All That and a Bag of Mail

Sep 3, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops shakes hands with Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson after the game at Commonwealth Stadium. Southern Mississippi defeated Kentucky 44-35. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Friday, time for the mailbag!

We’ll have a special OddsShark gambling special on Periscope and Facebook Live that begins at noon, et. So if you want to make some money gambling on football this weekend go watch that. 

In other news, thanks for supporting Outkick the Coverage on Fox Sports Radio this week. In our second week as a show I thought we really hit our stride. You guys and the callers have been outstanding. You can listen to all the shows this week by clicking here. The shows go up almost the moment they end every morning. So spend your weekend catching up.

Okay, on to the mailbag. 

Will writes:

“Been very interested with your take on the Colin Kaepernick protest.  I think you are spot on regarding his utter failure to articulate a reasonable, logical argument as to why he is sitting/kneeling for the national anthem. My question for you is would there be a line of logic that Kaepernick could put forward that would make you think his protest had value and was a logical expression of opposition to the thing he is protesting? 

If he were to say that he does understand the separation of powers between state/municipal government and the federal government, but that he thinks the flag symbolizes something larger than just the federal government, would you alter your stance? I’m not talking about him changing the reason for the protest (that is, racial discrimination and mistreatment by police…I guess?), like saying he was protesting the military industrial complex. Just interested if you think his protest is indefensible, or just not well articulated.  Is there any way he could frame his protest that would make you think he’s not an idiot, but that you just don’t agree with him?”

First, the statistical data doesn’t reflect that what he is protesting is actually a problem in this country. That is, I don’t believe black people or other people of color are being targeted by police and killed based on their race. Given that black people represent somewhere around 27% of the victims of police shootings yet represent 51% of the people committing murders in this country, black people are actually shot at a lower rate than their violent crime rate would suggest. If anything, white and Hispanic people are being shot and killed at a much higher rate than black people in this country based on their rates of violent crime.  

Second, black people are killed 93% of the time by other black people. This means that white, Hispanic, Asian people and people of other descents are responsible for 7% of all black murders. So how in the world does a reasonable person focus on a tiny percentage of the killings committed by another race while ignoring the real threat to black people in this country — that they will be killed by other black people? If you care about facts at all, white people are twice as likely to be murdered by black people as black people are to be murdered by white people. 

This has been my entire point throughout all these protests — facts matter, not feelings. The statistical data doesn’t support the idea that black people are being killed by police at a high rate based on their race. Furthermore, the chances of being shot and killed by police in general are infinitesimally small. You were more likely to be attacked by a shark in 2015 than you were to be shot and killed by the police if you were unarmed.

The idea that black people are being targeted by police is complete and total fiction.

The fact that it’s considered racist to use facts to point out that this feelings are misguided is evidence of how far down the rabbit hole our country has gone. Facts are considered racist now.

Given the fact that his protest is total crap and that the federal government is already doing what he’s demanding they do, there is no way I would ever support Kaepernick’s protest.   

As for what kind of protest I could support? If Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem because he believed that it was an artificially enforced requirement of patriotism then I would actually agree with him. I think it’s strange that we play the national anthem before professional sporting events that are designed to entertain paying customers.

We don’t play the national anthem before movies or plays or concerts. 

But his “protest” right now is just total crap.

John writes:


When will a singer, invited (and likely paid) to sing the national anthem at a sporting event sit down in order to “protest” said anthem? Secondly, how quickly will the lame media (ESPN, Deadspin, SI, etc) extol this performer’s “courageousness”, and will the media then demand that all performers include some sort of protest in their rendition of the anthem?  The whole scenario makes no sense at all, but I still expect it to happen soon.

Keep up the good work- you have a lot of fans- even if we are on this liberal island known as Manhattan.  Let us know the next time that you will be in town, we’d love to meet up for a beer.”

Now that you’ve mentioned it, this will definitely happen. 

And, honestly, it’s a brilliant strategic move. You couldn’t buy that form of publicity.

It will probably end up happening at the Super Bowl. 

And the liberal sports media will fall all over themselves to support it. The idea just makes me sick already. This is going to make the controversy over Janet Jackson’s nipple seem like the Berenstein Bears on PBS. 

We have a huge Outkick readership and viewership in Manhattan, but I appreciate you evangelizing for Outkick up there. Look forward to a visit again soon.  

The next two questions were very similar so I combined my answer to both.

Todd writes:


With all the PC bromani’s out strutting their stuff like a peacock in heat, what is next in the PC bro world and when will it end?  After seeing Charles Woodson say that the Star Spangled Banner doesn’t apply to blacks since it was written by a slave-owner during a time when slavery was legal; should we now expect pre-emancipation proclamation symbols to be taken down? Do we need to demolish the Washington monument? The White House was built by slaves so that needs to go.  Let’s not forget about the $1 bill – adios.  And when does this end? The media loves this crap and finding someone who actually has a common sense view (i.e. – Whitlock and Clay Travis) is damn near impossible. 

