All That and a Bag of Mail

Videos by OutKick

Rejoice, it’s Friday and you made it to another weekend.

I’m headed down to Florida for a quick trip over the weekend, but by the time we get into next week, college football season will almost be here.

We’ve got some great college football announcements coming next week, and in the meantime, we welcome Armando Salguero to OutKick. We’ll have many new hire announcements coming in the days and weeks ahead. Buckle up, it’s going to be an awesome fall at OutKick.

And thanks for making the new Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show an immediate success. These numbers are incredible for our first month:

If you haven’t already done it, go subscribe to the podcast.

Okay, here we go with the Friday mailbag.

Bobby writes:

“Will the professionalization of college sports kill College Football?

My love for the sport is BECAUSE they choose my school without additional compensation, but now that all the players are just going to the highest bidder, it kinda kills the joy for me.”

I just don’t understand this argument at all.

First, many of the top players have been going to the highest bidder for generations now. All NIL does is take some of the money out of the shadows and bring it into the light. I’d rather all of this be public than have shady bags of money being deployed to top players.

Second, do you like OutKick or my radio show or TV show less because I get paid to do it? Do you like a concert or comedy performance less because the artist gets paid to perform? Of course not. People should be paid for their labor, whether they are roofers or quarterbacks.

Look, I’m a capitalist. I want talented people to make as much money off their talents as they can. And I think, if anything, that allowing some athletes to be compensated for their sports talents will potentially help spread out the talent in college football more than it is now.

Honestly, I kind of think a salary cap in college football, set and agreed to on a conference-by-conference basis or across the major conferences, would be more fun than what we have now. Instead of all the top players going to the schools with the top coaches, we’d have talent more evenly spread around the top programs.

Right now, Vanderbilt has zero chance of ever winning the SEC. But what if Vandy and Alabama had the same money they could spend on players? Then at least Vanderbilt would have a fair shot.

I think the biggest threat to college football isn’t athletes getting paid, it’s that the same teams have been good for a long period of time. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, they’ve all had an absolute embarrassment of riches for most of the past decade. If anything, the Playoff has exacerbated the gap between the haves and the have nots in college football.

Eventually having the same teams in the Playoff every year can wear on the overall popularity of the sport.

So I actually think NIL has the potential to help spread out the talent a bit more.

And it certainly isn’t going to impact my enjoyment of the sport. I don’t need my athletes to be poor in order for me to appreciate their talents.

Bryan writes:

“Please explain why asking to see photo ID to vote is the biggest hate crime since lynching but requiring a vaccine passport to enter a building from the same group is somehow necessary.”

Ding, ding, ding.

The hypocrisy here is staggering.

As I said a couple of months ago, you need a photo ID to get a vaccine shot. If you need a photo ID to theoretically get a life saving vaccine shot, how is having a photo ID to vote unacceptable?

The racial dynamics of vaccine passports are a total minefield for the Democrat Party. Not surprisingly, most in the media are refusing to discuss this issue. They’re continuing to blame Trump voters for not getting their vaccines. But right now, black and Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly the least likely to be vaccinated in the country.

So are you telling me that New York, and now New Orleans, are going to create situations where a majority of black and Hispanic people in both these cities aren’t able to go into bars, restaurants, gyms or sporting events? I mean this is wild to think about. You’re going to have left wingers demanding the majority of minorities in a city be denied service in public venues.

I don’t know that most people have thought this situation through, but it’s going to be a huge mess.

Now they’re saying the Biden administration is considering RESTRICTING TRAVEL ACROSS STATE LINES WITHOUT A VACCINE PASSPORT.

This is madness on all levels, but the practical impact is this would keep the majority of black and Hispanic people in the country from being able to leave their states.

I’m hopeful the courts would step up and rule this unconstitutional, but so far, the courts have been, in my opinion, far too accommodating of drastic overreach by city, state and federal governments using COVID as their justification for emergency powers. Eventually the emergency has to end. We can’t consider COVID an emergency forever.

