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“If he’s healthy…”

That’s the conditional that is the functional foundation of the National Football League.

But “if he’s healthy,” Julio Jones is a perfect fit for the Bucs. Brady throwing to Jones, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, along with newly acquired tight end Kyle Rudolph? And there’s very little risk for the Bucs. That was a smart, aggressive move by a smart, aggressive organization. I will remind you that Jones’ career average of 91.9 receiving yards per game is tops in NFL history. I said “NFL history.”

Everybody’s talking about the AFC West, and rightfully so. But that is going to be a hellacious battle between the Bucs and Saints in the NFC South. New Orleans is really good, and Dennis Allen has proved he can stop Brady. And I’ll bet you a cheeseburger that “if he’s healthy,” Jameis Winston will play very well. I think he’s figured it out. The key for NO will be Michael Thomas. You know, “if he’s healthy.”

Can you imagine how happy and relieved the Jaguars’ players must be to have an actual, professional, competent head coach?

And then there’s Mike McCarthy. It’s not that he’s incompetent or unprofessional. But he is in a completely untenable position. Dead Man Walking, professionally speaking. It’ll be yours if you want it, Sean Payton.

The reported impending appendectomy for Joe Burrow shouldn’t be a big deal. He’ll be ready to go. Less training camp is “more” for that guy.

But here’s reality. Pro football is a sport with a 100 percent injury rate. I was saddened to learn that Seattle’s excellent running back, Chris Carson, is retiring after five NFL seasons because of a chronic neck injury.

I guess the clarity is a good thing for the ‘Niners. I guess. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have officially thrown the keys to Trey Lance. They had to, given what they gave up to get Lance in the 2021 draft.

But now whither Jimmy G.? The Seahawks aren’t going to trade for him. They don’t have to. They can just wait for the ‘Niners to release him. Or is Garoppolo a one-year caretaker for the Browns? Or is there still a chance he could wind up in Houston?

Deebo? He’s about to get paid. And that guy should get paid.

Nothing says “baseball” more than a frustrated player kicking his bat into the dugout, where it then strikes a teammate in the knee. Just rub some sunflower seeds on the wound.

Don’t do it, Celtics. You are really close and you have a very likable and engaging team. KD never saw a locker room he couldn’t kill. Don’t do it.

I don’t think anybody has a better “big picture” view of college football than Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. He’s been doing this longer than anyone else currently coaching in FBS. Ferentz sees the chaos and uncertainty in the sport and says he is as concerned as he’s “ever been.” I’ve long considered Ferentz to be the “wise old man” in the sport. I just looked up his birthday. He turns 67 in five days. You know, about a week and a half before I turn 68.

I’m gonna try to make this a good day, anyway. You know, “if I’m healthy.”

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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.