All That and a Bag of Mail: Sarah Savage vs. Katherine Webb

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A few months backed I joked that AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel’s girlfriends were going to compete all off season to see which one of them was hotter. Two weeks ago Katherine Webb’s Sports Illustrated bikini shots debuted. Now Manziel’s girlfriend Sarah Savage is returning hotness fire with this picture that she posted last night on her Instagram account.

Oh. My. Goodness.

(Uncle Verne chortle).

How long is it until Sarah Savage gets picked out in a crowd shot and becomes every bit as famous as Katherine Webb?

Better question, would Brent Musburger be willing to comment on Savage after the ESPN apology? What would he say if Texas A&M is in the BCS title game and ESPN cameras cut to Savage in the crowd? Will ESPN ever show another hot girlfriend on television or are they too scared to do so now? (This is why Fox needs to have some SEC games. Fox would let Sarah Savage call part of the game).

Anyway, who ya got in the hot girlfriend challenge?

Sarah Savage?

Or Katherine Webb?

This is every bit as tough as trying to pick a winner in the September 14th Alabama at A&M game.

The simple truth — we’re all winners in this competition.

But I think I’m going with Savage. Y’all?

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is this cheerleader who hit a flipping half court shot.

This is the greatest halfcourt shot of all time, no hyperbole.

On to the mailbag: 

Will R. writes:

“I took two online courses for my brother a few years ago after he had already planned a few post-graduation trips one summer but found out he didn’t have enough credits to graduate. Since I’m awesome, I took his online courses for him, with relative ease. I literally just signed in as him, completed the assignments and hit submit. He passed two fairly intense courses without ever lifting a finger. Ole Miss gave him his diploma and he enjoyed a summer in Europe and Hawaii.

How much more common will this be in the future for athletes? If I’m a 5 star recruit do I ever set foot in a classroom in the year 2020, or sooner?

How will scholastic “avatars” (for lack of better words) be compensated for doing homework for these blue chippers? Are they paid with killer seats to games? Do they get a luxury box to all share? Do they get to hang out with the athletes in social settings and ride their coat tails to college glory?

Does The University of Phoenix capitalize on this new trend, start a football program, and win a BCS Championship in the next decade?”

First, congrats on being a great brother. Second, I can’t believe you didn’t ask me to leave off your last name. (By the way, the default here is that I take off everyone’s last name in the mailbag so you guys don’t have to worry about your top Google result being a mailbag question on OKTC.) Can you imagine if Ole Miss stripped your brother’s diploma because of a mailbag confession? I suspect that there will be more and more of this type of thing happening in the future.

I think the default payment for doing online work has to be killer seats. If you’re a guy, the second best payment would be groupie sex. i.e., you get the overflow girls that the star athlete can’t sleep with on any given night in exchange for doing all his work. Can you imagine how prevalent this situation will become on college campuses going forward? I didn’t think college could get any easier, but how amazing would college have been if you never had to wake up and actually go to class? If all you have to do is sit down in front of a computer every afternoon, this is just a complete and total joke. Online classes are the best thing to happen to college bars since the repeal of prohibition.  

I’m so jealous.  

Online courses will make it even easier for college athletes to graduate without knowing how to read. Of course this already happens. Some of y’all have been emailing asking why I’m not writing more about North Carolina’s academic scandal, and the reason is because I don’t think that situation is unique at all. No matter where you go to school, there is a cottage industry of individuals who exist to keep your athletes eligible. Hell, I went to George Washington undergrad, we didn’t even have a football team or a prominent athletic department, and the athletes were still funneled into the easiest classes at the school. The academic advisors knew which subjects and professors were the best to keep players eligible. I took a class called “Voice and Diction,” that was 99% athletes. Every class I had in sixth grade was harder than this course. Our final was a five minute persuasive speech.

One guy gave a speech about why ecstasy made going to clubs more fun.

That’s why I’ve always said that if you’re an athlete and you become academically ineligible, you aren’t just dumb as hell, you’re also lazy as hell. Look at the Wonderlic scores, you can graduate without being able to read. And this happens with kids actually going to class. Can you imagine what will happen with kids not even having to go to a classroom?

Brian H. writes:

“Is Oscar Pistorius actually a flight risk? Would he not stick out like a sore thumb at any airport when going through the security checkpoint with carbon legs? If he’s guilty and receives the death penalty, South Africa should consider going the “Swim 200 yards to Seal Island and you are free” route. Is having no legs a negative (slower in the water) or positive (less for the shark to bite / metal weapon against shark)?”

