tomorrow and watch and try to correct," admitted DeMar DeRozan, who was a standout on the offensive end with a team-high 17 points. The Wolves shot 47 per cent from the field and 37 per cent from three-point range, where they burned Toronto in the second half. The Raptors frontcourt had their hands full all night, as expected, bodying up against a slimmer but always physical Kevin Love (20 points, nine rebounds) and Nikola Pekovic (12 points, eight rebounds). "We just have to start with the mindset that we have to do everything right," Gay put bluntly. "Were honestly not good enough to lack in any category. So we have to try to [be] as perfect as possible." A Determined DeRozan With Corey Brewer preoccupied on Gay, DeRozan took advantage of the smaller guards Minnesota threw at him. After the newly signed Kevin Martin left the game (he played six minutes and was pulled as a precaution with a sore Achilles) DeRozan began attacking the paint, routinely posting up or driving right by Alexey Shved and company. DeRozan scored all but two of his 17 points in the paint or from the line, finishing six-of-seven from the floor and five-for-six from the stripe. He and Gay combined to shoot 14 free throws, making 12, each playing around 20 minutes. "It puts pressure on the defence," Gay said of the duos ability to draw fouls in the lane "The more we can do that the better were going to be." "Now we just [have] to start hitting shots," he joked. "Itll come, its just preseason." Another Efficient Night for the Starters Although they havent been effective from beyond the arc, an area of emphasis for that unit, the Raptors starters havent had much trouble hitting their shots. For the second straight game the starting unit shot above 50 per cent from the field and continued to build on the chemistry they developed towards the end of last season. "I thought they played solid minutes, the minutes they were in there," Casey said of the starters who, with the exception of Jonas Valanciunas, sat out the fourth quarter. Rotation Roulette Again, Casey experimented with different combinations, specifically in the second half. More than wins and losses, the Raptors coach has emphasized the importance of experimenting with his rotation and finding the groupings that work best going into the season. Casey used a couple variations of his small lineup late in the first half with Gay slotted at the four and matching up with Love. "I gained the weight he lost," Gay joked after facing a slimmed-down Love. After sitting out on Monday Steve Novak was also used as a stretch four, playing 20 minutes in place of Austin Daye, who was used in that role against Boston. Novak scored nine points off the bench, knocking down his first three triples in his Raptors debut. "We know what Steve is," Casey said. "We know who he is [and] what he can do. We wanted to give him a turn tonight." Novak, a 45 per cent three-point shooter over the last two seasons in New York, is as automatic as they come in the corner but the challenge for Casey will be masking him on defence and surrounding him with players he will complement. "From a distance you may not see exactly whats going on, but some nights some guys are playing, other [nights] guys arent," Novak said of the preseason. "I think a lot of it is for the coaches to see what theyre comfortable with, where they want to play guys [and] just see how guys react." Fallen Comrade Raptors fans received disheartening news prior to Wednesdays preseason home opener when it was reported that the teams beloved mascot, the Raptor, tore his Achilles tendon during a community visit in Halifax this weekend and will be sidelined for the season. Widely considered the best mascot in the NBA, the Raptor - and the man wearing the suit - has been with the organization, entertaining fans since the inaugural season in 1995-96. "I was disappointed," Casey said of his reaction when he heard the news. "My daughter cried. She was upset." "Hell bounce back. Hes in good hands with the physicians. The Raptor will be back, he will be back. We need his spirit and hes in our thoughts and prayers." Up Next Andrea Bargnani will make his highly-anticipated return to the Air Canada Centre with his new team, the Knicks, who make the first of two preseason visits to Toronto on Friday. TSN Radio 1050 Toronto has the game live at 7pm et. Bobo Wilson Jersey Store .A caravan greeted the former Boston Red Sox pitcher at the airport and took him to a public park in Santo Domingo, where a crowd lined a 19-mile stretch of highway to catch a glimpse of him.Once at the park, Martinez went on stage accompanied by players David Ortiz and Robinson Cano as merengue music played and fireworks lit up the sky. DeShawn Williams Jersey Store . "[People] keep asking that question and its not a legit question because we dont have that right, we havent arrived yet," Casey responded. "Weve got to take each game at a time, each possession at a time and look at it that way. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Ryan Hunter-Reay deftly guided his car around the rain-soaked track, stayed out of trouble and wound up with a much happier ending. Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday when the rain-shortened IndyCar race finished under caution, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti behind him. The win came two weeks after Hunter-Reay touched off what turned into a seven-car pileup with an ill-timed attempt to pass Josef Newgarden at Long Beach to end what had been a dominating performance. "The week after Long Beach was a pretty long one," Hunter-Reay said. "It was one where I just wanted to get back in a racecar as soon as I could. "We knew it would be tough here. When it came to race time, I had the car in the wet, I had the car in the dry. They gave me exactly what I needed. I knew it was going to be close to make it all work out because it was so easy to make a mistake today. Just thrilled. This victory feels real good." A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged. Scott Dixon was third, followed by Simon Pagenaud and pole-sitter Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber who had a slight but costly misjudgment on a slippery track in the tight Turn 5. "He was out there cutting the grass," Hunter-Reay said. "I had to take advantage of that. It was so easy to do that today. I almost lost this race three times." There was some slipping and sliding, especially in the minutes after the field switched from the wet tires with several drivers leaving the track. He