All That and a Bag of Mail

As we get rolling here with the mailbag I want to thank everyone for supporting my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too. You can buy your copy at Amazon for $16. The book is officially a national bestseller on the Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today lists of bestselling books and we would have been on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list if we hadn’t been blocked for some reason. We sold substantially more copies than the numbers 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15 books on their bestseller list.

In fact, we sold nearly triple the number of copies of the books at the bottom of the list.

Why weren’t we included on their list?

The New York Times claims it’s because they use an algorithm for their list. (The algorithm is made up of several random independent bookstores.) My question for them would be pretty simple, why not just rank the books that sell the most copies on your bestseller list? I’ve got a wild and crazy idea, shouldn’t a bestseller list be made up of, you know, bestsellers?

Some people ask why I’d complain about something like this and the reason is simple — being on the New York Times bestseller list puts you in the front of many bookstores across the country and allows people who may not know I exist to be exposed to my work. Hell, that’s one of the biggest reasons to write a book — to give people who don’t know you a chance to find out about you.

I love all of you who bought copies, but almost everyone who has bought a copy so far is already a fan of what I do. So the next step in growth is to bring more people into our fold. How do we do that? Word of mouth. If you liked the book please pass it along to someone else and let the audience for the arguments I make in the book continue to grow.

And if you want an autographed copy of the book, please click here and sign up for our Outkick VIP.

For those of you who are already VIPs, the books are being shipped out daily. (Some of you have already received them. There are thousands of those to sign and ship out so it’s taking a lot of time and effort to get done.)

Okay, on to the mailbag.

Drew writes:

“I’ve seen Democrats saying that if Kavanaugh is confirmed to the court they will proceed with impeachment proceedings. Do you actually think this would happen? How would they even go about this? And what’s the chances this whole thing blows up in the Democrat’s faces?”

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m voting for Marsha Blackburn over the way Democrats behaved in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. I think the precedent that they tried to set there is a scary one for our country. If Brett Kavanaugh were to be voted down then the standard they would put in place would be this — if any person in the entire country accuses you of sexual assault — even if all the witnesses dispute her version of events — then you have to prove you were innocent.

That’s not a standard I can accept when someone like Kavanaugh is otherwise eminently qualified for a job.

Dr. Ford deserved a chance to tell her story and Judge Kavanaugh deserved an opportunity to refute that assertion.  And we could all listen to both and make our decisions on who we found most believable and also on what we believed the evidence supported.

But I am genuinely troubled by the arguments the Democrats made in the Senate. And that’s despite the fact that I disagree with Kavanaugh, probably, on abortion, gay marriage, and the death penalty. So I’m going to be voting for Marsha Blackburn instead of Phil Bredesen. (And that’s despite the fact that Phil Bredesen came out today and said he would vote for Kavanaugh to be confirmed if he were in the senate. Put simply, I don’t believe him. I think it’s convenient for him to make that statement today when it seems clear Kavanaugh is going to be confirmed. For those who care, I’ll be voting for Karl Dean, the Democrat for governor, because I know him personally from back at Vanderbilt Law School when he was one of my professors and I have always really liked him.)

Honestly, I think the best thing that could happen for Republicans, however, is if Kavanaugh gets voted down and the 2018 election shifts from a national referendum on Donald Trump to a national referendum on the Senate’s decision. If competitive Senate elections in Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana and Florida turn into referendums on Kavanaugh I think that bodes very well for Republicans in the Senate. (I think the Democrats will probably gain a small majority in the House of Representatives).

As for impeachment, I’m less interested in that sideshow than I am the bigger question of whether anyone will be removed from office. Removal from office requires 67 Senate votes and there’s no way that’s going to happen to either the president or any Supreme Court justice.

Austin writes:

“With all the SCOTUS craziness happening now, can you imagine what would happen if a seat opened up in 2020, particularly if it was from the liberal side of the court? The GOP has set the precedent of no appointments in election years with Merrick Garland but if they had the majority wouldn’t they just go ahead and fill it?”

That would be a huge, huge mess.

Particularly if it were Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat.

The precedent that Mitch McConnell set was that no seats would be filled in an election year. Would he stick to that if the Republicans had a Senate majority and could seat another justice? I think he should, but I don’t know if he would.

The bigger issue I see going forward is this — what happens if the Senate and the president are from a different party? Will we ever be able to sit a supreme court justice again in the next generation if we have split government?

I have my doubts.

Max writes:

“Will Vandy ever return to as good as they were and their recruits with James Franklin while under Derek Mason?”

No.

More seriously, you replaced a top ten coach in college football with a top 75 coach in college football. That’s a big gap in coaching quality.

Derek Mason is an average Vanderbilt football coach; Franklin was a once every sixty years or so quality coach.

