All That and a Bag of Mail: What's the Most Dangerous State?

Published on: November 16, 2012 | Written by: Clay Travis

Okay, it's mailbag time.

And y'all absolutely delivered this week with spectacular questions.

Dive in below for talk on pretty much any and everything under the sun.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is whoever filmed these Alabama fans reacting to the Texas A&M loss below.

They're fabulous.

(In the meantime, yes, that's me and James Franklin gazing off into the ocean together at sunset).

We begin the mailbag with the most perfect representation of the Alabama fan base ever shown on television.

If you had to script the most average Alabama fan in the state, this man and woman are it:

 

Now on to the mailbag:

Jim B. writes:

"My friends and I have been debating which state would be the most dangerous if every state was an independent country. We've decided to let you make the call and solve our dispute. So which state is it?"

Okay, my thought on this is pretty simple -- whichever state becomes a dictatorship first is the most dangerous. How does a dictatorship arise? When everyone initially supports the same leader, i.e. whichever political party has so little competition that effectively it's a one-party state. Divided government is actually good because when people argue over the right direction of the country you end up pretty moderate, which means absolute power is nearly impossible to arise. 

When everyone thinks they know the right answer that's when things get scary.  

So I took this handy graph that shows you the 2012 election results by state margin. Obama's biggest wins are at top and Romney's biggest wins are at bottom.

The clearest danger from the Democratic side of the aisle is Washington, D.C. As a four-year resident of Washington, D.C. I don't point out the danger here lightly. But would anyone feel comfortable with D.C.'s mayor/now president of the district becoming a dictator and having access to nuclear weapons? This is a city that's so dysfunctional that I once went to pay a parking ticket, spent an entire day there, and had to come back another day because the local government wasn't capable of taking the credit card payment.

This was in 2000.

This is probably the only place in th United States where someone could set off a nuclear weapon and no one would even know it happened until it blew up in another state. How would this happen? Because someone's cousin would be in charge of the nuclear weapons and instead of hiring a security detail would spend the millions of dollars on hookers and booze. What's worse, no one would even know that the weapons were left unguarded.   

Now, in terms of other dangerous states, the most liberal states aren't that dangerous. Put it this way, would you be scared of any army of Hawaii, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts or California residents?

Is there any way those states are starting a war?

None of these people seem the least big angry about anything but traffic. Plus, and this is pretty key, by and large the people in these states are pretty well-educated. (We could also add a theory that being located on the coast would keep you from being very angry since your country would flourish given its ability to receive and ship goods without the necessity of paying any stringent tariffs.)  

So I really don't think the Obama states are much of a threat.

 

Now, on the conservative side, Romney won Utah by the largest margin. But I actually don't think the Western states are that dangerous either because generally the Western states just want to be left alone. If Wyoming was an independent country this would actually be the dream of every person living in Wyoming. I don't think they'd try to take over the world or start a war. I feel the same way about Utah and Idaho. But I'm convinced that Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Kentucky would be bad news.

All five of these states would be dictatorships within a decade.

Guaranteed.

So then the question becomes, which of these five states would be the most dangerous conservative independent state? Oklahoma has quite a bit of oil, so I think it would be rich, but its dictator would recognize that starting a war would be bad for the oil business. So I'm dropping it off the list. This is going to shock people from Alabama, but the state has access to the ocean so I think it would prosper compared to other states on this list. This means we're left with Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia, three states that would have no real industry or commerce to speak of as stand alone entities and would definitely be dictatorships.

All three of these states would be terrifying as independent countries because they're all full of stupid people -- statistically this is true -- who are convinced they know the right answer to everything and could be easily led into war.

I'm going to say West Virginia is like America's Switzerland because the hills and valleys would make it almost unconquerable and that West Virginia would eventually just turn into a vast wilderness with nothing really going on there at all. That leaves us with Arkansas and Kentucky, neither of which has any true redeeming quality, access to any major ports, or substantial industry.

It's really a toss-up.

Since it combines the worst of the South with the worst of the North, I'm going to have to vote Kentucky.

So here's my ranking of the most dangerous states if every state was an independent country.

Note: all five of these states would be dictatorships:

1. Kentucky

2. Arkansas

3. Washington, D.C.

4. West Virginia

5. Alabama

Chris P. writes:

"Is it just me or are both coaches underplaying the UT-Vandy game this year?"