Carey writes:

“Thoughts on Notre Dame and WVU to the ACC?”

I don’t think the ACC will expand unless they can add Notre Dame.

Right now, I think Notre Dame wants to stay independent. And if they did decide to join a conference, the Fighting Irish would have to decide between the ACC and the Big Ten. Personally, I feel like the Big Ten would be the better fit.

If either conference did add Notre Dame, however, I think both conferences might add Kansas instead of West Virginia. Why? Because Kansas is a far better academic institution than West Virginia is.

Either way, however, I think Notre Dame and USC hold the future of expansion in their hands right now. If Notre Dame moved to join a conference or if USC attempted to break away from the Pac-12, then I think we’d see more substantial realignment movement.

Absent that, I think the major conferences don’t make substantial adjustments right now.

Deckard writes:

“Consensus is becoming that COVID is endemic and can’t be eradicated. Cloth/paper masks don’t prevent transmission according to 11 major studies. What can people do to fight against the insane, authoritarian mandates? Should talk of secession be on the table?”

Secession isn’t legal so, no, it shouldn’t be on the table.

But persuading the persuadable not to embrace the choices made by the fear porn brokers in the government should be a goal for all of us.

That’s why I went and spoke at my local school board on Tuesday night. I think all of us need to get involved in the grassroots level, stand up for the facts and not allow the fear porn to continue to govern.

If you missed what I had to say on Tuesday night at my local school board, here it is:

Stephen writes:

“Do we go through the football season without forfeit games?”

No way.

It’s going to be impossible to keep teams from testing positive for COVID this fall. Absolutely impossible. Yes, that’s even if all or most of the players are vaccinated.

Given how frequently testing will take place, many players who will have no ill health effects at all will test positive for COVID and be forced to miss games.

I’d be stunned if there aren’t forfeited games.

My hope is when some of these forfeited games start to occur that conferences will recognize how absurd their policies are and alter them so young, healthy players who are at no risk from COVID can just play.

But I’m not confident that will happen.

Bruce writes:

“First masks, then vax, now both. It’s obvious another fall/winter shutdown is coming. At what point do ‘they’ decide this can’t be stopped and then we’ll just be living with COVID-19 forever just like we do every other airborne illness?”

Many will never acknowledge this.

Because it would require admitting that their entire 18 month strategy was senseless.

The data has been clear and transparent since April or May of last year. And anyone who has been looking at the data from the COVID vaccines can now tell that the “vaccines” are really just the equivalent of flu shots.

Just as the flu shot doesn’t eradicate the flu from existing, COVID isn’t going away with these shots either. Already booster shots are coming because the effectiveness of the vaccine declines in rapid fashion. And they aren’t going to end with one booster shot. We’re talking about needing COVID booster shots, probably on a yearly basis, for years and years to come, potentially forever.

I don’t think most of the American public has realized this yet because the COVID vaccine was sold as a magic bullet that would end COVID danger forever and return us to complete normalcy.

Plainly, that’s not true.

Joe Biden ran his entire campaign on the idea he’d beat COVID. He’s failed. Not because he’s done a particularly bad job dealing with COVID itself, but just because he has no control over a virus.

Instead of being angry at the unvaccinated — many of whom are like me and have already had COVID — we should be furious at the Chinese for creating this virus, partially using our tax dollars, and being incompetent enough to allow it to escape from their labs. This virus wasn’t a natural occurrence. This virus was a human failure.

JMo writes:

“What do you think is going to happen with Deshaun Watson? Will he play this year? Will he be traded? Exempt list? Do you think this coincidental timing of allegations has to do with Houston Texans ownership? WHAT on God’s green earth is happening?”

If Deshaun Watson plays this year, then the NFL personal conduct policy is effectively extinguished. Because if 24 different women — 22 civilly and ten criminally — accusing a player of sexual assault doesn’t get him a lengthy suspension, then I don’t know what could.

