Tom Brady Helps Gronk Earn $1 Million In Bonuses ... 'I'm Not Coming Out'

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady refused to come out of Sunday's game against the Panthers ... until his tight end and good friend, Rob Gronkowski, got the stats he needed to trigger two separate $500,000 bonuses in his contract.

Gronk entered Week 18 -- Tampa's regular season finale -- with 48 catches and 665 receiving yards. He needed 7 catches and 85 yards to trigger both bonuses.

Well, TB12 was gonna make sure he got 'em, 'cause with under 7 mins left to go in the game, the Bucs were up 31-17 in the fourth quarter ... and head coach Bruce Arians was preparing to pull his starters.

But, check out the video ... you see a defiant Brady appear to tell Tampa's coaching staff "he's not coming out of the game" as he grabs his helmet and heads back onto the field.

The reason?? Likely 'cause Gronk -- who already hit his yardage bonus earlier in the second half on a 42-yard reception -- was still one catch shy of hitting his receptions bonus.

So, the G.O.A.T completed a short pass to Rob in the flat ... giving him the numbers he needed to cash in.

Gronkowski ultimately finished the day with 7 catches for 137 yards.

Of course, Tom is no stranger to looking out for his teammates ... despite some of the comments Antonio Brown recently made about him.

Oh, and TB also set a new career-high in passing yards (5,316) -- eclipsing his previous career-high mark set back in 2011 ... as the Bucs defeated Carolina 41-17.

After clinching the No. 2 seed in the NFC ... Tampa will play the Eagles next Sunday during Wild Card Weekend.

Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs ... Honors Betty White with Cleats!!!

The artwork on Stefon Diggs' cleats knows no bounds, evidenced in his latest offering ... a tribute to the late Betty White.

The Buffalo Bills wide receiver honored the iconic actress Sunday with a pair of pregame footwear that featured BW's likeness, plus a famous song attributed to her as well. You can see a cartoon rendering of Betty throwing up the 'rock on' hand sign ... while smirking.

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On the other cleat, the words "Thank You For Being a Friend" are emblazoned -- obviously a nod to the 'Golden Girls' theme song of the same name. The artwork was done by footwear designer Mache, who's famous for doing these mockups for athletes, especially Stefon.

No word if these babies made it on the gridiron or not -- SD usually flashes his custom cleats before kickoff, and then changes into what he'll actually wear for the game. But, it's not unheard of for him to rock tribute cleats on the field, like he did for Michael K. Williams.

Anyway, it's clear Betty left her mark on Stefon ... who proved himself to be a fan with a tweet he sent on the day she passed. He simply wrote, "Rip Betty White" ... and now, his love for her comes full circle.

We broke the story ... Betty died on New Year's Eve, not far from what would've been her 100th birthday this month.

She was 99. RIP

Tom Brady Rookie Autograph Card Hits Auction ... Could Sell For $2 Million

An incredibly rare, autographed card from Tom Brady's 2000 rookie NFL season just hit the auction block ... and TMZ Sports has learned that it could sell for $2,000,000!!

The classic card features TB12's authentic signature on the front, with him in a Patriots away uniform ... and the back of the card has his stats from when he was a quarterback at Michigan.

The G.O.A.T.'s rookie autographed card is already one of the highest-valued cards in the industry ... making it one of the most coveted items a collector in the hobby could own.

Brady -- who was drafted by the Patriots org. with the 199th overall pick -- would go onto have one of the most decorated careers as a quarterback in NFL history ... winning a record-setting 7 Super Bowl championships and 3 MVP awards (and counting).

Tom also led New England to 16 division titles during his tenure with the team ... and he played in 13 AFC championship games -- winning 9 of them.

The card will be available at MINT25/Lelands ... and don't be surprised if this card sets records!

Ex-NFL Coach Dick Vermeil Antonio Brown's Done In NFL ... 'Can't Believe' He'd Get Another Shot


Antonio Brown's NFL career is over -- at least, that's what legendary NFL coach Dick Vermeil thinks ... telling TMZ Sports he can't see another team giving him a shot after his wild, shirtless exit from the Buccaneers.

