All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and I’m here to advance the forces of sanity in an insane world with the Outkick mailbag.

These are from questions you guys send to me on Twitter, where I request questions for the Friday mailbag every Thursday or Friday afternoon on the site.

These questions come from the past two weeks because I didn’t have time to write from Texas last Friday.

Bit of breaking news here right off the top for Friday, Olympics viewership tanked last night.

Like many sports fans, I enjoy sports so much that I don’t enjoy choosing not to watch them, but I’m not a big Winter Olympics guy because I grew up in the South and never really became a fan of any outdoor winter sports. So I don’t watch them much any way.

But the fact that we have agreed to travel to China and bend the knee to Chairman Xi means I won’t watch them very much at all this year.

And I suspect many Americans feel the same way.

Okay, on to your questions:

Frog writes:

“Isn’t Brian Flores’s move here the most lucrative in the long run? Seems like he will make far more as a martyr than as a football coach where he will likely fail like most coaches before him.”

No, I think it’s an insanely dumb move both in the short term and in the long term. After all, other than coaches who call games, what coaches have ever made money outside of the game? Not really any that I’m aware of.

Let’s break this down a bit more.

First, he’s only forty years old. Even if he didn’t get a head coaching job this year, he’d likely get one next year. (And I think he’d probably get one this year.) He has a solid 25 years of coaching in the NFL if he wishes to do so.

Given how much coaching salaries are accelerating, he’s probably looking at $100 million in income over these next 25 years and that’s probably very conservative. He might be looking at $200 or $300 million in earnings if he’s actually successful and if salaries keep rising like they are now.

Based on reading his lawsuit, I don’t see any real way for him to prove damages. And even if he proves damages his recovery here is likely to be a pinprick of $100 million. Because he’s effectively sabotaging his career going forward and, again, I don’t think he can even prove any damages.

I don’t see any major economic gain for him because he’s still relatively unknown to the general public. In other words, he’s not Colin Kaepernick. And even Kaepernick’s star appears to be on the wane in a big way. No one watched his Netflix special. The more years he’s out of the league, the less people care about him.

Plus, with the Flores lawsuit, what happens if the Texans offer to hire him? His lawsuit is then moot. He’d have to withdraw it.

I understand why the lawyers filed the lawsuit here, they stand to potentially gain a great deal in media attention and potential recovery, but I think Flores behaved in an emotional manner and made a poor decision. He didn’t allege any tangible racial discrimination in his lawsuit, quite the contrary, actually. The only part of his complaint that has any potential impact are the allegations against the Dolphins for potentially paying him $100k per loss and for the meeting with Tom Brady while he was still under contract.

And those allegations have nothing to do with racial discrimination.

I just think it was a really, really bad decision by him to file this lawsuit and I think the amount of attention it will receive will diminish in a hurry. He was angry because he got fired by the Dolphins and then he wanted the Giants job and he didn’t get it. I get the anger, but anger isn’t a productive legal strategy, at least not usually.

Mark writes:

“If the allegations by Flores against several teams are deemed to be false, do these teams have any lawsuit against Flores for defamation?”

Sure.

But it’s hard to prove allegations are 100% false.

So the most likely outcome here is the case just gets dismissed because Flores hasn’t alleged any tangible racial discrimination.

But if the Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants really want to fire back, they could certainly file countersuits against Flores. That’s quite common in lawsuits such as these. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually happens, I just wouldn’t accept substantial monetary recovery here.

The one exception, by the way, would be John Elway. If he can prove he wasn’t hung over then he could definitively prove Flores lied about this. The challenge however would still be proving Flores knowingly lied. In other words, even if he wasn’t hung over, Flores might have believed he was. How do you prove Flores’s perceptions were a lie?

B. writes:

“Historically I’ve always been a huge Olympics fan. The last 12 years they seem to become so political. I hate to not watch and support team USA, but hate the bullshit with the “wokeness” and the political aspect. Am I alone?”

No, in fact based on the ratings numbers I just posted above, I think there’s a huge percentage of sports fans who agree with you.

Add in the fact that the Olympics are taking place in China this year and it definitely feels like the games are being used to whitewash China’s reputation under the color of sports.

Which is why I think huge numbers of otherwise sports fans will choose to spend their time watching other events.

Key writes:

“Why isn’t there being more pushback against Adam Schefter for releasing Brady’s retirement plans before Brady wanted to isn’t that something he literally should have held until Brady himself confirmed? If I’m Tom I never grant Adam an interview ever again.”

Adam Schefter’s job is to break news, it isn’t to worry about hurting the feelings of the people he covers.

He appears to have had Brady’s retirement on good sourcing and gotten the story right.

I can understand why Brady may be upset with him, but his job is to break news. And he broke the news here. That’s his job.

If you start refusing to break news to set up interviews, you aren’t a journalist, you’re a publicist.

Billy writes:

“Is it possible for CNN become even more a dumpster fire than it already is?”

Certainly, things can always get worse.

