All That and a Bag of Mail: Angel Nick Saban

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The Alabama fan base is the most entertaining in all of sports.

Primarily because 15% of the Alabama fan base would like to see the 85% of Bama fans disappear forever. Meanwhile, the 85% thinks the 15% is elitist and arrogant. (By the way, the use of the word “elitist” as an insult is definitely the nadir of the American intellectual experience, especially when it’s being applied to football fandom. How dare you be smarter than dumb people about college football? “You elitist, you!”) 

What’s great about the 15% is their mockery of the 85% that ends up being embraced by the 85%, who are too dumb to realize they are being ridiculed.  

That’s how Nick Saban ends up on top of the Christmas tree, a member of the 15% does something ridiculous that a member of the 85% will not see the irony behind.

The result?

Next year Angel Nick Saban will probably be an actual ornament for sale at Wal Mart.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is the Bama fan who surrounded his baby with guns and then put a handgun in his lap.

Roll Tide! 

James H. writes:

“Clay, that baby bama fan with the pistol is hilarious. However, the weapon is loaded or at least has the magazine inserted. I’m in Afghanistan with the same pistol attached to my hip. I can clearly tell the magazine is inserted. Oh, I used my military address so you wouldn’t make fun of my hotmail account.”

My wife pointed out that the guy who took that photo is doing so because his three favorite things in life are included in one image: 1. his guns 2. his football team 3. his baby, probably in that order. 

The fact that his wife’s pink handgun is included in the picture is also classic.

I’d like to say I’m surprised that the magazine has been left in the pistol, but, no, I’m not surprised at all.

And, by the way, it probably goes without saying, but I always enjoy the emails from people stationed overseas in the military. One of my best friends spent a long time in Afghanistan and I know how awful that is, especially over the holidays.


Warren B. writes:

“So do you think it is acceptable behavior to take a knee and propose to your girlfriend on Christmas in front of the entire family? It happened this Christmas eve in my girlfriend’s family and I just wasn’t sure how I am supposed to feel about it?”

I’m anti public proposals in front of family members. But I’m also anti public proposals in general. Especially sports proposals. That’s been the case ever since I heard that guys were popping the question at minor league baseball games. Really? Not even the major leagues? Nothing says I love you more than A-league baseball proposals in front of 859 fans.

The girl should say no just out of principle. 

Now, back to the family proposal. I don’t like it. What’s the harm in asking the girl on your own and then letting everyone know a bit later? 

A public proposal is pretty cocky and borderline bullying. After all, how many girls are going to say no to a marriage proposal that’s offered in front of their entire family on Christmas Eve? Talk about a family Christmas buzzkill. Can you imagine if she says no? How awesome would that be? What if you’ve traveled for a week’s visit and you have to stay with the family after your girlfriend rejects your engagement proposal in front of the entire family? Is there a more awkward week possible?

I would love to be at a public rejection on Christmas Eve.

I don’t think I could keep a straight face. Especially since every married guy is already thinking — midway through the proposal — “Dude, are you sure you want to do this? Look at my life right now, I’m wearing a Christmas sweater, singing along to “Frosty the Snowman,” and every spare dollar I have is rolled up in a family cruise with the Disney Princesses. You. Don’t. Want. This. Life.”

You know the rejected guy is immediately getting tanked on eggnog, but what the hell does he do for the next week while visiting with the family that has just witnessed a public rejection of his marriage offer?

This would be a pretty decent opening to a romantic comedy.  

Heath A. writes:

“What do you think Christmas morning is like at Nick Saban’s house? Is it possible that he doesn’t even celebrate it with his family? I just can’t picture him taking time away from “the process” to sit around a tree and open up a new sweatshirt or Roll Tide tie. It would be fascinating to see this.”

I could do an entire column on Nick Saban at Christmas. 

What does he wear? I picture Saban perfectly dressed at all hours of the day or night. Like if Saban’s house caught on fire and he had to rush outside at 2:30 in the morning I think he’d be wearing khakis and a coach’s polo. 

Also, his hair would be immaculate and he’d be clutching the blueprint to his house.

Because he’d know exactly how to stop the fire because he’s already planned for how to put out his house if his house ever caught on fire.  

