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And you think Taylor Swift is polarizing? As we approach Super Bowl week, TS has nothing on BP.

BP. Yes. Brock Purdy. Hard to believe, but the former “Mr. Irrelevant”—as much as I despise that term—has somehow divided football folks into two separate, distinct and vocal camps.

There’s Pro-Purdy.

And there’s Anti-Purdy.

Gee, the gentleman hardly appears to be the divisive type.

But here we are. Nobody sparks louder and hotter screaming matches among talking heads and armchair QBs than Young Brock.

“He’s a legitimate MVP candidate!”

“Hell, no, you ignorant slut!. He’s a ‘system quarterback’ with average skills and multiple limitations! What guy are you watching?”

At this point I’m tempted to digress into a hand-wringing societal lamentation about our ridiculous obsession with “binary” thinking” and our very unattractive history of building people up just to tear them down.

But I’ll spare you the pain.

Fortunately, there is one thing about which we can all agree. Purdy will be the second-best quarterback on the field in Super Bowl LVIII. Of course, that would also be true if the NFC QB were Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins or Jordan Love.

Mahomes occupies a higher orbit than any other NFL spaceship.

But I will state flatly that it is shortsighted, misguided, ill-informed, unfair and technically ignorant to write Purdy off as a mere “game manager,” or whatever the lazy, pejorative cliché of the week is.

Purdy can play. Is that not obvious? As a rookie in 2022, he didn’t lose a game as a starting quarterback until he was knocked out of the NFC Championship against the Eagles with a serious elbow injury that required a surgery that came with an arduous rehab and without guaranteed success. Not only did Purdy make a complete recovery, he didn’t miss a day of training camp.

Tough? Check.

And seemingly everybody loved him until some in the media decided it was uncool to love Brock Purdy.

“His arm is not strong enough.” Categorically false. I watch the ball come off his hand. He has more than adequate arm strength. For some of you, watching Josh Allen and Justin Herbert has warped your calibration. Purdy’s arm has ample “muzzle velocity.” He can throw the deep out. He can throw into tight windows. He is not “Checkdown Charlie.” He can drive the ball downfield.

Look. I’m not saying BP is Joe Montana at this stage of his career. But there are stylistic similarities. And I will promise you without equivocation that Purdy has a stronger arm than Montana ever had.

Purdy throws completions, in part because he makes better pre-snap reads than any other NFL passer not named Mahomes. And he’s in his second year. He can throw—with velocity—moving to his left.

And don’t question his wheels. He not only has mobility in the pocket, he can run. Period. Ask the Lions. Purdy can cut, and he runs aggressively. In fact, if I were Kyle Shanahan, I would immediately order Purdy to stop taking on linebackers and safeties.

I’m not Purdy’s agent. I’m not his uncle. I’m not his publicist. But there’s a reason why Purdy set the Niners’ single-season passing yardage record. And there’s a reason he received serious consideration for NFL MVP.

Brock will be the second-best looking QB on the field a week from Sunday in Vegas. But he may be Purdy enough to get the job done.

Two coaching notes. I’m happy for Dan Quinn. And I heard a lengthy interview Thursday with the Panthers’ new hire, 42-year-old Dave Canales. As the Bucs’ O.C. this season, Canales brought out the best in Baker Mayfield. The Panthers hope he can do the same thing with Bryce Young.

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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.