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Unread 08-13-2007, 06:24 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaeamdar View Post
However, if this is really what we mean by "champions" and "losers", then explain to me, if you would, why this song is played [i]right after the final elimination round, when there is both a clear "champion" and "loser" (or regional winner and finalist, if you will). If we use this broader definition of champion and loser, then why not play this song, say, at the beginning of the competition, to celebrate all the teams that were able to build a robot and make it to the regional? Or at the end, to celebrate all the teams who stuck through to the end, regardless of whether they won or not?

The bottom line is this: the "champions" in the song are the regional/championship winners, and the "losers" are either (take your pick) everyone else, OR the finalists, and neither one of those choices is conducive to the argument that this song is anywhere near clicking with gracious professionalism.
I see the tone you are talking about, but I still do not agree that it is taunting.

I will never forget this one experience. Back in 2005, we competed at IRI. It was only our drive team(Myself, Corey and Vishal). We adopted coaches and pit crew members from other teams(Jess Jank, Greg Needel, Jeremy Roberts). So as you can see, we were a small group and had little hopes of winning or even doing well. However, luck had it so we ended up with an alliance of 71, 1114 and us(25). We could not have asked for a better alliance and it was a pleasure competing with such high-profile teams since we were only students at that time. In the first QF match, a wire came lose somewhere in our arm system and none of us could figure out where! We all hunted the whole system, in and out and finally found a place where it was lose. Engineers from 71 and 1114 were in our robot hunting and doing their utmost best to fix it so we could compete. We won QF1-1. During the 3rd QF match, our arm broke and we clearly lost the match. It was not the only factor but it was a major factor. We weren't necessarily disappointed. In fact, we were very happy because we knew we did our best. Right after that match, Mr. Beatty came up to us and said "Don't worry about it guys. We did not lose. We broke. We're all still winners and this alliance could take any competition anyday."

This might come off as arrogance to you but it is the attitude of a winner. We did all that we could to put everything in our favor. We put forth the best strategy possible but the other alliance simply had better robots(I think it was 233s alliance). In times where our robot broke, everyone put forth their best to help us get it repaired. They knew there was only one person with technical knowledge(me) so they had to help. I remember 1114 letting us all borrow their tools since they brought their tool cart.

I guess what I am trying to say is you have to see winning as an attitude rather than a status. Queen is absolutely right in saying(even if it is in a taunting tone) "No time for losers". There really is no time for losers. Even in FIRST. In fact, it is against Gracious Professionalism to be a loser. The reason is if you were picked in an alliance and you did not do what you had to in order to win, then you let your alliance down. And this is harsh, but you are a loser. Now, of course, things happen and you are now always at your peak performance. That's okay and it's not what I mean.

Due to the nature of the competition(and life), you cannot predict that you are going to win every competition even if you have the best robot. In order to be a team that wins consistently, you have to have so many things in place every single year, year after year, it is incredible. Beyond that, these teams are also most likely to go start and mentor other teams. If you do not believe me, ask 111, 365, 71, 1114 etc. To win every year, you need strong engineering support, strong team leadership, active and inspired kids, funding, parental support, skillful communication, and so many more things. Now, if you look at that carefully, its anything in life. So, do you see what goes into being a "winner". I am not putting down any team that does not have this. But what I am saying is if a team is making the best out of its resources and is fortunate to have many things in place for them, then that's good. They are a winner too, just on a different scale.

In sports, FIRST, life, the winner usually is the team/alliance that has put forth the absolute best they possibly could. Winning has a lot of value. When you have struggled and gone through the "crap" of life, then winning does feel good. That's why a song like "We are the champions" means so much to some people. I do not want to define what a loser is because it is negative talk and I tend to stay away from that. But understand that "loser" is an attitude or even lack of an attitude(good attitude). It is easy to be a loser. Even if you have the support, you build an average of below average robot. Even if you have the man-power, you do not put any effort into starting and mentoring new teams. Being a winner requires a little courage and guts. It requires the team/person to step out and put work into building a good robot, starting new teams, and thinking about the game enough to win a regional/championship. Being a winner requires you to stick your head above the crowd and take a few eggs and tomatoes thrown at you. You could be the finalist and be the winner. The finalist is definitely not the losing team/alliance. They are winners because they have gone so far and probably put in a lot of effort into their robot and game.

