1. The Washington Post or Deadspin?
RCS: In your still young career, you've worked for three of the fastest growing sports news organizations in existence: Sportsline (now CBS Sports), Deadspin and AOL's FanHouse. So we want to start by asking you the same question we asked last week to USA Today's Christine Brennan: If an aspiring young sports writer, who had competing job offers for a beat writer position at the Washington Post and an associate editor position at Deadspin, came to you for advice, what would you say to him or her?
Clay Travis: I guess I'm a bit biased here, because I've done the latter. But I think you'd have to take the Deadspin position. And I say that as a guy who went to college in Washington, D.C. and considered the best thing about that experience the fact that the Washington Post was only a quarter. As if that weren't good enough, the machine outside my dorm was broken. So it was free.
I absolutely loved that paper. I grew up in Nashville before the Internet took off. I had no idea what a good newspaper was like. Tony Kornheiser was a revelation, I loved him. I think Kornheiser, more than anyone, showed me what a really good, engaging column could be like. Before him, I had no idea a sportswriter could be truly funny. But the reality is, I can't name a beat writer at the Washington Post. And even if you were really good at writing for the Post, where's your next job going to come from? Where can you move up? Deadspin's already there. At most papers you hope that what you write is relevant to the discourse, at Deadspin it automatically is. Not just because of the audience numbers, which are huge, but because of the quality of the audience numbers. Anyone who you'd want to be reading the site is reading the site.