It's not just you. This is really disappointing.

Especially because of these videos:

Dooley's post-game comments, "The one thing Tennessee always does is kick the s--- out of Vanderbilt," has nearly vanished from the Internet.

Here's the best clip I can find. (Warning cursing). 

Then here is James Franklin's response.

 

I thought this would be an epic trash talk game, but I honestly think Franklin has dialed back the rhetoric because UT is so bad. His team has won four in a row and is the Vegas favorite. He probably feels like he doesn't need to do anything outlandish to get his team ready to play.

Meanwhile, Dooley has lost eight straight SEC games since this celebration.

He doesn't want to antagonize anyone.

Yeah, so I'm disappointed with how quiet the lead-up has been for this game.

Stephen W. writes:

"Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana it's just a matter of time until those schools use it as a recruiting tool. How long would it take Saban to convince the state of Alabama to legalize marijuana for an edge in recruiting?"

If Alabama put this on the ballot in 2014 and Nick Saban said, "Guys, we really need to pass this, we're getting killed on the recruiting trail for not legalizing marijuana," there is a 100% chance it would immediately pass. Keep in mind that whoever Auburn's coach is would also benefit. So 100% of all hardcore football fans in Alabama would vote for this measure to pass.

Every other Southern state would immediately follow suit because their coaches would say that Alabama and Auburn were getting an unfair recruiting advantage.

Nixon goes to China meets Saban goes to pot.

@michaelmulloy75 Tweets:

"If this Gruden thing happens, is it acceptable to name my unborn son after him?"

Not only acceptable, mandatory.

That's part of his new contract.

He's also allowed to sleep with every woman in the Volunteer state when she turns 18. How desperate are UT fans? The Southern Baptist convention -- note, I was raised Southern Baptist -- in the Volunteer state is okay with this. Which is a massive change from the Southern Baptist's previous position on sex which was, "Only married couples may have sex and then only in the missionary position from the hours of 9:15 to 9:25 on Thursdays."

@baybay_allday

"What would happen to college football if the South actually seceded again?"

You thought the Big Ten had a speed problem pre-secession? (Insert white running back joke here).

More seriously, the Rose Bowl would become the national title game as only Pac 12 and Big Ten schools would play legitimate football in a post-secession United States. But the Big Ten would never win this game since a great deal of the Big Ten's talent comes from persuading Southern kids to come north to play football. The first act of a seceded South would be to prohibit all cross country travel for purposes of football.  

The seceded South -- assuming that the same states seceded, plus Oklahoma -- would be jam-packed with talent. Every school in Texas plus Oklahoma, every school in the SEC except for Kentucky and Missouri, combined with every school in the ACC except for the ones that really suck in football. (I know, I know, this assumes that all ACC schools don't suck at football). 

The Confederate State champion would be amazing. Hell, nine of the top 12 teams in the latest BCS are in the seceded states, 13 of the top 25.  

Of course, Alabama would also claim every title won by the United States even though it was no longer in the United States.  

Charles T. writes:

"Given the recent military sex scandals (and those generals totally outkicked their coverage), what professions do you think will give someone the best chance of outkicking their coverage?"

Well, clearly professions that earn money are up at the top. The single best way to outkick your coverage is to be rich. How often do you see a really rich guy with an ugly woman?

So you can just go to the top-earning professions: doctors, lawyers, business executives, the list is legion.

Given the current failure of boys in school -- girls kick the crap out of us in schooling -- I actually think a strong argument to get boys to try harder is that the more school you attend the hotter your wife. (Right now smart women reading this are nodding their heads. Do you know how many more hot, smart women there are than men for them to date or marry? It's a feeding frenzy at the top of the food chain for guys who are actually smart. There just aren't enough of them to match with the women).

The second best way to outkick your coverage is to be really good at something. It can be anything -- art, acting, writing, dancing, home design, math -- if you're really good at something that's attractive to women.

This ties into our next question.

Jason R. writes:

"Here's a question I've been wrestling with: has Johnny Football outkicked his coverage with that blonde from Halloween? On the one hand, pretty much any guy is outkicking their coverage if they land her but on the other hand, JFF is having one of the best freshman seasons in SEC history. So I guess what it boils down to is this:  is outkicking your coverage based solely on looks or are there other factors as well."
 
