All That and a Bag of Mail

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I’m writing the mailbag this Friday on absolute fumes. We just finished the final radio show of the week and all my media obligations are now complete except for a bunch of local radio interviews that I have to do in an hour or so and Saturday’s hit on Fox News with Greg Gutfeld.

Which is good because I’ve slept about 7 total hours in the past 72 hours. So if there are more typos here than normal, that’s why. I can barely see straight as a type.  

My wife got into town yesterday and last night we went to the EA Sports party to see Sam Hunt and the Chainsmokers. As we were leaving the concert, I walk past a tall guy and he reaches out and gives me a clear dap. It takes me a moment to realize who it was — Vince Vaughn! My wife, who usually doesn’t acknowledge anything positive that happens to me and argues that I’m exagerrating, and Doug Gottlieb both witnessed the dap. So now the big question is two-fold:

1. Did Vaughn know who I was when he gave me dap?


2. If he mistakenly thought I was someone else, who did he think I was?

Gotta be the dude from WestWorld, right?

My other favorite part of Super Bowl week so far was Wednesday night when I’m at “The Men’s Club” a Houston-area strip club. The place is packed — it’s Super Bowl week after all and one of the strippers told me there were 114 girls working. I come out of the bathroom and a topless stripper in the middle of a lap dance yells, “I love you Clay Travis!”

So of course I walk over there thinking, “Damn, I knew Outkick was big in Houston, but do we really have tons of stripper fans now too?”

When I get there the dude with the topless stripper grinding on him pulls out his business card and says, “Love Outkick, next time you’re in Baton Rouge, come by the restaurant.”

And he gives me his business card. 

Total LSU fan move there — tell the stripper to yell my name and then invite me to your restaurant while she’s sitting topless on your lap. 

How many other people in sports media have fans who pull this off?

Virtually none. 

Love you guys. 

Okay, on to the mailbag.  

I get this question a ton from people who wonder what it’s like to be a media member at the Super Bowl:

“What’s your day like at the Super Bowl?”

This is the first Super Bowl I’ve attended with an early morning national radio show to do each weekday — make sure you’re listening on SiriusXM channel 83 — and, wow, it’s a wild ride, so much tougher than the other Super Bowls I’ve attended when I didn’t have to be up before dawn grinding away.

Here was my Tuesday in Houston:

4 am wake up and check news to see if there are any overnight topics that need to be covered on the show. Turns out there is a major story that has dropped — LeBron James went off on Charles Barkley. Bang, new show lead so I’ve got to prep for that. 

5-8 am do the Outkick the Coverage radio show

8-10 am tape additional show segments, interviews with guests on radio row that will air on later shows this week. 

10am-12 pm write and publish the anonymous mailbag

10:30 take 15 minute writing break to do live radio hit with Birmingham’s JOX radio

12-12:30 eat lunch and decide what to talk about on Outkick the Show

12:30-12:45 15 minutes live with Memphis radio station 92.7

1-2 pm Go live with Outkick the Show for nearly an hour

2-3 pm Hit the hotel gym to ensure that my perfect dad bod remains a perfect dad bod

3:30-5 pm Head to Fox TV set and do live TV on “Speak for Yourself”

So in the space of 12 hours on Super Bowl week Tuesday I did three hours of live radio, an additional 30 minutes of live local radio in Memphis and Birmingham, nearly an hour live on Facebook and Periscope and then live television on FS1. Included in that time I also cranked out the anonymous mailbag.

And this day wasn’t an outlier, that’s basically every day for the entire week at the Super Bowl. (Honestly, it’s not really an outlier in general. That’s my typical Tuesday if you leave out the TV hit.)   

That is an absolute ton of content every day. In fact, I think that’s more content than anyone else in sports media produces. In fact, I’m not sure who is even number two on this original content list.  

Right now it’s Friday morning and I just finished my live radio show from 5-8 am. During one of our taped interviews I also stepped over and did a live local TV hit with Houston’s Fox affiliate. Now I have one hour to write the entire mailbag before I’m scheduled to meet with the Fox Sports Radio advertising team and then do a bunch of local radio interviews on radio row. Right now I’m typing the mailbag and it’s pitch black in my hotel room because my wife is still sleeping from last night and the blackout curtains are drawn. So I’m hunched over the keyboard trying to make my keyboard make less of a sound when I hit the keys. 

Did I also mention that I’m also in my boxers because I haven’t taken a shower yet? 

It’s a glamorous life. 

I tell you all of this because there’s no secret to Outkick’s growth, it’s mostly me working my ass off all day long. Before most media will wake up here in Houston, I will have done three hours of radio, local TV, written an entire column on my website, and done a bunch of local radio interviews. 

This is why I’m going to die at 45. (And why my wife, who is still blissfully sleeping away behind me, is going to live to be 105).

“Tons of you, what in the world was Butch Jones thinking with his five star hearts comment?”

Butch Jones is the coach everyone had who thinks he invented all the cliches that he uses. All coaches use cliches, but it’s the ones who think they invented the cliches that are tough to handle.  

Remember how you had that one coach who would give you a pregame speech and it definitely included, “There’s no i in team,” and when the coach said it he paused like he’d just uttered the most profoundly original thought in the history of mankind?

That’s Butch.  

If you only sign one five star and your overall recruiting class is average at best, it’s probably not the best time to decide to uncork the five star hearts comment.

Between this and the life championship comments it seems clear that Butch Jones is leading the #bap school of thought right now. And that ain’t good. 

