All That and a Bag of Mail

Welcome to the Friday mailbag, hope you guys have had a fantastic and productive week.

Let’s dive right into the mailbag with my response to Deadspin literally writing that I’m going to hell yesterday. Seriously, that’s not hyperbole, the site where I was once an editor nine years ago now wants me to go straight to hell.

Here’s what one of the writers there penned yesterday as the culmination of his attempt to take me down:

“And yeah, maybe sites like Barstool and Outkick are flourishing in the age of Trump. But let me tell you something: There will be a reckoning. Maybe Clay Travis won’t pay professionally for his horseshit, but he’ll pay any time he’s got to look a woman in the eye. He’ll pay anytime someone on the street says to him, “Hey, I saw your tweet,” and he’s gotta worry about what they’re gonna say next. And he’ll pay at the gates of hell.”

Holy shit.

It’s like they don’t even know that I’m a Tennessee sports fan and already in hell.

Has any other sportswriter ever been told he’s going to hell because of his opinions on sports, politics and pop culture? Is God out here reading Tweets and judging them now?

This paragraph is a perfect synopsis of how Donald Trump has driven the left wing in this country totally insane. I mean, I’m sitting here reading left wing sportswriters like Jemele Hill, Michelle Beadle, and this loser at Deadspin — people that I used to know and like and think were reasonable — and they’ve all gone insane.

I mean, batshit crazy.

For many people social media is predicated on emotion, not logic. I think logically so when I see a viral video, my immediate thought isn’t — “OH MY GOD, LOOK HOW AWFUL OUR COUNTRY IS!” It’s, hmmm, I wonder how common this is? Is this an extreme outlier or is reflective of larger national issues? Because you can’t make policy decisions based on viral anecdotes.

And it turns out that almost everything that goes viral on the Internet today isn’t reflective of larger issues, it’s just an extreme outlier. THAT’S WHY IT WENT VIRAL! Awful stuff that happens every day — say the hundred people who die every day on America roadways — never makes the news in a substantive fashion.

The left wing has mastered preying on the emotions of gullible individuals who respond emotionally to the news. So much so that they have convinced themselves of fundamental untruths. Things like cops are killing black people with impunity. WHICH ISN’T TRUE AT ALL! 46 unarmed people this year have been shot and killed by police. 19 are white and 11 are Hispanic, just 14 of them are black. (And if you read about why these people were shot, almost all of them were either attacking police officers or other innocent individuals.)

Yet I get called racist for pointing out you’re five times as likely to get killed by a train if you leave your home unarmed then you are to get shot and killed by police. You’re more likely to be killed by a bee, a wasp, or a hornet or be struck and killed by lightning if you leave your home unarmed today.

Facts matter. (The right wing in this country also believes things that aren’t true, but the media is obsessed with pointing out these failures, they spend hardly any time pointing out liberal idiocy, which is why liberals believe they are so morally superior. Because their falsehoods rarely if ever get challenged.)

And people losing their minds in the sports media over Donald Trump are just emblematic of the larger country. A girl I went to high school with — and was good friends with — posted on Facebook the other day that she thought they should cut my picture out of high school photos because of my political beliefs.


I saw the post and I just laughed. I don’t spend any time on my private Facebook page because I already spend enough time on social media, but I was like holy shit, are you kidding me? (My wife shared the post with me last week because I don’t ever read anything on Facebook.)

Cut out of high school pictures?!

I don’t even think my political beliefs are that controversial. In fact, I’m not even sure I have a single controversial belief. Maybe that non-addictive drugs should be legalized along with prostitution? Maybe that sports gambling should be legalized? That I’m okay with gay marriage because I think gay people should be as miserable as straight people?

Are those controversial beliefs? I honestly don’t even know.

For the record, I’m also pro-choice, anti the death penalty, pro markets, in favor of lowering taxes, and I love boobs and the first amendment.

That seems like I’m squarely in the center of the country. Where, honestly, most of the American public dwells. I think my very reasonableness has actually enabled me to become controversial. Being moderate makes you the new king of controversy.

And, by the way, I don’t think you have to agree with me on any of these ideas. I’ve got a truly radical world view, I think you can totally disagree with me on any or all of these issues and I can still find you personally likable.

But I’m not far left wing so that makes me unacceptable these days.

I’m just a white dude who thinks that white dudes aren’t all awful human beings.

Does the far left wing in this country — the alt-left that’s out here banning “To Kill a Mockingbird” because there are bad words in it — not realize that they’re all becoming modern day McCarthyites? They’re out here conducting modern day tar and featherings of people every day because people don’t have “appropriate opinions.”

