All That and a Bag of Mail

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It’s Friday, and I hope all of you are gearing up for a big weekend of NFL divisional round playoff games.

If you are, you can bet $5 on any NFL team to win — I’d suggest the Chiefs — and if they do win, you get a 25-1 payout. So a $5 bet turns into $125 for new users. Go get your bets in now.

We’ll have some great news for OutKick at 2 ET, 1 CT, 12 MT, and 11 am PT. So stay tuned to the site for that. In the meantime, let’s dive into your questions this week.

AZ writes:

“In what other sport do you see a future potential Alabama-like dynasty over the next 10-20yrs? We’ve seen New England in the NFL dynasty come to an end recently. Will there ever be another 90’s Bulls-like dynasty in the NBA? What about New York Yankees in MLB?”

The NBA is the easiest sport to create a dynasty because two or three top players could theoretically end up on the same team for a decade or more and dominate there in a way that’s not easy to replicate in the other sports. But right now, there’s no team with dominant talent young enough to make a long-term dynastic run. The Nets are probably the closest in the NBA right now, but their new big three aren’t young enough to last for a decade or more.

If you had to bet on a team in the NBA, you’d need to bet on a young player like Luka or Giannis, and then they’d need to hit it big in the draft or in free agency and end up with another top ten caliber player to pair alongside of them. The run would probably need to start by the time the star is around 25 years old in order to last for a decade or more.

The Warriors with Steph, Draymond, and Klay — prior to adding Durant — were an example of a team that was set up for a long dynastic run. But Klay Thompson’s health, along with Durant’s injury and then decision to leave, may keep that from happening.

So I don’t see any NBA team poised for that run right now.

I think it’s virtually impossible for a dynastic run in baseball right now because the talent is so widely distributed and because, in general, it’s just so hard for even the best teams in baseball to sustain runs of excellence that culminate in championships.

If I had to pick a pro sports team that’s poised to dominate for a decade or more, I’d probably pick the Chiefs right now. Given how good — and young — Patrick Mahomes is, I don’t see how the Chiefs aren’t in the Super Bowl mix for the next decade or so, maybe longer, depending on how healthy Mahomes stays.

I suspect that, just like the Patriots, the Chiefs have a good chance of being one of the top favorites of oddsmakers to win the Super Bowl every year.

That’s especially the case because right now there isn’t a clear challenger to Mahomes’ NFL throne who is around his own age. While people have tried to argue for Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, there’s really no one who looks like a legit challenger to Mahomes, no Peyton Manning to his Tom Brady. Maybe that person will emerge over the next couple of years, but if not, then Mahomes and the Chiefs would be my best bet for the next pro sports dynasty.

Danny writes:

“If the vaccine rollout goes as planned (100days/100million doses), when can we expect our normal lives to be back without masks? Shouldn’t the hospitalizations and deaths crater once the elderly and those with serious comorbidities are vaccinated and thus remove the need for restrictions?”

If the vaccine rolls out as planned, then by the summer, yes, we should be back to our normal lives then.

That means from a sports perspective I’d expect that we should have full stadiums again for the fall and that by late summer, I’d expect for baseball stadiums to be back with substantial crowds too.

But as I’ve been telling you guys for months, if you’re under the age of fifty and healthy, I think you should already be living your normal life.

Other than wearing a mask, I’ve been living my normal life since late April of last year.

As soon as I finish this mailbag, I’m headed to my gym. I’m heading out for dinner with my family in a restaurant tonight, as we have been regularly doing since APRIL OF LAST YEAR. My family went to six NFL games this year. We just got back from Universal Studios in Florida. We’ve flown all over the country.

Heck, my wife and I are headed down to Mexico next month for a vacation.

I understand some of you are terrified, but I’ve lived my life based on the data, which is what I think everyone should have been doing for the past year. I’m 41 and healthy. My family is healthy too. We’ve limited our exposure to elderly relatives, but otherwise we haven’t really changed our behavior at all.

But, yes, if the roll out goes well, I think many millions more will be living their “normal” lives by the summer.

Michael writes:

“With the new Stanford peer reviewed study showing no benefit to mandatory lockdowns, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot in favor of reopening, all just this week, how long before they tell us masks don’t work like we thought they did?”

I’m not going to focus on masks — although it is worth noting that masks are widely adopted now all over the United States and don’t appear to be restricting the spread of COVID in any substantial way — but I do think we’re starting to see the turn towards many acknowledging that lockdowns were nonsensical and totally unsupported by scientific data. The evidence is fairly clear, as it has been for months, that lockdowns, including shutting down schools, don’t make us any safer and they just destroy the economy.

This is the argument I’ve been making, by the way, since April, and all the coronabros have been arguing against it since then as well.

