Chavez: A Call To Arms For New York City FC Fans

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Nick Chavez covers NYCFC for Soccer Newsday. He is also an avid supporter of the team 
and one of the brightest local advocates for NYCFC.


by NICK CHAVEZ
Guest Contributor

A six-game winless streak. A fourth New York City FC loss in five matches.

Obvious injuries, absences, and misfortunes on the pitch aside, is this what New York City FC fans have been waiting for? Is this what some of you have paid $300 (or more) in season tickets for — and sometimes just as much in merchandise to support?

Is this current let-down, failure of a team even worth supporting anymore? Should someone call you when NYCFC finally gets back to winning ways?

Maybe that’s what some of you are asking yourselves. And it may be common to be a fairweather fan in other major American sports.

But this isn’t just any sport. And this sure as hell isn’t just any city.

There are reasons why New York City FC supporter’s groups have been uniting, dancing and singing after matches at Yankee Stadium, even following home losses, making sure everyone on River Ave. knows that a soccer match just happened in the house that Big George built. And not just any soccer match, but one featuring New York City’s very own top-flight club, after so many years of waiting.

New York City Football Club is bigger than results. It represents more than Villa, Mix, Lampard, Kreis, its future designated player stars and what any of them can provide during a given game, or achieve during a given season.

Football, in its purest form, always represents the community. Each club represents its local city and neighborhoods and everyone who lives there and embraces it. In some countries, political, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious and/or cultural divides will determine one’s allegiance to a certain club. And as you would never think to abandon your community, it is equally unthinkable to desert the football club of your heart, especially in its time of greatest need.

New York City FC, being the only Major League Soccer club in the City itself, has the unique opportunity to represent perhaps the most important and culturally-diverse City humanity has ever known; a city that is truly a “melting-pot” where you can find nearly every flavor, tongue and idiosyncrasy that humanity currently expresses.

And in this city, in these supporter groups, and even in the general crowd at Yankee Stadium, all of these people of various international and cultural backgrounds are all united in support of this representation of their community.

This is what New York City Football Club represents. This is why the supporters sing and dance out in the streets at night after a loss. And this is why the club and its supporters will undoubtedly see through any string of setbacks on the pitch.

One loss, five losses, twenty losses… it changes absolutely nothing. The club will fight. The supporters will support. New York City FC will eventually rise from its beatings. It will mend its many wounds and it will look up at the rest of the league and say, “We’ve survived… and now, it’s our turn.”

The mainstream local sports media has a lot to learn about the sport of soccer and the global standard of football support. But there are thousands of New Yorkers, many from foreign lands, or sons and daughters of those who are, who know the World’s Game quite well.

I, for one, look forward to seeing New York City’s supporters continue to educate the local media as to why the greatest sport in the world is quite different to what they are generally accustomed to.

This club and its sky-blue crest is bigger than MLS results, bigger than any stars signing, or any temporary setback that may come. It is a reflection on New York City, in a sport watched by the world — and believe me, the world is watching.

I expect New York City’s fans to act accordingly.  But, many expect you to capitulate, “show your true colors”, and abandon your team like the “plastic fans” that you supposedly are.

So, what are you made of, Celestes?

“Win or Lose, we will always follow you… Let it rain, let it pour, we will sing forever more…”

  • SR

    Your team doesn’t represent NYC. It is a farm team of MCFC. Tell me how unique is it? What makes nycfc different than red bulls. Another merchandise club. Another cookie cut team. Get some history first. Brooklyn Italian FC is more NYC than the farm team.

    • Ulrich

      Well, with all of your NYC football/soccer knowledge, it must’ve slipped your mind that the correct name is Brooklyn Italians SOCCER Club…. but hey, what’s splitting hairs when you’re trolling for a team that bought their historic name from the original team’s general manager. Bought a NAME and not it’s history. But hey, why split hairs with details like that.

      • SR

        At least is a historic name and not one imposed by mothership. Authentic my bolas How pathetic are you!!! By the way, I’m an individual that ask questions to the author of this article regarding the FAKE REPRESENTATION of NYC habitants. In my comment, I mention the Brooklyn Italians and no one else. I am from BX and you don’t see me following that farm club of yours. NEw York City is authentic, We do not an want some fake /crap, imposed farm team. Don’t try to talk for all of us in NYC. Keep your **** club and go lick your wounds!!!!!

