All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, I’ve already knocked out a three hour morning radio show and I’m going to get the mailbag done this morning and then finish up Outkick the Show by 1:30 eastern and I’m going to hit the beach for the next four days.

And I’m going to be hitting the beach from the four story mansion I’m in here on 30A. If you want to stay in a mansion like this you need to be checking out my friends at to find your own amazing beachside home. 

Okay, on to the mailbag.

And we begin the mailbag with this bit of news — Chip Kelly is doing college football studio work for ESPN this fall. If you had any doubts that Chip Kelly is trying to position himself to get the biggest possible college football payday in the near future, this should eliminate those doubts. He’s not doing college football studio work to go back to the NFL or keep doing it for years ahead.

So where does Chip Kelly end up next year?

I think there are four SEC teams firmly in the mix for Kelly along with Notre Dame. I’d rank Chip Kelly’s most likely coaching destination thusly:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Auburn
  5. Arkansas

Now that’s based on me projecting ahead to on field results. I think Tennessee will go 7-5 this year with Butch Jones and that will be it for Butch. Chip Kelly will look at the SEC East and think, “My God, are you kidding me? I can dominate this division.”

And he’ll be right. The SEC East has the worst collection of coaches of any division in college football right now.

Plus, the Vols are a Nike school and it’s hard for me to see Chip Kelly not signing with a Nike school given his relationship with Phil Knight. (My buddy Geoff Schwartz swears this relationship will be a big deal to Chip).

Can you imagine the money that Phil Knight would pour into making UT the Oregon of the East? It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

Texas A&M is an Adidas school and I think they go 8-4 and the Sumlin buyout is too high to make that move. Notre Dame and Auburn are UnderArmour schools and both are likely to bounce back decently. Arkansas is the only other Nike school in my top five and I’m not sure they could afford to do the Bret Bielema buyout.

Plus, all these schools in the SEC West still have to deal with Saban, which makes the SEC East much more preferable.

Honestly, the one school that isn’t on my list that I wouldn’t be afraid to consider is LSU. They’re a Nike school and they don’t have that much money invested in Coach Orgeron. Are you really telling me if Coach O. went 7-5 in his first year that they wouldn’t pull the plug on him and chase Chip Kelly?

One more true wild card, what about Florida? Jim McElwain has a new AD and Gator fans are restless. What if McElwain went 6-6 this year? That’s not absurd given the Gator schedule. Are you really telling me that given how weak his recruiting his been and how competitive the state of Florida is right now that Gator fans are going to be gaga for McElwain?

This Chip Kelly drama is going to be so fantastic and there are going to be a bunch of SEC teams involved.

I can’t wait!

Here are your votes in my Twitter poll question.

Okay, on to the mailbag.

“I’ve already polled all my friends to no success. I have a huge dilemma. A guy who I would NEVER date (snowball’s chance in hell), have never talked to, and only know of through other people has invited me to go to one of the Stanley Cup Final games in Nashville. I’ve been a Preds fan since they came to town, this is obviously the equivalent of the super bowl for hockey, and I’m sitting here with an opportunity to see a game for FREE. Tickets are running $900 at the cheapest. Do I lead the guy on for a chance to see my team in person in one of the biggest sports games ever? Or do I avoid what would most certainly be top-5 awkward, uncomfortable date for me, and miss out on an epic sports event? Gotta keep it anonymous.”

I think you take advantage of #hotgirlprivilege here and go to the game.

My thought process on this is as follows:

1. You care a great deal about the game.

Every year there are millions of people who attend sporting events that don’t care at all about the game, they just do it for Facebook or Instagram or Twitter posting status or just to have a social event to attend. I despise wasting tickets on people who don’t care about big games.

This is a big game and you care deeply about the game.

So much so, in fact, that you’re willing to go on a date with a guy you wouldn’t ordinarily go on a date with just to watch the game in person.

2. Unless he’s a total idiot he knows this and that’s why he’s offering you a ticket to the game.

That is, this dude knows that you’d turn down a typical dinner or movie date with him and that’s why he’s breaking out the big guns to get you to go to the game with him. He’s not under any illusions about your interests. Because if he really thought you liked him he wouldn’t “waste” a $900 ticket on you. He’d just take you to dinner and get one of his buddies to come to the game with him. (Or go with another girl he thought he had no shot with).

Why is he doing this?

3. Because he gets a chance to prove that he’s actually a really good guy that you’re underrating and should be willing to date.