If you are not open minded, you will fight every thought I said in this post. I really request that you be open-minded and see what we all are trying to say. I choose to fly with the winners and not hang out with the chickens. What about you?
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Unread 08-13-2007, 06:33 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaeamdar View Post

To both Adam and Alan, I must say again that we seem to be at an impasse over something very simple: what, exactly, is meant by "losers" and "champions" in the phrases "No time for losers" and "We are the champions"? If (in the context of FIRST) we define losers as teams who didn't try, had a defeatist attitude, and we define champions as every team who came to the competition and participated positively, then you are both exactly right, and my argument has no basis.
Even if;
Champions = the Winners
Losers = EVERYONE else.

my arguement still stands the same. It's a tradition, no reasonable person should get offended, and if you are offended just get some thicker skin.

Also, I'm not saying this with no experience. Just a few months ago we were in the finals against 696 and 330 (2 best teams at San Diego) and beat them the first match, but they had an awesome trick strategy to earn the last two wins for the regional. I am a sore loser, I didn't enjoy losing one bit. But If (I don't even remember if it was) the song was played, I wouldn't take any offense. Their alliance beat us, and to beat someone you have to be better at scoring points.

//Final post of this thread. If you're offended by the song, a competitive event isn't for you.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 06:53 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

This thread brings up another valid point that must be explored before we can come to agreement here:

Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?

That question leads to this question: Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?

Going down that path makes me ask: Will removing any possible non-GP element from the games make FIRST a better organization--will it be able to better inspire students to value scientific and technical knowledge (which is, after all, the very heart of FIRST)?

I must come to the conclusion that FIRST will lose much of its inspirational power if it no longer features a sport-like structure. No longer will we be able to relate to teens with no interest in engineering. No longer will we be able to attract non-nerds. FIRST needs its non-GP elements to appeal to the masses--something we will need to do to continue expanding and pursuing our mission.

Removing this one song will make absolutely no difference, but removing all non-GP elements will make a huge difference--for the worse.

Please realize I am not attacking; I am just trying to communicate my opinion more effectively.

I look forward to your response,
JBot
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Unread 08-13-2007, 06:54 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

I would like to thank Bharat for an amazing post.
If we ever have a way to spotlight whole posts, I will remember this one - most of it.

I will stop after this thought, hopefully.
We are in the year 2007. In thinking along the lines of Koko Ed and Al Skierkiewicz, we are unique with our alliance partnering and the way we play the game, win, lose, or draw, as we compete. Our program is not a typical sports program.

The song that has traditionally been used to celebrate the moment at the end of the competition, recognizing the champions, is this song.

This song and We Will We Will Rock You were both written for stadium performances. To rock the huge crowds -

Edit: since I have sort of promised not to post in this thread again *cough* - I would like to thank Paul for introducing this topic as an opportunity for exploring the areas that many posts have touched on. Areas such as winning/losing, words/communication and GP.
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 08-14-2007 at 01:46 AM. Reason: edit
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Unread 08-13-2007, 07:04 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Hrm While FIRST is all about GP, The "We Are The Champions" song seems to fit the end of the Championship by saluting the Champions who have competed for months to win it all. I don't see a conflict with the song being played in a FIRST event. Besides what else would you play that would be so fitting and salute the Champions of the event(s)?

Maybe I'm mis-interpreting the thread title?
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Unread 08-13-2007, 07:18 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
This thread brings up another valid point that must be explored before we can come to agreement here:

Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?

That question leads to this question: Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?

Going down that path makes me ask: Will removing any possible non-GP element from the games make FIRST a better organization--will it be able to better inspire students to value scientific and technical knowledge (which is, after all, the very heart of FIRST)?

