All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and most of you are still homebound, which means the Friday mailbag is here to rescue you from boredom.

So here we go:

Buzz writes:

“Will we be able to attend college football games in September?”

I think so in the SEC and the Big 12, yes.

If you look at the IHME forecasts, the coronavirus is predicted to virtually disappear during the summer. (I know, I know the forecasts have been awful so far this year, but the trend lines reflect that this is likely true around the world.)

I’m not sure that every conference will have the same rules — the east and west coasts are likely to be far more conservative than the rest of the country — but given that the weather is typically still very warm in the SEC and the Big 12 states for September and October games, I’d be surprised if stadiums aren’t open.

I do think, however, that schools will encourage the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems not to attend games this fall.

I also believe, by the way, that colleges will be back open this fall as well.

Pat writes:

“Do you think Peter King regrets coming on Outkick?”

Credit to him for coming on Outkick and donating to charity as a part of the guest spot, but if you haven’t listened to that interview, you need to.

Here it is:

I’m not kidding, go watch this entire interview.

The guy has been taking shots at me for years now in his column and on social media and I haven’t responded. I don’t know him at all so I always found the fact that he was constantly ripping me to be strange.

On Tuesday morning I woke up and he was taking shots at me again on Twitter so I decided to fire back and invite him on the show to defend his perspective. (FYI, I could literally spend all day firing back at the blue checkmark brigade who disagree with me on social media. But most of those guys have tiny audiences so it isn’t worth my time to elevate them by feuding with them. King is different, he actually has an audience so I don’t mind engaging with him.)

You can agree or disagree with me, but the first amendment is alive and well on Outkick. So I was fine with him coming on the show and ripping me and arguing why I was an awful human being if he so desired.

But if you listen to the interview, and I’m telling you if you haven’t heard it you need to click the above the video and go listen, you could rapidly see King’s the perfect illustration of a modern mainstream left wing media figure: a guy who builds opinions that are twenty feet tall and one inch deep.

I mean, once I started questioning him about his coronavirus opinions and why he hated me you could see all of his opinions just completely unravel.

There was no substance to his opinions at all — he just hates Donald Trump. (And hates me because I don’t hate Trump).

And that hate has led him to respond emotionally to everything on social media.

I mean, he legitimately said Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in his lifetime. The democratically elected president of a country is the most dangerous person in your lifetime? It’s just completely nonsensical. Especially since, as King said, he believes if we hadn’t done anything at all millions of people would have died of the coronavirus in this country.

That means Trump — and the governors and mayors — saved millions of lives by their decision-making.

By King’s own logic, the man he said is the most dangerous person in his lifetime, helped save millions of American lives, the most American lives to be saved by a president since Harry Truman dropped the bomb on Japan.

I think King walked into a buzzsaw and thought he was going to be going on a typical sports talk radio show with a doddering host, instead of the smartest sports talk radio show in the country.

Look, by the time I step forward and lay out an opinion, I’ve thought through both sides of an argument really well. You may not agree with my opinion, but the vast majority of the time I could flip sides and argue the other side of an issue better than the people who disagree with me. And, significantly, I think I’m just as good about arguing politics as I am at arguing sports. Hell, I may even be better at politics. In fact, I hear from people all the time that they wish I did more political analysis and less sports.

Here’s where the mainstream left wing opinion has gone in the coronavirus story. First, over two million people were going to die and Donald Trump wasn’t doing anything. Then Trump took aggressive action and now it appears that we’re going to end up with around 60k people dead of the coronavirus. That’s 20k less than died of the flu two years ago. So now Democrats have pivoted and are arguing Trump was too late to respond and cost too many American lives.

So when should he have responded?

Well, he shut down travel from China in January and Democrats called him a racist for doing that. Nancy Pelosi went to Chinatown to try and make Trump look like a racist as recently as February 24th. We didn’t have a single person die of the coronavirus — that we knew of — until late February and Trump shut down travel from Europe on March 11th.

So when, exactly, should Trump have acted to save lives?

If he’d shut down the country before anyone died in February, that would have required him to act in the middle of the Democratic primary race. Do you know what Democrats would have immediately said? Trump is a dictator! He’s trying to keep the Democrats from picking a nominee to run against him!

And what makes you think the American public would have agreed to a shutdown before there was any significant loss of life in this country?

The truth of the matter is this, while it may drive liberals crazy, Trump did about as good of a job as was possible given the lies from China and the WHO. That’s especially the case when you compare the United States with Europe. We are going to do far better on a per capita basis when it comes to loss of life than Italy, Spain, England, and France. (We’re going to end up more similar to Germany, the western European country that handled this outbreak better than any other in Europe, than we are any other country). All of these European countries have leaders from across the political spectrum, left and right, and all of them, aside from Germany, had worse outbreaks than we did.

I’m not saying Trump’s response was perfect, but given the circumstances he did about as well as could be hoped for, probably much better.

And he certainly wasn’t the disaster that Democrats are trying to argue he was.