passed Power on lap 16 when the Australian left the track and skirted by the tire barrier before pulling back on. "I kept creeping my braking point a little bit further and further, and I went too far," Power said. "Its tough to not push past the limits with wet patches everywhere. We really didnt have the pace in the dry anyway, but that sure didnt help our cause when I went off course." The turn is called "Charlottes Web" because of a huge spider sculpture stationed there. "I almost threw it away three or four times there myself," Hunter-Reay said. "It was just tiptoeing around. Lew Reeve Jersey Store. It was a very fine line between getting it all right or getting it all wrong. "Any guy thats been in an IndyCar on the Web will tell you thats how it is. Youve got to go up the risk side to the get the reward out of it, but its really easy to throw it all away." Its the 12th career win for Hunter-Reay, who was alone up front during the caution until Andretti pulled even at the finish line to savour the moment with his teammate. He led three times for a total of 40 laps. "Theyve given us great cars here, and a second win in a row for Ryan is awesome," said Andretti, whose radio worked only sporadically down the stretch. Dixon said running a time race was "kind of annoying" and Andretti said it removed some strategy from the formula. They wound up going 69 laps, and Hunter-Reay was up front for the final time starting on No. 52. "The race should be the full distance," Dixon said. "To have to shorten these races for TV, you know, I understand the difficult predicament that everybody is in, but these are championship races. They all pay the same amount of points. "You decide to take 30 laps off them ... I think it changes strategy a lot and youre constantly chasing that window. Then ultimately you finish on a caution, too, which is also a bit of a bummer for the fans. In the future, hopefully we can find a way around that." Drivers were focused on handling the track conditions, not payback from any lingering anger over Long Beach clashes. It ended badly for Aleshin, who walked back to pit road while the rest of the field finished. Earlier Sebastien Bourdais had spun the Russian from behind, leaving him stalled. Bourdais received a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. The race was a change-up for Dixon, who finished second in each of the first four races at Barber. "We went the wrong way, but it was an interesting day," Dixon said. "Whenever you have a rain delay it sort of puts a strain on everybody trying to figure out what we need to do. "The cars were pretty good. The track suits wet conditions. There were a few troublesome areas with standing water and a few of the guys found those spots. But generally the race went fairly smoothly." ' ' '
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(SportsNetwork. LeSean McCoy Jersey .com) - The Dallas Mavericks will go for a three-game winning streak Monday night when the Boston Celtics pay a visit to American Airlines Center. After opening the season with a tough loss in San Antonio to the defending champion Spurs, the Mavs have won two straight, including a 109-104 road victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. Dallas dominated the first half and built a 14-point lead at intermission. The Pelicans stormed back and took the third by a 37-20 margin, but Dallas owned the final 12 minutes for the victory. Chandler Parsons led a balanced attack with 20 points and six Mavericks reached double figures. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis both scored 17 for Dallas. Devin Harris and Brandan Wright both posted 12 off the bench and Tyson Chandler finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. You know, it was a great game and a very fun game to be a part of, Nowitzki said. Theyre a heck of a team, and the third quarter got us in trouble again. We had a great first half with great ball movement, scoring the ball and making shots. And then in the third quarter they stepped up the pressure a little bit. This is the third bad third quarter weve had in a row now, and they got right back into it and took the lead. The Celtics opened the 2014-15 campaign with a decisive home victory over the Brooklyn Nets, then got walloped by the Houston Rockets, 104-90, Saturday night in Texas. Houston started the game on a 14-4 run and never looked back. The Rockets won wire-to-wire. I thought (the Rockets) really played aggressively out of the gate; more aggressively than we did at either end of the court, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. Jeff Green led the way for the Cs with 17 points and Jared Sullinger added 14. No other Boston player scored in double figures as the Celtics shot 37.8 percent from the floor and a stomach-turning 1-for-25 from long range. The Celtics play five of their next seven in Boston. The Mavericks won both matchups last season and are 8-2 in their last 10 against the Celtics. Boston has dropped four straight in Big D. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey . The international synchronized skating competition takes place from January 31 - February 1, 2014, and features 39 teams from 10 countries, in senior, junior, and novice. Mecole Hardman Jersey . - Maynor Figueroa headed in a late goal to give Honduras a 1-1 draw with the United States in an international friendly Tuesday.VANCOUVER -- David Booth has been placed on unconditional waivers by the Canucks for the purpose of buying him out. If Booth clears waivers, Vancouver can use a compliance buyout on the 29-year-old forward. Booth had one year left on his contract at a salary of US$4.75 million and a salary-cap hit of $4.25 million. "We wish David all the success in the future and thank him for his contributions with the Canucks," general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. The Detroit native had nine goals and 10 assists in 66 games this past season. Injuries limited him to 12 games in the 2012-13 campaign. Likee other unrestricted free agents, Booth can talk to other teams beginning June 25 and sign a new deal July 1. Chad Henne Jersey. Buying out Booth is another change for the Canucks, who traded Roberto Luongo and fired general manager Mike Gillis and coach John Tortorella earlier this spring. The team has since hired Trevor Linden as president and Benning as GM. More moves are expected, including the hiring of a new coach. Along with Booth, Ville Leino was also placed on waivers Tuesday as the Buffalo Sabres intend to use a compliance buyout to get out of the final three years of his contract. ' ' '
