All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, time for Outkick’s mailbag. 

Thanks to everyone who listened to the Outkick the Coverage radio show nationwide from 6-9 am et on our 240+ national affiliates as well as on SiriusXM channel 83. We’ll be at the Super Bowl in Houston all next week so hope to see some Outkick readers and listeners there.  

Now let’s dive into the mailbag:

Eli writes:

“How can New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg know a man lost his job based on what he Tweeted and not feel any guilt or at least make a statement about the issue? It’s sad that a guy like that with such notoriety can post whatever he wants, be apathetic towards the consequences, and then NOT defend himself when asked to talk about it on your show. #DBAP”

I believe that Doug Adler losing his job over using the term “guerrilla effect” should be a watershed moment for all sports fans. A time when we all take a step back and ask, “What the hell are we doing here?” If you aren’t familiar with this story, go listen to the Outkick interview I did on Wednesday morning with Doug Adler, the ESPN commentator fired for doing absolutely nothing wrong at all.

This should have been a major, major national story and Outkick was the only outlet covering it. It’s absolutely shameful that Doug Adler lost his job over this and I think this story reflects how our ability to discuss race has been harmed by social media.

Most white people of all political persuasions are terrified of discussing race right now because of stories like these. There is literally nothing gained by saying anything other than, “Racism is bad.” The left wing has used racism as such a battering ram for so long that it’s broken our national discourse. 

That’s why I genuinely believe that we’re in the middle of a left wing McCarthy era, when everyone’s every public utterance is being examined for the requisite level of progressive tolerance. Just like during the 1950’s era when right wing Senator Joe McCarthy held hearings to try and expose their communist leanings the left wing in this country has gone beyond the pale when it comes to making accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, you name it. Everyone except for their chosen few is guilty of intolerance. 

It’s a contest to see who can become the most pristine social justice warriors. 

I think the only way this ends is with the left wing social justice warrior revolution ending up in a war with itself over who is more socially progressive. This is already starting to happen. Did you see that black lives matter activists accused the women’s marchers of white privilege? This fight is going to be glorious to see when it eventually happens. 

Until then this is the left wing’s McCarthy era, we’re right in the damn middle of it.

Donald Trump’s election is an attempt to push back against this tidal wave, but that McCarthy tidal wave is attempting to roll over Trump too. Honestly, I just wish we had a better combatant than Trump, who I think is badly flawed in many ways. Hell, I think many Trump voters feel the same way, but they were so desperate to send a message to the left wing that they used Trump as their vessel. 

But Rothenberg, the New York Times reporter who got Doug Adler fired, is emblematic of what the left wing now; he levies a brutal accusation against a man who did nothing wrong, costs him his job, and then refuses to defend his actions when called on it. Honestly, the “New York Times” should be ashamed of itself. But, of course, the NYT is incapable of shame. 

Bryan writes:

“Let’s assume that there is a video of Donald Trump and the golden shower prostitutes. If Outkick had the opportunity to purchase this footage, how much would you be willing to pay?”

What a stellar question. There are so many issues at play that I’ll have to walk you through my thinking. 

First, we’re assuming that it’s clearly Trump and you can see him and the video is of high enough quality that it’s readily apparent that it isn’t faked and whatnot. Because I’d have to watch it first and the video would have to be well done enough to convince me that it was real. Because you know how things work on the Internet, everyone immediately claims everything’s fake if they don’t agree with a story. So I’d need to be convinced it’s authentic. That’s the first hurdle I’d have.  

Second, I’d have to clear it with my legal advisers and make sure I wasn’t violating some obscure law because you know that Trump would try to put me in jail for publishing it and that he’d sue me for a billion dollars. With the Gawker/Hulk Hogan sex tape precedent out there this could turn into an incredible legal case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. So you’re talking about a legal battle that would be nasty and take years and years to resolve. My quick legal analysis is that this video would certainly be newsworthy enough that it would trump any argument about violation of privacy that Trump or his attorneys could make. (Plus, the calculus here is fascinating from a political perspective. By suing me over publishing the video wouldn’t Trump be acknowledging the video was real? So could he even sue me?) 