In fact, that’s what usually happens with poorly run companies, once their business turns down, it’s relatively rare for someone to come in and revitalize a failing business and take it to new heights of excellence.

CNN’s biggest problem is Jeff Zucker allowed the network to become so anti-Trump that when Trump wasn’t there, the network no longer had any basis for existence.

If I were running CNN, I’d make an aggressive play to go hire Megyn Kelly and give her Chris Cuomo’s old show. I don’t know that she’d be willing to do it, but I’d make an effort to get her signed. That way you could at least begin to change the narrative that CNN is a left wing propaganda machine.

Grumpy writes:

“With NFL TV Ratings through the roof this season, have the major sports leagues in America finally figured out that their viewers want sports-AND ONLY SPORTS-or are we just another George Floyd-type event from it all crashing down again?”

We’ll see whether there’s any lasting impact from the Brian Flores lawsuit, but I still think the entire country, sports or otherwise, is another viral video away from going insane.

If anything, honestly, that’s what Joe Biden needs. Think about it, Biden’s failing on inflation, the economy, the border, covid, the murder rate, foreign affairs, literally everything Biden has touched is worse today than it was a year ago when he took office.

Major social unrest is probably the best, of a series of bad, options that could take attention away from his incompetence.

But as a general rule social unrest is peaking in presidential election years. It’s not a big coincidence that black lives matter showed up in 2016, disappeared, and then suddenly re-emerged in 2020. Maybe the Democrats are so desperate that they could try and trot out BLM for 2022, but it’s hard to blame Republicans for issues when Democrats control the White House, the senate, and the house right now.

That’s why I suspect we won’t hear much from BLM again until 2024.

But, who knows, things may be so desperate for Joe Biden right now that Democrats might feel the need to break out the riots all over again. Of course, this would destroy their January 6th insurrection narrative, but things are so bad they may not have much to rely on.

Personally, I think they’re hoping the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade this summer so they can try and run on abortion rights in 2022.

Otherwise what else do they have?

Shaun writes:

“Why are big college boosters more interested in having control than winning on a regular basis? (See Auburn since 1992).”

Well, to be fair to Auburn they have had a decent amount of success even amid the chaos. Terry Bowden went undefeated, Tommy Tuberville went undefeated in 2004 and got screwed out of a title chance, Gene Chizik won a national title in 2010, and Gus Malzahn won the SEC and played for the national title in 2013. That’s not bad at all. Especially not when you consider the last three coaches have been competing against Nick Saban.

In fact, Auburn has managed to beat Nick Saban five times, and, sorry Auburn fans, should have won last year too. Indeed in the last twenty years the teams are tied at 10 wins each.

But I think what happens in the booster universe is you have a ton of guys who have been wildly successful in their own personal lives. And they get frustrated that their teams haven’t had that same level of success. So they all believe that if they had more control over their favorite teams that their favorite teams would win far more than they do now.

And I’ll tell you this — I 100% believe this about my own situation.

I think if you’d given me control of the hires at football and men’s basketball over the past 15 or so years that Tennessee athletics would have been far more successful than they have. I understand some of you disagree with that, but I certainly believe it. Hell, I’ve been more successful in sports media, by far, than the Vols have in college athletics.

And if I believe it with the level of business success I’ve had — it’s not like I’m Elon Musk — a bunch of hundred millionaires and billionaires believe it as well, if not way more than me.

So I think that’s what you’re dealing with here.

Final thought, emotional reactions and decisions often lead to poor outcomes. What’s more emotional than a football game featuring a team that you care desperately about? Virtually nothing in many men’s lives. So I think that plays in here as well.

Ultimately fandom isn’t rational.

Bear writes:

“If you were Patrick Mahomes and had family members in the public light brining unwarranted hatred to your team because of their personalities, would you say anything to them or let it be?”

I’d probably say something to them.

The only reason people care about Brittany or Jackson Mahomes is because of Patrick. They aren’t talented in their own right, they’re just drafting off his fame.

This isn’t similar in any way, but early on when I started writing online and became a public figure, I asked my mom and my wife not to fire back at critics of mine. (My mom used to get in the comment section and fight with people.) And people would sometimes try and bait my wife into responding online.

But that’s not their job and I didn’t want them to get wrapped up in my controversies. And they agreed and pretty much stay out of the online fracas. When my kids get older, I’ll ask them to do the same.

Look, I’m on social media all day for my job, but I don’t use social media in my private life. That is, I don’t pay attention to what people I went to high school or college with are posting online. I spend too much time online to do it in my limited free time. If you have my cell number, you can call or text me. If you don’t have my cell number, there’s probably a reason you don’t.

Now Mahomes is such a talented quarterback, he probably doesn’t pay attention to the (negative) noise these two create. And the reality is if he keeps winning, it doesn’t have much of an impact. But I’d be inclined to ask them to stop posting Chiefs related videos if I were him.

JDS writes:

“Do you really think the Packers would accept Ryan Tannehill and his cap hit back in a trade for Aaron Rodgers. You think Tannehill should be gone why would another team trade for him?”

