It’s Friday, which means it’s mailbag time. Lots of you have been asking for more mailbag and given how entertaining your emails are to me, I’m going to agree to your requests. Once the season is over I’m going to start an entirely anonymous mailbag on Tuesdays. You can ask me anything and I will agree to keep you anonymous. I may even set up a hashtag on Twitter so strangers can give you advice too. I think this will be lots of fun. Again, I swear complete anonymity on the questions. You can confess to anything and request advice for any issue. This will be fantastic.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is NBA commissioner Adam Silver who endorsed legalized sports gambling in a New York Times editorial this week. God bless him. I’m tired of having to use an offshore site to bet. I’d also like Outkick to go into the sports gambling business once it’s legal. Eventually that’s going to happen. And I’m going to buy a jet and paint “YourGay” on the side so everyone who sees it will know it’s me.
On to the mailbag.
I just read your column on the playoff scenarios and your SEC west scenario seems highly likely. But how backwards is this: it might actually be better for MSU to lose the game vs. Bama. If they win they probably go to the SEC title game. What is the upside to that? MSU fans couldn’t even enjoy winning the SEC Championship because they would just be stressed out about Dak getting hurt. On the other hand, if they lose to Bama they probably DON’T go to the title game but make the playoffs anyway. Isn’t that essentially earning a bye week?
And since this is my first time to ever email you I feel obligated to say your gay.”
Mississippi State hasn’t won an SEC title since 1941 and fans would be fine without even going to the SEC title game to ensure a trip to the playoff. That’s how little the conference title games are going to matter in a playoff era. I definitely think this is the case though. If Mississippi State covers at Alabama and then beats Ole Miss in the final week of the season, I don’t see any way possible that the Bulldogs are left out of the playoff. If all the favorites keep winning I see a playoff four of Alabama, Oregon, FSU, and Mississippi State in that order with Baylor, TCU, and Ohio State as the 5th, 6th and 7th teams left out.
I just don’t see any way the committee could take Baylor, TCU, or Ohio State over Mississippi State, which would have top 25 wins over Auburn, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and LSU and a road loss against the number one team in the country. Baylor’s top 25 wins would be TCU and Kansas State (Oklahoma would probably be just outside) but Baylor’s loss would be against a team outside the top 25. TCU might have a single top 25 win. Ohio State’s only guaranteed top 25 win would be Michigan State and the Buckeys would have a home loss to an awful Virginia Tech team. (Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game might also be in the top 25.) I mean, this isn’t even a difficult decision. An 11-1 Mississippi State team will 100% be in the playoff.
The only real question here is how confident are you State beats Ole Miss? If you feel confident in that outcome then there could be a benefit in losing to Alabama and getting to rest up in advance of the playoff without risking a playoff spot by losing again.
“I have only been reading OKTC for a couple of years and aside from the frequent Bama jabs, I love it! About this time last year, I heard I was going to have to attend a wedding in November. At first when I heard Nov. 15th, I thought it wouldn’t be “as big of a game”. Of course NOW this weekend’s MSU at Bama game has huge implications.
I was married this April, NOT FALL. So I called the venue knowing the routine and acted like I just got engaged to scope out the venue. I now have exact locations of the TVs.
My question for you is, do you have any advice for sneaking out multiple times to watch the game. The TVs are not at the bar and are in obscure back rooms. To make matters worse, the kickoff is set for 3:30 and the wedding is at 4. My wife is a Gamecock and a great football fan, but she will only be so understanding. I have to watch the second half if it’s close. Please help!
PS. The bride is also a Gamecock and usually goes to the USC vs UF game. How could she be so stupid? Her husband is a Buckeye and it will be even harder to go to the game in the future. Is it ever a good idea to have a fall wedding?!”
Fall weddings are never okay. But here’s the deal, technology is your friend. Why not just stream the game through your phone during the wedding ceremony? Sit in the back of the wedding, wait until the bride walks down the aisle, and then stream the game on silent. You can watch the game throughout the ceremony and then keep it in your lap during the dinner.