He has to wear his monitor on his wrist, right? I mean, you can’t attach it to his ankle when he has no ankles.

As for whether he’s a flight risk, it would be hard for a the most famous man in the world with no legs to hide anywhere. Yes, he can’t go through security very easily at airports, but he could hop on a boat and disappear. Or he could get on a private airplane and flee that way. Here’s a wild question for you, what would North Korea do if Pistorius just showed up requesting asylum in the country? Would they admit him? Has anyone ever fled to the country of a mad dictator to escape a murder charge? Can we predict what Kim Jung Un would do? 

The other question I have is this, if he’s convicted of murder aren’t his legs weapons in prison? I mean, they’re springy blades. He could sharpen those things into a machete in a heartbeat and rule the prison yard.

Also, does anyone actually believe that you could accidentally shoot your girlfriend in the bathroom? How many times have you been sleeping next to a man or woman, woken up because you heard a noise in the house, and immediately checked to see whether the person you were sleeping next to is still beside you? Isn’t that the first thing every person does in this situation? The simplest explanation for the noise is always the person next to you. Yet Pistorius claims it was too dark to see anyone. Was it too dark to touch the part of the bed where someone was sleeping?

I can’t believe that this defense would work anywhere in the world.

And who just fires a gun blindly into a door anyway?

Even OJ Simpson thinks this defense is weak.

Finally, South Africa doesn’t have the death penalty, but the shark challenge is a good penalty-eraser. You swim for freedom. I’d be in favor of this for most non-violent penalties too. Going to jail for a decade for selling drugs is stupid, let’s allow a physical challenge for freedom.

Last question, how long until we have another really famous person charged with murder in the United States? I’m saying within the next five years someone incredibly famous will be charged with murder. And I’m betting it’s Charlie Sheen.

Rob S. writes:

“I feel bad rooting for the KGB in “The Americans.” In 30 years, do you think they will make a show about a Big 10 fan infiltrating the SEC league offices and, if so, should we feel bad rooting for the Big 10 fan?”

I’m also rooting for the KGB in “The Americans.” But I wonder how much of this has to do with how badass the two KGB agents are? Keri Russell is gorgeous and her husband is a real life communist James Bond. Plus, the conflicting moralities here make “The Sopranos,” seem like “Sesame Street.” Your kids are Americans, each member of the couple is sleeping with multiple enemies in an effort to gain intelligence, you can’t trust anyone, I love this show already. 

You need to watch. 

Especially because the actual real-life Cold War spy stories are amazing. Did you know we built a secret tunnel underneath the Russian embassy during the 1980’s? A drunk Boris Yeltsin once slipped his security detail and snuck out of the Blair House wearing his boxers in search of a pizza. I mean, the true stories are flat out amazing. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

Plus, it makes you wonder about other interesting things. For instance, this week when I was watching the show I started wondering, how did the Russians or Chinese not entrap Bill Clinton with a smoking hot spy? Or smoking hot spies? I mean, Bill Clinton was willing to risk his presidency for a chubby intern, what would he have done for Keri Russell? Do you think this has ever happened before, a president has gotten entrapped with an affair with a spy only we didn’t know about it? Is this how weird, illogical decisions end up happening? I mean, JFK and Lyndon Johnson slept with everyone, one of these women had to be a spy, right?

If it didn’t happen, Bill Clinton avoiding blackmail by a hot spy is an upset the equivalent of a 16 seed beating a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Anyway, something to think about.

Finally, no one with a soul will ever root for the Big Ten.

Phillip W. writes:

“Okay, we already know that you would be incredible at online dating because you told us that in a past mailbag. Would/could those skills translate into being a contestant on “The Bachelor”?
If you were taken on as a project at D1 and you had six months to do nothing but get in shape, could you deploy the same skills and run the gauntlet? Watching the show (because my wife makes me, of course) it’s obvious the douche bag to normal guy ratio is around 10:1.”

Since I watch this show, I’m assuming you mean, “The Bachelorette.”

It’s easy to be “The Bachelor, because the women are all competing for you, but I’m not good looking enough to be, “The Bachelor.” I would be the ugliest bachelor ever with the least sexy job ever. Can you imagine when they introduced me to the girls? “Clay is a sports talk radio show host who runs a sports website out of his house.”