Ben writes:

“Given some confusion about under/over reporting of covid deaths, what you think about evaluating total deaths by state, year over year, or current year compared to historical averages to truly determine the impact of covid?”

This is 100% what we’re going to need in order to actually see the impact from the coronavirus in the country. Because right now it’s difficult to even know exactly how many people the coronavirus is killing. Remember, the vast majority of people dying of the coronavirus have co-morbidities. They are being counted as dying of the coronavirus, but how many of those people would have died of their other illnesses? I’m betting it’s a pretty substantial number.

So we need to see the yearly death data before we can compare this year to any others.

Remember, the vast majority of the states in this country are nowhere near the outbreak that took place in New York. As I write this Friday morning there are 33 states and the District of Columbia that all have 200 or fewer deaths. Most of them have WAY less than 200 deaths.

My home state of Tennessee has 141 deaths since the coronavirus outbreak began. I mean, that’s not even a rounding error on the yearly death numbers in the state. Could it increase substantially? Sure. But right now the daily new cases are barely budging. In fact, in my home city of Nashville we are actually seeing cases decline now because most people who got sick are now well.

All of these 33 states will likely have a unnoticeable death impact from the coronavirus at the end of the year when they compile their data.

Yes, there are some states with substantial coronavirus impacts: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, all of them will have 2000 or more deaths, but I’m not sure anywhere else sees 2000 deaths. (Maybe Louisiana and Illinois, but that seems unlikely based on their present numbers of just over a thousand deaths in both states.) Right now New York, with the aggressive way they are counting deaths, has nearly half the coronavirus deaths in the entire nation.

But outside of these four states, most of the rest of the country hasn’t really seen a big impact at all. In fact most of these states haven’t even really seen a death peak to speak of, it’s just been a long flat curve.

That’s why we’re going to need to compare the national death rates from March and April 2018 and 2019 with March and April 2020 to truly see what the overall death rate was from this illness.

And I suspect there won’t be much difference at all.

Because, remember, the same precautions that we are taking to stop the spread of the coronavirus would theoretically work to stop the spread of the flu, pneumonia and the common cold, driving down deaths from those illnesses too. We know that deaths from car accidents and murders, for instance, will be down by a massive amount too based on the stay at home order.

I suspect when all is said and done that when the national death rate for 2020 is compared with the national death rate for prior years that there is almost no difference at all.

Brett writes:

“Your commentary on the ‘Rona has been a relief from the same old doom and gloom that’s on the national news every night. What are your thoughts about how this will impact the 2020 elections? Not just necessarily between Trump and Biden, but down ballot elections as well. Governors, state senators and representatives, etc. might feel some heat about how they responded to the virus. What do you think?”

This is probably a minority opinion, but I don’t think it will be very impactful to any election unless the coronavirus returns in the fall and causes things to go haywire then.

Assuming, as seems likely based on the data right now, that we move into the summer and the coronavirus infection rate continues to decline across the country I think we’ll be back to a 50-50 nation. The Democrats will argue Trump’s response to the coronavirus was insufficient and Trump will argue he saved millions of lives.

Both people who are committed to their party will believe the prevailing view of their political party.

Trump will go on to win the states he’s expected to win and so will Biden.

This election, as I’ve been telling you for a couple of years now, will come down to what happens in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won those three states by about 77,000 total votes in 2016. If he wins one of the three, he’s probably your president. If Biden wins all three, he’ll probably be your president.

I just don’t see many, if any at all, states flipping their outcomes, and I certainly don’t see them flipping because of the coronavirus.

If you want to believe some states might flip, Trump could theoretically flip New Hampshire and Minnesota and Biden could flip Arizona, Florida, and maybe North Carolina, although I’m really skeptical of all three because that would require a big percentage change. Even though Florida was close Republicans managed to win the governorship and the senate seat in the 2018 midterms, meaning Florida has likely moved further away from the Democrats.

It doesn’t appear that the third party candidates will have any real role this year and I tend to believe that benefits Trump since I think many of the 3% of people, like me, who voted for Gary Johnson are probably more likely to vote for Trump in 2020 than we are Biden. I know Hillary lost votes to Jill Stein, but Stein only got 1% of the vote so I see the lack of major third party candidates as more beneficial to Trump than Biden.

Which is why ultimately I think this comes down to the Big Ten states in the Midwest.

The economic bounce back from the coronavirus will be a bigger story in November, I believe, than the coronavirus itself.

Ron writes:

“Does the NFL get the full season in?”

Yes, I will be stunned beyond belief if the NFL doesn’t play their entire season.

I also think NFL team masks will be the biggest sports apparel seller of the fall.

It’s possible that some states like California and New York won’t allow fans to be present, but I think most stadiums in the middle part of the country will allow fans.

Kevin writes:

“Open up the country vs keep closed seems to be running along party lines, can that be coincidence?”

This doesn’t really surprise me since in a general sense Republicans are more pro-economy and Democrats are more pro-health.

