All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and the mailbag is a bit late going up today because I was at the Nashville Predators epic three overtime game that ended around 1:20 AM in Nashville last night. Then I went out for celebratory drinks. I Ubered home at 3:30 and then at 4 in the morning the fire alarm started to beep so I went and got a ladder and climbed it to change the fire alarm battery. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to change the fire alarm battery standing on top of a ladder with 12 foot ceilings, drunk, with a loud beeping noise directly above you.

Especially when the last time you changed the fire alarm you inadvertently set off the carbon monoxide alert, the actual fire alarm, and all three kids in your house came running down the stairs convinced the house was burning down.

I’m lucky to be alive. 

Anyway, last night was as cool of a sporting event as I have ever been to in person. Three overtimes and the people in my section stood up for all three stressful overtime periods. Bridgestone Arena kept the beer and liquor flowing — God bless them — relatively few people actually left despite the fact that the game appeared to be neverending and when the winning goal was scored it was pure bedlam in the arena.

I’ll be talking more about it on Outkick the Show at 3 eastern, but suffice it to say I believe this is the second best sporting event in Nashville history behind the Music City Miracle, which I was also able to attend.

On to the mailbag.

(And apologies for being somewhat late today because I know that lots of you build your fake work schedule around the mailbag.) 

P. writes:

“My dad played in the SEC in the 70s. He told me that when he signed, he was given a new shotgun (which we still have), a bird dog, and a case of shells. If you knew him, this was the perfect gift for a small town guy like my dad. He also said that a rival school booster offered him a brand new car of his choosing that would be in his driveway the next day with about $5k in the glove box. Why do you think there are still fans that think their teams are squeaky clean when it comes to recruiting when it’s obvious that every school pays players/recruits in some capacity?”

Absolutely awesome email. We need more paid player stories. If you’re a former college athlete and either you or one of your teammates was paid, I will give you total anonymity to tell the stories of what you got to pick a school. People love these stories. Email me at clay.travis@gmail.com 

I’ve asked this question for a long time — how would college athletics change if top recruits could auction off their services to schools? In other words, what’s a five star actually worth in a totally open market? Especially when you factor in busts. Sure, a top recruit might turn into a stud, but what if he sucks, wouldn’t that tend to bring down the overall cost? So what would rich alums pay for a five star to go to their school if it was permissible under NCAA rules?

$100k? $200k? I have no idea. 

And if alums did bid for top recruits wouldn’t the top programs still look pretty much the same? That is, the same programs that are good now would be good if there was an open auction of top recruits, wouldn’t they? I don’t think it would change the pecking order, the rich and winning programs now would still be rich and winning.

The only thing I see changing is lots of alums would stop donating to schools and would start paying for players instead. So I think the money spent on athletic facilities would dry up, and the players would get that money instead. And would that really be a bad thing? Would you rather have a juice bar by the squat rack and a waterfall by the stretching table or money if you were a player? 

It’s kind of absurd that the result of colleges not being able to pay players legally has led to insane gyms and player facilities that surround those players. It’s like being poor, but having an awesome house. Every SEC school, for instance, has a better gym and locker room than the Tennessee Titans. In fact, every major college program has nicer locker rooms than just about every NFL team. That’s because the players get the money in the NFL and the facilities get the money in college. 

Charlie writes:

“How would you feel about Steph Curry being your beer pong partner? Would he be just another average Joe, better than most people, or sweep the floor with any top dog beer pong frat King?”

Steph would be an incredible beer pong player once he got a little bit of practice. He’d destroy people at beer pong. 

That’s because I think good aim translates across sports. Since he’s so good at shooting I’m convinced Steph would be great at darts, bowling, and golf once he played them enough. And he would murder people at cornhole tailgates. It’s like how punters and kickers are all good at golf. They have body mechanics and aim down to a science. The same would be true for Steph and sports that require aim.

He’d be one of the greatest beer pong players of all time. 

Orlando writes:

“Which dude sucks more: the guy that has a joint bachelor/bachelorette party with his wife or the guy that has a fall wedding?”

Spectacular question. 

Unless his wife is already pregnant and they’re trying to get married before she’s showing too much — it’s fall wedding guy. Ruining a bachelor party by going to a botanical garden or obliterating some sushi and gelato while you sing karaoke sucks, but you can always drop out of a shitty joint bachelor/bachelorette party by citing a conflict. 

Plus, the joint bachelor/bachelorette party only inconveniences the people who are invited, a small subset of the overall wedding audience. But a fall wedding screws everyone. Dads, moms, brothers, sisters, friends, family, everyone of all ages is fucked by a fall wedding. 