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NEW YORK -- Michael Weiner, the plain-speaking, ever-positive labour lawyer who took over as head of the powerful baseball players union four years ago and smoothed its perennially contentious relationship with management, died Thursday, 15 months after announcing he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Ender Inciarte Jersey . He was 51. The Major League Baseball Players Association said Weiner died at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J. "We wouldnt be where we are today without his expertise," San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affleldt said in a text to The Associated Press. "We will all feel this loss of such a great man." As Weiners health deteriorated this summer, a succession plan was put in place. Former big league All-Star Tony Clark took over Thursday as acting executive director and is to be approved as Weiners successor when the unions board meets from Dec. 2-5 at La Jolla, Calif. "Words cannot describe the love and affection that the players have for Michael, nor can they describe the level of sadness we feel today," Clark said in a statement. "Not only has the game lost one of its most important and influential leaders in this generation, all involved in the game have lost a true friend." At Weiners last public speaking engagement, a 25-minute meeting with baseball writers on the day of the All-Star game in July, he was confined to a wheelchair and unable to move his right side. Yet, he wanted to respond to questions about his illness and issues in the game, and did so with the grace and humour he was known for throughout his life. "I dont know if I look at things differently. Maybe they just became more important to me and more conscious to me going forward," he said. "As corny as this sounds, I get up in the morning and I feel Im going to live each day as it comes. I dont take any day for granted. I dont take the next morning for granted. What I look for each day is beauty, meaning and joy, and if I can find beauty, meaning and joy, thats a good day." Weiner first experienced weakness and tingling on his right side in July 2012 and was diagnosed with a glioma the following month. By June 2013, he had experienced a rapid increase in symptoms. As he sat in a wheelchair in foul territory at Citi Field the following month before the All-Star game, players lined up to speak with him. His voice had gotten raspy by early August, when he responded on behalf of the union to drug suspensions handed down to Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other players. "Michael is a tremendous person. Thats why everybody loves him," New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera said Thursday before Weiners death was announced. "He can relate with every player and had time to talk with every player." Known for wearing blue jeans and Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers to work, Weiners easygoing manner with players was a change from former head Donald Fehrs more lawyerly approach. His style connected both with players and the students he taught during Sunday school at his synagogue. "Lost a great friend today," Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler tweeted. "One of the best leaders & men I knew. Prayers for his family." Weiner was hired by the union as a staff attorney in 1988 and wound up succeeding Fehr in December 2009. Weiner became just the fourth head of the organization since 1966. A longtime New Jersey resident and a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School, Weiner clerked for U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin in Newark before joining the players association. Once at the union, he became a key figure in the lengthy process to parse the $280 million collusion settlement among individual players. Weiner also was a junior lawyer during the 7 1/2-month players strike in 1994-95 strike and the negotiations that finally led to a new labour agreement in March 1997. "I think that helped some people on the owners side to finally accept that the union was a fixture and the union was an entity they were going to have to deal with," he said. "There was never a chance for anything to settle in until we got through collusion, and really until then we got through the bargaining in 94 and 95." Following eight work stoppages in a 23-year span, baseball has since negotiated three straight labour deals without interruption. Weiner headed talks for the last deal, in November 2011, which instituted a series of significant changes that included restraints on signing bonuses for amateur players and increased the number of free agents able to switch teams without requiring the loss of draft picks as compensation. "It took a while for the owners to appreciate that the union is not only here to stay, but that the union and its members can contribute positively to a discussion about the game -- about its economics, about the nature of the competition, about how its marketed in every way," he said. In addition to the labour contract, he headed the legal team that in 2012 convinced an arbitrator to overturn a 50-game suspension imposed on Braun, the Milwaukee outfielder who was the previous years NL MVP. The union argued his urine sample had not been handled properly. Last summer Braun agreed to accept a 65-game suspension for his activities relating to the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic and his public statements. Following a line of leaders that began with Marvin Miller and went on to include the short reign of Kenneth Moffett and the long tenure of Fehr, Weiner was exceedingly conscious of the unions history and traditions of player involvement. He appeared with Fehr and the then 95-year-old Miller at a 2012 discussion at New York Universitys School of Law marking the 40th anniversary of the first baseball strike and the rise of the union. Fehr, now the head of the NHLPA, released a statement on Thursday night to lament Weiners passing. "My wife Stephanie and I are enormously saddened to learn of Mike Weiners passing today, and our thoughts go out to Diane and their three daughters," said Fehr in the statement. "Mike was an extraordinary individual in so many ways: as a loving husband and father, as an exceptional union leader and lawyer, and as a great friend to so many. He was an indispensible part of the MLBPA staff for more than two decades, and was the right man to lead the union. This is