It’s Friday, time for all of you to pretend to work or attend class while you actually read the mailbag.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is the newly divorced Amanda Dufner, who is back on Instagram with her dog Louie, a beer, a boat, and a bikini.
On to the mailbag.
“Clay – Bill Simmons was my favorite writer throughout the 00’s. You have replaced him. You’re the Bill Simmons of the 10’s / the Bill Simmons of the South and your national profile is rapidly rising. Bill Simmons leaving ESPN is a big event. I’m sure you have been courted by ESPN and I know you have strong opinions on working there.
I would love for you to talk about how the Sports Guy has influenced your career and this generation of writers. Also where do you think he will land after ESPN and what do you think he should do? It would be a good time to talk about your own current situation and what you have planned for yourself in the future.”
Bill Simmons doesn’t need any advice from me. I’d be happy if we make a run at him at Fox and I’d imagine that places like Yahoo and Turner/Bleacher Report will as well. To be honest, there aren’t that many existing places that could afford him. We could at Fox, Yahoo could, NBC could if they paired it with some sort of television show as well. The most intriguing move to me would be Turner and Bleacher Report. Why couldn’t Turner give him his own basketball show or let him have a role on Inside the NBA? Then let him build out his own new Grantland on Bleacher Report, which would help the BR brand a ton. That’s why if I were setting betting odds I’d make Turner/Bleacher Report the favorite to sign Simmons. But I could also see Yahoo throwing crazy money at him because Marissa Meyer has proven she likes to sign big name talent to have exclusively on her site. See Couric, Katie.
But the most lucrative potential move he could make is starting his own site. Does he have relationships with advertisers? I’d think he has to from Grantland. If he’s got three or four decent sized national advertisers that want to be affiliated with him, he’d have enough finacial support to launch a site from. The difficulty would probably come in paying himself a big salary at a start up. Right now he’s making several million a year. Is he willing to give up the guaranteed payday for a potentially bigger payoff in building a new site? That’s the question.
Let’s say he could get something like a four year sixteen million dollar deal with an existing media company. (That’s a rough approximation, but with writing/new site, podcast, and TV it’s certainly doable.) Is he willing to turn that — or more money — down for the uncertain potential pay off of creating a site that could be worth twenty million or much more than that in five years?
It’s a fascinating decision and I wish him well. I don’t know Simmons at all, but I root for anyone who is smart and creative to be as smart and creative as possible. That only helps people like me. It’s funny, people think Katie Nolan and I don’t get along, but we do and I tell her all the time that I want her to get away with as much as possible at Fox because that lets me get away with as much as possible too. We’re both pushing the envelope on a regular basis here. If you’re in a creative space, you want as many risk takers as possible around you. Simmons is a risk taker and I always root for risk takers.
As for my future, I’ll be doing more of writing, radio and TV. I’m eager to be able to announce everything, but I can’t yet. So I appreciate all of you waiting with me and continuing to ask what’s next. I really do. Here’s a bit of news: We’ve done two TV pilots and they were both well received, one on the road which featured me attempting to buy a couch to burn at a West Virginia football game and one in studio. So expect more from me on TV now that we have a new czar of FS1 TV in Jamie Horowitz. I really like him and he’s going to be very good for us. I think y’all will be impressed with what we add in the near future.
“With the recent fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, some friends and I have been discussing the potential of another “Superfight”. You’ve gone over before your breakdown of a fight between Ronda Rousey and the average dude, but how do you think she would fare against Floyd or Manny? I know the styles are different, and there would have to be some sort of rules set up in advance in regards to kicking and takedowns by Rousey, but as far as size goes, it actually works out. They are all 5’7″-5’8″ and all weigh within 15-20 pounds of each other. On top of that, imagine the money it would bring in on PPV for a fight like this. How much do you think people would actually pay to watch that? And for the record, I think Rousey would destroy both of them.”
I would pay so much money to see Floyd Mayweather fight Ronda Rousey. This would be incredible television. Can you imagine the build up and the amount of interest? Especially if they did 24/7 preview show.
It would break all pay per view records and become a modern day battle of the sexes. Especially if Mayweather talked trash in the build up to the fight and embraced his villain role. What if he took a page from Memphis Grizzlies fans and walked out to “Whoop That Trick,” as his entry music? I wouldn’t even put it past him. This is a dude who took a million dollars to let the Burger King king walk in with him. He has no soul when it comes to money.