      • Resguard

        It is actually neither FC or SC… Also owners come and go, but history lives with the name…

    • Anonymous

      It’s an expansion team… of course it’s not going to have history. The lack of history does nothing to change the fact that the team represents NYC. Of course we have the Red Bulls and Cosmos, but the Red Bulls don’t even play in New York State, much less New York City and the Cosmos are, as of this moment, not in the MLS.

      As for the comment that NYCFC is a “farm team of MCFC”, I don’t see what line of reasoning would suggest this. If Manchester City wanted a farm team, I’m sure they would look toward South America rather than dabble in the USA where there hasn’t really been a historical glut of talent–particularly not in proportion to the cost of operation. I understand that both teams are owned by the same company, but these accusations are beginning to get old. The day you see a bunch of young talent from NYCFC transfer to Manchester City, THEN come back and spew that line. Until then, there’s no evidence to suggest this.

      As for what makes NYCFC different from the Red Bulls, I can only speak for myself, but:

      #1. I’ve only become interested in soccer recently (past 4 years or so) and it’s nice to have a new team that I can get on the ground floor with.

      #2. NYCFC actually plays in NYC, which means that I can easily attend games live via subway, which does make a big difference for me and many other people in the city. I’d rather support a team whose games I can actually attend rather than a team that might perform better (Red Bulls) whose home games require me to travel out of state.

      #3. As an extension of #2, I’m pretty against the idea of a supposedly “New York” teams playing in New Jersey, which is the same reason that I don’t support the Jets or Giants. Something about the idea just bugs me… Why not just call themselves “New Jersey” teams?

      I’ll admit that they might not be the best reasons in the world, but it’s not like I had any particular team loyalty before NYCFC anyway since I never supported the Red Bulls due to reason #3. For me, it’s a pretty easy decision to support NYCFC and it’s not too difficult to see how a person might feel that they better represent not only New York City, but New York as a whole than the Red Bulls, who don’t even play in the state. I don’t have anything in particular to say about the Cosmos since I don’t follow NASL at all.

      Out of curiosity, what exactly would it take to make a team “unique” or not “cookie cutter”? Isn’t every team just an organization out to win titles and make a profit from the sport? I’ve heard this whole “cookie cutter” or “plastic team” argument so many times, but nobody seems to be able to articulate exactly how a new team isn’t supposed to be “cookie cutter” or “plastic”… It just seems like meaningless insults spewed by people who don’t actually have a good rational reason to feel so venomous toward the team as they do.

      • green side world wide

        Rule one to not being cookie cutter, don’t be owned by an umbrella corporation or another football club that is literally sprinkling clubs with the same badge all over the world. (Have you seen CFG Australia and RB Salzberg)?

        Even the old Metro who had a terrible name being named after media company were the only Metro, they had their own identity, they owned it.

        the reason why CFG put a B team in New York rather than South America is because it wouldn’t be accepted in South America, people would burn that **** to the ground, it has no identity culturally to any city in south america. At least in New York they can make some money back from operating costs because we have so many “good consumers” here.

        I understand you want a team in your backyard, but this ain’t it.

        • Ulrich

          So would Rule #2 be not to copy other club’s chants? Celtic, ManU, and Arsenal to name a few…. talk about cookie cutter and plastic…. or is that hypocrisy?

          http://thisiscosmoscountry.com/?page_id=399

          • Prez

            You’ve clearly never been to a Cosmos game, we sing in english maybe 3 or 4 times on a good day. Outside of one or two Celtic songs (cause we have a relationship with Manhattan and Woodside CSC and founded FCSP fans NYC.. cause cosmos fans were involved in grassroots football since 2007… PSSTTT AONYC we founded that too) no one sings that or has sung those songs for a loong time man. Haha nice try on being petty though.

