All That and a Bag of Mail: Homecoming Date Edition

It’s mailbag time, rejoice. 

First, I’d like to congratulate our beaver pelt trader of the week, who pulled off the perfect way to ask an Auburn girl to homecoming while simultaneously driving Alabama fans wild. This was sent to Outkick by a friend of the high school couple. They go to McGill-Toolen in Mobile. But look closely at the picture, there’s a random guy photobombing the picture on the hood of a truck with Roll Tide and deer antlers spraypainted in the window. 

Is our homecoming hero a Bama fan who ditched his fandom for an Auburn girl? Or is a random Bama fan just driving a truck around and photobombing a photo from the hood of a car while his team is ridiculed in a posterboard homecoming ask out situation? As with all things Alabama, who knows the truth?

Congrats to them on locking down the beaver pelt trader of the week. It’s a great and esteemed honor.

Also, let’s not forget Joan Rivers, one of the most fearless comedians who has ever lived. Even at 81 her humor was still devastating and hysterical. In all walks of life being fearless is one of the traits I most admire in people, but it’s particularly necessary when you’re trying to make people laugh. 

On to the mailbag.  

Josh from Chapel Hill (but actually in France so I’m desperate to talk about American sports even if it means emailing sportswriters) writes:

“Say you’re a degenerate gambler (not too hard for you to imagine), and under the most extreme circumstances, your favorite team is in the national championship game, but you need them to lose to win a large sum of money. How much money would it take for you to passionately cheer against your team winning a national championship/Super Bowl/etc.?

Would a $100,000 prize cause you to cheer against your Vols? Would the prospect of winning $500,000 cause you to fist pump as Justin Worley throws a crucial interception? At what price point do you actively cheer against your favorite team on the biggest stage?

I greatly enjoy the site and can’t wait to watch college football from 6 pm to 7 am European time.”

Great question. 

I think this is a function of income. If you read the recent profile of Jerry Jones in ESPN the magazine — if you haven’t Google it as soon as you finish this story, I’d link it but that’s almost impossible on Southwest wifi — he says he’d basically pay any amount to win another Super Bowl. Given that he’s worth billions of dollars, I think it’s likely that Jones would pay a billion dollars to win another Super Bowl.

But what would it take for you or me to root against our favorite team on the biggest stage possible? The number I keep coming back to is ten times whatever your salary is. If you could make ten years salary, I think that’s plenty. I could also accept five year’s worth of salary. I mean, your team might get back there again, right? Remember your rooting interest doesn’t change the outcome. It’s not like you’re selling the championship to a higher bidder, you’re just selling your fandom.

If you could take five or ten years off from work and pocket your earnings, I don’t see how you turn that down. Now, I’ll add a caveat, some of you may not need money at all. The richer you are, the more psychic satisfaction you receive from a championship. This is why so many insanely rich boosters end up affiliated with college football and basketball teams, because they’ve already achieved tremendous financial success and want to help sate the competitive drive that fueled them. No matter who you are, I think the number of people who end up multi-millionaires and aren’t intensely competitive is a tiny number. 

Connor S. writes:

“Hey Clay,
As a Vandy student I was walking down West End the other day when Derek Mason jogged right by me. We did the usual head nod “hello” and he kept on going. It is not the first time I have seen him around campus, but seeing him on West End was kind of strange. He is not the public figure most SEC coaches are and probably went down West End remarkably unnoticed. This got me thinking about the other SEC coaches and their life outside of football. Does Nick Saban run? I know he is in his early 60’s but he still seems to be in decent shape. Seeing Mason on West End got me thinking about Saban running the streets of Tuscaloosa. Since most Bama fans believe Forrest Gump to be one of their distinguished alums, how many Bama fans would follow suit and run with Nick Saban? Would he break 100? 1000? Maybe even 5000 fans? I just don’t know. He would obviously need a security detail to make a formation around him after seeing those videos from the Alabama Fan day. How many Alabama fans could even run for an extended period of time? I think many would actually get in shape to run with Nick Saban. Did I just cure the obesity problem Alabama? I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if I need to regret helping the 85% live longer.” 

This is just a fascinating question, if Nick Saban announced that he was going on a daily three mile jog, how many Alabama fans would show up to run with him? My first thought is that running isn’t the most popular activity with the 85%. I associate running with really fit people and I don’t associate fitness with the 85%. Plus, and maybe I’m wrong about this, but running is such a yuppie activity that I’m not sure how many normal runners would want to run with Saban.

