Anonymous Mailbag

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It’s Tuesday, which means you’ve made it to another anonymous mailbag.

As always, I am here to solve all your life’s problems. All you have to do is send me your questions, anonymity guaranteed. How do you send me your questions? Email me at

Before we get to the mailbag questions, go get signed up to gamble on sports, especially in Tennessee, Michigan and Virginia, which are the three most recent states to add sports gambling. You can also bet in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You get up to a $1000, no-risk first bet. You’d be crazy not to register. So get to it.

Okay, here we go:

“My brother (42) and I (40) were having post Thanksgiving meal drinks with our cousin a few days ago. He is a 22 year old senior in college, set to graduate next spring. With all of us overserved we were shooting the shit about college life, girls, football and what he wants to do when he graduates. Our cousin casually says “Well I have a 44 year old Sugar Momma who pays for whatever I need so I’m good for at least a year.”

My reaction was ‘Heyooo, tell us more,’ my brother asked ‘Is she married?’ to which my cousin replied ‘she is separated.’ He went on to tell us about how she gives him a few hundred bucks a week to party, cooks him dinner a few nights a week and covers his gym membership. After about twenty minutes more of fun chatter about this arrangement we all cleaned up the porch of beer cans and all went our separate ways for the evening.

Not thinking anything of it for the next 24 hours, I got a text from my brother the following day saying ‘we need to put stop to his sugar momma shenanigans.’ I replied ‘why none of our business?’ but my brother insists we should tell his father (our uncle) at Christmas over a beer as it’s critical of his future career and reputation. I think that is absurd and we should stay out of it. I say ‘high five’ the kid is having some fun and made his own bed, my brother wants to protect him from all the potential consequences of sleeping with a married (separated woman). What say you sir?”

My general proposition on this would be to stay out of it. He’s an adult, she’s an adult, and they can decide to engage in whatever consensual relationship makes sense to them. It’s not your job to police your cousin’s relationships, especially since it sounds like he knows this relationship has no staying power.

Put it this way: how many 22-year-old guys out there are staying committed to someone who is twice their age? Ironically enough, this would be more of a long term relationship danger if she was 22 and he was 44 because there are a decent number of relationships like that. But there are relatively few 22-year-old men marrying women who are twenty years older than them.

I’d still counsel doing nothing about this if this was your 22-year-old female cousin, but I think that would be a tougher call because that relationship could have a longer range future, and I doubt many dads — or moms — dream of their daughters ending up with husbands around their own age.

I’m also assuming your cousin was drunk, and he may well have been exaggerating about this relationship to try and impress you guys. For instance, what if she once gave him several hundred dollars to pay for a night out that he’d actually put on his own credit card? Or what if she’s doing this every now and then? Are you really getting paid by your sugar momma if she’s just giving you money back that you spent on her?

I will admit, however, that paying for his gym membership is pretty strange. But, again, what’s that worth? Not that much money in the grand scheme of things.

Even if everything he said is true, we’re talking about this woman giving him around $12k a year — several hundred dollars a month extrapolated out for a year adds up to this. Does he really think he doesn’t have to do anything for a year because someone is giving him $12k? Doubtful. I think he was drunkenly exaggerating about this relationship because he thought it would impress you guys.

What’s more, if you tell his dad — your uncle — about this kid’s relationship, what’s the dad going to do? His son is a 22-year-old college student. He’s entitled to be in any relationship he wants to be in with any other consenting adult. Telling on him to your uncle, his dad, probably sabotages any relationship you have with him going forward, and it’s unlikely to change anything. In fact, it may just create unnecessary tension and make him rebel and continue the relationship longer. After all, how many of us know someone who has stayed in a bad relationship longer than they should have just to spite friends and family who have opposed that relationship? Almost all of us.

Furthermore, what if you tell his dad, and your uncle just laughs and says, “Yeah, he told me, sounds like she’s pretty hot.”

Then you’re the assholes who tattled on their adult cousin.

The only thing that gives me pause here is the marital status of the woman. What if she’s actually not “separated” and is still married and her husband finds out about your cousin? Depending on who the husband is, your cousin could be in for a serious beatdown or worse. Plus, does he really want to get involved in a potential divorce proceeding?

Otherwise, I don’t see any negatives. I don’t see this somehow impinging on his ability to find gainful employment in the future or somehow restricting his ability to have a successful young adulthood. Odds are it’s just a fling for both of them.

