Friday, January 31, 2014

'Bout That Action

"'Bout that action, boss."
-Marshawn Lynch, when asked why he's not talking more at the Super Bowl

Yes, the action indeed, Marshawn. Speaking of action, there is some this weekend, and lately, some daily action in the markets which are making for some interesting times. Let's start with the game and how these teams got there.

The NFC Championship game was just awesome. Carroll and Harbaugh took what they knew from college, which is, the team with the biggest baddest dudes win. Basically the front seven of both teams are filled with freakish monsters. Throw in safeties and tight ends like Vernon Davis (perhaps the baddest monster of them all) and Kam Chancellor, and there's going to be some action. Seattle won, but San Francisco outplayed them for most of the game and in the future Kaepernick might choose Boldin/Davis against Not Sherman for that last throw. Taking into account Seattle's huge home field advantage, the real contest might be won by regular season standings. Last year Seattle traveled as a Wild Card and this year San Francisco was attempting to win its third road playoff game.

The AFC Championship game was a joke. Tom Brady's Band of Midgets/The Genius' All Big East Secondary against Manning's Monsters at altitude. Yeah, this was going to be close. The takeaway here is not the winner. It's the hubris of Belichick and Kraft for letting players like Richard Seymour and Wes Welker go and thinking you can replace them with dead bodies from the morgue. Winning 11 games with Matt Cassel was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the Patriots, because it made Belichick think he could carry four guys from Rutgers and Hofstra in his secondary. Really? I can tell you, as a Big East alum, that our football sucks (Yes, Rutgers is now in the AAC, but they'll always be Schiano's crappy Big East team to me! Nice hire by the way, Tampa.). There are exceptions, but I don't see Darrelle Revis among this bunch, let alone four of him. Maybe guys like Mike McCarthy, who screwed the 49ers by choosing Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers when he was San Francisco's OC, or Belichick, men who have fallen ass backwards into the best quarterback situations in NFL history, think they can get away with this kind of crap. And for twelve games or so every year, they can. But come playoff time, when your defense's best play is giving up a six-yard draw and you've given Tom Brady a 5'6" former option QB (1. No way Edelman is 5'10" and 2. Julian, you're still my hero!) as his best receiver, you deserve to get pummeled.

Take away also that while Denver seemingly moved at will in their playoff games, they managed to average just 25 points/game (13 less than during the regular season, at home, against pretty bad defenses), while Seattle's punt, punt, punt, TD offense averaged 23 points/game. And Denver hasn't played a defense remotely like Seattle's, so things should get interesting.

The market is also full of action, content to blast off or tank on alternating days while individual stocks make double-digit moves during earnings. I suspect Yellen has already been handed the Bernanke playbook and if we keep heading down, she'll be quick to include language in the Fed minutes about slowing us down some tapering or how fragile the economy is. Yellen wasn't chosen because she's tough on the printing presses. My one solution, and one that should have been evident from either the fix of March 09' or the Buffett infusion, is BAC. I know, thanks for the reco when it was at $2, but I still think there's plenty of time. I have been in short-term calls several times over the last few years as the stock kept rising, but now I am committed. Bad news has been good news for the stock, and good news has been even better. As BAC continues to grow while shedding mortgage liability and avoiding some of the JPM type missteps, I think the steady rise will continue. I own Jan 16' calls at several strikes. Enjoy the game.