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The Jolly Roger isn’t just smiling, he’s beaming. The National Football League’s 102nd season is off to a spectacular start, at a time America could use it.  It’s good to be Roger Goodell.

That was some Soul Food last night. MNF kicked off its second half-century (damn!) in Las Vegas (whoddah thunk that?), in a stadium that looks like the International Space Station decorated for Christmas.

And that was Gladys Knight!  WOO-WOOH!!

It was great theater. It was even better football.

Raiders win in OT.  Wait, they don’t!  That’s a half-yard short!  Everybody get your butts back on the field. Vegas blows it. The Raiders didn’t throw a pick after having a first and goal inside the one, did they? Yeah, they did.

So now they’re about to get “Jacksoned.” Everybody knows it.

Oh, hell, Lamar didn’t fumble, did he?

Yeah, he did.

Derek Carr: “Watch this.”  Raiders walk it off, 33-27 in OT.

Sorry, other American pro sports.  The NFL is still The Dawg. And everybody else is still The Tail.

“Shield Envy.”

And now we get 17 games instead of 16. It’s good to be Roger Goodell.

One more thing. It hasn’t always been good to be Derek Carr. But it is now. He is now officially “top-tier.”

The NFL’s compass needle is now stuck on “West.”  The AFC West and the NFC West are a combined 8-0.

NFC North?  Oh-and-four.

I love every single thing about football except injuries.  We’ve played one week. The carnage is already sickening. Good luck, Washington Football Team. Sorry about that, 49ers and Ravens.

Call it the “Covid Swap.” Cowboys’ O-lineman Zach Martin is back. But pass rusher Randy Gregory has a case and may miss Sunday’s game against the Chargers. Dallas WR Michael Gallup is now on IR with a calf strain. He’s out for at least three games. That’s a big deal, IMO.

It cost USC 12 mill to get rid of Clay Helton. It took Trojan alums about 12 minutes to find that chump change underneath their sofa cushions.

That didn’t take long in Austin, did it? Casey Thompson, grab your helmet. Hudson Card, grab your clipboard.  Rice, grab your ass, ‘cause you’re about to get spanked. Texas will hang 55 on the Owls and everybody will think everything is cool. Everybody will be wrong.

Campbell’s is coming out with a special promotional autumn soup, available only in College Station. It’s called “Zach Calzada.”  That’s gonna need at least a pinch of salt. You in trouble, Aggies.

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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.