That doesn’t mean Republicans don’t care about health or Democrats don’t care about the economy, it just means in a general sense if you have to break a tie between the two, that’s the direction I see the parties going.

If you want to break this down further, it really is a facts vs. feelings era we have entered. That doesn’t mean that some Democrats aren’t motivated more by facts and it doesn’t mean that some Republicans aren’t motivated more by emotion, but I think the general swing between the parties can be characterized as a facts vs. feelings debate.

The opening back up of the country will just be the latest evidence of that divide.

MD Sanchez writes:

Rank these in order of likelihood: 1. CFB returns with fans in stadium 2. Brady makes the playoffs 3. NFL glitch during Draft 4. Another round of stimulus money 5. Trump re-elected 6. Tiger winning a major this year 7. Lebron winning a title this year

1. Another round of stimulus money

2. NFL glitch during draft (not a massive glitch, just you know something will go wrong)

3. Trump re-elected

4. Brady makes the playoffs

5. College football returns with fans in stadiums

6. LeBron wins a title this year

7. Tiger wins a major this year

I think the odds of the top 5 here are better than 50-50, that is I think they are more likely to happen than not happen. I think LeBron is just shy of 50-50 to win a title if the NBA returns, but I’m not sure the NBA returns. I think the chances of Tiger winning a major are about 25% at best.

Paul writes:

“I believe university systems consider going back to the Quarter system during this current situation to give more flexibility on getting campuses opened back up. Thoughts?”

That could be a very smart idea but I think kids will be back in colleges pretty much everywhere this August.


Because I think we’ll see this virus virtually disappear in most of the country by June 1 and cooler heads will prevail as we move through the summer. Namely, we’ll all come to realize by looking at the data that kids on college campuses aren’t a danger to each other. (College kids have a bigger threat from the flu than they do the coronavirus.)

I believe there will be a movement to keep college kids away from elderly members of their families when they come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas — and I think that could be smart if we see an uptick of the coronavirus — but we can’t keep them off campuses for another year.

The fear will be whether or not there might be an upswing in the fall, but if the virus is nearly gone in June and July, I think public elementary, middle and high schools will be opening in August and universities will too.

Zach writes:

“Overall thoughts on Joe Biden’s sexual assault allegation against him. The media’s discrediting of the accuser (NYT, Washington Post) and also the irony behind the female presidential candidates (Harris, Klobuchar and Warren) who have endorsed Biden but ripped Brett Kavanaugh during the hearings and Mike Bloomberg (mostly Warren) during the debates.”

You can watch me talk about that issue in the video above, but it’s an insane double standard on behalf of the media and the Democratic politicians.

Just compare these two things:

Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault as a minor in high school by a woman, also a minor, who had no corroborating evidence other than her own story, which she hadn’t told to anyone else for decades.

Joe Biden is accused of sexual assault by a woman who he employed. He was an adult holding a high political office at the time of the accusation and his accuser told multiple people at the time of the alleged incident who corroborate her story.

On an objective basis, which of these do you think features a more reliable accuser and should be considered a bigger story?

It’s Biden, by far, right?

Yet the media and the Democratic politicians have completely given Joe Biden a pass here. Even crazier, the New York Times, which went after Kavanaugh like he was a serial sexual abuser, buried the allegations against Biden in the back of their newspaper and even let Biden write an editorial laying out his response to the coronavirus on the same day the paper wrote about the sexual assault allegation.

The same day!

Can you imagine if in the middle of the Brett Kavanaugh accusations the New York Times had let him write the lead editorial in the paper about his philosophy on jurisprudence?

The blue checkmark brigade would have lost their minds on social media.

The difference in treatment is completely and totally shameful by all Democrats — and the mainstream media — and I don’t know how they can justify these totally disparate responses without apologizing to Brett Kavanaugh for the way they treated him and admitting they were completely wrong.

All this does is confirm that the standard I laid out is completely correct: You can’t presume anyone is telling the truth because of their sex, gender, religion or sexuality, any more than you can believe someone is lying because of their sex, gender, religion or sexuality.

Both are fundamental failings of the judicial system.

I hope Democrats — and the media — have finally repudiated their Kavanaugh #believeallwomen standard, but I doubt this is true. I think they’ll just continue to be complete hypocrites based on the politics of who is being accused of wrongdoing.

Lyle writes:

“Why, no matter what potentially good news comes out, is there always a group who’s trying to convince us it’s not actually good news? Have these people always been around and we just see them more because of social media? It’s obnoxious.”

I think there have always been negative people in the world, but I think they are far more prevalent on social media.

Worst of all, the media’s decision to treat social media as the real world further exacerbates the fount of negativity that characterizes most of our media coverage every day in this country.

Choose optimism and spend less time on social media feeds from those who embrace doom and gloom.

Because things really are getting better in the world every day.

Thanks for reading, watching, and listening to Outkick.

Hope you guys 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.