I must come to the conclusion that FIRST will lose much of its inspirational power if it no longer features a sport-like structure. No longer will we be able to relate to teens with no interest in engineering. No longer will we be able to attract non-nerds. FIRST needs its non-GP elements to appeal to the masses--something we will need to do to continue expanding and pursuing our mission.

Removing this one song will make absolutely no difference, but removing all non-GP elements will make a huge difference--for the worse.

Please realize I am not attacking; I am just trying to communicate my opinion more effectively.

I look forward to your response,
JBot
I know I said I wouldn't post in this thread again.... but I couldn't exist.

You are exactly right. If we remove these things that some overly sensitive and zealous people are saying are non GP, then we will be even worse off in terms of attracting the public.

We still need to advance in that area, taking any steps back would be awful.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 09:05 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Delles View Post
Wow.................

once again it goes to your views... Honestly, how do you know what every single person at an event is thinking??? have you asked every single person in FIRST what they think the words champions and losers mean?

i doubt it...

This makes me very sad for you, espeically when you say that this is the bottom line. This may be the bottom line for you, but everyone is entitled to their thoughts about the song.

[...]

Honestly how would you celebrate the winners of an event? Because if you don't celebrate them what would make a team want to win? If they don't want to win what would make them want to build the best robot they could? if they don't build the best robot they could why would they build a robot? if they didn't build a robot why would they be in FIRST???
Tim,

While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid. How would I celebrate the winners of the regional event? If I had to pick a Queen song (I like Queen, as a matter of fact) I might go with "Don't Stop Me Now" (despite "sex machine ready to reload"). Though I'm sure I'm not as conversant with either Queen or this song as many of the people who have replied to this thread, I can say that to me, this is a high energy song with an extremely positive attitude that does a much better job of celebrating everyone who has participated. Are there better songs? I would bet there are; however, my knowledge of music in written in the last 100 years is overall very lacking, and I wouldn't try to pass myself off as a music expert.

"Don't Stop Me Now" does lack some of the elements that specifically celebrate the winners. I agree (as I said before, which you apparently missed) that creating strong incentives to win the competition is important... but let me ask you this: do you really think these incentives are not in place? Do you honestly think that there are significant numbers of teams who don't want to do as well as they can (and I don't mean being happy/unhappy with their performance)? If you do, I challenge you to provide evidence or stop putting out FIRST doomsday scenarios about teams not caring.

Part of the great strength and great weakness of the "sports world" (if there can be said to exist one) is the idea that winning is everything. You do everything you can to win, because the winners get everything - more money, more fame, more girls. And if this is the way we want FIRST to be, then you're absolutely right, we should have this song.

I think after reading all these replies and thinking about them and discussing them with friends and family for a few days, I've come to realize the problem here. We're all indoctrinated into the cult of gracious professionalism (and I don't mean that pejoratively). This isn't a bad thing, in general. This means that we tend to behave with a lot more sportsmanship and have a lot more fun. However, the problem (which I think we're experiencing now) is that we have become blind to the fact that the world is not actually like FIRST. To me, Bharat's comments earlier in the thread ("If this song had a negative meaning towards the finalist or second place, then I do not think the world of sports would embrace it so much.") are especially indicative of this (though I over-reacted in my response). We're so caught up in our GP bubble that we fail to see that not everyone believes as we do. One doesn't have to reach very far back into sports history to come up with examples of this, but reaching back farther to something that is familiar to most, the Black Sox come to mind.

Jbot, while that may be a question that you would like answered, I just would like to clearly state that that was never the question I was asking. To answer your first question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?
My answer, as well as FIRST's answer (see Jane's posting about a page or two back) is yes, it is appropriate, and of course not.

Your second question is more complex:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?
While the answer to this question is not as simple, I would again have to say yes, FIRST should remove non-GP elements. Gracious professionalism is such a central tenet of FIRST that the organization should do its best (and in most cases does) to remove non-GP elements. However, if you take another look at Jane's post (specifically her quote of... Woody I think it was?) I hope you can see that gracious professionalism and strong competition are not in conflict.

There's more to say here, but I'm having browser problems and I've talked enough anyway.