            • alistair

              Leave it out mate!! I’ve stood in the 5 points. Your lot sing the song book that everyone who follows footy in the States sings from which is all Latin America club song derivatives and the predictable English stuff. Cosmos fans need to stop pretending/thinking they are as original and authentic as Timber Army supporters. They, the Timber Army, are fucking gold standard and no I don’t support them but I’ve hung with them. They have history with generational legacy to boot. Their stage craft comes from a tradition that is unique to a region that only has the TrailBlazers as s sporting draw. The songs they sing are unique and aren’t in the Liga Mx hymn sheets for **** sake. Cosmos fans are fine but simmer the **** down with your bloody ‘history and culture’ drivel because in reality: what you think is your history is a pensioners march with Pele and Der Kaiser being trotted out like WWI vets before the memorial parade. Who the Cosmos were and what this current club are not at all similar.

          • N

            Do you know how many clubs around the world use the same chants? There are certain chants all clubs use and make their own.

  • YEAH!!!

    So what if our supporters groups are so crap that we can’t even show them singing and instead have to put a canned song from “Third Rail TV”.

    So what if our team is merely a marketing vehicle for the #2 team in England’s third city?

    So what if our marquis player and the team lied about coming here?

    So what if everyone lied to us about a stadium?

    So what if we play on a toy 7 on 7 field?

    So what if our marquis player taunted Americans after 9/11, only to deny for the first time 13 years later after collecting a paycheck.

    So what if our owner is a powerful politician in a country that castrates homosexuals, suppresses all dissent and uses the team to launder his human rights record (according to human rights watch).

    We’re NEW YORKERS! And as proud New Yorkers, we know that taking **** and being treated like a moron is what we do best! Well done NYCFCers!

    • slowleftarm

      The only thing funnier than this is Hempstead Cosmos.

      • Resguard

        Did you know New York is a state not just a city… That comment was no difference then calling NYCFC, Bronx FC

        • Anonymous

          Which we do not want. We don’t want that garbage in our house!!!!!we already said no to the stadium!! So where are the farm FC heading????

        • Ulrich

          Actually it is quite different. Here’s a geography lesson for you…. Hempstead is a town in Nassau County with 22 incorporated villages – none of these are part of NYC, and Nassau county is firmly considered Long Island. On the other hand, the only counties that are part of NYC are Manhattan, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond.

          Now your analogy would have teeth, calling NYCFC the Bronx FC, if the Cosmos went by the Uniondale Cosmos, because in truth their stadium is in the Uniondale hamlet, a subsidiary of Hempstead.

          • Niche Chavez

            You tell ’em

            Our anti-gay, anti-semite owner will push NYCFC right to the top of the heap!

            He’s dreamy! (Sigh)

            • Anonymous

              The trash heap…

              PS… Please stop posting Cosmos pics on twitter. ;-)

          • Resguard

            Ulrich, what I said, as simple as it was went straight over your head, you are arguing dead wind with that.

      • Slowcleftarm

        I have deep contempt for the Cosmos and Hempstead and the NASL and Erik Stover and my mother and my deep desire to kiss Ali Curtis.

        • slowleftarm

          Actually I don’t hate Hempstead or Hempstead Cosmos but their fanboys who pretend they are too big for MLS now that MLS rejected them are pretty funny.

          • Prez

            Too big for MLS? No. Not wanting as a fanbase to put up with that leagues collective bullshit? Yes. Is it crazy to think that the MLS derby that represents the biggest city in America is between a team owned by a drink from austria and another team owned by an umbrella sport corporation from manchester. We’re all such good consumers here.

            • slowleftarm

              Soccer is the only sport I know of where the fans are obsessed with ownership. Who cares? Some of the biggest teams in the world are owned by foreigners. Personally, I’m looking forward to the first ever NY derby at a beautiful 26k SSS. Enjoy playing “indy 11” in front of 4k at a college stadium in Hempstead if that makes you feel good about yourself.

              • slowleftarm

                Wait, I forgot that Hempstead Cosmos are owned by foreigners too. What on Earth are you talking about?

                • Ulrich

                  Ironic, right?!? The Cosmos are jointly owned (50-50) by Seamus O’Brian, the founder of World Sports Group (one of Asia’s largest sports marketing companies) and unnamed Saudi money.

