All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, time for the mailbag as we continue to roll through a five day opening weekend in college football.

Hate to brag, but we won our bet last night in Ohio State-Indiana and now only need 14 more wins to get to 15-0 this week.

I’m headed to Atlanta as soon I push publish the mailbag today. I’ll be down there for Alabama-Florida State and Tennessee-Georgia Tech and we’ll be doing the radio show live from Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday.

We are having an Outkick VIP event tonight from 6-9 et with an open bar and food in the downtown area. Details are up top on the Outkick VIP message board. If you want to come hang out, go subscribe today for Outkick VIP.

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Okay, now for something free, tons of you were asking for a college football weekly pick’em challenge. Well, we built our own this year because pivoted to video and doesn’t exist anymore. So all you have to do to sign up and pick 10 games a week against the spread is click below.

The pick’em contest is totally free and the top prize for the winner is a free trip to Costa Rica. So go play here.

Okay, on to the mailbag.

Connor writes:

“I honestly thought Wednesday’s story coming out of Ole Miss regarding the racist banana peel was a joke. Some dumb kid who tosses/places a banana peel on a tree gets tried and convicted in the court of public opinion as being a proponent of systemic oppression. They forced an apology out of the guy for his “inadvertent infliction of emotional harm.”
Are you kidding me?
Instead of taking a quarter of a second to consider that there may not be an overtly racial connotation to a banana peel, the author of the editorial regarding the incident published Thursday said of her friend that “her eyes widened. Her jaw dropped. She frantically pointed at the tree.” Of herself, she wrote that “my heart dropped instantly. I began to scan the area around us to see if we were in any immediate harm.” If there was a prize to be won for jumping to conclusions, these individuals, as well as the university administration who supported this, deserve a gold medal. 
As a Senior at Ole Miss, I ask you as the gay Muslim King Solomon of the Internet, has everyone at my school lost their damned minds?”
We have reached a point in society when being offended and having hurt feelings conveys power. That is, every time someone who isn’t a white male complains about being offended or having hurt feelings about anything in society there’s a huge group of people that rush to comfort them and seek to remove anything that could possibly upset them. As a result we’ve raised a generation of kids that believes it should perpetually seek offense and hurt feelings, even if it’s not authentic, because this is the way they achieve power and attention.
If you teach a group of people that they can’t be racist and everyone else can be racist, guess what they’re going to do? See racism everywhere. Because that’s where their power is. The problem, of course, is that seeing racism everywhere — like from discarded bananas on a campus or a blind girl’s dog poop — actually invalidates legitimate racism, it’s the modern day “Boy Who Cried Wolf” fable.
Right now we live in a modern day left wing McCarthyism, where left wingers don’t actually make arguments, they just brand anyone they disagree with as racist or sexist or homophobic or transphobic. But that’s not the way you win a political argument, it’s just a method to personally attack someone you disagree with. By hurling these insults you aren’t engaging in a legitimate debate about ideas, you’re simply attacking the individual. To me, the first person to allege racism, sexism or some other -ism loses the argument.
You guys see this too happen to me online and on air, right? I share actual facts and people respond by calling me racist or sexist. Racist or sexist for what? Because I don’t believe police are killing black people at insane rates — they aren’t, black people actually get shot less by police statistically than their violent crime rate would suggest — or that every girl is telling the truth about rape because some girls don’t report rapes. Newsflash, some women lie, look at Duke Lacrosse or the Peyton Manning incident. And, maybe, the Ezekiel Elliott case too.
Facts are racist and sexist now.
I think we’re rapidly heading towards our own moment like the Senate hearings where Joseph McCarthy was finally confronted when he was conducting his Red Scare investigations. Finally those hearings blew up in his face when he was confronted by an honest, outspoken attorney.
“At a session on June 9, 1954, McCarthy charged that one of Welch’s attorneys had ties to a Communist organization. As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy’s career: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”
My position is this — the country has to stop treating being offended as badge of honor deserving of political power. Just like you can’t give your kid whatever he or she wants when they’re rolling around on the ground crying and nothing bad has actually happened to them, you can’t give in to whiny brats online or on campus or anywhere in the country who expect us to care when they’re offended by banana peels or decide to remove an Asian guy from calling a football game because his name is Robert Lee.
This country has been through many more difficult times than our modern era and I’m confident we’ll overcome this one too, but first the Democrats are probably going to have to learn that being perpetually offended isn’t just the move of a pussy, it’s bad politics.
The Democratic party has become a collection of whiny, perpetually offended interest groups and the only way they can unite that fractious coalition is by constantly finding fake boogeymen in the masses — racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia — it’s all exaggerated in a quest to win elections.
The Democrats have lost their base to Donald Trump and the Republicans. And I don’t see it coming back with the path they are pursuing. It might work to insult your opponents on the east and west coasts, but elections are won in the center part of the country, by college football fans.
