Jack Nicklaus: Tennis quick, cheap, and easy

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by FrontHeadlock, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    what part of of the world you live in? golf always was a rich man's sport. if anything tiger made it better by making the working man get interested in it.
     
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  2. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    it depends on what quality of clubs you are looking for. you can find clubs for under 100 on craigslist.
     
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  3. Gonzalito17

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    Nice to see Jack Nicklaus giving tennis such high praise and respect. Tennis is infinitely more entertaining and exciting than golf.
     
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  4. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Not sure what you mean! I'm sure golf is very hard, very expensive, and takes a long time to play. That doesn't make tennis easy or cheap. Easier, perhaps, and cheaper, but still.
     
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  5. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Again, I wasn't comparing the two and neither was Jack. Calling tennis cheap is flat out wrong. I guess it being easy is subjective but most first time players I've seen have trouble keeping the ball in play.
     
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  6. BorderLine

    BorderLine Rookie

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    Bad or good tennis day = exercise > Golf - limited exercise on a good or bad day

    Small mistakes in golf that can ruin a round or day via:

    -out of bounds, lost ball, bad lie when you hit a good shot

    Golf teaches great lessons about life and dealing with uncontrollables, etc.

    Tennis, what is the worse that can happen:

    -have an off day
    -have an opponent that lacks sportmanship
    -get some controversial calls
    -get an injury or TE (most injuries are minor)
    -crack a racquet

    Both sports have great rewards, but tennis has less cost and downsides for me so overall tennis is working better for me and I think would be better for many golfers
     
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  7. Tenez101

    Tenez101 Hall of Fame

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    Golf isn't a sport.
     
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  8. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Ask Peter Gade if badminton is quick, cheap and easy. It is a very quick game (not quick to be very good at), it isn't cheap (with the amount of cocks (shuttles) he would be smashing for practice alone) and it looks easy for the casual fan but certainly not the case at the pro level. Like tennis, people might think it is quick, cheap and easy--it might be the case for casual fans/players--but it's not if you are serious about it and at least a 5.5.

    Tiger Woods said (in Roger's box at the USO), man, this is a very fast game!:cool:
     
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  9. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    He's a fan of the game I believe. I know from that he met Roger Federer once somewhere around Wimbledon 2012.
     
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  10. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Badminton is a lot easier game to play at a competitive level than tennis. I've played both for about the same amount of time and at my best in my youth when I was playing tennis 5-8 times a week, I was a 4.0 to 4.5 and now I play in a 3.5 league. There's no similar ranking system in badminton, but I'm a whole lot better in that sport than in tennis. Badminton is easier to play competitively because it is much easier to hit with full force without the shuttle going out compared to a ball going out in tennis. Badminton doesn't really use spin (better players using feather shuttles can "cut" the shuttles putting some backspin on them to get a drop shot to fall more abruptly), but it uses a lot more variety in the shots and it's much quicker - in 10 seconds of play you might have 10 shots including a mix of clears, smashes drives and drop shots. Badminton is also a lot more strenuous than tennis, even though the court is smaller because play in general is much quicker, there's a lot less time between shots and between points, one typically covers the entire court (or half court in doubles) whereas in tennis one typically just goes side to side and may not vary much behind the baseline. I read some place that a pro-level badminton match covers about 80% of the distance run in a pro tennis match, but in only 30% of the time. I seldom get a ton of exercise playing doubles in tennis (although that's partially a function of the prevalence of UEs at my level keeping points short), but that's never true in even a mildly competitive doubles badminton match and singles in badminton can be brutal.

    A good nylon shuttle like a Yonex Mavis 300 is roughly $1.50-$2.00 each and can last 5 to maybe 30-40 21-point games, depending on how heavy of hitters are playing. A practice feather shuttle is about $1 a piece and a tournament-grade feather shuttle will be 50-150% more expensive than that. Feather shuttles typically last about a game, maybe two at most and are used in most, if not nearly all, tournaments.