"I can't believe somebody would," Dick tells us. "A man demonstrates what he is by what he does and he answered everybody's evaluation questions when we saw him doing that stuff."

Of course, Vermeil is referring to AB taking his pads and jersey off and heading to the locker room -- in the middle of Sunday's game against the Jets -- after a disagreement with coach Bruce Arians.

"I have never in my 30-something years of coaching from high school, junior college, Division I and the NFL -- I have never seen anything like that," he added.

Vermeil -- who coached the Eagles, Rams, and Chiefs -- gives Tampa Bay credit for trying to help AB get his career back on track by signing him last season ... but says the controversial star was never going to change his ways.

"I think sometimes even though you're trying to do the right thing that you bring your own problems," Vermeil said.

"You create your own problems by bringing people that have been a problem," he continued, "What makes you think that you're gonna change 'em?"

Vermeil says he never would have given AB a shot to begin with ... saying, "I try to stay away with players that had problems because you have enough problems with players who don't have problems."

"To bring somebody in with a profile like he has, you only asking for problems."

Vermeil says he respects Tom Brady for trying to help AB ... but ultimately, "you can't save 'em all!"

Aaron Rodgers Slams Report Of Planned SB Boycott ... 'Dumbest F***ing Story Ever'

Aaron Rodgers is going after yet another member of the media ... this time, he eviscerated a Boomer Esiason report that said he was planning to boycott the Super Bowl if the Packers make it.

"Dumbest f***ing story ever," Rodgers said.

Esiason -- a former NFL star who's now an analyst and WFAN radio show host -- went on his morning show Friday and said a trusted source told him Rodgers is planning something diabolical for SB week if Green Bay gets there.

On the show, Esiason had his co-host read a text in which he claims a source said Rodgers will "threaten the NFL by saying he won't play in the big game or next season if they don't eliminate some of the COVID-related rules."

Esiason claims the text went on to say ... "He's told Jordan Love to be ready ... Super Bowl week will be set on fire and send [Roger] Goodell in a frenzy navigating the situation."

Rodgers got word of the report a couple hours after it dropped -- and sent out a tweet with laughing emojis.

"#fakenews," he said. "#boycottfakenews."

Rodgers then played around with Packers' third-string QB Kurt Benkert over the report ... adding, "Were you just mad I only told @jordan3love to be ready and not you?? #grudge #boycottvideogames"

Green Bay Packers

It's the second time this week Rodgers has felt the need to unload on a media member -- he called Hub Arkush "an absolute bum" on Wednesday for the reporter's MVP vote stance.

Antonio Brown Shades Tom Brady After Bucs Cut 'Can't Do S*** By Himself'

Antonio Brown's bridge-burning clearly didn't end on Sunday with his departure from the Bucs -- 'cause on Friday, he took some major shots at Tom Brady that could signal the end of that relationship too.

The embattled wide receiver joined the "FULL SEND PODCAST" this week ... and it didn't take long for him to begin shading his former Tampa Bay quarterback.

Brown said he was annoyed with Brady over his "prove-it" contract with the Bucs, explaining he thinks the signal-caller should have helped him get paid like Rob Gronkowski.

"If Tom Brady's my boy, why am I playing for an earnest salary?" Brown said. "You my boy, though, right? Gronkowski is his boy, right? How much did he get paid? So, why is AB on a prove-it deal? Who's better than me over there? Let's be real!"

Brown also chided the Full Send guys -- and other members of the media -- for constantly praising Brady ... saying, "Brady can't do s*** by himself."

"But, you guys going to make it seem like he's just this heroic guy," Brown added. "Bro, we all humans. Bro, we're all dependent on somebody else to do the job."

Brown then railed against the QB over his targets in Tampa ... pointing out that Ben Roethlisberger threw him the football far more than Brady ever did.

"Does Tom Brady throw me the ball like Ben Roethlisberger?" Brown said. "Let's be honest."

