All That and a Bag of Mail: Saban Plots To Eliminate Manziel Edition

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It’s Friday, you’re not working and eagerly awaiting the mailbag.

So let’s get rolling.

Yet again, y’all have killed it.

This week there’s no suspense, the beaver pelt trader of the week is Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey.

It’s a dead giveaway.

Now let’s dive into the mailbag.

Graham A. writes:

“This year’s Kentucky Derby got me thinking… Yes, if your horse wins, the payout is awesome. However the big money is made after the fact. Dan Patrick interviewed Dan Oneil (trainer for I’ll Have Another). Oneil said the stag/mate fee with his horse is $40k for one hit. So I ask why not farm out athlete sperm? Lebron, Kobe, Phelps, Brady? You think there would be suitors?”

This is actually a great question.

Women can already buy designer sperm so this is nothing new. They have pictures of the guys, documented SAT scores, height, weight, eye color, hair color. You name it, women can buy sperm from desireable men. Some popular donors have hundreds of kids now. 

Assuming you had an ironclad provision that the offspring weren’t allowed to inherit the athlete’s wealth, I think the demand would be massive and the athletes would stand to make a ton of money.  

You gotta think that a Tom Brady sperm would sell for millions, right? Same with LeBron James. Is there any doubt that LeBron James’s offspring — even if paired with an unathletic woman — would have very, very good athletic ability and be pretty tall? (This brings up the question that I’ve always wondered, given that we all produce billions of sperm over our lifetime, is every man, no matter how unathletic, capable, theoretically, of producing a pro athlete offspring? Given the billions of potential sperm, there would have to be outliers, right? I think the answer is yes.)

Especially for guys like Brady and Kobe that are good looking and pretty smart.

Athlete sperm would be really, really popular, but that’s just the tip of the sperm iceberg.

Actor sperm would be insanely valuable. Can you imagine what women would pay to have a kid with George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum or Denzel Washington’s sperm? How about Justin Timberlake?

On a broader level, shouldn’t the government encourage this? Shouldn’t we want our most talented, smart, and athletic men — and women — to have as many offspring as possible? Especially since, as a general rule, the least desirable your offspring are to society as a whole, the more kids you’re going to have. We have to counterbalance this.

So designer sperm tax breaks? How would the political parties come down on sperm tax breaks?

This just gets more fascinating the more you examine it. (Especially since we’re not far away from an era where kids will be able to know their entire genetic code.)

If Apple’s Steve Jobs was truly a genius, shouldn’t we want him to produce thousands of heirs so society can reap the benefits of their labors and creations?

Who would be the single most desired male sperm in America? Ladies, I need your emails. Poll your girlfriends. Pretend you’re single, desperately want a child, and can choose any man’s sperm to pair with your egg. Who ya got? 

Clark S. writes:

“I don’t buy that A.J. McCarron and Johnny Football are true friends. This has Saban written over it. What are the odds A.J. slips Johnny Football a roofie and Johnny wakes up with a bag of coke and a dead hooker in his bed? Saban eliminates his greatest threat to repeating as National Champions. I can hear Saban’s evil laugh now.”


The only flaw in Saban’s masterful plan is if they vacation in Cancun.

Because if you go to Mexico you can buy off the Mexican police for the coke and the dead hooker for around $50k.

So Johnny’s family could easily get him out of this mess. 

That’s why I’m sure Saban is pushing for Key West. No way Johnny gets out the set-up if it happens in Florida.

Whatver you do, Johnny, do not agree to vacation in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach.

Don’t do it!

Will G. writes:

This week I heeded the advice heavily laid on me by OKTC, and bought Homeland Season 1 on DVD. 7 or 8 episodes in = 100% hooked. I totally underestimated your assessment of the Hot-TV-momness of Brody’s wife that you made a couple of weeks ago, and for that I’d like to apologize. Whatever – not pertinent to my question.

