All That and a Bag of Mail: Death Threats from Arkansas
It's Mailbag time.
That means it's Friday at work and all of you are pretending to work while you read along with the mailbag.
As you can see, Katherine Webb continues to struggle to recover from Brent Musburger calling her hot. I just don't know how she gets out of bed in the morning.
She's now spoofing her fame by filming a commercial at the Rose Bowl.
Our beaver pelt traders of the week are these Arkansas frat guys who just executed one of the most amazing trick shots in the history of basketball.
And be amazed.
I fully expect Marshall Henderson to party here when Ole Miss plays at Arkansas.
We begin this week's mailbag with the creepiest and dumbest hate mail I've ever received. It arrived, naturally, via my Facebook page.
Andre McDaniel, who can you can find on Facebook here, wrote me as follows:
Is it the fact that the first two paragraphs are the exact same? Is this person incapable of remembering that the'd already typed the first paragraph and he just did it the same? Or did this person actually edit this somewhere else and then cut and paste it twice into a Facebook message?
Regardless, it's rare to combine a written death threat with a triple rape threat under your own name.
Bravo, Andre McDaniel, bravo.
We may have to move up Arkansas fans on the dumbest fan base list based solely on this email.
"Me and my friends often discuss hypothetical situations and questions on email chains. This practice has gone on for more than a decade. This week the following question was posed:
Would you rather be one of the greatest QB's of all time, have 3 BCS Titles and 5 Super Bowl Rings as a starter but have to remain a virgin for life OR would you rather have your QB career cut short by a freak injury in high school but the caveat is you can get George Clooney/Brad Pitt quality poon any time you want. In short, would you rather have success on or off the field?"
Is any man alive picking the football championships? (This is assuming you aren't adopting the virgin until marriage standards of some evangelistic Christians. Believe it or not they have a loose definition of what virginity actually means. They'd still have anal and oral sex before marriage because they believed that way they were still technically virgins. So I'm assuming all of this is forbidden as well. Basically, under your hypothesis the way i'm reading it is you'd have to dry hump for the rest of your life. Which is really funny when you're a teenager, but becomes downright hysterical when you think about a grown 40 year old man dry humping with another 40 year old woman. Forever.)
I don't even need to get top Hollywood star quality girls here, I just need to be able to get one girl at some point in my life. Which is pretty much doable for every guy. Why? Because women are desperate and there aren't enough of us.
If you're remaining a virgin for life you're probably not ever getting married and you're certainly not having kids of your own. So what do you do with all your free time once your athletic career is over? You don't even need a job. I guess you could become a Catholic priest after your football career ended, but that seems like an awful job to me.
Regardless of what you chose to do, you'd be rich and living alone with a bunch of football championships.
I can't imagine anyone picking this option.
In a larger context, I'd much rather be a famous athlete off the field than I would on the field. I think most readers would agree.
Greg. H. writes:
I know Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable, but I hadn't heard of Robin Thicke until the Miley Cyrus VMA performance. So I went on to read his page. Under the personal section this is written:
“When Thicke was 11, Wayne Gretzky had been babysitting him while his father was on vacation when the Edmonton Oilers superstar learned he had officially been traded to the Los Angeles Kings and had to suddenly leave. Alan Thicke reportedly didn't find out that his son was home alone until he called home the next morning and found out that Gretzky had to leave because he was traded. TSN hockey announcer Gord Miller later tweeted that it was Robin who answered the telephone call from Kings owner Bruce McNall confirming the trade: "(He) wasn't sure he should admit that Gretzky was there, but McNall insisted that he bring him to the phone."”
Has anyone verified this?! This can’t possibly be true can it? At the time of the trade to L.A., Gretzky was still at the top of his game, and was arguably the most famous person in Canada. And he’s babysitting an 11 year old kid? Where was Alan Thicke? Off “rehearsing” with Joanna Kerns? If this really happened – getting the greatest hockey player ever to babysit your pre-teen son, and then having the son be the one to inform him that he’d just been traded – does this cause us to have to now consider Alan Thicke to be the most powerful Canadian of all time?
No, it's completely true.
Gretzky and his wife were babysitting/housesitting for Alan Thicke while he was in Norway. Thicke said he saw the news of the trade in a Norway newspaper, but didn't understand what was written so he got afraid everyone had been murdered or buried in a landslide.
By the way, "I loved Growing Pains" as a kid.
But I continue to be amazed that Jason Seaver, perhaps the whitest man in television history, produced the most soulful white singer of our generation.
"I have tickets to Saturday's Braves game at Turner Field. Our tickets are for the upper deck behind home plate, and while not the worst seats in the house, there is definitely room for improvement. I want to try the old "Andrew Jackson Handshake," move on an usher on the field level (not behind home or anything) and want to get your thoughts. Do you think $20 is enough for me and my wife? I was thinking somewhere down the left or right field line, within reason. My wife is nervous about doing this because it "isn't what you are supposed to do", even though she is a fan of Boardwalk Empire and knows that money talks. I also assured her that this is not a felony offense."
