All That and a Bag of Mail

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Rejoice, it’s Friday.

I’m headed back down to the beach for Labor Day, but I wanted to give a shout out to my guys at 30A Cottages. They helped us find our place in Rosemary Beach and they can book a week or a weekend in a mansion on the beach for you too. Go check out their available homes and if you mention Clay Travis or Outkick at booking you get 10% off.

Plus, right now they are giving away a week on Instagram if you click here and register.

Okay, on with the mailbag.

Matt writes:

Really want your take on Chick-fil-A adding spicy chicken tenders. Could this be the “Boogie to the Warriors” move of fast food?”
I’d submit that the chicken tender is the most perfect food America has ever created. By which I mean, if you don’t like chicken tenders you probably suck.
Think about it, if you absolutely had to pick one main course to feed a huge audience and could only pick one, you have to go chicken tenders, right?
I don’t even see this as a difficult decision. (Your second best option is cheese pizza. But then some people will complain because they want toppings.)
This reminds me of my wedding when my wife was like, “What if people don’t like steak or chicken?” My response was, “Then they can go fuck themselves.”
If your dietary restrictions are so severe that you aren’t satisfied with a steak or chicken option then don’t eat at the damn wedding.
Question: “I’m sorry, do you have a vegan option?”
Answer: “No, go fuck yourself.”
When you have to make a large audience happy, you pic options that make 90% of people happy and then the other 10% of people are on their own.
Anyway, Chick fil A introducing spicy chicken tenders is just potential death to anyone else in the chicken tenders game. Boogie to the Warriors is the perfect analogy. They already own the fast food industry and then they go and add another killer app to their menu?
Game over.

Wes writes:

“I don’t want to be the guy who stoops to this level, but I will anyway….
Why do you think Jay Bilas, the leader of the pay the college players movement, doesn’t get outspoken about how the 12-13 year olds at the little league world series are being “exploited” by ESPN, RUSSELL, LOUISVILLE SLUGGER, etc….?
Those kids are not being paid for their “talents.”  Advertisements and items are constantly being sold and plugged to the audience at the players expense like the NCAA. 
According to some, a scholarship and gear (or in this case the experience, TV time, gear, etc) is not enough for an athlete on TV today making a name for themselves… (Remember Mone Davis a few years ago and her sportscenter time).
It all seems very similar and am curious why Bilas and those alike are not appalled by the exploitation of 12-13 year old’s from around the world while all the networks make money and sell products while they play for free! Am I wrong about this?”
Your logic is sound. The biggest difference I could see argued here is that the little league players aren’t 18 years old yet and hence they’re still minors. But does that really hold water? I don’t think so. Child actors and child singers get paid, often very well if they are performing at a high level, before they are 18 years old.
Why shouldn’t child athletes?
In order for your logic to be iron tight we’d need to know one thing: how much money is made off the Little League World Series being televised? I’d guess it’s a decent amount because the viewership is pretty high and there are a ton of these games on every August.
I also know the teams don’t get that much money for travel because I donated $1000 one year to help the Goodlettsville, TN little league team get to the little league world series. And then we had the little league coach on my old radio show in Nashville and, not to go all LeBron James on you here, but he didn’t even thank me for my donation. Here I am funding ten hotel room nights for strangers and the guy doesn’t even say thank you.
Again, I’m not the kind of guy who tries to draw attention to himself, but where’s my credit? (I mean aside from me writing about it six years later in the mailbag. A thousand dollars was a lot of money to me back then.)
We know that the big schools in college football and college basketball make a ton of money off those games. (As do the networks that pay to air these games). But what kind of profit/loss is there for the Little League World Series? I’d need to know this to be sure.
I don’t know that they need to be paid, but can you imagine how much more awesome it would be if every kid who made it to the Little League World Series — at least the kids from America — received a fully paid scholarship to their state college? What would that cost per team? Figure there are 15 kids on each team and a four year tuition only scholarship in state would be like $50k a kid. (You could probably negotiate a discount for the publicity this would get). That’s $750k per team and let’s be honest, from a statistical perspective a whole bunch of these kids would be fuck ups and end up not being able to take advantage of the scholarship so it would actually cost less than that.
I think there are like four American teams so you’re talking about $3 million total.
That certainly seems doable. Especially since the school would reap millions and millions of dollars in free advertising as part of the little league world series.
You could definitely do it for the team that wins the Little League World Series, but then you’d feel worse for the team that came in second. “Hey, look, these kids are going to be successful in life because they just won college scholarships meanwhile the rest of you losers have just peaked. Enjoy community college.”

