Pursegate: It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity

Not the famous one in Tampa

Some morning-after news and views, 24 hours and change since a couple of Canadiens and common sense were separated in a Tampa bar:

The news: A stupid rookie error?
Red Fisher column: How stupid can these pampered athletes get?
Pat Hickey column: The post-midnight potential problem


  1. dicktracy says:

    alot or average Joes who work hard in restaurant/bar/hospitality business would not agree that having a group of ‘wealthy patrons’ ring up a large bill is not a good way to spend their money. I am sure that most or all wealthy poeple also give generously to charities at least as much as thier accountants tell them too but i think that ‘throwing money around’ whether for a new suit, car, or a night on the town is a good thing and I wish they would bring more of it my way.

  2. teamplayer says:

    hey jt the odds are if there are no women in the bar there wouldnt be any guys in there either

  3. Jonnyboy says:

    Its Habs Inside/Out. Not Habs only hockey. This is due to happen.

  4. teamplayer says:

    idle i think your right 100%, he was just drunk and stupid, couldve been looking for a smoke cuz him and the boys were closing that bar down. Party Hard!!!

    does anybody have any lawyer knowledge and would have an idea of what will happen?

    did o’byrne look like he had one hell of hangover while talking to the media? i thought so

  5. Ian G Cobb says:

    Mikey –We work hard to help pay there salary.!!

  6. Scotty90 says:

    He killed someone in a car accident…. was DUI at time!

  7. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I would actually say between 3 and 6% of women forget about their purses.

  8. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I was just pointing out what one of the possibilities might have been. Everyone or most people are calling him a theif or it was a prank. I was just trying to see if there was a reasonible explantion to the whole story. Cuz it doesn’t make sense that he is just standing there with a purse in his hand. How many times have you gone out and spoken to a women only to find out you forgot her name at the end of the night? No where did i mention i knew everything that happens cuz i work at a bar, just a possible senerio

  9. TommyB says:

    Perspective, RS…some people have it, and some don’t! This alleged “crime” committed by O’Byrne and Kosto wouldn’t even be in the newspaper if it happened outside of sports. Can’t say the same for the two you have mentioned. You could add Ramage to that list.

    Perspective….glad to see you have it.

  10. idle says:

    I’m not blaming O’byrn yet either. Don’t know enough facts. But the same people who tell us not to jump to conclutions of guilt seem to be jumping to many conclutions of innocents too.

  11. ZepFan2 says:

    How about we add one more, Mike Tyson.

    I bet he’s allowed to travel in and out of the U.S..

  12. idle says:

    You work at a downtown bar and you think there has to be a reasonable explanation for his actions? I’m not accusing him of anything but there certainly can be some unreasonable explanations for his actions too. He could simply be drunk and stupid. He could be arrogant and think he could get away with it. He could be like one of those people who steals a pack of gum just for the shit of it. I have seen drunk people outside of bar before who punched someone in the head for no reason while a cop was standing right there and they new he was standing right there so why would they do it? When late night and alcohol and ego are involved nothing has to make sense.

    Again I am not accusing him of any of those things, just pointing out that this argument of why would he do that doesn’t mean squat.

  13. Robert L says:

    The woman does have some responsability too, no?

    Nobody should blame the victim.

    Blame the situation but understand that perhaps irresponsible people collided here before branding someone a purse thief.

    Misunderstandings are never settled with common sense where there is alcohol.

  14. idle says:

    Check the tread you are in ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. idle says:

    Go to a thread about hockey if you want to talk about hockey. Don’t come to a thread about this incident and expect people not to talk about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. idle says:

    Well he is not saying that he should be kicked out of Hockey. He just would prefer to see him playing in a different uniform. I don’t think anyone is saying he should lose his playing career over this…

  17. Robert L says:

    I was more or less inferring to Red Fisher’s comment and the one sided news story.

    Surprised – no. Just disappointed some in the rationale of it.