I've never paid off an usher to sneak by because I always walk by with confidence like I know exactly where I'm going. Once you try and pay an usher you're acknowledging that you're not supposed to be there. Having your hands full of food is also a great trick. If the usher makes eye contact with you, you can make a big deal of the fact that you've got a tray of food and can't manage to get your ticket out of your pocket. Generally they don't want to be responsible for you spilling your food or drink so they just let you pass.
I always move if I have bad seats and the game isn't a sell out.
I thought everyone with bad seats did the same thing I always do, which is look for a large collection of unoccupied seats and then scout the ushers who seem bad at their jobs, wait a couple of innings to ensure the people with seats aren't just late arrivers, and then go for it. Ushers have differing policies when it comes to ensuring that everyone has a ticket. Some are difficult and some don't care at all.
It's Turner Field, just go for it.
Chris P. writes:
"A co-worker is getting divorced from his wife and is wondering about the proper protocol for certain things. They are still living in the same house and have two junior high aged sons that know about the pending divorce. First, when is it appropriate to quit wearing the wedding ring? Second, who gets the old friends? Is there a rule for how friends are divided? Should this be included in the MDA? Thanks for the guidance."
I'd say you wear the ring until you leave the house.
Hopefully the kids are taking it okay and this isn't a disastrous mom hates dad and dad hates mom divorce.
As for who gets the friends, how many girl friends does a grown man have that he didn't know before marriage? (If he has very many, this probably caused the divorce). I don't understand why this decision on who gets the friends is difficult at all. You each get your actual friends. No one is equal friends with both members of a couple. You're either primarily a friend of the husband or of the wife. Generally speaking every guy should be primary friends with the guy and every girl should be primary friends with the girl.
Bigger issue, they're both divorced now which means they don't have to go to dinner parties together anymore.
If you were a recently divorced guy, would your first thought be, "Oh, man, who gets to go to the dinner parties now?" Or would your first thought be, "I can actually sleep with all those girls that I'm convinced want to sleep with me but haven't because I've been married." (Of course this list is actually small -- potentially nonexistent even -- but every married man secretly believes there are tons of women who wish they could sleep with him).
Christopher Nemanic writes:
"I'd like to thank Mr Clay Travis for recently insulting me, along with several million other people in his "Dumbest fan bases" countdown. I find it in terrible taste, and will be sharing this, and calling for a boycott on your site."
My actual email response.
Thank you so much for having such great taste that you believe what you find in "terrible taste" should dictate what others can decide to read on the Internet.
You are completely correct and I hope your boycott meets with great success. Please continue the article with everyone you know!
Outkick the Coverage management has offered a severe rebuke to Clay Travis for his insensitive, offensive, and boorish behavior.
We will not tolerate writers like him. Especially not when those writers are also sexist, racist, homophobic, and have beards.
President and Editor of Outkick the Coverage
Jason J. writes:
As a Georgia fan, this means I will miss at least half of the biggest game of the weekend. Am I within my rights to pose for the wedding pictures with an earbud in so I can listen to the game? Any ideas for how I can inconspicuously do this without having the bride, her mom, or the wedding planner decapitate me?
Also, bride and groom are both SEC grads (Alabama and Auburn (not even getting into that)), how in the hell do they select a September Saturday to have their wedding?
Thanks. I'm a big fan of you're [joke] website and columns.
[please don't include my name, both bride and groom are readers of OKTC]"
"If your going to call people stupid you better check your own stupidity level. You have no right to judge people or say mean these giving other people a bad view on someone you've never met."
Some people hope to end world hunger. Others want to end racism or sexism or whatever -ism floats your boat.
I just want to teach people the difference between your and you're.
If I could do this, I'd die a happy man.
My headstone could say,
"Clay Travis 1979 -
He taught America the difference between your and you're."
How much better of an epitaph is there?
(I'd also like to cure to, too confusion and end they're, their, and there grammatical disasters, but that's just too much to ask for.)
Dana Gieringer writes:
"Clay Travis' articles about dumbest fan bases are sad commentaries on sports journalism, and make him look like a bigot. If you replaced the "fan base" with a race or religious group, for example, it would be profiling, extremely prejudicial, and almost a hate crime. He has no business writing this, and it speaks poorly of your publication."
I wrote this to Dana.
Outkick the Coverage agrees with you, Clay Travis is a horrible bigot. We have forwarded his article about Arkansas fans being dumb to the FBI and eagerly await their ruling on whether or not the FBI can prosecute him for committing a hate crime against Arkansas fans.
Thank you for being steadfast in protecting our country from the evils of fan base stereotyping.
He has been terminated.
Owner and Editor Outkick the Coverage
Thank you for also pointing out that if you replace words in sentences or articles with a race or religious group that could change their meaning. Otherwise, we would have thought all words meant the exact same thing. And then how confusing would life be? People wouldn't know if you were calling the hogs or just being racist.
"My wife hates football. I am a freedom loving American who would like nothing more than to watch football from Saturday morning when I wake up until Sunday night when I go to bed. We (she) had a bit of a boundaries talk last week regarding our weekend schedule and football on TV. We do have more than one TV. I regularly volunteer to leave the living room and big TV to her, but as it turns out, my wife actually wants to spend time with me. What is a fair way to make sure that she gets her quality time and I get to watch football?"