I picture Saban setting one of those handheld egg clock timers and allowing every family member exactly one minute 28 seconds to open a gift, react to said gift, and then move to another gift opening. 

The entire Christmas process lasts 38 minutes and thirty seconds. 

Then Saban goes back to work. 

Mary Ann writes:

“It’s the holiday season so it must be asked: if different Christmas cookies were entered into brackets a la March Madness, which cookie wins? It’s tough to beat a warm, homemade toll house chocolate chip cookie.”

I’d say your clear one seeds would be decorated sugar cookies — honestly, if the sugar cookie enters the NCAA tourney undefeated on the Christmas season — peanut butter with hershey’s kiss in the middle, gingerbread cookies, and chocolate chip.

But I’d look out for a couple of cookies that I think are peaking at the right time and could make a real run — pumpkin spice cookies — I don’t know where the pumpkin spice cookie came from, it’s like the Gonzaga of cookies, but I would eat pumpkin spice cookies every day of the year. Is this a new invention? We didn’t have pumpkin spice products when I was a kid.

I’d also keep an eye on mint chocolate chip cookies, which I think are making a true dint in the chocolate chip cookie empire. The mint chocolate chip is the Butler of the Christmas cookie, really popular of late, but does it have staying power?

Honestly, I think my cookie breakdown is probably better than my BCS title game breakdown will be.    

Pat writes:

“I never thought I would have to write in with one if these cringe-worthy questions but here goes. I am a fifth year senior at Texas A&M, and while I am not attending the Chick-fil-a bowl in person, I intend to watch every second of what is 95% likely to be Johnny Manziel’s last game in a Texas A&M uniform. My girlfriend wants me to join her and some of her friends and their boyfriends in San Marcos, TX on New Years, which would be a great time. I said I would join on the condition that for the hours of 7-10 I will be glued to a TV watching the game. She claims this would be rude to everyone else due to the fact that they want to go bar hopping and even possibly some boring things (like go to a winery for dinner). I don’t like watching my school on TV unless it is in a house or an apartment. There is too high of a risk of channel surfing or a poor view in a restaurant or bar. My question to you is should I bite the bullet and hope I get lucky with a TV somewhere or stand my ground and say that if I will not be allowed to watch it on my terms, then I am not going at all?”

Look, you’re 22 or 23, if you’re giving in to a girlfriend now about a game, your whole life is going to be one series of crappy trips to wineries for dinner during games that you want to watch. 

If your girlfriend can’t handle this, pick a new one. She may bitch and moan, but she’ll probably get over it. And if she’s willing to make this a big fight, seriously, you don’t need her.  

You’ll still join them in time for New Year’s and be there for the resulting kiss in front of her girlfriends, which is all she really cares about anyway, and still have plenty of time to drink and hang out in the bars.

Just be glad you’re on central time. 

Kristen E. writes:

“Dear Clay,

Since you seem so good at saving marriages, I’ve got a doozy for you. My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for 1 1/2. We have what most would call a complicated school lineage.

Both of his parents graduated from Oklahoma State (daddy played football), his brother went to K-State and he played football and won a national championship at Pittsburg State (D-2).

My mom went to school at Kansas. My daddy went to school at Illinois and I’m a proud graduate of Mizzou (aka best school ever). I’ve adopted Pittsburg State as my second team and attend games every year. Now that Mizzou is in the SEC and no longer a competitor to OSU, is it ok for him to cheer for my team without feeling shame? I’m aware of course of the bowl game this year, Christmas will be tense no doubt.

Thanks for your help, I love your site and use it to educate dumb girls everywhere.”

Your hypothetical above felt like an LSAT logic game question.

I started breaking out in hives trying to keep track of all the different rooting interests. 

(By the way, am I the only person who still has nightmares about having to take finals in classes you hated in high school? What would you make on them now? Like, if you gave me an Algebra 2 test today, I’m pretty confident I would miss 3/4ths of the questions. If you gave me a geometry test and told me my life depended on passing the test, I’d probably just start crying.)

Leaving aside the bowl game, yes, he can root for Mizzou thanks to conference realignment.

Notwithstanding this year’s game, the actual odds of both teams playing in a bowl or playoff is fairly minimal.