Blake writes:

“I was recently offered a position outside of Atlanta (currently live about five hours from there). I’m 24 years old and my current job is decent, good hours, good vacation, but not that great pay and terrible job ceiling. The job I’m offered is a substantial increase in salary and for my job growth going forward. I told my parents about it, and they are dead set against me moving since they can’t visit me as often as they do now. However, I tried to explain to them the benefits of this job outweigh the cons, but can’t get to them. 

What should I do?”

Take the job.

You’re 24.

It isn’t your job to live close to your parents for the rest of your life. If they desperately feel the need to live near you, they can move closer when you eventually have kids. (Assuming you do).

It’s unfair of your parents to hold your life’s ambitions in check so they can visit you as often as they’d like. That’s selfish of them.

It’s time for you to stop being a pussy and do what’s right for you.

Kyle writes:

“You have been saying for years how sports fans tune in to sports to get away from politics/political opinions. As of late, you have largely been discussing politics instead of focusing on current sports topics. Why the change from what you originally said?”

I haven’t changed at all.

Outkick has never been a sports media company.

We’re in the opinion business. I don’t think people come to me for sports opinions, I think they come to me for opinions, period. I write and talk about what people care about, always have, always will.

As I said in the first articles on this site, I wanted to be smart, original, funny and authentic. Whether we were posting about Game of Thrones, The Bachelor, or college football playoff rankings.

My morning radio show is almost entirely sports, my afternoon TV show is almost entirely sports gambling, my website and my Outkick the Show afternoon Periscope and Facebook are whatever interests me on a daily basis, sometimes sports, sometimes politics, sometimes business.

You can pick and choose whatever you’d like to consume.

But I haven’t changed and don’t plan on changing.

That’s the benefit of owning my own company and why I started Outkick, so I could have 100% editorial control and control my future.

Aldo writes:

“What’s up with you and Portnoy? I’m not a regular listener of Barstool but I do enjoy some of their content from time to time. I feel OKTC and Barstool have similar audiences, content, and attitudes towards sports and the world we live in. Super confused as to why he hates you. I feel like you could make a ton of money working on some projects together.” 

I have no idea what his issues are with me. And I told him that face to face at the US Open. I said given our mutual enemies it made no sense for him to be obsessively feuding with me.

But for whatever reason he’s threatened by me and feels the need to take shots at me on a regular basis. The result is he has a one way feud going.

Honestly, I’m so busy right now I can barely keep up with the daily drama on social media so I only see it when you guys tag me in it. Plus, I’m not sure I gain much by feuding with people anymore. It’s getting harder and harder for me to feud up.

If someone’s not an infinitely bigger star than me, I feel like I’m just wasting time and energy to feud with them.

Ken writes:

“Hey Clay I love Outkick the Show! With as much work as you put in during the week, does it ever feel like more work on the weekends watching so many sports games? Do your wife and kids try to make the best of it?” 

Football season is a marathon, no doubt. But I love every bit of it. There’s not much I like more in life than a noon eastern day of college football kicking off and being able to watch games all day long.

That’s my heaven.

But I am thinking about how much work I do every week.

Right now I do 15 hours of national radio a week, I do five hours of national television, and I do 2.5 hours of Outkick the Show every week. That’s 22.5 hours of live media every single week. No one else is even close to that.

That doesn’t even count the amount of time I spend writing and working on the book or at Outkick. I’m quite confident there is no one in sports media working harder or on more platforms than me right now.

The result is I have very little life outside of work and my family.

And I’m trying to be more aware of having a work life balance, honestly.

For instance next Saturday we’re all, Lara and the boys and I, going to London for a week to watch the Titans play the Chargers. We made the plans for this trip before I had a TV show. Given all my obligations I don’t think I’d have made the plans for the trip of I’d known I was going to be doing TV.

For the past couple of months I’d been planning on doing radio and TV from London all week, but then I finally called an audible.

I decided to take off the week from TV and only do the full three hour radio show on Monday and Friday. (I’ll still be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but not for the entire show).

Why did I decide that?

Because I started thinking how ridiculous it was of me to take my family to London and still work the same hours I would if I was in Nashville.

I’m 39 now, but as I approach forty I’m starting to think things like this: In ten years will anyone remember anything I said on radio and TV from London? Probably not. Whereas will my boys remember this trip to London for the rest of their lives? Yep. And for me, when my boys are ten years older and don’t want to spend as much time with me I might definitely think back and wonder — why in the world didn’t I spend that time in London with them?

So I think this is something a lot of dads and moms struggle with, trying to balance out working a ton at a high pressure job while also enjoying their kids while they’re young.

I’m trying to get better with that.

Hope y’all have fantastic weekends.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out our new FS1 show, Lock It In, we’ll be on live this evening right after the Rockies-Brewers game.

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