All the girls would immediately frown. The reaction shots on this would be priceless.

I once asked my wife what my best physical attribute was and she said, “You’re smart and funny.”

Seriously, this was my best physical attribute.

There hasn’t been a bachelor with facial hair yet either, has there? My only real strengths as the ugly bachelor would be that I’m six feet tall and, under your premise, I’d be in ridiculously good shape. Also, I think I could be really entertaining on the show. Most women tend to like me because I’m brutally honest and because I can make them laugh. Would this be enough to keep ratings high? I have no idea. 

Now, flipping the premise, “The Bachelorette,” guys are a really weird lot. I mean, I completely buy the premise that there are tons of women who would be happy to get engaged to a great catch of a bachelor while beating out other attractive women in the process — this is like every women’s secret dream, being chosen as the princess by prince charming — but who are the guys with lots of options in the real world who want to suddenly be put into a house to compete with 25 other men for the same woman? I just don’t know any normal guys who would really want to do this. So on its face I think you attract a really weird subset of men to this television show. If you’re a decent looking guy with a decent job in the real world, you have tons of quality options. Why limit yourself to one?

Having said this, my success on, “The Bachelorette,” would be 100% determined by who the bachelorette was. The smarter she was and the wackier her sense of humor was, the better of a chance I would have to advance. The dumber and less funny she was, the quicker I would get eliminated.

So I’m nowhere near as confident in my realitiy television dating ability as I am in my online dating abilities.  

Also, am I a bad dad for letting my five year old watch “The Bachelor,” with me? My five year old really enjoys it. My wife is completely against us watching it together.   

Scott S. writes:

“So, you have sons. Which SEC schools, in order, would you like them to attend? Would the list be different if you had a daughter?”

I’m going with the best academic schools in order .

So my list is based entirely on academics:

1. Vanderbilt

2. Florida

3. Georgia

4. Texas A&M

5. Alabama

My list would be the exact same if I had a daughter. Honestly, I would love to have a daughter because I think I could turn her into a complete, Keri Russell-esque, badass. Now that I’ve got two sons, it would be awesome to have a daughter too. 

Halston W. writes:

“Clay, Do you ever think Sportscenter or the whole ESPN network will ever be up against some true competition. I watch ESPN a lot but at the same time cannot stand Sportscenter and the constant overkill of the current sporting events or characters going on…Have we become too comfortable and possibly brainwashed by the mother ship, and will she ever actually be challenged?”

Good question.

The key here is that these other networks need to have good actual sports programming for you to give them a chance. If you like the NHL, then you’re probably giving NBC Sports Network a chance. But what reason would you have to watch CBS Sports Network? Fox is going to launch two sports stations soon, and I’m interested what they’ll be able to accomplish since they have some decent sports programming. I hate to sound like Nick Saban, but it’s a process.

ESPN has a thirty year head start on these other networks.

Go back and look at what ESPN had on in 1979 and 1980 and 1981. It was awful. In terms of live sports programming ESPN has a massive head start over the other three networks.

Right now if you ranked them for best sports programming it would look like this:


2. Fox

3. NBC

4. CBS

I don’t see CBS having much chance going forward, but I’m curious about Fox and NBC’s chances. Fox has already succeeded twice when everyone said they had no chance. First in creating a network and second in taking over cable news. Fox had a much bigger deficit in both network television and cable news than it does in sports. So I think Fox has a good chance. NBC has a good chance to start to make a dent as well. They’ve been grabbing niche programming thus far, but Crossover and the Dan Patrick Show both have pretty good appeal.

The question isn’t what do these networks look like now, it’s what will they look like in five years?

I have no idea.

But I’m confident that ESPN will still be number one for the simple fact that ESPN will have the best national sports programming over the next decade.

Justin S. writes:

“Please help solve an argument between my gf and I. She says people that run marathons and ride the Tour de France are the best “athletes” in the world. I say it’s basketball players because I think you have to have more skills to be elite at basketball. Basically my definition of a better athlete would be if you made the best marathon runner and the best basketball player compete in 100 random sports, the basketball player would win more because he has to have more skills instead of just endurance. Please further this argument for us…”

You’re right, she’s wrong. 

