All That and a Bag of Mail

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It’s Friday, time for the Outkick mailbag, which I apologize for not having much in the past month. I’ve just been traveling too much to have time to get it done.
But that should change in the months going ahead because I won’t be on the road as much.
So here we go.
Lots of you asked a version of this question:
“What are your thoughts on UNC getting no punishment from the NCAA for academic fraud?”
I’ve been predicting this result ever since the case began — if athletes took easy courses that were also being taken by non-athlete undergrads then UNC has a systemic academic issue that isn’t directly related to athletics. So long as academic fraud impacts the university at large then it isn’t an athletics issue. Which is funny, this means it’s better for the entire university to be corrupt than for a small part of it to be corrupt.
Of course, this provides a convenient loophole for athletic departments — just offer made up classes and ensure you enroll non-athletes in those classes as well and if you ever get caught there’s no punishment for athletics.
Of course, the practical reality is that every school in the country offers sham classes like UNC did. Think about it, UNC is one of the best academic schools in the country, you think UNC is offering sham classes and Arizona State, Ole Miss, and Ohio State aren’t?
Come on.
I’ve been writing about this for years — every major college in the country cheats to keep its athletes eligible. Look at the Wonderlic scores from guys who have been enrolled and eligible for four or five years — some of them can’t even read. How do you think guys who can barely read have gotten into college and then stayed eligible there for their entire four or five years on campus? Because they have been given easy classes and other people have been doing the work for them.
Seriously, this happens everywhere.
I went to George Washington, which is a pretty good academic school, and every basketball player would take the same courses to stay eligible. I took several of the same courses too. I remember we all took “Voice and Diction” which was impossible to get a grade below a B in.
All you had to do was give a persuasive speech at the end of the class. That was our exam.
One Middle Eastern party dude in the class — you know how there’s always a Middle Eastern party dude who is promoting clubs on every college campus in America? This was that dude — gave his persuasive speech on why taking drugs made going to clubs better.
He got an A.
Anyone who has ever been to a college or university with major athletics and is worked up about UNC not getting punished is a hypocrite. YOUR SCHOOL CHEATS IN ACADEMICS TOO.
The only way to cure this, I think, would be for the NCAA to administer an exit exam to all student athletes. If a school had too many students fail then they would get put on probation.
But that will never happen.
So everybody cheats on academics.
Fred writes:
“Every soccer powerhouse has a clear identity that matches that country’s personality and their most impressive export. For example,
Germany: BMW / Mercedes. The ultimate soccer machine. World Cup champions or nothing. Refined precision. Ruthless efficiency. 
Brazil: Victoria’s Secret Angels. Paralyzing beauty effortlessly floating. O jogo bonito. The beautiful game.
Italy: Ferrari / Ferragamo. Power and style perfectly balanced with creativity.
Even our neighbors to the south have a clear identity: grit and hustle. And, a much better nickname: El Tri. This sounds like a favorite Mexican combo dish. The trifecta taco/enchilada/tamale platter smothered in hot sauce and guacamole. Sounds delicious. What’s our nickname? USMNT? Sounds like a flight confirmation number. 
So, I ask the former high school full back. What should OUR identity be?”
I think the US identity should be forged by what we do best — create and destroy. The United States is the master of creative destruction, we create new industries and then destroy the old ones. No one does this better, it’s why our capitalism thrives. And what does creative destruction require? An unprecedented capacity for risk taking.
Our national symbol shouldn’t be the bald eagle, it should be two gigantic brass balls.
Everyone who came to America risked everything to get here. We’re the new world, a nation of risk takers, so we should play the most aggressive, attacking style of soccer in the world. We shouldn’t be trying to win 1-0, we should be trying to win 5-4 or lose 5-4.
Imagine how much more interested the average American would be if we just said fuck it and attacked the other team’s goal relentlessly all game long. Sure, we’d be open to the counterattack and might get blown out ourselves, but why not run a spread style offensive attack in soccer that’s designed to force a fast pace and a high score?
If you know you aren’t good enough to win a title playing by the style of the better teams, how much more fun is a Mike Leach style attack in college football than a grind it out style? Plus, no one has any idea what might happen in these games, right? Every time other countries played us they’d think, “I have no idea what will happen. The Americans are crazy. They might score no goals on us and we might kick their ass or they might score five goals and blow us out.”
So I’d call us the brass balls and our national soccer ethos would be capitalism on grass, creative destruction brought to bear on the pitch.
Josh writes:

