All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and college football and the NFL are both back this weekend, rejoice.

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Here we go with your questions:

Dean writes:

“How do you think Bears fans are feeling this morning? They drafted Mitch Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. It’s year three and he looked terrible last night.”

There’s no doubt Trubisky looked thoroughly mediocre last night, but I think you have to give up when it comes to comparing him to Mahomes and Watson. Both of those quarterbacks, at least right now, look to be in completely different stratospheres than Trubisky.

Now Watson has at least shown some significant durability issues — he has torn an ACL in each knee already — but Mahomes looks like he might be the next truly great quarterback in this league.

But I think you have to just put that draft behind you and answer this question: is Trubisky the long range future of this team?

That’s really what this season and next season is about deciding. If he isn’t then so be it, you let him go and go back into the draft and pick someone new.

Swinging and missing on quarterbacks in the draft happens about half the time.

Yes, I know, it sucks to swing and miss and have another team draft a quarterback in the same draft after you that pans out, but that’s gone and past now.

In some ways knowing a guy isn’t the right fit is easier than being caught in a place of total uncertainty. Then you can just move on without needing to agonize over the decision. Look at where the Titans are with Marcus Mariota and where the Bucs are with Jameis Winston. Both teams picked up the fifth year options on their quarterbacks, but really don’t know what the future holds for their franchises.

I think the Titans would like to commit to Mariota, but they need to see he can stay healthy for an entire year. Meanwhile the Bucs have to see that Jameis can play better and stay out of trouble.

Until then you really are caught in a holding pattern.

It’s possible both teams will be drafting first round quarterbacks in April.

And it’s also possible both teams are signing their guys to long-term deals. We really have no idea what’s coming.

And I’d say the same is true for Bears fans as well.

Ken writes:

“Would you rather have Antonio Brown as your football teammate or Jemele Hill as your boss?”

This is a really funny question, particularly after both seemed to go crazy this week. Antonio Brown threatened to beat up his boss and Jemele Hill wrote a piece for The Atlantic arguing black athlete should stop going to “white schools” and go to black schools instead. (The entire concept of there being “white schools” and “black schools” is, to me, so insanely archaic in the 21st century. Call me crazy, but I think we should just have “schools.”)

I talked about both of these issues quite a bit on Outkick the Show yesterday.

I think that Jemele Hill’s perspective is more troubling because Antonio Brown is clearly a highly-paid athlete losing his grip on reality. But I don’t see anyone really defending him for threatening to kick his GM’s ass and posting his discipline letter on Instagram. And even if they were defending him Antonio Brown’s just one guy essentially looking out for himself.

But Jemele Hill’s argument in favor of black athletes leaving white schools is far more problematic because what she’s advocating is essentially a return to the days of segregation, when talented black athletes and students went to black schools and talented white athletes and students went to white schools.

In essence what’s she arguing for is a complete repudiation of everything the Civil Rights movement fought for — which was the integration of our public institutions — in favor of segregation. (Granted it’s by choice as opposed to by law, but that isn’t much of an improvement.)

In practical outcome she’s essentially arguing the same thing Southern governors like George Wallace fought for in the 1960’s, for segregation now and segregation forever. The difference, of course, is that she’s stating that black students should choose to go to black schools instead of being forced to go there, but the end result is the same: segregated classrooms.

This is why I’ve argued that the idea of politics as a spectrum characterized by left and right wings is often untrue, politics is more like a circle. If you go far enough left wing or far enough right wing you often end up with people who believe somewhat similar things on the extremes of each political party.

Hill and white racists in the 1950’s are both desiring the same result here — a separation of the races for higher education. Now the method by which they get there — by choice or by law is different — but the end result is the same.

What’s wild to me is if a white sportswriter wrote an article saying black kids should go to black schools he’d be called racist and probably lose his job — and the ability to have a sportswriting job at any point in the future. But if Jemele Hill says the same thing, it’s perfectly fine.

That’s insane.

I just fundamentally reject the idea that your race should dictate what you can say or the opinions you can have.

I think, in fact, that’s the very foundation of racism itself because we’re judging someone based on the color of their skin as opposed to the content of their work.

You know we’re in a strange world when far left wing minority journalists are now espousing the talking points of Jim Crow-era white politicians in the South.

