All That and a Bag of Mail

Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State look on during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It’s Friday and the mailbag is up early today because I’m flying on Southwest and don’t want to rely on trying to post this from the airplane wifi. 

So those of you who are up late at night on Thursday are getting a special prize, the mailbag’s already posted. Now you have nothing to look forward to at work.  

Our beaver pelt trader of the week goes out to everyone involved in this entire interview from Mississippi. God bless local news. 

On to the mailbag. 

A bunch of you on email asked what I want the Tennessee Titans to do with the second overall pick:

Here are my preferences in order with the explanations:

1. Trade the second pick for Phillip Rivers

Rivers will turn 34 years old in December, but he’s unquestionably a top 12 quarterback in the league. Based on how long quarterbacks are playing these days, he’s probably still got 4-5 pretty good years left in him. Remember, Tom Brady is going to be 38 this year and Peyton Manning will be 39. Rivers is four years younger than Brady and five years younger than Manning. I don’t see any reason why if he has relatively normal health he doesn’t play for another 4-5 years. Remember, this guy hasn’t missed a game in nine straight seasons. 

I doubt you win a Super Bowl with him, but I think you’d make the playoffs at least two of the next five years. That’s particularly the case when you consider that Jacksonville and Houston don’t seem that close to finding a top 12 caliber quarterback themselves. The AFC South is much weaker than the AFC West.  

So it would be the Titans against the Colts for the AFC South title every year so long as you had Rivers.

By the way, no one is talking about this, but how strange is it that Rivers is okay with playing in San Diego, but refuses to play in Los Angeles? Everyone just accepts that this is a real position of his. That seems crazy to me. He could move his family to Orange County and still not be that far from San Diego. Or, you know, his family could stay in San Diego and he could pull a Kobe and take helicopters back and forth. I know the traffic sucks, but it isn’t that far.

Anyway, I’d trade for Rivers.  

2. Draft Marcus Mariota

Is Mariota going to be a top 12 caliber quarterback? I don’t know. Neither do you. But the NFL’s a quarterback league. All that matters is your quarterback. Parity is an illusion.

If you take anyone other than a quarterback you’re gambling that Zach Mettenberger is a top 12 QB. If he isn’t, then you still suck and you have to draft a quarterback again next year. Who knows what the options will look like next year or how highly you’ll draft?

If you draft at number two and don’t take a quarterback, I think you waste the pick.  

3. Trade back and add picks.

Potentially add Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley in the second or third round. Address some of your other needs and give Mettenberger a chance to play this season. If he sucks, at least you can go back into next year’s draft with some holes filled around the quarterback.  

653. Draft Jameis Winston

I do not want Jameis. Based on his history, I don’t think you can trust him. Having said that, if the Titans were to draft him he’d be so polarizing that it would be tremendous for Outkick.  

Will writes:

“Chris Rock appeared on Real Sports this week talking about the lack of African Americans watching and playing baseball today. I have to admit that I fall victim to some of the old school thinking that Rock talks about, but I think he pretty much nailed it when discussing the problems with baseball today.

Baseball has only admitted to a pace of play issue and they are “working” on that issue (a more enforced “pitch-clock” and a timer counting down between innings being the most noticeable of these changes), but as Rock points out the issues run much deeper. Judging by Outkick content and your Twitter feed, you aren’t a huge baseball fan, and as someone that has embraced social media and is far from “old-school,” how do you think baseball needs to evolve to keep up or get the attention of someone like yourself?”

I honestly think it’s a function of playing too damn many games. I don’t pay attention to regular season NBA, NHL, or Major League Baseball because one individual game doesn’t matter that much. Whereas I never miss a big NFL or college football game. Hell, I watch twenty or more college football games every Saturday and I watch the Red Zone all day Sunday. So I barely miss any football games at all. That’s because every NFL game is the equivalent of ten baseball games. 

