All That and a Bag of Mail: Basketball Team Killing a Deer Edition

Let me say this before we get started with the mailbag today, I am so tired of Americans being pansies. We are the biggest group of wusses alive today. We canceled the release of a goddamn satirical movie because a crazy dictator threatened to kill people who went to watch a movie. I mean, give me a fucking break. 

The terrorists won.

And we let them.  

Have we totally forgotten FDR's, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," line? Americans have never been safer in the history of our country -- and few people have ever been safer in the history of the world than Americans today -- yet we all behave like kids about to be tossed into the deep end of the pool for the first time.

I'm going to expand on this soon, but we lost the war after 9/11. We had a chance to suck it up and say, "You know what, some of us are going to die from terrorism because our country is awesome. We're going to fight the shit out of the terrorists, but we're going to be smart about doing it. We aren't going to abandon the principles of our country and end up looking like the people we hate. Someone could have stood up and said, 'It sucks that 3,000 people died, but we can't change the way over 300 million people live because 3,000 people died.' No one did. Amazingly, no one has done it yet. Instead we all gave in to our worst fears as a country and we've all turned into a bunch of pussies."

Look, we're all going to die. I'd like to live a long time, but I realize that at any point in time a crazy ass bastard could decide to kill me. That's not going to change how I live. It shouldn't change the way any of you live either.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week goes out to everyone, male and female, who is smart enough not to be a pussy.



On to the mailbag.  

Ryan P. writes:


As the king of bar bets and all things hypothetical, I need to call on you to settle a dispute. I work with a really good friend of mine, we are both varsity basketball coaches in Dallas, and I need you to rule on this argument that has been going on for over two years - Could a team of relatively athletic young men (let's say a squad of 15 varsity basketball players) and their coach successfully trap and kill a full grown female deer?

No weapons, no tricks, not much planning time, just 15 able bodies and an overconfident old coach directing. We made it a doe so getting mangled by antlers is not an issue, and limited the area to a 500 acre ranch with normal fences. Is it possible for those guys to take out the deer?

I say, absolutely, no way, ever. But, my buddy is convinced that he could do it. He is also convinced that he could escape from a bear in the woods by running away... But I'll save that for another mail bag.

If you think yes, what is the best strategy? I can't wait to hear it.

Thank you for the wisdom and authority on all things useless! And also for the gambling picks." 

I'm not going to say it's impossible because it's always possible that if you did this long enough you could stumble upon an old, enfeebled, or injured deer that wasn't able to escape, but there's virtually no way this could happen. Do you know how hard it is to even get close enough to a deer to touch it? Much less tackle and kill it. Fifteen people in an entirely open 500 acre area -- where a deer could run in any direction at any moment -- wouldn't be capable of limiting the deer's options enough to tackle him.

Also, do you really think the average high school kid is going to square up on a deer and take her down? The deer is pretty shifty and fast as hell, this is like trying to tackle a really elusive NFL running back in the open field. Watch all the missed tackles in a high school football game. None of these players are as fast as a deer or as elusive. A group tackle is necessary, but in order for a group tackle to happen the first person has to a. hit the deer has to b. hang on.  

The only way I could see it working is if you created a 15 man perimeter in the vicinity of a cliff, had your camouflage-clad team lay down on the ground for hours -- potentially days -- without moving and waited for a deer to show up in your are. I'm assuming that deers walk near cliffs, right? Then your team of fifteen would have to spring up covering no more than like 50 yards between all 15 of them and maintain advancing discipline -- stay in their lanes like a team on kickoff. You wouldn't want to run, but I think you'd want a steady advance towards the deer forcing him closer and closer to the cliff. If you waited until the right time and then all charged once the deer was close to the cliff, could you convince a panicked deer to jump off the cliff and fall to its death? Hopefully. Because the cornered deer's other option would be to charge your high school team. My inclination is if the deer charged your team that at least one player would get run over -- Bill Bates against Herschel Walker style -- so you'd have to hope the deer went off the cliff.  

