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Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday and time for me to solve all the problems in the OutKick universe with the anonymous mailbag.

It’s also Super Bowl week, and we have got a tremendous offer for new users in Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado and West Virginia. Bet $5 on the winner of the Super Bowl, and if your team wins, you get $275. That’s a 55-1 payout. It’s such a good deal that you can get a family or friend to take the other side, and you’re guaranteed a 27.5 to 1 payout for just $10 between the two of you. So new users, go get your bets placed.

Okay, as always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Here we go:

“Need some help with an upcoming bachelor trip. I’m getting married in a few months and the guys are planning a quick weekend getaway to the beach the weekend before the big day. The problem is 2 of the 8 groomsmen are preachers and don’t drink or party in any way. Now, I know on this trip the other 6 guys and I would like to drink and have a good time and knowing them I have a suspicion that a stripper will be involved if they can make it happen. I personally know that this would make the 2 preachers very uncomfortable and as of now they have no clue about the trip. Should I keep them out of the loop and risk them being hurt by not being invited or should I invite them? Keep in mind, both would definitely come thinking it wouldn’t be that bad, then be super awkward the entire time (It’s happened before when we’ve all hung out at my place).”

This is a pretty easy question to answer. You go without the two preachers.

If they find out, you just tell them there was a stripper coming and you didn’t want to put them in an uncomfortable position, given their jobs. That seems like a perfect answer. You can even tell them directly before they hear it elsewhere, which is probably an even better choice.

I’d set up another event with the rest of the crew, including the two preachers, and go golfing or on a trip to a cabin that isn’t particularly bachelor party-esque. That way, the two preachers can have the enjoyment of a guys trip without feeling left out, and everyone else can have the traditional bachelor party they want too.

I’d also say, by the way, this could work if, for instance, your brother-in-law or father-in-law are wanting to attend the bachelor party. It’s kind of an awkward spot for your future in-laws to be cheering along as you lick whip cream off a stripper’s boobs and prepare for her to give you a spanking with your belt.

Which is why you can have a bachelor party-lite edition for everyone and then a more traditional bachelor party for the crew that likes alcohol and strippers. (By the way, I’m firmly convinced every man likes alcohol and strippers. Some just pretend they don’t.)

Regardless, I think you have to split up the preachers from the bachelor party crew.

The last thing you want is the preacher ministering the stripper while she cries on his shoulder, and you and your buddies realize you’re all going straight to hell for ever paying a stripper to strip.

“Clay – been reading your stuff since Dixieland Delight and I enjoy your perspective.

Question…if you polled 100 single women, age 21 to 35, and asked if they would prefer to marry a man with an above average penis or an above average head of hair, what do you think the split would be?

You’ve got to think most women would go with the head of hair, right? I think in the grand scheme of life that would carry more value than an above average hog. Friends of mine expect it to be an even split but I’m not so sure. I’m pretty confident 75% or 80% of women would choose the great head of hair.

What say you?”

This is such a fantastic question because I’m not sure what the answer is, but you could debate it forever.

So first, let me be clear, I have no idea what the answer is. So I’m open to women letting me know via email, in the comments, or on social media that my analysis is totally wrong here. I’m also open to women polling their friends and reporting the results.

But I think women would prefer the good hair.

Let me explain why — everyone sees the hair!

That’s it. That’s my entire rationale.

No one knows about your husband’s penis unless you tell them. And even if you tell them, you can lie about him if you’re really that upset about his penis size. But everyone knows if you marry a bald guy.

Women care a great deal about cosmetic issues — their hair, their clothes, their make up, their shoes, their engagement ring. Honestly, all of it is just exhausting to me as the vast majority of the concern is predicated on WHAT OTHER WOMEN THINK.

Women don’t dress for men. They dress for other women.

Meanwhile, I can’t even tell you what t-shirt I’m wearing right now without looking down and checking. So if you’re walking around holding a man’s arm and everyone knows you’re together, I think being with a bald guy would be more likely to upset their ideal cosmetic picture than being with a guy with a small penis. Again, because everyone sees the baldness.

Another version of this question would be, would you rather be with a ripped guy with a small penis or a fat guy with a big penis? Another subtle variation to this question, would you rather be with a 6’0″ guy with a four inch penis or a 5’4″ guy with an eight inch penis? I think most women pick the ripped guy and the six foot guy. Why? Cosmetics again.

By the way, another fun debate, what’s the male equivalent here?