Baseball has fallen victim, more than any other sport, to an abundance of entertainment options. I loved baseball up until the strike in 1994. It was my second favorite sport after college football, which has always been my favorite sport. But when the baseball strike happened — I was actually at the final Reds game of that 1994 season — I never really came back as a big fan. I think a ton of people in my age range are the same.

Prior to the strike I was obsessed with baseball, collecting baseball cards, reading box scores in the newspaper, I did it all. Maybe it was just a product of growing up — I was 15 in 1994, got my license the next year and suddenly had better entertainment options — but I’ve always connected it to the strike. 

Certainly baseball benefited throughout its history from the country’s slow pace in summer. Think about how many less national sports there were on television in the summer when we were growing up. You had the Braves on TBS and the Cubs on WGN. But if you wanted to watch summer television, what else was there? It was late night David Letterman and otherwise all reruns. Remember, no one put new TV shows on during the summer back then. There was no binge watching of TV shows, no Netflix, or on demand television, you either went down to the video store and tried to rent a movie that you wanted — which they inevitably were out of — or you watched David Letterman and baseball. That was it. Your entire summer was an entertainment wasteland. And even still there was infinitely more entertainment for us than there had been for our parents. At least we had Nintendo. 

Back in those days we still watched Sportscenter to find out who won a game. I was a huge Cincinnati Reds fan growing up — we got some of the Reds games on the local Fox affiliate — and I remember how nervous I’d be watching Sportscenter to see whether or not the Reds won. So you’d sit through all the baseball highlights because you didn’t know when your team would come up and as a result you were really on top of the game. Plus, you’d watch the Cubs or Braves games because there was nothing else new to watch on television.

So I think a huge part of baseball’s problem is that they’ve lost the casual fan because the casual fan has a ton more entertainment options than he or she ever had before. I’d rather watch “Breaking Bad” than a May or June baseball game.

The other thing is, baseball’s an intensely regional sport. You care about your team, but you really don’t care about the national games. There aren’t many national baseball fans. Whereas there are tons of national football and basketball fans. I’m a season ticket holder for the Titans, but I know all the big players in the NFL on the other teams. The NBA’s a star-driven league, we all know the big players. How many baseball players do you know?

You know what the best thing baseball has going for it is? Concussions in football.  

Brandon writes:

“Clay,

So I have a good friend of mine who is soon to be engaged. He’s proposing within the week. Anyway, he’s been talking about how he has a bunch of good friends, but no best friend, and doesn’t know who he wants to be the best man. He wants to have a contest among his friends to pick one. Now whether or not he goes through with this is one thing, but regardless… what are good competitions to have in a best man contest? I actually won $5000 by making a half court shot at a basketball game this season (humble brag) and he already said that half court shots are retroactively a part of the competition, so I have a little advantage, but what else? We’re all college seniors, but he’s not a heavy drinker, so nothing alcohol related will be a huge part. I’d like to give him some suggestions.”

I like the idea of a Best Man Combine. 

Especially with the NFL draft coming up next week. 

I’d create five events and average the scores to select a best man. That is, everyone gets ranked 1 to however many participants there are. The guy with the lowest average score after all five events is the best man.

Here are my five event suggestions: 

1. You need to have everyone run the forty — the groom stands at the end of the forty line with a stopwatch.  

Everyone only gets one chance. Trust me, your time doesn’t change that much. 

2. Number of reps of 225 on the bench. 

If no one can bench press 225 at least once then you better hope a bar brawl never breaks out. You can lower the weight to 185 if everyone fails at 225. If no one can bench press 185 then there should be no best man at the wedding. 

3. Beer chugging. 

You can’t cut the side of the can, just chugging through the mouth of the beer. Who can do it fastest? Use the stopwatch. 

4. Number of push ups. 

The chest has to touch the ground.

The winner should be able to do over fifty. 

5. Elementary school trivia contest.

You get to come up with the questions, but they’re all things you should have learned in elementary school.

Examples: “What’s the capital of Missouri?” “Name a senator from the state we’re in right now.” “What’s the square root of 144?” 

