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All That and a Bag of Mail: Snow Hits the South Edition

As all of you struggle and fail to survive the snow across the South, I am presently on the beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you haven’t visited San Juan before, you should. It’s an awesome trip. Casino gambling on the beaches, Old San Juan has a very French Quarter vibe, and the weather is fabulous.

Plus, Southwest flies here now so you can get here pretty easily. 

Anyway, travel tip from me.

On to the beaver pelt trader of the week. Who else can it be this week? Derek Jeter. Check out the list of his dating partners that ESPN’s SportsNation put together. This is incredible. Has any athlete ever pulled this list off without getting married, having an illegitimate kid, or contracting a sexually transmitted disease that is readily discussed in public?

Jeter’s a clear hall of famer on the field, but isn’t his off-field work even more impressive?

I think so. 

Jeter’s living the life that every single guy reading the mailbag today claims he’d lead if he was a pro athlete. Only, out of all the pro athletes, only Jeter has pulled this off. I can’t even think of which athlete would be in second place.  

Happy Valentine’s Day, losers. 

On to the mailbag. 

Lots of you on Twitter:

“What are your thoughts on the proposed new substitution rules in college football? Can you believe Saban would do this?”

First of all, they’re proposed rules, and won’t actually happen. So everything is an overreaction. Second, I love how people are surprised that Nick Saban would seek a competitive advantage based upon unsupported evidence of player safety. Nick Saban would have used his grandpa as a tackling dummy if he thought it made winning more likely. He only cares about player safety when it benefits his team’s chances to win to care about player safety.  

All Nick Saban cares about is winning football games. 

That’s it. 

The rest is just fluff.

Once you realize this, nothing Nick Saban does is a surprise.  

Hugh S. writes:

“Wednesday the Arkansas athletic department announced that beer and wine will now be sold in the club seats of our football stadium. Currently, the SEC policy prohibits the sale of alcohol in general seating areas and public areas of on-campus venues. However, with ticket sales competing with television broadcasts, how long until this policy is reversed? A bonus question. Since Arkansas was close to passing medicinal marijuana law which comes first: A southern state legalizes pot or the SEC allows beer and wine to be sold in school stadiums and arenas?”

I’ve been arguing, perhaps counterintuitively, that if SEC stadiums sold beer there would actually be less alcohol issues inside the stadium. My rationale is pretty simple, how many times have you been at a tailgate and seen men and women chugging more alcohol than they need just before kickoff — generally after having been drinking at the tailgate for hours — to make sure they keep their buzz inside the stadium. Their rationale to drink more is that there’s no alcohol available inside. (I know, I know, lots of you sneak in liquor, but most people don’t.)

So my thought is if you sold alcohol in the stadium there would actually be less binge drinking right before kickoff. Which would mean you’d have less alcohol issues on gameday.

Does anyone else buy this logic? 

As for medical marijuana, I don’t think it will be that long until a Southern state legalizes it. My top two candidates to legalize pot first in the South are: 1. Florida and 2. North Carolina

Chris G. writes:

“Clay,

I know that you have a fond taste for hypothetical fights and I’ve got another one for you. My friends and I have been debating an animal fight lately of great proportions. A Kodiak Grizzly vs a Silverback Gorilla. Now, this debate has been going on for months and it’s gotten to the point where we just need to end it. Now the conditions of this fight would be in a cage. A cage that’s huge, enough to where both the animals could run around a little bit. We’re taking the average Kodiak Grizzly vs the average Silverback Gorilla. Please, end this pointless debate so we can start talking about other stuff (probably another hypothetical fight) when we’re drunk.” 

I think you have to go grizzly bear for this reason — nearly a thousand pound weight advantage for the top grizzly bear over the top gorilla. That’s just too much weight to overcome for the silverback. I think the kodiak grizzly would overwhelm the gorilla with his bulk and eventually claw him to death.

Now, if you want to continue the debate, you could enforce some rules and regulations — for instance, what’s the fighting territory — are we talking Alaska or an African jungle? If the gorilla got homefield advantage I think the bear might tire out due to the overwhelming heat. Conversely, in Alaska, the grizzly could take the battle to the water, where the gorilla would stand no chance.

Assuming a neutral field of battle, I’m going grizzly here.

By the way, how much money would animal fights make on pay per view? If you put an angry silverback gorilla against an angry grizzly bear, who wouldn’t watch this? Could Vegas set odds?

I’m disappointed that China or Russia hasn’t started exporting this.  

Riley M. writes:

“What are your thoughts on people revealing the sex of their unborn baby in some elaborate way and then posting the pictures on facebook? My brother-in-law seemed to have survived it and still managed.”

I’m fine with this so long as it doesn’t put more obligations on men to attend events that men don’t want to attend. Already we’ve got shower creep — surprisingly, not the guy who jerked off in your college bathroom with the shower curtain open — but, instead, the increasing need that women feel to incorporate men into engagement showers and bridal showers and child showers. 

I think I speak for every man on earth when I say — we do not want to go to these events.

At all. 