    Badminton racquets above the basic institutional level are graphite and run in the $50-$250 range.

    In case people are envisioning badminton as a placid game played by little old ladies in the back yard, the fastest pro smash on record is something like 206mph, a full 100mph faster than the fastest major league baseball pitch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  11. CurrenFan

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    Ignorant troll post.

    Golf is certainly a sport. It will be played in the 2016 Summer Olympics. It requires strength, precision, control and endurance (for amateurs, at least). No, it is not an overly exhausting sport, but it nonetheless can provide decent exercise. 20 years ago, I used to be in very good shape back when I walked 54 to 72 holes a weekend carrying my bag in 90+*F heat. It's a lot more physical effort to walk 18 holes of golf than it is to play major league baseball, although MLB players need to be extremely fit so they can run fast when the relatively rare need for it arises. Golf is also a ridiculously hard sport to play really well, although I have to wonder if hitting a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher isn't more difficult - after all, no one has batted 400 (i.e. obtained a hit at 40% of his at-bats) in over 70 years, since Ted Williams, have they? So while it is more of a skill sport than a raw physical effort sort of sport, those who are claiming golf is not a sport are just whiny troll types who should shut the hell up.

    However, those who argued that Casey Martin (the disabled golfer who sued the PGA to let him use a cart on the PGA tour) should not have been accommodated by the PGA because of the "essential physical aspects of walking a course" also need to shut up, too, because the golf that the pros play is not that physical of a sport. Pro golfers walk about 5 miles over a 4 to 5 hour period and they swing a club hard maybe 40 times in that half-day period (plus maybe 50-200 shots on the practice range). They do not ever carry more than maybe a 1-pound putter the last 100 yards up to the green - their caddies do all of the grunt work. People talking about Ken Venturi's epic struggle in 100+ degree heat during the 1964 U.S. Open forget that the guy probably was dehydrated from drinking alcohol the night before and/or not drinking enough water that day, plus he probably smoked (all of which were true for most PGA pros half a century ago). Nowadays no one calling himself/herself a professional athlete should have any problems whatsoever walking at a 1.25 mph pace for 5 miles (or even 10 miles in the 36-hole final day that Venturi played back in 1964) regardless of the temperatures, so walking is not an essential part of the game.
     
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  12. CurrenFan

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    Golf is 2x-4x the cost of tennis, at a minimum


    Let's get one thing straight - in practically any sport one can imagine, other than maybe running, swimming, and curling (and I don't really consider that much of a sport), it costs a lot of money to become competitive on a national/international/professional level, somewhat because of the costs of the equipment, but more particularly because of the cost of obtaining professional coaching, plus travel expenses and entry fees to competitions. It's the same in tennis, golf, hockey, etc... Even in sports like baseball, basketball, football and soccer where secondary schools and colleges pick up most of the tab for equipment and coaching, one still needs to spend practically every summer or off-season enrolling in elite-level camps and training programs. So sports in general are generally quite expensive to get to the elite level. However, as several of the more astute individuals here have pointed out, what Jack Nicklaus was talking about was cost and time for a reasonably proficient amateur to play on a recreational basis, not cost to get to the pro level.

    In mainstream America (i.e. for those of us who live outside of New York City or maybe the downtown areas of a few other very large metropolitan areas), tennis is an inexpensive sport. The substantial majority of high schools in the US, plus some middle schools, have tennis courts that are completely free for the public to use. Most cities above maybe 5,000 to 10,000 people have parks with a few public courts that are free, also. One can very easily pick up a decent racquet off Craigslist or that auction site whose name this site censors for $30 (no, I'm not exaggerating - I bought two Dunlops as backups to my 10-year old one for $30-$40 each off that auction site and one can sometimes get new racquets, with a 80% off MSRP coupon at Sierra Trading Post for around $30 each also). Get it restrung twice a year, that's $50 or so (much less over multiple years if you buy yourself an used Klippermate for $100), plus figure $2 to $4 a week for tennis balls and maybe $60-$100 in shoes per year. So someone who plays fairly actively, more than once a week, is looking at an activity that will cost him something in the range of $200-$250 per year, beyond the initial racquet purchase, for a climate where one takes off a season during late fall to early spring.