  18. idle says:

    It’s not so surprising at all. If the courts are involved and BG suspends them then isn’t the team acknowledging that the players were in the wrong? Better off for him to wait until the matter is resolved, and by that time they may have already been embarrassed enough that no extra penalty is needed from the team.

  19. idle says:

    Why are you so surprised that posters on here are quick to judge? We judge these players instantly for any mistake they make on the ice, so why should it be any different for the mistakes they make off the ice.

  20. J.T. says:

    I understand what you’re saying…and I’m sure you’re right. It’s just that it wasn’t clear whether you were saying the woman involved was one of those sports groupies.


  21. idle says:

    So no decent woman can be in a bar at 3am??

    Very typical attitude of blame the victim. If she was at a bar at 3:00am then she must of been a hoar and if she leaves her purse sitting on the bar then what does she expect will happen, of course it will be stolen. She should not have allowed herself to be in such a vulnerable position.

    Pure garbage Prof, pure garbage. Go teach your ‘students’ that mentality…

  22. J.T. says:

    A woman has as much right to be in a bar at any hour as a man does. It doesn’t mean she’s loose, drunk or underhanded. It might mean that she’s out with her friends for a special occasion, not looking for any trouble…kind of like a bunch of hockey players celebrating rookie initiation.

    AND we don’t know the purse was unattended. The story said she laid the purse on the counter. She may have been speaking with someone and not looking at the purse when it was picked up. My point was just that, as mjames is saying, benefit of the doubt is important when we don’t know the facts…and it should go both ways.


  23. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    your story makes sense from the fact that 99% of women don’t leave their purse unattended…I don’t leave my wallet at the bar if I go to the washroom!…the only question is if he was going to score or not…if so then he is justified to hold her purse until she got back…if he was not to score then he stole her purse, and I have to think thats the case since like i said, what women doesn’t take her purse to the washroom?

    he’s guilty, get rid of him!
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  24. idle says:

    Reminds me of how the politicians throw our money around like there is a never ending supply. If we spend too much no problem we will just shake the public down for some more of it. Thankfully their are more then a few players like Koivu who also do very helpful things with a lot of that money too.

  25. mjames says:

    It was not my intent to infer that there was anything untoward about this particular woman. It is a fact of life that there are sports groupies who frequent those places where athletes go sometimes (i.e. bars and sporting events). There is nothing wrong with being a sports groupie. As with any group in society some are good and some are bad. All I am saying is that the sport groupies, in general, are much smarter than your average jock and as such athletes should be careful.


  26. idle says:

    What a lame ass argument. The lesser of two evils? So someone here in Toronto has shot someone to death so that makes it ok for me to steal someones purse because it is way less bad then shooting someone.

  27. J.T. says:

    Thanks for the kind comments, Robert. I’m just blowing off steam when there’s no place on HIO to expound on a given subject. Sometimes, we just can’t stop talking about this team!

    As for mjames…I know he didn’t mean to generalize…but it came across that way nonetheless. Another case for benefit of the doubt.


  28. joe-hab-nuno says:

    here’s my take on the story, since i work at a bar downtown i’ve seen simalar stories first hand. He met that woman and they were both hammered. He was probably going to leave with her and take her to his room. She probably went to the washroom and O’byrne took her purse and phone and was waiting for her outside. When she came back from the washroom she noticed her purse wasn’t there anymore, freaked out and alerted the doormen. They called the policemen and they saw O’byrne with the purse and phone. Asked him who’s it was, made up a story that it wa his girlfreinds’ purse do avoid anything. The police knowing that there was a purse missing asked for her name. O’Byrne not really catching the women’s name that night cuz all he wanted was some action, of course couldn’t remember. She either freaked out that there was all this comotion and felt embarressede about the whole situation denied she knew him.
    Thazt is the only logical explanation I could come up with. Why the hell would anyone just be hanging out right in front af a bar or club with a purse. Purse snatcers normally take off to thee washroom or ally grab all the stuff inside and throw away the purse.

