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Deep breath. It’s on. All engines running leading up to the NFL’s 104th season. The Big Dog again takes the stage through Super Bowl 58 February 14 in Vegas. Woof!

But just when you thought the Cowboys might open camp without a major distraction, they now have a major distraction. Anybody seen Zack Martin? The eight-time Pro Bowl guard is not in Oxnard because he says he is “woefully underpaid.” And he’s right. On Tuesday Dallas locked up cornerback Trevon Diggs on a new long-term deal. And the club was right to do that. But now Jerrah and Stephen better make the Big Fella happy, because that offensive line does not work without him. Yes, this is a big deal…Git ‘er done.

I thought the Giants and Saquon reached a rational decision. The club gave him a little bump on his franchise tag in the form of incentives and a signing bonus and Saquon got into camp on time. Understand, we’ll likely do this same dance next summer, but for now there’s peace in the swamplands.

Josh Jacobs? Different scenario. He is genuinely pissed. The Raiders won’t be seeing him anytime soon.

Jonathan Taylor starts camp on the PUP list as he comes off ankle surgery. This was not unexpected, but it’s still a bummer for the Colts. The team says he won’t be out for long. We’ll see.

Justin Herbert’s new contract with the Chargers is the latest new QB contract, so naturally it is the biggest–$262 million—the largest in NFL history. This is truly a Golden Era for NFL quarterbacks, at least in the AFC. True confession: Herbert is probably my current man-crush in the league. I love watching that guy play football.

On the hoop side, Tuesday also proved to be a profitable one for the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown. Five years, $303.7 million, an NBA record. “Supermax,” indeed…

Ruh-roh. A federal judge Tuesday ruled that Brian Flores’ lawsuit charging the NFL with systemic racism will go to trial. This is the NFL’s worst nightmare. The league had hoped it could reach a quiet settlement or refer the issue to arbitration–where The Jolly Roger would be the arbiter. Nope. Get ready to be covered up in dirty laundry. I’ll state it again. This is the league’s worst nightmare.

Jimmy Graham back with the Saints after eight years? That’s a nice story. Let’s see how much he has left in his tank.

Brock Purdy has been medically cleared. Now let’s see what, if anything, that elbow surgery has done to his arm strength. The ‘Niners will be keeping a close eye on that. Consider this. If Purdy is not fully ready to go for the opener, I’ve got a fiver that says Sam Darnold—and not Trey Lance—will be SF’s interim starter.

The Texans say their new offense looks a lot like the 49ers’, schematically. That’s fine with me. That is a gorgeous system, in a brutal way.

Jim Harbaugh, Perpetual Line-Stepper. Four-game NCAA suspension for being a recruiting cheater and a lying crumbcake. Have I mentioned that I dislike that guy almost as much as I like his brother, John?

It’s down to one. The Astros are within one game of Texas in the AL West after winning another one-run game over the Rangers. Kyle Tucker and Martin Maldonado homered for Houston, rookie J.P. France pitched seven strong innings and closer Ryan Pressly nailed down his 24th save in Houston’s 4-3 victory. The ‘Stros will try to sweep the series and pull even with the Rangers in tonight’s finale at Minute Maid in a game that could see the return from injury of both Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve. We’re “go,” Houston!

Wishing the best for Bronny James. Earnest warning though. If any of you mouth-breathing conspiracy theorists groundlessly try to link his heart scare to the vaccine—and some of you morons are already doing that—I’m going to crush you like a grape in every medium I can access. Advance at your own peril.

U.S. vs. Netherlands tonight in the women’s World Cup. I am told that the Netherlands’ team is better than Vietnam’s.

Finally, I hope your day is as unexpectedly delightful as that 8-3-5 triple play Tuesday night at Fenway.

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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.