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So Drew’s Bird Legs took him all the way to Canton. His speech was lovable. But something he said earlier in an interview with The NFL Network’s Steve Wyche was a clearer window into his soul.

Wyche asked My 88 about the Big Moments of his career.  The Hail Mary. The Thanksgiving Miracle. The 83-yard Lifesaver to beat the Rams in the playoffs. TD catches in Super Bowls X and XIII. The two late fourth quarter TDs to complete the playoff comeback victory in Atlanta?  Were those the moments Drew remembers?

Yes and no, he replied. Sure. Who could forget those moments?  Who would want to?

But then he said this. He said what he remembers about his career is third and nine. And he always got ten. And a bruise and a headache.  They called the area between the hashes The Drew Zone.

Move those chains.

I’m pretty sure the hair on my forearms will relax sometime before next weekend.

“Shorter memo to follow when I have time.” There is often brilliance in brevity. The new time constraints on the PFHOF speeches elevated their impact.  That was the best HOF weekend ever, IMO.

Flash takeaways:

Megatron—Mega Dignity

Edgerrin—The Last Laugh

Atwater and Hutchinson–Mensches

Coach Flores—Pride and Poise

Faneca—Fanecatastic

Peyton and Polamalu—The Game’s The Thing

Crash—“My fallback position was to become a doctor.”

Jimmah—“I didn’t hope.  I believed.”

Woodson—Very endearing. That fire burned hot.

I have the tv on as I write this at 6:15 a.m. Monday. I just saw something remarkable. And admirable.  And encouraging.

Last week the Carolina Panthers immediately cut safety J.T. Ibe after he delivered an illegal blow to the head of WR teammate Keith Kirkwood.  The blow sent Kirkwood to the hospital, and sent Ibe to the unemployment line.

Ibe just got on national tv and owned it. Full apology. No qualifications. No, “I’m sorry, but,” or, “I’m sorry if…” He made no excuses. He said he should have just tried to punch the ball out. He said the Panthers were right to cut him, and that he fully understands. He said he has personally apologized to Kirkwood, who accepted his contrition. Ibe conducted himself as a man and a person of integrity.

We all eff up.  Too few of us own it.

Hell, yes, if I were an NFL G.M. I’d give Ibe a chance. Hell, yes, I would.

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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.