Coaching Markets

In America, a fall Saturday often means watching some college football or possibly heading off to tailgate at the alma mater. Sunday is for the NFL, which remains the top television draw, despite its problems. For much of the country, Friday night is for the local high school games. Some parts of the country play their high school games on Saturday morning, but for most it is Friday night. In Texas, high school football is a two billion dollar business. Americans love their sports, especially football.

Currently, the two best coaches in the game are Nick Saban, who coaches the Alabama Crimson Tide and Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The fact that the ancestors of both men are from Illyria is an interesting fact. Not only are both the best of their era, it is possible they are the best ever. Both men have a similar style of managing their programs and both are known for being something less than charming with the media. The shadow of Diocletian is very long.

Anyway, the thing that stands out about Saban and Belichick is they are smart men, who are excellent organizers. They are gifted at working within the constraints of the game and the constraints of their situations. They are not married to a style of play, instead adapting to the talent on-hand and the state of the game. They are known for getting the most from each player, often creating a niche for the player that did not exist. They also adapt to their staffs, shuffling people in and out of their organizations.

The thing is, what makes both men remarkable is that they are exceptions. Coaching football is a very lucrative profession in current year America. Bill Belichick is thought to make close to $15 million per year. Nick Saban makes $9 million per year. Both men are probably worth over $100 million at this point. In the case of Belichick, he could be worth a quarter billion or more, as he surely has been given investment opportunities unavailable to most people. Sports teams are owned by oligarchs.

Now, for two of the greatest of all time, that is probably justifiable, but further down the talent scale, the money is still very good. All over the NFL, there are head coaches making millions per year for being very bad at their jobs. There are lots of assistants making big money for being bad at their jobs. Many assistants, are often known to lack the talent to ever be a head coach, while others are simply happy to be a mediocre NFL coach making a very good living in the game.

At the college level, the cost of mediocrity is most obvious. Many of the college head coaches are dumb people, even by the standards of sport. Will Muschamp coaches the University of South Carolina football team. He makes over $5 million per year. He is not very good at coaching football. He got fired from his last high paying gig and he will be fired from this one. He’s not alone. The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.

If libertarians were right about anything, this would not be the case. There is very little government interference in the coaching business. These are contract employees, so they can be fired at will. Moreover, the colleges seem to be immune from charges of discrimination like private business. Blacks are wildly under-represented in the coaching business. There are few Jews in the management side. Women are just about non-existent in the game. Sport is free to be a free market for coaches.

In theory, the lucrative salaries and the lifestyle should be a magnet for smart young people in America. Every year, thousands of young people head to Hollywood and New York hoping to be a star. They want to be famous. You would think something similar would happen with coaching, where the money is great and you don’t have to have sex with guys like Harvey Weinstein as a condition of employment. Smart young people should be flocking to sports coaching trying to make it big.

Of course, something similar should be true of politics. Congressman and Senators are not pulling down football coach money, but they live a great lifestyle. They also get perks like the right to trade on their insider knowledge. Paul Ryan, for example, went to Washington penniless and retired with a net worth of $6 million. He landed in a seven figure job bribing his fellow colleagues. That should draw hundreds of candidates into every race, but politics is largely a closed shop, despite being democratic.

There’s not point here, other than that to point out that “natural markets” don’t exist, even in the absence of government. There’s almost no government role in the football coaching business, but it is a closed world controlled by relationships and insider information among the coaches. The same is true of politics. In theory, anyone can run for Congress. In reality, they allow in only those they want in. The Senate is the world’s most exclusive club, followed by the House and the football coaching fraternity.

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111 thoughts on “Coaching Markets

  1. BTW its irrelevant whether great Football coaches are personally “Great” or just know how to hire “Great” assistants and let them do their thing. The end result is the same. Rommel And Patton didn’t personally fight every battle. But they knew how to motivate, delegate, and which subordinates to trust, and which to watch over closely.

    I’m not much of an NFL fan, but Pro Football would be even *more* boring then it is right now, without the NE Patriots. They’ve kept the League – almost single-handed – interesting. But the NFL suffers from the same problem as all Pro Team sports. Too many games, too many playoffs, too many dull games, too many dull players. The whole thing is a triumph of mediocrity in the pursuit of $$. If the NFL cared about quality it would go back to 16 teams and so would the MLB and the NBA.

  2. Anything that attacks Libertarians is a great post in my opinion. but you can expand this to so many areas. The Libertarians always forget that businessman don’t like to compete, they like to make money. And so the dream of every businessman is get a quasi-monopoly where he can make money without the public being able to do much about it. You’re simply too big to fail. And then there’s politics and ethnic loyalty which always take priority over just making a few extra dollars. if Hollywood was a pure libertarian meritocracy you’d think we’d have a few more Gentile studio heads – of whatever color. Or take Big City Newspaper Columnists. Does anyone think the NYT Op-ed writers got their on merit?

  3. My son played high school football so I saw my share of idiot coaches up close. And I see it any Saturday and Sunday I decide to tune in. I’ve often thought that I should have got in on that racket. If I was mediocre, I would still be making good money as an assistant coach somewhere. If was even a bit good, I’d be making 7 figures.

  4. Belichick and Saban are the rare coaches who do not tolerate crap from talented but high-maintenance players. They avoid those kinds of players in their drafts / recruiting and quickly dump them if that kind of behavior emerges. Players on their teams are expected to do exactly as they are told. Discipline wins battles.

  5. Why aren’t bright young guys aiming to be the next superstar football coach? Because that’s a maximize your greatest possible gain strategy. The very few who make it do well, but most don’t. Becoming an MD, or a lawyer, is a minimize your greatest loss strategy. Even if you suck as a physician, you’re making six figures. Similarly, if you’re reasonably bright and motivated, you’ll make decent money as an average financial advisor or consultant, and you might hit it big. But miss grasping the golden ring in coaching and you’re in some crappy junior high school with a cramped office in an alcove off of the gymnasium. I.e. with coaching the potential win is big, but the overwhelming likelihood is a bad outcome. Contrast with: As a practicing physician, you’ll never make the truly big bucks, but you’re virtually guaranteed being in the top 10 percentile of income. Many, maybe even most, people decline to make Montrose’s Toast.

  6. Coaching pays well for the same reason govt. work , teaching, and administrative work pays well relative to talent involved. mediocre people earning big paychecks. unlike tech jobs there is no major windfall from employee options and stuff like that. You have to put in years of work and move up the ranks.

