All That and a Bag of Mail

Videos by OutKick

It’s Friday and we have a full weekend of college and NFL football to look forward to over the next two days.

But first we have the Friday mailbag.

For those of you reading the mailbag in Tennessee, online sports gambling will soon be legal in the state. In fact, sports gambling is so close that Tennessee residents can now sign up for their own Fan Duel account and get $50 for signing up right now, not to mention fantastic offers coming on Titans and Vols games when betting officially goes live. So go sign up here today.

Okay, here we go with the Friday mailbag.

Danny writes:

“How do you see the pandemic response going after the election? Obviously it won’t just be flipping a switch, but will the hysteria continue? IMO whoever promised to open up the country sooner will win the election.”

First, let’s look at the actual death data in this country.

Is covid a real disease? Yes. Did we ever need to shut down the country over covid at all? No.

I believe in the decades ahead, as more studies of covid and our response to it are analyzed, “experts” will come to view our covid response as the worst public policy decisions made since the Vietnam War.

There’s a lot of talk about being on “the right side of history.” Well, everyone who supported lockdowns is going to be the wrong side of history. Because eventually, as emotions fade, what will emerge are the facts. And the facts are going to be completely devastating to the lockdown community.

What happened here was we had a brand new pandemic that arrived at the absolute worst time, smack in the middle of the most contentious presidential election of most of our lives. Instead of responding with logic, we responded with emotion.

For many left wingers, covid represented a metaphor for the entire Donald Trump administration and presidency. They embraced the idea that covid was awful and debilitating to our country because by embracing this idea they were able to directly attack Donald Trump, who refused to acknowledge that covid was as debilitating as the left wing media wanted to project.

Covid was, for left wingers, a complete personification of the anger and rage they felt towards Trump.

So they embraced their emotion — equal parts fear and rage — and created fear porn writ large.

I’ve been screaming for people, regardless of their politics, to just look at the data for months, but they won’t do it because the data conflict with their emotions. The more left wing the leadership the more locked down the country is. And for virtually no positive benefit.

In fact, the biggest losers from the covid pandemic are the poorest in our country, who are overwhelmingly in Democratic run cities and states. They’ve lost their jobs at record rates, their kids are unable to be educated; if left wingers truly cared about the most disadvantaged in this country they would have been screaming for in-person schools to open up for months.

The data was and is clear: kids aren’t primary covid spreaders, and they are at more risk staying at home than they are at school.

Many kids have been out of school since March now. The poorest and most disadvantaged kids have received virtually no schooling since March, and many of these poor kids will have spent an entire year not only without educational instruction, but also without the adult support structure teachers provide and without free meals from school. The result is going to be an even larger gap between poor and rich kids in this country.

Make no mistake about this, the single worst decision in terms of combating equality in this country, has been shutting down school.

Many young, poor kids will never make up the educational gap developed over the past year of their lives. And many older poor kids will never return to school at all. Their lives are forever diminished by the decision to shut down schools.

The losses over the past year will redound for decades.

And for the rich and advantaged kids? They’re (mostly) fine. Their parents kept their jobs, they set up learning pods, they have adequate wifi and the support of their parents to continue their education. The most profoundly transformative public policy decision of our lives — in terms of making direct public policy decisions to increase inequality in our youth — will be the decision to shut down schools.

And left wingers led the charge to do this!

It’s madness.

What’s incredibly frustrating to me is I feel like no one is making this factual argument in the entire country. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, there is zero rational basis for any of the country to be shut down now.


Nursing homes, which is where people are overwhelmingly dying of covid, need to be protected. The elderly should limit their exposure to the larger world, but the rest of us? We should all be back at work, school, and playing sports.

We should have returned to normalcy months ago.

I believe what’s going to happen in the years ahead is people are going to realize that Sweden, which did virtually nothing to combat the virus, made the right decision here. It’s impossible to stop a virus from being a virus.

Look at Sweden’s rate of death over the past several months. Deaths have been virtually nonexistent in their country for months. Sure, they may see another increase at some point, but that’s what happens with viruses. Unless we have herd immunity or we have a vaccine, the virus isn’t going to disappear. So we have to learn to live with it in the meantime.