I have a dilemma; my roommate is going out of town for the weekend, and he is equally, if not more, into the show (and Brody’s wife) than myself. It is supposed to rain all weekend (which puts a damper on the golf option), and the moron that I date has to work, so I don’t have a lot of opportunities for entertainment over the next two days.

My question is: How bad of a friend does it make me if I watch ahead when I know my roommate and best friend will not be there and will certainly fall 3 to 4 episodes behind? Will it help if I rewatch them with him? Should I not tell him that I watched ahead and rewatch with him? Is this how people in long term relationships feel when considering infidelity?”

I guarantee you every person reading this question right now has faced this moral dilemma, you’re so addicted to a series that you can’t hardly bear to wait and you have free time when your friend or significant other doesn’t, but at the same time you feel obligated by loyalty not to leap ahead in the series.

So what do you do?

What. Do. You. Do? (Jack Bauer strained facial expression.)

I’ll tell you.

Lots of y’all have faked it.

You’ve set down on your couches and pretended to be shocked by revelations in the show that you’ve already secretly watched. (This is the perfect duplicity for Homeland, by the way. You’re watching a show about a secret potential terrorist while at the same time working your own counter-intelligence on watching the show.) 

In fact, I think this is probably the single most common lie in relationships today, the DVR or DVD cheater. Worse, as in your case, it crosses all relationship barriers. You’re considering cheating on your roommate and your best friend, something you wouldn’t do in any other walk of life. (How many other non-television ways could you cheat on your roommate and best friend?)

So what are you stealing from them? The enjoyment of sharing a show together — the ability to react together, to discuss plot points — a moment when you both stare jaw agape as season one of Homeland comes to a roaring close.

Having said all that — I’d watch the show. 

You’re going to want to watch it again anyway. 

And if you don’t get asked if you’ve already seen it, it’s your secret. You and Brody and his beautiful wife will keep it quiet. 

(By the way, am I the only person who watches HBO or Showtime shows and roots for there to be nudity on that screen that flashes the parental warning beforehand. Every time it shows nudity, I pump my fist and say, “Yes!” And my wife, generally sitting beside me pretending she hasn’t already watched the episode while our two year old naps in the middle of the afternoon, rolls her eyes. I’ve been doing this for ten years now. You can imagine my disappointment when the nudity in Game of Thrones from two weeks ago turned out to be gay sex. Big. Letdown. I was rooting for Daenerys Targareyen to be naked. And so was every man and like a third of every woman watching this show.)   

Ben D. writes:

“Do you think the SEC ever jumps on the bandwagon of a 9-game conference schedule?”

I think the nine game schedule actually makes schedule equality even more of an issue than it is now. Why? Because you’d end up with uneven home vs. away games every year. And Alabama would somehow always get five home games.

Also, think about the teams that are playing neutral site games already. Texas A&M and Arkansas as well as Georgia and Florida.

Since that counts as a home game, if you want to keep those games in Dallas and Jacksonville then that means every other year those teams could only have three home games and six road or neutral conference games.

That’s why I’ve tossed out the idea of every school playing a neutral game each year. Then you’d have four home, four away, and one neutral site game.

Since you’ve already got two neutral site games set up, you only need five more.

I’d play Kentucky and Vandy in Nashville every year. Ole Miss and Mississippi State in Memphis or Jackson. South Carolina and Tennessee in Charlotte and Alabama and Auburn in the Georgia Dome. (There’s no stadium good enough to host the Iron Bowl in the state of Alabama.)

The toughest game left is LSU and Missouri, who don’t necessarily have rivals left that make sense and are on opposite sides of the division line.

So my solution is you schedule a game in New Orleans and Kansas City every year and give half the tickets to the opposing fan base. It’s not really neutral, but don’t you think teams would love to play in New Orleans? Kansas City is a tougher sell, but it helps to keep Missouri politicians happy. If you wanted to you could rotate the games between Kansas City and St. Louis.