  7. What always shocked me in US sports, is this % of useless matches. The non-promotion/relegation system pollutes the beginning of the season, and rig last ante-play off games.

    What’s the point ?

    You still can use this excellent draft system, but goddam, relegate weak teams in a 2nd division at the end of the season. Wouldn’t it be more exciting ?

    (forgive me, please, for my bad english, I’m french)

    (btw, bend the knee to the french metric system ^^)

    • A number of major sportsball teams are content to lazily coast along and let their billionaire owners sniff jockstraps and enjoy the perks of a team owner. Relegation would inspire them to try fielding a winning team now and then. There are too many big league franchises anyway and it wouldn’t hurt to lose some. Of course the sucker taxpaying fans who provide the billionaires with facilitiess would riot if their team got relegated. And none of the billionaires would stand for being kicked out of the big guy club, so this will never happen

  8. Popovich, the coach of the Spurs, is half Croatian and half Serbian. So the three greatest coaches of the current generation are all sons of Illyria. Popovich also has the same personality as Saban and Bilichick.

    I have wondered if this just coincidence.

  9. Human being are social animals and its almost never what you know but who you know.

    Communism wanted to break this cycle as did the Confusicionists but as humans ran these societies it failed. It always will and foolish White people who trust outsiders need to learn to not do this. Everyone else is out to eat your lunch.

    This behavior is because nepotism and social solutions are intrinsic to human nature, few people have the capacity for logic or reason and the rest of humanity whose order of operations doesn’t include much brains will do whatever they can to prevent these people from being in charge since they threaten the position they hold.

    Given how awful our cognitive elite , who seemed to have moled their way into power , maybe this ia good thing . Brains are scarce but brains, restraint and common sense all in one even more so.

  10. Football and politics are both rackets. You don’t have to hate a racket, you can still like football and know it’s a racket. The NFL is a monopoly. The USFL failed. The NCAA is a notorious monopoly. The “natural market” is a cartel. That’s what libertarians don’t understand. Sometimes cartels can be good. They’re usually bad and rapacious in the realm of free choice and commerce.. The NFL is a harmless cartel because you can just not watch it. My local power company PG&E is a public menace that needs to be broken up. The problem with libertarians is that that like true believing communists, they’re dogmatic, when human nature involves case by case analysis driven by common sense. Politics is a natural racket that attempts to dominate every sphere. Freedom is an attempt to limit this racket.

  11. Think Belichick got lucky. Devised a system and had enough talent around him to implement it. Brokered his success and used it to run the team the way he saw fit.

    That hasn’t always been the case. Brady and Kraft have overruled him on a couple of occasions. Instead of taking his ball and going home he has weathered the storm and from the looks of it makes the majority of the teams decisions.

    Antonio Brown’s recent departure proves the owner and the coach are on the same page. And why wouldn’t they be ? They’re both getting filthy rich.

    It’s going to be 84 degrees today and people all across New England will be sitting in their homes watching football.

    sorry but I find that pathetic.

    • Sorry, but you are wrong. Belichick is a football genius and so is Brady. This coach-QB combo has produced the greatest football dynasty. What is amazing is that players like Randy Moss who have been nothing but trouble elsewhere performed at an amazing level in NE. Heck, NE squeezed 11 wins out of Matt Cassel. Belichick knows how to squeeze the maximum performance out of the team he has. Very, very few coaches at any level in sports can say that.

      The other amazing thing is the level of discipline in Belichick’s team. No hold-outs and no drama. Players STFU and perform when they get drafted to NE. And both Brady and Belichick have remained tight lipped on their political proclivities unlike loudmouths like Mike Tomlin and Gregg Popovich.

  12. OT: Virtue signaling four eyed code monkey pulls project from GitHub since it is used by the eeeeevil ICE.

    Any wonder that Trump is unwilling to stick his neck out to stop the H1-B charade? Why should he spend political capital for a bunch of arrogant leftard four-eyed dweebs? If the code monkeys love immigrants so much, they would not mind training their immigrant H1B replacements. Bring on the H1Bs, the domestic code monkeys have forgotten the lessons of 2001-2005.

    • My experience with computers was similar to Vizzini’s above. I’m a gen-x guy. I learned to code on an Apple ][+. These machines were so primitive that the “operating system” was just Apple Basic that loaded from ROM on boot. Even today I miss the almost instant boot ups. I soon realized that Basic was slower than molasses in liquid nitrogen and learned 6502 assembly language.

      It really saddens me to look at today’s young computer geeks. There was a natural continuum amongst traditionally masculine interests like cars and guns and electronics and computers back then. If you wanted your machine to do much of anything you needed to know at least something about wiring diagrams, voltage levels, binary operations, where things were in memory, etc… You were likely to get your hands dirty working on computers and might even get a burn from your soldering iron or a nasty electric shock. In short the hobby attracted real men (well boys like us became men). Today’s young computer dweeb is likely to be a prissy, effeminate little puke who went to a “magnet” high school in NYC, either doesn’t have a car ( “car free lifestyle” ) or has never looked under the hood if he does, and would rather experiment with bisexuality than handle a firearm. He grew up in a “proudly gun-free home” and is an ardent male feminist who did unpaid database work for the Hillary campaign. His only saving grace is that he will probably not reproduce, especially after the gender reassignment surgery.

  13. There are a lot of problems with this as wider analogy.

    First, the organizations who search out and hire coaches are deprived of the most important market signal – that failure leads to the business folding. The owners of the Jets can keep doing what they’re doing and the team will never fold. The check on the process is that if you keep making stupid decisions because you’re bad at making decisions the market eventually relieves you of the responsibility for making decisions – in football the Patriots need the Jets because you need two teams to play a game.

    Given that sports ownership is treated like a toy by almost all owners – only one team can win a championship each year but lots of owners can have football guys talk to them as if the owner is important. Guess which one owners pursue.

    If every team was run by a Bill Belichek clone the overall win % of the league would be exactly what it is now – 50% but maybe the game would look different. This branches out into two points – first, the optimal way to win a game might not be the what the audience wants (but they’ll tolerate it in a winner so only a few teams can use optimal strategy and the other teams have to use suboptimal strategies that are more popular). Second, if all the owners looked for Belicheks they’d have to give up on getting fellated by coaches and wouldn’t even get the consolation of winning. Baseball went through that revolution and when it was good for the profits of the early innovators those teams aren’t any better off now as the bigger market teams use the same methods and spend more money to get better results – plus people complain about the new way of playing baseball – revenues are up but attendance is down.