Now some people are going to look at this chart and say, “Well, Swedish people are healthier than American people.”

That’s true, but shouldn’t that be a motivator for Americans to exercise more and eat healthier? If we’re going to be obsessed with preventing death in this country, shouldn’t we attack obesity as hard as we can, since it’s the leading cause of preventable death in our country by far? Yet we shame people for not wearing masks in this country and simultaneously argue that fat shaming is wrong. If we’re going to use shame to alter public behavior, shouldn’t we shame fat people far more than non-mask wearers since obesity is a far greater public health threat than not wearing a mask?

Obesity is the number one cause of preventable death in this country, but we don’t do a damn thing about it because we’re worried about hurting people’s feelings.

Maybe your feelings should be hurt if you’re fat and making poor life choices.

Maybe that’s a motivation for you to get healthier.

I’m sick of coddling people. Give them the facts and tell them to learn how to deal with it. If they can’t handle the truth, that shouldn’t be our country’s problem.

I’m fired up about this because I think our response to the coronavirus has been a fundamental failure on virtually every level and because I think the facts are all there to make this abundantly clear to everyone.

But it’s just not happening, the facts aren’t cutting through the noise. Instead of the media reporting on legitimate risk factors, it’s just one fear porn story after another.

It doesn’t matter to the mainstream media that 70,000 college kids from fifty major universities who have tested positive for the coronavirus have had three hospitalizations.


Instead of making that the lead story, the media finds one college kid who dies with covid, often not because of covid, just with it, and makes it a front page story to terrify everyone.

It’s infuriating.

The same thing is true in sports. Look how many stories you’ve seen about coaches and players testing positive for the virus. But how many stories do you see about those same coaches and players having zero issue recovering from the virus?

Not one!

Which is why I disagree that whoever promised to open up the country sooner will win the election. I unfortunately think it’s the opposite. Whoever claims covid is the biggest danger is going to win. Because Trump is promising to open up the country and right now he’s losing the election. (At least if you believe the polls are accurate).

Joe Biden’s entire campaign is predicated on covid fear porn.

That’s pretty much it. And it has pretty much been it since March.

Biden needs Americans to be terrified of covid to win. If you doubt me, look at the polling data: if Trump loses, he’s not going to lose because of black and Hispanic voters — in fact, Trump may do better with both of these groups in 2020 than he did 2016 — he’s going to lose because of old white people, theoretically the most racist people in the country, who are supporting Biden much more than they did Hillary.

Why are those old white voters breaking for Biden over Trump? Because they’re terrified of dying of covid. Joe Biden has leaned into their fear porn, and he might well win the election because of it.

When Trump tested positive for covid that essentially turned the final month of the campaign into a debate on the virus. Even though I agree with the president — and so do the facts — that almost everyone infected will be fine and that we can’t shut down the country or live in perpetual fear of this virus, many voters embrace the media fear porn and favor Biden.

Even after Trump, who is no one’s model of great health, recovered from the virus in a few days, the media didn’t focus on how Trump’s recovery is how most people experience the virus, they were upset that he recovered too fast!

The CDC released these survival metrics recently and almost no one paid attention to them.

But I keep referencing them because they are important.

Ages of infection and recovery rates:

0-19 99.997%
20-49 99.98%
50-69 99.5%
70+ 94.6%

The big takeaway here: even if you’re infected with covid, you have almost a zero percent chance of dying if you’re under seventy years old.

And even if you’re over seventy, you still have an overwhelming chance to be fine too.

Yet no one pays attention to the actual data.

This is all insanity.

Heck, Biden’s so focused on covid fear porn that he’s not even willing to answer the most important question he’d face if he wins election and the Democrats win the Senate: is he in favor of adding more supreme court justices and court packing? I mean, this is a wildly left wing position that almost no one supports. But Biden won’t even answer the question, and the media is barely pressing him on it.

I can’t remember a president ever running for office and directly avoiding answering a question like this.

The reason Biden doesn’t have to answer is simple: because all that matters right now is covid.

Will that change if Biden’s elected? Maybe. I suspect some rationality with return to life if Trump loses. But the scary thing is this: the president shouldn’t matter when it comes to the facts.