I think the male equivalent to this question would be, would you rather marry a super smart girl who is ugly or a dumb girl who is super hot. Since your marriage is a partnership above all else, you should want to marry the smarter girl, right? Because she’s more likely to be a great asset to you in your marriage and because intelligence doesn’t age. But I bet most men would sacrifice intelligence for looks. The ideal goal, of course, is to marry a very hot woman who is also very smart. (And I’m not just saying that because my wife might be reading the anonymous mailbag today, and it’s close to Valentine’s Day.)

Again, cosmetics wins for men too.

We all know — at least, I think we would all agree — that women would clearly sacrifice looks for money. So I suspect they’d also sacrifice penis length for hair or height. I do think, however, there are diminishing returns here. For instance, let’s pretend Lord Varys from Game of Thrones has the greatest hair ever, but no penis. I don’t think women would take the best hair ever over no penis. And I also think the attraction to height diminishes as the man gets taller and taller. Six foot is desirable, but I’d think 6’4″ is probably the top line attractiveness for a man because by the time you’re seven feet tall, then you look awkward walking next to an average woman. Again, cosmetics win.

Did I nail it? Let me know in the comments.

“I am currently in my mid-twenties and in my first year of law school. I make pretty average grades and do not feel out of place. However, I have started to wonder if pursuing a job in litigation or other legal professions is something I really want to do. I realize it’s totally normal to second guess jobs and school at my age.

I know you went to law school, so I figured you were probably in my shoes, or close to, at some point in your life. My dream profession would be using my JD degree to pursue a career in sports media or the sports industry; something similar to what you do every day. However I obviously realize jobs like yours are not handed out every day to someone of my age or experience.

With all that being said, what would you do in today’s society if you were in my shoes.”

First, a legal education is incredibly valuable, even if you later determine you don’t want to be a lawyer.

So nervousness like yours is incredibly common.

Second, I think you have to be open to non-traditional career paths. I was practicing law full time when I started writing online every day in the fall of 2004. Writing online was my escape from the practice of law. But my timing was fortunate. The Internet was really just starting to take off so the amount of competition in the space was much less significant than it is now.

You can’t control timing, but I still think to find success, you just have to be willing to write in ways that others aren’t. When I started writing online, I was a practicing attorney in the United States Virgin Islands. I had no connections or ability to do anything other than write my opinions about sports. I jumped right over “covering” sports because I didn’t have any ability to cover sports.

So all I had to offer was my opinion on sports.

Doing that well was my path to eventually developing a media company and adding TV and radio to the equation as well. I found out that I wasn’t just pretty decent at sharing sports opinions people wanted to read. I was pretty good at talking about those opinions too. Maybe, depending on who you ask, even better at talking about my opinions than writing about my opinions.

Where I think my law degree has helped is this: everything in American life today is basically an argument. You have to look at the evidence and decide which side of an argument you want to take. But when you’re a young lawyer, you don’t get to pick the sides of the argument you are going to take. You take whichever side is assigned to you by the older lawyers at your firm. What I do now is basically look at facts and construct arguments that I believe in. That is, I get to pick my sides of all arguments and not worry about what my client is paying me to argue.

I’m my own client all day long every day on every issue.

My advice would be finish your law degree and then start to develop your voice while practicing law full time. My path was through writing. I think writing is the most accessible — and most difficult — path to craft. There’s a reason writers can go from writing to radio to TV, but you almost never see TV people go from TV to radio to writing. That’s because writing is the most difficult of the skills to accomplish.

But there’s also a low barrier to entry when it comes to writing. As a lawyer, you are probably far more skilled as a writer than most people are, which means you have a competitive advantage. I was a really smart lawyer, but I’m an absolute genius for a sportswriter.

Write every day for a year — while practicing law full time — and see if you still have the desire to make a living in sports media. If you aren’t willing to do that, you won’t succeed at what I do. If you are, you have a chance.

Good luck.

“I propose a hypothetical to you:

The star player on your respective college football team goes out to media availability mid-season. For the rest of the season, he never changes how he acts, talks, or dresses. He just simply comes out in that mid season interview and says, ‘I’m transgender. I am a woman now.’ However, you can kind of tell he’s hiding a laugh and his teammates are laughing in the background. People try to force them to apologize but the star player and his teammates all stick to their guns for the entire season saying he–now she–is a woman.

What’s the Twitter reaction come the END of the season? Has ESPN flipped to celebrating their female accomplishments or not? Does he/she get invited to Biden’s inauguration like Sarah Fuller at Vanderbilt? Or is he/she treated as a neutral character because, despite his persistence, they think the team might be joking. Problem is, neither he nor his teammates ever contradict themselves for the entire season.

