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Ah, Friday, when all you slackers pretend to work while reading the mailbag.
Today’s a big day in the Travis household because we get acceptance letters from all of Nashville’s private schools on the same day. Yes, they sync it. We live in downtown Nashville and were recently shifted into one of the worst public school districts in the state so we’re going the private school route. Since my wife and I are both K-12 public school students, this is quite a departure for us. Since we made the decision to go the private school route, I’ve spent more time analyzing kindergarten schools than I did colleges.
Seriously, this stuff is insane. I had no idea how much nicer other schools were than my own public schools. These campuses are better than many college campuses. And now we’re going to be ripping open envelopes to see whether or not our five year old gets into kindergarten.
It’s pure insanity.
With all the hoopla associated with interviewing and visits, I feel like my five year old should have a hat ceremony.
If we get rejected at all four schools, then Alabama and Kentucky grads make all admission decisions in Nashville private schools. (Also, my wife will kill me.)
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is FX for “The Americans.” Seriously, you must watch this show, it just gets better and better each week. Who knew the blow job was the most effective Cold War weapon?
On to the mailbag.
Jack K. writes:
“What do you think are the most hated sports cities in the country? Because being on the west coast I hate New York solely because of their coverage on ESPN. I do not need to hear about the crappy Jets and trading Revis or Tebow.”
The East Coast is the most hated part of the country by far.
That’s because the East Coast sports teams are completely and totally overcovered whether they’re good or bad. I hate the NFC East for this exact reason. Someone needs to do a tracker on how much time ESPN spends on the NFC East compared to the rest of the NFL. My guess is that those four teams get a third of all of ESPN’s NFL coverage.
I actually think Boston is more hated than New York though.
My ranking of the most hated sports cities would look like this:
Because people from Boston will not shut the hell up about their teams. Plus, those accents? Put it this way, if you were in sports hell is there any doubt that would consist of having to watch a game with a guy with a thick Boston accent as he watches the Sawx and the Celtics play games?
Don’t even get me started on the Patriots.
It’s a testament to how much Boston sucks that hard core Patriots fans are the most likeable of these fans.
The worst city on the east coast not named Baltimore also features awful, angry sports fans, go figure.
3. New York City
How much do Boston and Philly sports fans suck? They make New York sports fans downright palatable.
Steelers fans are the dumbest pro sports fans in the country.
The only reason they’re not higher on the list is because the Pirates are tremendously awful and no one really cares enough about hockey to hate a town based on their hockey team.
I think most sports fans would agree with this top four.
The west coast teams get so little comparative attention, it’s hard to hate them. Lots of people might hate Los Angeles because of the Lakers, but LA doesn’t even have an NFL team and does anyone hate the Dodgers? No other west coast city would even register on the list. No Southern city is on the list. That leaves the Midwest. I suppose some people could hate Chicago, but not that many. Detroit or Cleveland? That just seems like unfairly piling on.
Pittsburgh is awful
Nope, the east coast is where the hate resides.
Ryan W. writes:
“Jadeveon Clowney supposedly registered these numbers at the end of South Carolina winter weight room: 283lbs, 4.55 40, and a 44 inch vertical leap. If these are valid how freakish can we expect his combine to be with 2-3 months of training just for these drills on his own? Best combine performance ever? Who has the best combine performance ever right now?”
I’d argue that the greatest combine performance ever currently belongs to Vernon Davis.
Davis ran a 4.38 forty at 6’3″ 254 pounds and he also vertical jumped 42 inches and bench pressed 225 33 times.
That’s just unbelievable.
If Clowney ran a 4.55 at 283 pounds and registered a 44 inch vertical leap, he’d be close to challenging Vernon Davis for best combine performance of all time.
But here’s the problem, all college numbers are inflated.
It’s probably more likely that Clowney runs a 4.65, has a 38 inch vertical.
Those are still mind-blowing numbers, but you can generally adjust all high school and college numbers higher. That’s because high school and college trainers lie about times to make themselves look better.
It stands to reason that after four years of training everyone would get faster, right? Yet, as I’ve written for years, most high school and college forty times are complete crap, reduced to make the players look faster than they actually are because it makes the strength coaches look like they’re doing a better job.
SB Nation actually did the research on high school forty times compared to NFL combine times. The results are not pretty. Everyone provides time that are much faster than they actually are. Some guys were .6 seconds off of the times they claimed in high school, which is like eight yards different.