I have no idea, but I think you have to ask if you’re the Titans.

The two quarterbacks are slated to cost roughly the same amount in 2021. If the Titans offered Tannehill and draft picks for Rodgers, would that be enticing enough for the Packers?

Maybe.

Right now FanDuel has the Titans as the 13th most likely NFL team to win the Super Bowl. (The Packers are sixth). Where would the Titans go if they swapped Tannehill for Rodgers? My guess is they’d jump up to the top three. Which is why that’s a trade you have to aggressively pursue.

Jason writes:

“Would you change the #NFL OT rule and, if so, how?”

Yes, I’d play a full 15 minute overtime in the playoffs. That would make the coin toss far less important.

I’d keep it the same in the regular season.

Greg writes:

“Did Lynyrd Skynyrd see the future with. I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don’t need him around?”

Yes, 100%.

Also, this is the only reason I know who Neil Young is.

Billy writes:

“What needs to be done to get Dr. Fauci removed from his position?”

A red wave this November.

Senator Rand Paul said on our radio show he believed Fauci would resign if Republicans win the House and Senate and set up hearings to hold Fauci accountable for his lies and the American tax dollars we gave to China.

I think he’s right.

Which is one of many reasons we need a red wave.

Steele writes:

“What are your thoughts on the Mina Kimes, Jeff Garcia situation?”

I think it’s all manufactured victimization to allow ESPN talent to white knight on her behalf and to guarantee that she’s unfireable.

I mean, if I were her agent, I’d love it.

Because these kinds of stories guarantee ESPN can never fire her. Or even offer her less money in any contract. Because if they do, they’re allowing the trolls to win and proving their sexism is accurate. Do I believe that? Of course not, but that’s the argument I’d make if I were her agent.

The truth is I don’t believe Mina Kimes gets treated any differently because she’s a woman than any other TV analyst does. Go look at what people say to Skip Bayless, Stephen A., Cowherd or me for that matter. Go look at how often athletes have ripped Stephen A., Skip and Cowherd’s knowledge of their sports or their opinions.

It happens all the time and these attacks are often vicious.

Hell, this week alone a University of Virginia football player told me he hoped I killed myself! And no one in sports media even cared. Can you imagine if that same football player told Mina Kimes to kill herself? It would have been the number one story in sports and everyone would have rushed to Mina’s defense and the player would have probably gotten kicked out of school. (I don’t want things like this to happen, by the way, I abhor cancel culture. The kid’s an idiot, but hopefully he learned a lesson about behaving that way online.)

To me, it makes you look weak when you have other people fighting your battles or standing up for you.

If a college football coach or player rips me for something I said, Joel Klatt and Matt Leinart, both good friends, by the way, aren’t coming to my rescue and defending my acumen. They’re probably retweeting the coach and saying they agree with him. Hell, look at how we reacted on Fox Bet Live when Eric Musselman, Arkansas’s basketball coach, ripped Todd Fuhrman to the high heavens for his lack of basketball knowledge.

We all retweeted him and said we agreed with Musselman’s critique.

An overly aggressive defense, honestly, gives too much legitimacy to the critique itself. And it sends the message, particularly if a woman’s involved, that she can’t stand up and defend herself. It’s a sign of weakness in my opinion, not a sign of strength.

Okay, I’m off to my fifth grader’s basketball game tonight.

Hope all of you have great weekends. I’m looking forward to spending the next week in Los Angeles and enjoying some warm weather. And hopefully I’ll be able to get into some restaurants there since I’m not vaccinated.

Fingers crossed.

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.

4 Comments

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  1. Agree on the Flores question. Politics aside, and from a pure financial aspect, it can be argued that Kaepernick made the right choice in going woke for cash than being a career backup; although I think in the long term he would have made more money riding the pine. Regardless, there is no way Flores can cash in on this and make more than by being an NFL coach. The only coach I can think of that made more money not coaching is Dick Vitale. Brian Flores is not Dick Vitale.

    Plus, his claims in his suit don’t flesh out racism. If true, it exposes Ross as a terrible boss. It exposes Elway as a boozer. I have no idea what the claim is with the Giants. But where is the racism? Miami HIRED him. Elway was interviewing Flores to replace a black coach. Again, the Giants? He was on a second interview the day before they hired their current guy.

    I happen to think Flores might be a very good coach and one who could have been another head coach or at least a coordinator for years to come. He had a crappy Miami team playing hard. This feels like a catastrophic career move based on emotion and/or God-awful legal advice.

  2. I quit tweeter a couple of years ago, so I can’t do the mailbag thing. But I am a VIP member, so maybe you can answer a question for me Clay. Why did you censor and delete my VIP post, Where have All the VIP’s Gone? It was cleverly written but also I wanted to know why on the VIP side, there are seldom any posts anymore. There are no Zoom meetings anymore. There is no new VIP material. So I post my Where Have All the VIP’s Gone just to see who might respond. One person did, then next I know, the post is GONE!
    And you are against censorship… Right…

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