The Outkick The Coverage Manifesto
Published on: July 20, 2011 | Written by: Clay Travis
At OutkicktheCoverage, theOKTC.com, we promise to entertain you. And make you smarter. And make your penis or breasts larger. That's our promise to you.
It's. What. We. Do.
We also promise that we're not going to be anything like the local newspaper that you don't read. Or the big websites that you don't read either. If you want to know about defensive tackle two-deep rosters there are plenty of other men who don't have sex to talk about that with on message boards. We're probably not going to be your kind of site. If you think it's funny to make fun of a school, say Vandy, by calling them Candy -- get it, get it, it's one letter different but girly like Candy! -- we're probably not going to be your site either.
But if you actually know that satire is not a part of a car, or don't think that hyperbole involves the Florida Gators football team getting high, you're probably going to want to make sweet love to us.
All at once.
Which is illegal in every state in the SEC except for Arkansas -- and Arkansas only enacted the exception to allow group fornication with pigs during football season.
Here's our own bill of rights, only without the self-defeating 3/5ths of a human being inherent conflict that the initial bill of rights had to deal with:
1. We're going to do a ton of original content.
This isn't going to be web 2.0 where you toss up something, add a dick joke, and scrounge for page views. Now, have no fear, there will still be dick jokes, and there will still be short pieces for those of you taking nips from your whiskey bottles hidden behind case files -- trust me, I can see you -- but we're going to strive to bring you stories and coverage that you can't find anywhere else.
I'm more interested in the quality of our content than in the sheer amount of it. Trust me, there are plenty of sites that make a living off volume over quality or entertainment. This won't be one of them.
2. That original content will not all be written by white men between the ages of 24-38 who make bad jokes about ESPN.
I do enough of that.
But, seriously, I think the primary criticism of sports sites is how similar the writers are. If you stripped away the names, how many writers are unique and talented enough that you can tell who they are without a name at the top. Not many, right?
I hope we're going to have several of those writers.
That's why we're going to have women -- yes, actual women writing about sports, run for the hills! -- and why several of our writers will be filing reports from interesting perspectives and places that haven't been touched before. Actual athletes? Yep. Actual soldiers dodging bombs? Yep. Actual moms-to-be carrying babies in their stomach at football tailgates? Yep.
3. Anyone can comment, but no one can do it anonymously.
That's why we set up comments through Facebook.
It's democratic, but you have to put your own name behind whatever you say.
I personally believe there are two commenting models that work -- a. the Gawker model, where everyone is anonymous but you have to audition to be able to comment and
b. this one.
I'm in favor of OKTC's model because, as a personal matter, I think that anonymous commenting encourages the idiots and belittles the intelligent. I also think it leads people to write things they would never say in a public forum with their own name attached to the commentary.
At OKTC, you can say whatever you like, pretty much, if you're willing to put your actual name behind it. We'll still monitor the conversation to ensure that completely fake Facebook profiles aren't involved, but for the most part it's a pure commenting democracy. Anyone can comment, anyone can be heard, and if you're damn good at commenting we might pull you up into the writing business.
4. Our bias, if any, will be readily apparent.
I'm a Tennessee fan, but if I get a story that would bury Tennessee's program, I'll run it as quickly as I will one that buries Florida or Alabama's. There's a difference between being a fan and being an idiot homer. We will not have the latter here.
But at the same time, we're not going to be pretend to be "objective" or "fair and balanced" this is sports, not world affairs. Until Auburn and Alabama get nuclear weapons, God forbid, most of us are not in mortal peril here. Our teams are going to be good for a time and then bad for a time. They're going to win and they're going to lose. We will apportion ridicule fairly, but we're not going to pretend that we don't care who wins the games. If you truly don't care who wins the games, why do you want to write or talk about sports in the first place?
Claiming you don't care who wins a game makes you a liar, and we will not be liars here.
5. We will make fun of the dumb.
That will be no matter your race, creed, team, or conference.
If you are easily offended, there are four billion websites that are miserably boring and unoffensive to all but the smallest of minds. Please make your home there. Of course, the easily offended won't do this, they will come here and continue to pay my mortage for me. Such is life, but just know that you've been forewarned.
6. We will rely on you.
I've seen it already with my column and radio show. The more of you who buy in and send tips, forward our articles, interact with us, the better the site will be. As writers we will be accessible, but I hope as readers y'all will as well.
We're also going to rely on you to support the advertisers who are supporting this site. Every single advertiser that you'll see in the first month bought into this site before it existed. That's an amazing level of faith and I'd like for you guys to keep that in mind as you read our content. This site is going to grow, prosper, evolve, and every single bit of that will be because of adveristers like Counsel on Call, HRC, Duck Head, and Power Force.
There will be more of them coming on daily, but in the meantime I'd like y'all to take note of each of the advertisers, if only for a moment. They're our sponsors, but they're also our partners, and I'm proud of the faith they've shown in the vision for what this site can be.
7. We will be a meritocracy.
I was inundated with great writing samples. I read them all. Many of you I personally replied to, but many of you I haven't been able to yet and I hope we'll find a way to use your work. I haven't written to everyone already because I didn't want to write you an impersonal form email in response. I know how much guts it takes to send in writing to someone you don't know and wait for a verdict on your work. What's more, any verdict I give will just be one man's opinion. That's really not worth much no matter who the man or woman giving the opinion is.
That's why we're going to have a meritocracy here. If you're a good writer and you're willing to provide content, we're going to give you a chance to join us here this fall. Hence the Bullpen section at the top of the main page. I'm not going to give out the details now, but know that we have a major partner lined up that wants to help us find completely unknown writers and reward them with writing assignments.
In many ways I envision OKTC as a place where great writers will come and find a way to make a living doing what you'd love to do. Some of you will probably be plucked away by evil writing empires who will stifle your creativity but pay you well for that stifling to occur. I hope many of you have that choice to make.
My promise to y'all is that I'll try to keep the OKTC doors as wide open as I can. Newspapers are dying. Some of the worst and least interesting sportswriters in America are the highest paid. Those days are over. The best young writers will all come from the Internet and it won't matter what your background is. I hope some of y'all will launch yourselves from our platform. I'm convinced you will.
8. Like a great book, movie, or play, I want our writing to encompass the scope of life.
I want it to be funny.
I want it to be smart.
I want it to occasionally make you cry.
I want it to be better, more honest, and more independent than what you can find anywhere else.
And, not to be forgotten, I want our dick jokes and hot girl pictures to be better than your run-of-the mill hot girl pics and dick jokes.
Is that too much to ask? I hope not.
Put simply, like another Southerner before me, I have a dream.
Now I just hope y'all don't shoot me too.