All That and a Bag of Mail

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We begin the mailbag with an incredible story that is now posted on Reddit, and was also emailed to Outkick yesterday. (I wish you’d seen my face as I read this email). In case you were living under a rock, you probably know about the Lane Kiffin rumors that took over the college football Internet yesterday. This was the email we received yesterday: “CLAY: Please submit under the pseudonym “Ross from the ER.” I have lived in the state my whole life, and graduate from college in a month. I don’t want to kill my career before it starts.”

Go read Ross’s story about Lane Kiffin allegedly going out drinking at Innisfree in Tuscaloosa.

The best part of this story, for you lazy asses who didn’t click, is that the emailer claims Kiffin uses a made up name at the bar to pick up girls, Joey Freshwater, which is so superb I honestly want Lane Kiffin writing for Outkick now.

I know jerseys look ridiculous, but if there isn’t a Bama fan wearing a Freshwater jersey at the game this weekend, you’ve all failed me.   

Is it possible this story is totally made up? Of course. But does it also sound exactly like something Lane Kiffin would do? Of course. 

So our beaver pelt trader of the week is Joey Fucking Freshwater. 

On to the mailbag. 

John M. writes:


What is this nonsense about LSU being worried about running out of alcohol when they visit Syracuse this Saturday?

I feel like the whiskey/light beer culture, that constantly promotes alcohol in the south, gives the illusion that the south drinks more than the north. I’m from Texas and had a similar view in college before doing a internship in upstate New York… Oh how naive I was…

These are the same people that spend 7 months of winter shut indoors with nothing to do but drink and stay warm. They also have to deal with the fact they will never experience those easy Ole Miss girls that the folks at College Gameday found so offensive to joke about. That’s a harsh reality to face.

So my question to you is how would LSU, the consensus alcoholic misfits of the SEC, fare in a drinking competition with your standard Northeastern party school?”

In general, I agree with you about the alcohol consumption habits of bad weather regions. Having said that, LSU fans would beat everybody in the country in a school drinking championship. They are the undisputed alcohol national champions.

I don’t know if Cajuns have a unique drinking ability honed on hundreds of years of backwoods ass Louisiana bayou dwelling or what, but these motherfuckers can drink like no one I’ve ever seen.

I’m not kidding.

Go to an LSU tailgate sometime and witness this for yourself. I brought buddies to the Oregon-LSU game at Jerry World a few years ago and one of my friends turned to me and said, “How do these people keep walking?”

It’s uncanny.

I mean, LSU fans drank the West Virginia stadium dry the last time they went to a stadium with alcohol. It’s not like West Virginians are known for their sober-minded pursuits and smart decisions when it comes to alcohol. And even West Virginians were in awe.

Look out, Syracuse.

(By the way, how awesome is it that the top story about LSU going to Syracuse has nothing to do with the actual game and everything to do with whether or not LSU fans are going to drink the stadium dry. Like, no one has any interest at all in the actual game. The entire week’s talk has been about alcohol. No other team in America could pull that story line off.)  

Abby writes:


I’m in a bit of a pickle. I am a part of the 15%, and my fiance recently started attending Auburn. Of course, I’m not too pumped about it, but it’s just a two year program and they’re paying him to do it, so what can I say?

Anyway, as you know, the Iron Bowl will be at Auburn this year. When he first started talking about going to Auburn, I said that he could go as long as he got me Iron Bowl tickets. And this year, he has succeeded. Here’s where the problem arises: he can get me an $100 ticket (very cheap for this game, I know), but it would be in the Auburn student section.

I’m a small, 5’3″ (on a good day) girl, so I feel like the chances of me getting heckled and harassed in the middle of that section are pretty high. Even if I wore a jacket and covered up my Bama gear to be more incognito, I wouldn’t be able to hold back my screams of excitement or agony, so I would be quickly recognized. My fiance and I are both pretty laid back, but I’m going to guess he wouldn’t be too excited with certain phrases or gestures thrown my way. I wouldn’t want anything to escalate and result in serious regret.

So here’s my question: Is it worth it?”

This is a really tough question. Because really what it comes down to is analyzing probabilities. It’s unlikely you’ll have any issue, but if you did have an issue that could be really bad. The other thing I’d ask is this, have you seen a game in Jordan-Hare before? Because that’s a pretty awesome experience and it would factor into my decision. If you haven’t, I’d be more inclined to go than not.  

