Enlightened uncertainty

I don’t know.

That felt so good.

OK, yeah, you don’t know, either. And, yeah that felt pretty good, too.
Some things are certain, because they have been factually established. The acceleration of Earth’s gravity near the surface of our planet is 9.8 meters per second per second. I’m disinclined to argue with you about it. Smart folks have worked this out. So, yeah, I know that. And in this case, it would be disingenuous for me to say, “I don’t know.” I do. And denying a known fact is as unethical as advancing a known falsehood.

We don’t know everything. We never will. I find that exciting. It puts a little kick in every day ending in “y.”

We only know what we know when we know it. But we don’t have to know everything to know something. Knowledge is cumulative. There are things we don’t know yet, but inevitably will.

There are other things we don’t yet know but probably will.
And then there are things about which we should be humbly uncertain, because they are by definition uncertain.

Hubris is never on uglier display than when we assert certainty about a subject whose status is permanently uncertain. See, “Religious Wars” for $200.

Fair warning. “My god can whup your god” is not gonna go well for you here. Similarly, “There’s only one way to salvation, and it just so happens to be mine,” is not rational, and will command no intellectual respect. Please remember the name of our company.

Faith will be respected. Dogma, not so much.

Nothing is more enlightened than acknowledging our uncertainty. It is not only rational and ethical, it is “lightening.” It will lighten our load.

“I don’t know,” is not weakness. It’s strength.

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    The Games People Play—All Things Sports

    11/29/23 The ‘Horns are in a boxed canyon, Mr. Dillon…

    Ain’t lookin’ good for the Longhorns’ chances of getting into the CFP. Texas is still #7 in this week’s rankings, with Georgia, Michigan, Washington and Florida State occupying the top four slots. If somehow Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC Championship game, both of those teams will get in. Yeah, I’m aware that Texas beat ‘Bama on the road by double digits in September. I agree that victory was the most impressive and impactful “W” posted by any team so far this season. There’s the rub—“so far.” The CFP Committee would consider a Crimson Tide upset of the Bulldogs to

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    The Aggies rebounded nicely from Saturday night’s Mark Stoops fiasco, as they immediately pivoted to Duke’s Mike Elko to succeed Jimbo Fisher as head coach. Elko gets it, and did a notably nice job in his stint as defensive coordinator at A&M from 2018-2021 before he split to become head coach with the Blue Devils. A&M players and Old Ags liked him. A&M has almost unequaled resources, and Elko will be able to marshal them in a way Fisher never could. Good hire. Now let’s see what the Houston Cougars do. It just never worked out with Dana Holgorsen, and

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    11/20/23 Lookin’ Great in the Lone Star State!

    It’s a good Monday to be a fan of our state’s NFL teams. The ‘Boys are on a nice roll. They’ve won four of their last five to get to 7-3, and did not play down to their competition in Sunday’s 33-10 burial of the now 1-9 Panthers. Micah Parsons made life miserable for Bryce Young, Tony Pollard got his first TD since Week One, Dak was clean and DaRon Bland continued his Crusade to Canton. Four pick-sixes in ten games? Outrageous. With seven games remaining, Bland has already tied the NFL record for most interception touchdowns in a season.

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    11/16/23 Elementary, My Dear Watson…

    Deshaun Watson is 40 percent through his five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns. He has played eleven games. And he won’t play any more in 2023 after doctors determined he needs immediate season-ending surgery to repair a displaced fracture in his throwing shoulder. Bad karma. So the Browns, with their Super Bowl caliber defense, now throw their quarterbacking keys to rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. That engine ain’t gonna turn over. The 6-3 Browns play the also offensively punchless—but also 6-3–Steelers on Sunday. Whatever the under is, bet the under. The 5-4 Bengals’ season could be on the line tonight when

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    11/8/23 Harbaugh, the habitual line-stepper

    I don’t think there is a great team in college football this season, but I’d probably trust Georgia more than I would Ohio State, Florida State or Michigan. Ohio State leaves me particularly flat. And it’s starting to look like you can’t trust Michigan for anything, including integrity. Harbaugh probably figures he can bail for the NFL ahead of the NCAA, the Big Ten and the UM administration. But the truth is that no team in the NFL wants him. Michigan used to pride itself on its institutional honor. Bo is turning and burning.   The Longhorns might be in

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    11/06/23 What a Sunday!

    We’ve seen a pattern in the NFL since the league imposed training restrictions and padded practice limits. These days the teams and players don’t seem to hit their strides until November. Now we’re up and running. That was by far the most exciting Sunday of the season thus far. I thought the Cowboys-Eagles game was a pretty accurate gauge of where those two teams are, relative to each other. The Cowboys are good. The Eagles are a little better right now. That could change. That was a microcosm of Dak’s career. He played with guts, heart and disregard for his

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    10/27/23 Dis and dat…

    I guess there’s just no such thing as pass interference on a last-play Hail Mary heave. Bills survive the Bucs, 24-18. Pulling hard for Maalik Murphy as he gets his first start at Texas Saturday vs. BYU, in place of the injured Quinn Ewers. Murphy earned my respect by staying committed to UT even after the ‘Horns landed Ewers and Arch Manning. Deshaun Watson is a no-go for the Browns as they visit the Seahawks Sunday. Watson is rehabbing his injured throwing shoulder and says he has no idea how long he’ll be out. This could end up being the

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    10/26/23 “Foul” trouble among some Spurs fans

    The reaction of some Spurs fans to Wemby’s debut Wednesday night was most unbecoming. The kid got into foul trouble. It happens. But he finished the fourth nicely. And his outrageous skill set is not in question. Relax. And stay classy, San Antonio. Thank you, Dusty! Like a great jazz musician, you always played everything in exactly the right key at exactly the right tempo. With the exception of their blowout win over the Dolphins, the Bills haven’t looked right all season. Now 4-3, Buffalo needs this game tonight against the Bucs. The NFL trade deadline is Halloween. For decades,

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    10/25/23 Wemby Mania!