Todd writes:

“Will Art Briles ever coach college football in the US again?  The case against him, per mainstream media – he let his players rape women. But….he’s not named in any lawsuit currently and the one suit he was named in the federal judge removed him and that suit has since settled.  And why would Baylor pay him $15 mil if they had evidence he knew what was going on?  If they had evidence, they don’t pay him shit and kick him to the curb; but they didn’t. 
Is there any school that would take the backlash of hiring him?  I would like to see Texas Tech bring him on as a o-coordinator and then if KK has a losing season they promote Briles.  He’s proven he can win.”
One of the big issues that I think needs to be resolved in college athletics is this one: what do we expect a college coach to be responsible for?
I think that’s the main question at Maryland with D.J. Durkin and it’s the main question with Urban Meyer at Ohio State. Should Durkin be responsible because a player died during one of his team’s football workouts? Should Urban Meyer be responsible for keeping a guy employed on his staff who had been arrested for domestic assault and a DUI and then for allegedly beating his wife again in 2015? Plus, should he be held accountable for lying to the media about what he knew about these incidents?
On top of that: is one awful outcome, a player death, worse than a series of bad decisions about issues that matter less?
These are tough questions to answer.
Hell, this is effectively the job of our justice system and it’s hard for the justice system to reach conclusions on stories like these too.
These are big, broad, important questions which I think it’s important to take outside of the context of who did them. That’s because college football fandom is so biased and all of our opinions of what the punishments should be are frequently colored by the team or coach involved.
That’s why I try and treat every situation the same regardless of the coach or school involved.
We essentially need one of those NCAA blind resumes we use when teams are on the bubble. We don’t need to know the person involved, we just need to see the facts of a particular case and then make a decision about what the appropriate punishment should be.
Because right now the truth is there is no set standard in play and the standard is shifting based on which coach is involved. Would Urban Meyer get fired if one of his players had died during a workout at Ohio State? I doubt it. Why not? Because he wins football games at an extraordinarily high level. But D.J. Durkin might get fired at Maryland for the exact same behavior.
I think 90% of coaches in college football would have already been fired at Ohio State for what Urban Meyer did.
But so far he hasn’t.
When it comes to Art Briles specifically, I think it’s hard to give him a job because the mob out there is going to crucify you and we still don’t know what he did or didn’t do. It’s one thing to make a decision to hire a guy because you think he deserves a second chance at your program, but what if additional information comes out after you hired him? Then it’s your job on the line too.
I think the worst thing that happened to Briles was he hasn’t been able to get his side of the story out through an independent investigative report that everyone can read.
We still don’t know what happened.
And I’ll use the Greg Schiano example here, honestly. I don’t think it’s wrong for a school or program or state to say, “You know, we don’t really know what happened here so we’d rather just keep our distance from a person who was involved in any way with (scandalous story here.)”
Even if that person is 100% innocent, why risk it?
Remember how all the national media were ripping Tennessee fans who didn’t want Schiano? And how they all said, “Ohio State conducted a full vetting of Schiano before they hired him, there’s nothing there!” Well, how confident are you of that full vetting at Ohio State now that the news about Zach Smith’s past came out? Also, it’s pretty significant, I think, that Ohio State didn’t promote Schiano to interim head coach during the Urban Meyer investigation.
If he were such a great coach wouldn’t that have been a no brainer?
It certainly seems like Ohio State isn’t very confident in Schiano either.
Don writes:
“My godson just got accepted to Ga Tech and wants to attend the Virginia game down on the Flats.  I am a UGA grad…what do I wear?  Options:
1 Walmart:  Purchase a GT t-shirt and become a fan for a day.
2 Neutral:  Wear whatever I had planned for that day.
3 Fake it:  Wear similar colors to match fan base (Piss Yellow)
4 Dbag:  Wear a UGA shirt. (I will feel probably feel like a douchebag since it’s not a dawg event)
5 House Divided:  Wear a GT tshirt w UGA visor.
6 Enemy:  Purchase a Virginia tshirt just to show my disdain for the nerds.
Please advise, thanks dude!”
Easy call here: you go neutral.
You’re just a guy out to enjoy a game.
Cheer during the game like you’re at a golf match. Stand up and clap and comment on nice plays by both teams, never aggressively cheer either way.
Patrick writes:
“What argument if any do you have against the NHL being easily the best professional sports league in America in terms of competitiveness, tradition, excitement etc?”
I think there’s a strong argument this is true. If I were ranking the pro sports leagues based on fan entertainment predicated on uncertainty — that is, the chances your team can win a title in any given year, it would look like this:
1. NHL
2. NFL
3. MLB
4. NBA
There is zero actual championship drama in the NBA and a ton of championship drama in the NHL. In fact, I think the NBA is honestly several rungs lower than any other league.
In every other league your team has a chance to win a title when they make the playoffs. It may be a small chance, but they have a chance. In the NBA there are three or four teams out of thirty that can win a title. And even if your team makes the playoffs you still have a really small chance of it happening.
So I think you’re probably right about the NHL.
The problem is we don’t have enough cold weather or ice in American winters for the rest of the country to agree. It’s hard for American sports fans to rabidly embrace a sport they’ve never played.
My seven year old participated in a junior Nashville Predators event last fall and we got all the gear to put on him so he could go out and skate around on the ice and learn the basics of hockey. I had no idea how to get him dressed for it because I’d never played the sport in my life.
The vast majority of American sports fans are the same way.
The only way a sport can become insanely popular is if people play it.
Rob writes:
“I’m having my first child in next two weeks. What advice do you have for raising my son?”
Do whatever your wife says.
In all seriousness, do whatever is necessary to get sleep for the first six months. Either you or your wife is going to feel like a zombie. Hire a night nurse occasionally if you can. Sleep will become the greatest thing in your life.
Once a kid is sleeping through the night, your life gets infinitely better.
The best advice I can give, is when you’re playing with your kids, put your phone away.
Being present is, I think, the best gift anyone can give in our modern era.
Hope y’all have great weekends, thanks for supporting Outkick.

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.

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 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.