Brown had claimed over the past few years that he and Brady had a good relationship ... with AB calling the quarterback his friend on numerous different occasions.

For Brady's part, he hasn't said much about AB since he was released ... largely sidestepping the drama at his meeting with media members on Thursday.

WFT's Deshazor Everett Frantic 911 Call ... 'The Car Is Trapped In The Trees!!!'


A bystander frantically urged 911 dispatch to get help to the Deshazor Everett car crash immediately ... telling an operator, "The car is trapped. It's trapped in the trees!"

In the audio, obtained by TMZ Sports, an initial caller can be heard on Dec. 23 saying he "just saw a car clip over" in Loudoun County, Virginia.

The caller said the car -- which was later identified to be a 2010 Nissan GT-R driven by the Washington Football Team safety -- had gone "into thick woods."

Later in the call, another man took the phone and tried to explain the seriousness of the situation -- repeatedly telling the woman they needed help ASAP.

"Please hurry," the man said over and over again.

The man told dispatch he wasn't sure what had caused the crash -- but said he believed one passenger in the car was trapped.

Medical personnel eventually arrived on the scene ... and, as we previously reported, they found Everett and his 29-year-old passenger, Olivia S. Peters, at the crash site.

Authorities said Peters tragically passed away due to injuries suffered in the crash ... and said Everett sustained serious but not life-threatening wounds in the wreck as well.

Everett was later placed on Washington's reserve/non-football injury list, concluding his season, and he tweeted on Thursday, "Thank you for all of your prayers, continue to pray for Olivia's family and me. Thank you all #Live4Liv."

An investigation into what caused the crash is still ongoing. Everett's attorney, Kaveh Noorishad, said Wednesday the football player is cooperating with law enforcement as the probe continues.

"At this time we ask that you respect the privacy of the individuals and families involved," Noorishad said, "and reserve judgment until all of the facts are gathered."

Will Smith Rips Fart During NFL Workout ... 'You Have Showers In Here?'

@willsmith / Instagram

Will Smith ripped a fart so hard during a workout with the NFL's Miami Dolphins he asked if there was a shower around ... and the hilarious chain of events is all on video.

The actor was getting stretched out for a training session with the Dolphins when he seemed to relax just a tad too much, suddenly breaking wind with a loud fart ... and drawing tons of laughs from everyone in the room.

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Will's chalking it up to what was in his cup, saying ... "training with the Miami Dolphins was going great until that morning coffee snuck up on me."

Yes, we've all been there ... only difference is, Will had an entire camera crew capturing his every move.

Will was pretty polite about it all ... saying "sorry" and "excuse" me ... then he drew more laughs with his shower joke.

Antonio Brown Signed Fan's COVID-19 Vax Card ... Before Final Bucs Game


Antonio Brown was quite the crowd-pleaser before his last game in a Buccaneers uniform ... smiling from ear to ear, taking selfies and even signing a fan's COVID-19 vaccine card!!

TMZ Sports is told ... AB was in the best of moods while chatting it up with fans in the front row at MetLife Stadium hours before his infamous shirtless exit from Sunday's game.

As one fan put it, "He was the most down-to-earth guy and couldn't have been nicer."

But while some spectators sought regular autographs, one fan went one step further and asked AB to sign his freakin' vax card -- and he obliged!!

Of course, the whole thing was a reference to AB's vax status scandal ... when his former chef accused him of getting a fake vax card. While AB swore up and down he was, in fact, vaccinated ... the NFL felt otherwise and handed him a 3-game suspension.

AB was clearly able to laugh it all off as the fan asked him to sign the card ... grinning and embracing the irony as he etched his John Hancock along the bottom.

On top of that, AB posed for pics with fans before the game ... and we're told he was generous to the entire section.

Unfortunately, things changed later on in the day ... as AB made his infamous exit by ripping his pads and jersey off and strolling into the locker room in the middle of the game.


The Bucs and AB have different stories behind what went down ... but he was ultimately released Thursday morning.

As for the vax card ... most unique piece of memorabilia ever?!

