All That and a Bag of Mail: How Much for Tickets?

Okay, we're off and running with the mailbag this week. 

But before we get going any further along I want to encourage y'all to head over and cast a vote for Johnny Manziel's 2013 Halloween costume. 

It should come as no surprise to you that Johnny Manziel is our beaver pelt trader of the week. 

Now on to the mailbag. 

Which, as always, is filled with spectacular questions. 

Rhett W. writes:

You've got to spend one month on a deserted island with one, one has to marry your daughter and the other you get to spend a night on the town with (but you must do everything they do - they order 10 shots of tequila, so do you). Which one do you choose?

I'd go with A.J. McCarron to marry my daughter -- thankfully I don't have a daughter so I don't have to spend much time visualizing what it would be like for AJ to show up with that chest tattoo at the family pool parties. 

I'd spend a month on a deserted island with Johnny Manziel because I think he'd be the best at trying to figure out a way to get off the island. 

I'd spend a night out on the town with Marshall Henderson because I'm confident I'd pass out and they'd have to put me in a cab by around 11 at night. Also, the next day I wouldn't remember anything and I'd be glad that I'm not drug tested at any of my jobs. 

The only one I think you could possibly flip here is going out with Manziel and being stuck on an island with Marshall Henderson for a month, but I really think Marshall Henderson would be capable of cannibalism. 

Like, he might kill and eat you. 

I don't think Manziel would kill and eat you. 

So I think everyone would pretty much have to make this same decision.

Cooper B. writes:

"I had been dating a girl for the past three months who lives in Georgia. I live in Florida but I neglected to tell her this for fear of losing her because of the ultra long distance. I told her I resided in Charlotte with my family. All had been going wel,l we fell in love, we are crazy about each other, we talk 24 7. Here's the kick last night she discovered through Instagram location devices that I have been living a lie and living in Florida this entire time. She was super upset that I lied to her this entire time and she feels like she fell In love with a man living a lie. To this point I have bought my own flights three times to go see her. Flying through Charlotte on purpose to keep my lie going. Do you think this is too big to overcome or do you think love wins out and she forgives me for this ultra in depth lie I kept going for three months?"

You live in Florida, not Tehran, why did you lie in the first place about where you lived? What was so special about Charlotte, anyway?

If I were this girl I'd be more troubled by your stupidity than I would be your lies. (Not that I wouldn't be troubled by the lies, just that I'd be more troubled by how dumb you were). On top of that, you furthered the lie by flying through Charlotte when going to meet her? That's pretty conniving. Also, it's the kind of detail that could become cute if you ended up together, but it could also be part of a restraining order decree from the court. 

All groom wedding toasts, by the way, also embrace this duality. 

Anybody else notice this? Every line that a groom says about how he pursued his wife could easily double as testimony at a restraining order hearing. "I wouldn't take no for an answer." "I kept calling and calling her after I (insert something stupid that you did) and I showed up at her house with chocolates playing Adele on my iPod, drunk at four in the morning."

The line between successful romantic pursuit and being incredibly, incredibly creepy is a really fine one. 

It's no wonder so many of us idiot men screw it up so often. 

"What? Honey, please come out of the bathroom. I thought you'd love these edible panties and a massive Hustler store dildo for Valentines. I really did."

Anyway, I don't think the lie is too big to overcome, I think your stupidity in lying about this in the first place might be too big to overcome.

Good luck.   

Logan W. writes:

"My friends and I have an ongoing argument over a ridiculous hypothetical sports situation; and since you are the master of ridiculous hypothetical sports arguments we need your opinion. My roommate is 25 years old, 6 foot 1, 185 pounds. He is mildly athletic -- I would say slightly above average athlete for a 25 year old accountant. He was a high school tennis player, but has never played a snap of organized football in his life. This guy insists that he could have won 8 games as the starting quarterback for the 2011 LSU football team. He says if he got to start practicing with the team immediately after spring practice, go through summer workouts, and all of fall practice, that based on LSU's defense and special teams and stable of running backs that he could have won 8 games. We all say he's an idiot, and he would get physically destroyed before he made it to the first game of the season. What say you?"