It’s double elimination in trivia. 

Also, you can’t retroactively reward anyone for something they did — including half court shots is fine, but they have to be new half court shots. 

Fred writes:

“As a dad of 2 children under 6 I have had to endure painful amounts of children’s TV programming. The Caillou reference on Monday led me to recall the hotness rankings of the hosts you presented several months back for Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show / Good Night Show.

During one of the best stretches of days in sports (The Masters, Final Four, MLB opening day, NBA) we were bombarded with commercials which brought up a question. Who is hotter Flo from Progressive Insurance or Lilly from AT & T ads?

Lilly enjoys bedazzling, reads minds and hangs with the likes of Grant Hill and Mark Cuban. While Flo enjoys captaining a boat, riding motorcycles, and dressing up as assorted family characters.

Is this the modern day Ginger vs Mary Anne/Kelly vs Nina on Sprout?”

No contest here, Lilly’s hotter.

The best parenting discipline we’ve been able to display is to threaten to take the iPads away from our boys. Their behavior improves in a heartbeat over that threat. Nothing else really works. 

Also, is anyone else’s son obsessed with Minecraft? It’s all mine wants to play. The graphics on this thing are worse than the graphics on the old 8 bit Nintendo. I don’t understand the appeal at all. In fact, I have no idea what’s ever happening on this game.

I’ve never felt older.   

Ross writes:

“Oh great Muslim of the homosexual variety! We need your wisdom to settle a dispute my brother and I have been having:

Buttchugging or biting the head of a hamster: which is worse?

I think buttchugging is the worse of the two, but my brother claims hamster decapitation trumps buttchugging. Personally, I think the only reason more people may side with my brother is simply because there is video evidence of it. If there were a YouTube video out there of UT frat boys shoving funnels up their asses and then dumping wine into them, I think more people would take my side.

So, in essence, if had to pick one YouTube video of yourself to be posted online, which would it be: the one of you biting the head off a hamster, or the one of you chugging boxed wine through your anus?”

You wouldn’t want to be on video doing either, but it’s always better to be doing things to yourself than to someone or something else. So while the buttchugging would be tough to overcome if it went viral, you’re only really harming yourself. I mean, this could totally have been something they’d do on “Jackass,” right? You just have to play it off as a stupid decision. People forgive you for anything if you only harm yourself and you just say, “Look, I was young and stupid then.”

Whereas biting the head off a hamster is just down right degenerate. Watching that video made me cringe. If I had a daughter I wouldn’t want her to date the buttchugger, but I’d prefer that over the hamster biter.  

Now, I will acknowledge that we have a strange relationship with animals when it comes to hunting. If you kill a deer, a moose, a mountain lion, a bear, a lion, a tiger, a snake, a rat, a squirrel, an alligator, or a hog and post the pictures on Facebook, tons of people will click like and you’ll get in no trouble. But if you kill a dog, a cat, or a hamster, you might go to jail.

In sixth grade our teacher, Mr. Marion, had snakes and used to feed them mice. We’d all gather around and watch. Could a teacher still do this today? Or would the kids all faint and their parents would call child services? 

Cory writes:

“Hey Clay as I was watching the Masters last week I was just in awe of what Jordan Spieth was doing on the course. He straight up dominated the course and the field. No one had a chance to make him worry about possibly losing that jacket. Also this dude is tearing it up off the course just as much on it. He’s got millions of dollars, a smoking hot girlfriend, and possibly one of the best golf games I’ve seen in the past few years. I mean who wouldn’t want to be this guy? I would definitely love to be Jordan Speith. My question to you is if you could be any athlete (can be past or present) who would it be and why?”

You have to go Tom Brady. 

You’re potentially the greatest quarterback of all time, you’re incredibly good looking, and you’re married to one of the hottest women in the history of the world. Plus, your teammates seem to really like you. 

I used to hate Brady, now I kind of love him. 

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.