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I can’t remember the last time I went all Manilow on you. That’s probably because I’ve never done it before.

But I’m “Tryin’ to Get The Feelin’ Again.”

And I’m failing miserably.

I’m talking about the Olympics in general. And certainly this fiasco in Beijing in particular.

A brief personal history. I have always loved the Olympics. My dad taught me that. Summer. Winter. And if they had held a Harvest Moon Olympics, I’d have been in on that, too, as long as it didn’t involve Neil Young.

But I’m done.

Sure, the Olympics have always required suspension of disbelief to enjoy. The We Are the World, Come Together Right Now narrative was always largely fraudulent. But it was like watching ET for two weeks. It made you feel good.

Now it just makes me sad. And why would I want to be sad? My aversion is not a boycott, and I really made no conscious decision to turn away from the Olympics. I simply realized that I just don’t care anymore.

I know where you’re going. “Why would you want to hold all these follies against the athletes? They’re innocent.”

Yes and no.

Certainly I have respect for the athletes, particularly those who compete in obscure sports that only get mentioned for a fortnight every four years. But I can respect them and that without having to fake a warm and fuzzy.

Of course the Olympics have always been political. You think you have to explain that to me? I’m a child of the Cold War. You want some bitter competition? That was to the death, in some cases literally.

The Olympics have always been “commercial,” and have always been corrupt. Always.

So rather than engage in pointless hand-wringing and tut-tutting, I’ll just blame myself.

I just don’t care anymore.

I opened with Manilow. I’ll close with Lightfoot.

“I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.”

I will make one and only one exception. In the next Summer Games, I will watch the finals of the men’s 4 X 400 meter relay. And that’s it. I will watch the Olympics for two minutes and 58 seconds.

‘Murca, baby.

See, these habits die hard.

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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.