Also, keep in mind that if someone managed to tackle the deer -- and hang on, those hoofs would be pretty damn good weapons -- then killing the deer would take a long time. Because you'd just have to keep punching and kicking and elbowing the deer until it died. This would get pretty gruesome.

If I were setting the odds on a high school team of 15 pulling off a deer trapping and killing without weapons in two days or less, I'd say one team in a thousand could pull it off. Maybe less.  

By the way, I would totally watch this reality television show. 

Not to be outdone, one of the coaches provided his analysis of how his team would capture and kill a deer. 

Still Trying to Survive Mean girls writes:

"I know I'm opening myself up to public ridicule here, but this question needs to be asked: Why are twenty and thirty-something southern women so bitchy and judgmental?

I grew up outside of Nashville in a small town, graduated from the University of Tennessee and lived most of my twenties in Franklin. I've now lived in Los Angeles for seven years and have traveled the world, so I think my "measuring stick" is fair here.

I've been in Tennessee for the last week and I've been looked up and down more times than a Charlie Sheen hooker. And by women, no less. (By men, too, but at least they're trying to be discreet about it.)

I know it's counterintuitive, but I swear there is more pressure to be the "perfect woman" in the south than in "Barbie land" out in LA. I have more girlfriends in Los Angeles than I ever had my whole life living in TN. Some of them mothers, some career women, some of them young and old -- from all walks of life.

So, I ask you: Why are women here so averse to other women? Is it because I'm mildly attractive? Because I don't weigh 200 lbs? Because I'm in my mid-30s and don't have a baby attached to my hip? I don't get it. Never have. Maybe you can help me figure this out and also give me advice on how to handle it."

I'm glad I got asked a question about analyzing women because I told my wife the other day that I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the way women think and she rolled her eyes and told me I was a total idiot. So I'm going to accept your premise as correct and try to explain why this could be the case. I clearly don't understand women well enough to distinguish between Southern California and the Southern women other than to say that based on my experience these are the two parts of the country with the most hot women per capita. (Manhattan would also be in here, but it's a crazy outlier in the Northeast).   

Here's my analysis. First, southern women get married younger and have babies younger. This makes them crazier and more insecure. Insecurity leads to cattiness. Once you're married and you have a kid your options dwindle. You're pretty much tied down. And even if you're happy being married and happy having a kid, it's hard not to resent the freedoms of other people who made a more conscious decision to wait to have kids and get married later. This is why, all things considered, the smarter you are the longer you wait to get married and the longer you wait to have kids. You're more prepared and happier with your kids. If you get married younger and have babies younger you're still young but you have the obligations of someone much older in other parts of the country.

Now let's talk broader.  

Married women don't like attractive single women. Just like married women don't like single men who are friends with their married husbands. If your wife could snap her fingers and make every one of your male friends be married at this exact instant, she would do it in a heartbeat. Single people are threats. Because they have options and aren't tied down. Sure, when a married guy goes out drinking at a bar your married friend might take home a random bartender he meets that same night, but it's much less likely than your single friend doing the same thing. This is why your wife is always trying to fix up your single friends with other single friends she knows. Married people want everyone else to be married too because then everyone can be equally miserable.

It's the same with kids. It's why married moms become such good friends with each other, because they're all trying to avoid being driven insane by their children. They're like a platoon of misery, lugging juice boxes to the park, drinking wine on playdates. I see you married moms. It's also the same reason companies like to employ married men with children. Once you have a wife and kids, where are you going? You have obligations, you're probably going to show up at work, you're reliable to the company, you have much more to lose by being fired than a single guy does. Your risk taking diminishes. It's rare that married men with children's final words are, "Hey, watch this..." 

Tying this all together, given that women in the South get married younger and have babies younger, they especially don't like single women without babies. Given that women in California, by and large, wait to have kids and get married, they're more comfortable with their own life decisions and less concerned with what others are doing. This makes them less judgmental and more likely to be good friends. 

