Michael Pineda's pine tar stunt wasn't as dumb as you thought. It's worse.
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The 25 Highest Rated Sports Talk Stations March of 2014
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Featured Story

Every three or four months Outkick takes a look at the sports talk radio ratings to compile the top 25 sports talk stations in the country. The only public data on these ratings is published here and relies upon the largest possible measurement of the audience -- ratings share for listeners ages six + from six in the morning until midnight.  It's not a perfect data set, but it's the most fair since a station can't rate highly all day long unless its day part ratings are much higher than the six to midnight number.

These are ratings share numbers, not total listener numbers. That is, each station is being compared based on the percentage of people in a market listening, not based on the number of listeners. But as you can see below, both large, small, and mid-size cities are well-represented in this list.  

So which stations in the nation's fifty largest radio markets are the highest rated in the country for March?

You can dive in below. 

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College athletes have the power to destroy the NCAA. 

All it would require is an agreement to join the revolution. 

What if three weeks from today, the day before the college football season began, every athlete held an event where every single player signed his autograph and sold it to willing fans?

The NCAA restriction on paying players would die on the spot. 

Why?

Because the NCAA isn't suspending every college football player in America the day before the season begins.

It's come to this -- Congress thinks the NCAA has low approval ratings.

As details of Johnny Manziel's purported payments for autograph signings continue to trickle out -- ESPN reported Tuesday that Manziel had received $7,500 from an autograph dealer -- public opinion has moved firmly behind Manziel. Polling my Twitter followers on whether they believe Manziel should be ruled ineligible for selling his own autographs a massive 95 percent of fans, representing a diverse cross section of rooting interests, do not want Manziel suspended.

The reason?

At long last the hypocrisy of the NCAA's gilded rules of amateurism have come to the forefront.

Most aren't focusing on Manziel's wrongdoing they are focusing on the stupidity of the NCAA rules. 

Enough reasonable people have started to ask a question that has been hanging in the air for decades -- why should players make billions for the NCAA and the colleges they play for while making nothing themselves? After all, we don't require Taylor Swift to sing in the Vanderbilt chorus for three years -- while recording albums that the school profits off -- before she's allowed to turn professional.

The storming of the college football Bastille has begun 

Nothing has changed for the NCAA.  

Musings on Clay's New Role as Fashion Designer

Written by: Hayley Frank

This morning I had a discussion with Clay about his new fashion line. I also had afternoon crumpets with the Pope, and then jetted on over to England and breastfed the new infant royal baby, whom I affectionately referred to as “Georgie.” 

Question: Which two out of the three above statements are too insanely outrageous to believe? Struggling with this question? Yeah, I kind of still am, too. Answer: Since I’m not a huge fan of crumpets (I’m more of an English muffin type of girl), and I’m physically incapable of breastfeeding at this point in my life, the only true statement from above is my finding out that Clay now has his own fashion line. 

I will give everyone a moment to digest this news—laugh, cry, drink heavily, whatever you need to do to cope with the idea that Clay Travis will now be designing and creating clothing items that real live human beings will be putting on their bodies and then wearing out in public places.

Of course he is. Because if Clay is anything, it’s clearly a fashionista.

The business of college football is being number one in everything. That is why two of the hottest programs decided it would be beneficial to upgrade their football facilities. Alabama and Oregon both unveiled their new improvements this summer and needless to say, both are unbelievable. Since these two teams can't square off on the field yet, we might as well have them compete somehow. Have a look and see which team you think has the nicer digs. 

I Own Lots More Pants Than You

Written by: Clay Travis

I've done lots of ridiculous things in my life.

But buying tens of thousands of dollars in pants and putting them for sale on the Internet is probably the most ridiculous.

There's a moment before every investment when you think, "What the hell am I really doing here?" But when your investment is pants, you definitely pause and think a bit more: "What if nobody buys these pants? What am I going to do with thousands of pairs of college-colored khaki pants?"

And the answer is, for the next three decades you know exactly what you're getting from me for weddings, Christmas, or birthdays. 

Pants!

We also have awesome Outkick the Coverage t-shirts for men and women, but I'm sure these will sell pretty quickly. 

Today ESPN reported that the NCAA is investigating Johnny Manziel for allegedly signing autographs for a Florida autograph dealer.  Now the big question is this, can the NCAA prove that Manziel profited off the sale of those autographs?

ESPN reported as follows:

"The NCAA is investigating whether Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was paid for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia in January, "Outside the Lines" has learned. Two sources tell "Outside the Lines" that the Texas A&M quarterback agreed to sign memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure flat fee during his trip to Miami for the Discover BCS National Championship. Both sources said they witnessed the signing, though neither saw the actual exchange of money. Three sources said Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at the request of an autograph broker named Drew Tieman. Two sources, who are aware of the signing arrangement, told "Outside the Lines" that Tieman approached Manziel on Jan. 6, when he landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to attend the game between Alabama and Notre Dame the next day.

