All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and I’d appreciate all your prayers — by the time you read this I will have embarked on a week’s “vacation” to Disney World. Since ESPN’s business model is collapsing I thought the least I could do was give thousands of dollars of my money to Disney.

But this trip should not qualify as a vacation. I’m going to be even more tired at the end of this week than I am at the end of a normal work week. And that’s a pale approximation of a vacation as far as I’m concerned. All vacations, in my mind, should involve pools and alcohol and warm weather. 

As a result of this “vacation” I won’t be hosting Outkick the Show next week and I’ll be doing limited Outkick the Show’s on Periscope and Facebook. I will, however, try and do a daily Disney World journal for the website. So all next week will be Clay goes to Disney World with his family on the site. 

We’ll see how that goes. 

In the meantime, on to the mailbag. 

C. writes:

“Clay, I recently lost my father. It was unexpected and he was my best friend. I am in my early 30s and have been married 9 years. My father’s death sent me into a pretty deep depression. Well my wife asked what she could do to cheer me up. So I said the first thing that came to mind. A blow job. Clay, I hadn’t got a blow job in 5 years! Over the next 3 weeks she gave me 5 more blow jobs to try and cheer me up. As they say time heals. I am back to my normal routine and now the BJ’s have stopped again. What is my play here? Should I fake being depressed? Should I feel guilty for using the worst thing to ever happen to me to get head?”

Amazing email. 

I have three sons and hopefully I’ll die before they do. If that happens and they are crushed over my death I would be totally fine with them using my death to get blow jobs from their wives.

So I don’t think you should feel bad about it. It’s not like you traded your dad’s life for five blow jobs.

That would be ridiculous.

I’m sure you’d want at least fifty blow jobs to make that deal.

As for whether you can fake ongoing depression to get blow jobs, I don’t think that will work. What you got were sympathy blow jobs and sympathy, as you quickly found out, eventually runs out and we all return to normal.

So I think you have to return to a blow jobless existence until your mom dies. 

Bittersweet, I know.

“Tons of you have written on email and Twitter a version of this question, what did you think of Trump’s press conference and his presidency so far?”

My hope when Donald Trump came into office was that he’d stop the sideshows and run a competent White House which was focused on cutting taxes and growing the economy. That’s what Wall Street, if you look at the run up since Trump was elected, still believes is going to happen.

But I’m starting to lose faith in Trump’s ability to do that.

I think at his most basic level Donald Trump is a pussy who desperately cares what other people think about him. That’s the only way to explain why he’s still fixated on how he won the presidency — who cares about the popular vote or your electoral college margin! — the crowds at his inauguration, and what the cast of Hamilton or Meryl Streep say about him.

Trump desperately wants to be liked and he’s willing to say whatever he needs to say for the audience in front of him to like him. Which is why his policies are so incoherent. 

That’s also why I think all the left wing talk of Trump as a dictator is so absurd. Dictator’s have supreme self confidence and crush all opposition. Deep down, Trump is very insecure.    

I mean, the guy is reading his damn Twitter mentions in the White House and watching all the TV shows as they talk about his presidency. 

Pretend that I was president for just an instant, do you think I’d read my mentions or watch TV shows talking about me all day long? Hell no, I’m the president, I don’t care what anyone else says about me now and I run a damn website and do a radio show. I sure as hell wouldn’t care how I got elected. All that would matter is that I won. 

Oddsmakers, astoundingly, now have Trump as a favorite to be impeached before he finishes his first term. But I actually think impeachment’s a bad move for Democrats because then you’d end up with Mike Pence as president and probably Paul Ryan as vice president. That would be an incredibly competent, conservative duo in charge of national policy and both men would get to run as incumbents. 

I think you want Trump in office because he’s not actually a conservative. Plus, he’s a great asset for you, probably, in 2018 midterm elections. If I had to bet right now, I’d honestly say that Trump, if he survives the first term, won’t run again in 2020 and will allow Pence to run instead of him. Trump will claim that he made America great again and is deciding to return to private life because he’s not a professional politician.

He’ll describe himself as a modern day George Washington. 

