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

    01/23/22

    hardly knew ye. In each conference, the bye led only to “bye!” Now what, Packers.  You’ve won 13 regular season games for three straight years and have not even a Super Bowl appearance to show for it. Your star quarterback now has plenty of time to “do his own research” about where or even whether he’ll play in 2022. Your special teams are a travesty. You got a FG blocked. You got a punt blocked for a touchdown. You gave up a 45-yard kick return. And, as Robby Gould kicked the Niners into the NFC Championship Game, only ten guys

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    01/22/22

    It’s my favorite weekend of the sports calendar. NFL Divisional round. Four playoff games, eight teams, each of which is thoroughly convinced it is going to win the SuperBowl. Seven of them will be wrong.                 As the late John Madden used to say, I love the “finality” of it all. It’s like four country songs. Four teams this weekend are going to lose their (pick one): Dog Girl Truck Mama So, it’s appropriate that the first of the quartet of games is in Nashville, right? Love me some Burrow, but I can’t see the Titans losing. Rested. Healthy. King

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    01/21/22

    The NFL has fined Dak 25-large. “Credit to them then.” Dak had it coming. To his “credit,” he has owned his unacceptable post-game remarks and apologized for them. No tv announcers going to the Beijing Olympics. I’ll promise you those announcers are elated. OK, Paul. Quit stalling… Bengals at Titans, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Being a top seed and getting that bye is a big deal. The Bengals are about to find out how big a deal it is. Tennessee is rested, and King Henry is back on his throne. Nashville is one of the absolute best homefield, game day environments

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    01-20/22

    Mike McCarthy says he “knows how to win.”  Coulda fooled me. Look. Dan Quinn is going to get a head coaching job. And he’s going to get it in the next week or so. Be bold, Jerrah… Respect to Dak for manning up and apologizing. Told by a reporter following Sunday’s crushing loss to the 49ers that fans had been throwing objects at officials rather than at players, Dak said, “Credit to them, then.”  Unacceptable. And Dak realized it. And owned it. And issued a full and unqualified retraction and apology. That’s the way you do that. Politicians, go to

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    01/19/22

    Different NFL head coaches bring different skill sets and strengths to the job. Some are organizational CEOs. Some are intuitively precise game planners. Others make genius in-game decisions and adjustments. Many of the best coaches are simply great leaders of men. Here’s where I am. I don’t know what Mike McCarthy’s particular strength is. I don’t know if he has a particular strength. I really don’t even know what he does. He’s been an NFL head coach for 15 years. So presumably he can hire a staff, run a meeting and make a practice schedule. But what “special” thing does

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    01/18/22

    Man. In the NFL, folks can sure go from basking in warm, bright sunshine to shivering on the dark side of the moon in a hurry, can’t they? Ain’t that right, Kyler Murray? Can I get an Amen, Kliffie? Howya hittin’ ‘em, Groods? I bet they kept a seat warm fawya at the NFL Network, Mike Mayock. Hot head coaching candidate? You’re lucky you got a job, Kellen Moore. And I wouldn’t say a damn word if I were you, Mike McCarthy. Nobody loves you anymore, Brandon Staley. Your act is now stale, indeed. Hell, even The Hoodie needs to

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    01/17/22

    Please don’t tell me you don’t understand how this happened. It is no mystery. The 49ers outrushed the Cowboys 169-77. The 49ers rushed the ball 38 times. The Cowboys ran it 21. Yes. ATTEMPTS matter. Turnovers were a draw. Dak and Jimmy G. each threw a pick. Neither team lost a fumble. TOP? The Niners had the ball for 34 minutes. Pass rush? I suggested last week that the 49ers would get more heat on Dak than the Cowboys would put on Garoppolo. Prescott was sacked five times, despite the Niners not having Nick Bosa for most of the game.

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    01/16/22

    Dismissed. That goes for Djokovic’s appeal. That also goes for Djokovic’s argument. That also goes for Djokovic himself. He was wrong at every level, on every subject. He’s on his way to Doo-BYE!   It’s 6:01 a.m., and Patriot defensive backs are still curled up in the fetal position. Five TD passes by Bills’ slinger Josh Allen. Seven consecutive TD drives to start a playoff game. Buffalo has been on fire ever since that first regular season meeting with the Pats, when New England won while attempting only three passes. How can you not smile when you watch Joe Burrow

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    01/15/22

    I’m having a difficult time understanding why this Djokovic thing is a thing. What am I missing? He lied. He falsified documents. He brazenly dismissed Australia’s immigration laws and violated that country’s sovereignty. He endangered the safety of other individuals and posed a threat to Australia’s public health. He has also brought dishonor to his sport. Why is this a thing?  Why is he not already “leavin’ on a jet plane”? Or facing criminal charges in Australia? Fault on Serb. And speaking of rotten human beings, Todd Graham has burned another bridge, this time across the Pacific. Graham has resigned

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    01/14/22

    It’s getting pretty difficult to be a Texans fan. Thursday’s firing of David Culley was shameful. Not that it was surprising. When Nick Caserio did not immediately say following the season finale that Coach Culley would be back next year, you knew he was gone.  He knew he was gone. But as always, Culley remained a consummate professional and gentleman. The 2021 Houston Texans were an abysmal football team with limitless problems. Their head coach was not one of them. I watched all 17 Texans games. With the lone exception of the Week 13 debacle against the Colts, they played

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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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    PAUL’S MEMORABLE ENCOUNTER: Jesse Owens

    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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