Now that Andrew Cuomo and Lori Lightfoot, two Democratic elected officials, have essentially come out and acknowledged lockdowns don’t work, I’m hopeful that this will stop being a partisan issue — just in time for the inauguration! Go figure — and we can get back to what I’ve been advocating since April of last year. Let the young and healthy people go to work and live their lives and the people who are in danger from this virus — mostly those age 75 and above — continue to limit their exposure to others.

This has always been the policy that makes the most sense for our country.

The fact that COVID hit in the middle of the most contentious — and evenly divided — election of our lives made it impossible, unfortunately, for rational responses to govern. The virus immediately became politicized, and people like me, who just looked at and shared the data, were accused of not caring about grandma’s life.

It was completely and totally toxic, and it led to a complete breakdown of our political processes.

JDS writes:

“Do you think states will open up now with Joe Biden as president, or will they remain closed to retain power?”

I think it’s virtually impossible for any politician to argue in favor of lockdowns at this point.

The data just doesn’t support it.

But I do think there are some politicians, like California governor Gavin Newsom, who are so in the tank for lockdowns that they are going to be unwilling to acknowledge they were wrong and might hold tight to the idea of lockdowns for that very reason.

But I’m hopeful that the people who live in those states will continue to exert such tremendous pressure on their elected officials — remember Newsom is in danger of being recalled — that the lockdown farce is going to essentially disappear in the early days of the Biden administration.

I suspect that by early to mid-April, as it starts to get warmer and the number of COVID infections are declining at the same time that the number of vaccinations are ramping up in a big way, stringent lockdowns will be over almost everywhere.

Unfortunately, we will have lost hundreds of thousands of small businesses without any benefit to our country’s health and safety at all.

Which is why I’ve also been arguing that in the years ahead, we will look back on lockdowns in this country — coupled with schools being closed — as the largest public policy failure since Vietnam.

Based on the data, it’s simply indefensible — regardless of your politics — for schools and businesses to be closed in this country.

Will writes:

“What do you think of the Falcons hire of Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith?”

He’s been absolutely fantastic for the Titans, and I’m sorry to see him go.

I think he’ll be great for Matt Ryan, just like he’s been great for Ryan Tannehill.

The challenge the Falcons face, however, is Matt Ryan’s age.

Ryan’s going to turn 36 in May. Is he going to be able to play at a high level like Drew Brees and Tom Brady, well past forty, or will he fade substantially as the hits pile up? I don’t know the answer, but that’s the big question for the Falcons.

Okay, big news for OutKick coming in a couple of hours now.

I’d encourage you to check the site this afternoon. I think you will be impressed with the announcement we’re making.

And, as always, thanks for your support of OutKick.

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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  1. “Other than wearing a mask, I’ve been living my normal life since late April of last year.” So frustrating to hear, because on the west coast that is still not possible for so many people because WA, OR, and especially CA are still significantly locked down. Still can’t go eat inside at a restaurant, still can’t go to the gym, still can’t go to work (depending what industry you’re in,) still can’t go to the movies. Schools are closed. It’s embarrassing and nonsensical at this point.

    Our elected officials in Washington State have failed us time and again since March. Governor Jay Inslee introduced reopening plan #3 (at least) last week. Which basically meant we were all starting over and here were 4 new metrics that determined when things could start reopening. He has a coronabro mantra of “It’s just too dangerous right now…” to do anything. Because grandma and grandpa might get sick. He refused to call a special session of the legislature, making all lockdown decisions on his own since the pandemic began. The man received 0% of the vote for his short-lived run for president, so maybe that irrelevancy is why he doesn’t get the national criticism that Newsom, Cuomo, and other Democrat leaders have received.

  2. Clay, I LOVE you, but when you make nutty statements like:

    “OTHER than wearing a mask, I’ve been living my normal life . . .”

    Isn’t that kinda like asking Mrs. Lincoln “how did you enjoy the play?”

    Wearing a stupid, useless, paper mask on your face in order to be legally allowed to leave your house is not just a minor inconvenience. It’s a major imposition on your civil liberties and it’s continually shocking to me how easily people are herded into sheep pens – based on a proliferation of non-scientific fear porn. Now even after developing multiple vaccines and an estimated 100 million exposures in our nation – we have lunatics (including the allegedly President-Elect) suggesting that people [including CHILDREN!] will just have to “get used to” wearing masks FOREVER!???

    A government that can force you to wear a piece of paper on your face at all times can force you to wear a BLM armband to get a job.

    A government that can force you to wear a piece of paper on your face at all times can decide it doesn’t like your opinions and suppress your free speech, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    A government that can force you to wear a piece of paper on your face at all times can obviously ignore the Constitution.

    If you are “living your normal life” by wearing a mask everywhere, every day, alone driving in your car, then you are NOT living your normal life. Unless of course your regular job is working in the Hot Lab at USAMRIID.

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