My best advice to Trump would be this — just calm the fuck down and chill out. You’ve been president for a month and no one has even been able to take a breath.

Just breathe.  

Jesse writes:

“I have no way to substantiate this theory, but wanted to get your input as the social media defender of all who are still sane. My daily Facebook and Twitter feeds look like two groups of mentally challenged kids on the playground fighting for the tether ball (the two groups being far left & far right and the tether ball being who’s “correct”). I’m not the type to delete old friends over this and find it downright entertaining, but I do think there is a large group of people who are quickly losing interest in this social media playground fight and are taking steps away from usage. Could the current state of craziness lead to the demise of Facebook, or at least a large downturn? I don’t find it crazy to think, but then again, I’m just a straight white male so what do I know?”

I use social media for my job and otherwise don’t engage on it in my private life. (To the extent that I have a private life at all.) I have a private Facebook profile with a small number of friends, but I pretty much just look at pictures of people’s kids and click like every now and then on a new picture.

What amazes me when I scroll through and see people arguing about politics on Facebook is the idea that you’re going to change anyone’s mind. Facebook political arguments are basically like bumper stickers on cars. Have you ever heard of someone having their mind changed by a bumper sticker? Have you ever pulled up behind a car and been like, “Before I saw that bumper sticker I wasn’t sure what I thought about second amendment rights or abortion, but that bumper sticker totally changed my world view.”

Of course not, right? 

So I don’t get the compulsion to go on Facebook and argue politics. I also don’t get why people who I’ve known for decades that didn’t care about politics back when I worked in politics are now insanely political. These people wouldn’t even go vote for president back in 1996 and 2000 and 2004 and now they’re diehards?

They’re like fairweather political fans. Where were you in all the other elections? Why did you just show up now and you’re suddenly a hard core Republican or a hard core Democrat? It’s like going out and buying a jersey of a team that makes the World Series or the Super Bowl and pretending you’re a diehard fan during that game or series.

You’re just trying way too hard.

I suspect the overt politicization of a site like Facebook hurts in the long run, but we’ll have to see. At least on Facebook you have to be a real person to have an account, if I were in charge of Twitter I’d institute the same rule. The reason why I think Twitter discourse is even worse than Facebook is because of the anonymity. 

Tanner writes:

“Why do people listen to the political opinion, or any opinion for that matter, of a famous pro athlete? If you really think about it most famous athletes have the equivalent of a 9th grade education because they skate by through high school then get to college and take joke classes for 1-3 years depending on what sport they are playing. It just makes absolutely no sense to me why so many people value their opinions on politics.”

The average athlete in this country is not very smart. That’s not meant as a criticism of athletes, it just means that athletes are like most people in this country.

And most people in this country are not smart. 

If you doubt this think of the person who has the most average intelligence you know — half the people are dumber than this. That’s downright scary. What’s more, due to something called the Dunning Kruger effect, the dumber you are the less able you are to understand your own lack of intelligence. That is, the dumbest people in this country are so dumb they actually think they are the smart people and other people are dumb. 

Once you understand this the entire Internet makes sense.

Most of the Internet is dumb people arguing with each other. And those dumb people actually think they are smart.

Think about all the opinions you hear from athletes, almost all of them are softball questions that don’t require any follow up or analysis. It’s very basic, elementary in nature. As a result we don’t get to probe the depth of that athlete’s understanding of his political beliefs, which is really the test that anyone who wants to be taken seriously for being politically active should have to pass.

For instance, if I had LeBron James on my radio show to talk politics for a half hour, I suspect you would rapidly discover that his political beliefs lack depth of comprehension and reasoning. That’s not a knock on LeBron, he’s like most people in this country, he has surface level political opinions that are based on his own perceptions — frequently influenced by social media — but little ability to connote a coherent political vision. Unlike most people, however, LeBron’s opinion is taken more seriously. (It’s not just LeBron either. We managed to elect a president who doesn’t appear to have a coherent political philosophy.) 

Based on tests they do on voters only about 10% of Americans have a coherent political vision. When questioned on politics most people believe things that contradict each other. That’s how so many voters in this country can swing from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016.

