All That and a Bag of Mail: Kliff Kingsbury Crush Edition
By Clay Travis
The entire SEC is going crazy.
You knew this was going to happen as soon as four head coaching jobs came open. But the jobs aren't even officially open yet and already we're all crazy. You should see my Twitter feed, the emails flooding into OKTC. It's officially coaching season. And there's never been more insanity in the SEC because there has never been four jobs open at once. I've written about it before, but college coaches are the only highly skilled professionals with perpetual free agency. The CEO of Coke can't take over Pepsi the next day, but the head coach at Alabama could certainly be the head coach at Auburn the next day.
It's pure insanity.
You can't trust anyone because agents are floating names and contacts to get a coach a raise. Why? Because even if a coach isn't a legitimate candidate for a job, his current boss will panic and give him an extension and even more money. Your story can literally be wrong one minute, right the next, and back to wrong again.
As quickly as one person can change his mind, the fickle football future of your favorite team can change.
"I'm a Kentucky fan. Last night I dreamed that Kliff Kingsbury and I were on a boat hanging out for the weekend. Just the two of us. I'm straight, but I sort of feel gay after having this dream about another guy I've never met hanging out with me on a boat. As a gay man, can you tell me if you think I'm also gay."
You're clearly gay.
But, and this is your saving grace, you fit under the recently established Outkick the Coverage SEC maxim of: "It's not gay if it's Kliff Kingsbury."
Having said that, I need more details about the dream. Were you shirtless? If not, did you encourage Kliff to get more comfortable on the boat and take his shirt off? Were you drinking anything other than Bud Light? Were you sober? Did you drunkenly espouse the benefits of Lexington, Kentucky while using the phrase, "crush mad ass, bro?"
We need so many more details about your dream.
Having said all this, I've been inundated by emails about Kliff Kingsbury.
My friend Tardio, another straight Kentucky fan, did Google searches on Kingsbury until he uncovered a web page about a wedding where he was a groomsman.
Here was his entire email, which you can picture him typing like a lovestruck 14 year old girl, "Kingsbury is so awesome."
Here's the wedding description of Kliff:
"We first met as freshman at Tech and became best friends before the year ended. As the years have passed there have been so many good times... What started as lodge parties, pledgeship, brawls during basketball games at the rec center, college "margarita nights", 4th of July on the river, Cap Rock Cafe on Sundays, beating UT, talks about being NFL agent and player, and vegas trips... Later became East coast living (Miami and Boston), fishing trips, brawls during basketball games at 24 hour fitness, vietnamese food for training purposes, more 4th of Julys on the river, law school graduation, me signing NFL players as clients, KK winning a Superbowl, and well... vegas trips. KK is one of those rare people who you know is special immediately upon meeting him. His unrivaled competitiveness has rubbed off in my life in so many ways. We've always discussed, debated, and broken down everything in our lives no matter how big or small- family issues, careers, girls, ideas, investments, movies, books, cities, the future... The thing I appreciate the most is that no matter how spirited or heated the conversation gets, it's never personal and there's never a scoreboard. He's the friend who just wants the best for you and never allows you to settle for less. He's a brother and will always be a part of our family. If I had to go to war with anyone in this world it would be Kliff."
Remember it's not gay if it's Kliff Kingsbury.
Ben P. writes:
"Auburn offers Saban $15 million per yr for 5 yrs, guaranteed. Does he consider it?"
First, Alabama would match every offer up to and including sexual favors from every girl in the state on the day she turns 18 years old. Do you know how much of an Alabama fan's self worth is wrapped up in Nick Saban? Like 98%. What else does the average Bama fan have to live for? A great interest rate on the single wide, the buy one get one free sale on Bear Bryant statues at the local Wal-Mart, calling me gay, and free dinner on Wednesday at the local church. That's it. There's nothing else for them to live for.
And this is why I think you have to do it if you're Auburn.
You know Alabama is going to match, right? So why not offer Nick Saban an exorbitant amount and make Alabama's athletic department go bankrupt trying to match the offer. Especially since you know there's no way you're going to have to actually pay it. Even Lord Saban wouldn't pull this move, would he? (Although if he did switch to Auburn this would be extraordinary, the best thing to ever happen to OKTC. Yes, even better than the buttchugging press conference).
