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Time to stop pretending you’re working and dive into the mailbag.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Tim Francis, who Tweets me this, “Mailbag…I am at the hospital, my wife is in labor with our son. How much would you pay us to name him Clay Travis?”
I Tweeted him back that I would pay him $1,000.
That’s a decent start on the college fund, right?
For those of you who don’t live in Nashville, you’re missing out. Time Magazine calls us the hottest city in the country.
Okay, okay on to the mailbag.
Bryan B. writes:
“What are the chances that Nick Saban could murder someone in a rural Alabama walmart during regular operating hours (let’s say 10:35 am on a Tuesday) and get away with it? Multiple witnesses, public, broad daylight. Does the middle-aged grandmother on aisle 5 cover for him and let him escape or does she google the number for the police on her cricket flip phone? Does the balding middle school gym teacher ask for an autograph on his bicep (right under the Bear Bryant tattoo) or turn the state’s most beloved patriarch in?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially as a gay, liberal, Muslim.”
I think there’s a good chance Nick Saban could get away with murder in Alabama. First, Nick Saban has the money and connections to put together the greatest legal defense team in Alabama history. He’s such a celebrity that he could probably get the greatest criminal defense attorney in the country to represent him for free. This would be O.J. Simpson-esque except that everyone on the jury in Alabama — aside from the Auburn fans — would be predisposed to like Saban. Can you imagine jury selection in this case? Would Saban’s team try and strike Auburn fans? Would they quiz everyone to see how encyclopedic their recall is of the Iron Bowl? Does the prosecution do everything in their power to get recent immigrants on the jury on the theory that they’re the most impartial? What about if you had a few embittered LSU or Tennessee fans in the jury pool who knew that Saban going down for murder would help their team’s odds in the future? Do they disguise their fandom?
Second, you know the police officers investigating this crime would be huge Crimson Tide fans, right? Don’t you think there’s at least one detective who would intentionally mishandle evidence to keep Saban out of jail and on the sideline for the Tide? I do. Third, would the Bama fans in the Wal Mart testify against Saban or suddenly forget what they witnessed? Would the Wal Mart manager immediately destroy all the security camera footage while silently rocking and crying in his “Got 15” t-shirt?
Would Bama let Nick Saban coach if he was charged with murder, but out on bail awaiting trial. Can you imagine the number of phone calls Finebaum would get that began. “Innocent until proven guilty, Paul.”
Would the SEC Network carry the trial live?
Is there any way that 12 Alabama jurors would agree to convict Nick Saban of anything? So long as he didn’t commit the crime at the Auburn Wal Mart, don’t you think there would always be at least one hold-out on the jury? I’m not saying that Saban would get acquitted of a murder he committed at Wal Mart, but I definitely think you’d have a deadlocked jury.
Also, is Nick Saban being accused of murder the greatest thing that could ever happen to my career? I think the answer’s yes. I’d definitely get a nightly television show during the year that the Nick Saban trial was going on. I’d probably be able to turn the Nick Saban murder case into a best-selling book. Radio ratings would go through the roof. Outkick readership would explode by millions. By the end of the Nick Saban murder trial I’d be making Howard Stern money.
Adam M. writes:
“The Padres are giving away season tickets to any fan who can hit a dinger at Petco Park, as long as they didn’t play college or pro ball anywhere. What are the odds of a normal Joe being able to pull this off?”
Well, Johnny Manziel did it last year. I think it’s fair to say that Johnny Manziel is not your average athlete. I think it’s extremely unlikely. Your average guy has pop fly to the outfield power. But there’s always those inexplicable fat guys in softball leagues who can hit home runs every time they come up to bat. And you know all those guys are showing up for this contest. It’s like their dream come true. But everybody only gets two pitches. And we have no idea how fast those pitches will be coming in either. Plus, what if your pitches are crappy?
I’d set the over/under at number of guys who will do this at five, or about 1 in every 750 guys.
There will be an awful lot of guys in this contest who can’t get the ball out of the infield. In fact, I think that will the majority. I hope someone tracks the totals on this contest.
I prefer to be anonymous in case they are readers. I will be a groomsmen at a dry wedding next week. My little brother will be in town and I’d rather leave and go drink with him and watch basketball than sit at a dry reception all night. What is the appropriate amount of time for the bridal party to stay.”
There are no excuses for having a dry wedding.
Those of you trying to think of an excuse to have a dry wedding are wrong. There are none.
The bonus for you here is that without alcohol everyone bails on the wedding earlier than normal. As a member of the bridal party I think you have to stay for two hours after the actual wedding. Unless, that is, you notice that someone else in the bridal party leaves before you. Then all bets are off.
Godspeed. (And bring your own flask).
Thomas C. writes:
“I have a solution for the NFL scheduling issues with 18 games. There’s one new rule: each player can only participate in 16 of those games. That means every player will have to sit out two games no matter what (this will negate the argument that adding two more games will cause more injuries.) Obviously a lot of players will miss these two games due to injury but what about the ones who stay healthy. The Broncos would have to choose two games to sit Peyton Manning. This would create strategy that no one has ever thought of before and would be extremely interesting. What would happen with teams basically disrespecting one another by sitting star players against them? Do teams just decide to throw two games a year and play their practice squad? What about the gambling world, would it just go crazy trying to figure out these spreads? Also of course the fantasy football season would become even crazier. Thoughts?”
