New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

90s Pop Culture: Terminated
Terminated

Ridley Scott was born in South Shields, England in 1937. His interest in science fiction was sparked by reading The Time Machine, and he went on to work as a set designer with the BBC, working on many show including Doctor Who. After that, he made many commercial adverts with his brother Tony in the late 60s and early 70s before moving on to Hollywood.

After his first film, Duellists, which was nominated for several prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, he made his breakthrough film, Tristan and Iseult, based on the Celtic legend. The film was a critical hit and a commercial success, with many critics, including a young Chicago Sun-Times reviewer named Roger Ebert, praising how Scott brought the dark age setting to life.

After that success, he was approached by 20th Century Fox to release an adaption of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Scott accepted and created an epic, 2 hours and 42 minutes long masterpiece, simply called King Arthur, and considered one of the best films ever made. Its cast has repeatedly been praised, starring Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins as the title character, Ian McKellen as Sir Lancelot, Jenny Agutter as Queen Guinevere, Maggie Smith as Morgan Le Fay, Mel Gibson as Mordred and Richard Burton, in a BAFTA winning performance, as King Uther Pendragon in flashbacks and Arthur's vision.

What won the film numerous awards, including a couple of Academy Awards, and made it so different was Scott's unique vision. In the film, Arthur was an aging King who has turned cruel over the years, so when Morgana and her son, Mordred, attack Camelot, Lancelot and Guinevere must convince Arthur to fight them back. Also notable was the film’s exclusion of the wizard Merlin, a previously crucial part of the Arthurian legend, who died in the very first scene.

The film had many notable moments, including Lancelot's famous death scene, and the very last scene where Arthur's boat travels to the Isle of Avalon, never to be seen again (until the Michael Bay-directed sequel). The film earned $350 million in total, and catapulted Scott and the all-British (with the exception of Gibson) cast to stardom.

In the years following this, Scott was a highly sought after Director, but only made three movies between King Arthur and the war. 1984’s The Man in the High Castle, was a quirky film that flopped on release, but has since become a cult classic. In his 1986 film Fall of the Titans, Zeus' rise to power was documented, as Fox prompted him to return to mythological films. It was a critical and commercial success, but some modern critics consider it to have not aged well. His 1988 film, Macbeth, was based on the Shakespeare stage play, and reunified Scott with Anthony Hopkins, who played the titular character again. The film is considered the definitive adaption of the play, and made back it’s small budget, while winning a slew of BAFTAs.

During the war, Scott and his brother Tony were highly sought after directors for propaganda films, with the pair directing 37 during the short 3 years of the war. Their films were praised by both President Rumsfeld and General Powell as “the most convincing propaganda film we've ever seen”. They were so successful, that recently declassified documents showed that the KGB were developing a plan to kidnap the brothers.

While making these films, Scott developed an idea with fellow propaganda film director, James Cameron. The idea was a killer robot chasing down a woman in a small location, ideally some sort of mansion. Scott and Cameron wrote the first draft, and they pitched the film to Fox in October 1991. Fox accepted with two conditions, firstly the robot would have to be a Soviet robot, as the highest grossing films were all very patriotic, and secondly that the film would be released in 1993, preferably the first half of the year.

Scott and Cameron quickly finalised the script, and casted the film in January 1992. Multiple strong men and body builders auditioned for the part of the robot, named The Terminator by Cameron. Eventually, Austrian-American Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had previously portrayed numerous Soviet villains in Scott's propaganda films, won the part. The heroine, Sarah Connor, would be played by Linda Hamilton, and her husband, President Connor, The Terminator's target, would be played by Harrison Ford.

Shooting for the film, named Terminated by Scott and Cameron, began in April 1992 and lasted for seven months. In late 1992 and early 1993 Cameron and Scott's team hurriedly worked on the special effects, finishing the film just 2 weeks before the premiere on May 1st 1993. The film was very well received, and made $169 million domestic and $401 million international, for a total gross of $570 million, making it one of the highest grossing films of all time.

The plot, which consisted of Sarah Connor trying to kill The Terminator in the White House borrowed from haunted house films, and it was enjoyed by millions of scared movie goers. Fox, very happy with the vast profit, immediately instructed the two men to begin work on a sequel.
 