This guy is like a 14 or 15 seed in the NCAA tourney getting his chance to knock off the 2 or 3 seed. Sure, he’s probably not going to get a second date, but he’s in the tourney now. He has to scrap his way to a second date, make some threes, get some turnovers, have you not bring your A game, prove that he belongs.

He’s trying to survive and advance.

If he gets you to a second date, who knows? Maybe you’ve been unkind, maybe you’re going to actually find him likable, maybe he’ll get a third date.

This is how guys think.

It’s impossible for any guy to outkick his coverage without getting in the game to begin with. The ticket is his price of admission. He may bomb and you may never be willing to see him again, but, guess what, if he never gets you on a date in the first place we know he’s never getting a second date.

There are hundreds of thousands of guys all over this country who ended up married to women that initially thought they had no shot with.

4. How awkward can it possibly be?

You are going to be surrounded by 17,000 other people watching your favorite team play the biggest game in Nashville in hockey history.

It’s almost impossible to ruin this experience no matter how bad your date is.

If the Titans ever made the Super Bowl again or the University of Tennessee ever made it to the playoffs, stop laughing, I’m pretty sure I could sit next to Kim Jong Un and not have it be awkward. Why? Because the game matters so much I’m locked in on it and that experience.

So take it from the King Solomon of the Internet, go to the game and have a good time.

(By the way, how many guys are going to be on first dates with hot chicks at the Preds game wondering if this is them now? Gotta be 50 or 100 guys pulling this exact same move, right? Good luck to all of you).

Jacob writes:

“I enjoyed your interview with Enes Kanter today and it got me thinking how it makes most of the protests in present America look silly. Here is a guy that can’t go home because he will be murdered just because he spoke out against the leaders (rightfully so) of his home country. When you compare what all he is speaking out against to people in America protesting who should have the right to make burritos, it just makes us look bad. Thanks and keep up the great work.”

Enes Kanter was fantastic on the show this morning. Here’s the interview, I’d encourage all of you to go listen.

Let’s compare Enes Kanter with Colin Kaepernick. Kanter’s political statements have led to his inability to speak to his parents, family or friends in Turkey in two years. His statements have also forced his family and friends to publicly renounce him in Turkey and he’s had his passport use challenged and believes he will be murdered if he ever returns to his home country. As if that weren’t enough, he also lives in constant fear that someone in power in Turkey will pay to have him killed. And that killing can happen anywhere in the world. Despite all of this Kanter will not renounce what he has said and, indeed, continues to speak out even more publicly about this situation in his home country.

That’s true bravery.

Meanwhile Colin Kaepernick took a knee before 16 NFL games to protest a non-issue — police shooting of minorities is incredibly rare and stastistically no more common than police shootings of white people — demand an action that the federal government was already taking — ensure that police shooting minorities are being adequately investigated — and can’t get a back up job as an NFL quarterback now because his problems — his lack of production as a running quarterback and his protest — exceed his talents. Kaepernick received all of his guaranteed salary money, faces no limitations on his speech or threat from anyone in government, yet still announced that he was ending his protest to ensure that he can get a new job.

There is absolutely no comparison between these two athletes and the courage they are showing.

Yet Colin Kaepernick has been lionized by the American sports media — and even compared to Muhammad Ali! — while this is probably the first time any of you are hearing about Enes Kanter’s situation at all.

Dylan writes:

“My roommates and I are big Game of Thrones fans, and we were recently discussing this hypothetical: You are thrown into the Game of Thrones as your current self, but you have a handgun with only one clip. Could you take over Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne?

Think… they’ve never seen anything close to the technology and would probably be spooked. With twelve bullets you could easily take out a couple heads of houses and gain a couple kingdoms and armies. Maybe even sell the gun for another kingdom? Maybe rob the Iron Bank? I know it’s ridiculous but I think a pistol could be just as beneficial as a dragon.”

No way, 12 bullets isn’t enough.

I think in order to get the utmost respect you’d have to publicly kill someone and you’d have to make it look like you have sorcery powers because otherwise someone would just sneak up on you and steal the gun.

Because think about it, if you shoot someone famous you immediately get charged by soldiers who are supposed to be protecting that person. That’s dozens of soldiers. Even if you shot the first few soldiers — and let’s even assume your aim is perfect — you could only take down 11 more people before they got to you.

At that point the gun would be worthless.