  14. I’m not old enough to have remebered Belichick when he was coach of the old Browns. But few in Cleveland were said to be impressed with him, mainly because he benched the local favorite Bernie Kosar at quarterback. This is the same city that mythologized Kosar for losing to Elway three times, so we might not be the best judge.

  15. Candidates for membership in congress are the most scrutinized individuals in history. The Establishment knows more about these candidates than the candidates know about themselves. And if they are flawed or poor, all the easier to blackmail them into compliance.

  16. There is in fact a totally free market in football coaching.
    Just because the results (i.e., the best and brightest do not migrate to that career path to earn a zillion $$/year ) don’t agree with ZMAN’s concept of a free market, does not make it not so.
    The ZMAN here is suggesting equality of outcome should be the result of a free market. This would jive just perfectly with Bernie Sanders or any other communist/fascist/progressive.

    Free markets do not guarantee that everybody within that market is exceptional; that it suggests that equality of outcome is the natural endpoint of free markets.
    Free markets are anathema to socialists, communists and fascists BECAUSE equality of outcome is NEVER satisfied in a free market.
    A free market is just that; anyone who is in DEMAND can be hired and fired.
    Perhaps the coach of S.Carolina is lousy.
    Maybe that University has found that the income they generate from alumni, sponsors, NCAA disbursements , whatever, satisfies their needs without having to pay a zillion $$ to actually hire a first rate coach and maybe conforms to their football athletic scholarship funds.
    Maybe the U of SC is just fine with having a mediocre coach given the constraints that they have.
    Let’s face it; the U of SC is no BAMA.
    And BAMA will seek and attract the very best players.
    The U of SC will not.
    Colleges and pro teams can hire whomever the hell they choose. The fact that most of the college/NFL coaches are mediocre ( or just plain lousy) is irrelevant.

    Look at pro baseball; there are relatively few superstars. Even a mediocre player earns hundreds of thousands of $$$ per year. Look at the salaries of NBA players. They all earn big $$$, but most of them are “average” NBA players; even those that sit on the bench.
    Does that mean there is no free market in the NBA or Pro Baseball??
    Does that mean that any sentient human should concentrate on being a pro baseball/basketball player?
    Not at all.
    The teams will pay whatever they want to hire a player.

    Even Wall Street pays their traders big $$$. But only a few – say the top 20% – really make their firms, and themselves, really big bucks.
    Does that mean their is no free market on Wall Street?

    Supply / demand determines salaries; that is it.

    By ZMAN’s reasoning, all NBA players should be Michael Jordan’s and all football coaches, all of whom earn outlandish salaries, should be top of the class and all Wall Street traders should be Warren Buffet.

    What crap.

    • I think you may be missing the larger point: this isn’t about free markets as much as organizational behavior. Why do superior leaders often get passed over in favor of non-leaders – that’s the begged question. Non-leaders as human beings are fine – they have their own gifts/talents – but when they’re thrust into leadership positions they are very simply LOSERS. And why, in organizational behavior, do losers beget more losers?

      And if our best leaders aren’t rising to be our CEOs, Head Coaches, and Presidents, where the hell ARE these guys. My theory is that many are out there plugging away out of the limelight, or quietly doing their own thing as entrepreneurs.

      For intelligent, gifted leaders, the cost of entry into highly bureaucratized organizations, from the Patriots to Boeing to the Navy, is to go along to get along. To make it to the top you have to often put your rational brain on a shelf, to enter into an organizational arena of cognitive dissonance. This is simply too high a cost for many smart leaders.

      • Um, by definition, there can only be one “best coach” in football at any given point in time, and he can only work for one team at a time. Last I checked, Bill Belichik was still the GOAT, and still employed, and I doubt Robert Kraft will fire him in order to hire Jeff Fisher. I think that Z-man’s analysis suffers from performing relativist analysis in a zero-sum system. That people other than Bill Belichik or Nick Saban have head coaching jobs in their respective fields doesn’t prove that the market is broken, it just means that there are losers in a zero-sum game, and not just winners.
        In order for someone to win, someone else must lose.

  17. “There is very little government interference in the coaching business.”

    There is government involvement in sports at all levels. The colleges are government funded entities. The people who are in charge of the Universities are not the same people who would be there if there was a “free market” in education.

    It is like saying that “the airlines where deregulated so why is flying such a mess”? It is because the airports are government controlled in every way.

    The really stupid coaches, and I have worked with several, got a degree or 3 due to the mindless education system. When the left decided the best course to destroy the US civilization was to take over education — they were being very smart. It worked like shooting fish in a barrel.

  18. “The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.”

    They get to the top by marketing themselves as the solution. Politicians do a similar thing when they campaign to win an election.

    Clearly people can be very good at making themselves seem like the right guy for the job until they have the opportunity to prove to be anything but.

  19. The Z man knows damn well of course that college sports, like all things associated with what passes as higher education in America, is a carefully walled off artificial environment with no relationship to the real word.
    He’s looking at a bunch of tropical fish in an aquarium and wondering why the ocean isn’t like that.
    As he said, he’s having a bad week.

  20. To do anything, you need three things:

    1 the minimum ability necessary

    2 the opportunity to do it

    3 the desire to do it

    Consider women in STEM. there’s lots of women who can do math and opportunities abound. But not many women meet the number 3 requirement.

    I’d imagine coaching is tough because most men who study the sport and would like to coach are probably not rocket surgeons while the smart men who enjoy competition and strategy go into business or military.

    With politics, requirement 1 fulfills requirement 2 but requirement 1 is simply the ability to schmooze sleezy people leading most respectable men be disqualified through requirement 3.

    • Consider women in STEM. there’s lots of women who can do math and opportunities abound.

      In pursuance of what Citizen wrote above, women who are good at math usually have better opportunities than a STEM career, because women who’re good at math usually have a high g-score, whereas a lot of boys are simply good at math but mediocre at social science-stuff.

      That said, I suspect a lot of the women in STEM, chose their careers to avoid working with other women. A friends’ wife took a $15,000 wage cut to get from medicine into an engineering company for that explicit reason – she even said so at the job interview.

