All That and a Bag of Mail: Manziel Draft Mania

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NEW YORK, NY – MAY 08: Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies takes the stage after he was picked #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Elsa Getty Images North America

It’s Friday and I hate the Tennessee Titans. 

I’m sure all of you have been there at some point too, where a team you root for just screws you over and over again. But last night was the capper. The Titans are the most boring franchise in the NFL and they consistently make decisions that demonstrate they have no clue they’re in the entertainment business. You want to know why so many Titans fans with tickets they’ve already paid for don’t show up for games? Because they are so GD boring. 

Look, the NFL isn’t complicated. If you have one of the top 12 quarterbacks you can win a Super Bowl. If you don’t, you can’t. That’s it. It really is that simple. The Titans don’t have one of the top 12 quarterbacks. Is Johnny Manziel going to be a top 12 quarterback? I have no idea. Neither do you. Neither does any scout. It’s almost impossible to predict whether or not a quarterback will succeed in the NFL regardless of his college career. 

But, guess what, the idea that he might be an incredible talent is worth three years of fun. Either he’s the guy or he isn’t — and we’ll all know after three years — but in the meantime everyone is excited. People can’t wait for the games to be played, there’s a palpable electricity in the tailgates, ticket sales surge, hello, sports are supposed to be fun. Johnny Manziel is the king of football fun right now and the Titans are the king of boring, staid, head to Las Vegas and be in bed by nine at night.  

So with that Johnny Football option staring them in the face, with the ability to reinvigorate the franchise for years — regardless of whether he won or lost — the Titans, who need a quarterback, didn’t even trade back and get more picks or draft a player who will start for them at another position of need. Instead, they drafted a back-up offensive tackle who is currently facing multiple criminal charges and allegedly threatened a fellow student who reported a rape that he would rape her again if she didn’t shut up. 

Really, that happened.   

The Titans even say they aren’t concerned about these charges. Really, that’s their exact statement. How many other organizations in America would give a multi-million dollar contract to someone with outstanding criminal charges and express no concern over multiple assault charges and their employee being named in a police report making insane threats to rape victims? 

I mean, how arrogant is this response?

Taylor Lewan has a much worse criminal background coming into the 2014 NFL draft than Pacman Jones did in 2005. How does no one even think this is an issue? Is Lewan getting a pass because he’s a white kid from a good Big Ten school? I think that’s part of it, I really do. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Lewan will be a BACK-UP this season. The Titans already gave millions of dollars to Michael Oher, yeah, the star of the Blind Side, and Michael Roos is under contract for another year. 

This pick is totally inexplicable on every possible level. 

There are many cliches I’m sick of, but the one that has become most galling is this — winning teams sell tickets, not players. Sure, winning sells tickets, but most NFL teams don’t win. And they certainly don’t win because of their tackles. If you don’t have a great quarterback, guess what, you’re a losing team. And you know what’s worse than being a losing team, which the majority of NFL teams are? Being a losing team that is consistently boring as hell. Being a losing NFL team without hope. 

Right now the Titans are a hopeless franchise that is boring as hell. 

And I hate them for it. 

Apologies for my rant, but I’m sure you’ve all been there with your teams at some point. Our beaver pelt trader of the week is this guy in Cleveland reacting to the Johnny Manziel pick. He is my spirit animal — Eric Metcalf jersey and all —  celebrating the Manziel pick. 

This could have been every bar in Nashville. Hell, I was ready to drop $5k on a bar tab to buy everyone free drinks. Seriously, that was my budget for the night. We would have had a wild party. 

Instead, this happened in Cleveland.

Congrats, Browns fans. 

And thank you, once again, Titans brain trust for passing on Johnny Manziel and taking a back-up offensive tackle facing criminal charges, why would you ever want to make your fans this happy?  

On to the mailbag. 

Clint B. writes:

“How much cooler did the city of Cleveland get for drafting Manziel? I feel like it increased by a factor of 10.”

You’re 100% right. 

This is what I wrote last week, the chamber of commerce should be able to consult on some draft picks, the really important ones that have a chance to burnish or remake a city’s image. Manziel’s image alone makes Cleveland infinitely cooler. Hell, how much cooler did Manziel make Texas A&M for future recruits? A thousand percent cooler? More? If he ends up an elite quarterback, Manziel could be as important to Cleveland as Jordan was to Chicago. And even if the doesn’t, the next three years will be huge for the city’s image. 

This is why Manziel to the Titans would have been so fabulous, his coolness fits the city’s vibe as a young, fun, energetic town. 

I could go on, but I’m just going to get mad at the Titans again.  