The laughter part is central to the hypothetical. Leaves some doubt for the media, but as previously mentioned, no contradictions ever occur and the star player stands firm with his/her statement the entire season.”

I know exactly how this would play out.

The sports media would lose its mind over the laughter, and the player would be condemned for not supporting transgender athletes and taking their gender preferences seriously.

Very quickly, the coach and the athletic director and the school president would get called to task for not condemning the player’s ignorance, and the player would be forced to apologize because the school leadership would worry that their own jobs were in danger from the woke mob.

Seriously, that’s exactly how this would play out.

So the joke part of this defeats your hypothetical.

Here’s a more interesting question that I think could arise: What if a top male basketball recruit for a top school signs as a freshman and then decides after his freshman season that he wants to transition to being a woman and announces he’s switching to play for the women’s basketball team instead of the men’s? The player has begun to receive hormone treatments to become a woman so this isn’t just making the decision to identify as a woman without changing any of his body chemistry, but the player has still grown to adulthood as a male and was good enough to be a top recruit at a top school for male athletics. So even if the hormone treatments “change” the gender, the player would still have the size and body of a fully grown male athlete who benefited from testosterone throughout puberty. And the player would still have many of the same talents and abilities with the basketball — which now would be smaller, by the way, in women’s basketball, making handling and shooting the ball easier — that he had as a man.

There’s no question that this player would dominate women’s college basketball, probably becoming the greatest women’s college player of all time. Potentially this player would lead the team to the NCAA Championship.

What happens then?

Is this player a hero of the sports media or does it necessitate asking tough questions about whether this kind of decision is appropriate for women’s athletics?

Because make no mistake, if fully-grown male athletes start identifying as women and changing their genders, they would completely dominate women’s athletics.

Women’s athletics would effectively cease to exist because transgender women would win everything.

Right now, the woke community would tell you these people are heroes, but so far, many of the challenging questions aren’t really being put to the test.

Think about Caitlyn Jenner, who won an ESPY for bravery. What if Bruce Jenner had decided to change genders right after winning the male decathlon in 1976 and had decided to come back and compete at the 1980 Olympics as a woman, Caitlyn Jenner? (Let’s pretend we didn’t boycott for purposes of this hypothetical.) Well, Caitlyn Jenner would have crushed all the women and won the gold medal for women’s decathlon, right?

I mean, it’s a no brainer.

Of course that would have happened.

Is that heroic or does it destroy the sanctity of women’s sports? I think it’s the latter. And I think most sports fans would agree with me. And I think, frankly, the vast majority of Americans in general would agree with me as well.

Make no mistake. This kind of situation is coming sooner rather than later, and I think it’s possible it blows up the entire woke sports culture.

“Clay, I am in education in a far left wing state. As you can imagine, the past couple of months ourtrainings’ and staff meetings might as well have been put on by Don Lemon. The union meetings are even worse. All our time is spent on politics, movie club and ways to identify yourself and countless other ‘strategies’ that have no relevance to teaching. (I was attacked in a previous training because I only identified myself as me) and if there is something that is practical, it’s a repeat from the exact same thing we did months ago.

A lot of the discussion has now turned to the vaccine, as teachers are up for it soon. Yesterday, a colleague expressed concern that he wasn’t comfortable taking it due to the nature in which it was approved. He provided a brief, factual explanation why he felt that way. Before he was even finished, he was being crucified in the zoom chat and verbally by other teachers as using fake news and being a nut/conspiracy theorist. My concern isn’t about vaccinations per se but about the clear lack of accepting diversity of thought. Of course we are always lectured in these trainings about diversity (‘counter story’ was a vocabulary word we had to learn) but when opinions contrary to the majority are presented, they are immediately silenced in the form of bullying and ridicule. I texted him on the side and offered support but really don’t know how to proceed. All I would really like is for us to focus on the kids, our jobs and treat each other with respect.

So how can we have a free marketplace of ideas in such a left wing field? Should this be addressed at some level, whether the site or district, since it is being allowed?”

Let me be clear about this, I’m pro-vaccination. The evidence is clear that children should be vaccinated. All my children were vaccinated, and I think all of your kids should be vaccinated too. Vaccination for childhood illnesses is settled science.

This, of course, raises the question of what “settled science” is. I think all of us, for instance, would agree that the temperature at which water boils and freezes is settled science. But what about things that are novel in our fields? If you listened to what the “experts” told us in March about the coronavirus, it was often the exact opposite of what they are telling us today.