                  • Prez

                    Look at city and rb consumers agreeing it’s almost endearing. The difference between us being in the actions of the owners and identity of the clubs. Metro were owned by a media company called Metro Media so they got named with an association to the Metro area only by chance, but their identity was their own. As to Redbull and City have been basically making the football equivalent of McDonalds around the world, Redbull Salberg, Redbull Leipzeig, Redbull Brasil, Redbull Ghana, New York City FC, Melbourne City, Yokohama. No groups around the world are protesting the existence of the Cosmos, or have ever protested the existence of Metro. That’s the difference in our clubs, now if my clubs stared creating Cosmos clubs all over the world then you might have a point, and I’d have a protest.

    • Nick Chavez

      “So what if our supporters groups are so crap that we can’t even show them singing and instead have to put a canned song from “Third Rail TV””

      New York City Football Club supporters celebrating, singing, chanting, dancing etc. following the home loss vs. Portland Timbers… I’ll just leave this here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrq341fITys&feature=youtu.be

      • Niche Chavez

        My team stinks.

        They play in a baseball stadium.

        Their owner supports genocide.

        I am a corporate tool.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve definitely seen them chanting and singing at the stadium and there are videos of it out there. Not sure where you’re getting this from or what you’re talking about.

      People have yet to explain how exactly NYCFC is a “farm team” or “marketing vehicle” for Manchester City. Yes, they’re owned by the same company, but I don’t see a bunch of NYCFC youngsters heading over to Manchester City nor do I see NYCFC actively promoting Manchester City or somehow advertising for them. Should City Football Group not be allowed to have teams in any other league just because they happen to own a big EPL team?

      Yeah, the whole Lampard thing really sucked and NYCFC and CFG definitely deserve to get flamed for that… I really don’t understand how MLS allowed it to happen either. Just horrible decision-making by every party involved. (Maybe with the exception of Lampard himself since playing in EPL is better for him as a player.)

      The stadium situation could be better. 100% agreement from me there. I’d rather have a team with a shitty statium situation than no team at all, though.

      I’ve been a New Yorker all my life and frankly, I don’t give a **** what Lampard said (or didn’t say) about 9/11. People have the freedom to say what they want and believe what they want regardless of how insensitive and stupid it may be. The average American says and believes plenty of stupid things about everyone else in the world. It’s the same thing. Besides, it’s been pretty long since 9/11 and I really do think we all need to get over it at this point and stop using it as an excuse to feign outrage at people we may not like.

      I feel fine with believing that the owner of the team is a piece of ****, but still supporting the team itself. The owner is a different entity from the product. I don’t think about the character of the owner of the clothing companies, electronics companies, or really any other companies I buy from so why would I care about the moral failings of the ownership here? I still buy my Nike shoes made with sweatshop labor. I still buy food imported from companies that exploit laborers in near-slavery conditions. As long as the team provides a product that I enjoy, I will support them.

      So there you go. It’s really nowhere near as bad as you’re making it out to be. The only shitty things really are the Lampard situation and the lack of a proper stadium. I might be more upset about the former if I was a season ticket holder that had purchased my ticket specifically because I wanted to watch Lampard, but I’m not. As for the latter, having been to Yankee Stadium for home games, it’s really not that bad. A bit weird for sure, but not horrible.

      • green side world wide

        Thats cause you’re a good consumer. Instead of demanding what you expect from something that supposed to represent you and me, we’ll just take the pile of **** on a plate that we’re given, and don’t forget to smiiile! Let me know how those Lampard protests go! I never thought I’d say I have gained a crumb of respect for the drink fans that are protesting this season and saying no. Yalla Mos!

      • Anonymous

        The stadium sucks, and the lack of a true supporters group on the ground before Boy City showed up is pathetic, and shows. I was at the draft in Philly, where you barely had a dozen people show up, and you had one bad song you cold repeat over and over (“…down to the bat uh ree”). But the nonsense about Red Bulls playing 10 minutes across the river is ridiculous… should Dallas FC be Frisco FC? Should it be the Chester Union? The Bridgeview Fire? The Carson Galaxy? Real Sandy? The Commerce City Rapids? And wait until you actually have a location for your stadium before you puff out your chest too much… NYCFC could very well be Long Island FC.

    • I have plenty of videos of us cheering. I think his choice was just a stylistic one.

    • Anonymous

      Yup. All of that.

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      poor leo. still cant accept reality. NYCFC is everything the cosblos can only dream about. hey leo, word is cosblos are folding operations at the end of the year. wouldn’t surprise me in the least seeing how totally irrelevant they are to the ny sports scene. enjoy them them while you can dickhead! l..o..fucking.l!!!!!