The big benefit here is that it theoretically keeps the schedules relatively even and colonizes several cities that don’t have SEC games presently. South Carolina and UT would turn into a huge game in Charlotte, a city that both schools want to recruit. Kentucky fans love Nashville and this game would be evenly divided fan-wise, Alabama and Auburn fans would bitch about playing outside the state until you pointed out to both of them that it is a huge recruiting advantage to play in Atlanta.

I think it makes quite a bit of sense all around.  

Now, the biggest catch about nine games from a business perspective — that no one is talking about but me — is that this reduces the inventory of SEC games by seven.

Right now there are 113 regular season SEC football games.

That’s 56 out of conference, 56 in conference, and the SEC title game.

If you play nine SEC games that means you’d now play 63 SEC games, but you’d only play 42 out of conference games (14 teams would play three OOC instead of four). So that’s just 106 football games instead of 113..

When it comes to television value in an SEC Network era is it better to have those seven extra games?

I don’t know, but my guess is yes.

Finally, keep in mind that most SEC athletic budgets require that teams have at least seven home games. If Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky keep playing their in-state out of conference rivals then those schools would only have six home games some years.

Does the budget still work then? Would fans be upset with this?

Basically, going to nine games is a lot more complicated than most realize.

And this is before we even discuss the physical toll that would be extracted and the increased difficulty that making a bowl would entail.

Chris R. writes:

“I know, you’re an unapologetic SEC honk, but you’re funny about it. Oh, and a gay muslim.

So who’s going to take over for Lane Kiffin after he screws up again this year? Do you actually think he can win? If he gets canned at USC, what other program would want him? Would James Franklin or Charlie Strong be interested in going out west?”

If Lane Kiffin gets fired, I think USC’s top target will be Vandy’s James Franklin.
In fact, I have zero doubt about it.
I’m not sure what Franklin would say — he makes a ton of money at Vandy and he’s recruited very well so he’s set up to make bowl games for years to come — but I think he would be the top target for USC. 
Charlie Strong has won, but he hasn’t really recruited that well and he’s not a particularly appealing person from a media perspective. I’m sure he’d be on USC’s list, but I don’t think he’d be the best hire because you have to get someone who can fire up a big city fanbase.
Franklin could do that in a big way.  
If Franklin says no the USC list gets more interesting. 
Assume you’re not getting David Shaw or Jim Mora, Jr. to jump over in the Pac 12. 
So who do you go after next?
I’m sure Chris Petersen would be pursued again. He’d say no. Could you get Mike Gundy to leave Oklahoma State? How about Bob Stoops? He seems to have gone completely off the reservation of late. Does he want out of Oklahoma? It would scare A&M fans to death, but would Kevin Sumlin listen to USC?
That would be my next top tier of top coaches. 
But I think all these guys would say no.
Basically, if James Franklin says no and you can’t persuade that proven next tier of coaches to take your job, who are the targets you know could recruit nationally and win big at USC to replace Lane Kiffin?
The list is pretty short. 
Which is why I think James Franklin, coming off his third consecutive bowl game at Vandy, will be the number one target on USC’s list.
If you’re a Vandy fan you better be rooting as hard as you can for Lane Kiffin to win big in 2013.  
“Peter M. writes:

When walking by yourself down a very long hallway, and another individual is on the other end walking towards you, when is the appropriate time to engage that person in conversation or eye contact? If it’s a stranger, do they get a head nod, a “Hey, how’s it going”, do you pretend to play with your phone, or do you just stare straight ahead and keep moving?”

I always give a head nod as you pass each other. Prior to that I try not to directly stare the person so they don’t think we’re about to joust.

Better question here is how to do you respond to the people when they say your name as you pass, but you don’t know their name back?

I’m not a name guy. Some people are great with names, I’m not. I’m a details guy. So I’ll remember some ridiculous story you told me at a Christmas party five years ago, but I’ll have no idea what your name is for a long time.

But name people are always showing off their name recall ability.

And when they show off by saying your name you always have that dangerous moment. You think you know their name, but are you really sure you do? Are you willing to risk it? So I always go with a simple, “What’s up?”