-Paul
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Unread 08-13-2007, 09:18 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaeamdar View Post
While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid.
You're not winning anyone's favor with that arguement.

I would like to point out that you are not omnipotent, nor do you know everything. So stop acting like any disagreement to your arguement means that their thoughts are not "interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid"

Just stop all ready; Your blowing the song way out of proportion and to say we should remove all non GP things from FIRST is kind of ludicrous (well, at least by your definition of non GP). Right now, the events are fine; There is no glaring non GP event happening that is offending any reasonable person.

In fact, more people (people who believe in GP, whom you'll just write off as having thoughts that aren't "interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid") would be upset by the absense of the song, than by it's presense.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 09:20 PM
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Thumbs up Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

I don't think that a song (especially one who people listen to for 4 words in the whole song) could possibly affect anyone's take on FIRST or GP, because thats all it is, a song! Sorry if this seems rude, but FIRST wasn't made just so everyone could be perfect little angels. We're allowed to have fun, and if that means listening to a song you don't like, then so be it.

No hard feelings, I hope.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 10:18 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

This is the last thing i am posting. And just so you know you have lost my respect (it may not seem like a lot but it takes a lot for me to lose respect for anyone)

Quote:
While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid. How would I celebrate the winners of the regional event?
Yes everyone is entitled to these thoughts, but who are you to decide if they are interesting, valuable, correct, logical or valid? You were the one posing the question, and as far as i have read almost no one if anyone has yet to agree with you that this song is degrading.

But now going back to the song. Ok you have picked a song that celebrates everyone, ok now play that for everyone NOT THE REGIONAL/WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

The song is played for the Winners of an Event, not for everyone...

Or have i missed what a Regiona/World Champion is???

Anyways this is just a waste of time debating this when you have no sense to think about this as anyone else does... You don't even try to think about it in any other light, so until then i hope you have fun.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 10:57 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

I feel that I have to respond to this, since I have been misinterpreted. However, this time it's almost no one's fault but my own; I said something that could easily be construed to have more meaning than that which I meant for it to have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Delles
Yes everyone is entitled to these thoughts, but who are you to decide if they are interesting, valuable, correct, logical or valid?
While I may have unintentionally implied that I think I am the person who gets to decide these things, that is neither what I meant nor what I said. Here's what I did say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid.
Here's what I was responding to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Delles
once again it goes to your views... Honestly, how do you know what every single person at an event is thinking??? have you asked every single person in FIRST what they think the words champions and losers mean?
My point was this: the correct answer, if there is one, does not come from an "Ask the Audience" lifeline. I never claimed to know what everyone is thinking, but opinions must not be deified simply because they exist. Interpretations require logic and evidence. Without these two things, they are just so much blah blah blah.

I once saw an utterly silly discussion in a forum relating to a certain graphic in a video game I play. There were essentially two camps; those who were arguing that the graphic closely resembled Thing A, and those who were arguing that it resembled Thing B. The discussion was pointless and I couldn't have cared less which it resembled, but the people discussing it were offering evidence instead of just laying down opinions as fact.

So, if I say that the song mocks the losing alliance and you say no, it celebrates the winners, it would seem reasonable, if we were to have a discussion about this, that both of us would offer some sort of evidence for our respective subjective claims. If you're not willing to do that, say so, and move on.

And, in relation to song choice, as I said, I'm not a song expert. I personally think "Don't Stop Me Now" has elements that celebrate the winning alliance. And again, as I said, I'm sure there are songs that do this better.

-Paul

P.S.: Adam, though I chose to respond to Tim because he had the last post and voiced his concern most strongly, I was also responding to your post as well.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 11:11 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

The thing is, Paul, you asked for our opinions. Now you're saying opinions are no way to discuss something.

You ask for our opinions, and what do you do? You come back with explainations as to why our opinions aren't valid.

Don't ask for anyone's opinions if you aren't going to accept them fairly.
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Who knew silence could be so loud?

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Unread 08-13-2007, 11:53 PM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

Paul,

Have you ever lost an event when it has been o so close -say like an alliance member knocking down a stack of tetra's that you had just put up to make sure you won the regional?