The biggest irony here, of course, is that Jemele Hill isn’t willing to take the same advice she’s giving prominent athletes. She went to Michigan State, not Morgan State, and writes at The Atlantic, which is white-owned and white-employee dominated according to its staff directory, not Ebony.

If Jemele really believes black athletes should only go to black schools, why isn’t she writing for a black owned publication for black audiences only?

I think her entire argument is ridiculous — every kid, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or religion — should go to the best school they can afford to attend. If you have a free ride to Howard or Harvard, BYU or Yale, I think the kid who picks Howard and BYU is doing himself or herself a tremendous disservice.

Yes, schools matter when it comes to your education, but what matters more than the school you pick is the students you are surrounded by. You’ll learn far more surrounded by smart kids than you will by being surrounded by kids who aren’t very interested in their educations.

Suggesting that anyone should go to a school which offers them fewer opportunities is exceptionally bad advice.

So is, by the way, suggesting that any person should choose to only be surrounded by people of their own race when choosing a college or university. Picking a school based on the race of the students is, wait for it, racist.

So to answer your question, I’d rather not have Jemele as my boss because she makes bad decisions and her bad decisions can directly impact my ability to work successfully. I don’t want Antonio Brown as a teammate either, but I don’t have to listen to him or follow his instructions because he’s not my boss.

So I’d pick Antonio Brown as my teammate over Jemele as my boss.

Volnald Trump Tweets:

“Will Tennessee ever be great again in college football?”

Yes, of course.


I don’t know.

Look, from 1993 to 2008 Alabama won a single SEC title. Just one. That’s 15 years of relative futility. An Alabama fan in 2005, in the midst of the Mike Shula disaster, could have easily asked if the Tide was ever going to be great again and the popular opinion would have been, “No, you had your run with Bear Bryant, you’ll never be great again. Stop having such high expectations. You’re just like any other top SEC school. Alabama’s a small state that doesn’t produce that many top athletes, why should you be able to compete with schools in Florida, Georgia, California, and Texas?”

And then what happened?

Nick Saban.

Pretend we live in a universe where Nick Saban coaches the Dolphins two more years and the Tennessee job opens up in 2008 when Phil Fulmer is being fired. Now imagine Tennessee hired Saban in 2008 instead of Alabama hiring Saban in 2007.

Does anyone doubt that Saban would have had a very similar run at Tennessee as he’s had at Alabama?

I don’t.

In fact, Tennessee now is fairly similar to what Alabama was in the 15 years before Saban was hired.

Tennessee last played for the SEC title in 2007, when the Vols had a fourth quarter lead against eventual national champion LSU before losing by a touchdown. Prior to that they’d made the SEC title games in 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2004. That means from 1997 to 2007 Tennessee was in the SEC title game roughly half the time.

What’s more, from 1992 to 2007 Tennessee and Alabama were even, each with two SEC titles during that 15 year period.

That wasn’t good enough for Tennessee fans, however, so they got Phil Fulmer fired. Fulmer was, it’s worth noting, 152-52 during his 16 year tenure at Tennessee. Since Fulmer’s firing Tennessee has had four coaches: Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, Butch Jones, and now Jeremy Pruitt and those coaches have combined to produce an under .500 record.

What changed for Alabama? The right coach. So far Tennessee has gone 0-3 in hiring the right coach. Losing to Georgia State has many questioning whether Pruitt is the right coach or not. We’ll see what happens, but Fulmer clearly sees something in Pruitt that reminds him of himself — Pruitt, like Fulmer, is a young coordinator from near the Tennessee-Alabama border.

Was Pruitt the right hire?

We’ll get a better sense starting this week when we see how Tennessee responds against BYU, but after over 100 years of football Tennessee is one of the ten winningest programs in the country.

Here are those rankings, by the way: Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, USC, Tennessee.

Each of these programs has had ups and downs over the hundred + years of existence and eventually they’ve returned to prominence. That’s because there’s just too much money and fan interest to stink forever.

From a recruiting perspective, I actually think Tennessee has never been better situated. With the booming populations in Nashville, Charlotte, and Atlanta, Tennessee can win a national championship in football just by recruiting top players within four hours of campus. There aren’t many schools that can manage that.