    Either my sory makes sense or it was some stupid hazing trick.

  29. Naila Jinnah says:

    We have the answer to questions 5 and 6.
    The police were already in there (although the official statement is that they regularly patrol the area) because they were arresting a former NBA player.

  30. habsguy says:

    I thought this was a HOCKEY chat?????…None of you know why he did it, none of you were there…..sooooooo leave it alone. When it comes public that it was a dare, a prank, maybe he needed to make a call, maybe he wanted her number, HELL maybe he wanted to freshen up with her make up….nobody knows…so lets let it go..

  31. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    A women at a bar at 3am is not random!…she certainly wasn’t a librarian!

    Good points from Mjames though, especially the unattended purse, women don’t leave their purses unattended.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  32. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Ok. Leafs suck.

  33. Robert L says:

    J.T. I don’t believe MJames meant to generalize a cross section of females with that comment. In any society, there are all kinds. Pointing out the existance of a certain kind should not infer that all are the same.

    BTW, big congratulations on your site and welcome to the Habs bloggosphere. It’s about time you did this!

    I will be reading it avidly, and linking your posts to readers at HW as often as I can.

    If ever there is anything that I can help you out with, I would be happy to do so.

    Best of luck to you!

  34. Chorske says:

    I’m thinking the whole 20$ missing is bull. Why would the kid need $20? Settle, get the nice lady to drop the charges, and hope O’byrne gets much smarter in a hurry.

  35. 24 Cups says:

    kRob – Are the Habs playing tonight:-)?

    The Original 24 Cups

  36. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    because the case is before the courts, the team is not taking action in hopes to defuse the situation….if the HABS severely disciplined Obryne then the courts may follow.

    but that said, Obrynes days are numbered…just like RIBS…
    The Habs are too classy an act for fools.
    And Gainey is a pillar of class.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  37. Habhopeful says:

    There are certain times when a team is given a curfew and sunday was a time when there was no curfew that is why they had the practice at 4:00 p.m the next day, if the practice was at 9:00 am the next day and there was a curfew then it would have been different…Seriously prof, you want to abolish O’byrne over something like this, gimme a break, hockey players are humans like us too, they make mistakes, move on, let it go…you sound ridiculous…

  38. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    not sure how you arrived at that?

    I was simply giving an example of another recent EMBARRASSING moment for an NHL player…and then trying to show a potential difference between a forward and a defenseman in regards to doing something STUPID and how its perceived.

    so if you think that the actions of tSLUTsky from the laffs is not EMBARRASSING or its OK to have those types of pictures go public when you are an ambassador for an NHL franchise and the league, then thats another debate.

    what OBryne did, although not sexual in nature, but equally stupid as tslutsky.

    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  39. wd40 says:

    you’re right.

  40. wd40 says:

    couple thoughts on purse-gate:

    o this certainly seems idiotic, but the fact that BG (given his character) has stated the Habs are not going to discipline BO, i can only surmise they were able to provide him with an “acceptable” explanation.

    o they should probably reconsider having parties outside of Montreal. the local police would probably have handled the situation differently.

  41. krob1000 says:

    Can we please talk about hockey.

  42. Robert L says:

    I think a major head shake is needed here as the whole story is not yet known, and might never be, but everyone is so quick to judge.

    Kudos to MJames and Factoid for tapping into this, and a big thumps down to Red Fisher for genaralizing that every athlete is pampered and stupid.

    Call this post a mock sarcastic rant if you wish, but I think some important questions need to be brought up about balance and fairness in news stories bordering on sensationalism.

    O’Byrne – What Really Could Have Happened At the Whiskey Park Bar


  43. Tobiass says:

    Holy Cow!!! Lets go down the list of crimes commited by athletes. Ohhh, lets start with murder and armed robbery (OJ), dog fighting (Vick) steroids (baseball), domestic disputes, sexual assaults, DUI etc. These things end careers and the athletes who commit these crimes and they are losers. I’m not condoning what O’Byrne did but a miss-understanding or joke gone bad involving a purse is way down at the bottom of the athletes committing crimes food chain. Be thankfull he stole a purse and not a homerun record.