He would not survive the first game healthy. 

He'd also never be able to complete a pass longer than five yards down the field. 

I understand the premise of his question is predicated on the fact that Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee were very mediocre at the quarterback position in 2011, but these guys were mediocre and they'd spent their entire sporting lives attempting to perfect quarterbacking.

What makes you think a "slightly above average athlete for a 25 year old accountant," is capable of competing against some of the biggest, fastest, strongest athletes in the world?

Remember he's playing against SEC defenses.

The game seems like it moves slow when you watch it from TV, but go stand on the actual sideline sometime and look at the field vision from the quarterback position. He'd have no hope. And once defenses saw he had no hope they'd stack the line of scrimmage and not allow LSU to run the football at all.  

Tell him that he's a complete and total idiot. 

Spencer writes:

"Hey Clay,

I currently work in Atlanta and am looking to move back to Nashville. I have a phone interview next week lined up with a company in Nashville and assuming that goes well I will need to come to Nashville for two separate in-person interviews. The problem arises with getting off work to make it to the interviews. We have a new policy with PTO and everyone has to start at zero and accrue hours (complete bull---) and I currently have none. What is the best excuse/way to get off work and take the interviews so I still have a job if I don't get the new one?"

Clearly you have to lie here.

This is the exact opposite of Cooper's, our Florida guy who claimed he lived in Charlotte, situation.

If you tell your current employer that you want time off to interview for another job, then you might get fired. And you certainly aren't going to be able to take a day off and go interview.  

So the real question here is, what's the best possible lie to keep from getting fired while also maintaining your present job?

I'd go with the flu for the first absence. 

It's flu season soon and the flu is highly contagious. You have to fake it, but that shouldn't be too difficult. 

The second job interview is tougher because you can't go with the flu again. So you either come up with an undiagnosable malady -- like a 24 hour bug -- or you have to take extreme measures. I hesitate to suggest this, but do you have health insurance? If so, go to the emergency room complaining of stomach/abdominal pain and get admitted. As soon as you get your band, say that you're feeling better and then leave. 

If your boss doesn't believe you were actually sick, take in the emergency room band. 

The next day walk in and say, "I was so sick I had to get admitted to the hospital and put on an IV."

Then show him the hospital band. 

That's a last resort though. 

Before I went for the first interview -- which already follows a phone interview -- I'd explain your present job situation and ask if it's possible to do the entire interview in one day. What job are you interviewing for that you have to attend two separate days of interviews? You're a young guy, it's not like you're interviewing to be the next Fed chairman.

Good luck. 

Ashley writes:

"Bottom line up front: do non-monetary bets with friends ever expire? Or is there a time limit for exacting dues (I think for money bets, it's pretty well-understood). For example, I made a bet a couple of years ago with a friend, and the loser had to chug a 12-pack of Smirnoff Ice in one hour (back when icing was in). He lost, and I'd bring it up every now and then, but never bought the 12-pack. He and his wife (my sister) currently moved into a new home, and I thought it may be a good time (or nice house warming gift) to call in the bet. He's been out of town all week, so I thought leaving it on the porch would make for a nice surprise. Thoughts? He reads your mailbag religiously, so if you post and respond favorably, he knows it's coming for him."

I don't think there's any doubt that he has to pay up. 

I'd suggest making him drink all 12 at the next party both of you attend. 

Sure, you could leave the 12 pack on his porch as a friendly reminder, but he's definitely not chugging 12 Smirnoff Ices without someone present to call him on it. Since he reads the mailbag he's being called out publicly now.

He has to make good on the bet.  

Anonymous writes:

It's a simple solution, you can't bring him around your wife.

Everyone has a friend that wives or girlfriends hate. (I'm confident that I'm that friend for at least one friend). Chances are, a wife or girlfriend probably hates you too. The simple solution is that you keep those two worlds separate. Why does he need to be out socially when your wife is there? Other than large social gatherings of friends, your wife and this friend should never be in close proximity to each other. 

