All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, time for the mailbag. 

Thanks for a great week of support on Outkick the Coverage, our daily show on FoxSportsRadio.com that airs from 6-9 eastern on 220 stations across the country. We’ve got some big station announcements coming soon so if we aren’t in your city yet, chances are we will be soon. 

Okay, on to the mailbag. 

Mike writes:

 

“Dear Wise Gay Muslim, 

 

I need you to settle a debate between a friend and me. It involves SEC football, coeds, social media, and population demographics. Basically, this is your bread and butter- or “Amar Al-deen” as they might say in the Holy Land.

Before I witnessed the best half of football in Neyland Stadium history this past Saturday, I invested 6 hours tailgating near campus. 

After witnessing at least 15 women pass through our parking lot with the latest fashion trend on campus- cutoff jean shorts- exposing incredibly toned legs (I’m talking Carrie Underwood caliber legs), I had an epiphany: “Social media apps & accounts such as Instagram, Bumble, Tinder, and YetiButts are putting pressure on college coeds to get hotter than ever before.” 

Here’s the rationale behind my theory. Female competition is a real thing. I think you’ve mentioned before that women don’t buy really expensive purses to impress men. They do it to impress their female friends. 

Following that logic, I believe that the massive growth and popularity of social media platforms such as Snapchat & Instagram is encouraging females to put more effort than ever before into getting hot, posting hot pictures, and getting likes from their friends. That’s my argument, but I may be wrong.

My friend, also a UT alum, posits that the recent push to become a Top 25 public research university (top25.utk.edu) has attracted a brighter, wealthier freshman class year after year in turn creating a much hotter campus than the one that existed 10 years prior with the theory that smarts correlates to wealth which correlates to attractiveness.

According to the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment, the Composite ACT score for the incoming freshman class at UTK rose 1.3 points from 25.7 in 2006 to 27.0 in 2015.

That’s his more objective, sabermetric argument. 

I suppose there’s another alternative- “I’m a horny 30-something whose best days passed him by a decade ago. Natural selection and Natural Light combined on Saturday to make me suspect to recency error in judgment, and I’m just not accounting for all the truly hot women on campus back in my day.”

What say you? Is social media making coeds hotter than ever before? Are the student body population demographics responsible for a hotness uptick in concert with rising ACT scores? Did I get overheated and have beer goggles on? 

Please settle this debate.”

I think all of these theories are in play. Here’s my analysis:

1. College girls are in much better physical shape now than ever before and they are definitely competing for likes and attention on social media apps.

The hotter you are, the more popular you are on those sites. And the more competition there is for likes, the hotter you have to be to get the likes. So girls are competing to be hotter, driving the hotness standards even higher. Social media is like the Olympics for hot chicks.  

How do you get hotter?

Sure, you can get plastic surgery, but natural hotness is all the rage these days. 

And how do you get naturally hotter?

You eat healthier and you work out harder. 

Let me give you an example — asses have never been better in American history. 

Girls are squatting like crazy. 

When I was in college no girl would ever touch a weight because they were worried about getting too muscly. Now I see girls loading up a squat rack and just dominating squats in the gym. The result is asses are on fire everywhere. And so are legs. Female bodies are undoubtedly hotter and more toned than ever before. 

That’s true, by the way, for women of all ages. There have never been hotter moms in American history. You should see some of the moms at our neighborhood pool. These women have had three, four or five kids, are 35, and they have abs.

It’s incredible.  

I go to a cross fit gym and the moms are just crushing work outs. Killing pull ups, deadlifting, some of these moms could beat my ass and I’m not in bad shape for a fat dad of three. 

But college girls benefit the most from all of this because they are combining youth with hotness and squat rack glory. Plus, god bless them, girls just keep wearing more revealing — and hotter — clothes. Butt cheeks and side boobs are basically par for the course now. Back in the day you used to just get old fashioned top cleavage, now clothes make an art form of showing you different parts of the boob. 

There has really never been a better time to be alive if you like hot women. 

I’m actually jealous of all three of my boys. By the time the first one gets to college in a decade there’s no telling what’s going to be going on. 

2. The older you get the hotter college girls get. 

This is just a function of you slowly becoming a dirty old man. 

There’s also a sheer volume argument here — when else does a married man suddenly find himself surrounded by a crowd of smoking hot 20 year olds? Unless you own a strip club or a college bar, this is pretty rare for most of us. 

I mean, hell, I don’t even know a single 18-22 year old girl right now. 

Not one. 

And that’s as it should be, by the way. 

How weird would it be if I had like 25 good friends who were 21 year old girls? (By the way, the moment my wife leaves me this would definitely happen. I would immediately become the old dude buying things for 20 year olds. This is why I can never get divorced. I’d go bankrupt in like three years.)

