Sportsman's Daily


NFL Plays Through Tense Day on Wall Street; Several Teams Narrowly Avert Disaster


Peyton Manning’s broker gets an assist in engineering Colts’ late-game rally.

NEW YORK (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) — Sunday was one of the most nerve-wracking days in the history of the NFL, as two of Wall Street’s most venerable, albeit troubled, institutions – Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch – were on the brink of liquidation. As the drama unfolded in New York City boardrooms, the tension gripped teams around the league, as players had more to lose than just a stupid game.

“It was tough keeping it together in the huddle,” said Colts quarterback Peyton Manning who engineered a dramatic come-from behind victory over the Minnesota Vikings. “It wasn’t until early in the fourth when I told ‘em I just got off the phone with my broker who recommended they put half their assets in silver, and the rest in a fortified, weather-proof hole in the ground. Several of the more market savvy guys kept peppering me with questions – what about oil futures, any small cap stocks we should be looking at, how should we interpret trends in the semi-conductor index? I had to waste a time-out to remind them that we’re here to win a football game – we can discuss asset allocation later.”

The Jets lost to the Patriots 19-10, with Matt Cassel starting for the injured Tom Brady. After the game, several Jets quietly pointed the finger at quarterback Brett Favre, who followed an inspired, if mostly improvisational win in game one with an erratic game two.

“It was hard keeping your head in the game as we were getting the play-by-play on the sidelines – one minute Lehman found a buyer, the next they’re filing Chapter 11, it was really tense” said a Jets veteran. “In moments of crisis you look to your leader for, well, leadership. Unfortunately Brett wasn’t a big help. His approach to investing is like his approach to quarterbacking – he just wings it. One minute he’s recommending we short energy stocks, the next he’s recommending T-Bills. I’ve never been in a more confused huddle.”

The Patriots, on the other hand, commended Cassel’s surprising cool in handling the looming crisis.

“Cassel was masterful at keeping the focus where it belonged: on the healthcare sector,” said running back Lamont Jordan. “It was the best call of the game.”

Apparently, Major League Baseball was less affected by the tense day on Wall Street.

“You’d think players would have more time to brood over their portfolios considering the slower pace of the game,” said Lenny Dykstra, baseball player turned financial guru. “But when the other team’s in the field, you can run into the clubhouse and log into Bloomberg or and get information in real-time. Football players don’t have that luxury, unless the guy running in with the play just got off the phone with Jim Cramer.”

A number of NFL teams on the losing end found solace in the unfolding drama.

“Ordinarily, you drop one you should have won – or lose with 29 seconds on the clock -- you dread waking up on Monday knowing you’re gonna be hearing it from every Tom, Dick and Harry whose lives revolve around football,” said San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, whose team was stunned in the final seconds by the Denver Broncos. “I have a feeling our fans will wake up early Monday, see the market take a major hit and realize there are worse things than the Chargers losing a close one. There’s nothing like losing 25% of your net worth overnight to put things into perspective.”

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