In fact, most men I know would prefer to skip the actual wedding as well. (You just asked your husband about this and he said that wasn’t true at all. He loves going to weddings with you. Note, he’s lying.)  

So if you make us give up a Saturday to find out a few months in advance of the baby’s sex, what the baby’s sex is going to be, we are going to want to strangle everyone at that party. What’s more, we already are coming to see the baby once it’s born. I’m pretty sure we’ll know the sex by then. Either tell us or don’t tell us. We’ll survive.  

Brad M. writes:

“Clay,

My girlfriend and I recently moved in together and while unpacking I realized that I own quite a few Vols glasses/beer mugs. What is the appropriate number of Vols glasses/beer mugs that a home should have, and please take into consideration that we live in a 1 bedroom apartment in NYC. Under ideal conditions all Vols paraphernalia would be housed in a man cave, but obviously this isn’t an option in NYC.”

I’m convinced that 90% of most men’s cups and glasses when we’re single are free from sporting events. My friend Tardio’s entire apartment was filled with Kentucky Music City Bowl cups from 1999.

I know when my wife moved into my condo, I had like three plain glasses and 156 free cups from SEC sporting events. We still have some that I drink from. I’m convinced they drive my wife crazy.  

Since 99% of the time the people drinking from glasses or cups in your house will be you guys, I don’t see the need for a really high end glassware set. Of course, I’m sure your girlfriend disagrees. But the good thing about those free cups is that they’re stackable, so they hardly take up any space. I’d say you can reasonably keep eight stackable cups and three to four Vol mugs. That seems fair to me.

If your girlfriend disagrees, insist that she throw out an equal percentage of shoes.

You’ll get to keep your glasses and mugs.  

Richard S. writes:

“The Winter Olympics are upon us, which means we get to watch a bunch of Americans compete in events we generally suck at. The topic of conversation came up as to why we suck, and my opinion is it’s the same reason the SEC is so good at football. The SEC has the right climate, athletes, and coaching to make the best football players. The conversation evolved into what sport could we dominate if we put all our resources into it, and the general consensus was the bobsled, specifically the 4-man bobsled team. You need three guys with explosive speed and strength, and one guy that can drive the sled. Providing the three guys would be easy; just about every single football team in the SEC could fill that role, much less the entire conference. Finding the driver would be tougher, but I think that person could be trained. Eventually, it evolved to the question of if you gave Nick Saban four years to recruit and train a 4-man bobsled team, could they win gold? This would include training Saban as well to coach the team, and he could devote all his time to training the team. We thought if you put Saban, 10 of the top athletes in the SEC, and some engineers from the Skunk Works, the USA would rule the 4-man bobsled for at least a decade.”

The bobsled is a great example because it’s an event that’s comparatively simple. Imagine if Nick Saban poured all his coaching energy into analyzing the bobsled. Given the fact that he could identify ideal talent, readily toss talent that didn’t produce, and would only need four people, I would say that Nick Saban as the coach of the American bobsled team would be 100% likely to win a gold medal.

I have zero doubts about this.  

Sterling A. writes:

“During conference realignment we’ve learned the value of live programming that people want to watch in real time, as the events happen. Sports is perfect for this. Keeps people from DVRing and then skipping commercials.

I was excited to watch the Men’s Downhill. I wanted to see how Bode would hold up to the pressure after great training runs. You can probably guess what happened. I accidentally saw the result online 6 hours prior to when NBC was set to air the replay. As a result, I skipped watching Olympics all together last night in favor of a movie. My experience can’t be that unique. Are the Olympics losing their value? Only Olympics that are 12 time zones away?”

See, I’m convinced that most people who watch the Olympics aren’t actual sports fans. That is, the Today Show audience suddenly decides they care about the Olympics for a relatively limited amount of time and then goes back to whatever the Today Show audience watches when the Olympics aren’t taking place. 

If you really break it down all the Olympics are selling us is the illusion that these athletes are all overcoming adversities. Even the son or daughter of the billionaire that had to make do with his own mountain or an indoor skating rink at his house. These are soap opera stories, not sports stories.

Plus, and this is actually really sad, what percentage of Americans watching the Olympics are too dumb to realize that the events are pre-taped? I bet it’s like fifty percent. Seriously. If we found out how many Americans don’t know that the winter Olympics are taped, I think it would be staggering. NBC won’t tell us, but I guarantee they know. Most Americans have no idea where Sochi is, they just think it’s somewhere in Canada.

I don’t see the value diminishing anytime soon. Most Americans just don’t care enough about the winter Olympics sports to check the winners in advance. Why? Because they aren’t actually sports fans.

Doubt me? Imagine if the NFL playoffs took place one year in China. How many NFL fans wouldn’t know the score if it didn’t air on television until 12 hours later? We’d all know, right? Not so with the Olympics.  

Will H. writes:

“Hey there Clay –

So, as “breaking” news came this week that there will be an openly gay player in the NFL, the sports world has reacted, not surprisingly so, in complete hyperbole. That being said, the fact that Mizzou players knew of Mike Sam’s sexual orientation and honored his privacy as though nothing was out of the norm is pretty refreshing. I am a straight man and I have a couple of gay friends, so I am under the “shoulder shrug” mentality that I feel that some in the sports world are missing. Shouldn’t it be noted that gay men ALWAYS have the hottest women around them in social settings which in part, is a perk in having gay friends (just like rich friends having a pool or hunting land… friends use each other for meaningless crap all the time).”