    I suppose that one needs to throw in league fees, too, if one does not have a reliable and regular group of tennis buddies. I have no idea what they run anywhere else, but my weekly municipal league played at one of the municipal park's sets of courts costs about $25, runs the entire summer and includes new balls every week (I suspect I'm getting a bit of a bargain).

    Golf clubs are more expensive than tennis racquets, especially if one has to have the latest 2014 model pro-level driver ($400-$500) and the top-end irons clubs, too ($500-$1,000), plus a few woods at $150-$200 each. But those are more for the vain, the really good, and those who have more money to burn and/or less sense than the average person. One can pick up a quality used or discounted new-old stock set of name brand, 1st to 2nd-tier clubs (e.g. Taylor Made, Titleist, Callawy, Ping, Nike, Cleveland) for about $200-$250 including irons, driver, woods and putter, from [that auction site], Craigslist, or from the used section of a local pro-shop or golf store. One could probably pick up a full set of something utilitarian like a cheaper, older Dunlop or Wilson set from a garage sale or off Craigslist for $50-$75 that would function, albeit not terrifically well beyond the beginner level (about the equivalent of a $30 aluminum racquet).

    Golf shoes aren’t essential but one can get a reasonable pair discounted for around $50-80 that would last at least 3 seasons, maybe more. Figure maybe 1-3 golf gloves, at around $6-8 each, per year. Balls can be a bigger cost, especially for those with significant swing flaws who slice or hook their balls into woods, ponds, etc… and lose a lot of balls per round. I shoot in the 90s (I’m slightly better than the average golfer, but worse than a typical 2-rounds a week golfer) and when I’m not playing stupidly, I’m good enough to appreciate a better ball ($2-$4 each balls). One can pick up cheap, hard balls like Slazengers or Top Flites that don’t stop well on greens or have a good feel for about $8 a dozen new and get better used balls for around $8-15 a dozen online or in discount stores. On a bad day on a more challenging or hazard-heavy course, I can sometimes lose a half dozen balls and will seldom finish 18 holes without losing at a least one ball.

    Someone mentioned $14 a round for golf on a municipal course as a typical greens fee. That is too low for most places - maybe in small town mid-America that would be a typical weekday walking rate, but most public courses, at least at face value, are probably charging at least $20-$30 a round to walk 18 holes, they typically add 20-30% on to the rates to play on a weekend and it can very easily be double or triple that much, for a municipal course. Taking a riding cart usually adds about $20-$30 to the cost of a round of golf. Private range in price from about the same as the municipal levels to world-class, played-played-by-the-PGA-Tour courses like Pebble Beach that will easily cost over $600 a round. Some higher end courses don't encourage walking and don't discount for walking. Discount greens fee websites like GolfNow.com can offer significant, often really heavy discounts, though, and ditto for two-for-one offers from sites like Groupon or Entertainment coupon books, especially if one is willing to play on a weekday or later in the afternoon on a weekend. In the past several years, I've scored a few terrific deals via GolfNow, like an 18-hole round with cart for $12, regularly in the $40-45 range and a $37 fee for 18 incl. cart at a $100 course; I passed up a $39 green fee at a high end resort last year that typically goes for $160 a round.

    But wait, let’s not forget practice. One can walk up to the practice green at most public courses with a wedge, putter and a few balls and practice one’s short game for free. There are also a variety of reduced flight foam, wiffle or other sorts of practice balls one could potentially hit with full swing shots in the back yard, at the empty end of a park or school yard (although a lot of parks and schools don’t allow people to practice golf) for no more than maybe $10 a year for the balls. But reduced flight practice balls don’t give very good feedback at all as to feel or distance in the real world, so one will need to hit a driving range from time to time to get meaningful practice and ranges have become quite expensive in the past decade – figure $8-$10 for a large bucket of balls.