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I'm really curious how things are going on in Argentina. How Menem and Kirchner are doing? I think Galtieri is going to be in power for a long time, mostly for the huge power vaccum as a result of the fall of socialism. Unless he invades the Farklands tho... again
 

Redcoat

Banned
I'm really curious how things are going on in Argentina. How Menem and Kirchner are doing? I think Galtieri is going to be in power for a long time, mostly for the huge power vaccum as a result of the fall of socialism. Unless he invades the Farklands tho... again
Hmmmmmm

Chile has most of Southern Patagonia. They might decide they want to take up Argentina's dispute too.
 
1992 Senate
Senators List


Alabama-

2. Fob James (D)

3. Richard Shelby (D) D Gain


Alaska-

2. Steve Cowper (D)

3. Ray Metcalf (P) P gain


Arizona-

1. Cesar Chavez (D) D Hold

3. Samuel Goddard (D)


Arkansas-

3. Dale Bumpers (D) D Hold

2. Bill Alexander (D)


California-

1. Edwin Meese (R)

3. James Stockdale (R) R HOLD


Colorado-


2. Dick Lamm (P)

3. William Armstrong (R)


Connecticut-


1. Prescott Bush Jr. (R)

3. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (P) P Hold


Delaware-


1. Mike Castle (R)

2. Joe Biden (I)


Florida-


1. Bob Martinez (D)

3. Buddy McKay (D) D hold


Georgia-


2. John Lewis (R)

3. Larry MacDonald (D) D Hold


Hawaii-


1. William F. Quinn (R)

3. Patsy Mink (P) P Hold


Idaho-


3. Butch Otter (R) R Hold

2. David H. Leroy (R)


Illinois-


3. Dan Rostenkowski (D) D Hold

2. Harold Washington (R)


Indiana-


1. Richard Lugar (R)

3. Evan Bayh (D) D Hold


Iowa-


2. Terry Branstad (R)

3. Tom Harkin (P) P Hold


Kansas-


2. Sam Brownback (R) R Hold

3. Bob Dole (R)


Kentucky-


2. Walter Huddleston (D)

3. Steve Beshear (D) D Hold


Louisiana-


2. Edwin Edwards (D) D Hold

3. David Treen (R)


Maine-


2. John R. McKernan Jr. (R)

1. William Cohen (R)


Maryland-


1. John Glenn Beall Jr. (R) R Hold

3. William T. Coleman Jr. (R)


Massachusetts-


1. John Kerry (D)

2. Mitt Romney (R)


Michigan-


2. Dave Bonior (R)

1. Fred Upton (R)


Minnesota-


2. Rudy Boschwitz (R)

1. Clark McGregor (R)


Mississippi-


2. Medgar Evers (R)

1. Thad Cochran (R)


Missouri-


1. John Danforth (R)

3. Mel Carnahan (D) D Hold


Montana-


1. Pat Williams (D)

2. Max Baucus (D)


Nebraska-


1. Bob Kerry (D)

2. J. James Exon (D)


Nevada-


3. Jim Santini (R) R Gain

1. Paul Laxalt (R)


New Hampshire-


3. Bob Smith (R) R Gain

2. Alan Shepard (R)


New Jersey-


2. Frank Lautenberg (D)

1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (P)