I happen to agree with you that basketball players are the best athletes in the world because their combination of size, strength, and body control is unmatched in my opinion, but you could also make an argument for sprinters as the greatest athletes in the world too. Think about how crazy of an athlete Usain Bolt is. He’s the best in the world at something that every single person with legs can do. He’s the fastest human on the planet. That’s an amazing title. Lots of people never bicycle in the mountains or go swimming or play basketball or soccer or go ski so whoever is the best at those sports might not actually be the best in the world if we all applied ourselves to it. 

But every single one of us with working legs runs at some point in our lives. And Bolt is better at that than all of us.

That’s pretty unbelievable.

Plus, if you’re a great sprinter you’re also a great leaper — the two are connected — and what’s more naturally athletic than someone who can run really fast and jump really high? That is the definition of an athlete, right?

So you can make an argument that sprinters are the greatest athletes in the world.

But I still think top NBA athletes are the greatest in the world.    

Here’s the easiest way to think about it, how many sports could the best NBA athletes play professionally? Let’s just take LeBron James as an example. He could clearly play in the NFL, right? Even if he didn’t want to play tight end or wide receiver or defensive end or free safety, he’s 6’8″ and 280 pounds. He could be the greatest left tackle ever. WIth his footwork and strength, is anyone ever getting around him? No way. LeBron could play goalie in soccer. Can you imagine how much space he’d be able to cover with his wingspan and body agility? He clearly has great hand-eye coordination so he’d be able to catch lots of shots too. (And he could probably play other positions as well, but he’d be an amazing goalie for sure.)

Could LeBron hit a baseball or play tennis? I think he probably could if he’d started playing young. His hand-eye coordination would translate to other sports. The same is true of golf. 

Basically, LeBron James is such a great athlete that I believe he could have played any sport on earth professionally if he’d started training at a young age. 

In making your argument, your girlfriend is confusing fitness with athleticism. Marathoners and bicyclists might be in the best physical condition, but they aren’t necessarily the best athletes. Do you think a Kenyan marathoner would also be good at basketball? At baseball? At cricket and soccer? Could Lance Armstrong have played in the NBA or the NFL instead of the Tour de France?

I don’t think so. 

In order to be the greatest athlete, your skill set would have to translate across all sports boundaries. There’s no way marathoners and bicyclists fit that bill. It’s either sprinters or NBA players as the best athletes in the world.   

Craig B. writes:

“I’m totally with you grown on men wearing jerseys. My rule is like yours, once the player is your age or younger, no jersey can be worn. I have one thought that is even worse in honor of baseball opening day. Is there anything worse than a grown man who brings a baseball glove to a game as a spectator? It’s wrong for many reasons:

1)The likelihood of a ball coming to you is slim to none anyway

2) It’s not kryptonite, on the off chance the ball does come your way JUST CATCH IT. The only exception to this rule is a screaming line drive if you are sitting near first or third base. On all other normal high pop-up fouls, you are a pansy if you need a glove to catch it.

3) No man has ever picked up a woman at a ballgame while wearing a glove… this has to be true right?
We’re in complete agreement on the grown man with the glove at the baseball game. The only way you can take your glove to the game as a grown man is if you’re with a kid who is also wearing his glove. Then the kid will think it’s pretty cool that his dad/grandpa/uncle also has his glove with him. Plus, the real fun of taking the glove with a kid is in discussing how you’d react if the ball actually comes in your area. Would you catch it? Could you?

While we’re talking about this, if you’re a grown man and you get a foul ball or a homerun ball, you have to give the ball to a kid sitting near you.

Absolutely have to.

Keeping the ball yourself is completely forbidden. And if you actually push a kid out of the way to make the catch, you should be beaten.

I never thought about it before, but you have to be right about the glove as kryptonite for women. I’m not sure I can think of another fashion choice a grown man could make at a baseball game that would make him less likely to pick up a woman. I mean, how ashamed would a woman be to wake up the next morning and see a grown man’s baseball mitt from little league sitting on her nightstand? If you’re a woman and this was the first thing you saw in the morning and you couldn’t remember anything from the night before, you’d be thinking, “Please be Derek Jeter, please be Derek Jeter…” then you turn over in bed and it’s some goateed guy just sitting there. The first thing he’s going to say to you is this, “Sorry to have to run out of here in a hurry like this. They get mad at us when we’re late at Avis Rent-A-Car. Pass me my glove, please.”

Yeah, single women have it rough.   

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.