Again, the big takeaway here is how often do 44-year-old women beat out 22-year-old women in the mind of a 22-year-old man?

Not very often.

This relationship is almost 100% transitory.

Odds are he’ll move on faster if you say nothing at all.

I have consistent problems with my mother-in-law overstepping, but it especially happens with gift giving on Christmas. For context, we do Christmas Eve with my in-laws so their gifts get opened first. My wife is consistent about giving the grandparents a list for what the two boys (ages 7 and 4) need and/or want. We have had annual problems with Nana buying ‘off the list’ on her own and giving the kids things that were earmarked for other family members.

Last year it came to a head when she gave them the big Santa gift. This meant I had to go out on Christmas Eve and find an appropriate replacement (which, of course, there is none because that was the BIG gift). But more importantly, it crushed my wife, who LOVES Christmas, because she lost (had stolen from her) the response to Santa magic with the perfect gift on Christmas morning. Outside of the fact that this is a bigger issue with the mother-in-law – maybe another mailbag question for another day- do I have a play here to make sure Nana doesn’t try to steal the show again without causing a bigger problem?”

First, this should be your wife’s issue to resolve. This is her mother, not yours. So she should have a direct conversation about this with her. But if she won’t, I suppose you can. The problem here is it interjects you into the mother-daughter relationship and makes the mother-in-law upset with you when she should be upset, if she’s going to be upset with anyone, with her own daughter.

Not surprisingly, we have had similar issues in our family. My mom, who is likely reading this because I’m the best son ever, — Hi, mom! — has occasionally gone off the gift list and bought the exact same toys that my wife has already bought our boys for Christmas or birthdays. Now she hasn’t done it with the “big gift,” that’s supposed to be a Christmas morning surprise, but she’s done it a few times with action figures and gifts like that.

To be fair, it’s also true that keeping track of exactly which gifts are purchased and expected to be purchased can be hard. I can barely keep up with all the action figures my son has — my wife somehow knows all of this information — so I regularly screw up too and buy something at Target that’s supposed to be a birthday or Christmas gift.

That is, rather than presume malice, I think the general proposition in situations like these should be that everyone is just trying to make the kids happy. And if you’re in Target and a five-year-old asks for a toy, and you have the money to be able to buy that toy, it’s awfully hard to say no.

Heck, I don’t say no very often myself.

And I don’t imagine I’ll ever say no when I’m a grandparent.

So the general goal here is just making a kid happy. And the debate is over who deserves the credit for the happiness, which, as problems go, isn’t that big of a problem, particularly with all the far more serious things going on in everyone’s life.

But having said all of this: Nana should know better.

Which is why I come back to the big issue at play here. When she buys a gift that’s already been purchased by the two of you, she’s forcing you to trudge out to the stores and buy another gift, one that won’t be anywhere near as appreciated, on Christmas Eve of all days. Not to mention she’s making more work for everyone since you eventually have to return the gift yourself.

What’s the solution? What if Nana’s gifts don’t get opened until the day after Christmas? Sure, it may seem a bit extreme, but the best way to ensure she stops buying the same gifts you’ve already purchased is to make her gifts get opened the day after Christmas. If she had to worry about giving your kids the exact same gifts they’d already received, I bet she would follow the gift guidelines going forward.

Which is why your wife needs to have this conversation with her directly. You can be there as necessary, but this is really a conversation your wife needs to have with her mom. It’s one thing if the overlap happens in relatively low-cost gifts, but if Nana is buying the big Christmas gift — one you’ve already bought yourself — it feels like that’s impossible to do on accident.

She should stop doing it, and it’s perfectly legit for you guys to tell her as much.

Good luck.

“I work as a fisheries biologist, and there is a professional journal and organization that most all fisheries scientists have to be a part of to have access to jobs, publications, etc. The problem is that this professional organization, specifically the president, keeps shoving his political views down our throats.

In the latest fisheries newsletter there was a 2 page essay about ‘unconscious bias’ and racism (neither of these things have anything to do with fish). I don’t really want to give my money to an organization that is so aggressive about political beliefs I don’t agree with, but I need to for my job. Do I grit my teeth and bear it?”

Can you reach out to the guy who runs the journal and share your opinion with him privately? That might not solve the issue, but it will at least point out that the fisheries journal isn’t really a place where we need to see his political opinions on issues that have nothing to do with fisheries.