“Like most people, I’ve been scratching my head as to why ESPN seems to want to purposefully alienate a significant portion of their customers.  I’ve also wondered why all of their actions also seem to be purposefully designed to promote you.  And then after catching a rerun of Talladega Nights, I figured it out.  You and John Skipper are secretly best buddies and he is the Cal Naughton, Jr. to your Ricky Bobby.  His meeting Tuesday was classic Shake n’ Bake to catapult you to the top of sports media!  Well played.  When y’all throw a party with a nacho cheese fountain, I expect to be invited. 

And here’s the truly crazy part, this conspiracy theory I just invented is actually the best explanation I can come up with.” 

When the truth is on your side — and everything I’ve written about ESPN over the past several years has been true — eventually all the other side is left with is insults or attacking your motivation and that’s where ESPN is right now.

If you’d given me the ability to control the future and script out decisions ESPN could make to ensure that Outkick becomes dominant in sports media, I couldn’t have picked better stories than replacing an Asian guy named Robert Lee from a broadcast because he shared a name with a Confederate general dead since 1870, allowing Jemele Hill to call the president and all his supporters racist white supremacists, permitting Michelle Beadle to go on air while talking about Cam Newton and the female reporter and say, “Shut up and listen, white men,” have Michael Wilbon say on PTI that NFL players were the equivalent of slaves on plantations, defend Michael Bennett’s racism allegations and not mention it when he was proven to be a liar, and argue that Michael Sam, Caitlyn Jenner and Colin Kaepernick are heroes because they fuck dudes, cut their dicks off, and took a knee on a football field.

I mean, when you put all these things together it’s downright unbelievable how out of touch ESPN is with their audience.

Sports fans like beer, girls, and actual games.

ESPN likes sparkling water, white privilege denunciations, domestic violence clinics, and racial protests.

All Outkick does is just talk to regular sports fans. And that’s enough to dominate.