I love this idea.
Absolutely love it.
Any time you can make NFL coaches, who aren’t typically very good with strategy decisions, have to make strategy decisions, I’m in favor of it. Because you know so many of these guys would bungle it. I mean, is there any doubt that Jason Garrett plays Tony Romo and all his starters for 16 straight weeks on the theory that they’ll lock up the division by then and then has to sit the entire Cowboys team for the two games that will decide the team’s fate? Also, what if the crappiest team got to play all second-string quarterbacks and second-string talent? They’d win some games, right? How do you assess whether the crappy team, like the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, that’s suddenly like 8-6 on the season, is worth the risk.
What if a crappy team won a division because everyone sat their starters against them?
Do you sit players on a regimented basis — four a week for all 18 games — or do you sit your entire starting team the final week of the season?
And how many coaches would just copy Bill Belichick?
When I worked on Capitol Hill, you’d be amazed how many Congressmen had no idea how to vote on a bill. I’d bet you that half of congressmen are being told by their staff to vote the same way that the smartest congressman in their state votes. They have no idea either.
Jeff T. writes:
“As we all know, the Cleveland Browns suck. Since 1990 (amazingly, this year will be the 25th season since then), the Browns have only had 3 winning seasons. Their last playoff appearance was in 2002. Since 1990, they’ve had double digits losses 15 times. Since 1990, they’ve won 4 or less games 8 times. Hell, Bill Belichick AND Nick Saban were on the coaching staff together and the pathetic Browns couldn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs.
For arguments sake, let’s take a 35 year old college graduate from an SEC school who also has an MBA and understands business and football strategy. Do you think said person could do better or at least stay the course for which the Cleveland Browns have embarked upon over the past quarter century?
Keep in mind, during this past years’ combine, the Browns brass reached a new low when they decided to ask potential players to name everything they could do with paper clips. Their coaching search after last season was a complete joke. And oh yeah, Jimmy Haslam (their owner) could potentially be sent to jail for fraud. Sure, It can always get worse, but I can’t fathom how any reasonably knowledgeable 30-something football person could take the reigns as GM and do any worse or make the Browns any bigger of a laughing stock than they are now. Your thoughts, sir?”
This is a common argument. And the most difficult part isn’t necessarily the guy with the top job, it’s the quality of the information that you’re reviewing. The most important thing about being in charge of any business is the quality of the information that your subordinates provide you with. Because even the smartest leader is relying on his troops.
The difficulty you’d have here is that much of the organization is incompetent, meaning by the time information reaches you it’s already been polluted by idiocy. So how do you decide who is competent and who is incompetent with no basis to know either?
Now, I don’t think your average intelligent guy would do worse, but I think he’d do about the same.
Hunter T. writes:
Should a hole-in-one on a 9 hole par 3 course count as an actual hole-in-one, or does it deserve an asterisk next to it?”
It 100% counts.
That’s provided, however, that the par 3 holes are normal par 3 distances. That is, you can’t be playing a course where the pins are all 80 or 90 yards away and you’re just pulling out a pitching wedge and popping them up on the green from that distance.
Sure, you get more chances at a hole in one on a par 3 course, but it’s still pretty rare to get a hole in one regardless.
I’ve never had a hole in one, but I could probably do an entire column on hole in one etiquette. For instance, what if the course isn’t crowded and you’re playing multiple balls? Your third shot is a hole in one. Can you really count that as a legit hole in one? I don’t think so.
J. Hugh Sullivan
After reading your column on Coach Saban, it appears to me that your chosen profession results from your failure as an ambulance chaser.
I would enjoy making an ass of you but but God beat me to it.
I love angry emails from old dudes.
J. Hugh Sullivan is NOT happy with me.
I dated a girl for a little over a year and she broke it off in October via a text message. She went with the typical “I’ve got to find myself” excuse. Six months before it ended she gave me $2,000 to buy new furniture for my office. A couple weeks after she broke it off she texted me to ask for the money back which didn’t set well with me. I gave her $1,000 of it and I told her she would have to wait for the rest. Well in January she called to tell me she was going back to her ex-husband (yes there’s a back story) I said good luck and I will mail you the money. I haven’t gotten around to it yet mostly on general principal. I have since met and started dating a younger and hotter girl which leads to my question. The old girl has cameras on her house that alert her when someone is there ( not because of me I think she’s just crazy ) so do I drop the check off in her mailbox in the new girl’s brand new Chevy Z-71 four door loaded truck where she thinks I have a new ride or do I ask the new girl I’m dating to drop it off for me so she sees that I have a younger and much hotter girl now?”