For instance, Tim Cook is now the CEO of Apple, right? He's got billions of dollars. What if he called up Auburn and said, "I will personally underwrite the entire cost of payiing Nick Saban $15 million a year." That's a rounding error for him. Plus, it's a tax deductible contribution. Given how skilled insanely rich people's accountants are, he'd probably end up somehow saving money by doing this.
So why not make the offer?
Can you imagine the Alabama fan panic if Auburn offered Saban $15 million a year?
Plus, it's actually smart business. I've argued this for a while, Saban is hugely underpaid. Bama is saving millions of dollars by not having to pay as much as they should for their top asset. If Alabama had to pay Nick Saban $15 million a year, that's $10 million a year less that Bama has to spend elsewhere. Over time, couldn't your program take advantage of those extra resources. (Hint, with more bagmen).
There's no doubt that Saban is worth at least $10 million a year. Hell, I personally think Saban is the most underpaid entertainer in America today. The Situation made more money than he did last year.
Do it, Auburn, do it.
Chris B. writes:
"Clay, I saw you Tweet that it's inevitable that UT and the Titans will be fighting over Gruden this offseason. What odds do you actually give that they're bidding against one another?"
Given how things have gone for both teams this season: 100%
UT and the Titans are such disasters that both teams have formed one colossal dumpster fire right now. It's only natural that these east and middle Tennessee fires connect.
The fire has gotten so bad that both programs have also lit the fire truck on fire.
So this is the only logical end to the process, Tennessee and the Titans bidding against each other for the services of Jon Gruden. The entire city of Nashville would just dive off the pedestrian bridge into the Cumberland River. But this is coming, just wait.
It's the only possible end to the raging fires of incompetence currently burning at both places.
James Franklin to the Vols and his future at Vandy is a consistent question. So I've rolled this into one question:
"How long will James Franklin be at Vandy? Would James Franklin go to Tennessee? Would UT fans accept him if he did?"
James Franklin is making a ton of money at Vanderbilt, nearly $3 million a year. So I think Vanderbilt would match any offers he got from other programs. I still think Auburn and Arkansas would also be smart to make a run at Franklin. I don't think he'd go, but you could do much worse. If Franklin finds a way to get Vandy to 7-5 or 8-4, his name is going to skyrocket. Vandy hasn't won eight games in a season in thirty years.
They haven't won nine in a season since 1915.
He's recruiting great, he's a salesman, he's smart and young.
I have no doubt that James Franklin would kill at Tennessee, absolutely kill. And UT fans would love him.
If Gruden says no to the massive amount of money Tennessee will offer him then, after much thought, here's my revised coaching list. (Note: I don't care about anything but winning football games. We're not hiring the pope here, we're hiring a football coach. So what if he's a bad husband?)
1. Jon Gruden
2. Bobby Petrino
3. Charlie Strong
4. James Franklin
5. Dan Mullen
6. Gary Patterson
7. Gus Malzahn
If Tennessee can't get one of these seven guys, I'm not sure it's worth firing Dooley at all.
Mike Connolly writes:
"My daughter will be born Friday. What would be the worst SEC-themed name I could give her?"
First, congrats on your daughter.
"Should guys be proud or angry if they found out their girlfriend/wife used to hook up with a player from their favorite team?"
As a general rule you can't be angry at your wife or girflriend for anything she did before she met you. (There are exceptions here but they pretty much all involve herpes). But if you innocently enter into a relationship with a girl who has a past history with a member of your favorite team, that's a delicate issue.
I've actually spent some time on this because a buddy of mine who will remain nameless used to have the same girlfriend as former Miami Heat forward James Posey. He was a big Heat fan too. But it really impacted his ability to watch the game. Also James Posey was a 6'8" black man playing in the NBA and he was a 5'9" Indian man practicing law.
You do the math.
In addition, the relationship was too recent.
So I think there are three key distinctions here that you have to unpack. Call it the Clay Travis athlete hook-up balancing test (My own Supreme Court jurisprudence): a. how recently was the relationship? b. what does hook up mean? c. how did the relationship end?
Let's dive into all three.
First, how recently was it? If you're like 26 or older and it was a high school boyfriend, I think that's pretty cool. You should be proud. Odds are it was fairly innocent. (Although 9th grade kids today are making porno films on their iphones now, so who really knows? What would you do if your wife or girlfriend ended up in a sex tape with your favorite player but not until you were already dating her?) If it was the relationship right before yours, you can be proud that you're clearly outkicking your coverage, but you're probably not going to be able to enjoy the games very much if your wife or girlfriend is still communicating with the ex. For instance, if you're in bed asleep, her phone vibrates at 2:30, you look over and all you can see on the caller i.d. is, "Travis Henry: What's up?" you should probably get really nervous.