a great loss, for his family, for his friends, for the players, and for everyone who crossed his path.” His hair nearly gone from his treatment, Weiner returned to NYU in January for a memorial celebrating the life of Miller, who died two months earlier. He humbly referred to "our little sport of baseball." "He was not just too young to die. He was too good and decent, too kind and brilliant," said Gene Orza, the unions former chief operating officer. "I never knew anyone finer." Said NFL players union executive director DeMaurice Smith: "The family of Michael Weiner and the community of athletes worldwide have lost a leader. I will miss my friend." Weiner is survived by his wife, the former Diane Margolin, and daughters Margie, Grace and Sally. Sean Newcomb Jersey . Kevin Martin and Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves like they do so often. Martin had 27 points with some key baskets down the stretch, Love had his usual double-double, and the Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a 112-106 victory Saturday night over the suddenly slipping Dallas Mavericks. Andy Messersmith Jersey . The Sochi organizing committee said in Fridays statement that the torch relay reached the North Pole on Oct. 19. Russian Polar explorer Artur Chilingarov, who led the mission, lit a special bowl at the North Pole sign.WASHINGTON -- Drew Gooden has signed his 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards. The veteran forward joined the Wizards at Wednesdays practice and will be available for Thursdays game against the Toronto Raptors. Gooden agreed to the deal Tuesday. The Wizards were in need of frontcourt depth after losing forward Nene to a sprainedd left MCL. John Ryan Murphy Jersey. . Nene is expected to be sidelined about six weeks. Gooden hasnt played since he was designated as an amnesty player by the Milwaukee Bucks last summer. He had two years and about $13.4 million remaining on his contact at the time. The 32-year-old Gooden has played for nine teams over 11 NBA seasons. ' ' '
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Tuscaloosa, AL - Nick Saban, who led Alabama to three national titles in four years but was rumored to perhaps be looking elsewhere, will continue to coach the Crimson Tide. Fake Hurricanes Jerseys . Alabama said Friday it reached a long-term agreement with Saban, ending the recent speculation he would leave to coach another team, potentially Texas. Details of the new deal, which has to be approved by the board of trustees, were not immediately available. Alabama signed Saban to a contract extension in March of 2012 that was to run through 2020. "Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career," Saban said in a statement. The Crimson Tide are 79-14 since Saban was hired as coach in 2007. He led them to FBS titles following the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Still, whispers grew that he might leave to coach the Longhorns if Mack Brown and Texas parted ways. Brown, who has coach Texas since 1998, was to meet with university officials Friday about his future. Alabama was again perched atop the rankings this season until a shocking loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30. Chris Davis last-second field goal return knocked the Tide from the No. 1 spot in the BCS rankings, ruining their chances to win another championship. Instead, Auburn and Florida State will face off in the BCS Championship Game next month. Alabama (11-1), led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist AJ McCarron, will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2. "Coach Saban is the best in the business and has led our program to the pinnacle of college football," Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a statement. "This agreement is a strong indication of our mutual commitment to building on the foundation he has established." Saban, 62, has also coached Toledo, Michigan State and LSU and is one of only four coaches in the modern era to win four national titles. He also reached the top with LSU after the 2003 season. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Carolina Hurricanes Gear . Its been a successful Games for Canada, which will finish near the top of the medal standings again. From repeat gold medal winners to multiple medal winners to undefeated teams to acts that define the Olympic spirit, there are many solid candidates who could be considered to receive the honour.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Even if, by Peyton Mannings assessment, the latest installment of his great rivalry with Tom Brady stunk, it remains something to treasure.Yes, Bradys Patriots routed Mannings Broncos 43-21 at Gillette Stadium, a personal house of horrors for the record-setting Manning. And, sure, there have been much better games involving their teams.What both of them — and all football fans — need to recognize is that with Manning at 38 and Brady at 37, these matchups wont occur many more times. So if their teams find their way into a playoff meeting in January, it will deserve the same kind of hype this one got.Lets just hope its more competitive.What was on display Sunday was Brady at his best, helped by a rapidly improving receiving corps and offensive line, terrific special teams and the usual befuddling defensive schemes that Manning cant seem to conquer in Foxborough. Most telling as he fell to 2-7 in the venue — and 5-11 overall against Brady — was how often the Broncos had to rush to get the snap off before the play clock expired.Manning, of course, is a master of histrionics at the line of scrimmage. But in this game, he seemed more like the one confused than the one confusing the defence.That happens a lot against New England.I guess Im not smart enough to draw that many connections, said Manning, perhaps the smartest quarterback to play the game. I kind of take them one year at a time. (There are) different players and we didnt on offence do the things we talked about doing. That starts with me; Ive got to play better. Thats pretty plain and simple. When the quarterback stinks, usually youre not going to win too many games.Manning didnt come close to Bradys performance Sunday, but he didnt stink. He and his team, whose defence was ranked fourth in the NFL heading into the matchup, played their worst game of the year, though.That makes another potential Manning-Brady encounter even more intriguing. That it would have to come in the playoffs if it happens this season is something to cherish.Brady, who threw for four touchdowns and had open receeivers all over the field in the final three periods, seems to expect at least one more head-to-head encounter. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys. And after the Broncos beat the Patriots to get to the Super Bowl last winter, Brady awaits such a rematch.He seems amused by the prospect.I think its just a topic for people to talk about, Brady said. Its hard to compare anybody; thats how I always feel. Ive been lucky enough to play here. Hes had an incredible career. Football has changed since I got in the league.Hes always set a really high bar for how to play. Ive tried to do the same through my efforts with my team. You know, the only thing I really care about is the respect of my teammates and trying to go out there every day and earn it. There are a lot of things that I cant control ... Youve just got to try to figure out the things you can control and work hard at them and earn it every day.Theres nothing thats given to you in this league. Peyton understands that. Ive known him long enough. Like I said, that team is going to have a great record at the end of the year.With the way New England (7-2) is playing, with five straight victories in which Brady has thrown for 18 TDs and one interception, his Patriots might be the team to fear most. Then again, the Broncos overall are the more talented club and are just as capable of getting on a roll.Theres always the chance that another division leader, perhaps Indianapolis or one of the AFC Central teams, also gets hot; Pittsburgh is that team now.In the end, though, its difficult to imagine that Manning-Brady XVII isnt coming up.I think it doesnt matter who you were playing. If I played the way I did today and we got beat like we did today Id like to think I would be just as disappointed, Manning said after Sundays debacle. So I dont really feel its more because its one particular team, I guess. Its your job to execute and perform and thats what I expect to do myself, and when I dont Im disappointed.So Im going to do my job better no matter who were playing.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Mike Hennigan . -- While much of the nation is buried in snow, glazed by ice or just plain shivering in the cold, its time to play ball in the desert. Spring training officially began Thursday when Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers reported, with their first workout set for Friday. On the other side of suburban Phoenix, in Glendale, Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers report on Saturday. Full-squad workouts for both teams begin next week. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers get an early start because they will open the MLB season with a two-game series in Australia on March 22-23. The rest of the teams begin workouts next week at their spring training haunts in Arizona and Florida. Arizonas reporting date signals the beginning of preparation for a season that wont end until the World Series eight months from now. The Diamondbacks are coming off consecutive 81-81 seasons and face the prospect, like the rest of the NL West, of trying to compete with the cash- and pitching-rich Dodgers. Arizona wanted to add a veteran starter in the off-season and still may. A person with knowledge of the situation said Thursday that the Diamondbacks were talking with representatives of Bronson Arroyo with the possibility of landing the 36-year-old right-hander. The person asked not to be identified because the talks had not been made public. The Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles also reportedly have interest in Arroyo. If no changes are made, the Diamondbacks rotation is expected to include left-handers Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley and right-handers Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy. Young right-hander Randall Delgado and top minor league prospect Archie Bradley could vie for the other rotation spot. Diamondbacks players went through informal workouts in relatively chilly weather, at least by Arizona standards, on Thursday. Temperatures were in the low 60s but were expected to rise to the high 70s over the weekend. Kirk Gibson is entering his fourth season as manager and earlier this week got an extension of his contract, which had been set to expire this year. He said the early start to spring training will mean a larger gap between the start of full-squad workouts and the beginning of spring games. "Well come in on the 11th and our first games on the 26th," he said. "It gives us a challenge. We need to get our pitchers ready to be ready to go on March 22." After the long trip to Australia, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will come back to Arizona to complete spring training before their stateside regular-season openers. "The seasons going to be a little longer, " Gibson said, "but if you look at the other people that have played abroad early, I think theres 10 teams that went and five of them have went to post-season play." Even though its an early start to spring training, McCarthy said players are more than ready to get back at it. "In the last month is when you start to hit that boredom point," he said. "Youre done with the off-season, youre sick of your loved ones, you want to get out of your house. Now it turns real and you kind of get back to work." The other significant addition to the Diamondbacks pitching staff is Addison Reed, The 25-year-old right-hander had 69 saves the last two seasons with the Chicago White Sox, 40 last year. Arizona acquired him from the White Sox for third baseman Matt Davidson. Reed hasnt been anointed the Arizona closer yet, though, facing competition from the likes of J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Brad Zeigler. "Obviously everybody knows that I want to close. Its the only thing Ive ever wanted to do," Reed said, "but Im here and whatever they have me do is what Ill do and Ill be happy to. As long as Im out there throwing, Ill be a happy guy." McCarthy said that a core group of Arizona players plans to take a bigger leadership role in the coming year. "I think theres a group of guys here that know exactly what they want," he said. "Last year I think we were kind of getting there but we didnt have that true leadership that really came through. Its the one thing Ive seen just in talking to guys so far, that heres an idea of exactly what we want and I think we know how to implement that now. "Youre going to see a clubhouse of guys that go out of their way to get things the way they want it, to set an attitude the way they want it." Thatcher Szalay . TSNs Farhan Lalji reports the Edmonton Eskimos non-import DT has a workout scheduled with an NFL team next week and isnt expected to sign a deal with any team until then. Cheap NFL Jerseys China Authentic . Cammalleri scored two goals, Corban Knight netted the winner in a shootout, and the Flames erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Stars 4-3 on Friday night.Sochi, Russia - Russias Adelina Sotnikova won womens figure skating gold at the Sochi Olympics, edging South Koreas Kim Yuna for the title on Thursday night. Sotnikova trailed the 2010 Olympic champion by just .28 points after the short program on Wednesday, but had a brilliant free skate on Thursday. She earned a top score of 149.95 for a two-day total of 224.59. Kim, skating last on Thursday, earned a free skate score of 144. Doug Winslow. 