As long as you keep your phone on silent, that’s perfectly acceptable. (If you aren’t streaming games through your phone or don’t have a smartphone, reconsider your life).
“As you know, the Big 12 has no conference champion and the Big 12 has already said if TCU and Baylor win out, they’d be co-champions. The CFB Playoff committee obviously favors TCU right now. Since every other (legitimate) conference has a conference championship, the Big 12 champion plays one less game than other conference champs.
Let’s say Alabama beats Mississippi St. this week, wins out, and is SEC West champ and they are in the top 4 going into the conference championship.
Now I know no Saban coached team would do this, but what if Alabama thought “We want a national championship more than a SEC title. We don’t want to play this game against a tough team (Georgia?) after a tough Iron Bowl, possibly lose, and lose our spot in the playoff.”
I think this is legitimate because any game can change a team’s position in the polls due to the human element. An ugly or sloppy win or “good” loss looks completely different in the eyes of a human vs. a computer.
I don’t know if said Alabama team could hypothetically boycott the game. Could they let the SEC West runner-up play or would Alabama forfeit the game?
I can’t find out the answer to my question. It’s nowhere in the SEC bylaws and the SEC didn’t cooperate. As a 20-year-old freelance sports writer at the University of North Alabama I don’t have the connections to figure this out but maybe you do. Could a conference division champ give up their spot in the conference championship game if it would help their playoff chances? That’s what I want to know!”
As a practical matter no SEC team would ever not show up for the SEC title game, but it would be fascinating if a coach refused to take his team there. What would happen? In general I think conference title games will make less and less sense in a playoff era — I’d rather expand the playoffs and do away with all of them personally — but from a legal perspective how could you compel a team to show up if the team already believed they were in the playoff and had nothing to play for in the conference title game? I’m not sure.
The SEC would have to sue to compel performance and typically courts are loathe to get involved in personal performance contracts because it’s too close to slavery for anyone’s comfort. So the only recourse would be damages. The SEC has a substantial TV contract that relies upon the east and west champs showing up to play a game. The teams have agreed to these contracts, and I suspect the TV contract is where you would find an obligation on a school to attend the game. Although the cheap ass CBS TV deal means the damages to the league wouldn’t be that high. CBS pays only $55 million for all the SEC games. That means the SEC title game couldn’t be valued at more than $7 or $8 million. And if the game still went on with a substitute team all of the value wouldn’t be lost. Ratings might even increase because of the controversy. I suppose the school could get involved and threaten to fire the coach if he doesn’t show up with his team, but would the fans support the coach’s position, rendering that threat moot? Probably so. Fans will support anything a coach decides to do if it helps them win a championship. See, State, Florida.
The NCAA has no role in the college football playoff so there’s no threat that could compel performance there. I suppose the college football playoff committee could threaten to hold not playing the game against the team, but under what authority? If, as you say, the bylaws don’t require a school to deliver a team — which seems surprising, but only until you consider that no one probably ever thought a team might not show up — I’m not really sure what could be done other than levying a fine on the team.
This would be totally fascinating to see play out.
“I am a teacher in Kentucky. We are doing a unit on amendments and laws. While talking about the 18th and 21st amendment, a student brought up the topic of butt chugging. Apparently it’s an epidemic in the county I teach in. Should we as teachers spread the word about the seriousness of butt chugging with our students? Would you be interested in speaking with students about this subject?”
Yes, please provide more details and I will be happy to drive to Kentucky and lecture your students on the dangers of buttchugging.
We will videotape this lecture and put it up on Outkick.
I’m serious, email me.
I need relationship advice. I am a lifelong Tennessee fan and lived in Nashville for the past 13 years. I moved away last year for a project for work but my “soon-to-be” fiancee and I are looking to purchase our first home together. I planned on proposing the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I am certain that the answer would be yes. She is beautiful and loves sports. Even though she is an Alabama fan, I love her. For the record, she does have a college degree although not from Alabama. Because hate is an overused word, lets just say that I STRONGLY DISLIKE Alabama. For me, the entire state is just a corridor to get to Destin.
