All That and a Bag of Mail

I’m writing the mailbag as I sit on the balcony overlooking the Aruban beach. 

Not a bad setting. It’s so nice here that I even contemplated not delivering the mailbag today, but then I thought — who else will provide the needed distraction to tens of thousands of Outkick workers and students out there who are attempting to avoid work and studying?

I’m the hero you deserve, but not the one you need.

Read all the way to the end of today’s mailbag because we’ve got a major announcement coming there.

Here we go:

Jon H. writes:

“I was talking with some co-workers the other day about how cool it would be/who would win a pro football tournament World Cup style where the teams would be made up of professional players home state.

You would have to have a qualifying round to wean out 18 states so team Vermont (only state with zero nfl players) doesn’t have to go against team Texas and worry about literally getting mudered.

I’m afraid to ask your thoughts as you will correctly state that the south will dominate (the south represents the top 6 in active nfl players by capita), but I think California takes the crown. Instead of looking at specific players from each state I simply looked at the number of active nfl players and then found the best quarterback. California leads the nation in active NFL players and they have their choice of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady for quarterback.

Florida is number two in NFL players but the best quarterback I could think of who finished high school in Florida was Geno Smith.

This needs to happen, can you imagine if this took place in April/May every 4 years. How much would a network pay for the rights? You could also split up powerhouse states while combining several small states to create 32 somewhat equivalent teams.”

I absolutely love this idea. Can you imagine the television ratings for this if they played in June and July every four years, when otherwise nothing is going on? I think this thing would be worth billions of dollars in television rights fees. What if leading your team to a World Cup football title became every bit as important as winning a Super Bowl? 

The only addition I would make is you get to choose whether to represent your home state or the state you chose to go to play in for college. It would be like the Civil War all over again, you have to pick a state to represent. It would make recruiting even crazier. Can you imagine if pro athletes had hat ceremonies for this? You’ve got someone like Eli Manning having to pick between Mississippi and Louisiana with both states desperate to keep him. Think of the fall off in Louisiana if Manning says no and goes to Mississippi. You’re talking about Louisiana falling all the way to Matt Flynn. Or they’re going to get Jamarcus Russell on the phone and see if he’ll play again.   

Or how about Cam Newton picking between Alabama and Georgia. (Every Alabama football fan having to root insanely hard for Cam Newton would be incredible to see. And you know that the state of Alabama would immediately care the most about the World Cup of football and start cheating like crazy to get guys to play for them.) That’s why I think you’d have to standardize pay for everyone regardless of the state they represent. Figure this tournament would be worth $3 billion, at least. That would mean that every team would have $50 million to pay players. 

Can you imagine the competition that would ensue for Tom Brady, for instance? Does he take Michigan or California? How about the gamesmanship over who the starting quarterback is?

Hell, I could do an entire column on these quarterback choices. 

For instance, who does Texas pick as its World Cup quarterback? You’ve got Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, RG3 and Johnny Manziel who all played high school football in the state. What about the guys who only have one state option — Dalton, Tannehill, RG3 and Manziel all played high school and college in the same state. If you’re a double state guy do we give you free agency to sign with any other state if your home state doesn’t want you to start? Can you imagine if like New Hampshire got Johnny Manziel to play for them? Or RG3 resurrected his quarterbacking career leading Vermont to the World Cup Elite 8?

I love everything about this idea.  

How about Calfornia with the aforementioned Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers debate. But remember you’d also have Carson Palmer as an option. And Palmer is a double California player too. So is he a high profile free agent? Can you imagine how pissy Rodgers or Brady would be if they got passed over? Does Brady go to Michigan just hating California’s team with every fiber of his being?

You’d also end up with old dudes who are past their prime playing in these games. What if Ryan Leaf is suiting up for Montana at quarterback because he’s still their best option? 

These debates are just fantastic and it’s like Game of Thrones style politics: Does Phillip Rivers go to Alabama or to North Carolina? How about Russell Wilson with options in Virginia, North Carolina, or assuming the one year move counts, Wisconsin? Is Jameis Winston taking over Alabama or Florida? If Jameis passes on Florida how fucked is the sunshine state at quarterback? Or does Blake Bortles, a double Florida guy, get the nod? Or, be still my heart, is the entire state of Florida driven insane by the debate of whether Tim Tebow should be their starter? How about the state of Tennessee having to beg Jay Cutler to come play for them? Or everyone in Tennesse praying that Paxton Lynch turns into a great college quarterback so you can get him for the World Footbal Cup. 