The entire country would be rooting for a man who served time in jail for beating a woman to get his ass beaten by a woman. I mean, everyone in the entire country. People who didn’t even like sports would be watching this and buying it on pay per view.
I would want Mayweather to get his ass kicked by Rousey more than I’ve wanted any sporting result this side of Tennessee finally beating Florida again to happen.
We must have this fight.
But I don’t think Mayweather would do it — even for several hundred million dollars — because he’d be afraid he’d lose.
“Lots of you on Twitter and email, what do you think should happen to Tom Brady and the Patriots?”
I’d suspend Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season.
Everyone made a big deal of the lack of certainty in the report, I saw it differently. Ted Wells found it was “more probable than not” that Brady knew about the ball deflations. That’s an important phrase because it’s the same standard used in civil trials. It’s a preponderance of the evidence standard. That is, it’s more likely than not that it happened.
This isn’t a criminal proceeding, Brady doesn’t have to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Coupling that finding with the fact that Brady wouldn’t share his texts or emails with the investigator — I don’t blame him for that, I wouldn’t either — there’s ample evidence for the commissioner to suspend him for multiple games.
I’d go with four games.
“You always know when a group of girls is having a bachelorette party: the bride-to-be is wearing a sash and tiara, the rest of the girls are wearing matching attire, and there is usually an assortment of dick shaped party supplies. Guys see this group of girls and immediately get more attracted to them.
However, it’s much less apparent when a group of guys is having a bachelor party. Do you think girls see this group of guys and immediately get less attracted to them because they think they are a bunch of losers hanging out with way too many dudes and who are probably way too drunk for their age?”
The only women who like bachelor parties are strippers.
You’re right though, bachelorette parties are all about making it well known that they are bachelorette parties whereas bachelor parties are just a big group of drunk dudes. There’s no real way to signify a bachelor party.
Your question has me wondering, if men were carrying around plastic vaginas would they get arrested? Like, no one thinks twice about girls carrying around dick straws or dick paraphernalia. I’ve seen tons of bachelorette parties with matching dick necklaces. What if a bunch of dudes were just walking around with matching vagina necklaces?
The lesson: all privates are not created equal.
Bachelorette parties always have these weird challenges to fulfill too. Have you seen these things? (I have because Nashville is the bachelorette party capital of America. It’s impossible not to see multiple bachelorette parties in the same bar if you go out here on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.) It’s like, get your picture taken in a guy’s baseball cap! Hold a man’s guitar! Wooo hoooo this is so crazy!
Yeah, totally crazy.
Meanwhile the best man in a bachelorette party is snorting coke of a stripper’s ass.
There needs to be an app to allow bachelor and bachelorette parties to meet up in the same town. Like Tinder for group parties. You can go through all the bachelor or bachelorette parties in your city and try to find matches. If you get a bad match you blame your friends for being too ugly. “Damn it, Dan, you had to wear that stupid American flag polo didn’t you? You asshole. Now instead of hanging all night with the Kappas from Vandy we’re stuck with the high school dropouts from rural Kentucky. Thanks alot.”
“I’m a soccer fan. Have been for years. One form of punishment for racist fans is to make the team play in an empty stadium. It’s very eerie to watch on tv and I think it’s a decent punishment because it essentially takes away any home field. Recently, the Orioles had to play in an empty stadium and many people thought the same thing.
My question is should the ncaa consider this punishment as opposed to a bowl ban or scholarship reductions? Hypothetical: Alabama commits a big violation. NCAA tells them either a two year bowl ban and/or ten scholarship reductions OR they can play auburn and lsu in an empty stadium. What do you think they would do?”
Take the scholarship reduction.
The empty stadium costs them way more money.
That’s why the scholarship reduction penalty exists now. Because TV bans aren’t permissible under the TV contracts. Can you imagine the CBS and ESPN reaction if all four of Alabama’s home games weren’t televised because of cheating? That’s an impossibility.
Probation now is mostly just in name. The actual impact, unless you’re USC, is negligible. Hell, look at the number of teams just in the past few years that have won titles while they were still on probation. UConn, Alabama, I’m sure there are more.
“So I graduate from college this weekend. Is the whole “you’re not an alcoholic until you’re a college graduate” true? Do I automatically become an alcoholic or do I just have to continue my drinking habits? Share your wisdom. I know I’m not the only one struggling here.”