Having a rooting interest in a conference you otherwise wouldn’t be interested in is fine, but you have to keep that rooting interest in check, i.e. it can never surpass your primary allegiance. For instance, I root for Michigan to win games because my wife is a Michigan alum. But that rooting interest is very general, I’m totally unimpacted by losses. 

Otherwise you end up like my college roommate Shekhar, who visited two weeks ago and confessed that he’d become a New England Patriots fan after a childhood spent rooting for the San Francisco 49ers when they were good.  

That kind of move is just shameful. 

Shea writes:

“Hey Clay,
My daughter and I were in a mall in Birmingham today. We passed a now empty Bama Fever store. I have no clue why it shut down, but the timing is hilarious. It shuts down one month after an Iron Bowl loss. I am an Ole Miss graduate but married an Auburn man, so for this picture I can say War Eagle!”

Your daughter’s expression here is priceless.

It almost looks like she’s raising the roof over the Bama Fever store closing.

This kind of football fandom is going to make her a catch when she enters college. For your sake I hope her loser boyfriend doesn’t propose at Christmas in front of the whole family.  

Tony writes:


As a part of my wife’s job, she regularly receives tickets to entertainment events, including Disney on Ice. Disney on Ice is a totally absurd concept, but it does raise several questions.

First, let’s say the average Disney on Ice crowd is 8,000 attendees, how many of those are fathers who spend the whole show trying to figure out which of the skaters are hot or not? Relatedly, how many of the male skaters are straight? I’m guessing 1 in 10, which makes me wonder who has a more target rich environment for getting laid: the straight male skaters with all of those female skaters around or the gay male skaters with all of those gay male skaters around?

Second, how do you handle the following situation? A mother wearing Minnie Mouse ears, holding a beer and her baby gets into verbal altercation with another mother in her row. She starts dropping f-bombs while screaming at the other mother over seating numbers. Do you attempt to stop the fight, knowing that your own kids haven’t heard such language, or do you let it ride with the hopes that you capture a fight on your phone to post on YouTube? By the way, the shouting mother had a spectacular chest tattoo that AJ McCarron would love.

Third, is there a football equivalent of Disney on Ice? All of these skaters must have come from the Olympic skating ranks. While it’s sad that their golden hopes turned into 3-minute routines of truncated Disney movies on ice, they’re still getting paid to do what they presumably love doing. Could there be ways for Disney to adapt their stories to other athletic mediums?

Of course, I’m typing this email while at Disney on Ice. As a father, I’m sure you’ve been there yourself. Merry Christmas.”

Yes, of course I’ve been to Disney on Ice. 

And, of course, I’ve tried to figure out which Disney on Ice character I would want to raise my children if, perchance, my wife died in a freakish Disney on Ice accident making me a widow. — “Oh, no, look out for Woody, he’s going too fast and his skate broke!”

I would say, conservatively, that every husband there is trying to figure out which ice skater is the hottest. Every single one. Sure, some dads will lie when their wives ask them about it after reading this in the mailbag, but, again, they’re lying. (Lots of husbands reading this right now can even tell you exactly who they picked. These same husbands, by the way, can’t remember the date of their own kid’s birthday party, which is why we drive women insane.)

I think being a straight male skater is probably the best play here. If you’re straight Prince Charming, you’re good looking, fit, and you travel on the road with a collection of smoking hot ice skaters who are probably intensely competitive about everything, including who is sleeping with straight Prince Charming. 

“Straight Prince Charming,” a behind the scenes look at Disney on Ice, would be a great Bravo Show.

I would watch this. 

Can you imagine the fights with all those diva skaters battling over the only straight guy on tour?

As for the women fighting in the crowd, I think you have to let them fight and YouTube said fight if necessary. If women, including one wearing Minnie Mouse ears, are willing to scream at each other at Disney on Ice over seat assignments, what happens if they suddenly shift sides and both come after you. It’s all fun and games until dad gets attacked by a crazy woman at “Disney on Ice.”

What’s more, as a guy, you’d get arrested, not her.

Can you imagine getting led out in handcuffs at “Disney on Ice?”

No way that Jesi from Toy Story is going home with you then.  

Alex W. writes:

SUBJECT: I saw John Rocker’s balls while playing golf

“Clay –

The email subject is accurate and not merely a ploy for you to open my email. I needed the world to know this story, because well… it has to do with John Rocker and his balls.