I’ve never understood why straight men care so much what gay men are doing. From a purely selfish perspective, straight men should want there to be as many gay men as possible. It helps your odds. 

The more upset you are by gay men, the more likely, I believe, you’re actually a closeted gay man yourself.

Quite a few of you on email asked about the sports impact of Comcast buying Time Warner, here’s my best guess:

I’m going to write on this next week, but my early read is that NBC is the biggest winner here. 

That and the NBA and the Big Ten, who will get a king’s ransom for their packages coming to market soon. My best guess on the Big Ten is that ESPN and Fox will combine again to keep NBC from getting the Big Ten, but that the dollar figure will be extraordinary. 

Timing is everything. 

As for the SEC Network, I can see this cutting both ways. Comcast and Time Warner were set to be the biggest foes to pick up the network. Combined, why wouldn’t they feel even more emboldened to fight the SEC? On the other hand, now that the duo will be trying to merge and fighting the FCC for approval, do they really want to antagonize consumers over this battle? Or do they go ahead and reach a deal to focus on the bigger issue?

It’s going to be fascinating to see how this all plays out. 

Several of you:

“What are your thoughts on the Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito Dolphins mess?”

My thoughts are what I’ve said on air before. 

Every single man under the age of 40 regardless of race, religious belief or sexual orientation who is reading this mailbag today would be fired if all of his text messages to his friends were investigated by an independent counsel and then published for all to read.

Every. Single. One. 

Well, maybe except for me, since my texts would probably sound exactly like you’d expect my texts to sound. Plus, Outkick ain’t firing me. 

The trouble with text messages and emails is that they often don’t convey context or seriousness. Text messages, in particular, are continuations of prior conversations. Many of them are sent as jokes. (I bet 80% of the text messages I get from friends are jokes). America’s standard for appropriate discourse is much different than what our texts read like on the printed page.

(Lots of you would be divorced too.) All these Dolphins players are lucky they were single. 

Pumpkin Fulmar writes: (yes, he misspelled Fulmer)

“Waiting for a smart ass article exposing the latest arrests at UT. You never miss a beat with Bama or Auburn, while ignoring the LONG standing (since Fat Phil’s convict classes) UT thuggerism. Dont worry, everyone knows your lips are still attached to UT’s a–, so your work will continue to bring down other programs, while ignoring the cesspool in Kville. Apple dont fall from the tree, in in this case, the pumpkin patch.”

Yes, good point. 

I never make fun of Tennessee.

(I just included this because Outkick is accused of playing favorites all the time. You know what favorites I play here? None. We ridicule everyone equally.)

Michael W. writes:

“Let’s look at the fiasco on Tobacco Road on Wednesday. Biggest rivalry in college basketball set to tip off at 9 ET on Wednesday. Early in the day Tuesday, detailed weather forecasts begin to trickle out – they’re ugly. 4-6 inches of snow moving into Chapel Hill thru the afternoon, changing over to sleet/ice into the evening, with more snow coming early Thursday morning. Despite the ominous forecasts, the decision, either by the ACC or ESPN or both, is made Wednesday morning to press ahead with the game Wednesday night.

As the weather deteriorates midday Wednesday, the media descends on the Smith Center, students – giddy at the idea of having prime, vacated, seats for the big game – begin lining up outside the Dean Dome, and conference officials are in place. Reps for Duke, however, make a statement around 1pm, saying that the Blue Devils will not leave Durham until 6pm.

Naturally, the roads clog like a toilet, and Duke, refusing to leave early, petitions to the league to call the game. And they do. Carolina’s 85%ers are irate, claiming that Duke is scared. Carolina’s 15%ers are frustrated, wondering why the ACC waited so long to make a decision, given that all other parties were in place and Durham is a mere 8 miles away.

Let’s say a freak snowstorm batters Alabama the last weekend of any November. SEC officials insist all week the Iron Bowl will be played at Jordan-Hare as scheduled live on CBS. However, Friday night into Saturday morning, the snow/ice gets really heavy and Bama is stranded in Montgomery (or wherever) and can’t get to the stadium. At 9am, the SEC POSTPONES THE IRON BOWL!!

Clay, tell me the fan reaction when this happens. Carolina fans were furious Wednesday evening. I can’t imagine Auburn fans taking Alabama “ducking them” very well, even in the face of the dawning of a new Ice Age.”

Fortunately it never snows in the South in November. 

Having said that, did you see Birmingham when two inches of snow fell? I saw the pictures from North Carolina. There’s no way a game is getting played in the South on a major snow day. ESPN and the ACC blew it by not rescheduling the game earlier, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because how many times have you heard major Sourthern snowfalls forecast and then nothing happens?

One reason why Southerners always panic when it actually snows is that none of us believe the weathermen because most of the time it’s supposed to snow nothing happens. 

That’s why we hate you, snow.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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