If someone has a joint bachelor/bachelorette party in the fall and a fall wedding, I think you’re obligated to murder them. 

Ethan writes:

“An avid reader from NYC (your reach does extend beyond the SEC states)

Here is an idea I have, I’d like to know your thoughts:

My idea – Why dont we do the relegation/promotion system for the Power 5 Conferences and Group of 5 (Copying European soccer). At the end of the year, the winner of the group of 5 divisions will be promoted to a power 5 school — and the last place team would be relegated to a group of 5. We would pair the conferences geographically.

The pairings will be:

SEC/Conference USA
Big 10/ MAC
Pac 12/ Mountain West
Big 12/ Sun Belt
ACC/ AAC

This year, the promoted teams would be:
CUSA – Western kentucky
MAC – Bowling Green
Mountain West – San Diego State
Sun Belt – Ark State
AAC – Houston

This year, the relegated teams would be:
SEC – South Carolina
Big 10 – Purdue
Pac12 – Oregon State
Big 12 – Kansas
ACC – Boston College

I think this would make things much more interesting, and would give every fan a reason to care, even if your team has a non conf loss and a conf loss by mid October. The way it is now, your season is over. In both tiers of conferences, you will be rooting all season long. Lastly, especially with the divisions, I think we will get sick of seeing the same teams play each other over and over. This is a way to change that up.”

We’ve had this article written before — right here in 2014 by Josh Parcell — but I love the idea. 

Of course it will never happen, but it would increase the stakes everywhere and probably lead to actual terroristic activity in the SEC. Can you imagine if a top SEC program was ever about to get bumped down to Conference USA? 

Some teams would get relegated and never return though. Do you really think Vandy would win Conference USA and rise back up? I’m not sure they ever would. So I think you would have to automatically return a team the next year after they got relegated even if they didn’t win the conference. So wouldn’t you usually end up alternating crappy teams? For instance, Kentucky and Vandy from the SEC would pretty much always be exchanging spots in Conference USA in alternating years. 

Same thing with Purdue and Rutgers in the Big Ten, Kansas and Iowa State in the Big 12. It’s actually pretty rare that a top team is the worst in a major conference and I think the bad teams are so bad they wouldn’t ever win the lower tier conferences. 

I like the idea in theory, but I don’t think it would implicate the top teams very often. And in order to really be entertaining you would need for top teams to be in danger of relegation as opposed to the crappy ones. 

Steph writes:

“Clay –

Real talk.Will there ever been an end in sight for the PC bro culture? Or, are we just destined to become mindless human robots with no feelings and opinions, like every futuristic movie and book portrays our society to become?

I mean, ANYTHING these days sets people off in a tizz. That Washington cheerleader flier? Like, come on. As a decently attractive girl — I’d make myself a 7 or 8 — I’ve accepted my place in the beauty pecking order. Cheerleaders are hot. They always have been. They are in the same category as beauty contestants in my opinion. Genes play a huge role, but they also work their butts off to look the way they do. And to be honest, now a days, even if someone is deemed “ugly” there is enough out there to change that perception – makeup, facial/acne treatments, DIET AND EXERCISE, surgery (a bit extreme), etc.

I just honestly don’t get it. I don’t understand when it became acceptable to call out every single thing that you don’t agree with and cover it up by calling it PC.

At this rate, I should start a movement against all employers in the South (where I live) for not letting females wear thin-strapped tanks and shorts to work each day when it’s 100+ out. They are infringing on my rights to be comfortable. $50 says I’m a headline on the Today show by next week.”

The Washington cheerleader scandal was so dumb it made my brain hurt. How dare you tell us what clothes to wear to ENSURE THAT EVERYONE IS COMPETING ON AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD TO BECOME A CHEERLEADER. 

And how dare you use a blonde white girl in the picture! Keep this up and next thing you know people are going to think twenty year old blonde white girls in great shape are considered sexually attractive. That’s so sexist of male penises. 

I’m starting to think we should just use Asians for every modeling picture in this country now. Black and white relations are so stupid and everyone is so perpetually offended in this country that only Asian models should be employed for anything. I think that would solve 99% of social media controversies.  

More seriously, my hope is that situations like Missouri’s enrollment collapse are going to make people in positions of power realize they have to call protesters on their bullshit. The vast, vast majority of people react like you and I do to these losers, but so far they’re being placated and encouraged by people in positions of power. The problem with giving legitimacy to these protesters is the market is watching, and people are voting with their money. You can’t negotiate with terrorists…or PC bro protesters.  