New Mexico-


2. Art Trujilo (D)

1. Harrison Schmitt (R)


New York-


1. Leo C. Zeferetti (D)

3. James Buckley (C) R/C Hold


North Carolina-


3. Jim Broyhill R Gain

2. Jesse Helms (D)


North Dakota-


3. Kent Conrad P Gain (Switched parties)

1. Byron Dorgan (P-NPL)


Ohio-


1. Jerry Springer (D)

3. Bernadine Haley (D) D Gain


Oklahoma-


1. Dewey F. Bartlett (R)

2. Wes Watkins (D) D Hold


Oregon-


2. Ron Wyden (D)

3. Mark Hatfield (R) R Hold


Pennsylvania-


1. Bob Casey Sr. (D) D Gain

3. Barbara Hafer (R)


Rhode Island-


1. Fernand St. Germain (D)

2. John Chafee (R)


South Carolina-


2. Strom Thurmond (D)

3. Carroll Campbell Jr. (R) R Hold


South Dakota-


2. James Abdnor (R)

3. Larry Pressler (P) P Gain


Tennessee-


1. Al Gore Jr. (D)

2. Lamar Alexander (R)


Texas-


1. Kent Hance (D)

2. Antonin Scalia (R)


Utah-


1. Orrin Hatch (R)

3. John Huntsman Jr. (R) R Gain


Vermont-


3. Roger MacBride (R) R Hold

1. Patrick Leahy (P)


Virginia-


1. Pat Robertson (D)

2. John Warner (R)


Washington-


3. Linda Smith (R) Gain

1. Slade Gorton (R)


West Virginia-


2. Ken Hechler (D)

1. Robert Byrd (D)


Wisconsin-


1. Dave Obey (P)

3. Russ Feingold (D) D Gain


Wyoming-


2. Teno Roncalio (D)

1. Rodger McDaniel (D)
 
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90s Sports Wars Part III
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame: The 90’s Sports Wars”: The Other Football. Part 1:

As mentioned before, the war functioned as a great cultural exchange. American soldiers learned the game of footie, futbol, or soccer from British, Spanish, French, German, and other soldiers. Inner city urban workers took soccer, the world’s working-class game, back home with them. Urban working-class people, unlike those in rural areas or the south, did not have as strong an affinity for Amereican exceptionalism n sports and culture and thus did not have the qualms of adopting “freyist-ball” or “commie-ball”, as the sport was maligned. Post-war, many Progressive Mayors used domestic funds to fund parks and green spaces. Daniel Patrick Moynihyan, while still a registered Democrat, worked on the national Progressive Policy and Analysis Committee that guided the policy of many progressive Urban Mayors and councilmen/women. Moynihyan recommended the construction of public multipurpose greenspaces to create common community properties that would encourage social interaction and destroy the possibility of “individuality atomization” . These greenspaces were perfect fo the weekend leagues, youth soccer teams, and pickup matches necessary to spread the game at a grassroots level. In addition, there was a post-war resurgence in German-American pride, long-dormant, that came with a rediscovery of Germany’s favorite sport. Many of the new “German-American” societies that popped up started sponsoring leagues along the lines of church league basketball. Slowly the sport grew at a grassroots level.

However, the sport would explode in 1993 thanks to the work of NBC Sports legend Dick Ebersol. NBC lost the contract for NFL football in 1988, a major sports property. While it had a decent selection of more niche sports like basketball, bowling, etc. (to be discussed in the next chapter), there were no “big ticket items”. One day Ebersol was jogging trough central park after a tough meeting with management about the lack of prime-time sports when a boy hit him in the head with a soccer ball, forcing him to go to the hospital. After getting stitches, Ebersol had an idea: a made-for-TV soccer league. NBC would own the league and the rights, while the teams would be sold out of share options anyone could buy-including the “lunch-pail joe” to say they had ‘ownership. 20 teams-just like in England, with multiple teams in major markets to soak up the maximum TV viewership. However, Ebersol knew that someone would have to sell Americans, and the NBC team, on soccer. He had just the man…

Part 2 coming soon...
 

Redcoat

Banned
I thought it's funny some people in the South call it Freyist-Ball of all things. Do they kick the Frey around? :p
 
Unless they change it to be higher scoring, less flopping and make it more suitable to TV(more commercial breaks and such) then soccer is always going to be the 5th sport of the US at best. Baseball is America's pastime yet it's slipped to 3rd place in the big 4 of US sports is suffering massive attendance declines in most stadiums. It's got a fair amount of problems related to actual entertainment value as soccer does and it shows.

Honestly the sports update are so far the only thing I'm wary about because they seem so unlikely and not in tune with how things would actually go. The aftermath of WW3 would have been the absolute worst time for the brain damage problems to pop up. The American public honestly wouldn't care due to the fact they're helping to assist in the global recovery and along with just about everything else. It's not gonna be a big scandal and parents aren't going to care about games being to rough when odds are they've had the older siblings fighting in the damn war.
 

Redcoat

Banned
Actually soccer never took off in the US because colleges never backed it. It came late to the game. Flopping is probably just a thing from OTL refs being too easy on players. You have a point with the low scoring part.