This drives the political elite insane, but there were tens of thousands of voters in New Hampshire deciding on primary day whether to vote for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

That’s because most voters respond to politics in an emotional way. They aren’t making rational decisions. 

And that’s what athletes are doing too.  

When an athlete speaks out this also plays into the liberal sports media’s bias because it allows the media member to write or talk about a story that they’d like to weigh in on — criticizing Donald Trump — but using the athlete as the jumping off point. So long as the athlete criticizes Trump then the athlete receives universal praise for “finding his voice” or “using his platform for something bigger than sports.”

Have you heard a single athlete criticized by anyone in the sports media for ripping Donald Trump? So it’s a free opportunity to score political points, you get only praise so long as you don’t say something conservative.  

I suspect that we’ll eventually reach a point in time where athlete political opinions become like Hollywood political opinions, where it’s just kind of background noise and most people don’t really pay attention to what an actor and actress says. But athletes giving political opinions is so new there’s a novelty to it. 

Right now when LeBron James says something about Donald Trump it’s the lead story from his press conference. When Leonardo Dicaprio says it on the stage at the Oscars, do we react the same way? Not usually. I think that’s because we’ve come to expect it.

The final angle here is this — MSESPN has become so liberal that I think a big part of it is the network’s decision to cover these statements as a big story. The biggest power MSESPN has is deciding which stories to cover. The athletes are saying what MSESPN wants to say and this gives them an opportunity to move more and more to the left wing.  

Jay writes:

“Can you imagine the discussions between the Nike marketing “we should be a social justice company” and the business side at Nike?

Nike, from its roots, has been an importing company. It’s been dogged for DECADES by this “sweatshop” accusation, and they’ve never really come up with a good response other than “we’re getting better.” Why, then, would these morons in the marketing department cook up this high-minded “equality” campaign when they KNEW it would re-open this entire line of questioning?

But since they opened this line of questioning, I have some questions:

1. How much would a new pair of Jordans or Lebrons cost if Nike paid those overseas manufacturers the $15/hr the SJWs always demand here?

2. What would the market be for the shoes at that new price?

3. What happens to Nike (executives) when those sales hit Wall Street?

And finally…

4. What happens to Bron-Bron’s precious lifetime contract with Nike?”

Nike is relying on the fact that most people are dumb and won’t recognize the inherent hypocrisy in coming out in favor of equality when the vast majority of the workers making your product earn $3 a day.

I’d love to know what LeBron or Jordan’s shoes would cost if they were entirely manufactured in the United States. And how much that would cut sales and earnings.

I suspect that Nike would not be able to function as a public company if they had to pay United States manufacturing costs.

Which means that Nike’s entire existence as a public company, contrary to its current marketing slogan, relies on inequality.

That glaring hypocrisy would have definitely caused me to raise my hand if I were on Nike’s board and saw this potential campaign. I would have said, “Look, I get what we’re going for here, but is the pay off on this equality campaign really worth bringing to the forefront once again the fact that we pay our overseas workers vastly unequal wages?” 

I think the answer is no, but Nike has gambled that most social justice warriors are too dumb to see this hypocrisy. 

I don’t begrudge Nike’s decision to produce its products in the most efficient global manner possible — after all, I’m a capitalist — but I do think this advertising campaign is total bullshit. 


Just stop. 

Nike’s entire business is founded on inequality. 

Will writes:

“Do you have an ultimate vision of what you want Outkick to be? Are you looking to become a sports version of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV, or are you just taking a look at every opportunity as they come, deciding what is best in that moment, and seeing what the end result is? I would subscribe to an internet streaming service with your show and shows of people you consider worthwhile. I think others would to.”

Outkick is growing like gangbusters on radio and with our live Facebook and Periscope shows. 

I want Outkick to be four things: smart, original, funny, and authentic. 

That’s the guiding ethos behind every decision I make. 

We’re a multi-million dollar business that has insane profit margins right now.

All of my existing contracts expire on June 30, 2018. So I would suspect that I’ll be making a ton of major decisions at this time next year. Until then my goal is the same as it has always been — nothing less than nationwide domination. 

Have great weekends, I’m off to Disney World. 

Pray for me. 

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.