Right now it does.

Everything, even facts, are considered political.

And that should be scary to everyone.

MJ writes:

“If you were not a Titans fan in any way, and your son had still come to you with the story of seeing them workout, would you have said something sooner?

Or better put, did being a fan have anything to do with it, or was it purely wanting to be a good dad for your son?”

Last week my son, who is a 7th grader at a Nashville area private school, said he had something to tell me, but that I couldn’t tell anyone about it on my radio show or on Outkick. I told him that was fine that I wouldn’t say anything publicly about what he told me. Then he told me the Titans worked out at his school since their team facility was shut down and that he’d watched them work out.

I knew immediately that was a big story.

But he’d told me I couldn’t say anything about it because everyone in his class, all of whom thought it was awesome that the Titans were working out at their school, would know he’d told me if I broke the story and he’d get blamed by his classmates for snitching on the Titans.

So I kept my word to my son and didn’t say anything.

It took a week for the story to break.

I honestly thought that given how many people were able to see the Titans practice at his school that the story would get out before this week, but it didn’t.

So I sat on what would have been a big story because my son asked me not to say anything.

I’m sure some people are upset at me for that, but I just don’t see this as a tough call at all. I’m always going to pick my family over my job. And I think everyone else out there should as well.

I told my son I wouldn’t betray his confidence, and I didn’t.

And I’d make the same choice a million times out of a million times.

The team involved really didn’t have anything to do with it. It was my son asking me to promise not to do something and me keeping my word to him.

Look, bigger picture, I would like for the teams that I root for to win, but my life really doesn’t change very much based on whether my favorite teams win. I have written and talked about bad stories involving my favorite teams for years and will continue to do so.

My job isn’t to share my opinion on only positive news stories, it’s to share my opinion on everything, good or bad.

The most important thing about this story to me isn’t about sports at all. It’s that I kept my word to my son, and he knows that he can trust me with more serious things that are likely to arise in his life in the years ahead.

I didn’t put my job above my family.

And I hope I never do.

Bartleby writes:

“Do the professional leagues all use the same (horrible) consultants? Their uniform ‘wokeness’ has been a financial disaster. Would have thought they had a better handle on their consumers.”

One of the reasons why Outkick thrives is because I’m not in New York or Los Angeles.

In fact, we don’t employ a single person who lives in New York or LA.

Both of these cities are very susceptible to left wing group think.

When I go to Thanksgiving dinner, my family is pretty much evenly divided between Trump and Biden voters. I love my family members, but I don’t particularly care who they support for president. It’s healthy, to me, to have your family reflect the split in the country.

But if you never leave a media bubble where everyone agrees with you, you have no sense of the real world.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the NBA made a far left wing turn INSIDE A BUBBLE. It’s an amazing metaphor, honestly. A league that was already a bubble, moved inside an even smaller bubble, further constricting its comprehension of the real world.

Which is how the NBA missed a central tenet: in the real world most sports fans look to sports as their escape from the serious things in life.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that many Republicans are NBA fans and that many Donald Trump supporters also love sports. If a league spends months telling all those people that they are awful racists, what do you think those people are going to do?

They’re going to stop watching the sport.

And that’s exactly what has happened.

If anything, the NBA is lucky they are playing in a bubble because I think fans would have let them have it over the kneeling for the anthem, the SJW messages on the jerseys, and putting Black Lives Matter on the court. I think people would have booed their teams and stopped buying tickets in a major way.

Can you imagine the reaction if the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance, suddenly didn’t take the court for a home playoff game, and a PA announcer came out and said the team wasn’t playing because they were upset over a viral video?

The entire arena would have booed.

I honestly don’t know how long it’s going to take for the NBA to recover from this woke disaster. It may be years and years until that happens.

The real legacy of LeBron James, I believe, will end up being that he destroyed the goodwill built up for the NBA by Magic and Larry and Michael.

He’s told a huge percentage of NBA fans that he doesn’t care if they watch. Worse than that, he’s let them know he doesn’t respect them.