Let me be clear about this: I’d be fine if the personal conduct policy effectively ended because I don’t believe the NFL should have ever gotten into the business of investigating criminal behavior off the field. The fact that the general public still believes the NFL should be investigating rape or domestic violence is just a testament to how dumb the general public can be.

Right now, Zeke and Big Ben have to be looking around wondering how in the world they got suspended for one woman’s allegations, allegations which were investigated and determined not to be criminal, while nothing happens to Deshaun Watson at all.

I think the Texans are hoping Watson doesn’t get injured and also hoping they can trade him somewhere else and wash their hands of this entire incident.

But will anyone trade for him while these allegations are hanging out there? I just find that hard to believe.

Which is why I think the NFL or the Texans are going to have to do something before the regular season begins.

A to Z writes:

“Many elementary school students where my kids go (Williamson County Schools, like yours) are not wearing masks today, day 1 of new mask requirement. I filled out a mask exception form & checked ‘religious reasons’. School can’t deny/object to that. Will this ‘loophole’ be closed further intruding on parent choice?”

Right now, Williamson County schools in Tennessee are granting every parent’s request for an exemption to the mask requirement, meaning the majority of kids aren’t required to wear masks.

I’m not sure how the school board will respond to this, which is why I think the state of Tennessee should guarantee parent choice at all schools in the state.

This is honestly the policy I think all schools should adopt all over the country. There is zero evidence masks work. But if you think they work, you can put your child in a mask. If you think they don’t work, then your child shouldn’t have to wear one.

That seems like a simple and fair resolution to me. Parents should get to choose.

But the only place that’s going to happen is in states with Republican governors. The Democrat governors aren’t going to let parents make these choices.

Which is one of many reasons I’m glad I live in a state with a Republican governor.


Bryan writes:

“How does a two time Obama voter become a national voice for the right in a relatively short amount of time? Obviously the Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left in recent years but how & why have you personally changed your political views?”

I’ve written and talked about this a great deal, but I don’t think my views have changed very much. I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, they left me.

Someone sent me this graphic yesterday, and I think it pretty accurately describes where I was and where I am now.

I mean think about it, the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, to a large degree, would be a Republican platform now. Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 is 100% a Republican platform today.

I’m a white male capitalist who believes in American exceptionalism, the meritocracy, a robust First Amendment, and individual rights. You tell me where there’s room for me in today’s Democrat Party. Being a white guy who believes in capitalism, the meritocracy, individual rights, a robust First Amendment and American exceptionalism makes me a racist, according to today’s Democrat Party.

I’ve always had strong libertarian leanings, and the Democrats are a nanny state party right now.

By 2016, I’d become a full fledged independent. And by 2020, I was a big Trump supporter.

The twin pillars of the Democrat Party are now identity politics and cancel culture, and I abhor both with every fiber of my being.

I can’t guarantee what our country will be like in 2030 or 2040, but I can guarantee I’m never supporting socialism. And that makes me believe I’ll probably be a Republican for the rest of my life now.

Amanda writes:

“If it exists…what’s the ONE thing that the left & right can, or should be able to, agree on?”

That China is our mortal enemy and we must fight them with every ounce of our being.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to agree on that.

But you’ve hit on one of the biggest problems we have in our country right now. The left wing of the Democrat Party wouldn’t even agree with a simple and banal statement like, “America has been a huge force for good in the history of the world.”

Honestly, I think our country needs a common enemy, something to focus our energy on in an external way as opposed to fighting internally all the time.

And I think that external enemy is China.

We’re so busy throwing punches at each other that we aren’t realizing China is punching us in the back of the head all day long every day. That has to change.

Okay, I hope all of you have fantastic weekends.

I’m headed to do radio now and then jumping down to Florida for a quick visit there.

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.


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  1. If Travis voted for Obama twice then he certainly played a part in his terrible presidency, the worsening race debate, the idiotic lefty policies, and the fascist leftist government tendencies. But hey, he’s figured out how to make money by not being ESPN, theRinger, and the rest of the woke crowd…at least on his website and podcast. Now you can decide whether he’s legit or a money making fraud. Did he wake up or front up?

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