Have you ever been that alliance member who has pushed your alliance over the top and got the regional win? - say like a 3rd round pick who dominated on defense?

Have you ever been that team who didn't even make it to the elimination matches even though your robot was very similar if not better than other ones that were picked? - maybe a spot at nationals (back then yes it was nationals cause it was held in disney) but they didn't need another robot that could do the same thing as them they just wanted one to go score the extra points on the other side?

I have experience all 3 of those situations, as i am sure almost everyone here has as well... I know for all 3 of those situations hearing that song came as a relief. It signifies that the regional is over, and there are no more nights (atleast for a week or 2) that you have to stay up all night analyizing other teams.

Did losing to the number 1 alliance at GTR in the semi-finals because of robot failure make me less willing to cheer for 1114 (whom we both won our FIRST regionals together) No it did not. When there team was brought up for there medals and trophies i stood proud and clapped for them, i knew that they had just been a better team that day than we had, but in my eyes our alliance members (217 and 4) were the best alliance partners at that regional.

So it all boils down to this. With the enormous amount of clapping and cheering that should be going on for an event winner, should you even be able to hear the song being played?

*sorry getting tired. going to go to bed, but if you wanna reply go ahead, im sure i will reply in the morning*
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Unread 08-14-2007, 12:19 AM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

If y'all will forgive my continuing the musical tangent:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Hoffman View Post
NOOOOOOOOO time for LOOOOOOOOOO-sers
NAAAAAA-na naaa-naa BOOOOOOOOOO-booo *sticks thumbs in ears, sticks out tongue, wiggles fingers*
Okay, I recognize what you're talking about now. I've always heard it as "nyah nyah-nyah nyah nyah!" Yes, the notes are similar, but not the same, and I think it's a stretch to consider the similarity intentional. The chant's G E-A G C doesn't sound to me like the song's G D#-G# G D#. The next line in the song does have the same pattern of notes as the finger-wiggling chant, though -- and it's the title line "We are the champions."

Or maybe the "nanny nanny boo boo" chant is a recent variant of the one I know, using different notes as well as the different syllables, and it is an intentional musical allusion, but as the song was composed before the students posting here were born, I suspect it's just in the ear of the listener.
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Unread 08-14-2007, 12:43 AM
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Re: "We Are the Champions" and GP?

I keep hearing references to "intent" of the songwriters and the DJ, and I can't help but draw parallels to a FIRST referee's ever-present challenge - intent is an almost impossible thing to gauge. Not having any real insight into an operator's mind, refs are left with the responsibility of assessing penalties based solely upon what happened on the field. They don't know why the driver *wrote the song*, but they can certainly react to the outcome once it was *played* on the field.

With that being said.....if there was any doubt as to the power of the positive connotation of this song - the Tim Delles version - I invite you to watch the following and see how Freddie Mercury connected with the 72,000 people in the crowd while singing "We are the Champions".

Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, London, 1985. Widely considered one of the best live performances in rock history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn1w3kLoOuA

Yes, he was singing about himself and the personal obstacles he overcame, but he was also singing it WITH the people.....for the people....and the crowd was swept up by his emotion.

Imagine if those 72,000 people were actually FIRST team members, and this was the Championship Event. Whether I was part of the winning alliance or *merely* an event participant, I could think of no more awe-inspiring collision of spectacle and passion for the FIRST program we all possess.

It is this image of this performance I will remember any time "We Are the Champions" is played at a FIRST event. Every time I hear it, I will associate it with the goal of living to see 72,000 members of our FIRST family singing along with it, celebrating the unique obstacles we've all had to overcome to make this program succeed and grow together.

...But that's simply my own opinion, and I'm sticking to it. Much like everyone else will stick to theirs, which is ok! Moving forward, if anyone is still in a mood to debate this topic, let's please shift it from a public debate toward private channels. It seems many have become frazzled by hearing individuals try to break what is obviously an impenetrable stalemate.

"Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two"

...

"Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?"
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