It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for me to solve all your life’s problems.
As always you can send your anonymous mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, anonymity guaranteed.
Before we get into the mailbag, by the way, the OutKick bus tour will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend at the Innisfree Bar for the LSU-Alabama game. So if you’re in town for the game, you can come hang out with us from 8-11 am central time, 9-12 eastern, for the Big Noon pregame show and for OutKick the tailgate.
Okay, here we go with the anonymous mailbag.
“I’m a student athlete at a Division 1 college located in a big city. On Saturday nights after games we typically roll into a bar on campus that all the other athletes hang out at. It’s a good time with live music and cheap drinks, the perfect college bar.
A few weeks ago my teammate and I were denied entry to the bar because we didn’t have our vaccination cards on us, even though we had shown them proof of vaccination a number of times before (the school required it to play). We were quick to let the bouncer (who was, in his defense, doing his job) working know that a picture of us with the owner was hanging up on the wall from a rivalry game we had won.
Aside from this annoyance, people who are under 21 (the majority of college students and many of my teammates) are having to create fake vaccination cards (much like a fake ID) to show they are the legal drinking age (and typically being denied). So my question to you, wise one, is what your timeline is on the madness to stop? I am tired of not being able to enjoy a nice ale after a win with my teammates, arguably the most American thing there is.”
I hadn’t even thought about this issue for college kids.
If you’re under 21 and have a fake ID, you now have to get a fake vaccine card to match your fake ID in order to get in some bars in the country. Otherwise your birthdays wouldn’t match.
Man, that sucks.
Generally speaking, I’d think most bars would be fairly lenient on checking vaccine cards — and seeing whether they match with your regular IDs — but I’m sure there are lots of places where college kids are getting turned away over this discrepancy. And there is probably, as a result, a big demand for fake vaccine cards.
You do raise, however, a great question and one that we’ve been talking about quite a bit on the Clay and Buck radio show — how does this all end? In other words, when do vaccine cards stop getting checked for entry to bars, restaurants and sporting events in New York City and Los Angeles for instance? I’m hopeful they will disappear by the spring and early summer of next year everywhere, but with the midterms coming up next year in 2022, I think Democrats may insist on COVID regulations being in place so they can try the mail-in ballot gambit again next year. Because I think Democrats are terrified of a red tide sweeping over the nation in 2022.
But leaving aside the political angle to COVID, the challenge here is once a mandate is put in place, it requires a great deal of effort to end it. Airports and airplane flights are a great example. After over a year of mask mandates, how is it going to be possible to just end them? Especially since we know COVID is never going away now.
The number of people who continue to beg for the government to take away their freedoms is astounding to me. Never in American history can I remember a substantial minority of the population, roughly 40% of the Fauciites and coronabros, screaming out, “Regulate me more! Take away more of my freedoms! Give us more mandates!”
It’s a form of mass insanity.
Tying the coronabros in with the wokesters — there’s a great deal of overlap here — and much of the Democratic Party, it seems to me, is in the grips of a mass hysteria that long ago left behind any measure of objective reality. The end result? Most places in blue states that have put in mandates, and kept them to this point, aren’t remotely eager to roll back those mandates.
Now I don’t think that will be the case everywhere. Thankfully, the red states seem to be moving aggressively to effectively wipe out all restrictions. And even the blue cities in red states are, by and large, erasing more restrictions than they are adding.
Mark Cuban, in Dallas, recently revoked his own vaccine mandate for Mavericks games, likely because he was seeing a business impact from the mandates. So the economic imperative may work in some places. I’m not a huge Nashville Predators fan, for instance, but I would occasionally take my family to games. Since they have put in a vaccine mandate, I would choose not to go to a Preds game. I can’t be alone in that. In fact, the Predators just ended their long running streak of sell outs. Are people like me, casual fans who choose to spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere rather than attend an event requiring a vaccine, having a noticeable economic impact, at least in red states? I would think so. Which is why Cuban made the move he did in Dallas. And why most teams in red states haven’t put any restrictions in place at all. (You can argue the economic pressure can cut both ways and people who support vaccines can refuse to attend sporting events if they aren’t mandated, but that seems less commonplace, especially as more and more people realize the vaccine doesn’t keep you from getting or spreading COVID.)
And surely there are people going out to dinner less often in New York and LA over vaccine mandates to enter bars and restaurants. Especially in New York as it begins to get cold. Who wants to sit outside and freeze their ass off at dinner?
But economics aren’t the end of the story. Because some regulations aren’t governed by economics. Most people don’t have the ability to pull their kids out of public school and home school them or put them in private schools over mask or vaccine mandates. That’s a fantastic luxury if you have the financial wherewithal to do so, but most people aren’t in this category and so you have to exert political, as opposed to economic, pressure to get regulations overturned. Given how even the battle lines are when it comes to masks and vaccine mandates, these are going to be difficult battles to win in the political arena.
The less a choice is based on discretionary income, the harder it will be to remove a restriction. Are fewer people flying because of the mask mandates? It doesn’t seem like it to me. (Fewer people may end up flying based on sudden mass flight cancellations that have happened with American and Southwest Airlines. As someone who has spent the entire fall on the road, it makes me nervous that I could get caught in a mass cancellation event and stranded in a city I don’t want to be in for several days. This is one reason I’m happy I can drive to every location left on the OutKick bus tour between now and Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.)
But to give you a final answer to your question, the simple answer is, we have no idea when these restrictions are going to finally leave.
“We have lots of upcoming bachelor parties in my friend group so curious to your thoughts on bachelor party destinations. Where did you have your bachelor party? If you were getting married now, where would you have your bachelor party? And as a Nashville guy, how would you rate Nashville for a potential bachelor party?”
