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Welcome back, National Football League, for your 104th season!

Man, had I missed you…

That was some Crystal Blue Persuasion the Lions applied to the Chiefs on Opening Night. The tone was set on the Lions’ second possession, when they converted a fourth and short from their own 17 off a fake punt, fueling a 91-yard touchdown drive. I said a fake punt from their own 17. That took stones, and Dan Campbell’s Mo Cats kept the testosterone valve in the “open” position for the rest of the evening.

And Brian Branch’s 50-yard pick six was exactly the kind of play The Same Old Lions would never have made in the past.

There’s no cause for panic in KC. But the Chiefs are an entirely different team without Travis Kelce. (And Mahomes is an entirely different quarterback,) As a result of Thursday night, I look for the Chiefs to end Chris Jones’ holdout quickly, maybe as early as lunchtime today. Jones’ presence at Arrowhead told me he wants to get a deal done. But who were those two Soprano mafiosi sandwiching Jones in the stands? Fuggedaboudditt…

Winning at Arrowhead is quite a feat anytime, but particularly on Opening Night. The Chiefs remain the heavy favorites in the AFC West, at least in my mind, but there’s no doubt the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos took heart from what they saw Thursday.

“You’re saying there’s a chance?”  Yes.

OMT. Who was the screeching butcheress who desecrated the National Anthem?  I don’t know her name. Let’s keep it like that. I don’t want to know her name.  Have some respect, madam, whoever you are.

But maybe Thursday actually belonged to the Cincinnati Bengals, who locked up Joe Burrow with a five-year, $275 million extension, making him This Week’s Highest Paid Player in NFL History.

Now we move to Sunday’s Week One Buffet, which includes such delectable dishes as Cowboys-Giants, Texans-Ravens, Bengals-Browns, ‘Niners-Steelers, Packers-Bears, Eagles-Pats, Raiders-Broncos and Dolphins-Chargers.

Wonder what that loopy protester at the U.S. Open thought he was accomplishing by gluing his bare feet to the concrete floor at Arthur Ashe Stadium? Gee, that sure struck a blow for environmentalism, didn’t it?

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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.