All That and a Bag of Mail

Videos by OutKick

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for me to solve all the issues of the world as we all get ready to roll into a great Father’s Day weekend.

I hope all of the dads — and moms — enjoy the weekend and thanks, as always, for supporting OutKick.

So here we go with your questions.

Jeff writes:

“What are your thoughts on the new NFL COVID policy and vaccination restrictions for athletes in the upcoming season?”

I don’t think any sports leagues — or companies and schools for that matter — need COVID policies any longer.

Look, the data is clear and transparent — COVID had virtually zero impact on young and healthy people in this country. In fact, young people, which most NFL players are, are often under a greater risk from the seasonal flu every year than they are from COVID.

If you’re an older coach or team official, particularly if you are over 65 years old, then you should be vaccinated and I hope you have been, but if you are young and healthy, you’re under virtually no risk from COVID.

I told you guys earlier this week that I already had COVID — I have the antibodies to prove it — so I’m not getting the vaccine. Maybe at some point my opinion will change, but the entire purpose of getting the COVID vaccine is so your body will produce antibodies. Well, I’ve already got the antibodies. So why would I need the vaccine too?

Lots of NFL players have probably had COVID, just like I have. And I think individual players should be able to make their own choices about vaccination, and the NFL shouldn’t be involved. That’s been the longstanding policy of the league when it comes to other illnesses.

The NFL has never had, for instance, a league policy on flu shots. Every year teams get sick with the flu, which is often more dangerous to young people than COVID is, and the NFL has never mandated players get flu shots. If the NFL has never mandated flu shots, why would they mandate COVID vaccines? I just think it’s all cosmetic theater at this point.

If you’re going to have full stadiums for fans — without requiring vaccines — why should the players on the field have a different standard than the fans in the stands?

I don’t think any pro sports league needs a COVID policy any longer at this point.

Tom writes:

“No question here — just wanted to say I’m looking forward to your radio show on Monday. Really missing Rush. Hope your show helps.”

I appreciate that.

I’m really excited to launch the new radio show on Monday at noon eastern. The amount of prep that has gone into getting ready for this new show is more extensive, it feels like, than just sitting down and starting the show would have been. So I’ve been ready for a long time to get underway.

As I’ve said for a few weeks now, no one is ever going to replace Rush Limbaugh. Legends in any profession never get replaced. They become iconic figures in the industry for all time. But I believe Buck Sexton and I will be able to offer a smart, original, funny and authentic radio program that you guys will enjoy.

I’m hopeful I’ll be able to bring a lot of OutKick listeners and readers into the fold and meld them with the long time Rush listeners as well as the audience that listens to Buck now. Like any new show, we’ll have growing pains and challenges in the short term, but I think you guys will really enjoy the product we put out.

And I’m still kind of in awe of the entire process.

Twenty million listeners a month?

There’s a strong argument Rush didn’t just have the biggest audience in radio, but that he had the biggest audience in American media, period.

One of the biggest challenges for OutKick has been getting out our message to as large of an audience as possible. Come Monday, there’s a decent argument that if you combine the radio show, this website, my Twitter feeds, and the TV show hits I do on Fox News and FS1 that I’ll be reaching as large of a daily and weekly audience as anyone in media.

I can’t wait.

Lisa writes:

“Your little league coaching stories are very relatable & funny. What’s the best takeaway from your time with the team, as a father and coach?”

I’ve been coaching little league baseball and basketball for six years now. So there are plenty of stories. But, man, we were awful this year. Somehow we fought our way to a 5-2 record and then we lost six straight games, getting outscored like 55-9 down the stretch run of the season. That’s really hard to do, trust me, with a five-run limit per inning.

Those games were agonizing, just watching the team get crushed.

We got a kid picked off first base one game, and you can’t even take leads in our league. That kind of losing takes effort. When the kid came jogging back to the dugout, I asked him what he was thinking and he just started crying. So what do you do? You just keep losing.

It’s also interesting being a third base coach because I can remember back to when I played little league. When I was ten, our third base coach came into the dugout and told the head coach, “My bad.” And everyone was looking around to try and figure out what had happened. Turned out our third base coach had touched one of our baserunners. (You aren’t allowed to touch the players if you’re a coach.) He’d wanted the kid to keep running and score, but the kid had stopped rounding third base. So he’d pulled him towards home plate in an effort to keep him running.

And I thought about that story this year because my own son didn’t listen to me and stopped at third when I waved him home. I was so close to just grabbing his arm and pushing him towards home plate. I didn’t, but I was like, “I’ve become my own little league third base coach now. This is the cycle of little league life. I’ve become him!”

