Welcome to a Vegas Tailgate

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Vegas Tailgate: Why football, drinking, and gambling go hand in hand

7:47 Staking out seats in the room is always a challenge. Everyone looks bleary eyed from the previous night’s bender and the amount of disheveled grown men is always entertaining.

8:52 Guys are scrambling to get their action in for the early games…hey clowns: the games have been on the board for 6 days, waiting until 8 mins before kickoff isn’t the brightest idea

9:17: First loud cheer of the day comes as Braxton Miller busts a huge TD run against UCF (Buckeyes were bet down from 18.5 this morning to 15 but that didn’t stop the Scarlet and Gray public money from pouring in at a “better” number).

9:23 The crowd around us goes nuts, not for a TD or turnover but because we see the cocktail waitress for the first time and 92% of the room needs at least one Bloody Mary by now.

9:29 Silence falls on the room as UCF stymies an Ohio St drive on 4th and 1. Little to say everyone that fired on Urban expected a 35-0 first quarter out of the Buckeyes and is pretty sure this isn’t a good sign.

9:37 My buddy has convinced himself he needs to propose to the cocktail waitress in our vicinity, I mean why wouldn’t it be a good idea after an 8 hour session of roulette and drinking to fall in love with the only woman in the room.

9:44 Apparently pulling out a laptop and looking like your important has people interested in who you’re betting for today. Now debating if I should share my pay pal ID to those interested in the $99.99 SEC Game of the Month.

9:56: Sitting with two guys who are feverishly trying to tail RAS (Right Angle Sports) releases on Virginia Tech -48 and Miami OH -16.5.  Watching them click refresh and locking in Tech at -54 and Miami OH at -20 is definitely worth a laugh.

10:14: Watching Maryland show life against Temple, figuring somewhere SVP is content at least for a day although I can’t help thinking this game would be much more entertaining with Coach Williams against Coach Chaney played on the hardwoods

10:44: The opening rush of energy and excitement has hit a lull. People finally are settling into their seats because of the realization they have 12 hours of football to pace themselves through, unfortunately there’s no Hawaii game on the schedule tonight.

10:59: Sportsbook is split on the early SEC tilt and the back and forth game between Auburn and Miss St hasn’t disappointed. I’m still left wondering how Auburn hasn’t recruited a QB capable of throwing a forward pass.

11:07: Pretty sure if the Miami Hurricanes football program is going to be relevant again it’s time to bring back Nevin Shapiro and fatigues because this effort in Manhattan is pathetic.

11:30: The marquee game in the book this morning continues to stay tight with OSU leading UCF 31-16. You know both sides are squeezing hard for the next TD since it will most likely decide the cover.

11:50: Auburn still has no QB and as a result this game down in Starkville gets ugly fast. I’d imagine the caravan back to the plains of Alabama begins now…

12:01: Things really start to get tense in the Buckeyes game as the clock sits at 3:18. Those laying the lumber know its going to take some Urban magic to cover this number. Where’s Spurrier right now to run play action for the cover?

12:15: Speaking of Spurrier, South Carolina is up 41-3 yet he goes for 2? Stay classy ole ball coach because there aren’t many ECU’s on the conference schedule this year

12:19: Sharpest wiseguy position of the morning games cashes with UCF at +15.5 or better. The Ohio St bettors who benefited: anyone laying 7.5 with the Buckeyes for the 2nd half.

12:26: After subjecting myself to a PSU vs UVA matchup in Charlottesville, I can say with supreme confidence the Big Ten vs ACC challenge is a much better idea in hoops than it is in football

12:33: You really have to feel it for the PSU kicker who bricks yet another attempt at 3, this one to win the game. We haven’t gone through 2 sets of games and the missed FG count is up to 137.

12:46: Afternoon slate now solidly underway and it’s safe to say the book is packed to the gills with USC, Florida, Nevada, and Michigan money. I don’t envy this spot for my former colleagues rooting for the dregs in college football to protect house assets.

1:07: It’s only 1 quarter but watching USC today makes me even more confident Alabama is the best team in the country and it’s not close…(this is where LSU fans throw expletives my way and stop reading the column)

1:23: The guy sitting by us who has bet every game on the board continues to yell at the TV’s. Hey dude, if you yell even louder I’m sure the entire Syracuse team will hear you

1:38: I can hear all of the SEC haters right now going this is the best the SEC East has to offer? Sure it’s early but the 12th man gloats while opportunity presents itself.

2:22: Bo Ryan doing everything he can to take the air out of the ball in Corvallis. The 4 corners is setting Big Ten basketball back years today.

2:48: Watching UF’s QB play is like a bad reality show…you know a sack’s coming but they’re absolutely helpless keeping the QB upright.

3:32: Most of the mid afternoon games are starting to wrap up but the real entertainment is the dude in the corner puking after his declaration at 8:30 am that he’d “own the book.”

3:48: Give the Gators defense credit, they absolutely shut down Texas A&M. The second half from the Aggies makes me feel like somewhere Mike Sherman’s ghost still lingers around Kyle Field

3:55: I expected to see a lethargic USC QB Sunday at MetLife, not on Saturday vs the Orange.

3:59: Wisconsin about to get shutout in Corvallis? Ummm Big Ten football that’s not exactly what you should be looking for from your preseason division favorite.

4:13: USF +1 the most improbable cover of the day as BJ Daniels drives 97 yards with 1:26 to go…let the shots of Patron start flowing as the Bulls backers rejoice. Wait, I still have 6 more hours of games to get through including UGA and Mizzou? Sign me up but the ensuing chain of events is not suitable for general consumption


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.