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It’s my favorite weekend of the sports calendar. NFL Divisional round. Four playoff games, eight teams, each of which is thoroughly convinced it is going to win the Super

Seven of them will be wrong.                

As the late John Madden used to say, I love the “finality” of it all.

It’s like four country songs. Four teams this weekend are going to lose their (pick one):

  • Dog
  • Girl
  • Truck
  • Mama

So, it’s appropriate that the first of the quartet of games is in Nashville, right?

Love me some Burrow, but I can’t see the Titans losing. Rested. Healthy. King Henry is back on his throne. And Tannehill is woefully underappreciated. He is a good NFL quarterback, and he was glowing hot down the stretch of the regular season. Too much A.J. Brown. Too much Julio, who can still take you down by the schoolyard and embarrass you. Too much Tennessee pass rush.

Tonight, I don’t know how to break it to you. But it’s going to be cold at Lambeau. No joke, single-digit cold. No big deal to Rodgers. Potentially a very big deal for Jimmy G. This will be by a wide margin the coldest game of his NFL career thus far. He actually is a very tough guy, but that biting cold is not going to help a guy with a torn ligament in his throwing thumb and a sprained throwing shoulder.

But, not so fast. The Niners are just nasty. Nasty. Violent. Dripping ‘tude. Physical. And they have owned the Packers in the playoffs. SF will approach this one the same way it attacked the Cowboys. Run it. Run it some more. Stop the run. Get pressure with four. Play zone on the back end. Keep Adams in front of you, and be in position to corral Rodgers when he pulls it down and takes off.

By the way, Bosa is good to go.

And if this comes down to a field goal, who do you trust more right now? Mason Crosby or Robbie Gould?

Obviously, a huge part of me wants to pick the Niners. But I can’t.

Sunday’s games? We’ll reconvene in this space Sunday morning.

Wow. Big Harbaugh fired Don “Wink” Martindale as the Ravens’ D.C. I didn’t see that coming.

And I’m still trying to sort out the NFL’s new testing protocol. No more daily testing for unvaxxed players. Tests available anytime for players (vaxxed or unvaxxed) who display or report symptoms. Players who test positive will have to isolate for at least five days and then be cleared by a doctor before returning to the team. The NFL and the NFLPA say this new policy brings the league in line with current recommendations and “best practices.”

Finally, whoda thunk that Steph Curry’s buzzer beater last night to beat the Rockets was the first walk-off winning shot of his NBA career?

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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.