Ex-NFL Star Clinton Portis Gets 6 Months In Prison ... In Fraud Case

Ex-NFL running back Clinton Portis has just been ordered to spend 6 months in prison ... after pleading guilty to defrauding a plan designed to help retired players pay for medical bills.

Portis -- who pled guilty in the case back in September after reaching a deal with prosecutors -- was sentenced Thursday, TMZ Sports has confirmed.

In addition to the 6 months behind bars, the sentence also tacked on 6 months of home confinement. Portis also got 3 years of probation.

According to court docs, Portis must report to prison on March 8.

As we previously reported, the former Washington and Denver superstar was accused of joining over a dozen other ex-NFL players in an elaborate scheme designed to fraudulently make money off the league's Gene Upshaw NFL Player Plan.

Prosecutors said Portis and the others made up fake claims for things like pricey hyperbaric oxygen chambers and ultrasound machines, and then submitted them to the plan.

Officials alleged the players then made serious coin when they were reimbursed ... claiming Portis raked in nearly $100,000 in the scheme.

Portis initially went to trial over the allegations, but jurors could not reach a verdict. The case had been set for a re-trial, but Portis ultimately reached an agreement with prosecutors before it got to that point.

Portis -- who spent 9 years in the NFL and reportedly made over $40 million -- had been facing up to 10 years behind bars.

Bucs WR Cyril Grayson We're Moving Past AB Drama ... 'Have To Lock In'


Buccaneers wide receiver Cyril Grayson says it's business as usual in the locker room following Antonio Brown's dramatic exit from the team ... telling TMZ Sports the guys are focused on moving past the fiasco.

We spoke with the 28-year-old Bucs wideout just days after catching a game-winning touchdown in Tampa's comeback victory against the moribund Jets ... and he told us that the team isn't dwelling on what went down with AB earlier in the game.

"I think we just shift our minds to the Panthers," Grayson said. "Obviously, the media and people are going to talk about what they want to talk about."

“They’re gonna make their judgments and stuff about Antonio. I just want everybody to remember that we’re human."

Both AB and the Bucs are entangled in a nasty divorce ... as both sides tell different stories of what led up to what occurred at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

But, Grayson has stepped up big time in Brown's absence ... and he attributes his readiness for the moment to the Bucs' org. and their belief in his skillset.

“I learned from my coach when I played with the Saints that I can’t be anybody else but me," Grayson added.

“They saw a certain talent in me that they wanted to nurture and cultivate.”

Cyril says Tampa -- who has a Week 18 matchup with Carolina before the playoffs start -- needs to "lock-in" if they have any chance of making it to and winning another Super Bowl.

"We can’t let the outside noise cloud what our focus is. We gotta be laser-focused."


Raiders' Nate Hobbs DUI Arrest ... Mug Shot Released

TMZ Sports has just obtained the mug shot that Nate Hobbs took after his DUI arrest earlier this week ... and you can see in the photo, the Raiders player clearly wasn't happy to be in custody.

We broke the story ... Hobbs was arrested early Monday morning in Las Vegas after cops say he was found passed out behind the wheel of his car in the exit lanes of a parking garage at The Cromwell.

In new police docs, cops say when they made contact with the Las Vegas cornerback -- who had just played in the team's win over the Colts on Sunday afternoon -- he smelled like booze and had "glassy watery eyes."

Officers also said in the docs that Hobbs had mumbled speech.

Hobbs, though, according to the cops, said he was not drunk ... and instead told them he had fallen asleep in his 2019 Mercedes because "he was just tired."

But police say when they put him through a set of field sobriety tests, he "failed said tests" and was ultimately arrested.

Hobbs was booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge ... and he posed for a mug shot photo looking stern in a pink T-shirt. He's now due in court for a hearing on the matter in May.

Hobbs' attorneys told us following the arrest they have "serious concerns" that Hobbs' situation "does not qualify as a DUI under Nevada law."

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders, meanwhile, say Hobbs is -- for now -- still slated to play in the team's critical game against the Chargers on Sunday despite the run-in with officers.