Right now most businesses, universities, and corporate entities are terrified of a boycott impacting their business. But can you point me to a single “liberal” boycott that has actually had a detrimental impact on business anywhere? I’ve never seen one. That’s because while these protesters are loud — and social media magnifies their voices — they don’t have much actual support. If you just ignore these people they lose interest and move on somewhere else to protest someone else who will pay attention to them.

Social media has made companies scared because if you have 200 people Tweeting angry things at you it seems like a lot in the moment. But it’s actually not representative of your customers at all and the energy of these protests burns off quickly.  

Chick-fil-A is a perfect example of a company that took on protesters and actually emerged stronger. If people like your product, they’re not going to change their shopping habits based on how you organize toys or what your bathroom policies are. And if you go too far PC bro — I’m looking at you Target — lots of people may change their shopping habits on the conservative side. I actually think conservative boycotts should be scarier to businesses than liberal ones because they’re more likely to be more effective. 

But I’m anti-boycotts in general, conservative or liberal. If you don’t like something, don’t buy it, watch it, or consume it. Make your own personal decision about how to spend your time and money. Why do you need to spend your time publicly advocating against things? Don’t you have anything better to do than get upset by made up microaggressions? These protests aren’t designed to actually change anything, they’re just designed to get attention for the protesters.  

M. writes:

“I’m the guy in the office who shits at work every single day. A few weeks ago I noticed my company changed up the toilet paper, to put it in nice terms I pretty much went from wiping my ass with a cloud to wiping my ass with a piece of sand paper. After 2 weeks now of this my ass actually is starting to burn. My question for you is, do I say something to the person in charge of supplies? Do I bring in my own roll of paper? Do I just suck it up and stop being a pussy?”

My general advice is always going to be, “Stop being a pussy” when it comes to any situation like this. So, first, stop being a pussy. 

I also don’t think you can complain to the company’s toilet paper buyer, whoever that is, because I might fire you over this if I was CEO and I heard about toilet paper complaints coming from you.

So I think your options here are either die of bad toilet paper or bring in your own toilet paper to work. Bringing in your own toilet paper to work is 9/10ths of proving that your penis doesn’t work. So I’d suggest bringing in a backpack or similar type carrying device and taking it with you when you go to the bathroom so no one else knows what you’re doing. Inside that bag you can have your own toilet paper. Then pray to God that the other guys in your office don’t find out that you’re bringing your own toilet paper to work because the current toilet paper is too rough for your delicate ass.  

Because if I found out someone was bringing his own toilet paper to work I would tell everyone in the office and you’d have to have one hell of a sense of humor or personality to survive this public shaming.

Good luck.  

Andrew writes:

“Clay, I’m gonna be the first guy of legal drinking age in my group of friends this summer. I know 21st birthday parties are supposed to be insane and awesome and memorable. The problem is I don’t really know how to make that happen. I’ll be living at my parents’ house, unfortunately. Do I just invite a bunch of people over and tell my parents to take a vacation? Do I tell all my friends to get fake ID’s (no need for them here at school so none of us have them)? Does anyone just go to a bar for a casual drink with their dad or is that settling?

I’ve already asked Buzzfeed and Deadspin but they suggested I have an unstructured park day and obliterate some sushi and gelato. So, how do I not waste my only 21st birthday?”

I really think we should start using the phrase “obliterate some gelato” any time you’re doing something really boring, but want to make it seem cool. 

Example:

“What did you do Saturday, Clay?”

“I took my kids to the t-ball game, then we went to the JumpHouse, came home and played some Minecraft, watched “Cars” on repeat all day and then WE OBLITERATED SOME GELATO.” (Note, prior to the gelato, this is pretty much what every Saturday is like for me.)

To answer your question, 21st birthday parties in the summer are tough, especially if you’re the first person turning 21 in your friend group. (Hope being a few months older was worth it in high school sports!)

I’d suggest having a group 21 party for any of your friends in college who will be having summer birthdays — it’s the perfect excuse for a party — before you actually leave for the summer or saving up and having a group party in the fall when all of you get back. 

In terms of your hometown, I’d say you have two options — have a party at your house or rent a hotel room and have a party there. The point of turning 21 isn’t really turning 21, it’s doing it with your friends. So if you have to wait, it’s no big deal.  

Happy 21st.

(And you guys could always road trip to Canada where the drinking age is 19). 

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.