The third question becomes, okay, let’s analyze this from a purely business perspective. What I’d be doing here is essentially buying myself and Outkick total name recognition in the country. And it’s hard to assess what that’s worth, but it’s obviously worth a ton of money. But I’m on track to make a ton of money already so I can’t just make a decision based on money. Is the notoreity worth the potential headache of years of legal battles and whatnot. Also, what does this do to my career? My inclination is that it only helps me because it totally fits what I do and what Outkick does. That is, I think every single one of you reading this right now would be disappointed in me if I had the Donald Trump golden shower video and didn’t publish it.

Fourth, Fox would probably be upset with me for publishing the video so I’d imagine they’d cancel all my contracts so you have to factor in that loss of money. But then I’d be a media free agent and I think I’m probably underpaid given my market value and the audience I bring so I think that would be a net push. Especially since I can profit off my audience directly now without needing much help with distribution. Again, is anyone that watches, reads or listens to what I say now going to stop because I published a golden shower video with Trump? Of course not. So my audience would probably only grow.  

Fifth, and here is where it gets really dicey, the person selling this video would probably be shady as hell and I’d be worried that he was also selling it elsewhere so I wouldn’t actually have the video exclusively. For instance, what happens if I pay for the video, but in the time it takes me to put the video up someone else publishes it? Then I’m left with a worthless video. Outkick has never paid for any news story before and keep in mind that everyone else would copy the video and put it up online too.  

So I’d probably have to make my offer contingent on Outkick being the only site that has the video and we publish it first and the only way anyone else can have it over the next 24 hours is if people steal it from our site.

Sixth, if someone else publishes the video I can probably get nearly the same amount of attention just by linking to the video and talking about it with none of the legal dangers or consequences.  

So I’m sure we’d get outbid by someone else and that’s probably for the best because when you consider all these factors, I’d probably pay no more than $100k for the video.   

Andrew from Florida writes:

“My friends and I are having an argument that we need the advice of the greatest gay, radical, moderate, Muslim giver of sex and marriage advice. Here is the scenario:

Option 1: You are married to a total smoke show of a wife, I mean an 11 on a ten scale, the type of hotness that doesn’t fade over time no matter how many kids. However, you will only have sex at an absolute maximum two times a month, some months not at all.

Option 2: You are married to a cute 6 on a 10 scale. Pleasant on the eyes but definitely not the perfect body in any ones book. However, she takes you to bed 2-3 a week on a consistent basis. I mean, pop a movie in for the kids during a lazy Saturday afternoon, lock the doors, and Daddy is getting his game on!!

My personal opinion is Option 2. Otherwise it’s like looking at the worlds most delicious cake behind glass your whole life and never being able to touch it! I would rather settle for the plain, but still delicious chocolate chip cookie that I can have whenever I want. 

Oh Solomon of sex advice, what say you?”

I’d still go with the hotter wife.

First, there’s the possibility, however remote, that you could eventually turn her into a sex-crazed maniac — and she would probably at least be that way while she was trying to get pregnant. (This is the only time most men will ever be chased down for sex by their wives. I felt like a damn Triple Crown winning horse during this time in my life. It was amazing. I’ve never been happier than when my wife was trying to get pregnant the first time and just used me for sex. It was amazing.). Second, you’re devaluing the enjoyment that comes from just casual moments of exposure to true beauty. How much joy do you get out of watching your smoking hot wife do totally non-sexual things every day? For instance, my wife is hot and every time she gets out of the shower and I’m there I think, “Damn, good work by me.”

And my day is just better than it would have otherwise been just from seeing her naked even if I’m not touching her. The day I’m not excited to see a beautiful woman naked is the day I should no longer be on this planet. 

I don’t think most women think this way at all. In fact, I would wager that my wife has never seen me naked and thought, “Damn, good work by me,” in her life. (Now she might think it when she pulls into the driveway of our mansion though).  

I’d equate it to being a coach, would you rather have the guy playing corner who runs a 4.9 forty, but you know is always going to be in position in zone coverage, but can never cover the deep ball or take the guy who runs a 4.3 and hope you can coach him up? I take the guy who runs a 4.3 every time. You can’t teach speed just like you can’t teach hotness. The 4.9 guy always get you beat, the 4.3 guy could be a hall of famer if he’s coached right.

Think of it outside of marriage too, would you rather hook up with two perfect 10’s every month or eight different six’s? I’m taking the two perfect 10’s.  

Basically I think people who pick a large amount of something average over a small amount of something rare are idiots. 

Tom writes:

“I’m flying to West Palm beach in middle of February. Me and my buddy for one of the nights are going near FAUs campus to wild out and pick up chicks. We want to grab drinks with Joey Freshwater aka Lane Kiffin.