Tampa Bay Bucs Officially Release Antonio Brown ... Claim He Never Indicated He Couldn't Play Vs. Jets

10:12 AM PT -- Arians just spoke with reporters about Brown following the release ... and he insisted once more that AB never told him he was too hurt to play.

Instead, Arians said Brown was complaining about not getting the ball from Tom Brady more -- and refused to go in because "I ain't getting the ball."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10:12 AM PT -- That's when Arians said he told Brown, "You're done. Get the F out of here."

"That's the end of the story," Arians said. "And, hopefully, it ends today."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have formally released Antonio Brown ... and in announcing the news, the team called its former star a liar.

The Bucs said in a statement after officially cutting the wideout that he never indicated to their medical personnel that his ankle was too hurt to play in Sunday's game against the Jets.

Brown, of course, said the opposite in a lengthy statement Wednesday night ... claiming he did tell the team he was too injured -- and that head coach Bruce Arians still wanted him in the game nonetheless.

"While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday's game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game," the Bucs said Thursday.

"And at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play."

The Bucs went on to say that they've asked Antonio several times this week to be evaluated by "an outside orthopedic specialist" ... but say Antonio "has not complied."

"Maintaining the health and wellness of our players is of the utmost importance to our organization," the Bucs said.


As we previously reported, Brown melted down on the sidelines of the Bucs' game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, stripping off his pads and shirt before running into the locker room.

After the blowup, Arians suggested that Brown had quit on the team ... telling Jay Glazer that he tried to get the wideout to go into the game multiple times, but AB refused and then left.

Brown, though, said Wednesday that's not the way things went down ... writing in a statement, "I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, 'What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?' I told him, 'It's my ankle.' But he knew that."

"He didn't call for medical attention," Brown added. "Instead, he shouted at me, 'YOU'RE DONE!' while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn't play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs."

Arians previously said this week that Brown did not indicate to him at the time that he was hurt.

"I didn't quit," Brown insisted in his statement. "I was cut. I didn't walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out."

Brown says on Monday he saw a specialist, who told him that his ankle injury was so bad, it'll require season-ending surgery.

"What they did know until now is that on Monday morning I had an urgent MRI on my ankle," Brown said. "It shows broken fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful. You can see the bone bulging from the outside."

Brown is now a free agent ... and he said Wednesday night he has no plans to retire.

"Once my surgery is complete, I'll be back to 100% and looking forward to next season. Business gonna be BOOMIN!"

Originally Published -- 9:37 AM PT

Dr. Dre Millions on the Line ... If COVID Torpedoes Super Bowl Halftime Show

The Super Bowl halftime show promises to be one of the most spectacular yet, thanks to Dr. Dre, but the stakes are high because if COVID somehow kills the show, Dre could lose millions.

As we reported, the show will be filled with huge stars, including Eminem, Snoop, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige. Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Dre is fronting most of the money necessary to pull off the event, and we're told it's in the millions of dollars.

Our sources say ... Dre has Event Cancellation Insurance to cover any calamity that might derail the halftime show. Problem is ... we're told there's an exclusion for COVID.

We've learned the pesky provision is called a Communicable Disease Exemption, and it's been around for years ... ever since SARS. But COVID is part of the Communicable Disease Exemption, which means the insurance policy will not cover Dre's losses if the show is 86'd.

The high, high likelihood is the show will go on as planned. There's cautious optimism Omicron will peak later this month ... and the Super Bowl is set for February 13th.

Even if there's an explosion of cases and the crowds are either scaled back or even eliminated, the game will go on ... similar to how it went down last year in the throes of the pandemic. The other possibility, the NFL has made it clear it wants fans in the stands, and if that can't happen at L.A.'s SoFi Stadium, the game could be moved to say, Dallas.

It's still risky without insurance, but since Dre has either reached or is close to billionaire status, let's just say it's manageable.