How strategic could this be, does Marcus Mariota persuade everyone who went to Oregon to come play for the state or does Hawaii get to claim all islanders and there’s an entire team of islanders led by Mariota?

And we haven’t even gotten into each team selecting a coach. Can you imagine the politics involved there?

Brilliant idea, this needs to happen. It would be worth billions to do this every four years.  

Dave writes:

“With the latest Johnny Manziel news — that (surprise!) he trashed a rental house and there was evidence of drug use — it’s clear that we are witnessing the complete downward spiral of someone who was once a dynamic talent.

I was trying to think of a similar meltdown, and no athletes came to mind. The only two people I came up with that are close are Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr.

So my question for you is, if you were betting, would you say Manziel is more likely in the next 5 years to end up playing pro sports, in jail or dead?”

I want Johnny to be playing pro sports because I think he’s got talent if he just focuses on sports. But I think the most likely outcome is he’s a reality television star. if Kim Kardashian’s family can do a reality show, why can’t Johnny? There seems to be endless fascination with him. I’m convinced, for instance, that if we put an unvarnished and mostly unedited Johnny Manziel show on FS1, it would rate insanely well.

The one thing I’m uncertain about is whether he needs to still be playing football to have that interest level. The answer may be no. Lamar Odom is one of the most famous basketball players in the world because of the Kardashian show and because of his overdose at the brothel.

Anyway, I don’t think Manziel will go to jail because he’s always going to have good lawyers and it’s hard to put famous sports stars in jail. So I’d go with playing pro sports.

My fingers are crossed.

Tyler writes:

“Me and one of my buddies were talking about Josh Gordon not being reinstated because of his failed drug test. I think he is a huge jackass for giving up the opportunity to make millions of dollars just to get high (might be an addict). My buddy brought up that he doesn’t think the NFL should drug test for weed but only for harder drugs and performance enhancers. Do you agree with his idea or do you think players should get suspended? Keep in mind it is legal in some state with NFL franchises. Thoughts?”

I think the NFL should only test for performance enhancing drugs.


If you want to use non-performance enhancing drugs, that’s on you. Presumably this means you would have a shorter career and get replaced by someone else. But if you can do drugs all the time and still kick ass on the field, more power to you. The team shouldn’t be in the business of testing for cocaine.

Jeremy writes:

“Last week, I read about how the combination of short and bald was the worst thing ever for a man. Sadly, I am a college student at Ole Miss who is 5’8″ and balding. While I still have some hair, it is steadily progressing and will be gone within the next couple of years. What do I do? Is there hope for me to meet and marry a beautiful woman? I would appreciate a plan of action.”

I think if you’re short and bald it should be the equivalent of being a boy named Sue. You have to fight and scrap harder to be successful. It should drive you to new heights. I honestly don’t understand why every CEO in America isn’t short and bald. You motherfuckers should be out here working harder than anyone to make up for the bias arrayed against you.  

But here’s the simple truth — get rich. 

If you’re rich you’ll be surrounded by beautiful women and it won’t matter if you’re short and bald. If you’re going to school to be a high school gym teacher or something like that that will never allow you to become rich then, to be honest, you should probably go ahead and get a sorority girl pregnant at Ole Miss. I’m not sure you’ll be able to do better once you graduate. 

When both of your families are like, “How could you guys let this happen?”

Just be like, “Look, I’m going bald. It was time.”

Abel writes:

“Much conversation has been had about Spieth’s interview following the Masters. To sum it all up, the word “class/classy” was used ad nauseam to describe Spieth in defeat. In addition to all the main professional sports here in the US (except hockey), I also follow EPL, La Liga, Liga MX to name a few. While I have no way to verify this, it seems that this fascination with our professional athlete’s maintaining the “humble boy next door” facade, is an overwhelmingly American concept. Another example would be the ban on baseball players being happy after hitting a home run or winning a game, yet if you watch Korean, Japanese or Latin American baseball games everyone is having a blast and the crowd is more involved. Is this fake humility and stoicism All-American? If so, what brought it into existence? Is it because we also want them to be role models? But again, why and what brought this on?”

