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Anonymous Mailbag

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It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to solve all your life’s problems.

I had the boys out last night at the Bills-Titans Monday Night Football game and what an incredible night that ended up being. We had so much fun. My first grader, it feels like over night, has suddenly become a huge football fan.

Apologies for missing the anonymous mailbag last week, I was traveling and didn’t have the time to be able to do it.

But we’re back this week and hopefully I’ll be home for most Tuesday’s from here through the end of the year.

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

Okay, here we go:

“I’ve been to Neyland Stadium A LOT of times in my life. While I don’t always get a Smokey Dog (not “hot dog”) when I go, I’ve ordered plenty of them in my times there. Anyway, for as long as I can remember, the Smokey Dogs have had the mustard included inside the Smokey Dog wrapper.

Now, it’s not just any mustard inside that wrapper. No, it’s Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard…which I find an odd choice as it would seem that regular mustard would be more popular. I’m going to guess that there are some sponsorship dollars involved in this decision. But I digress…

So, if you prefer regular mustard over the Gulden’s, you’d have to bring your own mustard into the stadium. I will admit that that’s some passionate hatred for Gulden’s to go through the trouble of bringing your own mustard just for a Smokey Dog. But, nonetheless, if you wanted to enjoy a dog with regular yellow mustard, you’d simply have to smuggle in your own regular yellow mustard.

Therefore, we can reasonably assume that the person who brought the yellow mustard into Neyland doesn’t like Gulden’s and wanted to eat a Smokey Dog with yellow mustard.

The person that brought in the golf ball probably brought that in with malicious intent. That is, I believe that person brought it in specifically to hurl it at Lane Kiffin. I mean, he (or she) POSSIBLY played golf earlier that day and accidentally brought it in, but this feels like a reach. But the regular yellow mustard doesn’t feel like it was brought in with any devious purpose in mind. I believe that person just didn’t like the brown mustard.

However, this person became either so enraged by the game and/or caught up in the moment, that he/she just picked up the first thing they could find (or maybe the last thing as they’d already thrown their water bottle) and launched it onto the field. It’s probably a good thing this happened at the end of the game as being without their yellow mustard would have ruined their Smokey Dog experience for that whole evening.

In summary, if one of you knows someone who hates Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, enjoys Smokey Dogs and was at Neyland Stadium Saturday night, they should be considered a suspect in the yellow mustard throwing incident.”

I’d love to interview the golf ball guy, but I don’t really relish your mustard analysis. I’ll explain in a moment, but as for golf ball guy that’s the kind of premeditated redneckdom, I’ve come to expect as a lifelong resident of Tennessee.

This is why I wasn’t a big fan of doing live radio broadcasts from gas stations all over the outskirts of Nashville. Because you never know when a redneck is going to go full redneck. I halfway expected to get shot live on air during broadcasts back in the day. Rednecks aren’t well known for their ability to control their emotions.

Which is why Lane Kiffin thinks his gigging of Tennessee fans for the past decade has all been in good fun. And, from my perspective, it has been. But there’s a redneck Vol fan who has been plotting his golf ball throwing for years. And then, boom, he finally broke and couldn’t resist the chance to make Kiffin pay for all those jokes over the years.

I agree with you the golf ball toss didn’t happen by accident. You don’t just end up with a golf ball at a football game — especially a range ball, which is the least valuable of golf balls, it’s not like he threw a Pro V1. No, he didn’t want to waste a good ball on Lane.

Plus, that’s a pretty incredible throw, to nearly hit Kiffin from that distance, we’re talking about a fifty yard toss at least. Furthermore, you can’t hurl a golf ball like this and not create a scene. There have to have been quite a few witnesses. I’m honestly surprised the toss isn’t on video.

After this happened, I was texting with buddies and we were discussing what if he’d hit Kiffin in the head and killed him? I mean, sure, it’s highly unlikely, but can you imagine the murder investigation? Everyone in Neyland Stadium is a murder suspect. Are they able to use CSI investigators to assess what part of the stadium the golf ball came from and then do they bring in the entire section of fans for questioning? Does this remain an unsolved case for years and years? Does the golf ball itself offer any clues? Do they ever arrest anyone for this crime? Sure the odds of killing someone by hitting them in the head with a golf ball aren’t high, but when you’re talking about the speed and distance at play here, it could have happened.

As for the mustard, your analysis is sound, but flawed. I was in the luxury suite areas — rich guy alert! — for the home opener against Bowling Green and they have French’s mustard there. I’m not sure if they have it anywhere else in the stadium, but if they don’t, this means someone grabbed the French’s mustard and hurled it from a luxury suite down to the field. Which would theoretically limit the suspects there as well and also makes this toss even funnier to me.