How'd I do?

I feel like Clay responds to women's questions definitely needs to be a regular feature of the mailbag.      

Jackson writes:

"I know you are advocating for the Titans to draft Mariota, and as a die hard Titans fan I am definitely good with that although I do like Mettenberger's arm and attitude. That being said - I can already see the Titans making a move for Cutler in the off season. Front office can't be content with just squandering the last five years. We've got to look to the future, and I think picking up Cutler would definitely lock us in for another five sub .500 seasons. Picking up Cutler will also free us up to take an OL, punter and longsnapper with our first few draft picks. What are your thoughts on a Cutler Nashville homecoming?"

I don't have a problem with the Titans getting Jay Cutler for a highly reduced price and seeing whether he's a top 14 quarterback in the league. (If you don't have a top 14 quarterback in the NFL there's no point in even fielding a team). I'd still prefer drafting Mariota because he's much younger and has the potential to be a really good quarterback for the next 12-14 years. Cutler will be 32 in 2015. Realistically he probably has 4-5 years left to play. Has he peaked? Potentially. Could he also be pretty solid for the Titans playing in a town he loves with a happy wife and a happy life? Sure.  

Maybe the Marc Trestman experience really was a disaster and Ken Whisenhunt -- who is presently 3-24 in his past 27 games as an NFL head coach -- could revitalize Cutler the way he helped out Phillip Rivers. Sure, that all could happen. But I'd still take Mariota. 

Jake writes:


Was reading your "Titans-Jags Drinking Game" article and decided to take a gander at the comments for a laugh. The thought crossed my head that the individuals who comment either mad at Fox for allowing you to post content this "vulgar and foul" or questioning your football knowledge and suggesting you move if you don't like the Titans may be some of the dumbest on the planet. If you recreated your "Ten Dumbest Fan Bases in America" article and changed it to "The Ten Dumbest Types of Person in America" where would these internet commenters rank?"

Internet commenters would be number one because they're frequently total idiots. I read all of my mentions on Twitter, but I don't read any other comments online. Occasionally I take a look at Outkick's comments -- thanks for those of you with a brain who comment -- but with as many Twitter comments as I get all day I don't feel like I'm at a lack for opinions. Back in the day I'd read anonymous Internet comments and the stupidity made me want to pull my hair out.  

So Internet commenters are the worst and the the worst single character trait that the Internet has created is "offended/outraged person." We -- both regular people and the media -- have to stop giving credence to these people and their outrage brigade. Did we react to cranky letters to the editor back in the day? Of course not. So why do we react to Facebook likes and Twitter outrage? It's why I've gone ahead and announced I'm a gay Muslim who is also a racist, sexist, conservative, liberal homophobe. All of these labels are stupid, simplistic and frequently inaccurate no matter who they're being applied to. So I adopt them all. What else can you say about me? If I'm the worst thing you call me then I have the best thing in the world -- total creative freedom. 

The Internet is a vast wonderland from smut and salvation and everything in between; it contains the entire human experience. If you don't like something don't read, listen or watch it. Why is this so hard to understand? I would encourage you to join me in ridiculing anyone who is offended by something that he reads, listens or watches online. 

Earlier this year I coined the term fauxrage -- an overreaction to something you didn't see when it happened because you don't consume the media that carried it but that you become fauxraged by when it's shared with you on the Internet. Everyone loves to be fauxraged on the Internet. The best response the next time someone tells you that they're offended by something? Just respond, I'm offended that you're offended.  

Kadin writes:

"I emailed you a couple weeks ago about the possibility of Baylor and TCU having an unfair advantage because they don't play a conference championship. Obviously, I was wrong about that.

My new question is, since we now know that the committee values conference championships do you think the Big 12 will add one in the future? I know the Big 12 has said that it won't be pursuing new schools to add, but what if a similar situation occurs in the future and the Big 12 is left out again? I think that might change their minds."