And they’ve said goodbye to the league as a result. I’m not sure when they will return, but LeBron, who only has a few years left in the league, won’t reap what he sows. The younger players will.

Which is why Adam Silver is suddenly saying the NBA will eliminate the jersey messages, the BLM on the court, and, potentially, the kneeling for the national anthem next year as well.

The reality of the NBA’s disastrous position is just now becoming evident to far left wing coastal liberals like Adam Silver. He’s been luxuriating in the embrace of far left wingers in media and politics and not realizing what the real world is like.

The collapsing NBA finals ratings have hit Silver like a ton of bricks. He suddenly understands how much trouble his league is in.

But I have a feeling that trouble is just getting started.

JCade writes:

“So Adam Silver now says he never intended to continue the SJW stuff after this year. Was all this done to influence the election?”


The NBA basically ran an entire season to advertise for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

That was the subtext of every single advertisement that ran for the entire season.

Which is why the NBA tanked.

Get woke, go broke, it never loses.

Thanks for reading and supporting OutKick, and I hope you have fantastic weekends.

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.


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    • Nice..I feel like I wrote that myself. Exactly summmarizes my feelings. I was basically down to occasionally watching my home team the last 5 or more years. Even college basketball has changed for the worse although still some teams that you can watch that play the game the right way.

  1. Hate to sound like the “get off my lawn guy”, but…

    Clay: “Will that change if Biden’s elected? Maybe. I suspect some rationality with return to life if Trump loses.”
    Lawn guy: Just the OPPOSITE, Clay. You’ve pointed out MANY times what happens when you appease the mob. They’re NOT SATISFIED…NEVER. If The Prez loses it gets MUCH worse. Rationality? Just the opposite. Any sense of IRRATIONALITY that we’re experiencing NOW is because the RadLeftMarxists WANT you to feel that way!!!

    Clay: “But the scary thing is this: the president shouldn’t matter when it comes to the facts.
    Lawn guy: For almost FOUR YEARS NOW the facts have not mattered to the RadLeftDems, who happen to control the US House and half the US Senate. ALL WE HAVE ARE THE FACTS…THE TRUTH…and the left-wing media allies of the Dems are gaslighting everything…and it’s working.
    The facts will be FLUSHED if we wake up to a Pres. Biden…book that in Vegas for sure.

  2. Third, and last, time posting this but wanted everyone to know that there is finally a group of distinguished international scientists speaking out about these lockdowns:

    I have family members who are still scared to death of covid and accuse me of being a far right conservative (even though I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016). I’m really hoping media will tell the truth about covid after the election.

  3. Huge NBA fan through the 80’s & 90’s. Style of play and personalities were waning in the 2000’s. The woke culture just ended it for me. I tried to hang on and it’s really frustrating because the Nuggets are now relevant but still can’t watch. I just feel dirty after checking scores.

    I couldn’t have written a better essay on the Covid crisis. Great Job. It officially put me into VIP membership. Jason Whitlock also a mega draw. Been following him since his KC Star days. Thanks for the alternative sports talk instead of the Coastal Group Think.

  4. Staying true to the word you gave your son as opposed to breaking what I assume would be a significant story was fantastic. True character. And as a father who’s raised three boys of my own, believe me this will pay dividends down the road. You just created a bond that will stick for life. Well done!

  5. The CDC publishes data every year on mortality. You can look back as far as you’d like and see that people over 65, over 75, and over 85 are the top three categories every year. Compare that to COVID data and what do you see? Pretty much the same percentages!

    COVID is not a hoax, it is a real virus and nobody should want to get it. If you are under 60, hundreds of things are much more dangerous to you. Our elderly should be protected and we should move forward with simple precautions; social distancing and keeping your hands clean.

  6. Clay, I read everything I can about all this Covid bullshit and your answer up there is perfect description of exactly where we are with it. I agree with everything you wrote! I am livid as you as everything is fear porn. Now its the cases. Most cases in last two day than in last two months……except that we tested over 1.1M people each of those days, both all time highs. No one mentions that in July it took an average of 12 tests to find a positive, today…….22! 22 tests to find a positive and that doesn’t even get into the incredible amount of false positives. Oh I could go on…..Thanks for doing what you do.

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