Back in May and June when I was saying that all kids needed to be back in schools, I was attacked mercilessly online. But I was right. And now many people are coming to see that I was right. Well, should I have shut up because some people disagreed with me? Of course not. I think all parents should have been vociferously demanding their kids return to school.

You didn’t need to be an expert in science to look at the data on schooling and realize that shutting down schools was a disaster.

Now I don’t think you need to be a doctor to believe that young, healthy people shouldn’t be getting vaccinated anywhere near the front of the line for COVID. Why? Because those of us under fifty years old who are healthy have virtually zero risk of serious illness or death from COVID.

Now that same logic doesn’t apply for everyone.

I’ve encouraged my parents, who are both 75 years old, to take the COVID vaccine sooner rather than later, but I’m in no hurry at all to get the vaccine myself for two reasons: 1. there are people who need the vaccine way more than I do and 2. I’d bet a large amount of money I’ve already had COVID.

Why do I think I’ve had COVID? Well, I’ve been living my life pretty much normally since April. If it’s as contagious as it’s reported to be, I just don’t think there’s any way I’ve avoided exposure to it at some point. I’d bet a lot of money I’ve had it.

There is a great deal of focus right now on the number of people who are being vaccinated, and I think that’s a good thing, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of serious injury or death. But remember that we likely have had over 100 million people, conservatively, at this point who have already had COVID. Given that kids aren’t eligible for the vaccine and aren’t primary conduits for the COVID spread in the first place, this means that many communities have already achieved well in excess of 50% of adults having had COVID or received the vaccine.

I actually think we’re likely to see herd immunity setting in in many of these places.

Look at my home state of Tennessee. Cases have just suddenly fallen off a cliff here. We’re down nearly 70% from the peak of a couple of months ago. That started long before the vaccine began to be distributed in substantial ways. So what happened here? Herd immunity finally setting in seems like the most likely argument to me.

Remember that early on, the CDC said we’d likely had ten times the number of cases as we had discovered. So let’s say we’re doing a better job of catching those cases now. That would still make it fairly likely that 4-5x the number of official COVID cases have existed. So if we have 30 million official cases of COVID in the country, then that would mean the actual number is around 120 or 150 million. Given that the number of cases aren’t evenly distributed, I think herd immunity is likely to be setting in in many places across this country.

Anyway, back to your friend’s point. I don’t know how old he is or what his health status is, but I plan on being one of the very last people to get the COVID vaccine. And I don’t know if my kids will ever get the vaccine. Why? Because many more people need it more than my immediate family does.

I think that’s the better way to address your position, if you’re a teacher and you’re not eager to get the vaccine. Young teachers shouldn’t be getting the vaccine before the elderly, based on the clear data.

What your buddy is risking, depending on how he conveys his argument, is appearing to be anti-vaccine, which is different than not being able to get this particular vaccine based on his age and danger.

“There is a lot of talk about moving school districts or even states because of strong philosophical/political differences. Is there any merit to considering a move from the U.S. to a different country? It seems like a radical idea but if censorship, wokeness, and division continue to get worse, is there an alternative option?”

It’s an interesting idea, but where would you go that’s better than America is?

I don’t know of anywhere.

I think what’s more likely to happen is we will see more and more sorting of states by political affiliations. I think the red states are going to get redder, and I think the blue states are going to get bluer.

I’ll give you an example. Here in my home state of Tennessee, we are seeing a massive influx of new residents. But when I ask them why they are moving here, one of the first things they say is because of the Tennessee politics. They were fed up with the left wing politics in New York, California and Illinois, among others, and so they moved here because COVID policies finally pushed them over the edge.

They wanted their kids in school. They wanted to be able to go to gyms and restaurants. They wanted more individual freedom.

I know some people are afraid of new residents flipping states from red to blue like we saw in Georgia recently, but I think the new movement strengthens the red status of many states. That movement of conservatives and libertarians elsewhere makes the blue states bluer and the red states redder. I think that’s what COVID has unleashed. I really do.

I also think states like Tennessee, Florida and Texas, pro-business states without state income taxes, are going to surge in comparison to other states over the next forty years. As long, that is, as they maintain the political direction they are on now.

As for countries to flee to, I’ve thought about this a bit, but where would you move that is better than the United States when it comes to free speech and supporting basic human rights? I’m open to the idea of going elsewhere, but I just don’t know another place that would be better.