  44. habs12345 says:

    good comments

  45. J.T. says:

    I agree benefit of the doubt is important when we don’t know the facts. But you neglect to point out that the woman involved may not have been one of “these women who hang out at bars and sporting events.” She might just have been a random woman who panicked when her purse went missing. We have to be careful not to condemn others while excusing our players with the benefit of the doubt.


  46. Hoegarden says:

    We’ll see how mentaly prepared he is tonight.
    In the old days they would be on their way to Oakland or Minnesota by now.
    I for one would give him the simple “two strikes and youe’out”.

  47. ZepFan2 says:

    If OB is denied entry to the US over this, then justice in America is BS.

    How is it that stealing a purse is worse then killing somebody?
    Where’s the logic in that.

    If Heatly can get in to the US, so should OB be allowed (if convicted)!

  48. mjames says:

    Translation Please

    I interpreted your post to mean that you are a homophobic and that anyone stealing (perceived or other wise) a purse must be a homosexual.


  49. Hoegarden says:


    there were only two possible dates where the Habs had two nights off for this “Rookie Initiation Night”. This past w/end and in two weeks (Phoenix).
    In fact Carbo had arranged for the team practice to be at 16h00 instead of the usual 09h00 or 08h00.
    It’s all water under the bridge. I find the timing of this due was not handled properly. I certainly would have cancelled this following two humiliating losses, just to send a message.

    Let’s see how focus those two are tonight. If the Habs lose then this stupid 1/2 hour outside a bar will followthe team for much longer than they need.

    Sens are already gearing up for the playoffs and fans are all puzzled over a teenage prank.
    I’d say that BG has more important issues to deal with.

  50. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Obryne is not the WALL we thought we had….

    We’ll now that its become obvious that Obryne took the drunk womens purse, I have to say that he should be removed from the team immediately.

    I only say this because he plays for the Montreal Canadiens.

    You know, if it was Avery, I wouldn’t be surprised….but Avery is too smart for this stupidity, even if it was LAP, well it may fit his persona as an agitator, but still I’d say get rid of him.

    But the act came from a towering defenseman. One we’d hoped would follow in KOMI’s shoes, a powerful hitter that can keep pace with the speedy forwards barreling towards our zone. One who would follow the footsteps of Savard and Robinson, where the opponents would have to go through a wall before even reaching the net. An intricate piece of the puzzle on our way to Lord Stanley.

    Now he is a laughing stock…and that alone is career threatening for a Defenseman.

    if he was a forward he may be able to get away with it…look at the homosexual that plays for the leafs with nude pictures of himself and other men on the web…I haven’t seen the puke, but it was all over the papers.

    But Defenseman are a different breed….they need to be a wall.

    UnBryian is an idiot….trade him…or at the least send him back to the dogs.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  51. showey47 says:

    agreed, or at least make it a charity dinner in montreal so at least the 10’s of thousands of dollars that are spent go back into the community for worth while causes.

  52. showey47 says:

    agreed, or at least make it a charity dinner in montreal so at least the 10’s of thousands of dollars that are spent go back into the community for worth while causes.

  53. Proudones says:

    You’re assuming there is never a curfew. The fact is that there was no curfew on this particular night due to the rookie party. That’s why the practice was moved to 4:00 p.m.
    In my opinion, everyone is entitled to have a night off.

  54. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Take the team out to Burger King and donate the thousands to charities. What a waste.

  55. tony d says:

    If 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30 etc…. then O’Byrne’s 24 years must be the new 14, which at that maturity level explains his childish behaviour…. it all sounds like a grade school/ double dare you/prank…
    this will soon be forgotten and we can go back to complaining about the snow, and the Habs performance etc..
    the only purse that matters tonight is a W

  56. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The part of this story that really bothered was Carbonneau’s response to a question about his team being out until 3a.m. “They’re adults and there’s no curfew”. Are you kidding us? I’ve never heard of “no curfew” when it involves any sports team. Can you imagine what would happen if teams were allowed to do whatever they wanted with no restrictions. I find this very disturbing.

