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“It had to be you. It had to be you…”


Yeah, when I woke up at 4:35 a.m. Monday, this 1924 classic from the “American Songbook” was instantly in my mind. “It had to be you…”

Writing credits to two fellas named Isham Jones and Gus Khan.

(Note: I awaken every single morning with a different and completely random song in my alleged brain. The selections are often baffling, and jump across all genres. But this was a Weird Chart-Topper. “It had to be you”? Really?)

A mind is a terrible thing. Especially mine.  Damn, Paul, was it the ice cream you ate Sunday night?

And then it hit me. I smiled. I didn’t laugh aloud only because I didn’t want to wake BB up.

“It had to be you…”

Oh, just hellzyeah.

It had to be you, Patrick Mahomes. It had to be you.

And it had to be this SB matchup. Andy’s current team vs. Andy’s former team. Kelce vs. Kelce. Brother on brother crime. Two Texas-bred QBs in Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.

I wrote late last week that if Mahomes pulled this off, he would be elevated from mere folk legend to Myth of the Milky Way.

He pulled it off.

As it turned out, it wasn’t that the ankle was no big deal. It was a very big deal.

But Number 15 was bigger.

Mahomes made a handful of throws that no one else could make. His second TD pass of the game, this one to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, was a jaw-dropper.

And the one time that he had to floor it on that bad ankle, he pushed past the pain, the Bengals and the first down sticks.

If there was still any remaining doubt about how this was going to end, the Bengals’ defensive end Joseph Ossai (a former Longhorn) clinched the “Bum Steer Award” by committing one of the most infamous and boneheaded late hit penalties in playoff history.

So, for the fourth straight time, a Chiefs-Bengals matchup was decided by three points. Cincinnati won the first three.

And for the Bengals, the hell of it is they could very well have won this one by three. And probably should have.

With a minute left in a 20-20 deadlock, Cincy was right on script. The Bengals had the ball and Burrow. The unmistakable vibe was that this was going to end with a game-winning field goal not by Harrison Butker, but by Evan McPherson.

Stop me if you’ve seen this before.

But KC flipped the script. Chris Jones’ second sack of the day forced a Bengal punt. The Cincy punt team turned Skyy Moore loose for a 27-yard return.

And then, it had to be you, Patrick Mahomes. It had to be you.

Think about it. In the last 60 seconds of the game, the Bengals committed fatal mistakes by their offense, their special teams and their defense.

The Turkey Trifecta. And it prevented Cincinnati from repeating as AFC Champions.

Joe Burrow was sacked five times, four in the first half. But as usual, it looked like it just would not matter. Burrow routinely shakes off five, or six—or nine—sacks, and still finds a way to win, often by double digits.

But this time it mattered. Chris Jones saw to that. Next stop for Chiefs Nation, Glendale.

The opener in Philly? It was over the instant Purdy’s right elbow exploded. I mean, I don’t have a thing in the world against Josh Johnson. Why would I? How could I? Hell, I didn’t even know who he was until Purdy exited. And I follow this stuff, you know, pretty closely.

Any grain of remaining doubt was erased by 49er penalties.

But I don’t want to hear any garbage about how that was a cakewalk for the Eagles. They’ve been the best team in the NFC all season. They had the top seed and that first-round bye because they had spent the previous five months earning that.

Oh, and that early “reception” by DaVonte Smith that replay later showed was incomplete? That’s not on the officials. Did YOU know Smith didn’t control it until you saw the replay following the commercial?

No, you didn’t. And neither did I.

That’s on Kyle Shanahan for not challenging the play.

Eagles and Chiefs.

It had to be you.

I’ll get to Kellen Moore later in the day.

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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.