But, anyway, I asked my ten-year-old why he didn’t go home like I told him to, and he said, “I didn’t think it was a good idea, Dad.”


My own kid wouldn’t listen to me on the base path.

(He would have been safe by a mile, but I’m not the kind of coach who blames players for not listening to their coaches. And he also ended up not scoring. But, again, I’m not the kind of coach who even brings up stories like these.)

By the way, people say, “Do your kids think what you do for a living is cool?” The answer is no. I am the least respected person in my household, by far. I was at a basketball game recently sitting with my six-year-old, and a fan came up to say hi and then asked if it was cool to have me as a dad. Without skipping a beat, my six-year-old said, “Not really, he doesn’t even know how to make cinnamon rolls.”

Anyway, the worst part of the season, by far, was when our head coach gave a speech midway through the fifth game in our end-of-season losing streak when he told anyone who wanted to leave that they could leave with no questions asked. It was like the third inning of a game, and we were losing 7-0 already.


The pitcher!

I was standing behind the coach trying to get our starting pitcher to put his hand down — I was giving him the throat slash no gesture — before anyone else on the team saw it. Eventually he put his hand down, but we got run ruled in that game.

The most fun thing about it is just having the time with my son, honestly. I work all the time. So to be able to dial out completely for a couple of hours and just focus on a little league baseball game is good for both of us.

But my wife still gets upset at me sometimes for yelling too much because she says everyone knows who I am and recognizes my voice, so I can’t do that.

But I have to be honest with you, I really don’t think about things like that at all during games.

I’m just a dad, and I like just being a dad.

And I don’t think I act much differently than any of the other dads out there coaching.

Chris writes:

“Did the Hawks get these last two miraculous wins only to throw a plot twist at us and extend the streak of horrendous Atlanta collapses?”

Man, the Braves are killing me this year.

I don’t know how you Atlanta sports fans do it.

I bought into the Braves fandom because my ten-year-old became such a Braves fan. This season, at least so far, has been really rough on a nightly basis because the Braves are pretty bad. (We’re spending July 4th in Atlanta for the Marlins series. We’re staying right in the Battery, which is an awesome family trip if you haven’t been there before, by the way.)

I feel like the Sixers are still going to come back and win this series because I just can’t conceptualize the Hawks ever winning anything that matters.

In fact, there’s a strong argument that the Hawks are the least relevant franchise in NBA history. Think about it, who has mattered less over the past forty years than the Hawks? Aside from a brief period of interest with Dominique Wilkins and Spud Webb, the Hawks have almost never mattered in anything.

So I just find it impossible to believe they are going to be in the Eastern Conference Finals with a chance to advance to the NBA Finals.

I expect the Sixers to win Game Six and Game Seven and crush Atlanta sports fans all over again.

Bryan writes:

“If the NBA ends up with an ATL/PHX Finals matchup, do they call an audible and say ‘Just kidding, it’s Lakers/Nets’?

The NBA ratings so far are a disaster for Round Two and are trending even worse for the next two series, the conference finals and the NBA Finals.

This is important because all the NBA ball washers on social media said the 2020 bubble ratings were an aberration. Not so. The overall brand of the NBA has collapsed over the past two years, thanks to the intense politicization of the league. Last year, if anything, the NBA got lucky because at least the Lakers and LeBron were in the finals. This year, they aren’t going to have that good fortune.

The numbers may tick up slightly in 2021, but that will probably be because there isn’t much else going on in the world of sports during the summer, as opposed to the bubble when football was taking place during the NBA Finals. (It’s worth noting, however, that only two of the six NBA Finals games actually competed head-to-head with football games.)

The NBA brain trust — the Adam Silvers of the world — know that their brand has taken a severe body blow, but they don’t want to admit it because that would require acknowledging that I’ve been correct this entire time — that even NBA fans don’t want their players and teams to become overtly political.

Right now, the best case scenario for the NBA is probably the Nets against the Clippers in the NBA Finals. The worst case scenario would probably be Hawks-Jazz. And none of these potential match ups are really that sexy, honestly, especially now that Kawhi is (probably) out for the Clippers.

Frog writes:

“As a longtime Rush fan personally (and I’m assuming you are as well), are you worried about how to not screw up his show? I know you will do great (I’ve been a big fan of yours for a couple of years), but those are some big shoes to fill.”

I’m not worried because we’re not doing Rush’s show. No one is ever going to do Rush’s show again. We’re not Rush’s replacement. We’re doing a new show in his timeslot. If anyone did try to do Rush’s show, they’d fail. Because in order to do good radio or TV, you can’t worry about anyone else’s show.