First of all, we need more information here. Who borrows money from their girlfriend for new office furniture? How bad was your existing office furniture that she felt the need to buy you new furniture? Do you run a porn casting agency that requires regular sex on your sofa? Otherwise, why did she care? My wife doesn’t even come into my office because it’s such a mess. And we’re married. I’m pretty sure that if we could have a house fire and if just my office burned down, my wife would be happy about it. She’d be like, “I told you what would happen if you left all those papers laying around in there.”
Plus, your ex broke off the relationship. You can’t request the return of payment for something like office furniture. You should have responded to her request with an itemized breakdown of all your meals at Outback Steakhouse and Applebee’s. (Unless she paid for those too).
Third, I don’t even know what this kind of car is. I’m not a car or truck guy. If someone pulled up in a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce, I guess I’d notice, but I’m doubting that your ex-girlfriend is going to be that impressed by a new car or truck. Especially if it’s a Chevy. Is there some six figure Chevy I’m not aware of? But, she’s crazy, so what the hell do I know?
Finally, this camera situation is just weird. As is getting back together with the ex-husband — which, by the way, can you imagine that poor bastard who was working his ass off so his ex-wife could use his money to pay $2k for your office furniture. We need ex-husband, ex-wife spending stories for the mailbag. I know some of you guys reading this right now have seen your ex-wives taking ridiculous vacations with their new boyfriends and you’re like, “I’m paying for some other dude to take my wife to the Caribbean and screw her on the beach! How the hell did this happen?” (I’m sure there are also some great ex-wife stories out there from you ladies who are having to pay alimony and fund your loser ex-husbands. We need these stories.)
In closing, I’d send the new girlfriend to make the final payment. She’ll notice that.
Chris V. writes:
“Hey Clay… Hope all is going well. As an arbiter of male sports fan behavior, I thought you might have a take on this. As halftime began at the recent George Washingon basketball game, I decided to stand up to stretch my legs (I’m apparently now an old man whose legs get sore after sitting in a somewhat cramped seat for an hour). Some halftime entertainment involving 4th graders playing basketball immediately begins. I shortly thereafter hear some guy yelling “down in front” at me, and I meekly sit down. I had always thought that standing up at your seat during halftime of a basketball game was pretty standard (and accepted) male behavior, and, as I looked around the arena, there were 50 or so other men (yes, only men) standing at their seats. Am I correct in being annoyed that this male right was not respected?
(P.S. The families of the kids were seated on the opposite side of the arena, so I was not blocking parents’ views.)”
You were entirely within your rights to stand during halftime.
The problem with “down in front” guy is he’s always willing to fight over people standing up. You can’t really acknowledge him even if he’s wrong. Because then you’re the guy who gets into a screaming match over standing up at a sporting event. Down in front guy’s cohort is, although he’s always a little bit more silent about his opinion, is “You can see just as well sitting in your seats,” guy. He doesn’t scream as loud, but everyone can hear him lamenting the standing.
Here are my rules for standing at sporting events:
1. Do what the person in front of you is doing.
Until he stands up, you stay seated.
This is simple.
All of us have been at a sporting event where you see people start to stand up closer to the field and you see it creeping your way and you’re thinking, “Am I going to be standing or sitting? What do I do?!” It’s tough, but just wait until the guy in front of you makes the move.
2. Kids may stand on seats, and or, be lifted by their dads in any manner that’s required for them to see the field.
You cannot, however, lift the child higher than your own eye-level. That is, you can’t put the kid on you shoulders or something like that.
3. Halftime standing is always fair game.
If you want to avoid all issues, just go for a walk. The older you are the more you walk. My dad does laps of the stadium at halftime. He’ll be 70 this year. That’s normal. Old men are all walkers. They pass each other on the concourse, nod, keep walking.
4. If you’re returning to your seat, don’t return during the action.
This infuriates me and I feel like we all need a tutorial on this.
Why did you try and walk to your seat while a football play is actually taking place? Or while a pitch is actually en route to the mound? There are plenty of times when nothing is happening in a sporting event, when you can go to your seat without inconveniencing anyone. The fact that men mess this up is inexcusable. But women, all of you reading this right now should know this rule as well, stand in the aisle until the play is actually over. Then go to your seat.
5. You may never be the only guy standing in your row.
And if you ever find yourself in a stadium encouraging other people to stand up and cheer after you’ve reached the age of 22 and left college, then you really need to question your life’s direction.
That’s it, five handy steps.
So my two best friends are getting married this year and I will be the best man at both of their weddings. They are not really friends, more so acquaintances. My question is this: I feel I should have them both as a best man at my future wedding but not sure the etiquette of co-best men. Friend A is the friend who I do not talk to as much but always have a great time with and great friend. Friend B I talk to more but when we hang out not near as much fun to be had. I feel I can easily get out of this dilemma by having my father who is easily the most influential and important person in my life be my best man. Is this taking the easy way out, is this allowed? Do I need to nut up and just pick one of my buddies?
You have two options here:
1. Pick your dad.
Name both of these guys the best men for purposes of the bachelor party and allow them to be in charge of all details.
2. Pick Friend A to handle the bachelor party and Friend B for the actual wedding.