After that meeting, three sources said, Manziel, accompanied by his friend and personal assistant Nathan Fitch, visited Tieman's residence and signed hundreds of items in the main room of the apartment despite the fact that there were many people in the room. Before Manziel left South Florida, after taking in the title game, he signed hundreds of autographs more, one source said."

The important detail here is that none of ESPN's sources can prove that Manziel actually received payment for these autographs. Under NCAA rules it isn't enough for Manziel to have merely signed the autographs. The NCAA must prove that Manziel profited off the sale of his autographs. 

The relevant NCAA bylaw that governs this situation is found here:

"12.5.2.1 Advertisements and Promotions After Becoming a Student-Athlete. After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual: (a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind."

Ah, the Friday mailbag is here. And while you're reading this I'll be sitting in a CLE making sure that I get my 15 hours of continuing legal education. The requirement that lawyers get 15 hours of continuing legal education every year is as close to water torture as the legal practice allows.

So it won't be that enjoyable. 

But no matter how bad your week has been, it has probably been better than former Florida Gator and current Philadelphia Eagle Riley Cooper's past several days. We'll dive into his situation in the mailbag below.  

In the meantime, our beaver pelt trader of the week is Memphis quarterback Jacob Karam who played the piano with cancer patients at St. Jude. It's an uplifting video. Watch it, you'll be glad that you did. But just a warning, it might get a bit dusty in your office. 

Now on to the mailbag. 

2013 USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll Released

Written by: Clay Travis

Four weeks from today college football officially begins.

And with the beginning of August comes the preseason coaches poll.  

And it looks a lot like the end of the 2012 poll. 

There are five SEC schools in the top ten. 

Five!

That's ridiculous. 

What would happen if every dumb person in Texas and every dumb NFL fan in the country not rooting for their local team all ended up cheering for the same professional team?

You'd have the Dallas Cowboy fanbase.

Cowboy fans are the most bipolar sports fans in the country. If you walk into a psychiatrist's office dressed in a Troy Aikman jersey, your doctor can just save you the consultation time and give you a Lithium prescription. 

You probably recognize these bipolar fans as the ones that guarantee a Super Bowl performance after a week one win over the Kansas City Chiefs and then immediately follow it up the next week after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles by pronouncing the team the worst in the history of football. Repeat this process after every week all season long. What's worse, the media actually plays into this obsession, fueling their manic highs and depressing lows with excessive reaction to each game. 

The Cowboys are a perpetually 8-8 team whose fanbase expects them to be 0-16 or 16-0. They're the most average team in the NFL, only their idiot fanbase never realizes this. 

By the end of September if you aren't a Cowboy fan you're ready to strangle them all to death with their Jason Witten jerseys.  

Today Outkick the Coverage begins our countdown of the ten dumbest fan bases in America. I've been writing online and doing sports talk radio for nine years. During that time I've written about every fan base in America. Contrary to what you've been told, all fan bases are not equally dumb. 

Some fan bases are uniquely dumb. 

These are their stories. 

...

When Rocky Top, the insanely popular song your fan base cheers with hearty vibrancy, pays ode to the implied murder of a federal agent intent on stopping you from producing illegal moonshine, you're pretty crazy. 

Tennessee fans occupy a unique and fertile crescent of idiocy -- the central region of the Bermuda Triangle of fan idiocy, where IQ points go to die, Kentucky to Tennessee to Alabama,  is connected by  I-65 -- namely they're like Alabama or Kentucky fans who have suddenly gotten rich in the past twenty years and found distractions to limit their idiocy. That is, while Alabama and Kentucky fans have embarked upon a continued descent into crazy, Tennessee's collective idiocy has declined. In the past fifteen years the Volunteer state has spawned many additional teams for people to root for and the crazy Vol fan has been diluted by the rise of the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Predators, and the Memphis Grizzlies.

As a general rule, the more teams you have to root for in a given state, the less crazy fans become. The rationale is fairly straightforward, in Alabama you have to be Harvey Updyke crazy in order to stand out. In New York, how crazy does the average Brooklyn Nets fan have to be to stand out as the crazy Nets fan? He just has to have season tickets. 

Combine the sudden upswing in pro sports competition with the odd geography of Tennessee. The state's really three distinct regions, Memphis and west Tennessee, where the Vols aren't that popular in the grand scheme of things, Nashville and middle Tennessee, where the Vols are the most popular college team, but there is ample competition for fan affection, and Knoxville and east Tennessee, where the craziest Vol fans live in the hills, drink moonshine from their own stills, and FedExed feces to Chris Fowler when Peyton Manning lost the Heisman. 

Fowler's feces came with a note -- "Phuck you!," it said. 

This really happened. 

That's mountain damn crazy, and that's why Tennessee is our tenth dumbest fan base in the country.  

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