That is probably an apt description for the six contenders in India's medium multi-role combat aircraft competition. The flight evaluation trials are moving into full gear as each company attempts to prove that its offer is the best option for India.
The Boeing F/A-18E/F has completed the first leg at the humid conditions at Bangalore, and is moving to the hot weather trials at Jaisalmer and then the cold weather trials at Leh and Ladakh. Lockheed Martin has brought two United Arab Emirates F-16s, which are similar to the proposed Indian configuration, to Bangalore.
The remaining contenders, the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen IN and RSK MiG MiG-35, will be closely following news of the competition.
None of the companies are saying much, given that the Indian air force has issued strict instructions not to reveal any details about the trials. That is not unexpected, given how much is at stake. The IAF will want to complete the trials as fairly as possible and in one go. The last thing that it wants is allegations of unfair competition or, even worse, holding fresh trials.
I am not a betting man, it is anyone's guess as to how this will run, and all guesses are welcome in the comments section.
But to those who claim to know that one aircraft is the front-runner or it is a sealed deal for another, it would probably be best to remember another of the great man's quotes. After his team lost a match, Ferguson memorably said: "We controlled the game without finishing them off." The MMRCA contenders and their fans will do well to remember that.