Second, what does hook up mean? And does it even mean sex? If there was no sex, then you can clearly brag about this as much as you want. If there was sex -- oral sex counts -- then you want to examine the circumstances and frequency. For instance, let's say a decade from your now your wife or girlfriend confesses that she hooked up with Johnny Manziel the night he went out on the town dressed up in the Scooby Doo costume. This would be awesome, right? You'd tell everyone. But if hook up means that they were in a relationship for three years and she got matching palm tattoos with him that forms an entire heart when placed next to his palm, this isn't as cool. In general, I think it's better for you if it's a fleeting relationship than if it was a legitimate relationship. (There are exceptions here as well. For instance, you pray that it wasn't Ben Roethlisberger or Magic Johnson).
Yes, it's a bit slutty to hook up with a famous athlete for just one night, but so what it's just one guy and he's famous. Are you telling me that if you'd had the chance to hook up with Alicia Sacramone, you would have ever turned it down? Would you even turn it down now in the middle of your own relationship? (There's a clear exception here if your wife or girlfriend slept with the entire team. For instance, if she participated in a team gang bang, you probably have to end the relationship. Really, you probably can't justify any more than two players on any one team because then she just turns into a cleat chaser).
Third, how did the relationship end? If she's telling the truth and she chose to end it -- note, she will not be telling the truth -- then you can rest assured that she's a healthy, confident woman who chose you over the athlete. Doubtless this is because your penis is much bigger and you are a much more skilled lover. (Note: your penis will not actually be bigger). But you can believe this to be true and brag about it.
So, in summation, it's a balancing test, you have to analyze how long ago the relationship was in conjunction with how the hook ups occurred and simultaneously weigh how the relationship ended. In general the more fleeting the relationship, the better it is for you and the more proud you should be. The more in-depth the relationship was, the tougher it is for you.
Everyone, however, should be proud if their girlfriend/wife used to hook up with Kilff Kingsbury.
Lots of Arkansas fans:
"Who do you think Arkansas should hire?"
I'd rehire Bobby Petrino.
People say, "But we'll get killed for that nationally!"
I'm sorry, is Arkansas otherwise being praised nationally? Am I turning on the television to hear people say, "Boy, you know one state that's really got their education system figured out is Arkansas." And, "If you want to look at a state that has completely tackled obesity, it's Arkansas." Or, "The top state for GDP in 2012, Arkansas."
No, none of that is happening.
Oh, you mean, Arkansas is already getting killed nationally for everything?
So what if people are upset about you rehiring a football coach? Arkansas will be made fun of nationally, the same as it already is.
Petrino wins games. Period. By September no one will care anymore.
If rehiring Petrino isn't an option, here's my Arkansas list:
1. Charlie Strong
2. Tommy Tuberville
3. Butch Davis
4. Gus Malzahn
I actually think all four of these guys would be pretty damn strong hires. And if you want the guy who could be the biggest success of them all, I think it's Malzahn.
Look at what Auburn has been without him. The guy is going to score points wherever he goes. Pair him with a great defensive coordinator who you pay a ton of money to hire and I think that's a formidable tandem.
FH Alexander writes:
"Who is the best possible person to "endorse" your fraternity? I've gotta imagine Carrie Underwood has to rank high on the list. Scraped this off of a friend's facebook post, he ran into her w/ his daughter (in photo) at what looks like a Harris Teeter in the Nashville area.
Carrie Underwood is incredibly hot.
I've seen her out a few times in Nashville. Sometimes celebrities don't look that different from regular people. Carrie Underwood does. She's an absolute smoke show. Having said that, I don't recognize these letters. Can someone help me out?
Who would be the best to endorse your fraternity letters?
Here's my top five:
1. Kate Upton
2. Kate Upton
3. Kate Upton
4. Kliff Kingsbury
5. Kate Upton
The only thing better than Kate Upton in a bikini.
Me in a sports coat!
But, first, I'm 25-14 against the spread so far this year in SEC games. Here are my picks this week: Mizzou +3 at UT, A&M +13.5 at Bama, Georgia -15 at Auburn, and Mississippi State +16 at LSU. Get rich, kids.