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This is pretty basic. I like football because it makes me happy.

The football world was an ugly planet Wednesday. It did not make me happy in the least. I felt sad, disoriented and, at times, angry.

Aaron Rodgers’ positive COVID test is disturbing, since he may have misrepresented his vaccination status, and the Packers may have deviated from NFL protocols for the convenience of their MVP.  I’ve said many times that Rodgers is the most talented NFL quarterback I have seen. I have enormous respect for him as a player. But I do think his actions and words in this episode have reflected a lack of responsibility and leadership. If I were a Packers fan I’d be pissed.

Tawdry. That’s how I would describe what’s going on in Cleveland. OBJ effectively is not a member of the Browns right now. He’s in timeout. His dad (OBS, I guess?) posted a scathing video on social media blasting Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield for not throwing to his son often enough.  Is this the NFL or Pop Warner football?  Does this mean we can’t all get snowcones after the game, whether we win or lose?  No Dave and Buster’s? Tawdry. You got a better word? If I were a Browns fan, I’d be pissed.

A UCLA defensive lineman got caught on video threatening a group of students in an elevator on Halloween night. On the recording, he’s heard threatening to hurt any USC male or female student on the UCLA campus. He also refuses to let the students exit the elevator. But it’s cool. The young (freshman) D-lineman was at practice yesterday. Hey, we gotta get ready for Colorado, right? If I were a UCLA fan or alum, I’d be pissed. And embarrassed.

Oh, before I forget, Chip Kelly is Dead Man Walking at UCLA. Oh, not because he has lost control of his team, which he clearly has. But because the Bruins are 5-4 on the season and have lost two straight. And because Kelly’s record at UCLA is 15-25. Seems “genius” doesn’t mean what it used to.

UCLA’s defensive coordinator, Jerry Azzinaro, has not spoken to the media one time since he’s been on the job. I get it. If my defenses had ranked 102nd, 113th, 69th and 75th in four years, I wouldn’t even talk to my dog.

But all of the above is transient and ultimately trivial. What happened in Las Vegas is tragic and eternal. Now former Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III was driving his Corvette 156 mph at 3:40 a.m. Tuesday just seconds before he slammed into another vehicle, killing a 23-year-old woman and her dog in a fireball. Ruggs’ blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit.  Tina Tintor is dead. She’s not coming back. Ruggs’ girlfriend (with whom he has a three-year-old daughter) suffered a severe arm injury in the crash. Ruggs, who was the Raiders’ first round draft choice in 2020, is going to go to prison, likely for a very long time. Ruggs’ now former teammates are crushed, because they genuinely love him as a person. A young woman and her dog are dead. Families have been destroyed. A bright future has gone dark.

Football didn’t make me happy Wednesday. It left me sad, disoriented, and, at times, angry.

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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.