All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and it was another big week for Outkick.
We started off the week down in Atlanta for the Alabama-Florida State and Tennessee-Georgia Tech games and then finished it off by proving that Michael Bennett was a liar with an insanely popular article that further proved that, remarkably, Outkick has now become the most trusted source in sports media.
Seriously, if you had told me that one day this would happen I would have never believed you. Yet, somehow, here we are.
So go ahead and stop being a cheap pussy and sign up for Outkick VIP. It’s $99 for the entire year and the college football gambling picks are on fire. Plus, we’ve got events coming up soon in Chicago, Dallas, and Nashville. And only our VIP members are allowed to attend.
Okay, on to the mailbag.
Tom writes:
“What are your thoughts on the racist Kevin Sumlin letter? Something seems “off” about it.
It seems like most ignorant, crazy fans are the “non-alumni” types (ie Harvey Updyke, etc). Yet, this was written by presumably a woman using a nice, cursive (does anyone under the age of 45 still right in cursive?) penmanship. Also odd is that it includes a return address. Who sends a threatening racist letter with a return address. Moreover, the return address is from the exclusive Houston Country Club. Do you find that bizarre? Was this some sort of ironic joke from the racist, crackpot?  Do crazy, ignorant racists have a dry, Wes Anderson-esque sense of humor?
The phrasing of the letter seems strange as well. Almost as if it were awkwardly contrived just to drop that ‘N bomb’. The “or else” also seemed to be hastily included to make it more nefarious; never mind the fact that the stamp wasn’t cancelled on the envelope and the letter seems a little too large to fit in said envelope if it were folded on the crease.
Let’s assume this is exactly as Mrs Sumlin says and she received this letter and was so shocked and offended that she posted it on social media for many more adults (and more teenage kids) to see. What could possibly be the benefit from doing this? Why would you want to stir up racial tensions and draw unflattering attention to your university because a bored housewife had one too many sangrias at the HCC and decided to bust out the stationary and hand-write a letter? Did the rich, crazy, racist middle aged mom have to ask someone for the Sumlins’ home address from someone else at the country club?  Am I the only one to find this thing completely strange?”
For those of you who haven’t seen the letter, here it is:

Two things to start with here:
1. Nothing that SEC fans do, both good and bad, surprises me.
There is probably no one in the media who has spent more time around SEC fans of every fan base than me. I’ve literally written the book on SEC fandom. So does it surprise me that an SEC fan would send an angry letter to the home address of a coach? No. Does it surprise me that an SEC fan, who spends all of his or her time rooting for a team made up of majority black athletes, would also be a racist? No.
So nothing about this letter existing would surprise me.
I mean, Harvey Updyke killed Auburn’s trees because he was upset over Cam Newton leading Auburn back from a 24-0 deficit in Tuscaloosa. And most SEC fans, if they are being honest, were like, “I could totally see that happening.”
In fact, most Bama fans first thought when they heard this happened was, “Please don’t let it be Uncle Roy.”
I’ve met Harvey Updyke since that incident and I like him. Seriously, I do. He’s a huge SEC football fan just like many of you reading the mailbag right now. He just allowed his love of SEC football and his hate for his rival to lead him to make a horrible decision.
SEC football produces insane passions and when insane passions take over people often make illogical decisions. In fact, I probably owe my entire career to the fact that I’m a sane SEC football fan. This means I can totally understand and entertain SEC fans by talking about a sport I love too, but I’m also able to respond logically to a sport when everyone else is motivated by passion.
2. I really like Kevin Sumlin personally and think he has been great for Texas A&M.
He has always been honest and a straight shooter with me and I think A&M has been lucky to have him at the time they have. I know he hasn’t won at the level that many A&M fans would like to see, but assuming this letter arrived at his house, this is a different level of threat and I believe the police should open an investigation and prosecute the sender. Put simply, I think we have to end the idea that anonymous threats are okay, either in written form or anonymously online.
While I’ve never received a racial threat to my house, I’ve received threats. I’ve talked about this before, but one reason we recently moved to a new home in Nashville was because when I built our house in downtown Nashville in 2007, I wasn’t remotely “famous.” I built our home under our own names and you could easily search out my house and find out where I lived by just doing a Google search.
I didn’t think anything about it at all because even as I did radio daily in the city and continued to assume a larger profile with my career, to me, I was, and still am, just a totally regular guy who happens to have a great job in the public eye. And my family is a totally normal family too so we’ve never behaved any differently than any other family with young kids. In fact, if you lived in downtown Nashville in the past decade there’s a good chance you’ve seen me out with a stroller pushing my kids around on long walks for ice cream or on trips to the park to play in the fountains or any other number of things that normal families do together in their free time.
I’ve remained as accessible as I’ve always been, but people’s behavior around me has changed as my profile has grown. As I became more prominent, people weren’t just content with telling me to suck a dick and die on Twitter when they didn’t agree with my opinions, they expanded their attacks to my family. Sometimes they’d send threats to my wife, and sometimes they’d even post my address and make specific threats against us online. At least twice we had to get Fox Sports security involved because of threats. In particular, on two different occasions anonymous Twitter users took a Google maps image of my downtown home and messaged my wife and me both on Twitter and said he knew when I traveled to Los Angeles for TV and my wife and kids would be in the house without me there. So I’d better be careful what I said about his favorite team.
To me, these guys — I assume it was a guy — should be tracked down and sent to jail.
I always say people can say anything about me — I’ve got thick skin — but the moment you involve my family or my home or make threats against anyone around me, we’ve got a serious issue.
So, while I think many of the things you are pointing out about this letter do seem strange — personally the fact that it’s a woman seems the strangest to me because I think the average woman would understand the sanctity of the home more than the average man would — do we really think the kind of person who would send this letter would be sane? Sure, it could be a Texas Longhorn fan trying to make A&M look bad or it could be some rich dude making his old ass secretary write the cursive letter to try and throw people off the case, but regardless of who sent the letter, there should be an investigation and they should be prosecuted.
As for whether to post the letter on social media, it’s a good question. If someone sent a threatening letter to my home, I’d probably be tempted to publicize it too because I’d want the person caught. In general, the more attention a threat like this receives the more resources the police provide to an investigation.
And I want whoever is responsible for this letter to be brought to justice and publicly shamed.
Finally, I don’t think this letter really changes anything about Sumlin’s job status. If Sumlin goes 8-5 again this year I think he’s probably going to get fired. And it’s not going to be because of his race, it’s going to be because he didn’t win enough football games to keep his job. I don’t believe race impacts firing decisions in football because it’s a bottom line business — either you win or you get fired.
The past four years in the SEC West Kevin Sumlin’s teams have finished: 4th, 6th, tied for 5th and 4th. Whether a coach is white, black, yellow, brown, blue, or green all that matters is wins. Especially in the SEC.
Eli writes:
“Why can’t the United States just go to one time zone? I live on the East Coast and Patriots-Chiefs did not end last night until 12:25! I know there’s weird semantics about sun rise and sun set, but I wouldn’t be mad if the sun was rising at 4 am over here if it meant I could watch football at a decent hour. I mean, last season the NCAA National championship game tipped off at 9 pm. 9! I’ll never see a PAC-12 football game in its entirety.
Is this asking too much?”
I do east coast morning radio now so I’m so much more sympathetic for this now than I ever was before. I stay up and watch the games and when a ton of games are strung together in a row — the NBA playoffs are the absolute worst for this — I feel like a zombie when my alarm goes off at 415 am.
I’m a two timezones guy, personally.
I think we should have a central time zone and a mountain time zone and the entire country should be one hour different. You can split the country at the Mississippi River or allow current states that are already in the central time zone to grandfather in and start the mountain time zone where it begins now.
That way there would only be a one hour time difference from New York to Los Angeles. Yes it would mean that the sun would come up earlier in the morning in LA, for instance, and much later in New York, but that seems like a small price to pay for having the entire country on close to the same clock.
Anthony writes:
“Just like you, I hate cancer more than anyone else, I support the troops, I hate rape more than anyone else, but I also hate innocent students being expelled from universities. I wanted to get your input on the DeVos decision as I know you are not a fan of the current Title IX rules imposed on college campuses.
Why are universities in charge of investigating crimes that occur on college campuses? Title IX states that  “the school, upon notice, fails to take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.” But the most important part of Title IX, is that consent can be taken away at any time, including AFTER the sexual encounter.  

You hear stories like Patrick Witt and Jack Montague, two Yale sports figures, far too frequently. And recently, you’ve seen what has happened to the kicker form USC. And while rape is obviously horrible, innocent college students having their lives ruined for crimes they did not commit is equally bad in my opinion. While a court may find the people innocent, a college campus can deem them guilty (reminds me of the NFL suspending Zeke Elliot even though it was determined he did not commit a crime).” 

So why are people up in arms over DeVos’ decision to review Title IX and try to help all parties involved?”
I think the Obama administrations’s expansion of Title IX was a well-intentioned attempt to make campuses safer, but I believe it has backfired horribly.
And I honestly believe if you talked to Obama about that he, as a former legal scholar, would agree.
I’ve said this for a long time and I’ll continue to say it, schools shouldn’t be in the business of conducting investigations into sexual assault. That should be the job of the police, period. If charges aren’t brought against a student then he should be eligible to attend school.
We have to end the kangaroo Title IX courts on campus.
Steve writes:
“I have to commend you yet again for your excellent coverage of the Michael Bennett story. Like other stories (Mizzou, etc) you are logically using facts to dictate what actually happened rather than feelings. Your coverage of these stories won me over, and as a Buckeyes fan, that takes a lot. Your hot takes on Ohio State and Urban Meyer and the B1G in general still suck though.
In a recent edition, you referenced things your wife would choose over sex with you and as a 35 year old married guy with 4 kids and a beautiful wife who doesn’t look like she’s had 4 kids, I empathize with you. Sex is quite literally the last thing on her mind in almost every situation, but somehow always at the forefront of my thoughts.
You need to explain to your young single male readership how this all changes after marriage and kids so they are prepared for it. It’s like the carrot at the end of the stick. I’m always chasing it but only get it when she feels bad for me.”
You will have much more sex as a single guy than you will as a married guy.
I don’t know why single guys won’t believe me when I say it, but this is incontrovertibly true: If you want to maximize your sex, marriage is the worst move you could ever make.

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.