My favorite line in this entire piece is, "we (she) had a bit of a boundaries talk."
Do men every initiate these kinds of talks? When was the last time you sat down with your wife or girlfriend and told her you wanted to have a conversation about the state of your relationship? Or any particular aspect of the relationship? When was the last time you complained about what she watches on TV? What would her reaction be if you said, "I really think you're spending too much time watching these Real Housewives shows. Do you care more about them than you do our relationship?"
I want a guy to try this with a completely straight face and report back the woman's reaction.
I think it would be like when a team that likes to press suddenly gets pressed on the basketball court. They're just stunned.
There's a pretty simple solution here though.
Go out during the week and give her every Friday night to pick what you do during football season.
It's amazing to me how many men and women fail to grasp this simple concept -- There are other days of the week. You don't have to go out on Saturday night together.
In addition to Friday, go out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Hell, go out on multiple days of the week if you have the time and financial resources.
You can get in much better restaurants without reservations on weeknights. You can park closer to the theater, malls aren't crowded, tickets to events are cheaper, babysitters are easier to find. Honestly, I don't know why couples insist on weekend date nights. It makes zero sense to me.
Jack C. writes:
What would you have done in either one of our positions?"
Okay, in his position, you have to wait until the other two stalls are unoccupied, flush, and then make the stall switch with your pants held up but not tightly. That's an easy call. If you really have to go to the bathroom, toilet paper is a luxury. You don't want to be like our mailbag guy last week and crap yourself. Anyone ever crapped themself at work? I have no idea what you would do if you crap yourself at work. You have to go home and immediately shower, change, and burn your clothes.
You probably have to exit down the stairway too in hopes that it will be empty because most Americans are fat and lazy and refuse to take the stairs. You don't want anyone to know why you've left.
Basically, you're trying to cover up a crime.
As for your stall responsibility here, I think I would have kept quiet too. I mean, you don't know the guy. No man wants to talk in the bathroom. Particularly not when you're in the stall.
No, you just keep quiet.
"A buddy of mine (Alabama fan) and I (Kentucky fan) were talking about ways that boosters or fans could pay players to go to their school without getting caught. I know you probably think we're both dumb because of our team affiliations, but tell me if this is a possiblity. Say a UGA alumnus was an executive for the Atlanta Braves and really wanted the nation's #1 high school DE to attend UGA. Could he somehow sign him to a meaningless baseball contract and give him a big signing bonus while retaining the rights to him for three years, even though the DE may have never played baseball in his life? Would this be something to get UGA in trouble? I know most professional sports organizations wouldn't want to get this kind of publicity, but could it ever happen? Maybe we are just both really dumb."
It's a great question.
Does the NCAA assess whether you're talented enough to receive a baseball contract's signing bonus? What about hockey too?
You'd probably need the kid to play high school baseball, but the baseball draft lasts forever. And a decent amount of baseball draft picks are just good athletes that teams hope they could turn into decent players with enough work.
So I don't know how you'd get busted for this.
I mean, if you did it for ten straight years it might get noticed, but every few years for a top player. This actually seems like a pretty smart NCAA loophole.
Neil D. writes:
"My buddies and I were inspired by you book Dixieland Delight and over the past 5 years we have traveled from Canada to a different SEC school to take in a game. It has been a blast!
This year is LSU vs. Ole Miss in Oxford. It will be the first time wives are making the trip. Here are my questions for you!
1. Will Ole Miss shock the world and pull the upset in Tuscaloosa this week?
2. Can they beat A&M and or LSU at home?
3. Two of my friends on the trip are Georgia fans, one is a Alabama fan and I have remained undecided. I cheer for the home team during each trip (been to Georgia, Bama, and South Carolina). Should I pledge my allegiance to one team or continue to cheer for the home team each year? I have a feeling Ole Miss could win me over this year. Would Ole Miss be a wise choice or will I be subjected to years of disappointment? PS – I could never cheer for Florida (arm fat).
4. What are musts to do in Oxford?
5. Where should we go next year? Is LSU the obvious choice??
Luv you work Clay! Cheers, eh!"
I'm huge in Canada, clearly.
I do get a ton of emails, however, from people outside the South who read "Dixieland Delight," and started coming down for games after reading the book. That's always great to hear, that you'd be willing to take advice from a bigot warms my heart.
Responding to your questions in order:
1. No, but the Rebels will cover.
2. Yes, I think there's a very good chance Ole Miss will beat either A&M or LSU at home.
3. Ole Miss fans reading this right now just cringed. Yes, Ole Miss will disappoint you. At least until the Manning sons are old enough to play football. I'd suggest visiting all the schools before picking a favorite team. Don't be rash.
4. Fortunately, Oxford is not that big. Go everywhere on the Square. Make sure to visit Rowan Oak.
5. Yes, go to LSU. I'd also check out Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn in future years. Honestly, it's pretty impossible not to have a great time