    So leaving out the cost of clubs, figuring an average golfer who plays 20 rounds a year, unless he/she is living in the sticks in a relatively unpopulated, non-resort area, that’s still probably about $400 to $600 alone for greens fees. Add in $30-80 for golf balls, and at least $25 for gloves, tees and prorated shoe cost, plus at least $50-$100 for range balls and you’re talking a minimum of $550 a year to play the sport on a approximately 1x/week basis for half the year and depending on one’s locale, it could easily be double that without really splurging with higher end courses or equipment, if one lives some place where there are few reasonably-priced courses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  13. Bobby Jr

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    This entire thread is populated with posts which mostly incorrectly interpreted a significant part of Nicklaus's comments.

    As I said here his comment about tennis was not that it is easy to play well, rather that it's easy to play well enough to enjoy.

    The item says: "He said tennis is everything that golf is not for the casual player: quick, inexpensive and easy to learn."

    He is right, compared to tennis the skillset required just to get around any standard golf course is beyond most people. Tennis can be enjoyed, even if played poorly, by far more people in a shorter amount of time than golf - and more cheaply and at more convenient times (after work, at lunchtime, at night etc). This is where he implies golf is losing people, and he's right. Golf courses around the world are struggling. In Australia alone something like 40% of golf courses have gone into unrecoverable debt in the last 5 years. With massive costs to keep the courses pristine it only takes a small decline in membership to put a club in the red.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  14. Maui19

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    I'm a lifelong golfer and recent tennis player. I love both sports. Golf is waaaaaay more expensive, difficult and time consuming than tennis. It's not even close. It took me about 10 years to get good at golf, and about 3 to get good at tennis. Both sports have their strengths and weaknesses, but I think Nicklaus' comments were right on.
     
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  15. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    spot on :) golf,curling,darts are games of SKILL not a sport:twisted:
     
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  16. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I like to call them 'competitive recreation'. When mobidly obese people can make it to the top level (as they used to - not so much anymore - one aspect of the 'Tiger Woods Effect') there's no way it's a sport.
     
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  17. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Don't give Woods credit for the fitness factor when Nicklaus himself transformed from Pillsbury Doughboy (Fat Jack) in his 20's to a well-conditioned athlete in his 30's, much as a result of playing a lot of recreational tennis.

    Sure, there are a few Tim Herron's getting by on skills and not fitness, but for the most part the successful players spend a lot of time in the gym maximizing their physical condition. They are athletes. It is a sport.
     
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  18. MonfilsMadness

    MonfilsMadness New User

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    Tennis is also a lot more fun than golf.
     
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  19. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Debatable...hitting a near-perfect shot in golf raises the old endorphins in my body...that sweet spot sound, the perfect trajectory and then the roll out towards the target combine to raise the spirits of any hacker that's picked up a club.
     
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  20. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    On average, that might be true.

    I think tennis has the potential to be typically a lot less frustrating for the mediocre recreational player than golf (although a few years ago when I first got back into tennis and was double-faulting half or more of my service points, there was no fun to be had for anyone and that was the most disgusted with myself I've ever been). One problem with tennis is that if you have a really bad day, your lousy luck can make for a lousy experience for everyone else on the court, no matter how hard one tries to have a good attitude. In golf, if one doesn't waste too much time looking for lost balls or dawdling over shots, and keeps up a reasonable attitude, then a player having a horrible day won't impact his/her playing companions at all.

    One thing about golf is that a single great shot can salvage an otherwise horrible day and that's not the case in tennis (at least it never has been for me). I've had plenty of rounds where my score was so high that I stopped recording it on the scorecard, I had to fight the urge for multiple holes to break or throw a club, yet a pitch to 2 feet or making a 30 foot putt put a smile on my face and I was content with the round. I can remember specifically at least 20 great shots I've hit in golf. I remember about three of my good shots over the past few years in tennis.