I suppose I could be wrong, but is unconscious bias and racism a big deal in the fishing industry? If anything, fishing feels like one of the most egalitarian of all pursuits. After all, (usually) the fish can’t see who is throwing the bait in the water, and I can’t imagine there are fishing stores refusing to sell bait or rods to minorities.

Sure, the more money you have the better gear you can have to fish and the more places you can travel to fish, but that’s not a fishing issue. That’s a money issue. No matter what the hobby is, the people who have more money to spend can do higher end things in the hobby.

Writing an email — or letter — to the guy who runs the journal might make you feel better. But you have to be careful. He may be begging for someone to react negatively to his opinions so he can label you as a racist and double down on his editorializing. That is, I’d request anonymity in your letter, but also be cognizant of the fact that your opinion may make him more likely to keep sharing his opinions. He might even use your letter or email as the basis for his next piece.

The larger issue here, however, is one that I think many of you innately feel — everything doesn’t have to be political.

In fact, most things shouldn’t be political.

When I was a kid, my grandmother said to never talk politics or religion with strangers. That wasn’t because she was opposed to either — my grandmother was incredibly religious and always voted — but her general proposition was that you never know who will agree or disagree with you. So why make that the basis of your interaction?

Social media makes almost everything political.

So let’s take this out of the political arena and let me put it to you this way: if the same guy wrote a long piece in the fisheries journal about his religious beliefs and why you should adopt them too, would you feel the same way as you do about him sharing his political beliefs? I bet the answer, at least for a lot of people, would be yes. Not because you disagree with his religious beliefs one way or the other, but just because you subscribe to the fisheries journal for information about fish, not for information about how to save your soul.

Well, wokeism, for many, has become a new religion. They feel the need to evangelize to the unwoke all the time. They are seeking to find new adherents by sharing their woke gospel. That’s what this fisheries guy is doing.

Even for people who might agree with him, that can feel a bit uncomfortable.

So what if you led with that angle in your response to him? Because I bet he would understand that perspective and not feel like his individual politics are being attacked.

Now the woke virus teaches its adherents that anyone opposed to their perspective is wrong — and racist and sexist and homophobic and insert your own negative descriptor here — so be prepared for him to come back with his opinion that nothing he wrote is political, but it’s still an argument worth making.

Good luck with your response — if you elect to give one — but try not to make it inflammatory because I feel like that will just make him double down on his righteous crusade.

As for keeping your subscription if it’s necessary for your work, I’d treat the fisheries journal like you do the television remote. Flip right past anything you don’t like and ignore it.

“I have a question about conference-affiliated officiating. I promise that this is not going to be a tinfoil hat referee conspiracy theory. In every conference, you always hear the adage that the referees ‘protected the highly ranked teams,’ and it often seems to hold true. What no one ever seems to mention is that there is an inherent conflict of interest here in that the referees are employed by the conferences, and the conferences themselves have a financial benefit to the outcome of some of these games. For instance, in the ACC Championship Game should Notre Dame beat Clemson a second time, there is a very strong chance that Clemson will not get a playoff spot at all. If Clemson wins the game and Notre Dame and Clemson both make the playoff, the ACC will get an additional millions more, potentially tens of millions more, from the playoff payout. That’s a significant amount of money in any year, but in a year where every athletic budget is in the red, it matters even more. We have already seen the ACC shift the schedule to make the paths easier for Notre Dame and Clemson to make it to the ACCCG, and we are seeing the Big Ten likely change the rules midseason to let Ohio State in their championship game.

No one ever points out that officials being paid by an entity that has financial interest in the outcome of the game is an inherent conflict of interest. It’s just waved off as the customary ‘ranked teams get the benefit of the doubt’ way of college football, like the old boxing axiom that you better knock the champ out instead of letting it go to the cards. The NCAA should employ all the officials and let them serve regionally instead of by conference to avoid the conflict of interest. The conferences can be billed for the crews, and the NCAA has no net additional expenses. What do you think?”

It’s a great question and a great point.

There is a direct conflict of interest in the officiating decisions.

For instance, the SEC would benefit by Florida beating Alabama in the SEC title game, the Big Ten’s only path to the playoff is Ohio State winning the title and going undefeated, and the ACC benefits immensely if Clemson beats Notre Dame.

