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The stadium crowd COVID control measures, or lack thereof, adopted among the 32 NFL teams are reflecting the country’s larger divide about the pandemic.

That inconsistent approach hasn’t worked in the country. It won’t work in the NFL. Or in college football. Or in high school football.

Here’s the truth. I assure you I don’t like it any more than you do. But the pandemic will be an even bigger problem for football at all levels this season than it was in 2020.

We are in complete denial. We want to believe things are back to “normal.” We got that notion a couple of months ago when it looked like we might be emerging from the muck. And we ran with it.

Then we started acting like idiots again and stuck it right back in the soup.

Things are not as bad as they were a year ago. They’re worse.

That’s not guess-work. That’s not speculation. That’s not alarmism. That’s not being Chicken Little.

That’s math. That’s science. That’s virology. That’s COVID. That’s Delta.

As we football guys like to say, “The Eye in the Sky Don’t Lie.”

The fuse was lit over Labor Day Weekend. (Again.) Yes, I loved the football. I reveled in the football. I worshiped the football. I took comfort in the football.

But just as we have to do to enjoy a movie fantasy, I had to suspend disbelief.

Because I know what’s coming. And you should, too. It is now baked in. This gun has been loaded and this bomb has been armed. We could not stop the explosion now any more than we could have stopped Ida.

Because we’re just not very bright.

So, LeGrande L’Orange is going to be an announcer on the “gamecast” of this weekend’s fight in Florida between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort?  Well, I guess it’s at least thematically consistent.  One has-been talking about two others.

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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.