FOXBOROUGH, MA—Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's reputation for possessing a keen, incisive intelligence and being able to intuitively grasp all pertinent aspects of a problem took a major hit Tuesday when, while fielding reporters' questions at his daily press conference, he stammered through his response to a Business Week reporter's routine inquiry concerning alternative economic approaches to societal trends. "Well, we, uh, I guess it's like the salary cap all teams operate under, as far as Is commodification the word I want to use here?" said Belichick, obviously attempting to dodge the question in what onlookers called a "humiliating moment of mere mortality for the acknowledged genius." "I don't know if Keynesian theory is what I want here, but A football game is a service, I guess, in terms of Keynesian market concepts No, wait, I think I'm thinking of Thorstein Veblen. You know what? Any questions on how we're planning for the Colts' passing game?" Patriots players would not comment directly on their coach's public failure to live up to his reputation, although some players were heard wondering aloud how a coach with such severely limited economic knowledge could in good faith call himself an offensive innovator.