      • Don’t forget women moving to technical jobs. Yes….I purposely jumped from chick jobs to technical water treatment and water distribution majority men to get away from women…particularly Vibrant women in low level secretarial jobs. No Vibrant women in treatment and distribution….1 Mexican woman in treatment who couldn’t pass her state certification who got bumped back to janitor. Best move I ever made. Paying attention to this eventually led me to this side of the divide.

  21. I think a big issue is opportunity costs for potential good coaches. To be a college or NFL coach, you likely played at least college football at reasonably-sized program. If you’re a college football player with smarts, leadership and organizational abilities, you have a number of much more secure, socially-approved avenues to success and money, think investment banking, fast-track corporate ladder, real estate development, etc.

    To pass on those in favor of spending several years as a low-level, low-paid assistant at a college program then on to the pros, again as a low-level assistant, moving every couple of years, working incredibly long hours slowly working your way up, probably having to kiss ass to guys that are idiots along the way. Oh, and you have to deal with very stupid and arrogant players most of whom are black with all the joys that entails.

    All in hopes that you can land that job as a head coach in your late-30s – if you’re very lucky – but more likely in your 40s. Even then, it might be a head coach at a relatively small university where you’ll need to bust your ass to recruit decent players who you know are basically dangerous criminals who shouldn’t be anywhere near a college campus. Or maybe you get an NFL head coach job in your mid to late 40s where you have to answer to an owner who doesn’t really understand the game, the unbelievably stupid media and huge pressure.

    And that’s all if things break your way. Otherwise, you might end up as a journeyman assistant coach moving every couple of years. Sure you earn a good living, but the hours suck, the pressure intense, you’re always worrying about losing your job, you don’t see your family, you might not even live around your family much.

    How many smart, capable guys with the physical talent to play big-time college ball want to subject themselves to that when they can have a very successful life in other professions with much better job security, family life and the possibility of running their own show. (And, no, NFL head coaches don’t run their own show, they answer to their owners. Only Belichick truly gets to run his own show.)

    Seems to me the system is working pretty good here.

    • You beat me to it, but here’s the flaw in Z-Man’s argument: “In theory, the lucrative salaries and the lifestyle should be a magnet for smart young people in America.” The lucrative salaries may be a draw, but the lifestyle most definitely is not, for the reasons outlined above.

      Commercial trucking is in the same boat, in that it’s very good money (particularly for people without college educations), but is still facing a shortage and most of the workers in the industry hate it. Salary isn’t everything. Working conditions, benefits, schedule, and lifestyle demands all matter too, perhaps more than just salary in some instances. Economic theory has a lot to say about this (eg. risk premiums in compensation packages), so this seems like a bit of a straw man.

  22. Disclaimer: I do NOT like Paul Ryan.

    Paul Ryan, for example, went to Washington penniless and retired with a net worth of $6 million.

    Paul Ryan is also the scion of a very well-to-do general contractor. He was never ‘penniless,.’ although I’m sure that a bunch of his net worth came from inside knowledge, as is the case with damn near everyone in The Blob we call “Government.”

  23. Colleges are not exactly a free market. Given that 2 organizations completely control politics in America, it is not at all surprising that only the worst people can get anywhere in American politics. You really need the support of the party to run an effective Senate or House race. The local chapters are even worse than the national parties.

  24. Couple things. Sports is very nomadic in nature if you have a desire to get to the top of the coaching hierarchy. Stable people wish to stay in stable situations where they can raise their families and carve out a place in their communities. You have to bounce all of the time staying one step ahead of being exposed. Wooden would never have made it today. UCLA would have cut him loose before he hit his stride. There is also a luck level of being in the right place at the right time. Alex Cora looked like a genius with the Red Sox last year after he took over for a mediocre manager, but now one year later, not even in the MLB playoffs. Belichek struggled with the Browns, and Saban was a failure at the NFL level.

    • Repeating is hard. Especially in a league with such a long season and so much travel time. If you follow on TV it’s clear that apart from Sox v. Yankees (in NL Cubs/Cards/Reds), they’re not filling stadiums. (Although both Sox and Yankee fans travel to take advantage of otherwise impossibly cheap tickets.) That doesn’t bode well for the game.

  25. The most over-rated, stupid, clueless coach in the NFL today is one Ron Rivera. Rivera also has the bottom-of-the-IQ-barrel Cam Newton as his watermelon chuck – er – QB. The only guy dumber than these two half-wits is the team owner who pays these guys millions and paid billions for the Carolina franchise. The owner’s name is (((Dave Tepper))), a hedge fund manager who scored when the taxpayers bailed-out the banks ushering in President Hussein.

    As they say: Every. Single. Time.

    Eff the Negro Felons League.

    • I used to be a Chargers fan, the ex-hometown team, before they lifted up their skirts and left town. The most inept ownership ever. Any coach more capable than the owner was hamstrung, second guessed, and run out of town. People like Don Coryell and Bobby Ross. Good riddance to the whole thing, may they all rot in big deal taco town.

        • Gillman, Lance Alworth, and all that were just a couple of years before my time. Coryell, who was the San Diego State football coach when Gillman was coaching the Chargers, was his protege. Second owner from Hilton (Barron died just this week, God rest his soul), Gene Klein, hired Coryell, drafted Dan Fouts, signed Johnny Unitas at the end of his career to mentor Fouts, and put it all together. Air Coryell. No Super Bowls, but great and entertaining football. When Klein sold the team to Spanos, the first thing that absentee NorCal apartment slumlord did was dismantle Air Coryell. What kind of doofus does that?

      • I was in Diego for the Beathard-Ross debacle. Spanos was a NoCal carpetbagger, SD’s a better town for running those crooks, although it’s developed other probs (including a homeless problem that’s SF-worthy). Going to be there for next 2 weeks pre-Scandza, planning on being grey-pilled at seeing what they’ve done to CA’s best big city.

    • Cam won the MVP in 2015 and went to the Superbowl. Hardly the bottom of the barrel. There are other reasons to dislike the NFL, but Cam Newton is not one of them

  26. Sports coaching has somewhat unique selection pressures. Namely, that most coaches are former players who reached a fairly high level (at least college)–and what makes a good player is very different from what makes a good coach.

    If you take a Venn diagram of “people who make good players,” and “people who make good coaches,” the overlap is going to be very small.

