Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

My first full day of work at KMOX (now KMOV) TV in St. Louis was June 7, 1980. I was a 25-year-old, just-hired sportscaster whose previous tv jobs had been in Tucson and Austin.

Movin’ on up to the East Side! I was incredibly fortunate and grateful. KMOX was CBS owned-and-operated.

I reported to the newsroom at 8:30 a.m. and was immediately told to high-tail it to the airport along with photographer Bob Bauer. The Cardinals had just fired manager Ken Boyer, a former Card All-Star third-baseman and St. Louis hometown fan favorite. The early-morning whacking had occurred in Atlanta, where the Cardinals were playing the Braves. My job was to get player reaction to the firing and “go live” on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

So, by mid-afternoon Bob and I arrived at the Sewer That Was Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Seriously. That place was NASTY!

But I digress. Keep in mind I had never met a soul on this baseball team. Hell, Bob and I had just met each other.

About a half hour later, reigning National League co-MVP Keith Hernandez came out of the visitors’ dugout to get ready for BP. Here was my chance. Hernandez was the biggest fish in that tank, and I had a chance to approach him before he was really doing anything.

I walked up, smiled and stuck out my hand. I attempted to introduce myself and got as far as, “Hi, my name is…” when Hernandez went volcanic.

“YOU BUZZARD!” I looked around. There were no avian scavengers around. I came to the conclusion he was referencing me.

“Kenny’s body isn’t even cold yet, and you tv clowns are already picking at his bones!” Again, I checked the immediate area. No clowns. Just me.

I made a business decision that could have proved disastrous.

“Hernandez, my name is Paul Alexander. I’m the new guy at KMOX. This is awkward and I’ve heard about how much you love Kenny. I respect that. But neither you nor anyone else is going to talk to me like that. If you’ll give me a chance, I hope to convince you I’m an ok guy. We might even have good conversation. But you are done screaming at me.”


Oh, shit. I’m thinking, “Well, my one day of employment at KMOX has been interesting. Wonder if I could get my old job in Tucson back. Not to mention that there’s about a 30 percent chance I’m about to get my ass kicked.”

Extended silence. Felt like 25 minutes but was probably more like ten seconds.

Finally. “OK, man. I’m sorry. Really. Paul, right?  OK, let’s go.”

And he gave me a truly astounding interview.

We were good after that. Great, even. Interesting guy. Educated. Voracious reader. Bona fide Civil War expert. Who knew? Because you don’t know until you find out.

Oh, and Ken Boyer’s managerial successor became…Whitey Herzog.

It’s a groove…this life…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.