Honestly football is lucky that it's as popular as it is, while soccer is a working man's sport and can be played anywhere with two goals and a ball, football requires a bit of equipment and is backed by major colleges instead of a system like in Europe that can pick up local talent for such stuff. Football has no or really weak minor leagues, it's just the NFL. Something like say baseball has a healthy minor league system

The brain injury part makes sense
 
What do you mean football needs special equipment? You never play backyard football with friends before? Also the main reason the European style system never picked up is because of the fact the US went with the amateur system basically ensuring that colleges would hold a monopoly on anyone looking to go pro in their chosen sport. Also by most definitions the NCAA is the NFL minor Leauge
 
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame: The 90’s Sports Wars”: The Other Football: Part 2

European clubs were devastated by WWIII. Massive investments in equipment and personnel were destroyed by the war. Stadiums like Old Trafford were turned to dust. Many owners were killed and fanbases died in the fields of Germany and Poland. In an odd twist, many of the world’s best players happened to survive. While many continued in the European Leagues, upon announcement of the multi-billion dollar American Soccer Association, many migrated across the channel. While there was a cap on foreign players, the relative intactness, wealth, and cultural dominance of the United States made the league instantly attractive.

Also elevating the league was the rise of Liga MX, which had been steadily growing thanks to the rise of communism in South America and Portugal killing off competition for young Latin players. In addition, starting in the Wallace administration, on his personal suggestion, the US State Department had been working towards incorporating Mexican sporting and cultural totems in the European and North American “cultural nexus” to move them away from rising communism in the south. The rise of Liga MX started a rivalry in both national team and club CONCACAF championships. However, if you had to credit one man with the rise of soccer in the American consciousness it would have to be the one Ebersol was thinking of that night: Vince McMahon.








Vince McMahon on TV promoting his new league


Vince McMahon was an unlikely man to be soccer’s saint in the US. McMahon's claim to fame was in an altogether different sport: American Wrestling. He had steadily helped Wrestling rise from a regional sport ot US prominence in the early 1980’s by targeting “the Wallace vote” of poor “drunken slobs, thugs, bikers, and their unfortunate offspring” as Hunter S. Thompson would report from a WWF match. However, he had correctly predicted that war and sold WWF to a team of investors who would drive it to the ground. Combined with poor management, the war would wreck WWF as it was dependent on low-income fans that were too poor to watch other sports and “too dumb and drunk to care if their sport was fake” who lost their savings thanks to post-war inflation. It didn’t help that KGB thugs had killed his star, Hulk Hogan, in the first week of the war, in order to prevent him being used as a propaganda tool. During the war, McMahon had helped run US propaganda efforts in Germany, where he had learned the game of “fusbol, and taken to it. He even joined a recreational team post-war to “keep the weight off”. When Ebersol asked him to run the new ASA, McMahon was all for it. McMahon knew how to “squeeze the juice out of an orange”. He used a plethora of tactics-kids TV tie-ins, advertising during popular shows, the best cheerleaders money could buy, etc. to spread the “gospel of soccer” to the masses, especially in the urban centers NBC wanted. One of the most successful on the field techniques was the use of various camera angles, like the referee cam, the sky-cam, and the corner-cam to show the action at various different levels In addition, rough play was encouraged in order to “up-the ante”. Natural geographical rivalries were played up in promotions as was the fact that many fans would not only buy tickets, but stock in their teams. In addition, McMahon built up the “Germanness” of the sport in German-American Communities, and even played a few games in the Dakotas where German-American pride was most relevant. It didn’t hurt that the US and Germany had a brilliant final in the 1992 women’s world cup final-broadcast live on NBC. McMahon also emphasized that the leagues regular season championship made “every game count” unlike other “playoff-focused” leagues where “only one or seven games matters”. Not to mention that the ASA brought a first to US Sports, Relegation, which instantly became a hit. The existing semi-pro league, NASL, was incorporated as feeder league, with an association of high-level recreational and youth clubs, in addition to a few expansion teams, forming the third-tier regional-focused, GSL: Grassroots soccer League, which would feed in the raw American talent that would give the game staying power. Fears of the European format confusing viewers were destroyed by McMahon’s media blitz. League stars were put all over TV-as guest stars in sitcoms, as competitors in gameshows, and as "the sexiest men of the year” in certain magazines. One of the shadier things McMahon did was ensure that every starting player had a girlfriend that was a “ten out of ten” and encourage the player's wives, mistresses,etc. to sit together in a “player’s box” so that the camera could turn there “every once in a while”. This practice would come under quite a lo of media criticism, especially from "church going folk" but they didn;t really take to the league much anyway.