Antonio Brown Breaks Silence ... Bucs Gave Me Powerful Pain Med, Forced Me To Play

Antonio Brown is finally addressing the bizarre incident that ended his Bucs career ... claiming the team gave him a "powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller" and forced him to play despite knowing he had a serious ankle injury -- all leading to the moment he says head coach Bruce Arians told him "you're done!"

That's when 33-year-old AB says he removed his jersey and pads ... and walked off the Met Life football field.

"Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it my all for the team," Brown said in a statement released by his attorney.

The 7x Pro Bowler continued, saying he balled until the pain got to a point where he could no longer endure it.

"I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. On top of that, the pain was extreme. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, 'What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?' I told him, 'It's my ankle.' But he knew that."

Unfortunately for AB, he says Arians didn't care, and demanded he go back in the game.

Brown says he responded ... '"Coach, I can't.' He didn't call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, "YOU'RE DONE!" while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn't play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs."

Bottom line, Brown says ... "I didn't quit. I was cut. I didn't walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out."

As for the Bucs, Arians claimed he never discussed an ankle injury with Antonio.

Clearly, AB and the team have two different views as to what transpired on the field ... in what was one of the strangest and surreal moments in NFL history.


If you missed the incident ... the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers were trailing the lowly NY Jets in New Jersey Sunday afternoon.

Brown -- who'd caught 3 balls for 26 yards -- was seen engaged in a very animated conversation on the sideline with star WR Mike Evans.

Then, AB, standing only feet from his teammates, removed his jersey, pads, and t-shirt until he was bare-chested. Brown threw his shirt into the stands ... and ultimately walked through the tunnel into the locker room.

Antonio was seen calling an Uber from the front of the stadium in East Rutherford, NJ ... before taking a car to NYC.

While in Manhattan, Brown says he saw several top doctors ... and was diagnosed with a significant ankle injury.

“What they did know until now is that on Monday morning I had an urgent MRI on my ankle. It shows broken fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful. You can see the bone bulging from the outside.”

Antonio says the damage can be fixed ... but will require surgery, which he intends to have done.

As for his football future ... #81 says he plans to play again next year.

“Once my surgery is complete, I’ll be back to 100% and looking forward to next season. Business gonna be BOOMIN!"

Question is ... will there be any takers?

Despite the drama and questions about his future, Brown doesn't seem to be taking the situation too hard. After seeing the docs, he stayed in NYC, taking in the Brooklyn Nets game Monday night, before linking up with hip-hop star, Fabolous, for a bite to eat.

NFL'S STERLING SHEPARD Chanel Staying Put During Divorce ... His Gear's On The Move

Sterling Shepard is saying goodbye to his man cave ... at least while his divorce from Victoria's Secret model Chanel Iman is being hashed out in court ... we've learned she'll be staying put in the family home, and he's moving his stuff out.

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... Chanel gets sole use of their pad in New Jersey as the divorce winds its way through the court, and he had to remove his personal items from the home, which will now occupy his bachelor pad.

Get a load of the items the New York Giants star had to pack up and ship out ... in addition to his wardrobe and bling, the haul includes his gaming systems, ping pong table, sauna, red light therapy system, all framed and loose football jerseys, plus a projection TV and couch from the basement, a computer and his KAWS dolls.

The docs say Sterling also moved out a bunch of weightlifting and other exercise equipment, but it sounds like Chanel will still be able to keep her model figure ... the Peloton treadmill and bike are staying put.

As we reported ... Sterling filed for divorce back in June after more than 3 years of marriage and 2 kids.

The docs say Sterling and Chanel want joint legal custody of their kids during the divorce proceedings ... and when Sterling plays football on the road on Sundays and can't get back to the family home by 8 PM that night, he'll pick up the kids the next morning.

While Sterling's not living at the North Caldwell marital home during the split, the docs say he will continue footing the bill for her monthly living expenses.

And, the docs say Sterling and Chanel agreed to not have any romantic third parties spend the night when they're parenting.

The final division of assets and parenting issues will be decided down the road at the end of the divorce ... but this is how they're operating in the meantime.

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