Remember, in the middle part of the country, the states where the SEC, Big Ten, and the Big 12 play, Hillary Clinton won just two states — Illinois and Minnesota, barely. (New Jersey and Maryland aren’t traditional Big Ten states). She lost everywhere else where people love college football.
If the Democrats want to get back to winning elections they have to win back the college football fan voter. And they’re not doing it by complaining about banana peels on college campuses or Confederate statues or Asian dudes with the same name as Robert Lee.
Alex writes:
“I’ve been reading your stuff for quite some time now (2013ish), kudos on all the success, I really enjoy your work. Given that you worked on Al Gore’s presidential campaign, voted for Obama twice and went with Gary Johnson this time around, I’m somewhat confused on the Tucker Carlson appearances, and look I know you did CNN too. However as someone purporting ESPNs liberal bias, do you not believe doing appearances on the mothership of conservative media may hurt your argument as a “radical moderate”? 
Obviously back when you worked for Gore and voted for Obama OKTC was not the juggernaut it is today. I once heard the phrase “the arrival of a tax packet in the mail will turn you republican on the spot”, so do you believe your politics have changed as you’ve become more successful?”
Have you ever watched the Tucker Carlson show? He’s really, really smart. You may disagree with his political viewpoints, but he’s outstanding at making his arguments and he’s insightful at pointing out the absurdities in our modern day country.
One day I’d like to have a TV show like his where we could talk sports, politics, and pop culture all rolled in together.
So do I think it hurts my position as a radical moderate to go on his show? No way in hell, I’m happy to go on whenever he would like to have me on.
Remember, I also did CNN twice, Headline News too.
I’ll go on and talk to anyone with a substantial audience, whether I think they’re predisposed to believe me or not.
As for whether my politics have changed now that I’m rich, I don’t really think so. I mean, obviously I’d prefer lower taxes over higher ones, but I’m not ever going to vote for president based on a single issue.
And let’s be honest, I’m rich compared to the average person in the country, but I’m not very rich compared to really rich people. I still have to work to make money. You’re not really rich until you make millions of dollars a year without doing a damn thing.
One day I hope to be really rich, but I’m not there yet.
Andy writes:
“I know it’s a year away, but I think I’ve come up with the most clever war plan for Jon Snow to defeat the white walkers.  As the King Solomon of the Internet, you should name me Hand of the King after reading this.
So, it looks safe to assume Jaime Lannister is riding north to fulfill his word of fighting with the north against the white walkers.  So, if that’s true, we should be able to assume Jon and Dany will know that Cersei has lied to them and the Lannister army isn’t coming to help in the fight against the army of death.  Wouldn’t the perfect strategy move here be to then let the battle come to Cersei at Kings Landing?  One way or another, there’s going to be a war there.  
Take a look at the map linked above. The White Walkers have breached the wall at East Watch.  Presuming they are just headed south to kill  whatever is in their path, they will go through Winterfell before heading to Kings Landing.  They don’t appear to be the type of army to strategically crisscross the continent and take over every castle.  Why not just abandon the north and let them through to Kings Landing?  The northern army and citizens could just abandon the north and head to Casterly Rock, which is on the far west coast and already taken over by the Unsullied.  Dany with the Unsullied and Dothraki could head to Dragonstone, which is an island north east of Kings Landing where the army of the dead would just pass them by headed to Kings Landing.  So just let the white walkers through and force Cersei to fight them at Kings Landing.  The north could circle in behind them and you’d have the north and Danny’s army fighting them on the north and west and the Lannister army and the mercenaries Cersei has hired fighting them from the south.  
To me, this seems like the perfect move to outsmart Cersei and force her hand.  Then, if the white walkers are defeated, the humans that are left can battle it out for the iron throne.
I know, freaking brilliant right?”
I agree with this, it’s a really smart plan.
Here’s one thing I need to see next year, what’s the motivation for the White Walkers? Do they have any actual goal in mind? For instance, how much more interesting do the White Walkers become if conquering Westeros and sitting on the Iron Throne means that all of them return to life as normal humans? That would be an amazing plot twist. What if the White Walkers motive isn’t pure evil?
To me, villains need to have some form of motivation or agency if the story is going to be compelling. The White Walkers have been fine as a shadowy and mysterious force of evil north of the wall, but at some point don’t we need to see some basis for their existence? Everyone has goals and ambitions, even the evil amongst us, what are the White Walkers goals? Hell, can they even talk?
I want to hear the Night King speak.
Further, my biggest issue with season seven of Game of Thrones was the White Walkers acquiring the ice dragon. Nothing about that made sense from a plot perspective. Jon Snow has been obsessed with the White Walkers for years, yet if he hadn’t tried to go and capture one could they have even gotten past the wall? It sure doesn’t seem so. That means if he’d just ignored them Westeros would have been better off. That defeats the entire purpose of years of the show.
I need to have this part of the story explained better to me and it has to be rational. Yes, even in a magical show there has to be realism.
But I love your theory on how to fight the White Walkers and I bet it becomes reality next season.