Now, a caveat, are you living too many lies in your own life and is that why you're uncomfortable with him around? Because he shines a light on your behavior that you lie about to your wife?

It's astounding to me how many men are married to women -- and I'm sure it's vice versa too -- who have no idea what their partner is actually like. 

That has to be exhausting. 

(By the way, I'm not talking about knowing every single detail about each other -- none of us would ever get married if someone else knew every single detail about us -- but you at least need to understand the broad framework.)

Jonathan P. writes:

"In Tennessee, you can still get the UT Vols "National Champions" football license plate celebrating their 1998 season.

It's currently 2013...

What's the statute of limitations on how long you can celebrate a sports victory?"

This is way too long. 

I'd say the statute of limitations is around seven or eight years. And I think that's lenient. That's two full graduating cycles of football players. 

As an aside, are you aware that some recruits signing letters of intent this spring were born in 1997? 1997! You think that 1998 national title matters to current recruits? It might as well be 1958 for them. 

1997 doesn't even seem like that long ago to me. I was graduating from high school in 1997.

I'm old.  

Todd G. writes:

"Help settle an argument, if you will.

Due to the rising prevalence of sports gambling, how long will it be until a fan influences a shot during a golf tournament for an advantage? The scenario is easy to imagine: Fan bets $500 on Jason Dufner to win the Masters at 40-1, potentially winning $20k. Tiger is standing on the tee box at 18 (or any prior hole) and just as he starts his down swing, the fan screams and Tiger yanks it out of bounds. The fan gets tossed, but no legal ramifications exist. Tiger double bogeys and Fan wins 20k.

If that seems too far fetched, recall the PGA Tournament in 2011 when a fan bet $400 at 125-1 on Kegan Bradley to win. Bradley even ended up in a Sudden Death Playoff with Dufner. Bradley won, and the guy pocketed 50k. If that bettor was there, what is holding him back from influencing the outcome (besides dignity)? So, mailbag question: Do you ever think a fan at a PGA Tour event will directly affect the outcome by his/her behavior for financial gain in the method described? I think so."

Really interesting question. 

Golf is the perfect sport to influence because one individual's non-criminal actions can drastically impact the outcome. Screaming during a backswing or just as a golfer went to putt could totally impact the final result. 

Honestly, with the way that penalties are called in, we've already created a situation that incentivizes that behavior, right?

Would it shock you if some of the people complaining about Tiger's improper drop also had bet on someone else to win the golf tournament? It wouldn't shock me at all. 

This is actually a story just waiting to be written. 

Now you've terrified all pro golfers. 

Kevin writes:

"I know you like hypothetical football scenarios so here is one for you.

We are matching up Oregon vs Weber State. (I could have subbed Baylor for Oregon.) Weber State was selected for my example because they are dead last in FCS giving up 48.9 points per game. I'm looking for a game that "could" happen. Oregon could schedule Weber State (who lost 70-7 at Utah this season), but would not schedule a Division 2 or 3 school or an NAIA school.

For the purposes of this question, we are making a couple of assumptions: 1) Weber is trying, they just are unable to do anything. In other words, no intentional fumbles, etc. 2) Any semblance of sportsmanship is out the window for Oregon. The starters play the entire game, other than rotating in an occasional fresh body at the skill positions. The foot stays on the gas, so to speak, for 60 minutes.

How many points could Oregon score? How quickly would they hit 100? Could they possibly challenge the Cumberland-Georgia Tech record of 222-0?"

What you're really asking here is how many possessions would the Ducks get? Because assume that they'd score 95% of the time they got the ball against the worst team in FCS. (The other 5% would be fumbled balls, interceptions, or dropped passes). 

In order to score 100 points you'd need to have 14 touchdowns. (Presume the Ducks are going for two after every touchdown and aren't going to succeed on the two-pointers at a higher than 75% rate).

Looking back at the most similar game Oregon has played this year, the Ducks only had 13 possessions against Nicholls in their season opener. 

They scored 66 points, including 21 fourth quarter points, and led 38-3 at the half. 