    An apolitical take, I suppose. It would be interesting to compare the venn overlap of “good employee” and “good management” for different industries.

    • >>> If you take a Venn diagram of “people who make good players,” and “people who make good coaches,” the overlap is going to be very small.<<<

      Larry Bird and that’s pretty much it

  27. I was going to say something intelligent, but when I saw the words “Paul Ryan,” I got the red mist. I’m from Wisconsin, and I hate, hate, HATE that guy.


    Well, OK, I’ll try to say something interesting, which is that Ryan exemplifies what you could call pre-whoring. To wit, one reason that, even before he left office, he always served the establishment, and never his people, was to avoid ticking off the establishment so he could collect their dough after he left office.

    It’s like a guy who gives it away for free even before he becomes a professional rentboy, just to advertise his pliant bottom around town.

    • Words fail me when I try to express my hatred for Paul Ryan.

      He probably started out as a dopey, well-meaning Objectivist but became a despicable traitor.

      I’m going to stop now before I say something that gets me investigated by the FBI.

    • We’ll probably have to have a duel over which one of us hates that guy more. Do you remember during the 2012 campaign when he ran on “MATH” and fiscal responsibility? On his way out the door and onto K-street he secured thousands of annual visas for Irish citizens. (As members of the EU, the Irish can already work in those 28 member states.) Of course now the Irish are forced to accept hundreds of thousands of third-world refugees annually due to a declining population. Clown world.

  28. One think I’ve noticed about Belichick and other succesful coaches is the cohesiveness of their teams. You rarely if ever see a Belichick team with ongoing locker room drama, despite the constant media gas-canning and envious sniping efforts by lesser teams. His teams are the best at turning this outside pressure to their advantage with an “us against the world, too bad for the world” espirit d’corps.

    Belichik is clearly selecting players for factors other than raw talent and metrics like 40 times and bench press, even beyond on-field performance. He’s selecting for coachability and a mindset that is ultimately compatible with the team culture he’s established. The coaches who are less successful almost always have a lesser grasp of this “intangible” despite its very tangible finger-bling results.

    The guys running our political show have cultivated the same culture with even more successful and long-running results. We laugh at them for failure and hypocrisy, but they have the last laugh from atop the thrones and pulpits of what was once our country.

    We mock the GOP for failure, but it’s failing only in achieving our goals, not its own. The GOP exists to short circuit any voltage for both White identity politics and populist, class-conscious economic policies & ground it out with individualist libertarianism and High Cuck culture & ideology. It has succeeded at this my entire life. In 2016 it managed to ride the tigers of ethno-nationalism and populism in the greatest performance of corrupt subversion I’ve yet seen. Gotta hand it to them.

    The Dems perform similar functions from the Left – to ground out White identity, populism and class-consciousness and redirect that energy into intersectionality, climate arblebargle and a more libertine strain of individualist libertarianism.

    If Belichick could get away with restricting coaching positions to his sons, nephews, cousins and a scattering of loyalist “novus globohomo” strivers, all able to enforce team discipline by both the silver of lucractive sinecures and social status as well as the lead of imprisonment, internal exile, asset forfeiture, secret police, Epstein-grade blackmail and spirit-cooking rituals, his hereditary dynasty might enjoy the 150+ years of dominanance the Uniparty has enjoyed since at least the Second Founding.

    Which is to say that Team Globoshlomo is going to win the political Superbowl in 2020, 22, 24 ad nauseum absent an external intervention on the scale of an SHTF event or a class-traitor disruptor worthy of Asimov’s Mule.

    I’m for starting another league.

    • I would be curious to see whether employing Belichick relations would instead prove the “reversion to the mean” in talent and abilities. I sense that Trump’s family is going to demonstrate that reversion very quickly, as in one generation. My own bias believes that these special people are “one offs”, though borne from genes and cultures that are more likely to produce them.

      White males seem particularly adept at organization and thoughtful motivation. Which makes white on white male violence and wars powerfully fratricidal. Scorched earth and all.

      • I think we’re seeing RTM with the neopots like JPod & Kristol the Lesser as well as Buckley’s novus globohomo successors, the knuckle-dragging Bush & Cuomo kidz etc.. The ADLFBICIA is increasingly necessary to keep these poseurs propped on their thrones. Charles Kushner’s bride-harvesting of the Trump clan gained him some useful connections & clout to try and spring himself from jail & rake some shekels, and some less goblinoid grandkids, but cost them a standard deviation in post-Zoomer IQ. Bride-harvesting’s a risky strategy for the Tribe, working in Britain but sheer American beauty numbers may breed them out here on a medium timeline. I know the Jews in LA’s enclaves I rub shoulders and hands with professionally are very con-soin-ed about this.

  29. Recently, I’ve watched two Netflix series which give a lot of insight into what clueless jackasses most college football coaches are. These are “Last Chance U” and “QB1.”

    Both of these series are a lot of fun for those of us who have taken the redpill; it’s both sad and amusing in to watch the “academic” staffs lie to themselves over and over about the potential to educate 70 IQ Rape Apes. And the coaches? Not exactly titans of their field.

    • Lines up with what I said above re: social status for coaching. It’s become ghettoized in the eyes of post-Boomer/Xer’s. The talent pool for both participants and support staff is crashing as more and more smart-fractions seek preener pastures.

  30. Well, I am just spit balling here – but I think job instability has something to do with it. From my perspective, I hear of sportsball coaches getting hired and fired every week. Then there are the membership dues involved in getting into that circle – there is cack to be sucked, arses to plunge your nose into – and the same revolting human trash that you see in Hollywood. The women that become part of that circle tend to be the same syphilitic tire biters that you see in Hollywood too.

    I am not saying I could run a sportsball team but even if I could… I’d rather make an honest living and avoid the bullchit.

  31. Saban worked for Belichick at Cleveland. He has some interesting things to say about it.

    Belichick’s men practice how to hand the ball back to the ref after a play. There is a way to hand the ball back when time is on your side and another when time is on the opponent’s side. The idea is simple situational awareness plus strategy-informed training and can actually increase or limit the number of plays in a game.

    We should not let globohomo alienate us from team sports involving balls. We can learn from men like Belichick. Leadership is leadership.

