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A meteor hit Russia today and it was terrifying to see. Which got me thinking, can you imagine what it was like when the giant meteor hit and killed all the dinosaurs? (For the incredibly religious among you, I mean when God killed the dinosaurs in the second or third day after he created the Earth). In theory I knew that had to be amazing to see, but after watching a small meteor hit Russia, this thing would have been unbelievable. Also, if the meteor had hit in Tuscaloosa during an Alabama practice, and the linemen false started, do you think Nick Saban would scream at them?
I think he would.
Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about this morning as I polish off the mailbag.
Some props to you guys, you’ve absolutely killed it of late on mailbag questions. I’ve been doing the mailbag since 2006 and it really is the most fun I have every week. Why? Because I truly have no idea what you guys are going to ask and it’s an incredible amount of fun to check out your questions and think about my answers. So thanks to y’all.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is the guys at SprtsHumor who asked a brilliant question, how did Cam Newton end up in Michael Jordan’s soul-glo ad back in the 1980’s?
The bagman was already getting Cam money even back when he was a kid.
On to the mailbag.
It’s basically, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire With Sharks.”
Which might be the greatest reality television show pitch ever.
“About your DeLoss Dodds article, do you see Texas calling Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott, if A&M starts to dominate the state of Texas?”
Texas is in a very tough spot, but I’m not sure the Pac12 is their salvation. I think the Big Ten or the ACC are more likely. And I’m not sure how likely those conferences are. The Pac12 needs the Big 12 schools much more than the Longhorns need the Pac12.
Dodds’s next big move will be forcing out Mack Brown and drastically overpaying for his next college coach. He’s going to be like the drunk guy in a fight who throws the massive haymaker to start off the brawl. Dodds is swinging from his toes. Figure Mack Brown has one at most two years left at Texas. Assuming that’s the case, which coaches will be at the top of Dodds’s list. He’ll offer an obscene amount of money to Nick Saban. I assume Saban will say no. Then he’ll move down the flow chart. Texas will offer Chris Petersen a ton of money and if he’s not winning in the NFL they’ll also offer Chip Kelly gobs of money to leave the Eagles and come back to college.
Here’s a question that the guys at Texags.com asked me this morning; what if Dodds makes a run at Kevin Sumlin? Oh, man, can you imagine this? I don’t think Sumlin would leave for Texas, but can you imagine if that story got out there? And wouldn’t it be a vintage Dodds move?
You can also figure that Charlie Strong and James Franklin, particularly Franklin since he’s proven to be a great recruiter, will also be on Texas’s list.
But what if they can’t get a bona fide guaranteed big name winner? What if Sumlin had a press conference to turn down Texas? How sweet would this be for the Aggies?
If he has difficulty hiring a new coach then Dodds will really be screwed. But I don’t really see the conference realignment issue being as important for Texas in the near future. The most important next decision that Texas will make is this one — who will replace Mack Brown? That is Dodds’s only chance to help erase the lasting taste of abject failure that hangs in the air after the Longhorn Network and the Big 12’s decline.
Tom G. writes:
“Are you against all anonymous Internet writing or just anonymous Internet attacks?”
I should have clarified my stance yesterday in the Darren Rovell sports blogosphere column. I’m not opposed to people writing under pseudonyms if they feel they need to do it to keep their currently existing jobs. When I was practicing law and writing online, there were some uncomfortable moments based upon writing using my own name. I wouldn’t personally write under a pseudonym because I do think there’s real value in attaching your actual name to everything you write. I emailed some with Will Leitch about this yesterday, he just fundamentally disagrees with this, he thinks anonymous commentary is fine. Clearly, I disagree with that.
I would, however, be fine with the use of a pseudonym for people who are trying to make a living in sports media, are writing original content, and are concerned about losing their day jobs in the process. But I really think this exception is pretty tiny. Sports on the Internet has been thriving for over a decade now and how many people have begun writing anonymously, come out under their own names, and now make a living writing with a substantial audience while about sports? I can think of three: Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead, Spencer Hall at EDSBS.com, and Drew Magary at Deadspin.
That’s three total people who have moved from anonymous writing to full-time sports media jobs in over a decade. (There may be more, but it’s a tiny, tiny percentage). That’s just a tiny percentage of overall writers. To those guys credit they were creating original content, particularly Spencer and Drew, and felt they needed to write anonymously to be able to create that content. I can respect that. So I’d make a limited anonymous exception for writers with full-time jobs who are attempting to make a living writing original content and are concerned that they’d lose their day jobs if they were writing under their own names. But that’s a small, small minority of the anonymous commentary on the Internet.
In fact, an underrated aspect of writing online is how hard it is. In the early days of the sports blogosphere “mainstream” media used to worry that online writers would take their jobs. That hasn’t happened much. Mainstream writers have lost their jobs because the business models of their newspapers cratered, not because online writers stole their jobs. There’s a tiny percentage of people who have the talent, drive, and willingness to write thousands of words a week for years before they make enough money to make a living out of it.