  57. mjames says:

    I will preface my comments with two words “Duke Lacrosse”.

    We do not know the facts. From the posts it looks like it is split between lethal injection (God you have to love us Yanks) and freedom, although there are few reporters who have voted for the former. We should not rush to judgement even though it appears that, in the legal sense, he did steal a purse. Stealing is defined as

    “the wrongful or willful taking of money or property belonging to someone else with intent to deprive the owner of its use or benefit either temporarily or permanently. No particular type of movement or carrying away is required.
    Any appreciable change in the location of the property with the necessary willful intent constitutes a stealing whether or not there is any actual removal of it from the owner’s premises.”

    While the act of stealing appears to have taken place in the legal sense, someone who is stealing does not stand outside the place where the crime occurred and wave the stolen goods . It appears there was no intent to steal. There are a number of unanswered questions and we have not heard from O’Bryne. Some questions might be:

    (1) What is O’Bryne version?
    (2) Did O”Byrne have any conversations with the woman?
    (3) How did the woman come to leave her purse on the table or bar. Was she there all the time or did she leave the purse?
    (4) Did she ask O’Bryne to mind her purse?
    (5) Why did the police come? I find it hard to believe they would respond to a stolen purse.
    (6) Were the police already there? If so why were they there?
    (7) Was there some other altercation taking place when they stumbled onto this theft?

    I could go on and on with these questions. I do not think the case is a clear as Red Fisher and Pat Hickey make it out to be. I will agree that nothing good happens after 2:00AM. Maybe O’Bryne has learned something. One of the things he should learn is that these women who hang out at bars and sporting events are a damn sight smarter and more street wise than your average jock. Secondly police in the States, especially those in the south, have had it with these pampered athletes. You stay out late at these bars and someone is going to try to take you down. The players should know this by now.

    It will be up to O’Bryne’s lawyer to get him out of this mess. I do not think he will lose his livelihood. It would make more sense to have him do community service. Listen half our members of Congress would not be able to work if the same standard was applied to them.


  58. HKisses says:

    “It’s a shame for everyone involved but it’s not the first time these kind of things happen,” Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau said Monday. “We’ll let lawyers do their business and we’ll concentrate on hockey.” Well said …FINI ..Lets all Move on…

  59. RetroMikey says:

    Wow! Spending thousands of dollars for steak and wine and for the rookies to cover the bill? Absoulutely ridiculous!! If I were Bob Gainey, I’d abolish this ritual that the team has that goes on as well with other NHL clubs. Give me $10,000. I’ll put it into good use by paying off a portion of my mortgage. Players just love to throw their money while we, as Average Joes, work hard to make a living.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  60. JA says:

    Theft is not a minor issue in the US and being drunk is not an excuse, the team usually assigns a chaparone or a couple of senior players the task of keeping rookies out of trouble, yes O’Byrne is to blame but so are his team mates for allowing it to get that far and the team for not having a curfew.

  61. JA says:

    Bill, this was the question.

    When asked whether he was concerned that nearly half of his team had been out at 3 a.m., Carbonneau replied: “They’re adults. They can do what they want. They didn’t have a curfew.”

    I agree my opinions on Carbo have been forming for some time, I had hoped that he would do better in handling the press.

  62. HKisses says:

    I don recall of MacTavish….What happen with him?

  63. HKisses says:

    Exactly,share the same views as you on this situation…Yes and i didn’t even note Kobe Bryant and other athelets that have done way worse then this….

  64. HNS says:

    Sounds like the arresting cops are being butt plugs. Go figure. Take the fine money and move on already…

  65. RS says:

    I still have a hard time believing that Heatley and MacTavish could continue their hockey careers after KILLING someone, but we are to believe that OB’s career is in jeopardy over a purse stealing allegation!