1) Best ways to coordinate this?
2) Is this even a good idea? What are the best case scenario for us if we go out with Joey? Worst case scenario?”

There are no worst case scenarios to going out with Joey Saltwater if you’re a single guy. Because even if he bangs the girl you like the most there will always be another hot girl there trying to bang Joey Saltwater and you can the girls he rejects. If you’re a married guy the worst case scenarios are clear, that Joey Saltwater bangs your wife in the bathroom ten minutes after he meets her. 

In all honesty, I’d figure out where the hottest 22-35 year old chicks in Boca go out on a regular basis and park your ass there. 

Joey Saltwater will appear soon enough. 

He’s like the monster in “Stranger Things” except instead of blood, he eventually shows up wherever there’s large quantities of hot ass. Hot ass brings him out of the coaching version of the underworld, aka the film room.  

Andrew writes:

“Absolutely love the show and your opinions. I actually have a #DBAP sign hanging in my office so I can point to it whenever someone is whining and crying for completely ridiculous reasons.

I listened to your segment on LeBron James and how he embodies the millennial generation. I am 28 years old and unfortunately part of this whining group who will certainly go down as the complete opposite of our Grandparents and the “Greatest Generation.” I try really hard to be a LeBron James fan because I truly believe he is one of the all-time greats. However, just when I think he is worth cheering for, he does something to show that he is still truly immature and selfish. The unfollow of the Cavs twitter/instagram account last year, the subtle passive-aggressive tweets, the flopping on the court at 6’8″, 250 lbs are just some examples of his immaturity. His over-reaction to Phil Jackson calling his group a “posse” is a perfect summation of this generation being hypersensitive to every single word that is spoken.

Lastly, thanks for providing some “tell it like it is” commentary instead of the liberal media bullshit that is put on display daily by ESPN.”

LeBron James is the king millennial because it’s not enough for him to be the best in the world, he has to let us know how he feels every minute of every day. It’s exhausting, just go play basketball, I’m sick of you emoting all the time. Other than Michael Jordan’s reaction when his dad died, was there every any moment in his career when you knew how Jordan felt? And that was entirely understandable, his dad died! (Maybe because of Michael Jordan’s gambling debts, but let’s just pretend that didn’t happen). Jordan, and most of his entire generation, were tough motherfuckers who just played basketball and entertained the hell out of us. 

I want to like LeBron, I really do, but he’s such a goddamn pussy that I can’t. 

Seriously, it’s impossible for me to watch LeBron now and not picture that giant ass safety pin that he wore on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s not just a bitch, he plays like a bitch too. The biggest, baddest man on the planet shouldn’t flop and act like he just got hit by an IED every time someone fouls him, it should be beneath him. 

Can you imagine Jordan flopping like LeBron does? Going public in a post-game news conference with someone calling him a bitch during trash talk on the basketball court? That’s just not how Jordan’s generation worked. I feel like I’m in an interesting position because I’m the youngest of the pre-millennial’s so I can look back to the people before me and also look forward to the people after me. I feel like I’m on a road between generations and the bridge I’m standing on is leading straight to pussyville. (And not a good pussyville where it’s just a big orgy of hot chicks. The bad pussyville where everyone of both genders curls up in the fetal position and cries the moment a bad word is uttered in their direction and the only people who have sex are all transgendered.)

We’re not going in a good direction as a soceity right now. 

And it’s not fair to paint with an entirely broad brush which is why I’m glad that many of you millennials see it and are punching back against the pussies in your generation. You need to fight a battle for the soul of your people. You have to nothing to fear but the pussies themselves.  

Jared from Arkansas writes:

“I know you often hate on ESPN (and most of the time rightfully so). But with the end of Mike & Mike and your increasing audience/success with the website, radio, TV and podcast, what price would ESPN have to offer you to work for them? Would you take a job at ESPN for 50% pay increase? Double your pay? Would you let them put restrictions on your content for a large enough salary?”

I’ll have a big decision to make next year when my contracts are all up, but I’m not going to make a decision based on money. I never have. Lots of people say that, but most end up always taking the most money available to them. I haven’t done that since I started with this career. In fact, the only time I left a job in sports media that I really liked to make more money than I was making — leaving CBS to go to Deadspin — it ended up being the worst decision I’ve made. (But ultimately even that ended up being the right decision because when you go to your boss and say someone has offered to double your salary and your boss can’t come close to matching the offer, it’s a good sign that you’ve probably reached as high as you can with that job and need to look elsewhere.)

