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A Closer Look At Clay Travis

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When his job as a pro football reporter brought him to Nashville in previous years, John McClain would field questions from friends about what Titans stars Steve McNair and Eddie George were really like.

Now when McClain, the legendary reporter with the Houston Chronicle, comes to Nashville he fields the same question, but not about Titans players.

“Now when I come here it’s, ‘What is Clay Travis really like?'” McClain said. “And I tell them, ‘What do you think he’s like?’

In the past eight years, Clay Travis, a Nashville native and 1997 graduate of Martin Luther King Magnet High School, has propelled himself from a couch-crashing blogger and aspiring author to a one-man sports media brand.

Travis is one-third of the on-air team for “3HL,” the ratings-dominating afternoon rush-hour show on 104.5 The Zone. His website, OutkicktheCoverage.com, has a lucrative licensing deal with Fox Sports. And Travis has added national TV to his list of accomplishments as part of Fox Sports 1’s college football show.

He has broken stories of national interest, turned local YouTube videos into social media sensations and waded happily into any and every controversial sports topic imaginable. And he has a certain knack for provoking vitriol in a way that great sports commentators seem to relish.

Not bad for a kid whose MLK classmates voted him “most likely to fall down while bowling.”

Travis is now a full-fledged celebrity, the guy sports fans in Nashville and throughout the Southeast want to know “what he’s really like.”

But eight years ago that sort of success appeared to be far away.

Dissatisfied with practicing law, which he did as a litigator and general practitioner in the Virgin Islands after graduating from Vanderbilt University School of Law, Travis set out to write his first sports book, “Dixieland Delight.”

He scalped tickets on the cheap, slept on friends’ couches and hit up all 12 SEC stadiums for about $3,000 in the fall of 2006 for his book about the region’s football culture.

The book was a success and, combined with his growing audience as a columnist on CBSSports.com, where he started writing for free, helped Travis’ career gain traction. He went on to write for a variety of websites and was able to make a living writing about this passion.

But if things had worked out a little differently, Travis actually might have had a career in politics instead of sports commentary.

Related: Full transcript of Clay Travis interview

During his time as an undergrad student at George Washington University, Travis interned for four summers in the office of then-U.S. Rep. Bob Clement.

He got a paying job on U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s 2002 campaign for the Nashville-area congressional seat, but Travis was fired from that gig. Travis said he went to see his girlfriend, now wife Lara Travis, out of town and had travel problems so he couldn’t return to the campaign as scheduled. That came on the heels of crashing the car of Cooper’s wife, Martha, and Travis was let go.

“It’s interesting to think about what I would have done,” Travis said. “I never really thought I would practice law because I always thought it was too slow-moving. Politics and writing were, I think, the two things that had the most appeal for me. That probably pushed me more toward the writing side versus the politics side.”

Stirring things up

Not long after writing “Dixieland Delight,” Travis began his radio career by doing a Tuesday night show with 104.5 The Zone host Chad Withrow. It was then that the station’s program director, Brad Willis, noticed Travis’ talent on the air. Opinionated, quick on his feet and completely unafraid to wade into controversy, Travis approached broadcasting with a litigator’s ferocity and a blogger’s irreverence.

He was added to the station’s midday show, which after achieving ratings success was moved to the prime 3-6 p.m. drive time slot.

“He’s a lightning rod because he’s opinionated,” Willis said. “When you have an opinion like that — when you’re on one side of the fence or the other — you’re going to stir things up a bit.”

Travis said his contract with “3HL” expires Aug. 31, and the two sides are in negotiations about an extension. Willis declined to comment.

To read the rest of the story visit The Tennessean where it was first published

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Pat McAfee Defends His Intellectual Property on Show

A YouTube user had been using videos from McAfee’s show on his own channel and monetizing them.

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Intellectual property is the most important asset a content creator has in the digital space. That’s why it should not come as a surprise when Pat McAfee took to his show today to defend his.

A YouTube user named AntSlant had been acquiring video from Pat McAfee’s daily show for a while and putting it on his YouTube channel as his own content for months. McAfee has been a hot commodity and it seems that the personality may have been alerted to this activity thru potential future partners and their social searches. McAfee apparently reached out and sent a warning and today he addressed the account in what he called a little “house cleaning.”

