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January, 1984. I was working for CBS, based out of St. Louis.  I was sent to Tampa to cover Super Bowl XVIII between the Washington Redskins (yes, at the time) and the Los Angeles Raiders at The Big Sombrero. Washington was the defending SB champ and was heavily favored.

The Raiders flew into Tampa on Monday. They arrived at their team hotel about a half hour before I was supposed to interview Raiders Coach Tom Flores in the hotel lobby. We had set up the interview through the Raiders’ p.r. staff.  Everything is cool.

Until…two minutes before airtime and Coach Flores is nowhere to be found. This is not uncommon in tv.  I’m not sweating it too much.  But then one minute before airtime a member of the Raiders’ p.r. staff comes up to me and says, “I’m sorry, Coach Flores is in a meeting and is not going to be able to do the interview.” 

Ooooo-kay.  I am now 45 seconds away from a four-minute live hit, and I have no one to talk to except me.  And I’m not that interesting.

Now 30 seconds.  I look around the lobby. I spot Howie Long, who is in his third season with the Raiders and having a bang-up year.


I walk up to Howie. “Howie, my name is Paul. I work for CBS. I was supposed to do a live hit with Coach Flores, but he can’t make it…”


“…Howie, can you help me out?”

Howie puts down his diet soda.


Howie, smiling. “Sure, brother. I understand….”

5…  “Wud you say your name is?”

3… “Paul…”

2, 1, GO!

And for the next four minutes Howie Long treats me like a lifelong friend, and calls me by name at least a half dozen times.

That’s how you make fans in this world.  Howie was and is My Man.

Footnote:  Washington was a double-digit favorite in that game. But on Saturday night before the SB, after watching both teams all week, I got on live tv and said, “I will promise you the Raiders will win this game. They’re ready to go.”

Raiders 38, Redskins 9.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.