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3. Paul Otellini won't shake hands with Hector Ruiz. Maybe it's a bit of a stretch to compare the mild-mannered Intel CEO with the bellicose Belichick. (It's less of one to measure the brainy Ruiz against the brainy Tony Dungy.) Still, while Intel's rivals take every opportunity to snipe at the silicon behemoth, Chipzilla executives generally act as if their competitors barely even exist.
Nor does it matter what the score is -- like the Patriots, Intel's going for it. Hey, right now they're up about 80-20 in market share to a battered AMD in the middle of the fourth quarter. Think Intel's about to rest its starters? Think again.
4. Love 'em or hate 'em, Intel puts on a show. You can't turn the channel when the Pats are playing, no matter how much it hurts to watch some other town's team doing so well. Football fans know parity's best for everybody in the long run. But we still can't help but marvel at a squad that's been this dominant, for this long.
It's the same deal in technology. The market, the system builder channel, the consumer -- we all know that we'd be better served if Intel had more competition. That's the theory, anyway. But when the rubber hits the road, we're still lining up to buy what Intel's selling. As much as it sometimes hurts.
5. Intel builds from within, rather than going after free agents. New England's past three champion teams were built almost entirely through the draft -- Tom Brady, the offensive line, the punishing defense, all home-grown. By the same token, Intel hasn't been on a buying binge since the late 1990s, relying instead on its own ridiculously abundant resources to drive the cutting edge of technology.
Of course, this season's Pats team is different. For the first time under Belichick's watch, New England went out and hit the free agent market hard, scooping up the likes of Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth and Adalius Thomas. Which leads us to wonder if the comparison will hold in that department, too. Could Intel be on the verge of a massive buying spree? Nvidia, anybody? VIA? How about a firmware company?