19 for a total of 219.11 to claim a silver medal. She was trying to become the first womens figure skater to win consecutive Olympic gold medals since Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988. Italys Carolina Kostner placed third to earn a bronze medal in her third Olympics. She was ninth in the 2006 Games and 16th four years ago in Vancouver. ' ' '
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. Eric Fisher Jersey . - The Kansas City Royals are hoping All-Star catcher Salvador Perez will be back in a few days. Perez left Monday nights 7-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox with a swollen right thumb. X-rays were negative. He could be back in time to avoid a stint on the disabled list. With Perez sidelined by the injury, the Royals recalled catcher Francisco Pena from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Pena is the son of New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, also a former Royals manager. Francisco Pena, who hit nine home runs in his past 23 games with Omaha, will be making his major league debut if he plays for Kansas City The Royals also optioned infielder Johnny Giavotella to Omaha.Marcus Allen Jersey . The thunderous cheers quickly changed to an appreciative chant: "Ma-son! Ma-son! Ma-son! Headed to New York with new life, Mason sure earned this curtain call. Derrick Nnadi Jersey . Fielder ended 4-for-5 with a solo homer, while Avila was 4-for-4 with two runs scored for the Tigers, who put the brakes on a three-game skid and rebounded from a loss in Mondays opener. Victor Martinez and Austin Jackson both contributed two hits, an RBI and a run scored as Detroit maintained its healthy lead atop the AL Central.The CFL Players Association has voted to ratify the proposed new collective bargaining agreement. The PA confirmed the ratification via press release on Thursday night. It was unclear which way the players were leaning prior to the vote. After the league and CFLPA struck a tentative deal on Saturday, many players publicly voiced their displeasure over the terms. The five-year deal calls for a $5 million sallary cap which was below the PAs opening proposal of more than $6 million per year. Cameron Erving Jersey. . The Players Association also wanted the agreement to be renegotiable after the third year if league revenues increased by more than $18 million, but settled for the leagues figure of $27 million. The next step is for the Board of Governors to vote on the deal, which is expected to happen Friday. ' ' '
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With the off-season additions of a pair of veteran defencemen, Cody Franson knows his time in Toronto could be numbered, but on the heels of a new one-year, $3. Trent Taylor Super Bowl Jersey .3 million deal, took the high road saying he had no interest in playing in another uniform next season. “Im very fortunate that we were able to avoid that process and Im very happy to be a Leaf.” Franson told TSN 1050 Monday afternoon. ”Im still very hopeful that I spend the full season here.” The subject of multiple trade rumours following the acquisitions of Roman Polak and Stephane Robidas, the 26-year-old defenceman said hes looking to move on from the rumours that had him on his way to the Montreal Canadiens before Josh Gorges refused to waive his no-trade clause, nixing a potential deal. “Toronto is the place I wanna be for a long time and to hear your name pop up in something that supposedly had some truth to it wasnt exactly what youre hoping to hear,” Franson said. Entering his fourth season with the Leafs after being acquired from the Nashville Predators, the right-handed blueliner led the team in scoring amongst defenceman in 2013-14, and will become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Franson on his new deal, trade rumoursTevin Coleman Super Bowl Jersey .5 million. The 25-year-old Varlamov is thriving under first-year coach and Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, posting a 26-9-5 record with a 2. Frank Gore Super Bowl Jersey . The $145.7-million Tim Hortons Field was slated to open this month, a year before it was to host all 32 mens and womens soccer competitions. The delay has forced the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team to use a smaller facility for the first two home games of the season. SASKATOON -- Tim Bozon looked thin and spoke briefly, his voice hoarse after weeks of using a feeding tube. The French hockey player and Montreal Canadians prospect was released from a Saskatoon hospital Friday, four weeks after falling seriously ill with bacterial meningitis. "Im doing good," he said. "Ive been through a lot and I feel way better now." Bozon and his family will travel to Cranbrook, where he will drop the puck at a playoff game of his Western Hockey League team, the Kootenay Ice. "Im excited to leave the hospital," he said. "Its going to be exciting to get back to Kootenay and see the boys and say bye one more time before going back to Europe." Father Philippe Bozon, who played in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues in the 1990s, was visibly emotional and thanked the Saskatoon and broader hockey community for their generosity and support. He added treatment has been costly, and encouraged the public to donate to a trust fund established to help pay the familys medical and other expenses "I want to say from my wife and I how proud we are of you Timmy, for fighting like this," he said. "I know it was a tough fight and I know you are still fighting, and I will always have faith in you." After travelling to Cranbbrook to collect Bozons things, the family will go to