Brian writes:

“Not sure if you’ve been asked but the fact that the SEC is tied to the hip by the SEC Network via ESPN is really bothering myself and several of my friends. Let’s face it, we are in the most conservative area of the country yet the mothership is continually cramming their agenda down our throats. I know the contract is long-term but do you see any possibility of the two sides disavowing this marriage? From the SEC’s perspective, the money is probably too much to risk elsewhere, so they might not want to leave, despite their fan bases not caring for the network as a whole. But ESPN is hemorrhaging cash at an alarming rate, is it conceivable they could make a buyout play here? I’m resigned to the fact that we are just stuck but I just wanted your take on it.”

Donald Trump won all 11 SEC states, many by a huge margin. I think it’s fair to say that Trump would have won the average SEC football stadium crowd by a margin of 65%-35% or higher. That is, the vast, vast majority of people in an SEC football stadium voted for Trump. This means there is a massive cultural disconnect between the liberal sports media agenda of ESPN and the average viewer of the SEC Network, which has become an incredible cash cow for the SEC and ESPN. 

Is that an unholy cultural alliance that threatens to break at some point in the future?

I think the answer is no because of all the money at stake in this partnership. Plus, the SEC Network hasn’t been partisan at all, that’s mostly happening at ESPN and ESPN2. 

But I will say I’m intrigued to see what will happen with the SEC’s game of the week on CBS. Will the SEC go all in with ESPN and sell that game to ESPN or will Fox become a significant player for these rights and make it a competitive bidding process? Selfishly, I’d love to see Fox make a run at this package and I think we will.  

By the way, college football fans basically got Donald Trump elected. Trump won every state in the SEC, every state in the Big 12 and every traditional Big Ten state except for Illinois and Minnesota (New Jersey and Maryland don’t count). The college football coalition is what got Donald Trump elected president.  

Despite what you read on Twitter, most sports fans are not left wing liberals. And college football fans are most assuredly voting Republican most of the time. 

Denver writes:

“How surprised or unsurprised would you be if you found out Trump read the mailbag? Or even better if if Trump started putting #DBAP on his tweets? Like him or not the guy totally does not give a crap what the snowflakes think. I keep saying he is the Clay Travis of Presidents so anti PC bromani it’s awesome and unlike anything we’ve ever seen. So perfect question for your gay Muslim opinion, of course he’d be a fan, but what’s the chance he reads/listens to Outkick?”

I don’t know if Trump reads anything on the Internet; I think he’s an old school newspaper guy so I’d be surprised if he ever read the site.

I also think that Trump is not actually embracing the #dbap lifestyle because many of his Tweets are pretty weak.  

I know we had quite a few Barack Obama White House readers and I’m sure we have a ton of Trump White House readers as well. Given how big of a sports fan he is if I were betting, I’d think there’s a pretty good chance that at some point in time Obama has read an Outkick article. Which is pretty cool to think about.

Better question is given how popular we are on college campuses and with law school students, how many future presidents, senators and governors will have been Outkick readers? I bet that ends up being a pretty decent percentage. 

Which is pretty amazing. 

Andrew writes:

“Earlier this week the American Gaming Association estimated that $4.5 billion will be bet on the Super Bowl, with $4.2 billion of that money being “illegally” gambled on the Super Bowl this year. That’s 97% being wagered illegally and that makes me think that legalized sports gambling is virtually
inevitable. I fully expect Donald Trump can push legislation through on the Federal level.

The question becomes the implementation of the legalization. Granted this is all speculative at this point, but how do you see legal sports betting being instituted? Would the states all need to hold referendums on gambling? After whatever legal and electoral hurdles are cleared, (because I can say with 100% certainty any ballot initiative will pass in any jurisdiction on the issue) the question then is ‘How will I place a bet?’ Do you envision retailers with betting windows (similar to lottery retailers here in Tennessee), gambling “hubs” similar to your sports books in Vegas, or mainly
online options?

It is shocking with all of the untapped revenue that legalized gambling would produce this has not already been implemented.”

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post this week that pointed out the Supreme Court has asked the federal government to issue a decision on whether it sides with New Jersey’s fight to overturn the federal prohibition on sports gambling. That suggests at least one Supreme Court justice agrees with me that the federal prohibition on sports gambling is unconstitutional. 

If the Supreme Court issued a ruling here — which would be fabulous — I think what they would rule is that individual states had the right to set their own sports gambling laws. Then what you would see is that each individual state would set up its own rules and regulations governing sports gambling over the next five years or so.

It would be similar to what you see now with alcohol laws, every state has their own particular rule about how alcohol is sold. That’s why you can buy wine and liquor in some grocery stores and in others you can’t.  

The real question would be, what happens with Internet sports gambling?

Because that’s where everything is moving. I think the vast majority of you agree with me that you want to be able to bet from your phones, including live betting during the games themselves, without having to drive somewhere and do it. So would states allow Internet gambling for sports? And how would that all work? It’s fascinating to think about. 

I’ve been of the belief for a long time that the thing that would make the most sense is an online trading database where individual fans bet with each other and knock out the need for a bookie at all. That way the house’s cut disappears and we effectively have an online stock market of sports gambling.

How cool would it be if, for instance, you paid a yearly membership fee to an Outkick betting site and every bet you placed required no juice and was straight up against another bettor? The Outkick site would hold your wager and released it to the winning side once the game was over. And you’d all be able to do this entirely from your phone.

It’s dynamic sports gambling wagering with virtually no juice and I think it’s coming in the future.   

Either way I think this all starts to happen rather rapidly and that five years from now we have entirely different sports gambling laws on the books in most states.


Okay, I’ve got to run back to radio row for more interviews and meetings. 

Thank you all for your support of Outkick and for having five star hearts. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.