Also, how long after you meet someone can you wait before asking their name again? What’s the time limit?

It’s pretty short, right?

By the way, usually people who are bad at remembering names end up married to people who are great at remembering names, which ends up saving you. But my wife is even worse with names than I am. She’s always like, “I don’t think I’ve met this person.” And I’m like, “Yes, you have, like ten times.” (Yes, we talk like Southern California sorority girls all the time.) Usually women save men here. Not in my case.
Basically, names are a disaster for me.
(The flip side to this is the number of single guys and girls who are obsessed with someone they’ve never met on Facebook and when you actually meet this person you have to pretend you don’t know anything about them and haven’t been Facebook and Google stalking them for months. You’re even reading their Twitter account secretly too, aren’t you? So you actually know everything about them and have to pretend you’re completely clueless).

Jordan H. writes:

“Hey Clay,

I’m a big fan of Outkick the Coverage and I try to read everything you guys post. Earlier this week tight end Milan Richard, the nephew of running back Herschel Walker, committed to Clemson over his uncle’s alma mater, which brought back memories of Herschel explaining that he chose to attend Georgia instead of Clemson after flipping a coin. I’m crazy about “What If?” scenarios, but how different would the Southeastern Conference as well as college football be today had one of the sports’ greatest running backs chose to play each Saturday against ACC opponents?”
There are so many different things that could have happened.
First, Georgia doesn’t win the national title in 1980 or win three straight SEC titles while Walker is there. This cuts Vince Dooley’s SEC titles in half and maybe, just maybe, keeps Derek Dooley from ever being hired at Tennessee.
If Georgia doesn’t win the national title in 1980 then the Bulldogs would have never won a consensus national title in their football history. 
This would make Georgia the Chicago Cubs of the SEC.
Meanwhile, Clemson won a national title in 1981 — beating Walker’s Bulldogs along the way to the title — but went on probation shortly thereafter.
Clemson went 6-5, including a four-point loss at Georgia, in 1980.
How many wins would Walker have been worth on that 1980 team? Especially considering how close many of those losses were?
Could Clemson have won back-to-back titles?
Could that have ended up getting Clemson into the SEC over South Carolina?
Interesting question.
Matt M. writes:
Some friends and I are thinking of having my bachelor party (second time’s the charm!) in Nashville the weekend of October 4-7. As Kansas City, Missouri guys, on Saturday, we would go to the Mizzou/Vandy game and then the Chiefs/Titans game on Sunday. Do you have any recommendations on where to stay for the bachelor party and/or places to go party? We are in our early/mid 30’s and want to be around the “action.” (I don’t know why I just used quotation marks – “action” is not code for anything that I know of).”
Wait, are you having a bachelor party for a second marriage? Or did the first wedding not happen after you already had the bachelor party? There’s a big difference here.
Because there is no way on Earth that the guys still married to their first wives had an easy time getting away for your second bachelor party. “Oh, so you’re going to go away to the bachelor party of the guy who couldn’t even stay married to his wife? You’re going to celebrate his divorce?”
But if she called off the wedding you’re still golden.
This is a huge swing, like the difference between going up 3-1 in a series or still being tied 2-2.
Stay downtown or near Vandy. Anywhere else and you’ll spend the money you save on neverending cab rides.
Eat at Chuy’s and Virago in Midtown.  
Go out to these bars: Robert’s, Legend’s, Tin Roof, South, Paradise Park, Loser’s.
Zach M. writes:

“Charles Ramsey instantly became one of my heroes after his recent interviews this week. The one-liners, the constant use of “bro” (especially when talking to Anderson Cooper), and his hair made me want to be this man’s best friend. With all of the speculation of McDonald’s being in contact with Ramsey for possible marketing, what do you think would be the best name for a food item (sandwich, dessert, drink, etc.) to be named after the man himself?”

Gotta be a special version of the McRib with salsa on the side, right.

The McRamsey!

Dead giveaway.

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.

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 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.