This comes down to money. Will Fox and ESPN pay $40 million more a year for the Big 12 if they expand and add two teams. I think the answer's no. The TV ratings don't justify it. Remember, the Big 12 kept the same TV money payouts despite losing four of its best draws -- Nebraska, Colorado, A&M and Missouri. A 12 team league became a 10 team league with the much weaker TV combo of West Virginia and TCU now in the conference. Yet the payouts stayed the same. 


Because the TV networks worry about getting sued by the left behind conference since their increased TV payouts are the primary motive behind conference realignment. That's the reason why Nebraska, Colorado, A&M and Mizzou all left the Big 12 -- more TV money. Where does that increased TV money come from? ESPN, mostly, and Fox. So if your increased money payouts are incentivizing teams to leave conferences that you have existing TV deals with then you're providing the incentive for realignment and breaching a fiduciary duty. How do you solve that? By never decreasing TV payments even after realignment. 

Having said that, I don't believe UConn or Memphis or BYU or Cincinnati bring enough money to justifiy Big 12 expansion. Each of these schools would have to be worth an additional $20 million a year since the ten existing schools aren't going to take less money for their TV rights. They don't have that value.

Right now the only way you can play a conference title game is if you have 12 teams and at least two divisions of six teams. The Big 12 could end up with a title game, but I think they'd only do it with ten teams, not with 12. So the NCAA rule would have to be changed.  

Chase N. writes:

I was watching the Titans game last night (I had literally nothing else to do) and the announcers started talking about Sen'Derrick Marks needing 0.5 sacks to trigger his $600,000 bonus that he gets. Do you think he could have bribed the opposing offensive linemen or QB to let him get a sack if it had come down to the last game? Say he calls the QB or O-lineman before the game and says "yo, let me get this sack, I'll buy you a Rolex." Clearly these guys make enough money to buy their own, but a free Rolex? Hell, I'd even offer him $20,000-$40,000 if I needed half a sack with 1 quarter left to get it. Would any player say yes? I know I would as fast as the word yes can be said."

That would be illegal. But would I do it if I knew a couple of the offensive linemen I was going up against? Sure. Particularly if the game doesn't matter. The Jags finish at the Texans. That game literally doesn't matter at all. My only concern as an offensive lineman would be getting my quarterback hurt on the sack play. Also, that my quarterback might avoid the sack and then I'd have to let the player by me again, which could look really bad on tape. So you'd almost have to get the quarterback involved too. Then this is turning into a sack conspiracy.

As ridiculous as this sounds, we've seen something like this before though. Remember several years ago that Bret Favre let Michael Strahan get the sack record on a designed play. Favre took the intentional sack.

By the way, Sen'Derrick marks is a great dude. I love him. He's got a career waiting for him in radio when he finishes playing football.  

Anonymous writes:

"I'm 33 married with no kids. I have a job where I make around 6 figures. Job has good benefits, retirement, etc. Quality of life is shit. I downloaded a time clock app & have worked 91 hours in the last 7 days. This doesn't include time answering work related calls/emails from home. I loathe my job. I dread getting up and going to work everyday. Question is this. I'm in line for another promotion which would increase the salary again but probably make my quality of life even worse. If I turn it down I'll pretty much be stuck where I'm at. Am I too far along in life to start over? Looking for a job appears to be difficult unless I'm willing to take a large pay cut. Your thoughts?"

What do you want to do with the rest of your life? You're 33 and have no kids. It's nowhere near too late in life to start over. I'm assuming your wife works as well so it's not like you guys will starve if you change jobs and make less money. 

One thing that's fascinating about modern American life is that the more educated you are, the more you work. It used to be the opposite. The more educated and wealthy you were the more leisure time you had. That's not true at all today. Lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, the "better" your job the more you have to work today. The people I know who make the most money also work the hardest. It didn't used to be that way at all. It's one reason it's hard for me to get worked up about the wage gap in our country. An awful lot of the "wage gap" is developed via the "working your ass off gap."