Either way I don’t think you’re likely to get heckled as a girl in the student section. In my experience people — even in the student section — are pretty friendly in SEC stadiums. But it’s always possible that you end up seated near some drunken assholes who decide to insult you because the game isn’t going their way. And then your fiance is in an awkward position. Because the guys heckling you — who are clearly total jerks — won’t do anything to you, but your fiance might eventually be obligated to defend you if the heckling gets too substantial. I mean something beyond a, “What the hell is a Bama fan doing in our section?” level of heckling.

And you don’t want that situation to escalate. Because the next thing you know you’re behaving like members of the 85%.  

One year in grad school I set in the Georgia student section in UT gear. Now, I was with Georgia fan friends — they were students there — and we had zero issues. I think that’s because most people get it, everyone has friends at rival schools and sometimes those friends visit and go to games. Now that I think back on it, it was probably dumb to go in opposing fan gear and sit in the student section, but, like I said, I had zero issues. So the most likely outcome is that you would have zero issues too.

But around 10% of the time, you might have issues. I think it’s less likely to be a major problem this year because the stakes are going to be lower. That is, neither team, in my opinion, will be contending for a national championship so fans won’t be as fired up on every single snap as in recent years. 

My suggestion would be to go, but to wear a large coat covering your Bama gear — it’s going to be cold, probably, right? — and cheer as you normally would. The only people who can really tell how you’re cheering — provided you don’t break out your Bama shaker and houndstooth hat — are those seated pretty close to you. 

(FYI, if you’re a current Alabama or Auburn student or a former student you can comment below and tell us your advice based on having been seated in the student section for the Iron Bowl.) 

Gavin writes:

“With the recent pearl clutching over the Ole Miss girls sign, and GameDay’s subsequent apologies to both them and Urban’s family for the heart attack sign, €“both of which were hilarious, does this spell the beginning of the end of college gameday? Does a network like Fox stand to scoop up a segment like that? Could other networks theoretically set up broadcast shop on the same campus as CGD?”

You know the world is nearing its outrage apex when Gameday, a campus show predicated on showing up and insulting your rivals with signs, has to apologize for signs that insult their rivals too much. 

I mean, come on. 


Here’s the deal, sports media is so much more conservative than the fans who consume sports media. The reason why a site like Outkick can flourish is because mainstream sports coverage doesn’t really sound very much like what sports fans sound like when they talk about sports at the bar. My goal has always been to come as close as possible on here to replicating what I would say if I was hanging out with you guys at a tailgate. And I think that’s why we’re so successful, because Outkick sounds like most educated people in their twenties and thirties sound when they talk about sports. 

My guess is that the Gameday social media guys or girls are in their twenties and saw the signs in question for what they were — JOKES. So they retweeted them. But big corporations have reached the point where whatever jokes they reference — remember, these weren’t even Gameday host jokes, they were just pictures of other people’s jokes — typically have to appeal to every single person on Earth. That means those jokes typically suck. If your joke doesn’t “offend” a single person on the planet, then it’s probably awful.

I think ESPN is making an intriguing decision, they are becoming even more conservative in their opinions and less broad in their acceptable level of humor. Meanwhile, to our credit, I think Fox is making the decision to double down on opinion and humor. I think that’s to our major competitive advantage. 

But the great thing about all business decisions is that ultimately, over the next five years or so, the market will decide who’s right. 

One day do I think Fox will have a badass on campus college show?

Yes, I do. And hopefully I’m a part of it.  

“Hadley writes:

How socially acceptable is it to pretend to like another SEC team in the south when you meet someone new? I have had two experiences with this recently. Living in Nashville you run into fans from just about every team in the SEC which I think makes Nashville so great, it’s like the melting pot of SEC fans. One Saturday night at a bar recently (one that you are part owner of, you’re welcome) me and a friend started talking to these girls in Alabama football jerseys. We should have known better since they were wearing the jerseys out even thought they graduated and are part of the 15%. Now as you know Alabama fans can be the worst, but if you are talking to girls at a bar you can’t just trash their team right to their face so we had to pretend like we gave a shit about Alabama football and didn’t absolutely love watching them lose. How many people do you think ignore their football allegiances when trying to hook up with someone from a different fan base? Is this socially acceptable or should we have told them that we can’t stand Alabama?

Love reading your work, keep up the good work. Also I checked this for grammar mistakes about 5 times but I’m sure you will find some that I missed. I don’t want to end up like Ezekiel Elliott.”