    • You win consistently by always making incremental improvements and moving the odds your way. Rowed at the elite level until I was 30. A technique change that ran the boat 2 more inches per stroke meant nearly 700 inches of improvement in a single over a 2k race. At that level of competition was often the difference between 1st and 5th.

      • Along Saml’s line of thinking, I have seen success in competition by learning everything the other successful guys are doing, and carefully emulating all of it. It gets you up to speed. Then start trying new things, to find something that works (that extra couple inches per yard), then look for more of them before the competition catches you by emulating your new tricks. Finally, employ every psychological trick you can to have the competition look in the wrong places for your edges, or to convince themselves, in their own heads, that you are unstoppable. Which goes to the point about Belichick. He is always working new angles and adapting, and he has his opponents convinced that his team is not going to be an easy fight. His opponents enter the field with a psychological disadvantage, right out of the box.

    • @Vegetius
      I would agree if we had everything else squared away which at this time we don’t because there is still a lot of work that needs to be done…

  32. “The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.” Peter Principle, right? It’s just the way we promote people based on their mediocrity in lower positions, thinking they’ll miraculously perform in higher positions if we “just give them an opportunity.” The truly gifted leaders get too damn frustrated working for idiots and bootlickers, biding their time until it’s “their turn,” so often just take the John Galt route into anonymity.

    I tried to make the argument through my entire military career that leaders are BORN, not MADE. You can take a born leader and make him even better, but you can’t transform a born follower into a leader. The military also makes the huge mistake of conflating management with leadership … managers are often weak leaders but leaders are always superior managers. These arguments never resonated, as they conflicted with the politics of affirmative action and “nurture” ideology. Oh, and don’t forget “diversity is our strength” and every color and perversion having a celebratory month except whites and heterosexuals … the incessant propaganda posters strewn throughout every military facility will have their consequences, to include a host of toadies who make it to flag rank.

    The coaching example is excellent but the problem is obviously across the board; the truly gifted and intelligent (i.e. born) leaders often fizzle out and tire of idiotic administrivia before attaining significant position or rank. Thus the rot of weak, unintelligent management is self-perpetuating … born losers promote the people they’re most comfortable with – other born losers. Real winners/leaders of the masculine variety make the ungifted feel inadequate … because they are.

    • It’s probably worse in corporate life. Every pencil pusher claims to be a leader. In my youth, I was sent to more than a few “leadership training sessions.” It was always obvious that in a crisis, none of my classmates would be anything but a burden. A few came away with a mental checklist of things to do when under pressure, but the rest just got a pat on the head, a cookie and an inflated sense of self-worth.

      • Yep. Every crisis I’ve been involved in, the leaders who came to the fore weren’t the ones the apparatchik had ordained. But heck, my experiences are dated … now a crisis erupts and you’ve got the yammering and screeching of the feminists, the cherry-on-top of the imbecilic men who got their graduation certificate from “leadership” training.

        No amount of training can overcome biology. The Sabans and Belichiks of the world are anomalies because they had the inordinate patience to gut-out their organization’s imbecility … that kind of patience is hard to come by. I even wonder if it’s a positive character quality … patience is great, but tolerance for idiocy? There’s got to be a break-point between accommodation and so-called idealism. I err on the side of the ideal.

      • Can leadership really be taught? I think you can teach natural leaders how to be better at it, but the base skill set is inherent, or at least learned at such a young age that post-K12 won’t do anything for those who haven’t already made the grade.

      • Most of my kids have been homeschooled, but the youngest really wanted to give public school a try, so we let her start 6th grade in a rural public school last year.

        Every day she comes home with something new to make me facepalm. At the beginning of this year they auto-enrolled her in something they were calling a leadership class.

        It was such a huge waste of time. Stuff like word searches for terms like “integrity,” “honesty,” and “leadership.” Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly how General Patton got his start.

        I opined that you don’t learn leadership from a bunch of low-level bureaucrats. She hated it, and was fortunately able to transfer to an art class. Drawing is at least a useful skill.

        Because of the homeschooling, I haven’t had to deal with the public schools since I graduated from high school in ’82. Good Lord it’s terrible. All the bad stuff I remember — teachers and administrators who are pretty tyrants and appear to actively hate kids, plus non-stop globo-homo poz and levels of intrusiveness that are outrageous.

        They have her working on a project in homeroom that amounts to a dossier on my family — multiple pages worth of detailed personal family information. Fortunately she told me about it and we talked about disinformation and the importance of bland, uninformative answers (better than me raising a stink and trying to get her out of doing it, which will just paint a target on her).

        ETA: Oh, yeah. She’s also playing volleyball and the coach is a horror show, a thin-skinned overweight third-grade teacher who can’t teach fundamentals to save her life, demoralizes the girls and manages to make everything about herself. She didn’t get the job due to merit.

        • I have a number of friends who’ve had to transition their kids to public schools – you’ll spend hours un-teaching the poz, sadly, but very necessary to keep your kids well-based

        • “It was such a huge waste of time. Stuff like word searches for terms like “integrity,” “honesty,” and “leadership.” Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly how General Patton got his start.”

          Public school curricula are more childish than the children. Very little is actually taught, and that’s probably a good thing.

        • Viz, Anyone of average or above intelligence was wasting their time in public school when we were kids. Imagine if we could have learned useful skills or crafts while being warehoused. (I’m still somewhat bitter about it.)

          • Well, I was lucky to be in a very elite public high school. Many of the kids were children of engineers at Bell Labs and many of the others were very successful suburban Jews. Ivy league schools, MIT, Juilliard and the like were expected destinations for a good percentage of the class. I “learned to code” back when it was still a ticket to success. I know my experience wasn’t typical, which makes the current experience even more frustrating.

          • Well, there were classes for kids at Bell Labs. I never actually took them, but tagged along a couple times with a friend who did. That’s how I caught the bug. Then in high school we had a computer lab full of Apple IIe and II Pluses and a teacher who was the stereotype of the early computer nerd. He had built a Heathkit computer that you had to program in octal assembly language instructions, so my first programming experiences were on that and with BASIC in those Apples. Then I started programming games on my Radio Shack TRS-80. 🙂

          • BTW, for the kids today, “built a computer” didn’t mean buying a case, motherboard, graphics card, power supply and hard drive and slapping it all together. It meant soldering each individual chip and resistor to a circuit board. It had an octal input keypad and a one-line LED display, some other LED lights and a small speaker. Programming it consisted of finding interesting ways to manipulate the registers to cause the speaker to emit tones at different frequencies, cause different characters to display on the LED display or flash some of the LED lights. It had no persistent storage and no editing, so you’d enter your code one instruction at a time, and if you made a mistake you’d start over. Then, after you experienced the triumph of listening to the speaker go “Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!” you’d sigh and clear the memory so the next person could try their program.