Here is my issue: Our house hunting has heated up and she is on my ass about getting things moving. I set up times this weekend for the real estate agents to walk us through homes that we liked. We are making a quick weekend trip to Nashville to make this happen. She says to me “Make sure we are done looking at house by 2:30 because the Bama-MSU games is going to be on.”
Now this makes me want to jump out of the window of my office building. On one hand, I am infuriated that she would say something like that considering we are making the biggest purchase of OUR lives. To make matters worse, lets say this purchase is going to hurt my pockets WAYYYYYY more than hers. In addition, not only do I STRONGLY DISLIKE Alabama. Nick Saban and LANE FUCKING KIFFIN are interfering with my home purchase. THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE. On top of that, she has only been a Bama fan for like 8 years which makes her the ultimate bandwagon fan.
Do I let this happen? Do I leave this woman and start all over again? Her parents are big UT fans and they might understand even if I do decide to leave.
Please bestow your wisdom. Remember the future of my love life is on the line.”
Leave her? I kind of think your fiancee should leave you.
You’ve got a wife-to-be who is putting SEC football games above house hunting. Do you know how rare that is? Does she also want to have sex multiple times a day and insist on dressing up as a cheerleader and roleplaying all the time? I bet she loves giving you blow jobs in the middle of the day too. You’ve got it really rough, man. I don’t know how you’re going to make it.
Here’s what you do, you pick out a house before kickoff, marry that girl, and you quit your goddamn complaining.
Since your recent departure from 3HL you have talked about coming back to radio, but you want it to be on your terms and you want it to be unique to other radio shows. I, along with thousands of other loyal gay muslims, are anxiously awaiting for your big reveal. But my real question is what the hell did you do to get your career to this point? I’m sure I am not the only college student that sits in class on Fridays, or any day really, pretending to pay attention while we read your columns.
So how the hell did you get to where you are now? Hot wife? Check. Cute kids? Check. Regularly appear on TV? Check. Get over a million unique readers to your sports blog? Check. Kick ass at radio? Check. Be your own boss? Check.
Whose dick did you have to suck to get where you are at now, because I would love to do what you do for a living.”
I’ve sucked a lot of dick to get where I am today. I didn’t really enjoy it, but it was a small price to play to become king of all sports media. Pro tip: I’ve found that when you cradle the balls blow jobs take a lot less time.
“Hey Clay, Love the mailbag. Also love your idea of an uncensored Outkick podcast. Anyway, I suppose you’re aware of Chelsea Handler’s recent “#FreeTheNipple” campaign contending that women’s breasts should have the same uncensored freedom as mens do. Her recreation of Vladimir Putin’s shirtless on horseback pose makes a couple good points. And is available to view on her Twitter page. Would love to hear a gay muslim’s thoughts on the topic. Can’t wait to hear you on the air again!”
I’d be opposed to the nipple being freed because once you could see everyone’s boobs, boobs wouldn’t be as sexy. Back before the Civil War men used to sit on the Senate floor and sneak glances up at the galleries of women watching debates. Why? Because every now and then a woman’s ankle would be exposed. This was the modern day upskirt. (It’s pretty hysterical to think about our nation’s founding fathers getting all hot and bothered trying to sneak an upskirt peek at an ankle.) The point is men find whatever we’re not supposed to see to be alluring. For instance, seeing a girl in a bikini is pretty normal, but if you saw her in her bra and panties when you weren’t supposed to see her in her bra and panties — you’d think that was pretty hot. A bikini is the same thing as a bra and panties, but you’re supposed to see it. I mean, no one is opposed to seeing a girl in a bikini, but unless you’re a total pervert, it isn’t that exciting to see a girl in a bikini at a pool or beach.
My fear is that the power and majesty and sublime nature of the boob would take a hit if they were more regularly exposed.
And I would hate to see that happen because, truth be told, I derive a lot of pleasure from boobs existing.
