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

If nothing else, the Jolly Roger is a pragmatist and a realist. He concedes that his league’s policies designed to increase the number of head coaches in the NFL haven’t worked, aren’t working and—as currently structured—aren’t going to work.

Goodell does have a NASA engineer mindset and demeanor. Identify the problem. Work the problem. Fix the problem. And don’t get defensive about the problem. Yeah, the last one blew up on the pad and made an awful mess. OK, we’ll take the next one to the moon and back.

I don’t doubt his sincerity. But I don’t know where he goes from here. And right now, he doesn’t either.  He openly admitted that on Wednesday.

Heavy-handed affirmative action? Bad idea. Quotas? Even worse. But the status quo? In Goodell’s own words, that’s “unacceptable.”

Most days, Being Roger is probably a pretty good deal. But at some level, I feel for him. Dang, you go to the Super Bowl for shrimp cocktail, and all you get is red sauce on your white shirt.

Here’s the structural issue. The NFL is set up exactly like the United States government. It is a federalist system. Yes, the league has an executive branch, in the form of the commissioner’s office in New York. So Rog is The Prez.

But the 32 teams are like 32 states, each of them screaming “states’ rights!” from the heights of their tax-subsidized flying saucer stadiums and luxury suites.

The 32 team owners are like 32 state governors, only in this case freed from worrying about re-election.

And yes, you got your blue “states” and your red “states.”

That’s gridlock. The owners aren’t going to obey any “mask mandate.”

Understand, there was open, blatant racism in the NFL two decades ago with respect to black quarterbacks, black centers, black middle linebackers, etc. We got past that. Oh, and now we have plenty of black coordinators as well. That’s good.

But this is different. I find it hard to believe that any owner in the NFL has consciously decided, “I’m not hiring a black head coach.”  That just doesn’t make sense.

This is about personal comfort. And in some ways that may be more insidious and intractable than overt racism.

I don’t know what you can do about that. And right now, neither does Roger.

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Your email address will not be published.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.