When you’re an 18-22 year old guy you just take it for totally granted that you’re surrounded by smokeshows all day. By the time you’re thirty or older and coming back for college football games you’re just in awe of your surroundings.

This is why all you mopey college guys need to quit being such goddamn pussies. There is nothing bad in your life right now. Go drink and chase hot chicks.

You will never have more fun for the rest of your life.

Trust me.  

3. Your buddy is right about the impact of wealth. 

The richer you are, on average, the hotter you are. 

This has to do with health, but it also has to do with the money and time to go to the gym, the resources to eat healthy, the lower stress levels and health benefits that come with wealth in general. 

Also, the genes are probably pretty good since how many rich dudes do you ever see who marry ugly women? It just doesn’t happen. So the good looking genes are getting melded with the rich genes and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So all three issues are at play. 

But, you’re right, girls have never been hotter than they are right now. 

USA, USA, USA!

Adam writes:

“Your piece on going to prison a few weeks back got a few co-workers talking about it in the office. We are debating whether or not you off yourself if you get convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison. And if so, what length of sentence would be necessary for you to kill yourself? We are all young and in somewhat decent shape. I have to believe that if I got in a bar fight then I would be ok, but prison is obviously a different animal.  

I am of the belief that if I got anything over 10 years, I’m probably beer bonging a gallon of bleach and calling it a life. My co-workers think that is ridiculous, but as a white guy with an early onset dad bod forming, I am easy pickings in jail. So, what do you think? Is 10 years too short to end it? Or would the play be to just go on the run in the Caribbean, and if you get caught, then off yourself?”

I’ve thought about what I’d do if I had to go to jail, and I’m pretty convinced I’d trade legal services to the baddest dudes in the prison in exchange for them keeping me from getting raped or beaten up.

I think that would be a good trade for both: Their legal appeals would be much better and my ass would retain its virginity. 

I think I’m too much of a pussy to kill myself — like shoot myself in the head with a gun, are you serious? No way I’m doing that. I don’t even like getting my finger pricked at the doctor and I’m 37. No way in hell I’m shooting myself.

Maybe I could do the carbon monoxide business and just go to sleep, but I’ve got a ton of life insurance now and I don’t want to risk all that money getting held up for suicide. 

I think I could do a few years in prison, but anything longer than that would be nearly impossible to handle. 

But here’s the deal: if you run with no money is your life really that much better than in prison. 

Like, is working on a Costa Rican shrimp boat really that much better of a life than being in an American prison? Once you come out of prison you’re free again. If you’re in some shitty country you have to stay there for the rest of your life with no money. You can’t ever come back.  

Now if you told me that I had a few million in another country and I couldn’t be extradited that’s the clear move, but you have to plan for that well in advance. Once you’re being investigated for something it’s hard to withdraw much money because all your assets get seized. Plus, if you’ve seen “Breaking Bad,” you know how heavy cash is.

Let’s say I had a million in cash, it’s not that easy to move around. 

And wouldn’t the white dude who suddenly showed up with a huge duffel bag of cash in Honduras be the easiest mark imaginable?

Finally, I’ve lived in the Caribbean, it’s great if you have money. But if you don’t, you basically live in a hovel.  

So I’d be tempted to roll the dice on prison and just become an expert prison lawyer and write the greatest prison novel of all time. 

 

 

James writes:

“Over the last 10 years and in large part due to attending law school, I have come to the conclusion that political candidates (in both parties) have figured out that the American public in general knows very little about the legal system among other things, and is more than willing to prey on that ignorance by saying any number of things that could work in their favor, even if what they are saying is completely irrelevant from a legal perspective.

There are tons of examples, but here is a recent one. You have Trump’s comment in the debate that he settled his housing discrimination lawsuit with no admission of guilt or liability. As a lawyer, I think every civil settlement I’ve seen includes a paragraph specifically not admitting liability. I can only hope there aren’t people out there who bought that as a legit response by Trump.

My question is this: is it too idealistic of me to expect better of candidates for public office? Or, as a follow-up, am I giving the candidates too much credit by thinking that they actually know that what they’re saying is complete BS?”

Well, Hillary Clinton is undeniably really smart on legal issues. You can’t go to Yale Law School and graduate. Bill Clinton is brilliant too. The same is true of Barack Obama, who was editor of the Harvard Law Review and taught at the University of Chicago.

I’m sure Donald Trump is smart, but he just parrots what his lawyers tell him without really grasping the legalities himself.  

The big issue here is this though: I believe that social media has, on average, made everyone dumber because social media primarily exists to convince people that what they already believe is true, facts be damned.