I can’t claim to be an expert on sports in other countries, but I think America’s fixation on class and winning the right way is tied up to our idea that sports isn’t just something we do that’s entertaining — it somehow defines our national character. I’m not sure when this would have started, but certaintly leaders like Teddy Roosevelt ingrained in our populace the idea that sports training revealed our national character. Certainly, the Olympics is part of this and taken to its extreme, you end up with Hitler’s Germany hosting the 1936 Olympics and believing that Germans should win everything because they were the master race. That is, sports actually reflected the dominance of a country.

That still exists, right? Why else do we keep medal counts by country? And why would China, for instance, do everything it could to beat us in medals in Beijing. Sports is not just about sports.  

Think about it, if I ran a poll right now and asked if playing sports was good for American kids, the answer would be almost 100% yes. (Compare that with if I ran a poll asking if video games were good for kids. The results would be entirely dissimilar. Yet both are just ways for kids to spend their spare time.) People believe that playing baseball or basketball or football or hockey or soccer prepared kids for life. Once you accept this premise, then how you conduct yourself in sports becomes a proxy for how you will conduct yourself later in life. So sports is a window into future life, it instills important life lessons and our national character is at stake. 

It’s a fantastic question, I’m not sure when it started, but we don’t view sports as just sports — they’re an embodiment of our nation’s national character. 


Anonymous emailer writes:

“I have an idea about how Seal Team Clay can start making some moves to ending the pussification of campuses brought on by these ridiculous PC bros. Scholarships. Hear me out on this. PC bros, Bernie lovers, and anti-Trump fanatics all generally seem to fall into the same pool. This group generally loves to bitch about how unfair college tuition is and feel entitled to a free education. For the record, I am a 22 year old student at Alabama and hate millennials more than I hate the booger eaters over in Auburn. I am going to medical school next year and am about to go $200k in debt. But I’m okay with that and don’t ask for a free education. Unlike today’s whiny bitches, I understand that tangible skills lead to a good job, which in turn leads to good money. And what is the easiest way to rid yourself of debt? Snapping necks and cashing checks, duh.

Anyway, as a widely known writer and sex symbol, you and Outkick the Coverage ought to sponsor a handful of widely publicized and competitive scholarship offers to college students. Have the applicants write an essay on their college goals and what actions they will take to grow some hair back on the metaphorical scrotum that is today’s college campus. Naturally, your scholarship winners will be non-pussies heading into an area of study that has tangible, real-world value. They know if you want something, you work for it and do what needs to be done. In the rough words of Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran “If you suck at what you do, keep fucking working and get good at that shit!”

There are many advantages to your Outkick scholarships. 1.) You’ll look like a charitable fella, and that’s always good for a guy who is known for making it big off of his great hair rather than skill. 2.) You prove to this whole generation of millennials that you get ahead by having some backbone and understanding you aren’t entitled to shit. All they have to do is put it in their own words and bingo! Free money for college from Outkick. 3.) You have the chance to send scathing rejection letters to the PC bros who will inevitably apply to your scholarship just to tell you to check your privilege because your scholarship is offensive. 4.) There is no doubt the competition and popularity would go viral and your message would be received by all current and future college students across the U.S.A. And that, of course, is the ultimate goal (after making all the PC bros cry of course).

Please make this happen.

P.S. there was Trump chalking on Alabama’s campus. Thankfully, our anti-Trumpers aren’t as shitty as the rest. They simply chalked “NOT” in front of Trump 2016 and fed the evil Trump supporters a taste of their own chalky medicine. Shocking how simple solutions are when your gut reaction is to do anything other than complain. Roll Tide. Coach Saban’s intolerance of bullshit permeates the masses.”

This is a brilliant idea.

We’re going to do this.

I will give $1k scholarship to 14 different students who attend all 14 SEC schools. That’s $14k from Outkick designed to make America better again. 

We need to figure out how to reward these scholarships because I’m sure we’ll be inundated with applications. I’m thinking who can write the funniest essays making fun of PC bros on campus? But do you guys have better ideas? Consider the Outkick scholarship born. (And hopefully this won’t end up like Michael Scott’s scholarships on “The Office.”)    

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.