It should be terrifying to anyone with a brain because it’s spreading and infecting all of our national institutions, including sports.

And this Deadspin piece perfectly sums up that way of thinking. I mean it’s just absolutely perfect in its left wing insanity.

So let’s deconstruct every sentence of what they wrote about me because I think it’s so batshit insane.

Here’s that paragraph once more.

“And yeah, maybe sites like Barstool and Outkick are flourishing in the age of Trump. But let me tell you something: There will be a reckoning. Maybe Clay Travis won’t pay professionally for his horseshit, but he’ll pay any time he’s got to look a woman in the eye. He’ll pay anytime someone on the street says to him, “Hey, I saw your tweet,” and he’s gotta worry about what they’re gonna say next. And he’ll pay at the gates of hell.”

To be fair, if anyone is an expert on what the gates of hell would be like, it’s a Deadspin writer, because I can’t imagine anything more hellish than writing for an audience of losers at a company Hulk Hogan bankrupted.

The trajectory of Deadspin, from a fun site founded on the idea that sports media, athletes and teams took themselves too seriously to a site that now hates sports and any sports fans who aren’t pussies, eerily mirrors ESPN’s own descent into left wing masturbatory obsolescence.

And this paragraph perfectly embodies that trajectory.

So here we go.

“And yeah, maybe sites like Barstool and Outkick are flouring in the age of Trump.”

I can’t speak for Barstool, but Outkick has been flourishing for years, essentially ever since I started the website in 2011, when Barack Obama was still in his first term in office. (You know Obama, that guy I voted for twice after also voting for Al Gore — and working on his presidential campaign — and John Kerry.) I became a multi-millionaire before Donald Trump was elected and I would have been making the same amount of money, I think, even if Hillary Clinton had been elected president.

There’s a deep desire among my critics to somehow attribute my success to Trump’s election, but my success isn’t attributed to any politician. It’s attributed to the fact that I wake up at 4 am every morning and work my ass off every day.

Here’s an easy question for you, how many people do you think wake up at 4 am to start work and fail at life?

The answer is, not many.

What I have found is that hard work leads to success. I work my ass off every day. And after 13 or 14 years of working my ass off and writing online every day, I’m where I am today.

Donald Trump has little to nothing to do with my personal success.

Now, I’m not an anti-Trump guy because I judge the president based on how the country is doing. And right now the country is thriving by all objective measures — we’ve got the stock market at an all time high, unemployment near record lows, and per capita income on an inflation adjusted basis has never been higher for the average American family. So things on a purely objective measure have never been better. Sure, people are angry, but that’s because their feelings are hurt, not because there are actually very many bad things happening in the country. By virtually every objective measure, life in America has never been better than it is right now.

What Trump’s harshest critics don’t understand is this — they aren’t stopping Trump, their criticism is actually making him stronger. Because their criticism is so over the top, it actually works to his benefit when it comes to moderates.

What I also have found is that none of my critics are as successful as I am. And rather than attribute my success to hard work, they make excuses for why I’m thriving and they aren’t.

Everyone wants a secret to success, but there is no secret — find something you like and work your ass off at it without making excuses or complaining.

Ten years later, look up, odds are you’ll be doing pretty damn well.

I’ve yet to find a critic who works as hard as I do.

And what really chaps everyone at Deadspin’s ass is that I’m not just more successful than every current or former Deadspin writer. I’m more successful than every current or former Deadspin writer if you combine them all together and put them all against me.

That has to sting.

“But let me tell you something: There will be a reckoning.”

What the fuck does this even mean? This sounds like something one of the Southern Baptist preachers of my youth would have said when he found out the congregants were having premarital sex or drinking alcohol. It sounds downright Revelations-like.

But in this context, it is totally nonsensical.

I would, however, acknowledge that Deadspin understands reckonings better than most online writers do.

“Maybe Clay Travis won’t pay professionally for his horseshit, but he’ll pay any time he’s got to look a woman in the eye.”


I mean, sure, I pay every time I look a woman in the eye, but that’s because my wife has access to all three of my credit cards.

You should see our bills.

And I’d love to have my mom get a chance to talk with this guy about treating women badly since according to my mom I am the greatest male to ever exist in the history of the universe. (She’s not biased at all, by the way, she just has great judgment).

More seriously, this is just textbook beta male behavior. Accuse successful alpha males of treating women badly, even when there is no evidence of that ever happening.