In initial bar pick-up situations, I think it’s totally acceptable to pretend to like a team that you actually hate. However, at some point you have to come clean with the girls. Which is why my advice would always be not to lie at the start. Because here’s the deal, girls are so used to being lied to that if you’re actually honest to them they find it refreshing. 

So why not go in with this opening line, “How much does Ohio State suck?”

Or you can go even more detailed with your intro line. For instance, my cousin, a recent Alabama grad, went to the Alabama-Ohio State playoff game wearing a pin on her shirt that said, “Make Urban quit again.”

I mean, tell me that isn’t gold.

I don’t think there’s an SEC grad on Earth who wouldn’t respond favorably to you saying, “So Urban Meyer, total asshole, right? Want a drink?”

(Full disclosure, we don’t own the Demonbreun Street bars in Nashville, we own the land beneath them. So all those bars are tenants of ours. But in an indirect fashion, thanks for drinking so much).  

Here’s my favorite part from last night’s college football preview show. 

Shyam writes:

“College football just began and we will be done with 33% of some schools’ games by tomorrow. Do you have any ideas on stretching the season & having more football in our lives ? What if the FCS season happened in the spring? What if some conferences played games every other week? I just want to be able to watch more football.”

Here’s my idea: I would play a conference challenge for all spring games. Turn them into default bowl games and play spring games that actually are competitive. It would probably make the players train harder in the spring and it would give coaches something to point to as a reward at the end of spring practice. 

These games wouldn’t count in the record for the next season, they’re entirely stand alone contests, like spring bowl games. Wouldn’t this be awesome to look forward to and help break up the offseason? If, for the entire month of April, for instance, you played the Big Ten against the SEC, with seven games in the SEC and seven in the Big Ten stadiums? You could rotate among the conference challenges, every four years you play a new conference.

I think the television ratings on these games would be insane and if you played a conference challenge it would give everyone an incentive to watch them. Plus, can you imagine the additional money this would be worth to the conferences and schools?  

Brad writes:

“Clay Love you’re (had to) idea of a 9th SEC conference game at neutral sites. How about taking the show on the road and play outside SEC territory? You know, the same concept Northern teams have with the satellite camps down south. You touched on it with Vols-Cocks in Charlotte. How about Kentucky playing an SEC Conference game right across the river in Cincinnati? That would be pretty brass having an SEC game right on B1G/Ohio State soil, no? Hell, take this further and have Alabama vs Florida in Indianapolis? Or, considering the mediocre recruiting opportunities up north, take that game out west. Instead of conferences increasing their footprint by adding new members, how about play games in said footprints to increase exposure and further strengthen recruiting areas? Imagine Les Miles hosting a week long party for a dozen recruits in SoCal leading up to LSU/Georgia in the Rose Bowl? These 9th SEC Conference games could be like mini in-season bowl games! Thoughts? You’re Gay.”

Love this idea too. 

I think it would make sense for the NFL to do this too if they ever added games. How cool could a regular season Titans game be in Neyland, for example? How about the Falcons in Tuscaloosa or the Saints in Baton Rouge? It’s just a really smart way to grow your brand. 

Jarrad writes:


I read your thoughts from the last Mailbag about grown men not wearing jerseys. I’m an Auburn grad about to cross over to 39 years old and I occasionally wear an Auburn jersey (fairly obscure…Jeremy Wells, long snapper during the Tuberville era…he was a personal friend who gave it to me…but not in a weird Mean Joe kind of way…) and my Cam Newton Panthers jersey — pretty gay for Cam…as a fellow married gay man with kids, I’m sure you understand…plus, that dreamy smile of his…

After reading your rationales against grown men in jerseys, here is my response:

Fuck you, Clay.*

*This is my go to response when I know the other party is right, but I don’t want to change.”

Grown men shouldn’t wear jerseys. 

It’s an easy rule to follow.

(Exception, Alabama jerseys with the last name Freshwater on them). 

Michael writes:

“If you had to spend the rest of your life solely with the Twitter following of one person/entity who would it be?

Meaning the only people in your world that you could interact with would be those followers.

For instance, if your choice was @AlabamaFTBL, those 260K followers would be your society for life.”

If you go sports you’re just hanging out with a bunch of dudes, so sports is out of the equation. 

Pretty sure I’d want a smart comedian because that would eliminate a ton of dumb people. I’d probably go with Chelsea Handler over Daniel Tosh because Chelsea Handler probably has the hottest collection of smart, funny, hot women following her in the country.

Enjoy the games this weekend.  

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.