Most people just don’t have a very long historical range when it comes to comprehending football history. LSU is up now, but they were awful for most of the 1980’s and the early 1990’s. Georgia is up now, but they were very mediocre for decades after Herschel.

College football is cyclical and the right coach matters more now than ever before.

Eventually the Vols will win at a high level again.

It’s a question of when, not if.

Ben writes:

“Will this Drew Brees “controversy” finally be enough to cancel #cancelculture Will any national media see the hypocrisy in telling Drew Brees to stick to sports while asking more liberal athletes to “be a voice” for social issues & hammering dissenters?”

If you aren’t aware of this “controversy” Drew Brees promoted national bring your Bible to school day and some left wingers got upset because the group that advocates this concept, Focus on the Family, is “anti LBGTQ,” whatever that means.

Look, I’m pro gay marriage, but it’s perfectly fine to be opposed to gay marriage. That is, I don’t think if you have that opinion you’re an awful human being who shouldn’t be able to voice that opinion in public. Hell, this is the opinion Barack Obama had when he ran for president and was elected in 2008. It’s the same one Bill and Hillary Clinton had for decades as well.

But, and this is wild, we don’t even know if Brees has this opinion!

Brees responded forcefully after he was criticized for the video, but I just think this entire charade is absurd because you can support one thing a group does and not support everything else a group does. For instance, I’m pro gay marriage, which would be a Democratic talking point, and anti-reparations and open borders, which most Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed. If I did a pro gay marriage video for a Democratic presidential candidate it wouldn’t also mean I’m pro-reparations. Or even that I endorse that concept at all. The same thing would be true on the flip side, I’m pro-choice. But if I did a pro-tax cuts video for a Republican presidential candidate it wouldn’t mean that I support their position on abortion.

Reasonable people understand this, right?

You’d think so, except the far left wing sports media isn’t reasonable.

Which is why Brees had to put out this video.

This idea that everyone who is religious agrees with every other person on every single issue is just patently untrue. Have none of these critics ever been to a church? People have a wide variety of opinions on all sorts of issues.

The fact that Drew Brees got ripped for suggesting kids should take their Bibles to school to live their faith is just evidence of the insane world we’re living in right now.

Here’s what I believe, everyone is entitled to their opinions on everything. And no one should try to cancel out anyone’s else’s right to their opinion or get them fired from their job for having an opinion you disagree with. You are, however, perfectly able to combat someone’s opinion in the first amendment’s marketplace of ideas, but you shouldn’t be trying to cancel out their voice entirely.

If you don’t think Drew Brees should advocate kids bringing their Bibles to school, have at it. But don’t claim you want athletes to use their sports platforms for something other than sports and then rip an athlete the minute he says something you disagree with and try to tie him to issues that he hasn’t even addressed.

This is just hypocritical in the extreme.

And, by the way, the fact that advocating Christians bring their Bibles to school is seen as a political statement in the first place is just bonkers.

But will this cancel out cancel culture?

Of course not, but as you’ll see in my Dave Chappelle answer, I’m cautiously optimistic that cancel culture is starting to lose in the court of public opinion.

Ryan writes:

“Settle a work debate: Would the Texans have won at the Alamo if they had just one machine gun? Assume ammo supply is not an issue.”

Assuming the person operating the machine gun knows how to use it and has unlimited supply of ammunition, I don’t think there’s any doubt, the Texans would have repelled the attack and secured the Alamo.

Remember, the Texans fought back the two first Mexican attacks. It was only on the third charge that the Mexicans breached the walls. So what would have happened if the Texans had a machine gun for the first, second, and third attacks?

Well, the first two attacks would have still been repelled, only with more significant casualties inflicted upon the Mexicans. The third attack, I believe, would have been repelled as well, likely leading the Mexicans to retreat and reconsider their options.

Here’s my logic — a machine gun can fire between 500 and 1000 rounds per minute. There were roughly 180 Alamo defenders firing, at the absolute best, two shots per minute from their muskets. That’s 360 rounds per minute. This means one machine gun would have at least doubled and potentially nearly tripled, their overall firing capability.

But, and here’s a key point, a machine gun would have been far more accurate than the average musket being used by the Alamo defenders as well.