          • Correction: Apple IIe’s didn’t come out until ’83, so it must have been II’s and II Pluses in the lab. I just vaguely remembered we had two types. Even the basic II only came out in ’77, so having them and II Pluses (’79) in our labs (’78-’82) meant we were pretty much on the bleeding edge of personal computers in schools.

    • We live in a time of great affluence in which there is no existential penalty for bad leadership. No one dies. No battle is lost. If we lived in a world in which bad leadership got you dead in a hurry, people would become damn serious about choosing better leaders. We need to create an environment that once again demands the best of us in order to survive. Rewarding mediocracy is the road to extinction.

      • “We need to create an environment that once again demands the best of us in order to survive.”

        Can you expand on that? I’m curious about any specifics you care to offer.

        • I’d like to see Chinese-style white collar law enforcement and much much more capital punishment in general. We all know the only reasons why there’s no justice for guys like Madoff & Corzine. Ed Dutton’s little hemp pills would do the same thing for America that they did for England BITD. Similar population, similar pressure, similar results. If states had more stable populations over time you’d already see dramatic cross-generational differences between responsible states where execution was available like Texas and permissive states like California.

          OFC the downside is that given our present elites, we’d be the ones getting DOTR’d first. Just like NAxALT, everyone here should assume when I say “we should have” that the policy in question is being administered by White men acting in good faith (e.g. in the far future).

          • Unless they say otherwise, it’s safe to assume anyone saying “we should…” here means in a Whiter better future time and place. We really need a phrase or acronym like NAxALT for this assumption.

        • Yea, it sounds good, but total war is the only environment that forces real leaders into place. Not something we should wish for.

          • The royal navy had it right.

            Every flag officer, captain and commander in the fleet, who, upon signal or order of fight, or sight of any ship or ships which it may be his duty to engage, or who, upon likelihood of engagement, shall not make the necessary preparations for fight, and shall not in his own person, and according to his place, encourage the inferior officers and men to fight courageously, shall suffer death, or such other punishment, as from the nature and degree of the offence a court martial shall deem him to deserve; and if any person in the fleet shall treacherously or cowardly yield or cry for quarter, every person so offending, and being convicted thereof by the sentence of a court martial, shall suffer death.

      • @TomA
        We need to create an environment that once again demands the best of us in order to survive. Rewarding mediocracy is the road to extinction.
        In order to do that you have to be around those who want that also 😉 Which brings us back around to the need to build Communities and not just keep talking it to death…I’ve had some real good conversations with solid people f2f and every time come away with the thought now if we had a hundred more we could do some great things something that would be good for us now and great for us in the future…We still have time fellows it’s up to us to do something about it…

      • We don’t need to create that world it’s going to happen all on its own but in the meantime enjoy abundance. I know I am

    • To perform the inevitable swing around to politics in this discussion, Obama is the perfect example of trying to MAKE a leader out of someone who certainly isn’t one. He spent his life being groomed for political office, without having the intellectual skill set one would normally prefer in a political leader. He checked all the right diversity boxes, but sadly, lacked even the skills to be an adequate manager (never working for a living or dealing with real-life struggles will do that to you).

      Once in office, he did what all fakers do–surrounded himself with toadies and boot-lickers who were too busy padding their own resumes and book deals to actually perform a meaningful service. He fancied himself as always the smartest person in the room, so would never hire a person who would harm that appearance. I see this in the military all the time, especially in “peace time”. The real leaders are driven out by the mediocrity until they are desperately needed once again.

      President Trump is the only real leader who stood up to run for that office at a time when one was desperately needed. Yes, he has plenty of flaws, but so did Grant, Patton, Sherman and just about any other real leader we can remember. Alas, the mediocrity is even more desperate to drive him out.

      Anyway, sorry to interrupt the football discussion, but I really can’t stand football in any of its forms. Give me hockey and baseball any time.

      • @Outdoor
        I hear you on the sports thing but I could care less about watching any sport…Waste of time and rots your mind because of all the poz that comes with it…

        • Yes. Unless one of your blood relations or close family friends is playing you shouldn’t care about the damn sportsball. F@gg0ts!

    • A now good friend and former “mentor” (hate that word for it’s over use, but the shortcut will have to do here) once said to me: “All the good general officers get out of the Army as lieutenant colonels.” Took me years to realize exactly what he meant. I was a believer for a long time.

      He is now a deeply disillusioned former idealist who his whole life has seen too clearly, of course, and who now lives tucked into a remote and forgotten corner of old America at the end of a long, gravel road.

  33. Politics and sports work something like the old guilds. You find entry as an apprentice (sometimes by paying the master a nice fee and sometimes because the master is mom’s uncle and sometimes because mom’s uncle has a friend in the guild willing to take you on if uncle can’t afford a new apprentice right now). Then you work your way up. Bribery and family connections are still important and can carry one quite far (note that intelligence and competence aren’t the controlling factors here).

  34. This is true even in dinky little arena leagues – the same guys doing the same bad job, year after year. Hell it’s true of players – they’d rather sign a kicker who can’t hit the broad side of a barn than take a flyer on one of the hundreds of guys who graduate college each year. The strongest force in human affairs isn’t love or hate, it’s inertia.

    • “The strongest force in human affairs isn’t love or hate, it’s inertia.” That’s classic, S-man.

  35. The more general ‘elite’ works the same way as football coaches and politicians; it picks new admissions. Trump is a funny proof of this. He has all the formal qualifications for membership, except one; style. Culturally, mentally, call it what you want, he is a smart blue collar guy w tons of money. His tastes, his interests, his way of talking, is how a blue collar guy who 5 billion would act. But not how the ‘elite’ acts.

    Many informal cohorts are self-vetting this way I think.

  36. Football owners are always looking for the next Belicheck to hire and turn their team around. And failing that, they try to hire the next young offensive genius (Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan). Or bring in an old veteran with a prior history of SuperBowl success. Or gamble on a PC token hire that supposedly knows how to motivate real men (read young violent black men). And these owners are largely motivated by ego and greed, so they really, really want to find a messiah that will catapult them to SB victory. So why do they fail so often? Answer, men like Belicheck and Saban are very rare.