When I walked away from practicing law to write about sports, I turned down way more guaranteed money practicing law to pursue my passion. When I started Outkick six years ago I could have gone to work for a major site and had more guaranteed up front money, but I took the risk of starting my own site and it has paid off in a big way.

When I walked away from my 3HL radio gig I turned down more immediately guaranteed money because Cumulus had severely underoffered me a multi-year deal relative to what my market value was. (Plus, we’d been number one in the market for a long time. I wanted a new challenge.) When I started Outkick the Show last year I turned down substantially more money in radio to do my own Periscope and Facebook show instead, the first of its kind, and that paid off in a big way too. Now I have the best of both worlds, a major national radio show that is dominating in its timeslot and an afternoon Periscope and Facebook show that’s rolling as well. 

My point is this, if you want to make smart strategic decisions in your career don’t look at the immediate money being offered, think about what you enjoy doing — because you’re probably going to have to work your ass off — and what you can make several years down the road. And then pick the job that offers you the greatest upside, not the greatest paycheck.  

To put it simply, I’m going to pick whichever job opportunities offer me the most creative freedom because I think the number one reason our audience at Outkick is exploding in growth is because I’m the most authentic person in sports media. (And maybe media overall).

I tell you exactly what I think every day.  

As long as I keep doing that in an entertaining way the money will follow. 

So if ESPN came to me next year and they said we want to give you a national radio show, a national TV show, and we’re writing into the contract that you have complete editorial freedom to say whatever you want about any subject on the table just like you do now. Well, then I’d think about their offer just like I’d think about any offer on the table. I don’t hate ESPN, I like a ton of the people who work there and I like quite a few of their top executives too.

But will they give me creative freedom to not be a left wing pussy? That seems unlikely. 

Regardless, there will be a ton of options out there next year and we’ll see what happens. Trust me, it’s a good time to be in the Clay Travis business.

Which is nice, because 14 years ago when I started writing online, let me tell you, it was not a good time to be in the Clay Travis business. Hell, it wasn’t a good time to be in the Clay Travis business for nearly a decade.

But now it is.

Cha ching.  

Anonymous University of Vermont student writes:

“I am a junior at the University of Vermont and to say the least it fucking sucks. I know it’s a little late to be coming to this conclusion but all everyone does is smoke weed and sit around and no one likes college football. I can’t stand the place.

Theoretically I could stay home for this spring semester and go to an SEC school in the fall and repeat junior year and get 2 solid years at an SEC school. So my question is: is it worth it at this point? Or should I tough out rest of my time at UVM and accept I went to the wrong college and that it’s just a little too late.”

If you go to a shitty undergrad school and you’re already close to graduating, I’d stay and graduate rather than transfer. 

Then I’d do one of two things:

1. Ensure you go somewhere awesome for grad school. 

2. Move to an awesome city as soon as you graduate. 

College is awesome, but you should have an incredible time being 22-30 as well as long as you don’t have kids too soon. 

Remember, and I say this all the time, but it’s completely true, no one should have a kid before 30. 

Hope y’all have great weekends. Thanks for supporting Outkick. 

This is Jared from Conway, Arkansas. I know you often hate on ESPN (and most of the time rightfully so). But with the end of Mike & Mike and your increasing audience/success with the website, radio, TV and podcast, what price would ESPN have to offer you to work for them? Would you take a job at ESPN for 50% pay increase? Double your pay? Would you let them put restrictions on your content for a large enough salary?
This is Jared from Conway, Arkansas. I know you often hate on ESPN (and most of the time rightfully so). But with the end of Mike & Mike and your increasing audience/success with the website, radio, TV and podcast, what price would ESPN have to offer you to work for them? Would you take a job at ESPN for 50% pay increase? Double your pay? Would you let them put restrictions on your content for a large enough salary?
This is Jared from Conway, Arkansas. I know you often hate on ESPN (and most of the time rightfully so). But with the end of Mike & Mike and your increasing audience/success with the website, radio, TV and podcast, what price would ESPN have to offer you to work for them? Would you take a job at ESPN for 50% pay increase? Double your pay? Would you let them put restrictions on your content for a large enough salary?

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.