“I have funded everything that you see (referencing his studio),” McAfee began. “Whenever you talk about stealing people’s footage, stealing people’s content and putting it up on the internet – so you can benefit from it – I don’t know how you think that the person that created, funded and paid for the content, worked their dick off, and their ass off amongst their peers and did everything – how they are the scam artists in this entire thing and not the account.”

Pat McAfee started referencing the offending account’s ability to monetize the videos. “We looked it up because we have this ability, [they] probably made $150,000 off of our content – not remixing the content, not getting in there and speaking and being a content creator – ripping content from us. Putting it together putting it up as their own videos and marketing it as if they work for us. And never reaching out to us one time. Not one time.”

The value of this content is immeasurable especially considering the account using McAfee’s IP is on the same platform (YouTube) as he is. McAfee add, “no network would just let you take their shit and profit off it. Nobody on Earth would let you do that.”

McAfee then revealed that he would partner with another YouTube account Toxic Table Edits. That account, which was doing the same thing as AntSlant, created a community around the Pat McAfee Show image. Things went differently for Toxic because when contacted by McAfee, the owner of that account responded “like a human”. Now the two will partner on future projects.

A Twitter account with the name @AntSlant did tweet shortly thereafter saying that the videos McAfee discussed had been deleted from his YouTube channel.

Upon an inspection of a YouTube account named AntSlant, the videos are no longer.

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Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610

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Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.

“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”

Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.

In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.

“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”

Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.

“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

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Schopp & Bulldog: NFL Has To Figure Out Pro Bowl Alternative That Draws Same Audience

“The game just could not be less interesting.”

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After years of criticism and declining television ratings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly stated this week that the Pro Bowl, as it is currently contested, is no longer a viable option for the league and that there would be discussions at the league meetings to find another way to showcase the league’s best players.

Yesterday afternoon, Schopp and Bulldog on WGR in Buffalo discussed the growing possibility of the game being discontinued, and how the NFL could improve on the ratings it generates with new programming.

“The same number of people [who] watched some recent… game 7 between Milwaukee and Boston… had the same audience as the Pro Bowl had last year,” said co-host Chris “The Bulldog” Parker. “….Enough people watch it to make it worth their while; it’s good business. They’ll put something in that place even though the game is a joke.”

One of the potential outcomes of abolishing the Pro Bowl would be replacing it with a skills showdown akin to what the league held last year prior to the game in Las Vegas. Some of the competitions held within this event centered around pass precision, highlight catches and a non-traditional football competition: Dodgeball. Alternatively, the league could revisit the events it held in 2021 due to the cancellation of the Pro Bowl because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a virtual Madden showdown and highlight battle, appealing to football fans in the digital age.

Stefon Diggs and Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster this past season, and while it is a distinct honor, some fans would rather see the game transformed or ceased entirely – largely because of the risks associated with exhibition games.

In 1999, the NFL held a rookie flag football game on a beach in Waikiki, Hawaii before the Pro Bowl in which New England Patriots running back Robert Edwards severely dislocated his knee while trying to catch a pass. He nearly had to have his leg amputated in the hospital, being told that there was a possibility he may never walk again. Upon returning to the league four seasons later with the Miami Dolphins, Edwards was able to play in 12 games, but then lost his roster spot at the end of the season, marking the end of his NFL career.

“You might not want to get too crazy with this stuff, but there’d have to be some actual contests to have it be worth doing at all,” expressed show co-host Mike Schopp. “Do you not have a game? I don’t know.”

The future of the Sunday before the Super Bowl is very much in the air, yet Goodell has hardly been reticent in expressing that there needs to be a change made in the league to better feature and promote the game’s top players. In fact, he’s been saying it since his first days as league commissioner in 2006, evincing a type of sympathy for the players participating in the contest, despite it generating reasonable television ratings and advertising revenue.

“Maybe the time has come for them to really figure out a better idea, and maybe that’s what’s notable [about] Goodell restating that he’s got a problem with it,” said Parker. “If there’s some sort of momentum about a conversation [on] creating a very different event that could still draw your 6.7 million eyeballs, maybe they’ll figure out a way to do something other than the game, because the game just could not be less interesting.”

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