“Dear Rev Clay Abdul Raheem,
My wife and I have a 2 year old son, and now she is clamoring for another. You’ve said that once you have a kid life as you know it is over, and this is true. However, I feel like with one kid you can still maintain somewhat of a social life, she will take him some nights where I can go out with the guys, and vice versa. I feel like once you have a second though there is no hope for having any time at all to yourself. How different is having two kids than just having one?
Also we are arguing over how far apart in age they should be, she wants them as close together as possible so they can be “best friends” and I want them farther apart so he can help out more. I also feel he would be more protective if they are farther apart in age. Where do you come off on how far apart in age kids should be? I’ll hang up and listen.”
We have a two month old, a six year old and a four year old right now and I can tell you that that my wife and I laugh at the idea that we ever thought one kid was a handful. I mean, it’s natural for your life to get turned upside down once you have your first kid, but one kid and two parents really isn’t very tough. One kid is a piece of parenting cake. (By the way, if you have no kids at all and you’re healthy, then you should never complain about anything. Ever. I don’t care what you do for a living. Your life is easy).
Our oldest boys are 2.5 years apart and that seems fairly ideal for the first two. I mean, our boys fight all the time and I expect this to happen for the next twenty years of their lives. One minute all is well and the next somebody got hit in the head by a lightsaber and a kid is crying. (By the way, parenting tip, when your kid starts crying and you can tell he’s not that hurt, just deadpan, “Okay, let’s go to the hospital, they’re going to have to give you a shot for this.” The tears end immediately. I mean, immediately. Parenting tip two, use technology to your benefit. The next time your kid starts throwing a fit, record them on your phone. When they eventually calm down show them the video. They’ll be blown away by how ridiculous they look. When they start to throw a fit in the future, take out your phone and tell them you’re going to record their fit. It works, trust me). Our third son is four years younger than the second one. That also seems pretty good. The two older boys were old enough to be really excited about the pregnancy and the new baby and they can help out.
So I think anywhere from 2-4 years between kids is ideal. Anything more is too much if you want them to have a relationship as kids.
“It seems Baylor destroying OU and taking away their will in the 2nd half has actually hurt…Baylor. What I mean is that the committee talks about “quality wins,” which they have apparently arbitrarily set as a win against an opponent who is then ranked in the committee’s own top 25 (which is the subject of another paradox). So, after #15 OU got destroyed by then #12 Baylor, the committee dropped OU completely out of the rankings, and in fact mentioned the other night that Baylor only had 1 quality win to date (TCU). This is an OU team that has lost 3 games, all to top 13 opponents, and 2 of those games losing by a combined 5 points. Meanwhile, someone like Texas A&M is now a “quality win,” despite losing 3 of their last 5 including a 59-0 pasting by Alabama and a narrow 21-16 victory over ULM.
You look at a team like LSU then who lost a close one to Alabama, and only dropped 1 spot (unlike the 10+ spots OU dropped). Keep in mind, as of last week the committee considered OU to be better than LSU, both with 2 losses. You have to wonder if Baylor should have gone for a narrow win rather than a big one so that OU could have stayed ranked and given them a quality win?”
This is honestly why the SEC needs for LSU to beat Arkansas. Because if LSU loses to Arkansas the Tigers will fall out of the top 25, erasing top 25 wins for Alabama, Mississippi State and Auburn and knocking out a top 25 loss for Ole Miss. (If A&M loses to Missouri that’s not a big deal because Mizzou would enter the top 25). This is stupid, however, and I’d like for the committee to acknowledge that LSU is still a top 25 team even if the Tigers finish the season 7-5. A 7-5 LSU team would be the best five loss team in the history of college football. LSU would have a neutral site win over Wisconsin, the team I think will win the Big Ten West, a win over top ten Ole Miss, an overtime loss to potential number one team Alabama, a loss to potential playoff team Mississippi State and road losses at Arkansas, Auburn and Texas A&M.
You can make a decent case that LSU would win the ACC or the Big Ten this year. Maybe the Big 12 too if LSU got TCU and Baylor in Death Valley. I think I’d take LSU over TCU on a neutral field.