I did the half marathon in Nashville — it was the worst athletic experience of my life and I literally have not run since completing that half-marathon — and I remember noticing that there was in insanely high percentage of runners who had expensive running gear on. Combine that with the fact that running a marathon or half-marathon isn’t cheap and requires enough free time to focus on something, running a long distance, that really doesn’t matter at all, and it’s a pretty high end crowd. So my assumption is that runners probably have the highest income levels of athletic particants and given that high income generally correlates with education, I’d also surmise that runners are well-educated, another trait I don’t connect with the 85%.

Having said that, every year Nick Saban signs autographs and if you watch the running of the Gumps this is literally the only time these people will run in a year, to be close to Nick Saban. So how many Gumps would take up running for a chance to be in close proximity to Saban? I think virtually all of them. (At least those able bodied enough to run without dying, so like 45% of the 85%.) Saban would need a police escort for his jog and there would need to be ambulances following the Bama fans because some of them would literally die trying to run with Saban. Toss in a solid couple of hundred college kids for good measure because college kids are in good shape and it would be a cool story to say you ran with Saban. 

I’m going with a thousand or more people on every jog. The bigger the game, the more joggers. On Iron Bowl week, you’d probably have to shut down the city with the horde of joggers. Saban would stop jogging after one day because he hates Alabama fans, but this is a fascinating question.  

Randy P. writes:

“I have a few pragmatic questions about your new tv career: When you are hired for a tv job do they supply the suits, ties, etc., or is that on you? Who pays for it, and do they tell you what to wear? How many free flights have you accrued on SWA with your weekly near cross country trip?”

I can’t speak for everyone, but when I was hired by Fox I owned one suit, and I’d only purchased it a few months before an audition. After allowing me to dress for one day, Vicky, our wardrobe savant at Fox, took control of all my clothing decisions. She got me fitted for new suits — that actually fit — and shirts.

The Fox wardrobe people put out the clothes I’m going to wear every day. I literally have no idea what I’ll be wearing until I open the door to my dressing room and look at what is hanging on the wall. That’s head to toe, from tie to pocket square to shoes. It’s really pretty awesome. In a few hours I’ll land in LA and head to the Fox lot in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. Later on, I’ll switch into a suit for TV. 

I don’t even tie my own tie. I can tie a tie, but my knots aren’t as good as Joel Klatt’s tie knot game. He ties mine and Petros’s ties before every show.

As for Southwest, when you fly cross country for over twenty weeks a year, you rack up an unbelievable amount of points. Couple that with the Southwest credit card and I’m going to have enough points to buy one of their jets soon. 

Dan writes:

“Clay,

I’ve been taking your jiggle test to heart…you know, if your stomach keeps jiggling after you stop jogging, its time to slim down…so I’ve been hitting the gym during lunch on weekdays. Which brings me to my question: what’s the deal with all of these old men letting it all hang out in the locker room? Now I’ve been around sports locker rooms plenty and am not naive when it comes to things, but come on, there is no need to have a 60 year old man hanging out naked on a leather couch in the locker room all day! Also, in the locker room shower…it’s not ok to farmer’s blow all over the tile floor! Do that at home all you want! Clay, please help me create a set of universal rules for the locker room so that I can anonymously post it in the locker room next week! If nothing else, it’ll be great fun to watch all these old guys’ reactions.”

Here’s my biggest issue with male locker room nudity, there should never be a time when you have a shirt on with no pants on. I don’t what it is about old men, but they make this move all the time. It makes zero sense to me. Because the shirt is comparatively hard to get on, it takes time and effort. The pants are made to glide right on. That’s the easy part of getting dressed even if you’re old and decrepit. 

If you have young kids you know what I’m talking about. When they start dressing themselves they can get their underwear and pants on, but every parent has heard a screaming kid, rushed to see what’s going on, and your son or daughter is caught with their head through the arm hole or they can’t get the sleeves out, they look like scarecrows with their arms extended above them and their head buried in the shirt. The shirt is hard to get on. 

There is nothing more ridiculous than an old man with a shirt on and his wrinkled old man cock and balls totally uncovered in the locker room. YET THEY ALL DO IT. Worst of all, the old guys in my locker room will sit and watch TV on the couch or chairs without pants on. WTF? My wife yells at me if I sit on the couch in my athletic shorts after I get home from the gym. If she came downstairs one day and found me just wearing a t-shirt and sitting with my sweaty balls on our couch, I’m pretty sure she would immediately file for divorce.