Well, you can be an alcoholic anywhere. But what you won’t have now that you graduated is tons of friends who can go drink with you and suffer no consequence the next day. So social drinking is severely curtailed. The lack of friends with the same schedule as you is the toughest thing about leaving college or grad school. It manifests itself in many ways.
For instance, in college or grad school you could always find people to go play sports with you. Want to play basketball in the middle of the afternoon? There are tons of dudes you can convince to go play. Same with ultimate frisbee or touch football or soccer or anything you could possibly want to do in the world of sports.
Once you graduate all you can do is golf or play rec sports. And even that is tough. Because everyone’s schedule is different.
If I wanted to organize an ultimate frisbee game now it would take like three weeks of planning and three people would ultimately show up. In college it took fifteen minutes and you had twenty guys playing at midnight.
This, by the way, is why college football is so huge in the South. Sure the game matters, but when you really break it down this is the only time you and your friends can get college drunk with each other again and it’s perfectly normal behavior.
“Here is the deal: every summer, we play in a recreational basketball league with one game per week for 8 weeks. Following the season, we have playoffs and one team is eventually crowned the champ. The league is fairly competitive, and while there is no “reward” for winning, most of the games get pretty heated.
Our team is made-up of 8-9 guys depending on the week and everyone’s schedule. You can’t roll with just 5 or 6 players because these are mostly older guys with lives, jobs, wives / GFs, etc. and stuff happens. Guys miss games. The problem is some weeks, and especially down the stretch into the playoffs, everyone shows up and wants to play. Normally we go with a pretty steady rotation and try to get everyone in. However, we all have those buddies who just aren’t very good (regardless of sport). Most of these guys aren’t working on their game on off-days. So we always run into the awkward situation where some guys end up playing very few minutes in close games so that we have a chance to win games.
For the most part, everyone knows each other and gets along. But the chirping about minutes is a real thing and sometimes it feels like I’m coaching an NBA team with the egos. Guys, who usually are pretty open with the fact they suck at basketball, end up with hurt feelings that carry over into our friendships. Some even stopped showing up for games.
The question is this: at this level (post-grad men’s league with nothing really at stake), is it wrong to play the work horses down the stretch in an attempt to win if it jeopardizes a friendship or hurts feelings; OR do you play everyone, and have your closers watch from the bench as you airball & travel your way to a loss? I imagine this scenario comes up for other sports too â€“ softball leagues, flag football teams, etc.”
As Herm Edwards said: You play to win the game.
This isn’t little league where everyone gets a chance to play and improve. Once you’re 25 or older your game is what it is. I don’t think there are any dudes out there who sucked playing basketball at 25 that were suddenly really good at 30. The same is true of softball, flag football, kickball, by the time you’re 25 years old your athleticism is pretty well defined. You’re either good at something or you’re not.
That’s why the best players should play down the stretch in the playoffs.
The fact that some of the guys on your team don’t realize this on their own is ludicrous and disappointing. You may need a team meeting where you point out that little league is over.
“You’ve said many times that a man cannot wear a jersey of someone who is younger than himself. I wholeheartedly agree. But there is a gray area here that I want to get your opinion on. What if a man is a huge fan of his respective team, and got a personalized jersey with his name on the back. Is it ok then, since he’s not repping a player younger than himself, or is this still a no? Asking for a friend.”
This is not a gray area.
The only grown men who can wear jerseys and look cool wearing them are the people on the field.
I’ll allow a limited exception for soccer jerseys — because they just look like regular shirts and actually fit normally. Plus, they generally don’t have a name on them. But if you’re wearing a football jersey you might as well be wearing a potato sack. Serious question, why do football jerseys that will never be worn with pads need to be so absurdly big? Women’s football jerseys actually look pretty cool and fit their bodies well. Why don’t they make normal sized shirts for football and basketball jerseys?
There is one final exception to my jersey rule — if you’re a dad and your kid gets you something, you can wear it no matter how ridiculous it looks. So if your son gets you a father’s day jersey and it has your name on the back then you’d be a total asshole not to wear it sometimes. And by “sometimes” I mean when you cut your grass in the back yard and no one else can see you.
In related news about team fashion decisions, I will be wearing a Tennessee Titan hawaiian shirt to every game I attend this fall in honor of Marcus Mariota. This is a trend that I hope catches on. Can you imagine what an entire stadium of dudes in blue hawaiian shirts would look like? It’s a dream of mine.