In other words, making a living online is really, really time-consuming. And you have to bust your ass much harder on your own than you do if you’re writing for a large site. I get criticized every week for self-promoting, and I want to scream, “Do you realize that all of these major companies have entire public relations departments that employ people just to self-promote the work of their writers? That’s all these people do.” For online writers like me you have to be the self-promoter. Otherwise your content dies on the vine.
But back to you question, the vast majority of anonymous commentary on the Internet is made up of complete and total coward losers who are not using their own names because they’re pansies who will not accomplish much with their own lives and they enjoy picking on people who have balls, either literal or metaphorical. I really think we gain nothing at all from these people being able to give their opinions. On the other hand, I’m fine with any opinion that someone is willing to attach their name to — I don’t believe we’ve ever edited anyone on Outkick who is writing from an actual Facebook account — but if you aren’t even willing to attach your name to it, why should I or anyone else care what you think?
The only addition I’d make to yesterday’s column on Darren Rovell and the sports blogosphere is this: Darren Rovell has over 300,000 Twitter followers and regularly reads his mentions. I should have included this line: Don’t you think Rovell is far better versed in what the online community thinks of him based on those 300,000 Twitter followers than Leitch and the sports blogosphere are based upon what 25 overeducated white guys who are all friends think of him?
That should have been in there as well.
Adam T. writes:
“I asked my friend if he followed you on Twitter, and his response was “No, sounds like a country singer.” 1. How many times do you think you’ve been mistaken for a country artist? 2. If you were a country artist, which country artist female would you want a chance with? I don’t like country music personally, but there sure are some pretty women in that industry.”
I get mistaken for a country singer a ton. Especially since I live in Nashville and have the name Clay Travis. I should just release the worst country music album of all time. And pretend I thought it was really good. (News flash, in addition to being a really crappy swimmer I am one of the most tone-deaf people on Earth.)
In all honesty though, I get told, “Your gay,” all the time, this is well established. The second most common insult I get is about my name. Something witty like, “Is Clay Travis your real name? More like Clay Aiken. Gaywad.” The same people who think it’s funny to call people gay also think it’s funny to make fun of people’s names. Go figure.
To answer your question on country music women, it’s Carrie Underwood.
Carrie Underwood came into our radio studio once and she was breathtakingly gorgeous, one of the best looking women I’ve ever seen in person. I think she’s the best looking country music artist.
Daniel S. writes:
“If you had to pick one to be your wife would you pick Rayna James or Tami Taylor? I would go with Tami, but I need to hear from another Connie Britton lover.”
Is this a real question? Would I pick the philandering country music star who has already slept with everyone and seems like a pretty crappy mom or Tami Taylor, the greatest and hottest TV mom and wife in the history of television?
Anyone who picks someone other than Tami Taylor is a complete and total fool.
“If you were stranded on a cruise ship what coach would you want to be stranded with and what coach would you not?”
First, can we please stop pretending that these cruise ship passengers just survived the Titanic sinking? It’s not like they were immigrants crossing the Atlantic for months or, God forbid, slaves kept in the dank, dim, recesses of an old wooden ship as they were brought to America in chains. These were people with plenty of food and drinks and they were on a boat for a few days longer than expected. Would this suck? Of course. Would it really, really suck if you had young children and you had a crappy room in the bowels of the ship with no window? Yes, even more.
But it’s not like you were in real danger of dying. You would eventually be fine. The boat wasn’t even stranded in bad weather. This is the most overhyped media story since The Decision.
If you had a room with a balcony, would it really have even been that awful? I don’t think so at all.
I guarantee you I would have been peeing off my balcony. I know my dad would have too. My dad sometimes walks outside to pee so this would basically have been a dream come true for him, an excuse to pee outside into the ocean? It’s his dream come true. Confession: I live in downtown Nashville and sometimes when I come home late at night, I pee in my backyard. I’ve even got my sons started on this too. My wife is furious because my five year old will sometimes say, “Can I pee outside, Dad?” I really hope that the Travis family aren’t the only males in America who do this.
If I was famous and the paparazzi stalked out my house I might become the first person in US Weekly history to get caught peeing outdoors.
Anyway, I’d of kind of thought it was cool to be able to pee off the side of a cruise ship.
But, to get back to your question, the worst coach to be stuck on the cruise ship with is Nick Saban. Because you know Saban had every work day planned already as soon as he returned from the cruise. Can you imagine how pissy he’d be getting held up on the cruise ship for days he planned to watch film? No thanks. (FYI, Saban is basically the worst person to ever be stuck with anywhere). The best? I’m going with a trio: Steve Spurrier, James Franklin, and Les Miles would all be pretty fun.
Spurrier wouldn’t just pee off the balcony, he’d definitely be hitting golf balls off the balcony too.