So if there’s an incredibly close call — or a series of close calls — there are tens of millions of dollars at stake on officiating decisions. That’s tens of millions of dollars that go directly back into the conference’s pocket. It’s hard not to see the incentives here, and I think it would be relatively hard for officials not to know those incentives too.

I think what you have to hope is that all of the eyeballs on these games makes the officiating errors less likely to happen. That is, the overall hit to the brand of a conference, if it appeared a conference was favoring the teams with the best chances to make the playoff, is more negatively impactful than the money made by a team — or an additional team — in the playoff.

Not to mention that if someone in a position of power at a conference ever discussed this openly with the officials, it could potentially be criminal behavior. So there’s a pretty strong incentive that can override the potential revenue impact.

As for why the NCAA isn’t in charge of officiating, the answer is because some leagues have better officials than others. The SEC, for instance, has better officials than the Pac-12 does. So if you pooled all the officials together, the overall quality of officiating for the biggest conferences would decline.

There’s also the issue of travel. Officials, who have other jobs, have to be able to reach their venues to call games. Requiring an official who lives in Florida to travel to California to call a game may be time and/or cost prohibitive.

Which is why I actually think the best way to hold officials accountable is to have as many eyeballs on their work as possible.

I also think there’s probably a market, honestly, for a website that posts officiating calls and tracks the performance of individual refs and their crews just like players are tracked. I think the leagues and conferences would have access to that information, but the average fan having better optics on who the “best” and “worst” officials are when it comes to calling games seems like information that should be public. Oftentimes, officials are fairly anonymous. I think the best officials should be praised and given raises, and the worst officials should be replaced.

How often does that happen? Most of us have no idea.

“With all the Sarah Fuller at Vanderbilt attention, I have a hypothetical for you.

As we all know, Title IX, simplified, requires schools to have equal numbers of female athletes as male athletes. Because of the large number of football players on a single team, a lot of schools have girl only sports, soccer, volleyball, etc, to offset this.

Now that our HERO has proven girls can play football at the Power Five level… Could a school claim that football is actually a unisex sport and that the players on the team should NOT count towards their Title IX? Therefore either eliminating the girl only sports, or allowing them to add corresponding male sports?”

I’ve been talking about this exact issue for years.

An aggressive reading of Title IX would be to use players like Sarah Fuller to argue that football is a coed sport. In other words, that all football scholarships are open to both men and women, it just so happens that most of the scholarships go to men because they are better than the women.

Why would that matter? If a court accepted this argument — and, again, I think it’s an aggressive argument, but it’s one that could be made — then all the scholarships rolling into women’s sports to make up for the 85 football scholarships going to men for football would disappear.

And women would receive far fewer scholarships for college athletics.

That’s why I think you have to be careful here. If women start playing football — even a little bit — then that opens the door for the argument that football isn’t an exclusively male sport. And that could be detrimental to women’s sports.

Ultimately arguing that there isn’t a difference between men and women when it comes to sports, which is the argument of far left wing liberals, would destroy women’s sports because men would win every event.

Just think about it in the Olympics. If women’s sports were placed alongside men’s sports, then there would almost never be any women medalists.

A completely equal sports world with no difference between men and women would mean women almost never win. Or even get to play.

Thanks as always for reading OutKick.

Send your anonymous mailbag questions to, anonymity guaranteed.

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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.


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  1. I think that there are many fans who have the same thoughts regarding officiating. It is in the ACC and SEC’s best interests for Clemson and Florida to win next week. Refs are human too; they know all about the dollars involved.

    Re: Sugar Momma. You are absolutely spot on, Clay; he will eventually realize that 22-year-old women are way hotter than 40-somethings for a young guy.

  2. “A completely equal sports world with no difference between men and women would mean women almost never win. Or even get to play.”

    Fine by me. That is what they and their dumb hag wine moms have been voting for, so let them have it.

    The chivalrous thing to do is to protect others from the consequences of their own folly. But they don’t want chivalry. OK then. Let’s do it your way.

  3. please clay let me answer these questions for you. everyone says i give the best common sense advice. and I will do it for free. contact me–send me a question, let me answer it and then you can see how good I am at this and it will free you up to do political and sports things!!!!!

  4. In re the concern by the 40 year old for his 22 y.o. cousin’s sugarmama. He stated that she is ‘separated’. And she is spending a ton of money on someone else. No word as to who that money belongs to. What if the future ex and possible cuckold isn’t completely keyed into her new boy toy yet, and is not of the disposition to react kindly to that knowledge?

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