Sure, you get paid more the more you advance up the corporate ladder, but at some point the additional money you're making isn't worth the time and lifestyle quality you give up to make it. Especially if you don't like your job and are miserable there. That's the question you have to decide for yourself. Good luck, but regardless of what you decide don't let age be the determining factor.  

Jeremy writes:

"I've been attending games at LP since '99. I've witnessed highs of winning and now the lowest of lows from a beyond-terrible Titans team. After Mettenberger recently got hurt, I questioned myself: "How could this get any worse?". I figured that my team had found rock bottom...then...I read mock draft predictions. Many "experts" are Nostradamusizing that Jameis Winston will don the two-toned blue of the Titans. Clay, please provide me with some assurance that this won't happen. However, if it does happen can you describe the ensuing bedlam?"

As a Titans season ticket holder, I can't think of a worse decision the team could make. This is why I think the team might do it, because the Titans consistently make the worst decisions they could make. Drafting Jameis Winston would alienate much of the Titans remaining fan base, a group of people that is infuriated by the Titans consistently poor decision making. And inevitably when you say that, you get people on Twitter who say, "Yeah, because he's black. It's racism!" Bullshit. It's not racism, it's Jameisism. People don't want Jameis because he's Jameis. Titans fans would be happy to draft Marcus Mariota. He's not white. When Vince Young was drafted fans were ecstatic. Before his mistress killed him, Steve McNair was pretty damn beloved in this city. Jake Locker is white and Titans fans wouldn't even sign his perpetual cast if he asked them to do it. This isn't a race thing, it's a Jameis thing. And it basically boils down to this, what are the odds that Jameis is a. a star quarterback in the NFL and b. never gets in trouble for anything during his entire pro career? I, like many of my fellow Titan fans, think the odds are much better that Jameis is a bust and gets charged with a felony than that he'll be a star with no off-field issues. 

While drafting Jameis would be awful for me as a Titans season ticket holder, the Titans drafting Jameis would be pure gold for Outkick and my coming radio show. I'd be like Scrooge McDuck diving into a vault full of gold coins. 

Straight Jew writes:

"Gay Muslim,

My five year anniversary is coming up. We have two little kids, and both work a ton. The over/under on our sex life is about 4.5 per month. For our anniversary I was going to take your previous mailbag advice and get someone to watch the kids for a night and get us a nice hotel room downtown. Also planned are a massage for her at a nice spa and a very nice dinner. Total bill so far will be about $500. Of course, with this amount of money being spent, crazy sex is expected. My questions: 1. Is $500 a reasonable amount or is that overboard? 2. Do women "understand" that crazy sex is expected or do I need to slip in (no pun intended) some hints?

I feel like if I were single I could get multiple nights of crazy sex for $500."

The amount of money that married men spend to get their wives to sleep with them is extraordinary. Because before he's married every single guy thinks, "Well, I won't be able to sleep with random girls once I get married, but at least I won't have to spend so much money chasing sex anymore."


You poor bastards have no idea what's coming. After a few years of marriage getting your wife to sleep with you is like being back in high school scheming for ways to lose your virginity all over again.

To answer your questions, yes, that's a reasonable amount to spend and second, I'd just buy her some new sexy lingerie. It's implicit then.   

Jacob writes:

"I'm not going to the Justin Timberlake concert in Nashville tonight, my question is for after the concert.  For a single "Non Gay Muslim" guy living in Nashville, is this one of the best nights to go out on Broadway?"

This is the BEST POSSIBLE NIGHT to go out downtown.

Thirteen thousand of the hottest single and married women in Nashville will have just spent three hours drinking and wishing Justin Timberlake was going to sleep with them. He can't sleep with all of these girls so he's done the hard work for you. Good luck. 

Written by
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.