I’ll use an analogy here from the world of sports radio: Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd have great sports talk radio shows. So does Paul Finebaum. I listened to all of their shows for years before I did my own daily radio show. Heck, long before I ever knew any of these guys at all. But do you know what my show sounded like once I started it? Completely different than those guys. That’s not because they aren’t great hosts or that I don’t admire their talent. It’s because you can’t do a show the same way someone else does it.

And that’s not just true in radio either.

No matter what the medium is: radio, TV, writing, there are many people whose talent I’ve admired. But I don’t write, sound or look like those people on TV because they have a unique voice and I have a unique voice too. I think if you worry about what other people sound like — or how you compare to them — you lose your own voice in the process.

And I think radio, uniquely, reveals the authentic version of yourself over time. Audiences are smart, and they know whether you are being honest with them or not. No one is a good enough actor to pretend to be someone else for three hours a day, five days a week on radio. It’s just impossible to pull off.

What I’ve done in radio since I sat down in front of the mic for the first time is try to be as honest as possible every single day.

And that’s what I plan on doing Monday too.

So I hope you guys tune in and come along for the drive, starting on Monday.

Will I be nervous and excited the night before we go live? Of course! I’ll probably have trouble sleeping. Maybe even for a few weeks because of the new job. But that’s a good thing! If you aren’t nervous and excited in your life on a regular basis, it probably means you aren’t taking any risks. And if you don’t take any risks, it’s almost impossible to grow professionally.

I think this advice applies for everyone out there, regardless of your job. You can’t grow without taking risks. When I was a kid, I was terrified of change. This lasted for me all the way to college. I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. I think that’s normal. But change is a constant. And if you’re not willing to change too, then you become a dinosaur. And what’s the worst thing that can happen if change happens?

You get fired.

Guess what, I’ve been fired before. It’s not the worst thing imaginable. In fact, it can be a good thing because it frees you up to pursue things you wanted to do anyway. Getting fired is what led me to start OutKick.

Getting fired isn’t the end of anything. I learned I wasn’t going to starve. I learned my family’s not going to starve. The good thing about living in America is there’s always going to be a job out there. Thank God for capitalism.

And you know what’s going to happen if you never embrace change? Eventually you get fired anyway! Especially in the business I’m in.

I was a part of the most successful local radio show in the country in 3HL on 104.5 the Zone here in Nashville. I could have done that show for the next twenty years, if I’d wanted to do that. But after six years, I felt like I’d gone as far as I could in that time slot. I mean, look, I loved the job. It was lots of fun. But I felt like I’d mastered my role there.

And I wanted to see if I could grow and do more.

So I took the solo morning show on Fox Sports Radio. And after six years, I feel like I’ve mastered that too. I could have continued to do that show for the next twenty years too, but how do you say no to the biggest job in your profession?

So come Monday, Buck Sexton and I are ascending to the biggest radio audience in the country. And I think I’m ready for that challenge. In the space of 13 years, I’ve gone from local Nashville radio to the biggest timeslot in all of radio.

That’s exciting, but I couldn’t have gotten to this opportunity without having left local radio when I did. And that required embracing change.

I think that’s good advice, no matter what your profession. True professional growth almost always requires change, and change isn’t easy. But if you aren’t changing, you’re not going to advance. In fact, you’re already finished.

Okay, there’s my pep talk to head you into the weekend.

As always, I appreciate all of your support for OutKick and hope you all have fantastic Father’s Day 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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  1. I loved Rush. He was like a family member to me. Hell, I listened and “talked” with him more than most of my family. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. Rush was a good fit for his time. Times change and it’s time for a new voice with a new approach. The common thread between both of you is that you’re unabashedly who you are and don’t pretend to be anything else. I suspect there are a good percentage of people that are definitely not in line with the left wing irrational woke socialist arm of the Democrat party but also struggle to align with the Republican party. I’m hopeful your slightly more Libertarian slant will land with people today. As a society we’re far more live and let live than we used to be. I’m hopeful your new show can tap into that in a way nobody has. Make no mistake the pressure will be enormous. There will be a target on your back like never before. Just continue to be yourself. Never change.

    I moved to Nashville in 1987 when I was 18. Consider myself a Tennessean even though I didn’t spend the first 18 years of my life there. Been following since your early days on local radio. Not exactly sure why as it doesn’t seem rational, but, I’m really proud to see where you started and what you’ve become. As always in the first couple of months everyone is going to hate you but I think this is going to take off in ways nobody is going to be able to imagine. Best of luck and go get em. You’ve got at least one guy 100% behind you.

  2. We’ll all miss Rush. If you could, drop in some of his classic terms so we’re reminded of the man… feminazi, San Francisco Fortiners, and a basic explanation of a simple concept “for those in Rio Linda”.

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