    Wemby Mania? Sure! I’m in. This should be a fun ride. The Kid’s skill set is beyond dazzling. And I love that the Spurs are starting their season at home against The Hated Dallas Mavericks. (Yes, that is that franchise’s official name.) The league season opened Tuesday night with the Nuggets getting their rings and the Lakers getting beat. That made for a good night in my book. The Phillies pulled an Astros and lost games Six and Seven at home. D-Backs vs. Rangers in the Fall Classic. I’m sure someone will tell me who won when it’s over. Colts

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    I refuse to believe that the road team will win all seven games. And that’s my illogical, irrational, impertinent reason for picking the Astros tonight at Minute Maid.  Yes. This series has reduced me to that. It was weird having both the Cowboys and Texans off on Sunday. But it did give me the freedom to channel surf and assess the state of officiating in the NFL. The state is not good, as I’m sure the Indianapolis Colts would agree. The Zebras might want to revisit the term, “uncatchable.” The college stripes weren’t much better—if any—on Saturday. As I’m sure

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    It Was My Privilege

    I’m fortunate that over the course of my life and career I have encountered many unforgettable newsmakers. This series is not about self-aggrandizement or name-dropping. It’s just me expressing deep gratitude.

    Paul’s Memorable Encounter: Keith Hernandez

    My first full day of work at KMOX (now KMOV) TV in St. Louis was June 7, 1980. I was a 25-year-old, just-hired sportscaster whose previous tv jobs had been in Tucson and Austin. Movin’ on up to the East Side! I was incredibly fortunate and grateful. KMOX was CBS owned-and-operated. I reported to the newsroom at 8:30 a.m. and was immediately told to high-tail it to the airport along with photographer Bob Bauer. The Cardinals had just fired manager Ken Boyer, a former Card All-Star third-baseman and St. Louis hometown fan favorite. The early-morning whacking had occurred in Atlanta,

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    Paul’s Memorable Encounter: Joe Namath

    This would have been the summer of 1981. I was working as a nightly sportscaster at KMOX (now KMOV) TV in St. Louis. My sportscasting partner was a very gracious gentleman named Tim Van Galder. TVG had been a record-setting quarterback at Iowa State (The ‘Clones) and later spent time with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as Jim Hart’s backup. But it must be noted that in one of his NFL starts, he led the Cards to a win over the Colts and Johnny Unitas. Yes. That Johnny Unitas. Timmy also had a cup of coffee with the Jets.

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    Paul’s Memorable Encounter: Howie Long

    January, 1984. I was working for CBS, based out of St. Louis.  I was sent to Tampa to cover Super Bowl XVIII between the Washington Redskins (yes, at the time) and the Los Angeles Raiders at The Big Sombrero. Washington was the defending SB champ and was heavily favored. The Raiders flew into Tampa on Monday. They arrived at their team hotel about a half hour before I was supposed to interview Raiders Coach Tom Flores in the hotel lobby. We had set up the interview through the Raiders’ p.r. staff.  Everything is cool. Until…two minutes before airtime and Coach

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    Paul’s Memorable Encounter: Walter Payton

    Fact.  I used to have a shoe contract.  Yeah, that still sounds every bit as absurd to me as it does to you. But, yeah. Mid-80s. I was living and working in St. Louis as a television and radio sportscaster. I was approached by a representative of a newly-launched athletic shoe company named “Kangaroos.”  They were sharp enough kicks, especially for the era. White, with red ‘Roos on both sides of the heels. Enter Big Money. Rep tells me Kangaroos will pay me fifteen dollars a week to wear their shoes. I asked my tv station management if they were

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    Paul’s Memorable Encounter: Deacon Jones

    This would have been the mid-1980s. My agent got me a gig doing two weeks of promotional work for Miller Lite. The star of the promotion was retired NFL Hall-of-Famer Deacon Jones.  The co-star was another unforgettable retired NFL defensive lineman, Ben Davidson. So on the first Monday morning of the gig, I walked into the coffee-break room of the production studio, where I was told I was to meet Deacon and Ben, aka Mr. Jones and Mr. Davidson.  I entered the break room and tried to stay as inconspicuous as possible. But suddenly, The Voice of Thor rang out. 

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    It was the Spring of 1980. I was living and working in Tucson as sports director at the CBS affiliate, KOLD-TV. I learned that one of history’s greatest athletes was being treated for a terminal illness at the University of Arizona Medical Center.Jesse Owens. The news staggered me. I’ve always been a track buff and an amateur Olympic historian. There was no American athlete for whom I had more respect and even reverence. When I was a very young child, my former sprint champion father taught me to revere his name and legacy.Jesse Owens. That Jesse Owens. The American hero

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