As for Baylor, the funniest thing about the TCU vs. Baylor debate is that these two teams played almost identical schedules: the 9 game Big 12, both played SMU, both played an FCS school, TCU just played Minnesota while Baylor played Buffalo. (And Baylor played on the road at Buffalo, by the way). Are you really going to eliminate a head-to-head win by Baylor over TCU playing Minnesota? I mean that’s just laughable. Does anyone think Baylor would lose to Minnesota in Waco? They’d be three touchdown favorites in this game. Baylor will 100% end up ranked above TCU if both finish the season 11-1.
Matt K. writes:
It seems like the number of nude and sex scenes in movies and TV shows have greatly increased over the years. I’ve heard of methods to stop the actor directly involved in the sex scene from getting aroused, such as taping down their flaccid penis before the scene, but do you think this would actually work?
Maybe the best trained actors like Leonardio DiCaprio are talented enough to mentally block out their excitement; however, my guess is if the average male was the one involved in a sex scene with Margot Robbie in Wolf of Wall Street, we’re busting right through that tape. And what about the rest of the crew? Was the movie set of Wolf of Wall Street just full of dudes with boners? Can you imagine Martin Scorsese directing with an erection? You know Jonah Hill popped wood/possibly came in his pants. Use your connections, Clay. We need to find this out.”
Based on my limited scripted TV experience — I played myself in “Blue Mountain State,” — I think you’re underrating how long it takes to film all scenes. While I’ve never starred in a nude scene — I’d be happy to do it if the character demanded it and it was, of course, a sorority house orgy — we’re talking a full day of different angles and camera shots. There would be tons of fat dudes walking around with boom mics and film paraphernalia, it isn’t very sexy. So while I think you’d initially have to deal with an erection, after a while you’d get used to the fact that you were filming a nude scene with a gorgeous actress and be more concerned with the mechanics of acting than the mechanics of sex. You’d also be sensitive to the fact that she was naked and to the fact that you were naked and you’d want it to be over. I mean, unless you’re Greg Oden no man enjoys any woman seeing his limp penis. In fact, there are lots of women reading this right now who aren’t married and have barely even seen a limp penis. This isn’t by accident. (I mean a really limp penis, ladies, not a we just finished sex limp penis. I mean like I just stepped off the elliptical machine at the gym limp penis or, God forbid, a swimming pool limp penis.)
I also bet, if they were being honest, that all male actors jerk off like three or four times in succession before filming a nude scene. Just to try and tame the libido in advance. They probably wouldn’t admit it because they are “artists,” but they all do it.
“I can think of no one better to give me some advice right now. I am a 1L at Ole Miss. I absolutely hate it. Everyone is so stressed about school and I’ve more stressed about football. Throughout the early part of the season and the semester, I pretty much resigned myself to just making it to the weekends and enjoying the ride Ole Miss football was taking me on. As you can imagine, the past couple weeks have been miserable following two frustrating losses. Throughout this season, I’ve realized maybe I should have stayed with sports writing, which was my first love, and not been enamored with law school. Two questions 1) does law school/law get any better? 2) if not, I need some tips on sports writing/blogging.”
I loved law school. If you don’t love law school you are going to REALLY hate practicing law. Having said that, I’ve never regretted going to law school. If you’re young I don’t think you can ever regret getting more schooling. My law degree has been invaluable and I don’t even practice now.
If I was giving advice to future sportswriters I’d say get an MBA or a JD or a medical degree. Those are all infinitely more valuable degrees than a journalism degree. Journalism is really easy to learn, you can either tell interesting stories or you can’t. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter what degree you have, you’re not going to be employed very long. If you can tell interesting stories, why not have a degree that allows you a unique perspective on sports? Business, legal, and medical issues become more important every year. Most people don’t do a very good job explaining why these issues matter and there aren’t very many people who can do it now.
One piece of advice that will never change — don’t worry about the money. If you love what you do and are smart, the money will eventually find you.