Here is how it came to be. I was playing in a ‘celebrity’ charity golf tournament right outside Atlanta with my company. Mid-grade celebrity ex-Braves mostly, with a couple other random Falcons players thrown in. Needless to say we lucked out and got John. We meet before the first hole, the guy is still in incredible shape and was pretty nice (probably because we were all white christian males).

First hole – normal. Seems to be pretty good, calm and I’m disappointed. Second hole – he shanks off the box and throws his club a mile into the woods… yelling. My heart is content…. he is who I thought he was. He goes on to throw his clubs ~10 times… yelling throughout 18 – it’s awesome (I’ve never wanted a partner to shank so badly).

Now where the money is. On the 4th – 5th hole… the pants rip, but no one notices it happen. Perfect 6 inch crotch rip. Around the 6th hole I look over while he is teeing off and there they were – the crown jewels themselves. He is teeing off with his nuts waving in the wind. The rest of our foursome is in disbelief…. you just can’t make this stuff up.

He continues to play the entire round, ~12 holes with his nuts randomly making appearances throughout. He never lets on that he is aware, but he has to know. Clubs were thrown and balls were seen. Truly the most memorable celebrity I could have ever asked to play with. 

P.S. there is absolutely no question that steroids have been heavily used.

This is my belated Christmas present to you and the OKTC nation.”

So, wait, does John Rocker not wear underwear? Not even when he golfs? Or did the underwear also rip?

I’m also not sure on the ethics here, do you have an obligation to point out another man’s balls when they’re visible? How awkward would this conversation be?

You: John, just wanted to let you know that everyone can see your balls. 

John Rocker: I know, asshole. 

For some reason I’m picturing this conversation ending with John Rocker putting you in a figure four headlock with your face in his groin and screaming, “Why don’t you smell my sweaty balls if you’re so interested in them? Smell. Them. Smell. My. Balls. Nerd!”

So you probably made the right call in keeping silent about John Rocker’s visible balls. (By the way, how amazing would it be if John Rocker read this on Outkick and wrote in to tell his side of the exposed balls story? Please let this happen). 

Marshall G. writes:

I’m a huge fan of outkick from Jackson, Mississippi. I just got accepted to law school and your articles are always discussed by me and my friends. Keep up the great work. I wanted to ask a hypothetical. Suppose that in the not so distant future, the USA splits apart again similar to the secession before the Civil War. You are the newly elected President of the Confederate South. Do you accept the position? You are already Snow Czar of Nashville, so you have some political prowess already. What would your first order of business be?”

Would I accept the position?

Do I seem like an incredibly humble guy who would think he couldn’t do something?

Of course I would accept the position.  

My first order of business would be to seize all Yankee property on our beaches. It would be like reverse carpetbagging. My second order of business would be putting 24 members of the Alabama fan base into a Hunger Games like setting and televising the results.

Needless to say, I would have a 90% approval rating.      

Kyle D. writes:


What are your plans for 2014 and beyond?

Growing Outkick? More TV on FS1? Writing another book? Continuing NBC radio? 3HL? Or will you make all of our wishes come true and join your boy Finebaum on the much anticipated SEC Network?

I realize you may not be able to divulge all of your plans, but I feel like most readers would be interested in what you have to share.

Your only reader and listener in Hawaii.” 

Thanks to you guys 2013 was a pretty amazing year for me.

I’ve been busy as hell, but it’s been pretty awesome. I wasn’t terrible at TV — being terrible looking doesn’t mean I was terrible — and I managed to keep Outkick rolling and keep up my radio obligations.   

Only one of my contracts is up in 2014, my radio shows. Both my 3HL and NBC deals expire on August 31st, 2014.

So I have no idea what will happen in radio.

For TV and online I’m set through midway into 2015.

Eventually, yes, I will write another book. I hope it’s this year, but finding the time to write while keeping everything else moving is the toughest part.  

In the meantime, I’ll be in LA with FoxSports1 for bowl season from 12/31 thru the BCS title game. You can watch me and Petros on Fox Sports Live every night during that week. 

And if you want to make some money betting on games, here’s my bowl game podcast with Todd Fuhrman, who I’ll also be doing gambling segments with:


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. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

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 was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis 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 Too.