    • That’s the point though. Why are they so rare? Belichick is not a super genius. Saban is not a once in a generation intellect. The nation’s business and law schools are full of guys much smarter than either man. Yet, they go into fields that pay considerably less in fame, money and status.

      It’s worth thinking about because it dispenses with the silly ideas from the libertarian right. It also helps frame politics, which has similar dynamics.

      • Economic incentives clearly aren’t even most of the story. Coaching does demand a lot of hours, has a steep reward curve and requires cultural “cross-training” between jock and nerd skill-sets. I think social status has a lot to do with it. Globohomo’s bugman-nerd culture values jock culture less than WASPy classics-influenced culture did, and NuMericans are mostly soccer-spergs. Shitlib parents amplify this social disapproval for what’s seen as a blue-collar career track. Unless you’re a Saban or Belichik, prospective in-laws will likely give you the “Meet the Parents” treatment.

      • Belichick is not a super genius but he has one on staff. He has a film guru he has known since childhood who has a photographic memory and can tell what another team will run based on formation. Belichick is a great coach regardless, but knowing what your opponent is planning on every play is a huge advantage we never hear about.

        Tony Romo once commented on a play Belichick ran at the goal line in a blowout game that didn’t seem to make much sense. But Romo pointed out that he ran it so that teams would have to account for that possibility in the future, which would make the real play they want to run more successful.

        Imagine a baseball manager and GM who have all of today’s sabermetrics and shift charts, going back in time to the 1970s and playing against the state of knowledge at that time. That is what Belichick is like today.

        • Ernie Adams…anyway I’m a life long Pats fan. I think more so because I joined the military and moved out of Mass very early and never went back. The Pats got me through some very dark days during deployments.

          Football takes a beating here but these guys have lessons that can be learned. The Pats practice the easy stuff to a fault. They practice situations that may come up once every few years or once per season. They pay their middle class well and treat everybody the same. They have brough character issues in but if they don’t conform they’re gone. Guys who come from Alabama do well here if they want to win. We’ve had guys avoid NE because they’re done with the Saban/BB way of foorball. Do your job is a lesson for everybody…especially our easily distracted youth

      • Belichick may not be a “genius,” but he is a savant. He grew up in football circles because of his dad and built upon it. One could have connections to the elite, learn nothing, fritter opportunities away and go sideways. Or one could take advantage of the opportunities presented and learn from the best. It’s obvious what path BB took.

      • The fact that it’s now nerds far and away who are running successful baseball franchises tells me that football has a quality, possibly a physical quality, that either nerds themselves find unattractive or that bars them from entry. Before nerdom baseball franchises were as stupid as football clubs. But let us not forget that these sports franchises cannot quite be tests of libtardarianism because they are by law or design made immune to the consequences of complete futility. I grew up with the actual Washington Senators. When Harmon Killebrew was signing balls in 2002 for a hospital charity I told him my father had taken me to many games at old Griffith Stadium back in the day and he stood up, shook my hand, and said “So you’re the ones!”.

      • Part of it is that Belichick seems to look for intelligence in his players. There are a few positions he’s okay with the dumb NFL type. However in most cases, he seems to take someone who might not be top line physical talent but is smart enough to adjust week to week. That’s why the Patriots are probably the whitest teams in the league and the black guys aren’t idiots either.

        So replicating Belichick’s success would require choosing players that would send the sports press into a tailspin.

        To show you how bad it is getting, some college teams are ditching playbooks and just repeat the plays in practice.

        College coaching is a different animal. Saban combines good coaching with the ability to recruit. Most college coaches are good at one or the other.

        • The other thing about having the most white players is their salary to dollar ration is probably the highest in the league. Most teams are raciss when it comes to white players, so the Pats get them at a discount.

    • Just a gut feel, but it appears a guy like Belichick is good at making “lots of decisions” and just as rapidly discarding the ones that don’t work and moving on to the next. Most business disasters I’ve cleaned up have the singular characteristic of picking a single strategy, then running it without deviation until it turns into a “controlled flight into terrain”. Belichick adapts. Side note, as gruff as he is with the press, Belichick is quite humble and nice in person. One of my kids worked at his golf club a few summers ago and used to drive him around in one of the utility carts. Always said thank you. Always friendly. One of the more “liked” members by staff. Says something.

    • Before Belichick, Bill Walsh was the genuis coach. Had an extraordinary eye for talent in players and staff, but burned out after ten years. He had the incredible idea that it was easier to gain five yards on a short pass than with a run up the middle. He called it a long hand off. Then, by using short passes, it opened the line for longer runs of 7 to 12 yards.

      He also could take mediocre second string quarterbacks and win with his system every time Joe Montana was out. He also chose smarter players over “athletic” ones like the way Belichick prefers white players because they are smarter and remember what they’ve been told to do in various situations.

      I often wondered why more coaches weren’t so good. I figured the best high school coaches got college jobs, the best college coaches went to the pros and the best pros created dynasties. So why weren’t the cream of the crop on par with each other?

      Well, a lot of great college coaches fail at the pro level, some reasons being that pro players are less coachable, more mercenary, and their speedy, black running quarterbacks with strong arms get killed in the pro game which favors quick thinking pocket passers.

  37. I have been thinking on that lately. I follow the Falcons, who are run by a coach of mediocre talent and unremarkable intelligence. The gap in decision-making between him and The Hoodie is quite amazing.

    Quinn, for example, had a fellow working for him who built one of the more amazing offenses in history but who wanted a shot at the big chair and moved on. Rather than replace him with someone similar, he went out and found just some guy, with poor results. Point being: Quinn, who is a mediocre coach, has no idea what genuine football insight looks like even when he is working directly with it. That is one of the critical skills at that level – how can it be that so few possess that skill? Yet Quinn is not a particularly bad coach.

    On the other hand, I have certain experiences with marketing organizations at large firms. It seems that the selection process tends to weed out the smart and bold and charismatic for obvious reasons. I wonder if similar reasons are driving the football process: for mediocre CMOs, the incremental return to building a better marketing team is far too small to justify the risks. Better to weed out the smarty pants than to create potential alternative power structures in your own organization. Which is just to say that a guy like Belichick is an accident.

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