 
There are other factors as well.

Here's the outkick the coverage flow chart of how best to outkick your coverage:

1. Be rich or famous

2. Be smart

3. Be really good at something

4. Be funny

5. Be confident

We know that JFF has number one and number three locked down.

You can also make a strong argument that merely being an SEC starting quarterback means you have already outkicked your coverage. That is, wouldn't it be shocking to us if JFF didn't have smoking hot women throwing themselves at him all the time?

The answer is yes.

@scottslayton Tweets:

"If Gene Chizik doesn't get fired this year, how hot is his seat going into next year?"

The hottest any seat has ever been in the history of coaching.

In fact, if Gene Chizik doesn't get fired this year I'm convinced it's because he walked into the president of Auburn's office, shut the door, and pulled out his secretly recorded conversations dealing with how Auburn paid Cam Newton and knew all about it.

That's the only possible explanation for how Chizik could go 3-9 this year and keep his job.

The only one.

And wouldn't this be the most Auburn thing ever? If the head coach was holding the school hostage to keep from getting fired by threatening to release tapes demonstrating clear cheating?

Yes, yes it would. 

 

Andy writes:

"Clay,

I recently got into an argument with one of my co-workers about a ridiculous situation. He declared that he could suit up and rush for 30 yards in an NFL football game. I read your column about running the 40, (which he also claims he could do under 5 seconds) and immediately told him there was no way. I figured he would get killed after the first hit, but even assuming he didn't have a game-ending injury, it would still be nearly, if not completely, impossible. He's also 33. Since you trained with the elite, what's your take?

His argument being that over the course of the game, the offensive line would be able to open up enough holes to allow him to get there. He also thought that I was being ridiculous thinking he couldn't take a hit. The worst part is that expanding the debate to other co-workers, which I assumed would shut him up, flew in my face as they began backing him up saying that sure, it was possible."

He's a complete idiot.

NFL hits are so violent that your average non-athlete currently working at desk could not make it four carries. Period. He'd also fumble on every carry, meaning that each possession would only go one carry. Given how fast these linemen are -- remember that you're starting seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, there is also no way that he could gain any yardage whatsoever. He has to hit the hole and the hole would already be closed before he got there. And if he thinks he's going to cut back, this gets even more laughable. He loses big yardge.

Don't even get me started on a pitch play.

He's a complete and total idiot with no clue how big, fast, and strong these guys really are.

You know how slow those linemen look when they pick up a fumble and try to score? All of those linemen would dust 95% of men in a foot race.

The only strategy that could possibly work would be to take the handoff and then go low with a burrow into the pile. That might, and I stress might, allow you to get double digit carries and survive. But even then you aren't getting more than a yard a carry.

And I'd have significant doubts about his ability to even get to the line of scrimmage in time to gain yards.

Again, let me reiterate, he's an idiot. (And the dumbest part of the argument is that the defensive line is going to get tired. Tired? From crushing him?)

There is a 100% chance that any 33 year old man working at a desk job would get injured within five carries in the NFL. 

100%. 

No way on earth he gets 30 yards.  

BamaMike Tweets:

"My wife sent HoneyBooBoo $40 for a signed photo of the family! What should I tell her I want in return for wasting the money?"

There's probably someone better to answer this question. And it's probably the guy who doesn't have a signed Troy Landry picture in his office.

What I'm really thinking is this, just forty dollars? For the whole family?

How much more does it cost if Uncle Poodle signs?

You shouldn't criticize this woman, you should renew your marital vows.

What a deal.

...

Time for the picks for the degenerate gamblers out there.

Last week I was 4-1. And I would have been 5-0 if someone on Mississippi State had managed to stop a 102 yard interception return for the touchdown by LSU. Hello, some of us have money on the line State, make a tackle! Show some respect for the game!

So I'm 29-15 against the spread for the season. Yes, we're on a roll. Hopefully you've been taking my advice. If so, you're rich.

Okay, here goes. I'm only picking three games this week because all the rest are FBS vs. FCS which is akin to playing roulette.

Tennessee +4 against Vandy

Ole Miss +19 against LSU

I also like the over of 49 in Ole Miss vs. LSU

Miss. State -6 vs. Arkansas

Also, for the future odds market. I took Bama at 5 to 1 to win the title yesterday. I think that's a good bet.

Have great weekends.