Nashville Sports with Clay Travis 1

Clay Travis isn’t just the host of a hit sports talk show with listeners in every state and more than a million followers on social media. He’s a Nashville native and astute observer of the local sports landscape, including its history and where it may be going.

Recently he took a few moments to discuss some of the bigger sports issues around town, as well as other ‘important’ topics.

Lifestyle Publications

The reviews are in on the Titans’ draft haul but Franklin Lifestyle readers want to know, “What does Clay Travis think about it?”

Clay Travis

I love the drafting of two wide receivers to give Marcus Mariota weapons and the secondary was so awful that adding Adoree Jackson made perfect sense, too. So the top positions of need were addressed — wide receiver and cornerback — now we’ll just see whether the players were the right picks.

LP

Over the last few years the Predators have emerged from somewhat of a novelty to mainstream acceptance throughout the market. The Bridgestone Arena crowd is known as one of the loudest in the NHL. Does this mean Nashville is as an established hockey city; or is this just the result of rallying around a good team?

CT

I think Nashville is one of the best sports cities in America. The success of “nontraditional” sports like hockey and soccer in this market is great evidence of that fact. We love every sport in this town. I grew up here and if you’re my age you played baseball, football, and basketball. The masses did not play soccer or hockey. Yet the masses will show up and watch both now. I think the Preds have done an incredible job marketing hockey to fans who have never played the sport, but I think the NBA, Major League Baseball or the MLS would all do well here, too. Obviously winning matters, but this is just an incredibly fertile sports marketplace.

LP

Last year wasn’t necessarily a make-or-break season for Butch Jones with the UT Vols but he basically held serve against high expectations. Will 9-4 be good enough again this year?

CT

I think Butch Jones is an 8-4 coach. That is, I think that’s about his ceiling. If he goes 7-5 or worse this coming season there are going to be a ton of rumblings about Chip Kelly to the Vols. And there should be. (By the way, there are going to be a ton of rumblings about Chip Kelly to Auburn, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Arkansas, too. He’s the great coaching white whale.)

LP

What should Vanderbilt do, that hasn’t been tried already, to build a consistently competitive football program? Is there one thing that they’re already consistently doing right in that effort?

CT

It’s all about coaching. They had one of the top ten coaches in college football in James Franklin and they won nine games in back-to-back years. Then Franklin left and they regressed. I think Derek Mason is a great defensive coordinator, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to get Vandy back to nine wins. Can he get them to 6-6 on a consistent basis? Probably. But it would take another top ten coach to elevate that ceiling.

LP

If someone wanted to do Vegas like Outkick The Coverage, where should they hang out?

CT

It depends on your age. Vegas is great for that reason; it’s a carnival for everyone. I love to drink and gamble, but right now I like pool parties more than any club atmosphere. So an ideal Vegas day for me would be booking a cabana at Encore Beach Club and spending the day there. If you really go all out there, you probably won’t be able to make it out to a club too, but if you can, more power to you. If you’re a single guy and you want to go to the hotel with the best-looking women — and why wouldn’t you? — it’s The Cosmo.

LP

You coach six-year-old baseball players: Rewarding or Aggravating?

CT

Both. I really enjoy it most of the time, but when the ball gets hit and a kid forgets to run to the next base because he’s playing in the dirt, it’s hard not to scream, “RUN,” at the top of your lungs.

LP

This is the June issue. Fathers Day. Any advice for the dads out there?

CT

Do what your wife says.