“I was sitting in class the other day daydreaming about football like I do most of the time I’m in class. I was thinking about how awful life would be without it. I immediately decided I would easily give up 10 years off the end of my life to preserve football, meaning I would rather die at 75 with football than live until 85 without.
My question is, how many years do you think your average to moderately obsessed SEC fan would give up to keep football? 5….10…15….20? As a 22 year old, I can’t imagine living the next 63 years without any football, so I think I would easily give up at least 10. Am I normal or do I need to reprioritize my life?”
That’s probably pretty normal for someone who is in his twenties. When you’re young I think you’re more likely to give away the end of your life years. Like right now I’m not that concerned with anything after 55. My kids will all be pretty much done with college. But when I’m fifty I’ll probably think 55 isn’t that old. And when I’m 75 — if I’m not killed by a crazy Bama fan before then — I’ll probably want to live to be 95.
Basically, the closer you get to death, the more those years seem to matter.
“Reading Les Miles espouse on economics has me wondering. What would you guess to be the IQ of all SEC head coaches? Maybe some of the high profile assistants too? I suspect some well paid assistants that are mainly recruiters would score pretty low. Like borderline mentally challenged low. Are those positions the highest paid per IQ point in America? After actors and Gay Muslim racists, of course.”
The dumbest rich people in America — aside from those who inherit gobs of money — are athletes. No one else has anywhere near the chasm between what they make with athletic ability and what they would make without athletic ability. Most NFL athletes, for instance, are making an average of a million or more a year. What would they be making without the NFL? Maybe $50k a year? And that might be too high. That’s a gap of around $950k.
I mean, this isn’t true for all athletes — some are actually smart enough to make six figures without their athletic ability — but it’s true of most of them. There is hardly any athlete capable of making more money off the field than on the field. (Not counting endorsements from athletics. I mean totally without any athletic connection whatsoever). This is why so many athletes go broke, because they aren’t smart enough to manage their money.
Do you know how hard it is for Vince Young to spend over $60 million and go bankrupt? In like seven years? It’s almost impossible to spend that amount of money and have no actual assets to show for it. What would Vince Young be making if he’d never played any sports and what would he be doing? Is there any way he ever makes $50k? Does Ryan Leaf make $50k now?
But back to coaches, I’d guess that the average coach has an IQ of around 115. (The average person would be around 100). So coaches are smarter than your average people, but not necessarily by that much. In law school I argued with several buddies that we should just go into college football coaching because while we were going to be smart lawyers we’d be genius football coaches. I thought we could make millions as coaches. (Derek Dooley and Mike Leach basically did this). I suspect this is why you see so many lawyers making a living outside of the law. The smartest lawyers don’t practice law, they get rich enough to hire their own lawyers.
Taylor S. writes:
I’m a Global Politics major and a sportswriter on the side, so the idea of an Auburn/Alabama civil war is extremely intriguing. If we assume that the Auburn and Alabama factions are acting as sovereign states, then do we assume that other states will come to their aid?
Does Tennessee send in the Vol Navy on the side of Auburn to help get rid of hated rival Bama,and capture Lane Kiffin and as a reactionary measure Vanderbilt fans march on Knoxville, only to turn around as they realize none of them know what they’re fighting for?
Does Florida use the turmoil to the North to launch a surprise attack on Florida State that ultimately culminates in a Luke Skywalker-Darth Vader style battle between Tim Tebow and Jameis Winston?
Do Mississippi State and Ole Miss put aside their differences to defend the state of Mississippi. Dak Prescott’s Heisman candidacy and Bo Wallace’s golden locks united as one?
Does Georgia fortify their state borders and solidify their economy through the autograph market in preparation for what they believe is a sneak attack by the combined forces of Florida and Alabama?
Do the Big 10, Big 12, ACC and PAC 12 act as mediators, or do they pump money into opposing sides so that the SEC destroys themselves and several other top schools in the process?
These are the questions that concern me about the Auburn – Alabama Civil War.”
I got so many interesting responses to the Auburn-Alabama Civil War question. I love you guys. Not enough to cup your balls and suck your dicks. But close.