Here’s a simple rule that needs to be codified into law: If your balls touch something that you don’t own, I think you should have to buy it.

Period.

Anyway, I’m not sure how we combat the plague of old man balls in the locker room, but we’ve got to do something. Just have to, our country might well depend on it.  

JV writes:

“Clay,
I’m in a dilemma. Today I went and bought a pair of camouflage pants for hunting that were on sale, 30% off. I did not have a chance to try them on at the store so once I got home I put them on and they fit perfect. Upon further review I notice one of the tags says “Ladies” in bright pink so I am now standing there with a pair of women’s pants on that fit me. I’m 6’1″ 200lbs so obviously they are meant for a larger woman but everything else about the pants you would think they are men’s. Here’s the question…do I return them and get a new men’s pair and risk paying more for pants that look the exact same or keep them knowing full well no one will ever be able to tell they are women’s pants, but deep down know that I am hunting in women’s clothing? Your wisdom would be appreciated.”

You keep the pants. Zero doubt.

Just make sure and put them on the next morning before you put your shirt on. 

Jimmy writes:

“How awesome are you? I want to be you when I grow up.” 

So awesome that I spent last night watching Spy Kids 3 with my boys. While I was watching Spy Kids 3 — George Clooney, Antonio Banderas and Sylvester Stallone are all in this movie together?! — my wife was downstairs supervising the arrival of new bunk beds for the boy. 

So the delivery men arrive and things seem to be going smoothly until my 8.5 months pregnant wife suddenly screams, “Clay, get down here now!” So I’m thinking two things: a. she’s gone into labor or b. the moving men, who aren’t exactly known as a group for their discretion, said or did something sexually inappropriate. 

So I rush downstairs and she’s on the porch on the phone just livid. The moving guys are in our front yard with bunk bed detritus spread everywhere and she’s like, “Clay, they say the bunk beds won’t make it up our stairs and THEY ARE LEAVING WITH THE BUNK BEDS. DO SOMETHING!”

And I’m thinking, what the hell am I supposed to do? There’s no way in hell I can move damn bunk beds upstairs. Nor do I know whether the bunk beds are capable of coming upstairs or not. Although, to be fair, better movers did manage to get a sleeper sofa to our third floor. It probably took years off their life. (Plus, I’m missing Spy Kids 3. Are the kids going to win or not?!). And if the movers are refusing to take the bunk beds upstairs it’s not like I can hold them hostage and demand that they continue to work.

Not to mention, I’m a relatively fit guy so I always feel like I should be moving things around in my own house anyway. I know that movers ridicule every relatively young guy that they move things for as soon as they finish the job. They have to, I would. Except, you know, there’s no way I’m breaking a leg trying to carry bunk beds upstairs. What if I broke both my arms and couldn’t type? Who’s going to make dick jokes for Outkick the Coverage then? No one, that’s who. Our family would crumble. 

So my wife’s staring at me demanding that I do something and there’s nothing I can do so I’m like, “We are canceling this bunk bed order.” Which is an impossible sentence to say with any kind of masculine authority. Especially when it’s followed by, “We’ll shop somewhere other than Rooms to Go.”

The movers just shrug their shoulders, they don’t care. And then I’m thinking, I bet these movers listen to my (departed) radio show. So I don’t want to be an ass, so I just turn around and walk back inside.

My wife is furious, like “Where are the boys going to sleep now?” And I’m like, “We’re not Syrian refugees. They’ll sleep on the air matress and think it’s awesome.” (We’d already moved out their old bed and their room was empty).

This doesn’t go well. Don’t ever disagree with your 8.5 months pregnant wife about ANYTHING.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, I am not awesome.  

Troy B. writes:

“Clay,
I am surrounded by four (4!) Texas Aggies at work here in sunny San Antonio. Over the past few years I’ve heard them constantly bragging about Johnny Football, joining the SEC, beating Alabama, the stadium addition, the new super-fancy locker room, Sumlin > Strong, the SEC network, 5-star recruiting classes, etc. One of these jokers even keeps the construction webcam at the stadium up and running on his desk all day at work.

My question is this: what will it take for UT (the real UT…University of Texas) to regain bragging rights as the football school of distinction here in the Lone Star State? At this point I am thinking another national championship or at least a Heisman winner.”

Kevin Sumlin leaving Texas A&M. Until then, you’re f—ed.