This is why I return to my mantra, you can’t break a 5.0 in the forty.
“I’m going to a business conference next week. One night they are requesting everyone wear their favorite NFL team’s jersey.
1) I live in Alabama, so I don’t have a favorite NFL team or a jersey
2) Grown men don’t wear jerseys.
What do I do? Wear my Alabama polo and say ‘deal with it”?
This sounds like the worst business conference ever.
Is there anything more awkward than forced artificial frivolity with people you don’t know? I can just picture the middle managers sitting around a conference room table who came up with this idea, “Yeah, we’ll have everyone wear NFL jerseys. Great idea Roger!”
The only thing more ridiculous than the idea of requiring grown men to dress a certain way to have fun — did they shoot down 70’s night? — is picturing a ton of people rushing out to the sporting goods store to buy an NFL jersey so they can fit in on “fun night” at the business conference.
That and thinking about where this event will take place.
I’m praying it’s Hooters. Please, be Hooters.
And what is everyone else going to think when 100 guys in different NFL jerseys show up at a T.G.I. Friday’s on a random Wednesday night? What about the guys who aren’t football fans at all? You know some guy is showing up in a $5 Peyton Manning Colts jersey, right? What about the women who don’t get a chance to buy the women’s size jerseys and have to wear the ridiculous men’s jerseys that look like potato sacks out to the event?
I think what everyone who is reading this right now is in agreement on is this, you have to take pictures.
I’d probably skip the event if I was you. Because if you show up in the Bama polo you’re pointing out what many already know — grown men who wear jerseys look like idiots. (Plus, worst of all, these are grown men wearing jerseys at a non-sporting event). If you don’t wear a jersey, people will ask you why you aren’t wearing one. The only acceptable answer you can give is that you root for Alabama and no one buys Bama jerseys. If you tell people it’s because grown men in jerseys look like idiots, then you’re the ass.
So I’d suggest you skip the event.
And then email us the inevitable Facebook photos that ensue from the event.
Several of y’all on Twitter and email:
“Who gets the SEC Tourney double byes? And how much fun will Nashville be for the SEC basketball tourney?”
The SEC tournament in Nashville will be outstanding. The downtown location is perfect, the arena doesn’t have a bad seat, and I guarantee you’ll have a good time going out in Nashville because it’s the most fun Southern town not named New Orleans. Best of all, Kentucky isn’t that good this year so their fan base won’t be as rabid as in past years and there will probably be affordable tickets on the street.
This year is the first time the SEC tourney features 14 teams so there’s a double bye set up. That is, the top four teams in the SEC advance to the quarterfinals and don’t have to play until Friday. That’s a tremendous advantage for those four teams.
So which teams will get the bye now that 15 of the 18 conference games have been played?
There are only six teams contending for the top four spots: Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Mizzou.
Here’s my best guess on how it shakes out now that every team has three games left:
1. Florida will be your one seed.
I think the Gators will beat Alabama on Saturday, which will mean they clinch the overall number one seed.
That leaves three teams dueling for the final three spots.
2. Alabama is 11-4 and plays at Florida, at Ole Miss, and Georgia. I think the Tide will go 1-2 in these games, beating only Georgia. That would mean Bama finishes 12-6.
The big swing game here is at Ole Miss, which will probably determine these two teams NCAA fate.
3. Kentucky is 11-4 and plays at Arkansas, at Georgia, and Florida. I think UK loses at Arkansas and wins the other two to finish 13-5, which would be good enough for the outright 2 seed.
(Florida is clearly the big swing game here. Although, it’s possible that UK loses all three since at Georgia isn’t an easy game). So UK’s likely to be 13-5, but could end up 12-6 or 11-7 as well.
4. Ole Miss is 10-5 and plays at Miss. State, Alabama, and at LSU. I think Ole Miss goes 2-1, losing at LSU but beating Bama.
That would make the Rebels 12-6 as well. (Again, Bama at Ole Miss is the big swing game here).
