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Bull market

Pats falter, but top performers still outpacing league

Posted: Wednesday November 15, 2006 10:28AM; Updated: Wednesday November 15, 2006 11:36AM
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A person I know, Jason the Basin, who makes his living on Wall St., apprised me of the following: In the rush to provide poignant, meaningful and introspective analysis about each contender, I often fail to devote enough effort to explaining the various movements on my BIG BOARD, which is, of course, my entire panorama of rankages. Thus my sheet has now recorded the following update:

Blue chips were predictable over the weekend, with nominal gains and only Patriots at position No. 2 showing a marked decline. High area industrials showed losses across the board, with eight of the next 10 ending in the minus column. From there on, prices were mixed, but a buying frenzy seemed to hit the penny stocks listed at 21 to 27 with seven of the eight showing marked gains. Advisors therefore advise us to follow their advice and to look for possible upswing among the downs and downswing among the ups, but not to ignore the possibility of the reverse, whatever that may be, because it's been that kind of a season.

NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
1 1 It has become fashionable to look at them as a flawed diamond, as if the world wants true perfection from this team, and anything less than that, such as the narrow victory over Buffalo, seems like an affront. Just another example of the press or the public trying to shape the world in its own image, but that being said, I did pick the Cowboys to beat them this weekend. (Hooray! Hats in the air in Indy).
2 3 No, I wasn't all fluttery in my praise, mouthing such phrases as, "The road to the Super Bowl runs through Chicago," etc., after the crippled Giants stuck it to 'em in the early going Sunday night. They had the Bears on the run in every phase, but the lack of manpower killed 'em. It's like saying the Texans had the better of the early going at the Alamo. (They did, didn't they?)
3 4 Psst, hey Shanahan. Remember Mike Bell, the guy who killed himself for you against the Colts? There's mold growing on his uniform. What a hard-hearted Hannah that coach is, dusts 'em off, uses 'em briefly, back in the drawer they go.

We are mere pieces of the game he plays
Upon this chequer-board of nights and days;
Hither and thither moves and mates and slays,
Then one by one back in the closet lays.
-- Omar Khayyam
4 5 I see the upcoming Atlanta game in a different light than other people do. I would go heavy on the over. I see the Ravens scoring, especially against a defense without its tough pass rusher, Patrick Kerney. I don't see it as a blood and guts number for the Ravens' D, not with Pittsburgh coming up the following week.
5 6 Funny, how the Patriots vacating the silver medal position has loosened things up and given this group from 2 through 5 a feeling of rightfully belonging in their given spots. I can't see nasty e-mails this week, I see good fellowship among this quartet of teams, a stroll in the coachyard, perhaps time for a pipe and a pot of rum before the horses are harnessed and the coach is ready to depart.
6 2 There you are. We see you. Won't announce injuries. Won't give your former assistant a smile and a nod. Up there in the dank marshes where the rain won't stop. Preparing for ... for ... well, I see a victory at Green Bay, but it won't be easy. And then Chicago at home. My, what a feast for speculators. Gonna be some fun weeks coming up.
7 10 I thought Maurice Morris was a stiff. Hope I didn't write it (I what? I came close?) He's not. He's a guy who can carry 30 times and remain energetic. Yeah, this team has been nicely coached through some trying time.
8 7 OK, Tom Coughlin has been roasted enough for that foolish field goal try into the wind. But here's my beef, and it was one of the big reasons they lost. You do not, absolutely do not, take one of the two or three worst pass-blocking tackles in the league, Bob Whitfield (who relieved the injured Luke Petitgout in the first quarter) and leave him on Alex Brown without any help. Brown positively feasts on stiffs. It turned the game, created two meaningful sack-fumbles. I can hear the conversation now between Coughlin and his OL coach: "You think he can handle it?" "Yeah, yeah, he'll be OK." No, no and NO! You do not let these guys do your coaching for you. No position coach gets as close to his players as offensive line coaches do, consequently none get as skewed a view. The gallant marine lieutenant and his troops. OK, men, follow me, we'll take this hill! And they all get killed.
9 8 A double-reverse TD to Reggie Bush. Yeah, they're right, it was a double, swoosh this way, swoosh the other way. So what's with the double-reverse phenomenon this year? They used to be only things mis-called by announcers who didn't understand the difference between a reverse and a double. A mean defensive guy camps out in his spot and the caravan comes first one way, then the other. OK, wait a minute, and he puts out his hand and makes the stop. Is there a coach out there who will please tell me the advantage of the extra reverse? How about just running a weave, like the old Butch van Breda Kolff Princeton basketball offense.
10 9 Well, we're into the old K.C. land grab now as the mob of 5-4s battle to stake out their position. I made the Chiefs top dog here because of the three straight wins over winning teams -- before the fish got 'em.