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

    02/26/24 That’s not a “portal.” It’s the Twilight Zone. Chances for improvement? Almost “NIL.”

    College football’s rosy cheeks are flush with money. The game’s family looks healthy. But the appearance hides a systemic—and life-threatening—illness. The sport has never been more popular or more lucrative. Media contracts continue to inflate and expand, with no signs of bursting. Coaches have become corporations, complete with CEO-size compensation packages. Players enjoy freedom from forced poverty and freedom of movement. Changes have been made and wrongs have been righted. But in the process, college football is now living in a vacuum of chaos, angst and even lawlessness. The ultimate team sport is now played by transactional, lone-wolf free-agents.  That

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    02/21/24 It could be worse, I guess…

    I’da been just fine with the CFP staying with a four-team format.  I thought it played out exactly the way it should have this past season. I maintain the Committee got the four teams right and seeded them in the proper order.  The Committee’s charge was to identify the four best teams at the time it released its final rankings. While I was emotionally sympathetic to the plight of the 12-0 Florida State Seminoles, the loss of their star quarterback to injury clearly lowered them below the four-team threshold.  Actually, Georgia had a stronger case, even after losing the SEC

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    02/16/24 This is why we can’t have nice things.

    I’m angry. We are a gun-worshiping culture that has perfected the perverse art of taking the beautiful and making it ugly. We take our kids to a wonderful Super Bowl championship parade and this happens. And then we wonder why so many of them struggle. We are a sick, gun-worshiping culture. Guns are our god. All I ask is that folks own their mistakes, apologize for them and learn from them. Looks like Travis Kelce has checked those boxes. Travis has now accurately described his sideline behavior as “unacceptable.” Then his brother, Jason, was right to tell Travis on their

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    02/13/24 Yeah, the NFL is really struggling, isn’t it?

    I’m OK that Andy Reid and Travis Kelce are apparently OK with Sunday’s sideline scene. I don’t have a right not to be OK with it. It’s their thing. It’s their relationship. It’s their team. And it’s pretty obvious their team is doing just fine. It’s just not my place to publicly criticize them. But I do have a right to tell you I didn’t like what happened. So, I’m telling you. I didn’t like what happened. Yeah, I went back and re-watched the Super Bowl in its entirety. I do that annually on the Monday after the game. It’s

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    02/12/24 MVC? Most Valuable Coach? Spags

    We all know that football is a 60-minute game. Unless of course it becomes a 74-minute and 57-second game. Super Bowl LVIII almost extended into a second 15-minute overtime period, until the Kansas City Chiefs made sure it didn’t. So, it took a while. But when it finally ended with the ball in the hands of Mecole Hardman, there was no doubt about either the victors or the game’s place in history. The Chiefs claimed their third Lombardi Trophy in the last five years by hanging in there while the 49ers serially refused to nail down their first Super Bowl

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    02/11/24 Final “pre-flight” check

    It’s less than eight hours until kickoff of SB LVIII. Picking against Patrick, Andy and the Chiefs can be foolish. (I was living proof of that last year.) But I’m taking the 49ers.  Here’s why: The SF offense is the best and the most versatile in the NFL. That attack can pull and stretch a defense in a greater number of directions than can any other team, certainly including the Chiefs. This will be a game of big plays. And the Niners have a greater number of explosive players than do the Chiefs. In hoop terms, San Fran has CMC,

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    02/07/24 Queso….who gonna win?

    The League—or as Mel Kiper Jr. pronounces it—the “:Lig”—better hope no 49er pops a hammy on that “soft” practice field. I wouldn’t want to piss off Kyle Shanahan. That guy can give you the Death Stare. It’s Wednesday, meaning it’s back-to-work day in Super Bowl Week. Which team is going to have a fight at practice? Happens almost every year. Folks are strung a little tight right about now, you know? Add this to your list of Super Bowl prop bets? Will Kadarius Toney see the field on Sunday? Ima say no. You? Consider this. Mahomes takes up about 17

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    02/06/24 The ‘Niners have not forgotten.

    Four years are an eternity in the NFL. Rosters and coaching staffs can turn over like tables at IHOP. Still, there are plenty of holdovers from the Chiefs-Niners Super Bowl matchup four years ago in Miami. The Chiefs remember that game as the start of their amazing SB run. The Niners are still smarting from the disappointment of “the one that got away.” San Francisco blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead, as Kansas City scored 21 unanswered points to turn that big deficit into a 31-20 victory. Have you forgotten about that game?  Kyle Shanahan hasn’t. George Kittle hasn’t. Nick

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    02/05/24 You coulda got big odds in…Vegas.

    Who’da thought we’d ever see a Super Bowl in Vegas? There was a not-too-distant time when you could have gotten long odds on that in…Vegas. I’m no prude. Nor am I naïve. But I admit that this All-Out-Love-Fest between the NFL and the gambling industry makes me squirm. But then, I think, ”What could possibly go wrong?”  Right? There’s a difference between business acumen and wanton greed. I fear the that in this matter and others, the NFL owners have crossed the line into the latter. You don’t figure one team or the other…or both…will have a player or two

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    02-02-24 Brock may be just Purdy enough.

    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

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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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