Mike writes:


Whitewashing history is the dumbest trend in America right now. The head of the San Francisco school board now wants to rename George Washington High School because our first president owned slaves. Let’s completely forget that he also defeated the British and held together an unruly toddler of a country which turned into the largest super power the world has known. Will people ever learn to examine history as not being completely black and white and to accept that no one has ever been perfect (even thought GW was pretty good)?

It’s not like it was Adolf Hitler HS.”

I’m telling you, it won’t be long before PC bromanis are demanding that the Washington Monument be torn down and Washington, D.C. be renamed. 

Y’all think I’m joking, but that’s where this PC bromani crusade is headed. 

We’re in the middle of the left wing’s own McCarthy hearings. You remember Senator Joseph McCarthy’s attempt to rid the country of communist sympathizers? He used his Senate committee to haul people in and accuse them of unpopular political leanings. That’s where we are right now with the left wing’s attempt to eliminate history they don’t like and brand everyone as a racist or sexist. 

Intelligent people know that you can’t judge someone from history based on our present day standards. You have to judge every man or woman from their historical context. Judging George Washington by 2016 standards is patently absurd. 

But that’s where we are as a country right now. 

The positive is that eventually reasonable people end up retaking control of the country. But the negative is that in the meantime insanity and mob rule governs.

I’m not sure when the PC bromani movement will turn on itself and collapse, but I suspect we still have a couple of more years of absurdity before that happens.

In the meantime, you can join the radical moderates and push back against the PC bromani crusade.  

Brett writes:

“We all agree that the Battle at Bristol was a great show and weekend for all. I imagine part of that was the buildup and just the unknown for playing college football at a NASCAR track. 

Even before the weekend was over there were talks of a Battle at Bristol 2. I think that would be awesome but also think what made this game (and weekend) so special was the fact that it has never been done before and the game wasn’t just going to slightly break the college football attendance record, it was going to destroy it. And they had the A-list group for this event. Kenny Chesney and Peyton Manning on Friday, Dale Jr. at College Game Day, Lee Greenwood signing God Bless The USA, etc. 

Do you think a new game at Bristol would work? And which teams would it have to involve. Does UT always have to play or could Alabama or Auburn bring 80-100k? Maybe Georgia? On the ACC’s side, I’m guessing Clemson or FSU. Or you could go non-Southern and get maybe Ohio State, Michigan, or ND?”

I think there will be another game at Bristol. My guess is it will involve schools like Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, West Virginia, maybe Ohio State. You need big fan bases that could make the trip by car and would be guaranteed to sell a ton of tickets.

My personal suggestion would be why not move the West Virginia-Tennessee game that is slated to open the 2018 season in Charlotte to Bristol instead? Wouldn’t that be perfect for kickoff weekend? Especially if you played it on the opening Monday night of the college football season?

The hard part was proving this game could be played and getting it done, now that we’ve established that, I think there would be a ton of fan bases interested in being involved. 

Trevor writes:

As a lifetime Kentucky fan I can honestly admit that I’m at the end of my fandom rope. Facility upgrades, better recruiting, and somehow UK football is seemingly as bad as ever. I’m not sure how in the hell Mark Stoops got a contract extension with a $12 million buyout. My question is, what would be your plan on finding 12 million to get rid of stoops and who is your short list of the next sorry bastard that would even want the Kentucky job?”

The crazy thing is Kentucky doesn’t just owe Stoops $12 million, they owe his coaching staff an additional $6 million. So it would cost Kentucky $18 million to fire him. 

That’s unbelievable. 

And while it sounds like a ton of money the big question is — how many years is it payable over? That is, does Kentucky have six years to pay $18 million or is it payable in, gulp, one year or two years. It’s not just the size of your buyout that matters, it’s how many years you have to pay it. If UK has multiple years to pay off this sum of money then given the money rolling in from the SEC Network, it isn’t crippling to the program. 

If I were running UK right now I would find a big booster — if possible — who would help float the cost of the buyout. Is there a UK fan willing to donate $9 million to get this coaching staff out of town? If so, I would fire Stoops. 

And I’d go hire Art Briles. 

Yes, yes, Briles is controversial right now, but Baylor paid him millions of dollars to leave and someone will hire him. So far Briles hasn’t been proven to have done anything improper. There is no concrete evidence against him. Considering Louisville is currently employing Bobby Petrino — who hired his mistress, lied to his athletic director, and was fired for cause — and Rick Pitino — who has done just about everything impermissible you can imagine, from impregnating a girl on the floor of a restaurant and paying for her abortion to overseeing a coaching staff that hired prostitutes for recruits — you can certainly make the case that Briles is a saint compared to those two guys.

I think you’d have a week of negative coverage and then it would vanish and people would focus on whether or not Briles won football games.

So that’s the decision I’d make.  