Montreal to visit the Canadiens organization. Jimmie Ward Super Bowl Jersey. . While there Bozon will also see doctors and receive some dental surgery. From there the family will return to France, where Bozon will enter a sports rehabilitation clinic in the southwestern town of Capbreton. Neurologist Gary Hunter treated Bozon from the day he arrived at Saskatoons Royal University Hospital, and said prompt medical attention and an induced coma were critical to his recovery. "His progress has been really amazing, so I think his prognosis is very good," he said. "Hes a tough guy and hes very motivated so I think hes going to do very well." Hunter said its had to know at this early stage whether he will be able to resume his hockey career. "Its very difficult to speculate on his long term neurologic prognosis," he said. Bozons agent Roly Thompson said he is amazed at Bozons speedy progress, which gives him hope that a full recovery is possible. "Obviously we have a long way to go," he said. "Were going to go through rehab and I think its important that everybody realize its not going to be instant." "But my gut feeling is that hes going to play one day for the Montreal Canadiens." ' ' '
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FALL RIVER, Mass. Jace Sternberger Super Bowl Jersey . -- The New England Patriots will turn over hundreds of pages of personnel records to lawyers for former tight end Aaron Hernandez but object to producing scouting reports and a psychological assessment, a team lawyer said Wednesday. Patriots attorney Andrew Phelan said at a hearing in Fall River Superior Court the team has agreed to produce 317 pages of materials sought by the defence, including medical and training records. But the team objects to turning over nine pages of scouting reports, which Phelan said contain proprietary "trade secrets." He also said they are irrelevant. Phelan said the Patriots have offered Hernandezs lawyers the option of reviewing -- but not copying -- what he described as a 1 1/2 page summary of the psychological assessment. Thats all the team has, according to court filings. The team says the defence should seek to obtain the full report from the third party that produced it, which specializes in providing character and mental assessments for professional sports organizations. Phelan accused the defence of being on a "fishing expedition." Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a former semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandezs fiancee. Lloyds bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area not far from the ex-players Massachusetts home. Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated the killing because he was upset with Lloyd for talking to some people with whom Hernandez had problems at a nightclub a few days earlier. Hernandezs attorneys last month asked a judge to approve a subpoena to compel his former employer to turn over all the records in his personnel file, saying they may contain important information about his state of mind. "State of mind is critical," defence attorney Michael Fee told a judge Wednesday. "This is not a fishing expedition. Were not on a lark." He said the scouting reports may contain exculpatory information about "prior bad acts" allegedly committed by Hernandez before he joined the Patriots in 2010, including while he played football at the University of Florida. Fee called the offer to merely look at the psychological profile summary "a dodge and a feint," saying the document is part of the personnel file and that the defence is entitled to it. Hernandez has agreed to the files release. He was released by the Patriots on the day of his arrest last summer. The judge did not hear arguments on the merits of the subpoena request but set a hearing for July 22. Hernandez attended Wednesdays proceeding but did not address the court. Afterward, he was transferred to a new jail in Boston after his attorneys earlier request for a move -- to be closer to them -- was approved. Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins said Hernandez, who is being held without bail, will be treated like any other inmate. He said Hernandez will undergo an initial assessment before its determined whether hell be placed in the general population or isolation. Hernandez has also pleaded not guilty in a separate case in which hes charged with killing two men in Boston in 2012. Randall Cobb Super Bowl Jersey . The game had many controversial incidents that, upon closer inspection, were not as controversial as many believed. The Formations Toronto FC lined up in its usual 4-4-2 formation, with Nick Hagglund slotting in at right fullback and Bradley Orr at centreback in place of the injured Mark Bloom and Steven Caldwell, respectively. Kevin King Super Bowl Jersey .The McLaren MP4-30 was launched on Thursday, with chief executive Ron Dennis saying it marks the start of a lengthy journey back to winning grands prix and eventually world championships.McLaren, which hasnt won a grand prix since 2012, will be using Honda engines for the first time since 1992, and has signed two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to partner Jenson Button for the upcoming season.Zimbabwe have named their former international Heath Streak as the new national team head coach. Zimbabwe Cricket announced the appointment on Tuesday, ending the caretaker role of former South Africa international Makhaya Ntini, who is expected to stay on as bowling coach. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. Another former Proteas star, Lance Klusener, is the teams batting coach. Streak, 42, played 65 Tests and 189 ODIs between 1993 and 2005, with the former fast bowleer the first Zimbabwean to capture 100 Test wickets. Rashan Gary Super Bowl Jersey. He ended his career with 216 victims at an average of 28.14.Streak has a little under three weeks to prepare his side for the first of two home Tests against Sri Lanka starting on 29 October. The two sides will then be joined by West Indies for an ODI triangular tournament in Zimbabwe next month.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price!  Also See: Sir Ian Botham David Lloyd Nasser Hussain Bob Willis ' ' '