One thing that differentiated McMahon’s strategy with the ASA and WWF was the different audiences targeted. With the ASA McMahon targeted the “Urban Chique”, who would more likely appreciate a sport associated with worldliness rather than Americanness. Unlike with WWF McMahon avoided The South, hardcore Liberty Conservatives (but not Northeastern Republicans who had lots of disposable income), and the “Wallace 1968 Primary Vote” like the plague, knowing such types would discourage his target audience: urbanites who identified themselves more as “citizens of the world” and ex-hippies that now had money. The urban poor also had a place in the game, even though targeting them was easier as they already had developed a taste of the sport and would come to see it as aspirational if given enough glitz and glamour. In addition, soccer was marketed as a parochial big-city sport in the way basketball had been (see the next chapter). He also avoided rural areas, as they were either attached to existing sports “see US football and basketball” or were dialed into tennis. One audience he targeted in particular within the demographic of rich urbanites was “the young feminist with disposable income” (from NBC Meeting 223 see the appendix for details).

In addition to running the 1992 Women’s World Cup, the first of its kind, McMahon started an 8 team professional women’s league, with plans to expand in the future. The “urban Left” began to fell in love with “the world’s game”. Jerry Brown made a couple famous appearances at matches during his campaign and Progressive magazines commented on how the sport was “truly liberating”. While tennis also featured female athletes, complaints were lodged about their being “over-sexualized” in sport skirts, especially after a “hair code” against short bobs was instituted, lobbying accusations of sexism. While the “players’ box” in the ASA was rather unsavory, it was defended as an “empowering experience that demonstrated the amazing ability of the female form to express beauty” (Gloria Steinem 1993).

In addition, progressives saw the worldliness of soccer as an antidote to the “Cowboy Spirit” that “launched us into WWIII”. Some thinkers even theorized that the international competitions so encouraged at both the club and national level would come to replace war. Some commented that this already happened at a local level in Europe and lamented that more East vs West competition had not occurred during the 1980’s. Many hoped the new, and dangerous, American rivalries could be channeled into sporting competition rather than war. In addition, they saw the embrace of world games, rather than national obsessions such as American Football as a way to “move beyond American exceptionalism”. Best of all, “the workers” could finally own teams rather than just support them.

While Progressives and urbanites cam to love the game, those voters who saw Jim Jones and Ross Perot as a menace rather than as their friend cam to hate it. For Republicans, it was everything wrong with Urban America; too communal, anti-individualistic, and geared towards preventing failure than promoting success. While tennis was also a world-wide sport it was individualistic, promoted character through personal responsibility for failure, and was the trickle-down sport in that it had origins with the wealthy but was now available to everyone. Soccer was socialistic in its focus on the poor, urban, and working class. Agnew put it best, “those who like tennis want to be somebody, those who like soccer either live of welfare or a sugar daddy”.

Democrats and southerners, but I repeat myself, hated soccer. They hated that it was called football unlike “real” football. Hated that it was associated with “un-American nations” like Brazil that they had just defeated in war. They hated that it promoted equality amongst nations rather than American exceptionalism and cultural dominance. This was exasperated when it was discovered that foreign sports ministers had been purposefully trying to stop the small uptick in growth in American Football psot-war overseas as they “don’t want ot be run by America”. Southerners saw this as ungrateful after what America did in both WWII and WWIII. This hatred hit boiling point when McMahon commented that soccer would “replace football” as a “safer alternative” they came to see it as yet another Yankee invention that would come to ruin their way of life. Riots would start at Miami FC matches, as American Football fans would protest this “invasion”. A third-tier feeder league team in Birmingham, Alabama would see its stadium burned to the ground in 1994. Soon, socially conservative Republicans from outside the Northeast came to hate soccer as well. When Ted Turner mentioned in a live interview from the Bee State Tennis Championships (the tournament that he owned) that he wanted to bring Salt Lake City a ASA team he was pelted with popcorn and cracker jacks. Needless to say, soccer became a polarizing sport. Oddly, McMahon actually LIKED this, as it made soccer seem hip, edgy, cool, and being a fan as a way to tell one’s friends that they were one was “forward looking”.