ESPN has got an entire PR team designed to share their lies and convince gullible media — many of whom they’ve bought and sold with “scoops” — that their business is not collapsing. ESPN is effectively the Titanic and they’ve struck an iceberg. And I’m the dude who saw the iceberg dead ahead, pointed out ESPN was going to hit it, and now I’m just rolling around on a jet ski watching the Titanic sink while everyone else is trying to get on life boats and out there floating to death in the freezing water.
Every day I get stronger and ESPN gets weaker.
And I don’t see that changing for the next decade or more.
B. writes:
“I live in a swing state that fell Trump’s way. We take our kid to a day care that costs about $2000/month, because what 2 year old doesn’t need to have a college tuition payment to learn colors and shapes… All that to say it’s a very nice day care, everything is high class and done well. Recently one parent, seriously only one, complained about one of the teachers because she has a license plate on her personal car that is 1/2 Confederate flag and 1/2 American flag. This one parent is going around to other parents trying to drum up support for either firing this teacher or forcing her to take it off her car because it might offend the kids (age range 4 months-4 years). 
Two questions:
1- This lady is rich, white, and a stay at home mom who has never experienced anything resembling discrimination. Is this just a huge example of faux outrage?
2- What’s my play here when she inevitably finds me and tries to get me on her side of this whole fiasco? If I tell her what I really think she’ll probably call my wife and we’ll be banned from all birthday parties for the next 4 years, but I think she’s full of shit.” 
This is just a perfect example of how America has gone insane.
First, if it’s a half Confederate flag and a half American flag isn’t this some sort of actual historical reference to the Civil War? Some of these types of plates are used to raise money for historic battlefields or to care for old soldier cemeteries or to just acknowledge American history.
I’m sure I could get some sort of bumper sticker for my car to support that historic donation. Now I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car right now — and I don’t have personalized plates — but if I did, would that be offensive? To be ensuring that a battlefield and the old homes upon it remain preserved for generations to come so students of all races, genders and creeds can come to study the past and learn from it?
If so, I’d point that fact out to her and also point out that she doesn’t control the free speech rights of day care workers outside their place of business. Where does she draw the line on acceptable political beliefs for employees at her child’s day care? If the day care worker has a second amendment bumper sticker, is that okay? What about a bumper sticker for Hillary or Trump?
It’s the height of arrogance for a rich mom (or dad) to be telling a day care worker making $15 an hour or less what political opinions he or she can have on their vehicles that they drive to work in.
Furthermore, what if it’s not her car? Spouses share cars, so do families. She may not have any other options or even agree with the speech on her vehicle.
I would tell this lady exactly what you think and I wouldn’t spare anything. (If you don’t get invited to birthday parties because of it, consider yourself lucky).
The perpetually offended in this country have come to believe that when they are offended by something everyone else has to be too. My response any time someone tells me that they’re offended by something is to say that I’m offended that they are offended. Honestly, the “offended” person has no idea how to respond. Because they’ve been taught that being offended is their trump card. When you say you’re offended that they’re offended, they freeze.
So don’t stay silent, let this bitch have it.
Collin writes:
“Wanted to get your thoughts on the Harvey Weinstein scandal and all the support Eminem has received for his diss-track on President Trump. How much of a double standard is being held here? Eminem has made hundreds of millions rapping about misogyny, domestic abuse and rape, yet is widely praised for his criticism of Trump. Weinstein hails from the Hollywood elite, where by most standards should be the most left-leaning/anti-sexist culture in America, making his fortune on the backs of movie stars, all the while abusing his power to force himself onto women. It sure is great when you only have to hold people accountable when it’s convenient for you. I understand President Trump is an easy target and brings much of his criticism upon himself, but when will people start to look at the “voices” they are supporting and realize these same people have made wildly successful careers committing the same acts they actively speak out against Trump for? Obviously Weinstein has been exiled from his ivory tower now that his dirty laundry is out in the open, but no one seems to care about Eminem’s past he so openly raps about. Are people really that willing to cast aside equally, if not far worse, transgressions to ensure that their political agenda is heard loud and clear?”
What’s amazing about Harvey Weinstein is that the same Hollywood liberals who were offended beyond belief by Trump’s comments on tape are so silent about Weinstein’s acts.
When I read the Weinstein allegations, my jaw just dropped.
Like, who pulls out their dick and starts jerking off in front of a woman they’ve never even kissed before? I wouldn’t pull my dick out and start jerking off in front of my wife and we’ve been married 13 years.  Aside from being just flat out weird, that wouldn’t work to get my wife in the mood so how in the world could it possibly work on a woman you didn’t know?
You think there are many women out there who want to see a fat dude they’ve never kissed before jerk off?
Now I’m sure there are plenty of women who would bang Harvey Weinstein because he was famous and could advance their careers, but that could happen in a totally normal way — go out to dinner, have a few drinks, have consensual sex where both parties are gaining something — he gets sex and they get the connection to a powerful benefactor. There are still all sorts of sexual harassment issues at play here due to the power dynamic and the potential employer-employee relationship in the future, but that’s how I thought Hollywood sex went. It’s rife with ethical and legal complexities, but it’s not criminal.
I didn’t think actresses went up to Harvey Weinstein’s hotel room and he was naked in there and demanded they give him a massage and he chased them around the room naked until they agreed to do it.
I think what this shows, honestly, is that most people in America today will defend you as long as you’re on their side. Eminem, who I like but has had a billion rap songs better than his Trump rap, has said some crazy ass shit on his rap songs. But so has every rapper. It’s amazing to me that comics come under siege over how “appropriate” their jokes are today, but no one ever goes after rappers or musicians for their lyrics these days.
I’m a first amendment absolutist so I don’t think comics or musicians should be censored, but I do think it’s fascinating that these two groups are treated differently.
Hell, there are people who go back through over a decade of my writings and will pull out sentences or paragraphs and say, “CLAY TRAVIS CAN’T SAY THIS!”
It doesn’t work, but they try.
And those are just words.
Evidently if I were a hard core Hillary supporter and marched around in a pussy hat for equality I could have been jerking off in front of women I didn’t know for decades and I’d be a hero to the left wing.
Scott writes:
“I turned on the Preds game tonight right before the puck dropped and the national anthem was sung. I didn’t see anyone taking a knee. What’s interesting is that the Flyers roster is made up of 21 foreigners out of 23 players. The coach is foreign too. For the Preds, the numbers are similar. Of 24 players, 20 are foreign. I wouldn’t expect them to take a knee based on the reasons of the NFL players, but they could act like they don’t care. It isn’t their anthem. And for our place as a nation on the international scene, you would think some foreigners may have a reason to dislike us, our flag, and our anthem. They all stood and they all (by appearance) respected the moment. Maybe some of those underprivileged football players could take note. “
It is pretty amazing that foreigners making millions of dollars to play hockey are more respectful of our own national anthem than American citizens making millions of dollars to play football are.
Also, this ties in with one of the most ridiculous things to me about the protests — how was the decision of Americans to kneel for the American national anthem in London and then stand for the British national anthem not a bigger story?
Motherfuckers, read a history book. We went to war with the British twice. They burned down our White House. Britain has at least as bad of racism as we do. And you’re standing for their anthem and kneeling for ours overseas?!
Just so ridiculous.
Doug writes:

“I know someone that works for Nashville’s arena and he mentioned to me that Katy Perry shows are NOT selling well around the country.

For example, the show in Nashville has sold only 5200 or so tickets and its next week!
(Stats as of 10/3)
For perspective – in Nashville:
Foo Fighters is over 11,800 sold
Ed Sheeran’s 2 shows sold well over 26,000
Harry Styles for a 6/12/18 show has sold 12,500
Katy Perry was huge…Super Bowl Halftime show huge.
Since then she supported Hillary HEAVILY
Cut her hair
Released an awful album
Had a disastrous performance on SNL
Priced her tickets high.
Every move has alienated a portion of her fan base.
I think it’s similar to ESPN to the NFL, etc.
Some people have had enough.
I thought this might be something that you would want to keep your eye on.”
I don’t understand the desire to alienate half your audience.
For instance, there are millions of people who bought Eminem album or music and voted for Donald Trump for president. So why would Eminem say that his fans had to choose, they were either with him or Trump? Why can’t you like Eminem and Trump?
Also, for a guy who loves controversy, what Eminem said about Trump was the least controversial thing an entertainer could say. It would have been infinitely more controversial if Eminem had done a positive Trump rap.
Regardless, I would never say or write, “If you voted for (insert candidate here) don’t ever read or listen to Outkick again.”
Because I think that would be insanely arrogant of me. Why should I presume to tell you how you need to vote and then also tell you how you should spend your time on entertainment as well? I’m happy if people voted for Trump and read me and I’m happy if people voted for Hillary and read me.
You guys know my political beliefs, clearly I think mine are right and would make the country better, but I also understand that you all don’t feel the exact same way as me.
And that’s perfectly fine and healthy for the country. If we all thought the same thing we’d be living in a totalitarian government.
Michael Jordan said, (or at least had attributed to him) “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
There are an awful lot of people in the entertainment business who would be wise to heed that example. Alienating your audience based on politics is incredibly dumb.
Hope y’all have great weekends and thanks for supporting 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.