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Heurelho Gomes does not believe language will be a barrier for new Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri as he looks to make an impact this season. Cheap Jerseys . The Italian was appointed in May - taking up the position on July 1 - as a replacement for Quique Sanchez Flores, who left at the end of last term then consequently took up the managers position at Espanyol. Sky Sports Fantasy Football Pick your team here, create a league and let the mind games begin! Flores was a relative success in his year at Vicarage Road, leading Watford to Premier League safety and the FA Cup semi-finals before they were eliminated by Crystal Palace. Like the Spaniard when he first arrived, Mazzarris English is limited after a coaching career which has seen him work at seven clubs all in Italy.Nevertheless, he has made a positive impression on goalkeeper Gomes, who is happy to be working under the former Inter, Napoli and Sampdoria boss. Mazzarri has signed a three-year deal at Vicrage Road after coaching at seven Italian clubs The former Tottenham player - who signed a new deal with the club recently - told Sky Sports News HQ: In football, I believe we can understand everything when we talk on the pitch.That has been no problem and the players understand very well what he wants to do. For the first few days, he said we understood more here than the players when he was in Italy.I believe that is quite good. When the players want to [understand him], the language is not a problem.I believe we need this level, a manager like him - a manager that controls the situation around the place. Quique Sanchez Flores left Watford at the end of last season and is now in charge of Espanyol He was very clear with the players that he wants to control everything and I believe we can do a very good job with him.He knows football, he knows about football and he is a very experienced manager. I believe we can achieve great things with him.If we follow what he wants to, I believe the players are very clear about that. We can do a very good job over here. Also See: Watford name backroom team Who is Walter Mazzarri? Gomes signs new Watford deal What do Watford need? Wholesale NFL Jerseys . Van Slyke drove in a career-high four runs with two homers off struggling left-hander Tony Cingrani, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled away to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, a rare comfortable win in their pitching-dominated series. Wholesale Jerseys 2022 . Its Wu-Tang and Outkast in the final. Now, we all know youve played the role of Andre 3000 in the past, does that mean Outkast is getting your vote?AJ: You know it, you know it.CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Hornets are moving forward for now without Jeffery Taylor, the latest in a growing list of professional athletes arrested on domestic violence charges.General manager Rich Cho said the Hornets will await the outcome of an NBA-led investigation before deciding whether to reinstate Taylor. He offered no timetable for Taylors return to the team.Speaking at a media day news conference Monday, Cho said it was appropriate for the organization to act decisively and swiftly in banning Taylor from all team-related activities on Friday.We take domestic violence as a very serious matter, Cho said.Taylor ran into problems with the law when he was arrested by East Lansing Police in Michigan on Thursday and charged him with one count of domestic assault, one count of assault and one count of malicious destruction of property following an altercation the East Lansing Marriott at University Place.Cho said hes spoken with Taylor, who was released Thursday on $5,000 bond, but declined to discuss details of that conversation or any specific information related to the case.The GM did say he has no knowledge of a video tape from the hotel that might shed light on the altercation.We will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution, Cho said.Cho wouldnt say what it would take for Taylor to be reinstated.I dont want to get into hypotheticals, Cho said.Cho called the arrest disappointing, but doesnt believe it should take away from the optimism heading into the season.The Hornets are coming off a 43-39 last season and have added free agents Lance Stephenson and Marvin Williams to the roster.Coach Steve Clifford said Monday that Taylor was fighting for a spot in the rotation, but said he feels comfortable with the depth the team has there. Clifford likes how Taylor has progressed since coming into the league as a second-round pick in 2012, but theres no guarantee how much the Vanderbilt product would have played this season.Clifford said Monday Stephenson will start at one of the wing spots and either Gerald Henderson or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will start at the other. Cheap Jerseys From China. The Hornets also have veteran 3-pointer shooting guard Gary Neal coming off the bench.We just have to do what other teams do a€” when one guy goes down, just pull together and continue to fight, centre Al Jefferson said of Taylors absence.Clifford said Kemba Walker, Jefferson and Williams will be the teams other three starters.In Cliffords opinion, this years starting lineup is stronger than last year and the overall depth is better too, leading to plenty of optimism.From a talent standpoint, the possibilities are exciting, Clifford said.The Hornets open training camp Tuesday in Asheville, North Carolina and much of this years optimisms surrounds Stephenson, a player who brings proven scoring ability and playoff experience to the roster.Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game last season for the Indiana Pacers. Only 24 years old, Stephenson has already started 37 post-season games during his four seasons in the NBA.Clifford said he expects Stephenson will be called upon to score more this season.I expect to do everything more this year, Stephenson said with a smile when told of Cliffords comments.Stephenson said six months ago he never thought hed be playing for anyone other than the Pacers.But he was overwhelmed with the attention the Hornets showed in him during free agency, and loved the idea of playing for his childhood hero and Hornets owner Michael Jordan.Stephenson is also friends with Walker, who he battled with time and time again as a high school player growing up in New York City.Throw in the new name and purple and teal uniforms, and Stephenson said he couldnt be happier.I feel like I came to the Hornets at the right time. We changed the name and we changed the swagger, Stephenson said. Everybody is happy about the new pieces that we got in place. Just the atmosphere here, you walk around and everybody is like, Hey Lance, we cant wait for the season to start. ' ' '
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