Just imagine seeing the mustard soaring out of a luxury suite, across thousands of fans, and coming to rest on the ground. What I want to know is whether this was motivated by anger or good humor. If you truly are throwing a mustard in anger, how do you not realize how ridiculous you look in the process? I once had a coach try to rally us with a fiery speech in a locker room using a toilet plunger for emphasis. It was impossible to keep a straight face. Also, I don’t care who you are, if you weren’t laughing when you saw the cheerleaders using their signs to cover their heads as they ran off the field, you have no sense of humor. Further, did the band really need to leave the field? Come on, those guys are in hats and full shoulder pad jackets. I’m pretty sure they can survive a half filled water bottle. Those uniforms are so protective they’d be the last people standing if the apocalypse happened.

Finally, can we talk about how much more Tennessee fans have been criticized than Mexican soccer fans a few months ago? They pelted our team’s players after a big goal and no one said a word in the media. But Vol fans throw things on the field and the same sports media who said nothing about the Mexican soccer fans fall on their fainting couches.

Anyway, in summation, I think someone brought in the golf ball with malice aforethought, but the mustard is more likely to have been a heat of the moment luxury suite projectile.

“Hi Clay – at the beginning of the year, I wrote in to ask for odds on what weekend the LSU-Florida game would be so we could plan my brother’s wedding that weekend and you were kind enough to even ask Greg Sankey about it before the schedule released. Fast forward to October and they got married the Friday before the game (then we take a party bus to the game Saturday morning)! Hoping to carry on the tradition of mailbag answers and solidify my title of Sister of the Year, what advice do you have for newlyweds?”

First, I hope the wedding went well. You had a hell of a game to watch after the wedding too.

Okay, on to my advice, which isn’t going to be earth shattering, but I do think it’s pretty practical.

This sounds simple, but getting married is far less life changing than having kids. In fact, getting married, especially if you already live together, can even feel a bit anti-climatic. Your day-to-day existence as a married couple compared to your day-to-day existence as a live-in couple isn’t that different. This is why I’ve always said I’d encourage couples to live together before they get married.

I know, I know, there are religious issues afoot here for some, but how many people are actually virgins when they get married today? If that’s important to you, fine. But as a parent I’d rather have my kids stay married once they get married and I think living together helps couples find out if they are compatible in the real world. So that would be my advice.

But that’s advice for people before they get married.

My advice for newlyweds would be this: travel together before you have kids. And do it a lot. Because, trust me, once you have kids your lives are going to get way more complicated. For instance, from the ages of 28 to 54 years old we’re going to have kids living in our house. That’s over a quarter century of kids under the age of 18 in the house. (And that’s assuming they aren’t going to come back and live with us after college, which is probably a big, and unwise, assumption.) That’s a big chunk of your married life where you’re primarily responsible for taking care of your kids as opposed to just being together as a couple.

Being a parent is fantastic, but the few years until you have kids will be one of the last times where the two of you are only responsible for each other. And that means you can have an awful lot of fun traveling or taking trips you otherwise wouldn’t be able to take once you become parents. (It doesn’t have to be trips either, find something you both love to do and do it together. Because as newlyweds you have the luxury of free time, something that will become increasingly rare as you age and start a family.)

My second big piece of advice, don’t stop being individuals. Just because you’re married now doesn’t mean you can’t have friends and interests that don’t involve each other. Keep going out with your guy or girl friends. Don’t try and share everything. Time apart will make you enjoy your time together even more.

Again, not earthshattering advice here, but good practical newlywed advice, I think.

“I am scheduled to participate in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon this weekend in Wilmington NC. The event, if you don’t know, is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and then a 13.1 mile run all in a row. I believe it is safe to say that most/all participants are at very low risk of getting the vid even as it isn’t a big deal for healthy young people anyhow. Today IM sent out an email stating there is a mask mandate for the event for all “indoor” portions of the event including the bus ride over to the start line for the swim. My question is when will this bullshit end? In North Carolina you can go to a hockey game, basketball game, and other events inside in close proximity without masks on. These events are also full of unhealthy, fat, drunk and the elderly all jammed together. Why on earth would an event full of athletes able to race for 70.3 miles need to wear a mask (that does nothing) when you can go watch the NHL in Charlotte and get blackout drunk and not wear a mask? I understand the cosmetic theater aspect of it but this is ridiculous. I live in Florida where we haven’t really had to deal with this crap so it to me is more infuriating to play make believe with the libs when I cross state lines.”

All covid restrictions are absurd cosmetic theater at this point.

All of them.

I just keep coming back to the absurdity of masking in airports as a perfect epitome of this absurdity.

The only place in the city of Nashville where you are required to wear a mask is the airport. The only place! You can be in a crowded, packed indoor bar on Broadway, you can be in a crowded, packed stadium like we were last night, you can be in any restaurant, movie theater, gym, office tower, you name it, all over Nashville and there are zero mask requirements.