Peter M. writes:

“Clay,

Saw that Braxton Miller had surgery this week and that Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery. Good for Braxton I guess, but my question is about the good doctor.

There seems to be some mythos that now surrounds Dr. Andrews and that he is the premier orthopedic surgeon for sports related injuries. He is now in his low 70’s and rarely seen by the public.

Sam Bradford tore his ACL this week and Dr. Andrews name was immediately brought up.What is going to happen when he retires or is unable to perform? Will a new “go-to” surgeon enter the picture, or will Dr. James Andrews perpetually continue in a Dread Pirate Roberts sort of way?

Also, how incredible is it that the premier sports orthopedic surgeon in the US makes his home in Birmingham, AL?”

I was thinking about this the other day, given my role in sports media, could I create the heir apparent to Dr. James Andrews by just pumping a new name? My college roommate is an orthopedic surgeon now. He’s 35. If I started pumping his name, Krishna Tripuraneni is the greatest sports ortho surgeon in the country, could I make him the next Dr. James Andrews?

Andrews barely even operates now, he’s got an entire industry of doctors working for him. It’s all just name recognition. He’s literally the only ortho doctor anyone knows. The guy has a damn fleet of private planes.  

As for where he lives, a couple of years ago I was out to dinner in Birmingham at the Fleming’s off 280. It’s me, Lance Taylor from WJOX radio, and Charles Barkley. There’s a sudden stir from the dining room, like literally people are rushing around to talk with someone. I’m thinking to myself, who the hell could possibly be here that’s provoking this much of a stir when Charles Barkley is sitting at this table and no one is even bothering us?

It’s Dr. James Andrews!

The entire restaurant comes undone when Dr. James Andrews walks through. And then, I kid you not, Charles Barkley stands up and says, “It’s Dr. James Andrews, I’ve got to go say hi to him. He operated on me.” 

Nathan K. writes:

“Clay,

With the launch of the SEC Network I, a Northerner, find myself watching the SEC Network regularly. I know I’m not the only one up here (in Chicago) who feels this way. Is there any worry in the South that the launch of a nationwide network will lessen what makes the SEC so great? That is, will a more national SEC dilute the regional fervor of the conference?”

What you’re really asking is this, will southern people start caring less about college football.

And the answer is no.

Now if you damn Yankees start coming down to our games and driving the ticket prices up too high, then we might need to start a new Civil War. (This time we would win). Until then, no, I think all the branding will do is increase an already insurmountable recruiting edge. Think about all the kids across the country who are going to be watching the SEC Network, seeing how hot our girls are, how awesome our stadiums are, how great the weather is, and then they’re going to go play in the Big Ten?

Please.  

@nashseverewx writes:

“As someone who cares unusually deeply about the weather welfare of greater Nashville, please publicly assure residents and visitors that your impasse with Cumulus will not involve your abdication of the #SnowCzar throne. Milk, alcohol, and bread futures await your reply.”

I will be back on air by the winter. Rest assured, I will not abandon the people of Nashville in their time of snow needs.

I very well may, however, be expanding my snowczar duties to take over the august responsibility of snowczar for multiple additional southern cities.   

Justin C. writes:

“I am a proud 85 per-center and my daughters birthday is on Sept 10th and every year my wife and I get into a argument because she always wants to have her party on the following Saturday. The past three years i have gotten my way and had the party on Sunday. But its not happening this year, she has already made the invitations for the following Saturday. Is there anyway i can convince her to change it? Do you have any suggestions for me?

P.S. Every time we get into an argument about football I always tell her: You knew who you were marrying. I think that statement is kinda worn out now.”

Your mistake in arguing, “You knew who you were marrying,” is your belief that you matter. Once you have children, the husband’s role in the family plummets to the last rung on the social order. Your wife and kids matter, but you really don’t. You’re basically the appendix of the family, nice to have but not that necessary in the grand scheme of things. 

Having said that, why can’t the birthday party be on Sunday? In addition to ruining your day, your wife is ruining a ton of other dad and mom’s day too. In the South college football should be sacred. 

My second son’s four year old birthday is this Sunday. I am traveling back from LA early on Sunday morning so I’ll land and go straight to his party. My wife, and this is not a joke, is leaving a Darth Maul costume and double lightsaber in the mailbox so I can change on our porch and arrive to scare all the kids and fight light saber duels.

How many four year olds am I allowed to kill before I have to die? I’m thinking four. Darth Maul can’t just roll up in the party and get slain by the first four year old he fights. I’ve got some pride here.  

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.