Daniel writes:

“The hurricane and flooding coverage of what is going on in Houston has been tough to watch. Of course, as expected for today’s culture, there has been no shortage of social media outrage from all different angles. You should be helping this way, not that way. Or you’re not helping enough or fast enough. You know, fighting about it on the internet instead of actually doing anything. Changing the world one keystroke at a time.

With the start of college football coinciding with the storm and its aftermath, there is one outrage in particular I’m surprised I haven’t seen yet.

Why do we allow schools to use hurricanes as their mascots?!?

Over the years, all they’ve done is take thousands of lives and cause trillions in damages. Yet, here we are letting teams use them as a mascot. I mean hurricanes are pretty clearly racist too because they’ve killed so many black people, just like cops.

Can you please help get a petition going to force any school with hurricanes as their mascot to change it immediately? Either “Cumulus Clouds” or “Snowflakes” are acceptable replacements.”

It is pretty funny what symbols become acceptable and unacceptable in our modern society.

Can you imagine the reaction if a school was like, “We’re going to be the (insert name here) Cancers.”

And everyone reacted with outrage and the defense the school offered was, “Look, cancer is really powerful, it kills millions every year. And we’re going to kill our opponents too!”

Everyone would get fired.

It’s not just hurricanes though. There are some tornadoes and cyclones out there too and I think what they would argue is they’re metaphorical versions of those weather events, not the actual events. And I think most people understand that too.

What I always think is funny is thinking about the people in charge of naming the hurricanes. Can you imagine how nervous they are picking these names in the modern era? They have to be picking the least racially charged names imaginable, right?

Hurricane Harvey is perfect because almost no one under the age of sixty is named Harvey. And, if anything, it probably makes most people think of old white dudes or of Steve Harvey and it’s his last name, not his first name. But can you imagine if they came out with a hurricane name that was definitely a black name and then that hurricane turned into a major storm threatening America?

“Hurricane Tyrone formed in the Atlantic yesterday, close on the heels of Hurricane Shaniqua, which ravaged much of New Orleans last week.”

People would lose their minds.

There would be millions of words written about the systemic racism of America.

But no one even blinks about the use of the name Harvey. Because it’s an old white dude name and old white dudes aren’t perpetually offended pussies.

Austin writes:

“Who ya got — Tiger Woods or Steve McNair’s penis?”

Steve McNair’s penis is like the Joe Dimaggio 56 game hitting streak of athlete penises, just a mythical and untouchable record that people talk about in awe even long after he’s dead.

Tiger Woods may well have back problems for the rest of his life, but if he’d lived to old age Steve McNair would have needed a wheelbarrow to carry around his gigantic penis in front of him.

If you know a former Titan player who was on McNair’s team, buy him a few beers and then ask him to discuss McNair’s penis, their eyes all get real big and it’s like you’ve asked them to talk about the time they saw Halley’s Comet as kids.

Nope, we’ll never see another penis like Air McNair’s.

Not in my lifetime anyway.

Okay, I’m off to Atlanta, hope to see a bunch of you at the Outkick VIP event tonight from 6-9. Details on the message board.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it.

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.