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The NFL playoffs effectively begin Sunday night when the Raiders host the Chargers. The winner clinches an AFC Wild Card. The loser’s season is over. That’s pretty much the definition of a playoff game, isn’t it?

Who’s gonna advance? I can’t tell you, because of the Squirrel Factor. The Chargers and Raiders are the two most rodentiary teams in the NFL. I could see either blowing the other out. I could also envision a last play walk-off.

I’ll bill it as the Forrest Gump Box of Chocolates Game. We don’t know what we’re gonna get. Make sure it’s actually chocolate before you bite into it.

It’s a quarterback-driven league. And the two QBs involved here are intriguing. Justin Herbert has breathtaking talent. Derrick Carr has proved to be a mensch. That’s a good, good human and an obvious leader of men.

I still think the 49ers could wreck the room if they get in. Niners need to beat the Rams. Niners always beat the Rams…

Hey, Cowboy fans. You don’t really want the Rams in the Wild Card Round. Much better off with a rematch against the Cardinals.

Major shoulder surgery for Baker, who will not play Sunday against the Bengals. I actually think the Browns may be better off with Case Keenum, anyway, given Mayfield’s condition.

AFC Alert. Derrick Henry is back at practice. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

NFL Coach of the Year? The obvious choice is Matt LaFleur. You could sure as heck make a case for The Hoodie. But I’m going with Mike Vrabel. The Titans have been through hell this year. You know what you do when you’re going through hell? You keep going. That’s leadership. And that team is…hard.

I think college football’s version of the Titans may be Kansas State. The Wildcats closed out bowl season last night by pasting LSU. If you’ve ever paid attention to the KSU program, you know that there is just this goodness that radiates off of it. Wildcats play hard. They play together. They have fun. And they may be the best example of the “win thjs snap” philosophy I’ve ever seen. K-State just never cares about the last play, whether it was good or bad. It’s all about the next one. Always. There is a life lesson there.

My “next one” is tomorrow. See you then!

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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.