I did my bachelor party in Las Vegas, which is probably the most durably popular destination over the past twenty or thirty years for bachelor parties. But going to Vegas can also be expensive and if you live in the eastern part of the country, as most people do, it’s a fairly significant commitment in expense and time to make a trip out there.
This past weekend I met two different groups of guys who were having their bachelor parties at the Cocktail Party, which I think is a pretty cool idea. I’ve also met several other groups who picked a big college football game to attend as part of the bachelor party festivities. If you pick the right game, it’s a fantastic plan.
If I were doing a bachelor party now, I’d be inclined to pick a cool sporting event and build my bachelor party around that as opposed to just picking a city. It doesn’t have to be college football, you could pick a big horse race, a baseball weekend, you name it and I think the idea of connecting your bachelor party to a big sporting event is a great one.
But if you’re just picking an American city, I’d rank the following cities as the best places to have bachelor parties:
1. Las Vegas
3. New Orleans
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Why do I pick these five cities? Because they are great bar and restaurant towns, but they are also centrally located. In other words, the cities aren’t so massive that you end up scattered over an entire city without the ability to mobilize.
In an ideal bachelor party world, you should be able to do all bachelor party activities within a few miles of wherever you are staying, without needing to either procure drivers or use any cars — other than short Uber trips — once you are in the city itself.
Finally, in addition to the idea of attending a big sporting event for a bachelor party, I like the idea of having a cabin somewhere in a cool area of the wilderness for fishing, canoeing or kayaking. The older you get the less necessary the bells and whistles are — i.e. strippers and packed bars — and the more fun it is just to be able to hang with your buddies. When you’re young and no one has kids, this doesn’t make as much sense to you, but when you get older and everyone has a wife, multiple kids, and serious job responsibilities, it’s hard to get everyone mobilized to be able to go anywhere for any length of time. In those situations just being able to drink some beers and hang out with your buddies is about as good as it gets.
As for Nashville itself, it’s absolutely stocked with bachelorette parties. Which means there’s a fertile crescent when it comes to attractive women to pursue for the bachelor party crew. It’s a tough place to beat.
“Last week, my friends and I were talking about meeting famous athletes and celebrities. We’ve all had our interactions at one point with minor sports figures. I’ve been in a local commercial with a future NBA player, someone met Steve Young, someone else met Bill Self.
Now that you’re to the point where you have enough notoriety to interact with athletes and other celebrities (and of course interviewed the President of the United States!), what are the athletes and/or celebrities that you really want to meet and haven’t yet? Obviously, they’re just people like you and me, but I imagine meeting someone like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods would be pretty cool.
Also, since you only became well-known later in life, do you think that gives you a different perspective when people come up to you and say, ‘Big fan, love what you’re doing’? Does it ever get annoying or do you just embrace it?”
I don’t ever get tired of hearing from people who are fans of the site or the radio or TV shows. Because fans are the reason why we’ve grown as much as we have and why I get to do what I do. Remember all the writing, TV shows, radio shows, digital shows, all of them are done without a studio audience. So it’s a bit of a unique perspective to be producing so much content without anyone physically present to see any of it being created.
I have a radio, TV, and digital studio right here in my house. But when I’m producing all of this content it’s solo, that is there is generally no one watching at all, so it’s gratifying to meet the people who watch or read the content we produce.
As for the age at which point you get “famous,” I’ve become an advocate of the theory that you’re frozen at whatever age you become famous. I’m still not sure I would classify as famous, but I think having a normal life — a wife and three kids — and building my career gradually over the past nearly 20 years at this point has helped me to be as normal of a person as possible. I can definitely see how if you become rich and famous at a young age that money and notoriety can freeze your development. But I don’t think I’m much different now than I’ve ever been.
As for people I’ve gotten to meet, there’s a long list of famous people in sports, music, and television who I’ve been able to meet over the past seven or eight years.
It’s also wild to meet people you’re a big fan of and find out they are fans of yours too.
For instance, we were at the Braves hotel in Houston last week and my son and his friend wanted to stay up late to meet the players as they came back to the hotel after the game. So we stayed up with them well past midnight. And the kids were ecstatic to meet some of the players and get their pictures taken, but some of the players and coaches wanted to talk with me too. Which was pretty cool.
That’s been growing for the past decade or so, but it’s pretty wild to find out that a top coach or player is a big fan of what we’re doing. And that’s becoming increasingly common.
So too is the number of politicians who are big OutKick fans.
When you think about the fact that back in 2004, I started writing online with an audience of zero and now the president knows my name, that’s an incredible trajectory.
But having said all of this, it doesn’t really change my life. I’m responsible for four people, my wife and my three boys, the people who live in my house. If I’m doing a good job as a dad, and I think I am, and I’m doing a pretty good job as a husband, and I think I am, then all the rest out there is external noise. I don’t have any control over that.
I do, however, love to bring my family to as many cool events as I can.
As for who I’d like to meet, I’d like to golf or go to dinner with Larry David. That would be my top celebrity draft pick right now. I’m not even sure who my second pick would be. Maybe Tony Kornheiser, just because I grew up as such a fan, or Dave Chappelle, because I’m a fan of his fearless brand of comedy.
Anyway, I know how it feels to be a kid and be able to meet someone you idolize so I try not to ever turn down anyone who wants a picture or wants to chat for a few minutes. Hopefully that will always be the case.
Okay, it’s election day for many of you out there.
Go get your votes in and listen to Clay and Buck as we break down election day 2021 live on the radio in about an hour.
And, as always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.