I’d rather keep my flag planted in Tennessee and keep fighting for what I believe in here in my home state.

And I don’t know a better way to do it than owning a media company in this state.

As always, thanks for reading and send your anonymous mailbag questions, anonymity guaranteed, to claytravis@gmail.com.

And go get your Super Bowl gambling picks in today. A $5 bet for new users on either the Chiefs or Bucs to win pays back $275.

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.

17 Comments

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  1. i don’t usually read these, but today’s questions and answers are special.

    i think Clay should defer any ‘bachelor’ party questions to a divorced guy rather than a married guy like Clay 🤨.

    A real Law School education is amazing long term. it opens your mind and expands confidence, but the legal profession itself is full of incompetence too, so always keep an open mind to other things 4 sure.

    great stuff Clay. keep it going Outkick!

  2. Thanks again Clay for dissecting the worlds problems in an inciteful and thought provoking way. You are the Dear Abby of sports and anonymous mailbag is one of many reasons I became an Outkick VIP. I thought Outkick might of taken an L when Whitlock( mysteriously???) left, but you have not missed a beat. If you need to relocate, Canada would love to have you.

  3. As to the likelihood of herd immunity, I just look at the states in the great plains where the Bros were wringing their hands this fall due to off the charts rates in ND, SD, MN eat al. Where are they now? At the bottom. Read “the Great Influenza” which is a great book about 1918-1920. What you learns is,,,,virus gonna virus. They seek out uninfected populations, scavenge them, and move on. CLay is likely utterly correct about true infection rates. To be actuarially/statsitically conservative, multiply official positive tests by four. Add in vaccinations. When that nationwide number hits 200 million, we are reaching herd immunity.

    Statistics. Facts. Science. Cite them when it’s positive, not just when it’s negative.

  4. With all due respect, you might want to ease up on the “vaccines are settled science” statements. Boiling and freezing water are based on repeatable laws. Every year, children are, unfortunately damaged as a result of vaccinations. It happens so much, that back in the 1980’s a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund was established in the US. A parent who had a normal-functioning child before vaccination, then, post-vaccine, now has a permanently damaged child cannot sue their doctor or the drug company who created the vaccine. They only can file a claim with the federal government and, hopefully get some financial help for the now-injured child. Whatever feelings anyone may have about vaccines, its a mistake to assume that they are 100% safe and based on repeatable laws. As the parent of a vaccine-damaged child told me, “The risks are 100% when its your kid”.

  5. To the law student:

    A lot depends on how much you are paying in tuition versus what you intend to do with or without a law degree. I went years ago when law school was mostly affordable. Been practicing for the last 20 years. I’m seeing law students now who are going to have $200K in student loan debt who are trying to get jobs in the public sector where pay starts at $60K. I don’t know how that’s feasible, but its the job they want so they are willing to pay to play.

    I agree with Clay, a JD opens doors that a BA or even a masters will not. As long as you are either doing exactly what you want so you love your job or are not going to leave school with massive debt and no job prospects, law school is a great path.

    • Agreed. Plus there are so many of us (lawyers) that if recent grads head to larger markets the jobs just aren’t as plentiful as 20-30 years ago and they end up taking those $60k a year jobs with all that debt. Beyond that, practicing law is highly stressful especially working for someone else. Lawyers have the highest alcoholism rates amongst professionals and highest divorce rates as well. The law is a jealous mistress. I worked for 4 firms before starting my own practice and that was the best decision I ever made.

      • Oh yeah, there is that too. I’ve been fortunate to not suffer from divorce or alcoholism, and to have a flexible schedule so I can still be a husband and a parent instead of that guy who comes and goes all week long. I enjoy the field I practice in and the firm I am at. Yet, like almost every lawyer, the stress is still there even when you don’t feel stressed. But that’s the tradeoff for the rewards

  6. I tend to think Clay is on the right track about the hair vs. genitalia size question. The height vs. size thing is probably the bigger debate since baldness really isn’t a big downside if you are a man.

    When it comes to height…6’4″ is probably on the high end for average height women…but you are at a premium for the women who are taller than 5′ 10″. I had a former girlfriend who was around that height say she liked the fact I am tall because she could wear heels without feeling guilty so the cosmetics is a big thing.

  7. Have about 8 JD’s in my family. Regardless of career, it will aid in getting the job… it’s all about reading comprehension, period!

    The commentary on “male” issues left me laughing on the floor. I’ve never known a female who stuck with her mate solely bc he was stacked!

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