It isn’t just the amount of bullets that are being sprayed into the enemy, it’s the amount of effectively targeted bullets being sprayed into the enemy.

The Mexicans had roughly 2000 troops at the Alamo and suffered a casualty rate of 400-600 killed or wounded. This was roughly a third of the attacking soldiers. (Several hundred soldiers were not involved in the assault and were kept in reserve). So if you assume the machine gun is just doubling the amount of casualties — which seems like a fair assumption given the amount of bullets that could be fired — that effectively wins the battle for the Texans.

This is particularly the case when you consider the way the Mexicans were attacking, in formation, with everyone lined up side by side.

It would be nearly impossible for a trained shooter to miss anyone with a highly accurate weapon.

Especially if that machine gun had been placed at the weakest part of the Texan defense, which ended up being the north wall, the first place the Mexicans entered the Alamo.

The only way I don’t see the machine gun working is if the Mexicans managed to shoot the machine gunner and he toppled over the wall, carrying his machine gun outside the Alamo defenses and effectively rendering that advantage nonexistent. Or if the machine gun overheated, but the Battle of the Alamo only lasted about thirty minutes. Barring a malfunction, I think one machine gun swings the entire outcome of the battle.

Put it this way, if Davy Crockett had a machine gun instead of Old Betsy, the name he gave his gun, there ain’t no way we lose this battle.

Orange and Blues writes:

“What part of the latest Dave Chappelle comedy show does the left hate most? Gun talk or the L’s the G’s & the T’s talk? Side note: Netflix is trying to make it hard for everyone to find it now.”

What’s amazing about this comedy special is Chappelle skewered everyone: white, black, Asian and Hispanic people, gay and straight, pretty much with total impunity.

I loved the fearlessness of it.

But, hell, when you dive into the Michael Jackson child sex abuse allegations off the top of the show and make jokes about it you’re sending a message that you refuse to be cowed by anyone.

Critics, who tend to be left wing liberals, hated it because they believe that you shouldn’t be able to make jobs about sensitive topics like these and conservatives and reasonable people, tended to love it.

That’s reflected in the Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Look at this gap between critics and “regular” people.

I suspect this is why Netflix is hiding the Chappelle special. You have to search for it. And it damn sure isn’t on their front page. They’re afraid of the blowback from the cancel culture over their association with his jokes.

And that’s what is most interesting about this response, there’s just as many things that conservatives could be upset about as liberals and the conservatives, mostly, loved this comedy special. That’s because somehow the conservatives have become the party that’s fine being laughed about and made fun of and the liberals have become the perpetually aggrieved, offended, and victimized party.

It’s incredible.

For most of the last fifty years the liberals were the ones who were advocating for artistic freedom and the pushing of content boundaries, now it’s conservatives arguing for a robust first amendment and an elimination of the cancel culture.

It’s truly wild to see.

Think about this analogy, in the the Supreme Court case Hustler v. Falwell what happened? A religious minister, Jerry Falwell, was suing Hustler over an a satirical ad in the magazine, which suggested the first time he had sex was with his mom in an outhouse. The lawsuit happened because Falwell was upset and offended by what Hustler magazine had said about him in a parody advertisement. He felt like a victim and wanted to be paid based on his victimization.

As a general rule liberals supported Larry Flynt, who published a pornographic magazine, and conservatives supported Falwell, a religious minister whose feelings were hurt by a satirical ad.

The Supreme Court, which ruled 8-0 in favor of Flynt, was the linchpin of a Hollywood movie, “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” which cast Woody Harrelson playing Larry Flynt, as the hero of the film.

Yet 23 years after this movie was made and 31 years after the case was decided, we’ve flipped directions.

Now liberals are the people arguing that hurt feelings matter and conservatives are the ones standing up for creative freedom.

It’s madness.

I’ve been standing in the same place the entire time, as a first amendment absolutist in favor of creative and artistic freedom, and I’ve gone from being labeled a left wing liberal to a right wing conservative on issues of free speech.

And I haven’t even changed at all!

Maybe I’ll live long enough to become a left wing liberal again, but I’ll promise you this, I ain’t moving.

Go play our free Outkick college football pick’em and you’ve got a chance to win $10k every week.

Hope y’all have great weekends.

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.