  • Jameson Pester

    “And not just any soccer match, but one featuring New York City’s very own top-flight club, after so many years of waiting.”

    When I think of all the deserving cities that will never have an MLS team of their own, this sentence makes me want to vomit. New Yorkers have had a team of their own from the very beginning of MLS, they just didn’t care. When the Metrostars started, nobody seemed to mind that they played in Jersey. New Yorkers came out it in droves to see the first Metrostars games. Their attendance far surpassed what NYCFC is currently managing. They stopped coming to games when it became clear that it wasn’t a winning team.

    New Yorkers as a group do not have the passion for American soccer necessary to support a losing team in the long-term. Even the damn Cosmos in their glory days couldn’t hold on to the city’s heart. New Yorkers are either apathetic toward our domestic leagues, or (more commonly) completely ignorant of their existence. Walk down the streets of NYC wearing a jersey of any of the 3 NY pro soccer teams and upwards of 90% of people will be like “Oh, that exists?” As much as City fans want to believe their team will be a game-changer, I can’t see NYC’s deeply entrenched attitudes changing anytime soon. A sub-par, sheikh-owned Man City clone crammed onto a baseball diamond isn’t going to cut it.

    There’s a reason NY2 was so widely derided as a choice for expansion. It’s because NYC is actually a really bad market for domestic soccer. New Yorkers have a loooooong way to go to prove otherwise.

    • SR

      I was one of those that would go and see them. Took the train or packed a car and went to see Metrostars, until the energy drink changed their name. Now I won’t ever drink that **** anymore.

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s also pretty important to keep in mind that the landscape of US soccer and its position in the public mind was pretty different back then. Domestic soccer is much more in vogue today in the USA than it ever was before and I imagine that there were a number of reasons that attendance dropped off aside from the inability to win games (although that certainly plays a factor).

      While I’m not entirely sure how many soccer teams New York is capable of supporting, I think NYCFC, being a team that plays inside the city, does cater to a previously untapped potential fanbase. I’m one of those fans. Time will ultimately tell, but as it stands, there doesn’t seem to be an immediate threat of fans losing interest in droves. It will never be the Yankees, Knicks, or Rangers, but I don’t imagine that the NE Revolution can compete with the Red Sox, Patriots, or Celtics either… Some sports are just more popular than others in the USA.

      I’m a little confused as to what exactly it is that you mean by some cities being “more deserving” than others of a team or that New York City needs to somehow prove itself as a market for domestic soccer. What would make a city deserving? The lack of competing sports teams? And without actually venturing to create a team and see how it does, how is a city supposed to prove itself as a market? Are we supposed to get on our hands and knees and beg in front of MLS’s offices? Pass around some sort of petition? Stage rallies and marches? I would think that MLS and CFG probably did their market research before beginning a multi-million dollar venture and gauged that there was sufficient interest and a sufficient market to tap. If MLS and CFG did their research and concluded that the market was good enough to risk millions of dollars, who are you to say otherwise and where are your number to back up your claims?

  • Manny

    NYCFC is like watching a car crash in slow motion. In all seriousness, ManCity USA was an awful idea.

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      sure manny sure. 16,000 sth, averaging close to 30,000 per game and set all sort of records for selling mls merchandise. WHAT A HORRIBLE IDEA!

  • Ali is my man

    I really hope NYCFC can rip the Flounders a new one on Sunday!

    Like everyone, I’m very disappointed to get off to a bad start. Probably to be expected for any expansion team, Villa or not.

    That said, we expected more. It looked bad in the first game when NE nearly tore us apart yet we somehow come out on top. It’s obviously early days, but this feels like a missed opportunity. Why did management for example not invest in a 3rd DP when they knew Lampard would not start until the summer?

    The look, the feel, the fans, most things are great. Even Yankee Stadium even has a decent atmosphere and provides a fun fan atmosphere. Fingers crossed we’ll lock down a stadium and get a result against the Red Bulls!

  • I have this feeling NYCFC will turn into exactly what the Brooklyn Nets turned into. When they moved originally you see the new jersey and gear everywhere and now a few years later nobody shows up to their playoff games. This is NY sports. Unless they win alot and keep the big names coming the novelty is going to wear off. I think the Redbulls are going to have the same fate unless they get some names in here.