We have never had more people with more access to facts online, but the problem is the dumbest people aren’t intelligent enough to know what facts are real and which are made up. So they just continue to believe what they believe. And now they can have those opinions reinforced all day long because social media leads people to surround themselves with people who think just like them.  

Think about it, when I was a kid how did you find out something was true? If you were lucky you had an Encyclopedia at home. (My parents bought us the 1990 World Book Encyclopedia and it was a huge deal in our house. I remember just sitting and reading the Encyclopedia. If you had a question about a fact, my parents would tell us to go look it up. And so we used that all the time.) If you didn’t have an Encyclopedia, you had to go to the library and use the card catalog. And it would take forever to look something up. 

The result was not that many people had rapid access to facts, but, at the same time, not that many people had access to inaccurate facts either.

Then along came the Internet and suddenly the people who were smart enough to find the answers to questions had the entire world of knowledge available to them.  

We didn’t have the Internet at my house before I went off to college. But when I got the Internet at college, I was immediately in love with it. The amount of instant information you could access was amazing. Then when the Internet moved to phones — I got my first Blackberry in 2005 — I was simply amazed that I could look up anything, anywhere, at any moment. It seemed like magic.

But for other people the Internet just offered them a ton of websites, most of which they lacked the intelligence to analyze for truth of falsehood. So you saw the explosion of memes and sites with dubious scientific basis. Worst of all came the ability of the unintelligent to convince themselves that their opinions were actually correct. And politicians — or interest groups that benefit off of them — can create artificial realities that motivate voters and buttress their own political power. 

Enter the Donald Trump campaign and the Hillary Clinton campaigns. 

Both campaigns benefit off idiots supporting them who are afraid of things that aren’t actually threats to them in their daily lives.   

Witness the entire black lives matter movement on the left wing and the entire anti-Muslim terrorists arm of the right wing. 

Both of these groups rely on artificial world views designed to scare them, when there is little legitimate to fear out there. Now, at least you can argue that the right wingers terrified of terrorism can legitimately posit that terrorists might one day get access to weapons of mass destruction and kill millions of people at once. I think, based on all my reading, that fear is entirely plausible. 

On the other hand, I legitimately believe that many intelligent white and black people are aware that the black lives matter movement is founded on lies — that is, that police are intentionally murdering black people — but they believe that these beliefs make black people more likely to vote so they support the protests. There is zero doubt in my mind that, for instance, hundreds if not thousands of black people are dead all over this country because of black lives matter protests. That is, these protests have made police, the number one protectors of black lives in the country, less able to protect black lives, leading to a surge in the murder rate in many black communities. 

If black lives really matter shouldn’t black lives matter activists say or do something to combat the fact that 93% of all black murders are caused by black people. That stat that I just gave you, that 93% of all black deaths are caused by black people, is totally unacknowledged by black lives matter activists.

Instead they primarily focus on cops shooting black people, something that has happened just 174 times this year. (Only 15 of these shootings have involved unarmed black people.) For comparison sake, over 8000 black people killed other black people this year.

If black lives truly matter, wouldn’t the 8000 murders be a bigger number to attack than the 174 people — most of whom were armed and threatening police — who were killed by police this year.

Indeed, let’s put this in another context entirely if thinking in racial terms is too charged with emotion. Nick Wright, who I like, but think is wrong on this issue, has argued that no one pulls up beside someone with a save the manatee bumper sticker and argues, “Well, what about elephants?”

It’s an interesting argument, but it fails when you examine it. 

Imagine if you were fighting against the killing of endangered elephants and you started the hashtag #elephantlivesmatter. If #elephantlivesmatter was responsible for killing 93% of the elephants and then waged a social media campaign against game wardens who killed less than 1% of elephants that they argued were dangers to them and others inside the park, would that campaign have any legitimacy whatsoever for reasonable people? 

That is, if #elephantlivesmatter only got upset when park employees, those charged with protecting all the animals on a game reservation and all the people inside that park, shot elephants and #elephantlivesmatter posted videos of these shootings and staged protests in reaction to them, wouldn’t it be eminently reasonable to say, wait, you say #elephantlivesmatter, but you’re killing 93% of the elephants yourselves? Why are you focused on the game wardens in the park killing less than 1% of elephants and protesting their actions when they’re responsible for a tiny percentage of overall elephant lives? Shouldn’t you be protesting yourselves?    

That’s how many people feel about the #blacklivesmatter movement. 

Willie writes:

“Hey man,

Curious if you would answer honestly 100%

Do you write from a true honest voice that is 100% yours, or do you cater your writing style and writing voice to aim at the demographic you believe to be your core audience?

I know it might be hard to distinguish sometimes, but do you think subconsciously the stuff is truly how you feel, or do you think the following you have shapes your view points on things at all?

Or would you say these view points are not influenced by your audience?”