Multiple emailers and Tweeters:

“How bad was Ray Lewis last night on the draft?”

He murdered the broadcast. 

We need to end this idea that if you were good at football it means that you’re going to be good at TV too. If you want to go the pro athlete route there are dozens of players who could have destroyed Ray Lewis’s performance last night. Put Corey Chavous on there. The dude is fabulous and can break down every potential draftee and every potential free agent. Give me an analytics guy who relies on the numbers over the game film and pisses off all the old school players and scouts who just watch film.

How about Todd McShay instead of Ray Lewis? Where do they hide him during the broadcast? 

Give me anybody but Ray Lews. 

Putting Ray Lewis alongside Chris Berman made for the worst duo on television since Dana from Homeland and Sansa Stark. And at least those two have never been in the same show.  

How bad was Ray Lewis? He actually had me thinking, “You know, maybe Lou Holtz and Mark May aren’t that bad at television after all.”

ESPN employs so many people — who can’t say anything bad about ESPN employees — that there’s hardly anyone to point out how awful Ray Lewis was. So I feel like I have to do it. Here’s the other thing — the NFL Draft is so popular, I really don’t think it matters what any of the analysts say about the picks or who the analysts are. The analysts literally have zero impact on the audience. People want the NFL Draft so bad that they would watch Aaron Hernandez and Rae Carruth break this down from prison. 

Anonymous writes:

“Some of my friends and I, several of whom are getting married or are contemplating doing so, have been wondering about unconventional prenuptial agreements of sorts. Things like having your fiancé promise to still allow bi-weekly golf games, not forcing the sale of a motorcycle, staying in shape (as long as the husband is willing to stay in shape), etc. Is this a terrible idea that would result in break-ups or maybe even homicides? Or is it reasonable to expect that the future wives shouldn’t try to change their new husbands too much and that having an agreement of some sort would be beneficial? Should it be put into writing so it can be referred to in case of an argument? What concessions might the men be expected to make?
As the giver of advice on all things we couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to weigh in on this. Oh, and please keep me anonymous as my better half loves OKTC and especially the mailbag. Man, I hope she paid attention to Auburn fan Jennifer’s weekly blowjob advice.”

I think putting a prenuptial agreement in writing is genius. Not even the financial side — because most of us aren’t rich enough when we get married for the first time anyway — but just an expectation of married life agreement. 

Seriously, every couple should do this. 

You both agree to it, sign it, and then put it away. If there are conflicts that arise, the document can be cited like the marital constitution. “Actually, you agreed that you wouldn’t bitch about (his golf) (her shopping at Nordstrom’s), it’s right here in clause five.” You could even keep the document alive and add amendments as your marriage continues and evolves. You have kids, you move to a new city, someone gets a job that requires a lot more work.

I wish I had thought of this.

If some of you start doing this, send me your agreements. We’ll keep it anonymous, but I’d like to share it with others because it’s brilliant. 

Matthew G. writes:

“You have a strict no jersey policy for grown men. Understandable. But I propose an exception to this rule. It’s one exception, not anywhere near as many as hearsay has. Just one. My exception is soccer jerseys. Soccer jerseys don’t look ridiculous on a grown man like a football, basketball or baseball jersey. They fit like workout shirts or just regular shirts. Additionally, you take issue with a grown man wearing another grown man’s jersey. I see that. However, the thing about soccer jerseys is that you can wear one without a name or number on it and it won’t look weird. Most people buy them blank.

What is your take on this?”

I agree with you. Soccer jerseys are the exception to my general rule that no grown man should ever wear a jersey. 

Also, why do NFL jerseys have to be so big? Why can’t they be like soccer jerseys and just be normal shirts? Why do you need to waddle around in a potato sack, you’re not having to fit them over shoulder pads, you’re just a fat guy in the crowd. 

This at least avoids the “tucks the football jersey into the jeans,” look. You want to know the group of men that is having the least sex after an NFL game? Jersey tucked into jeans guy is it. I actually feel the worst for these guys because they’re trying to wear the jersey as a normal shirt. Instead it’s all bunched up in your groin, you have to buy jeans like three waist sizes bigger to fit in the fabric.

The only positive is if Aaron Hernandez shot you in the upper groin, you’d probably survive thanks to the extra padding.  

Meadows C. writes:

Hey Clay,

“Big fan of your column and even bigger fan of your trolling abilities. I don’t think there is anything that makes me laugh harder than when Bammer and UK fans go apeshit over something you’ve written/tweeted/said. Remember Kevin, the big guy from the office? He somehow managed to overcome his outrageous double chin, male pattern baldness and an over-sized FUPA to land a total smokeshow. Seriously, it is borderline ridiculous how attractive this woman is, particularly when you consider her new husband is the guy whose only claim to fame is playing a fat simpleton. Guy must have the best game in the world. Anyway, his real name is Brian Baumgartner, and I would like to nominate him for the Outkick the Coverage Hall of Fame.