5. Tennesssee is 9-6 and plays at Georgia, at Auburn, and Mizzou. I think UT goes 3-0 here and finishes 12-6.
6. Mizzou plays LSU, Arkansas, and at UT. I think Mizzou goes 2-1, losing at UT, and finishes 11-7.
So my best guess on the final finishes is one of these two standings:
Four way tie at 12-6 so the tiebreaks are applied for seeding:
2. Ole Miss
Or if UK gets to 13-5 then the finish looks like this:
3. Ole Miss
The biggest swing game here to me is Bama at Ole Miss. I think that game is an NCAA tourney play-in. The second biggest swing game is probably Mizzou at Tennessee. I think the Vols will win, but that game will be a dogfight. and if Mizzou won then a 12-6 Mizzou team in a four-way tie with UK, Bama, and Ole Miss could vault all the way to the second seed.
The SEC tourney should be wild. Any of these top six teams plus LSU and Arkansas could win the tourney and I wouldn’t be surprised.
Sayward F. writes:
“I just read last week’s mailbag and have a great Bill Clinton story for you. A friend of mine was working as a staffer in a MS senator’s office on capitol hill. He heard that Bill Clinton was going to be around one day and went down to see if he could get a picture with him. A big crowd had gathered and the secret service was starting to line up and Josh started chatting with one of the guys and after awhile asked if he could arrange to get his picture with the ex-pres. The secret service agent points out two really attractive girls standing a little further down and says go stand by them, you might get a picture. So, Josh goes and hovers next to these two interns and when Clinton comes out he’s walking past everyone smiling and waving but not stopping. Then he spots the girls goes straight over to them shakes their hands and Josh propositions him for a picture. My friend now has a picture of him, Bill Clinton and two random attractive ladies adorning his office wall. No doubt there was one secret service agent specifically hired to the Bill Clinton hot spy deflector detail. No. Doubt. They should find that guy and make a show about his life.”
What an awesome picture.
Even better story.
Can you imagine what stories are going to come out after BIll and Hillary Clinton die? Because you know lots of people won’t talk on the record about ridiculous things while an ex-president and his wife are still alive. I’m already giddy thinking about reading these books.
I have the feeling Clinton is going to make J.F.K. look like Jimmy Carter.
if the secret service ever talk — and I know typically they won’t — the stories will blow our minds.
Am I the only person who can’t get enough of the Bill Clinton stories?
Should we have a special section of the mailbag devoted to Clinton stories? I think so.
David J. writes:
“Shouldn’t active, professional athletes be “above” competing in reality shows? This year, Ndamukong Suh is competing in a diving competition against Louie Anderson, Jacoby Jones is dancing against Andy Dick. In previous years, Jason Taylor danced against Steve Guttenburg. I understand why Olympic sport athlete’s and retired athlete’s compete, gotta make money somehow, but shouldn’t current NBA/NFL/MLB athlete’s be held to a higher standard?”
I’m completely with you on this. I understand why people who need money do anything, but why would a current pro athlete subject himself to this? To set up a post-playing career? Do you really think Suh is more marketable after he appears on a high-diving show?
Here’s my larger question, can you imagine if Suh injured himself for the year in a high-diving competition? What if he tore his achilles jumping off the board, or he broke his leg on an awful fall?
Lions fans actually expect for this to happen.
This is just incredibly stupid.
Greg. H. writes:
“After recently upgrading my cable package, I discovered last Friday night that I now have the Longhorn Network, and watched the last two innings of a live Texas-Nebraska baseball game. Between the 8th and the 9th, TLN aired a little segment featuring Texas coach Augie Garrido visiting an Austin steakhouse and standing in the kitchen while the chef prepared the restaurant’s signature dish. Then of course Augie sampled the food and gave his seal of approval. It was sort of a cross between Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives and Todd Blackledge’s “Taste of the Town”. That got me thinking, how great would it be if CBS could put a clause into its contract with the SEC that required the home team coach in the featured game each week to do a similar segment at a local restaurant? You could have Nick Saban in the pit at Archibald’s in Northport..Hugh Freeze at City Grocery in Oxford…Gus Malzahn at the Auburn Chik-Fil-A…Les Miles at literally any restaurant in Baton Rouge. This segment would become the most anticipated part of the broadcast each week, right?”
Can you imagine Nick Saban being forced to eat at a restaurant during game week? And talk about why he likes that restaurant so much?
Would he kill someone in the restaurant? I think he might. (Or his players might beat you up as you left the restaurant).
This would be an incredible segment. Especially if Uncle Verne went to dinner with the coaches.
This must happen.
Primarily because I’m in favor of putting SEC football coaches in as many socially awkward situations as possible. Especially with cameras rolling.