    Finally, golf is the only sport where a complete amateur can, briefly, put himself or herself in the shoes of a professional athlete and replicate or even better the feats of the pro. I had a shot a few years back that where I needed to hit a low fade 190 yards around a corner, under a line of tree branches, into a bank next to the green and let the ball trickle down onto the green. I envisioned the shot, put the ball back in my stance, opened the clubface of my 4-iron, swung, and the ball stopped about 30 inches from the hole. I would bet a whole lot of money that if I took the 10 best PGA pros, gave them each 3 shots from that position, that none of them would hit a better shot; I'd also put a fair amount of money on not being able to hit the green again from that spot if I had 30 more tries :mrgreen:.

    There's nothing like that in tennis, even when one hits a great shot, because in tennis, one has to play against an opponent's shots and have an opponent try to return one's own shots, and there's a huge difference between having an amateur as an opponent versus playing against a pro. No recreational tennis player is hitting a shot with the pace, spin and placement of a pro's shot, and practically no recreational player will have the fitness and skill of a pro to be able to get to and try to return that shot.

    All I can say is that I really like both sports and that if I spent the time on tennis that I spent on golf (especially since my usual golf buddy has bum knees and we need to take a riding card, which I hate), I'd be in a lot better shape and have a lot more money in my bank account.
     
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  21. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^your one-shot reference is spot on! I've always faced the conundrum of "have enough time to play, but not the cash to afford doing it right" or the exact opposite side of the coin..."plenty of cash but no time to play bcoz I've been working my posterior off". So when you get out there, stink the joint up from too much rust but you make a few pro shots it's golden!

    My unforgettable shot was on a par-3 hole at the muni course I would play fast and quick on my way home from work. This hole I used to call Lake Titleist bcoz I made them very wealthy with my "spherical donations"...swamp on one side to catch my hooks, fenced yards on the right for my slices and a pond fronting the green that caught all my fat tee shots. That day, I found what a six-iron sweetspot feels like...170 to the pin, I hit it on the front apron at 160 , it took one bounce (Florida summer wet track), rolled the next 8, and stuck between the cup and stick! I'm still trying to figure out when I'm gonna land back on Earth!
     
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  22. Mr.Lob

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    I mentioned $14 green fee for a nice public course. I live in Louisville, which is a fairly large city. Throw in a cart for $13 a person, very reasonable. You can spend big money with driving ranges, new clubs, expensive balls... but you don't have to. At least where I live.

    Going to the Masters this week. Staying Thursday to Sunday.It's free to me as my brother is supplying the tickets, otherwise I'd be looking at spending 10 grand for all 4 days. The toughest ticket in sports to get.. Tiger won't be there, but understand its difficult to get close to him. Pulling for Bubba Watson. FORE! :)
     
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  23. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Tim Herron? He still play? I saw Herron play in Fuzzy Zoellers Wolf Challenge about 10 years ago. Fuzzy nicknamed Herron "Lumpy". Lumpy stubbed a little off green chip shot that went 2 feet. Fuzzy had a good laugh over that.
     
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  24. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Current ranking #212, earned $34K so far in 5 events, missed cut here in Arnie's Bay Hill but T77 the week before in Tampa. Will be home watching the Masters this week in between reruns of "Leave It To Beaver"!:twisted:
     
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  25. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Yes, good ole Lumpy Rutherford. Perhaps they are one in the same. :twisted:
     
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  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Maybe so but do you think you could take him on when he was in his prime and golf? And who knows how good he could've been if he took up tennis when he was young?

    Anyway the most amazing athlete in history could've been Ellsworth Vines. Vines was the world champion of tennis from the early 1930s to the later 1930s. He retired from tennis and became a world-class golfer. He won a few professional golf tournaments even beating Ben Hogan I believe in matchplay.

    And he didn't take up golf until late in life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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