    • Ali is my man

      Too true. It’s all about star power for the average NY sports fan. Red Bulls for instance playing some of their best soccer in like forever and they still can’t come close to filling RB Arena without a big name or two.

      For this reason, I will say it again this is a big missed opportunity for NYCFC to make a statement in the league as well as overseas. All they needed to do was attract/pay for 3 top players and build a winning or at least competitive team, which should be well within the grasp of the ownership groups of Man City and NY Yankees, two of the richest sports teams in the world.

    • jspech

      where ever you getting your facts, they are lying to you.

      • Larry’s A Simpleton

        another cosblos fan still reeling from being skull fucked by reality. dont you and leo ever get tired of being total fucktards? nycfc produces numbers the cosblos only dream of.

    • Smith

      Too true. NY fans, generally, are desperate front runners. When the Yankees or Mets are up, they draw. Otherwise, they don’t. Come playoff time, there are a millin new hockey fans who suddenly disappear after the playoffs. Only the NY Giants, historically, have a fan base that consistently supports the team regardless of record. Give NYCFC three years of not making the playoffs while playing in a baseball stadoum and they will have no crowds, no fans and Nick Chavez will be crying himself to sleep in his mother’s basement.

  • Sam U El

    Great article… Now all you need to do is get an NYCFC tattoo to cover your face so everyone will know how committed you really are… Nothing says loyalty more than face art! :-)

  • jspech

    I wonder if this author is the same imbecile who went on a disgusting rant on twitter about how JRFC owns NY & Cosmos sucks after JRFC’s 43,000 first game attendance. His leggs must be get wobbly. He’s imploring the troops to stand strong. I’d laugh at this article and him, if it’s him, but why be cruel. NYC is for winners homie!

    • Smith

      I love when Nick does a piece! His poor writing and blatant Sheik-ass kissing creates such vitrolic responses!

      Red Bulls fans hate Nick!

      Cosmos fans hate Nick!

      Even NYCFC fans know he is a self-righteous, self-promoting twit!

      The only thing all NY soccer fans can agree on is a desire to give Nick an Atomic wedgie!

      Well done!

      • Larry’s A Simpleton

        **** all you jealous cosblos fans. cosblos can only dream of the success nycfc has had so far. hey shitheadjspech! do the cosblos have 43,000 fans seen the cosblos play a shuart stadium since they rebooted two seaosns ago? no, didn’t thinnk so. then again to be fair they have only played a year and a half………keep forgetting about tha pesky spring season they baled out on.

        • Alan Smithee

          Trumpet that home opener number all you want, but City B didn’t get 43,000 for their last two home games combined.

  • yrmmsbx

    Chivas USA for anglophiles

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    i love how cosblos fans still cant accept reality. your fucking team is totally irrelevant. NYCFC owns new york. word is the cosblos are closing up shop at the end of the year. cant wait!

    • John

      NYCFC has lost 5 games in a row and you think they run New York? Haha you NYCFC fans make me laugh

      • Alan Smithee

        Forget Larry. He’s a simpleton.

  • OpenCupFan

    Green side!

    World wide!

    #loveit

  • Fabio

    Go NYCFC from Italy !!!!!

  • alistair

    The comment section makes for a better read than the article itself which is just a hackneyed hodgepodge of the most obvious and superficial observations of rose tinted glass wearing evangelist than a serious student of the game. The prose is cringe worthy and more closely resembles the disconnected ramblings of a High Schoolers term paper than anything pretending to be journalism.

    • Smith

      It looks like Nick’s call to arms failed to inspire his crap team and their fan base. What a crap performance.

  • Anthomy

    Dave,

    How do I post my Nick Chavez photo of him repoint New York cosmos like a year ago?

  • Smith

    Looks like Nick Chavez needs to issue another call to arms. His team is awful.

    For entertainment value, instead of forcing City’s hipster newbies to watch this crap team, the grounds crew should come on the field an atomic wedgie at half time. THAT would be entertaining.

    #givenickawedgie

    • Smith

      I meant “give Nick Chavez an atomic wedgie.”

      Just wanted to clarify.

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