    Am I the only one who remembers the MacTavish incident?

  66. Habs_008 says:

    I am already bored with this story, So he got licked and took a purse, worst things have happend, I have done worse things then that when I have been under, WAY Worse! I am sure his career is not in trouble, he will be slapped on the wrist, maybe pay a fine and its over. Some Guy on the Laffs is going to Jail after the season, if they can have him crossing over countrys, why not O’bryne.

  67. Odie Cleghorn says:

    Assuming of course Carbonneau can read! Based on his incessant line juggling and constant tinkering it doesn’t appear that he’s read any quality coaching strategies lately.

  68. Odie Cleghorn says:

    I believe it was that renowned coach, or was it poet, Keats, who penned these immortal words during one of his pre-game chalk talks: “Drinking…a pause from thinking.” Who amongst us has not suffered from similar pauses while under the influence of our favorite libation or two?Unfortunately, down here in the Police States of America, some of these “law enforcement officers” have little discretion,less intelligence and no judgment and just love to flex their power in situations like this, especially when celebrities or athletes are involved. Netx year’s rookie dinner should be held during a road trip to Toronto or Ottawa when last call is at 10:30!!

  69. HKisses says:

    On a better note……Can’t wait to get back to watching some hockey….hopefully we comeback strong from that 6-1 loss

  70. Jay in PA says:

    I’m guessing that it was a lame joke gone terribly wrong that put the purse into O’Byrne’s hands. It was then his own state of mind (immature and drunk) that caused him to lie to the police instead of telling them, “I found this purse and was looking for some way to identify the owner so I can return it to her. Why don’t you take it from here?” The police knew what was happening–a drunk kid rifling through a purse in the open is hardly the image of a seasoned thief. O’Byrne and Kosto just made it worse by challenging the cops instead of going along with the process.

    It’ll wash over within a week, O’Byrne will give her a few hundred bucks for her mental anguish, she’ll decline to press charges, and it will blow over. American athletes do much worse than this (cf. Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Kobe Bryant, and, as HKisses noted, Dany Heatley) and nothing of serious consequence happens. He’ll get a fatherly talking-to from the cops and BG and then everything will be back to normal.

  71. HKisses says:

    Well O’Byrne brought this onto him self….So i don see what else Carbo’s expected to say….. Its a player from the team,but im sure their was concern for the players ….Just not when he talks with the media….Jus because you watch the news and see what Carbo says doesn’t mean thats how he feels about his players….the Media killed this story ,and made it something out of nothing….He was drunk and got arrested …boohoo…. THe media jus blew this whole story out of proportion…The bottom line is O’byrne has to deal with this as a personel matter…and this has nothing to do with the Organization….simple

  72. Bill H says:

    I agree that Carbo’s published response does not show much insight into the situation or compassion for the players. However, we don’t know what the question was, or what else Carbo may have said during the interview. We only have a 5 second sound bite. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about how Carbo handles and treats his players from that. Perhaps you jumped to your conclusions long ago.

  73. JA says:

    Carboneau needs to read the book on ‘How to diplomatically reply to press questions in the NHL for dummies’.

    How can he reply with ‘They’re adults. They can do what they want. They didn’t have a curfew’, did he not have time to prepare for a proper statement that showed some concern for the players, concern for the team and also accepting some responsibility for what happened, but I guess it takes a real leader to do that.

    I am disapointed because I believed that Carboneau would mature as a coach and gain respect from his players, but his replies to the press also gives us an insight as to how he handles and treats his players, basically with disrespect.

  74. HKisses says:

    Honestly SH!T happens…..When it does u Flush it down the toilet ……..People make mistakes,and Obyrne made one….Now lets move on please. Their for sure won’t be any problems with Obyrne traveling. Dany Heatly was put on probation and basically killed someone,but was still able to travel. So i don’t see this being a problem…..Now lets move on and think about hockey….Gainey already spoke with him and they put it behind them…. Time to Destroy Tampa Bay

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