Kyle writes:


I’ve been following Outkick for over two years now and I’ve read both your books, and in those books you talk about how you went to school at George Washington University so I had this question to ask: where were you during the 9/11 attacks? Were you in D.C. When the pentagon was hit? Did you actually see the smoke from where you were at? Being a history buff like you I am so fascinated but frightened that that actually happened. (I was only 3 years old in 2001).  So I guess it’s hard to think about what happened during that time was actually real. I’m just interested to see your perspective of what happened that day.”

It’s wild how young some of our readers are, but to answer your question I had just graduated from college and left Washington, D.C. less than a month before 9/11. 

I was a first year law student at Vanderbilt. That morning I woke up and heard on my radio that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centers, but the radio show hosts were playing it for laughs and didn’t think it was very serious. The expectation at the time I entered class was that it was a small plane and that it wasn’t very serious. When we finished that class — ironically it was Torts since the attack would end up becoming one of the largest mass tort cases in our country’s history — and we came outside the classroom we saw the towers fall on live televisions in the law school lobby. 

No one in class knew what was happening prior to then because the room wasn’t wifi equipped yet and text messaging wasn’t popular yet. 

My girlfriend at the time was still in D.C. and she called me from the roof her apartment building and said she could see the smoke from the Pentagon. But cell phone communication for several hours was virtually nonexistent with the east coast. So millions of people across the country assumed the worst. 

It was awful.

Fred writes:

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don’t ask what seat.” – Sheryl Sandberg commenting about joining Google in 2001.

I have a brilliant idea where we can all ride the Clay Travis rocket ship. Let me explain: Clay Travis IPO’s himself.

That’s right. All things Outkick becomes a publicly traded company with you as the majority shareholder. If you are tracking to Howard Stern level, we want to join you. Here’s how it works. You sell a small piece of the Outkick empire, say 10%. We buy that stake at a 20x price to earnings multiple valuation. To keep the math easy, say you are on track to clear $10 million in 2017 (I’d bet the over). Carve out $1 million. That cash flow is then valued at 20x P/E, so you get $20 million straight cash homey right now. In turn, we get 10% of all your future earnings in perpetuity.

Here is the investment thesis your lawyer can draft up for the SEC (the other one):

1. You have a clean balance sheet. You’re out of the pants business, the only prior business blemish. Nice save, but can’t have these mistakes again Clay.

2. Outkick’s empire is anchored by demographics highly coveted by advertisers: skews young, educated, tech savvy. And it’s growing every day.

3. Passionate, highly engaged user base. Not sure what your daily active users and daily time spent but it’s high. 203k Twitter followers? It should be 10x that soon.

4. Huge profit margins. $50 wifi cost is your overhead before you went national radio on us. Your staff can’t cost all that much. Give them options if they want a raise.

5. Strong alignment of interest. Like Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, 99% of your liquid net worth will be tied to Clay Travis the public stock. And, if viewers/readers are new minority shareholders, what better incentive to spread the brand?

6. Clean corporate governance. You currently have 100% ownership of everything. You had 5 LLC’s before the radio show. Likely 6 now. The 7th one can be a PLC.

Clay, IPO valuations are all about potential. Sometimes they flop; sometimes they soar. We are buying into the rocket ship.

I saved the best detail for last. We can list on the NASDAQ which allows 4 symbols. DBAP.

So, what do you say? Let’s IPO. Let’s all get rich.” 

You know what’s crazy about this email?

I’ve actually been thinking about doing something like this in the next couple of years. 

Outkick has become a multi-million dollar company and I own 100% of it right now. So would it make sense to get some money out of the company and sell a stake to readers/listeners/viewers?

Your investment payout would be that you get 10 or 20% of our yearly profits in a dividend check at the end of the year. If you think we’re going to grow our revenue really fast in the next few years — and I think that’s a good bet — then you would all make great returns. 

I mean, right now if you had to buy stock in someone who was going to make Howard Stern money in the next 15 years or so, how many guys under forty would be in better position than me?

Right now Skip Bayless makes $6 million a year and seems to be near the top of the sports media income pyramid. But I think we’re poised to blow through that number in the near future. I’ve got a digital property, a daily show on Facebook Live and Periscope and a morning show that is going to kick ass for Fox Sports Radio. In less than two years all my contracts come up. I can either take Outkick back entirely and run my own business or I can sign a really big deal with a major media company. 

My options are going to be great. 

So the potential payoff to me is obviously huge, but wouldn’t you guys investing in me have an awful lot of fun seeing whether that would happen? Can you imagine our yearly shareholder meetings?

Of course, I could totally bomb and go JaMarcus Russell on you guys. 

That’s the fascinating risk. 

Stay tuned, I may honestly try something like this in the next couple of years.

In the meantime thanks for supporting Outkick and all our myriad businesses.

Much to the haters’ chagrin, we’re kicking ass and taking names.

Have great weekends.   

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.