What you’d need to do is claim to be a wizard and occasionally strike someone down while shooting them from a weapon hidden in your robe. That would hopefully allow your power and audience to grow. Then you’d have to kill someone famous in really close proximity to you so that you didn’t miss. What’s more you’d need tons of powerful people to see you doing it so they also feared your powers and would spread your powers virally via spoken story of what they’d seen.

In other words, your power over life and death has to seem like magic that only you possess as opposed to your power emanating from a weapon that only you possess. The weapon can be taken from you, the power over life and death can’t. Then you’d have to ration your final bullets and bring them out every four or five years to prove you still had the power to kill. The problem is eventually your magic — aka your bullets — would run out.

That’s why I think twelve bullets just isn’t enough to take the Iron Throne. I think you’d need an unlimited amount of bullets.



Eric writes:

“I have been an avid reader and now listener of both you and Bill Simmons for several years. The recent article by Bryan Curtis at The Ringer called you out and made the implication that you are rooting for ESPN to fail. Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what Simmons believes, but he did retweet the article to his millions of followers. Simmons still has as much reason to root for ESPN to fail as anybody, but I do know his tendency to hire people that are of similar thinking to him.

Do you truly want ESPN to fail? Because it can be taken that way based on your coverage of it. But knowing you (through your writing at least), it doesn’t seem like you to root for someone to fail. If you would, would you clarify for your readers? #dbap”

I’m not rooting for or against ESPN failing. I’m just completely fascinated by this story — the great collapse of cable and satellite packages — and what it means for TV’s future. ESPN has the most to lose from this collapse which is why they have been the focus of my stories.

What I’ve been writing since six years ago when I called ESPN’s coming collapse at the absolute apex of ESPN’s power, is that ESPN’s business is a house of cards. I believe the collapse of ESPN is a massive story in sports business and sports media, but all I’m doing is writing about it. It’s not like I’ve bet millions of dollars on Disney’s collapse like the guys in “The Big Short” did when they saw the coming housing crisis. They were rooting for housing to collapse because they had big money tied to that result. If I’m wrong about ESPN and in a decade they still have 87 million subscribers — they won’t, but let’s pretend they will — is my audience going to be any smaller a decade from now? I doubt it. In fact, hate to brag, but if you had to pick someone in sports media to buy stock in for the next decade, is anyone going to do better from age 38 to age 48 than me? I’d bet the answer is no.

I’m in the business of finding big stories and then writing and talking about them. That’s what I do for a living, I share my opinions with you. It’s the same thing that Bill Simmons and Bryan Curtis do for a living too. What distinguishes me from them is that my ESPN articles haven’t focused on other people’s opinions, they’ve just focused on my own. That’s a big difference. Curtis and Simmons have focused on my opinions and said those opinions are wrong. That’s something different than what I’ve done. They aren’t recognizing a big story before anyone else and making it their own story by writing about it years before most take notice, they’re just commenting on my story.

I reached out to both guys on Twitter and via email and offered to come on their podcasts and discuss my story. (As well as inviting them on my own shows.) So far they haven’t responded at all, which I take as a rejection of my offer. That’s certainly their right, but if you are writing about someone’s opinion being wrong shouldn’t you be willing to have them on to discuss the issue?

Anyone’s opinion I disagree with always has a standing invitation to come on Outkick. That’s just the kind of show I do. It seems strange to me that Simmons and Curtis have taken shots at me through columns on their site and on their podcasts and then not been willing to have me on to discuss my opinions with them.

But my offer is still out there. I think it would be a smart discussion of a major sports media and business issue and you guys could all listen and decide who you believe, me or them.

Mike writes:


My girlfriend is a teacher. She’s 25. Another teacher at her school (significantly older) invited her to a baby shower for her daughter. It’s a couple’s shower (those exist in 2017). Neither my girlfriend or I have ever met the daughter. She is insistent on going and wants me to go with her. Obviously I don’t want to go to a baby shower for someone I’ve never met and I think it’s a little weird that she even wants to. What’s my play here?”

Tell her you won’t go.

Then stick to it no matter how much she complains.

It’s important to establish you aren’t a pussy early in a relationship. This is prime territory to do so.

If the relationship crumbles over your refusal to attend a stranger’s baby shower then that’s a relationship that wasn’t worth being in anyway.

Find someone else.

Happy Memorial Day to all of you and thanks for supporting Outkick.

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.