I honestly don’t think there’s a woman alive who can say I’ve treated her badly.

Not one.

Certainly I’ve never been physically violent with any women — not even close, I don’t even think I’ve ever yelled at a woman in a very loud voice — and I don’t think I’ve ever been that mean to any women on an emotional basis. Sure, in college I tried to hook up with as many women as I could without establishing any emotional ties and there may be past girls still mad at me because I wasn’t ready for relationships and just wanted sex, but other than that I can’t even think of a woman who could have a legit grudge with me.

And as for women that I’ve worked with, I’d be surprised if you could find a single woman to say a bad thing about working with me.

The simple truth is this — I treat women the exact same as I treat men. (Okay, Okay, I’m much nicer to hot women than I am to anyone else). But other than giving the benefit of the doubt to hot women thanks to their hot women privilege, I treat everyone regardless of race, religion or political belief the exact same.

So get the fuck out of here with the strange histrionics about not being able to look women in the eyes. Hell, even if a woman has great boobs and is wearing a cleavage revealing top, I make sure I’m looking them in the eyes because I want them to think I haven’t even noticed that they have great boobs.

I want a woman to be thinking in her head, “This guy said he loves the first amendment and boobs, how is he not looking at my boobs right now?”

When they go low, I go lower. And put on sunglasses so people can’t see where my eyes are.

“He’ll pay anytime someone on the street says to him, “Hey, I saw your tweet,” and he’s gotta worry about what they’re gonna say next.”

Every single person who has ever said to me, “Hey, I saw your tweet,” has always followed it up with, “and I fucking loved it,” or “and your Twitter account is the only reason I have Twitter.”

Not that I would care if they did, but I have never had a single person tell me they saw one of my Tweets and were upset by them.

In fact, in 14 years of writing online I’ve never had a single person come up to me and say a single negative word. Everywhere in public, it’s the exact opposite, people tell me how much they love Outkick, the radio show, the Periscope, the Facebook show, the podcast, the anonymous mailbag. No one ever says they dislike anything I’m doing.

And our audience is growing rapidly.

On Tuesday I was at the Astros-Dodgers World Series game and I must have posed for a dozen photos from LA area listeners just walking around the stadium. It used to be we just dominated in the South, now anywhere in the country I go, we’ve got fans. Lots of them.

I’m sure there are also people who see me and don’t like me, but do you know what they say? Nothing.

Because they only anonymously Tweet about things they don’t like, they don’t say anything in real life.

The simple truth is this, people who hate me, by and large, are total pussies.

“And he’ll pay at the gates of hell.”

Pay for what? For having opinions about sports, politics and pop culture that God disagrees with? Does God love Butch Jones and think he’s a good coach? Does God love Lena Dunham and think me calling her a bitch guarantees me a life of eternal damnation?

For the life of me I can’t even figure out what I’ve done that guarantees I’m going to hell.

Ever since I first started writing online in 2004 and became a public figure in any way I’ve written with four goals in mine: be smart, be original, be funny, and be authentic.

I still do that today.

Along the way have I had opinions that others don’t agree with? Sure. Have I made jokes that make others cringe? Sure. But unlike Deadspin’s employees I haven’t deleted Tweets or removed past articles online. I’ve left all my millions of words, good and bad, up for everyone to read and judge for themselves. But those are just words.

But have I actually done anything that bad in my real life?

Not really.

I honestly can’t even think of something I’ve said, done, or written that has genuinely made someone else’s life worse. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, I just can’t think of it right now. And if you truly believe I ‘m an awful human being and I upset you daily, guess what, you don’t have to read, listen, or watch me at all. You can read, watch or listen to people that make you happy instead.

That’s the great thing about America, we all have freedom of choice.

Look, I like to read, gamble, drink, look at attractive women — and occasionally sleep with one when my wife agrees to it –, play and watch sports, and laugh.

I also like politics, history and TV.

That was true in 2004 and it’s true in 2018. In fact, the things I like haven’t really changed since I was a kid. People love to accuse me of changing my beliefs, but the better criticism is the opposite — I’m the exact same person I was at 18.

The only real thing in my life that has changed since I started writing online is I’ve become a dad and I’ve gotten rich. And I also love both of these things.

If all of that means I’m going to hell, I guess I’ll have to get used to the heat. (Good thing I just bought a beach house).

Because I ain’t changing.

Thanks for your support of Outkick.

Go sign up for Outkick VIP, we’ve got lots of events coming and I want to get as rich as possible before I go to hell.

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.