--Added in for Context---

Increasingly, American entertainment was becoming "segmented" and as marketing strategies coalesced post-war towards emphasizing identity sports became a sign of "who one was". Outside of baseball (see later) sports failed to draw from as broad swathes of the population. Compounding this was the rise of year-round sports in youth, which reduced youth exposure to varieties of sports.

While tennis and soccer may have been the new kids on the sporting scene, they were not dominant. Football, baseball, and even at times basketball (see the next chapter for the next two) still had a firm presence on the American landscape to varying degrees. However, they were now challenged for sporting dominance. Due to extenuating circumstances more established sports played their cards poorly post-war, the worst being poor adjustments to the world of Cable TV. Cable TV, especially Virgin Sports Network and its main competitor NBC Sports Network (which showed every ASA game not on the Peacock itself) allowed for round the clock coverage of sports which was exploited by young hungry leagues which emphasized storylines, perosnality , and accessibility. The established "big three" of football, basketball, and baseball preferred to stay on over the air, and even then on two channels: CBS and ABC.They also resisted rules changes, like the Three-Point Line in basketball introduced by the ABA but rejected by the NBA post-merger, that would have added new life to older games. This is not to say emerging sports didn't have their hiccups. While the ASA did great on TV (as part of a general upward trend in the 1990's thanks to post-war recession driving people to relatively cheap entertainment) ticket prices had to be greatly reduced to increase rather low attendance. Smaller tennis tournaments across the US suffered form the same issue of TV dominance but attendance failure. The poor attendance, relative to the TV ratings, was in part a reflection of the recession. NBC had only agreed to start a league than to the absolute dearth of available sports content and a writer's strike in Hollywood which prompted the cancellation of many long-running shows. While TV viewership had been promising, the board was worried that low ticket sales were a worrying long-term trend.


We have previously discussed footballs serious, while not fatal, ailments, and will diagnose what went wrong, and what went right (cause not all went wrong), for baseball and basketball int he next chapter.



ASA Top 3 Finishers 1993 Inaugural Season

1. New York Cosmos

2. Boston FC

3. Los Angeles Stars

Bottom 3 Relegated

1. Miami FC

2. Football Association of Queens

3. Providence SteamRollers

Next: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame: The 90’s Sports Wars”: Basketball, Baseball, and the rest.
 
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Actually soccer never took off in the US because colleges never backed it. It came late to the game. Flopping is probably just a thing from OTL refs being too easy on players. You have a point with the low scoring part.

Honestly football is lucky that it's as popular as it is, while soccer is a working man's sport and can be played anywhere with two goals and a ball, football requires a bit of equipment and is backed by major colleges instead of a system like in Europe that can pick up local talent for such stuff. Football has no or really weak minor leagues, it's just the NFL. Something like say baseball has a healthy minor league system

The brain injury part makes sense
Not going to lie, the college issues is a major one with regards to building a minor league, but this will be explained a bit later. Needless to say, soccer is foreign-dependent and top-heavy in the US ITL in the 1990's.

As far as flopping, according to my grandfather, who played college soccer and whose brother scored a goal for the US national team in World Cup Qualifying vs Mexico, the fact that old turf was hard and uncomfortable to fall down in reduced flopping. I'm considering doing that here, but not at first. The ASA will need some adjustments.

College sports in general will need its own update to adjust to not onl the culture, but the post-war situation, and new sports in general. College sports will remain a fixture in American life, but they will still be different in certain ways...
 
You know soccers generally trying to do the same thing OTL in its marketing strategy.(If the city has a big 4 team but it sucks they'll stick a team in it) and it's while not failing not working that well either. Plus this should be in right in the middle of a major rescission and Vince want to start up a major sports leauge and he's getting contract money for it!? Also thinks for reminding me about the relegation system which is another major turn off for the sport here in the US.
 
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