See link below:

This is extraordinary work. 

He was like the ninth most important actor on “The Office,” too. 

Drew K. writes:

“I have a friend, 22 years old, who claims that given 5 years and unlimited resources (coaches, training, practice, gear, etc.) and no other formal commitments, he could be on the PGA tour at the end of this rocky meets tin cup style montage. Do you think this is possible? Do you think that your average golfer, shooting at least under 100 consistently, could end up on the Tour if all they focused on was golf for 5 years? I say no way. would love to hear your input.”

He is totally wrong. 

Do you know how hard it is to make the PGA Tour? It’s almost impossible. And the guys who make the tour have been grinding to refine their games for decades. Many of them have had unlimited resources. And you know what? They still can’t make the PGA Tour.

Now, does golf require less natural athleticism than the NBA, NFL, track and field, or, say, swimming?


But it still requires a great deal of talent and work.  

Somewhere along the way, sports fans have forgotten that talent matters. Genes matter. For instance, 99 percent of us have no chance to make the NBA the moment we are born. Our genes simply won’t allow it. We aren’t tall enough or fast enough or athletic enough. The same goes with our speed. I could have had the finest trainers in the history of mankind, the perfect foods, outstanding technique, I could have maximized every ounce of my body’s ability and never dunked a basketball or broken a 5.0 forty. 

That wouldn’t be because I wasn’t busting my ass or working as hard as I possibly could. 

It would just mean that I didn’t have the talent. 

We all have talents, find yours, exploit it. I know mine, it’s dick jokes and push-ups. 

What’s yours? 

Anonymous writes:

“Is there any excuse for a best man to not participate in a bachelor party if it has nothing to do with religious beliefs? I’m a part of a party coming up in a couple weeks that has completely derailed off the tracks because everyone wants to do something the best man doesn’t, so he’s refusing to help out or plan. The groom obviously isn’t happy either but can’t/won’t really start a fight over it. Any advice?”

It’s easy, exclude the best man from the fun parts of the bachelor party and let him plan a canoe trip, or whatever he wants to do to make sure that God isn’t mad at him for seeing boobs. He gets to participate in something, but leaves before he’s offended by whatever happens. 

I also don’t even think religious beliefs are an excuse here. You really think God is sitting up there keeping track of the number of lap dances a groom gets on his bachelor party? Like, when you die that God is going to itemize your every bachelor party sin? Think about how long that line would be at the pearly gates. 

Is the best man going to turn to a pillar of salt when a stripper comes out with tassels on her nipples? If so, I’d love to see that. Send me pictures. Lots of people will click on that link. 

Paul F. writes:

“I am a father of a two year old boy and my wife and I are expecting baby #2 in July. I tried to talk her into waiting to find out the sex until the baby was born. This obviously didn’t happen because as all married men know if she isn’t happy no one in the house is happy, so I gave in to finding out. Baby #2 is a boy so my question is….as a father, is there a better feeling than finding out that you are having a second boy?

Here’s my logic: The first baby is the “stresser” because if you lead with a girl and you want another child, then obviously two girls are in play and I don’t care what any father says out there, this has to be the most gut wrenching situation. To have to worry about multiple little girls and every boy in the world wanting to….. So with the first child being a boy, the pressure is kind of off for baby #2. If it’s a healthy girl, great. If it’s a healthy boy, awesome.

But a little piece of every father wants to field a middle of the lineup in baseball, starting 5 in basketball, or the starting backfield in football with their sons. So how did it feel for you to find out that baby #2 was a boy and as I said before is there a better feeling?”

We’re having baby boy number three in September. I’m pretty much convinced that we could keep having babies for the next decade and they’d all be boys. Some couples are just like this, you either make boys or girls.

But, yeah, every guy wants at least one boy. And if you have one the first time, it really limits the stress going forward. 

I would have liked a girl too. Just because I think the way the world is moving, if we had a girl I could make her dominant. She’d be hot because her mom is hot and both of our boys already look just like my wife. She’d be smart because — genetics — and from there I’m convinced I could teach her everything about men and she’d just destroy them all. 

I believe a really hot, smart woman is the killer app for the 21st century. 

So I kind of wanted a daughter for that reason, to dominate mankind. 

But it turns out I don’t even produce x chromosome sperm. 

Such is life. 

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.


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