And then as soon as you enter the airport, you have to put a mask on.

What kind of sense does this possibly make? How can any adult with a functional brain support this logic? What’s more, you’re not even required to keep your mask on inside the airport, you can take it off to eat and drink inside the airport terminal!

In fact, if you walk through Nashville’s airport terminal there is one part of it where a bar has a seating area that looks out into the terminal. That is, you can eat or drink while facing out at everyone walking past in the center part of the terminal.

So you have a huge group of people eating and drinking, without wearing masks, and then you have people walking past them, literally they could walk up and high five if they wanted to, who are all required to wear masks.

What logical sense do this make at all?

The answer is zero.

And I think every day more and more people are realizing this. In the years ahead, when they write the history of the covid era, these “science-based” decisions will look even more ridiculous. Our response to covid will become, I believe, this generation’s Vietnam, a failure of the best and brightest minds to provide adequate leadership.

“The company at which I’ve been employed for over three years has well over the minimum number of employees that the vax mandate specified and we are on some gov’t contracts. Needless to say they are falling in line with the mandate (and I have no problem with their decision – they are in business to make money and I’m sure don’t want to see that screwed up for them). Let me also say that I like my job but don’t love it, and I do really like my coworkers and my manager.

However, that means (if I want to stay employed) I have to take the jab, and quite frankly I don’t want to. I’d like your advice as to whether to “shut up and dribble” or let them fire me.

But you probably need some background on my particular situation. I’m 52 years old, I’m in sales and my salary plus commission allows me to pay my bills, but only just. Because of a divorce a couple of years ago and (bad financial decisions on my part) I’m living paycheck to paycheck. So if I were to lose my job without having another one, it would probably put me farther in the hole.

I have generally been living my life like I did pre Covid — once everything in the state of GA opened back up I’ve been out to bars almost every weekend, I’ve been out to dinner almost every weekend, been to condo rentals in Hilton Head, Lake Keowee, SC and the NC mountains, etc.

My reason for not getting the vax so far is simple: I hate the idea of the government forcing me to take medicine I may or may not need…it’s not their fucking place, my body my choice, etc.

Like I said above…I’m looking for advice. Do I make the decision to get the vax (which honestly feels like being a pussy and not standing up for my beliefs) to keep my job, or should I start looking for a new job and see what happens? Any guidance you can give me would be appreciated.”

First, I was curious what my audience would think about people who walk away from their jobs based on covid vaccine mandates. Based on the early returns, the overwhelming majority of my audience has more respect for people who quit their jobs. This doesn’t surprise me because I feel the same way.

Having said that, there’s a difference between someone quitting their job who has the financial wherewithal to do so and someone quitting their job as a point of principle.

Your question is one of the most common questions we’re getting right now. So I want to be clear laying out my thought process.

My advice to anyone being forced to get a covid vaccine to remain employed begins with the same question: can you afford not to have your current job? If you can afford to be unemployed then in my opinion you have the luxury to debate what your appropriate response is to a covid vaccine mandate. But first you have to be able to afford to be unemployed.

And many people can’t afford to do this.

I’m in a good spot now because I’m financially secure. So my answer to a question like this would be far different today than it would have been five or ten years ago.

Personally, I’m not willing to miss a mortgage or car payment or not have enough money to take care of my kids because I lost my job for refusing to get the covid vaccine. I don’t need that added stress. Which is why I would strongly counsel against this idea for anyone who is living paycheck to paycheck, like you are right now. In fact, I’ve said for years that I don’t think it’s smart to quit any job without having another job lined up. That was long before covid emerged on the scene.

And I stand by that advice.

Now I admire people who have the courage of their convictions to such an extent that they make this choice even without financial security or another job lined up, but I wouldn’t advise this choice for anyone. And I wouldn’t have personally done it myself.

I do think, however, that people with the financial resources to fight back against these mandates should be willing to do so. I’m still unvaccinated because I have natural immunity, but I do think I would stand against a vaccine mandate if it were required. Because I can afford to get fired now and I couldn’t in the past.

But in your particular situation, given your financial difficulties, I’d advise getting the covid vaccine and remain employed at your current job.

Good luck to all of you faced with this decision.

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

I hope all of you have fantastic Tuesdays.

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.

One Comment

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  1. To the guy who is running the Ironman. I did an Olympic Triathlon in Malibu of all places (woke LA capital) less than a month ago. They said the same thing “masks are mandated, even while running and biking” when I got there, not one mask in sight. It is a CYA thing on their part. When I got there I forgot I was even in the middle of Covid stupidity, like you said everyone out there is healthy and in great shape. Bring one with you, but don’t let it get in your head, you likely will not even put it on.

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