We had one of the best running backs in the state and had successfully run many toss sweeps during the year—probably a dozen times every game.
It was the first round of the playoffs, and up against a rival that we had beaten handily earlier in the season. The O-line dropped into their stance, the quarterback took the snap as our star took his step right, and—oh no!
A linebacker, who had timed the cadence, anticipated the toss, plucks the ball out of the air, and a few seconds later turned this defensive prowess into six points. And we never recovered. We lost.
This is where the expression, “going to the well one too many times,” comes from. A play can work hundreds of times, it can be the go-to option—until that one time when it becomes too predictable and the other team takes advantage.
Click here for a very similar play, not my own team, but close enough to trigger the bad memories.
Yes, Poles Can Shift
One of the big misunderstandings of current trends there is that they will go on forever. If one is part of the cult of progress, change is seen as a march forward. To the traditional there are endless cycles and seasons, the sun goes up and down. To the cynical, humanity is on a downward trajectory, this slippery slope of social decay and spiral to the collapse of civilization.
In almost every case people expect that the current rules (or roles) can’t be flipped. The winners today will keep on winning or what worked yesterday will keep on working as it always did—ad infinitum.
But long-term trajectories do change, cycles can be broken, powerful empires faded away into nothing and there have also been those massive breakthrough-type events that have completely changed expectations. North is North, the compass is true as it always has been, and yet there is evidence that even this magnetic reference can flip.
Things can go one way for a long time and feel very predictable and unchangeable. But in one moment some threshold is crossed that upends the well-worn expectations. The end of the epoch. A critical mass is reached, the dam is finally breached, and the established paradigm blows up, and is washed away, like the linebacker running with the ball after picking off the toss.
Of course, in retrospect, we all claim to have seen it coming, that the signs were there, but few actually do. If we did we would have invested better, acted differently, and taken full advantage.
Please Capitulate, Charlie!
In the Peanuts cartoon, there is the infamous football gag. Lucy tells Charlie that she’ll hold the ball for him to kick and, despite her having tricked him many times before—by pulling the ball away right as he is wound up to kick, he is always fooled again.
This is how institutions have treated retail investors in the stock market. In the past, when the market would downturn, the ‘smart money’ would short popular stocks, then spread FUD through hired shills to scare their ignorant counterparts who would then sell at a loss and move on. When this retail capitulation would finally happen the market would finally be ready for the next cycle.
But now, in the meme stock era, the ‘Apes’ or those who learned from the 2008 crash, now hold, buy the dip, and refuse to sell. This is not what the hedge funds and big banks had planned when they started to short AMC and GameStop. They had planned to drive these companies into bankruptcy, and collect on their bets. Instead, after over a year and a half of price manipulation (FTDs, dark pool abuse, naked shorts) and bashing, the selling has not happened. This means they need to continue to pay the interest to maintain their short positions.
It is a battle of wills, one retail rallying call being “I can be retarded longer than they can remain solvent,” and retail does control all of the exits in some heavily shorted stocks. If retail does not throw in the towel, eventually the institutions will run out of new ways to kick the can down the road, they will get margin called and will have to cover.
At this point, retail investors have figured out the game. They know how bashers are paid to scare them, they know how the price is manipulated, and they’re angry and not going to do what they’re ‘supposed’ to do. Apes are not leaving. And, at this point, this is a movement to expose the corruption in the market rather than simply an investment in a company we like.
If you want to be part of this history AMC and the new preferred equity called APE are trading for mere dollars. You can even get free stocks by opening an account following this link. This blog is not financial advice and investment is a risk, but we would love to have you as part of the Ape fam.
Maybe the pole shift won’t happen. Maybe Lucy has another trick up her sleeve. The future can’t be predicted. But we can be certain that trends almost always come to an end. Retail investors are no longer as easily fooled. This time Charlie Brown isn’t playing the game as expected.