 

I 100% believe everything I write. 

The only way the audience impacts what I write is that I write and talk about things that I know lots of people care about. Let me explain, I’m a fan of George Washington basketball because I went to college at GW. But if I write about GW basketball, no one will read it on Outkick because I’m one of a tiny group of GW fans. So if I have to choose between writing a piece about Nick Saban or GW basketball, which do you think I’m writing about?

I’m in the business of having as many readers, listeners, and viewers as possible. That’s how I get paid. This means, generally, that I have to write and talk about big stories that impact lots of people’s lives. If I don’t believe at least 20,000 people will read what I write — and 99.9% of all articles written on the Internet have an audience of less than 20k people — then it’s not worth my time to write.

That’s my business.  

But I have never written an opinion piece in 14 years online that I don’t agree with 100%. 

Doug writes:

“Any thoughts on why, during all of the worries about cord cutting and how it will affect ratings, college football ratings are up, but the NFL’s are down? Are the protests by Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL’s controversies finally catching up with them, or is there something else at play here? Would love to hear your thoughts.”

I think college football ratings are up because the out of conference match-ups have been better and also, honestly, because some football fans have said, screw it, I’d rather watch the college kids play than protesting multi-millionaires. 

My theory on this — and I’ve been saying it quite a bit on Outkick the Coverage — is that the Kaepernick protests have alienated quite a few people because football is supposed to be their escape from politics. That is, if you’re a hard working guy or girl out there and you’ve got stresses in your life, the NFL is an opportunity for you to sit down and watch a game for three hours and not have to worry about your kids or the health of your parents or your bills.

Sports are the toy chest of life, the dessert of the meal. 

So if you’re expecting to get ice cream and instead you get broccoli then what do you do? You go somewhere else for ice cream. You go to Netflix or you watch the DVR, you don’t need to be confronted by a political protest or hear Bob Costas talking to you about police shootings. 

If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about here, if you promise your kids ice cream at the end of a meal and then when they finish that meal if you give them broccoli instead, what happens?

The kids lose their minds. 

Because their expectations haven’t been fulfilled. 

They wanted ice cream, damn it!

Sports fans are the same way, they want ice cream and they’re not getting it from the NFL. So they find somewhere else to go, that could be college football, but it’s likely some other form of entertainment. (I also believe, and this is another topic, that fantasy football has peaked. I see and hear much less people talking about fantasy football now than I did five years ago. I think the market is sated there.) 

Parker writes:

“I am big fan of yours, and have been following you since the ClayNation days on CBS. So, since you were trying to find your way in this industry until now, when you have cornered the market as the leading gay Muslim. From my recollection, you seem to have not changed the way you spend money, at least not publicly. You still vacation on 30A, and at Mackinac Island. I am not sure what kind of car you drive, but I have the feeling you drive a car that doesn’t scream that you have personal wealth. Is there anything that you have splurged on? Is there anything you thought you would do as a kid if you made it rich that you have done? I know that you have been able to do some cool things because people want to be associated with your #Brand? Would you do those things if it wasn’t work related?”

My house. 

I have an 8k square foot house outside of Nashville that’s a palace. I mean, it’s fantastic. The first time we walked in here last year I legitimately thought I was sitting on the Iron Throne. I mean, it’s pretty insane. I sometimes go for a walk in the neighborhood and then come up by this house and think, “Are you kidding me? I bought this place?”  

Growing up as a kid I never would have thought that I would be able to afford a house like this, so I splurged here.

Otherwise, honestly, I don’t spend much money. 

The biggest change in my life is probably at dinner. I used to look at the prices in a restaurant and I would never order the most expensive thing on the menu. Now I don’t even really look at the prices. I just get whatever I want. That’s pretty awesome to do if, like me, you grew up not being rich.

But now I find myself worrying about my kids being spoiled brats.

Kids are great because they think whatever happens is normal.   

The other day, and I’ve told this story on the radio, but I was walking home with my two oldest kids and they were complaining because they didn’t have a trampoline. And I decided that was a good opportunity to let them know how privileged they were to live where they were and have the toys and lifestyle that they did. 

So I went on this long story about how when dad was little that their grandma, my mom, used to drive me through the rich neighborhoods and point out houses and wonder what it would be like to live in one of those big mansions. And then I said, “So daddy used to drive around and look at the house like the one you guys live in now and wonder what it would be like to live there one day. So you guys are really lucky to live in a place like this.”

And I thought I’d just taught both my boys this great, monumental life lesson that they would remember forever and my eight year old says, without skipping a beat:

“Welp, now you know.”   

Welcome to parenthood.

Hope y’all have great weekends. Thanks for supporting Outkick.

Let’s get rich on our gambling picks.  

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.