The longest of these scoring drives lasted 2:34 seconds. 

Nicholls had three drives that lasted over five minutes, so that's an entire quarter of the game off the clock without Oregon having possession.

So taking all of this into account, if Weber's goal is to simply get out of the game while giving up the least amount of points, they would run the ball a ton to keep the clock running. After each of these possessions if Weber could average 2 minutes of offensive possession that would total up to nearly half the game right there. 

Nicholls, for example, averaged over three yards a possession. 

Sure, Oregon could score on defense, but if Nicholls just ran the football that's less likely. 

So I think scoring more than 120 would be almost impossible to pull off. The math is just difficult to make happen. 

Now, the wild card here is what if Oregon onside kicked after each score. The Ducks would recover at least 1 in 3 of those, right? Then you might be able to make a run at 150. 

Will E. writes:

"Last Saturday I went to an OU Texas watch party. The party was fun and everyone was having a good time but the problem was the house had two TVs with one TV being about 6 seconds faster than the other. The TV on the delay was in the living room in HD while the other one was set up in the kitchen for people playing beer pong. Every time something big would happen you could hear everyone playing beer pong react and it would ruin the game for the for us watching it in the living room. What's a man to do in this situation if he wants to sit on a couch and watch the game instead of being cramped up in the kitchen trying to get a glimpse on the TV."

I'm not technologically astute to know why this happens, but I believe it's because you're watching two different channels. 

That is, one is the local feed and another is routed through the satellite feed. 

You just have to sync the televisions. 

One of you who is more technologically astute can explain if I'm wrong here. Otherwise I don't really understand how the kitchen -- which is probably not the primary television in the house -- could end up ahead of the other television. 

Seth N. writes:

"I graduated from Mizzou in May, so I'm thoroughly enjoying this football season so far. Everyone in Columbia knew last year was a fluke, so it's great to see our guys competing at high level this year. Being overly optimistic, I checked on SEC championship tickets the other day. Cheapest seat I found were in the nosebleeds and around $350. Knowing that if we made it, we'd more than likely be playing Alabama, and would more than likely get beat by a few scores, I thought that would be a little pricey to go watch us lose (plus having to make the trip from Kansas City to Atlanta). However, to experience our first time in the SEC title game would be amazing. So, what is the most you would spend to go to a game, basically knowing your team isn't going to win, but with the slim chance of a monumental upset?"

I think what you spend for a ticket is all relative to what your income is. 

That is, when you're a young college-aged kid, anything above $200 is probably way too much. If you're Warren Buffet, there really is no dollar figure that would keep you out of a game you wanted to attend.

Most of us are in between a poor college kid and Buffett.  

This is America, so you can spend whatever you want, but in general I'd say there's a rough correlation between your income and how much you should spend for a ticket. (Alabama fans, by the way, crush this flow chart because many of them make $19,000 a year and will spend $3,000 on a trip to the Rose Bowl for the BCS title game). 

For me, I've never paid more than $250 for a ticket to anything. (This record might get broken because my wife wants tickets to Justin Timberlake's concert here in Nashville and they're like $500 each on StubHub right now. If I end up paying $500 for my wife to see Justin Timberlake in concert, just shoot me now.)

I would use your checking account as a rough proxy. 

Let's say you make $1k a week because the math is easy and that puts you close to the nation's median income. 

That's $52k a year before taxes.

Say your take home is around $700 a week. That's $2800 in your pocket a month. 

Then you have to factor in your primary financial responsibilities -- do you have kids, does your wife or husband work, your mortgage or rent -- then you have to take into account what the lodging on a trip like this costs. The older you get the more you have to spend on a hotel. In college days even if a hotel room is $300, you're piling four guys or girls into the room and it's not that much split four ways. 

By the time you get older you are not sharing rooms. 

So if you take your wife to a game weekend, you've got multiple nights at $300 each -- decent hotel rooms are expensive as hell in most college towns -- plus you have to double down on tickets for your significant other too.

For a single person I think you could go to $400 on this salary. For a couple, I don't know that I'd go above $600.  

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.