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You Can't Script October (Cough-Cough)
St. Louis and Detroittwo honest-to-god sports towns, for the simple reason that without sports they would still be unsurveyed forestland with Native Americans and westward settlers doing battle atop bluffs and amid inlets, all quivers and gunpowder instead of beer and cars, preindustrial jerks instead of postmodern ones whose skirmishes would serve as sport themselves for the privileged few and their "aeroplanes" – will be watching baseball for the next week. No one but Fox, and, by extension, Bud Selig, gives a shit if anybody else joins them.

The official Austin Chronicle preview below the fold ...

11:26AM Sat. Oct. 21, 2006, Shawn Badgley Read More | Comment »

Mr. Mojo Kickball Rising
The last time I played kickball was in Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of a friend’s pre-wedding bonding; only to find out that kickball had come in vogue. What else can a hipster do with all those headbands and gym shorts that are no longer acceptable in the clubs? Exercise? Hardly. If you break a sweat during regulation kickball, you’re probably doing something very wrong. The only slightly more popular sloshball combines the childhood pastime of kickball with the somewhat more adult pastime of binge drinking. However, kickball plus an inability to pass second base without chugging a beer can often equal a stumbling face-plant into a metal pole serving as a backstop. Or, so I’m told. Taking a few of the rules of kickball and adding in a dash of the anarchy of sloshball is Mojo Kickball. An Austin original, the rules of Mojo are both simple enough to jump right in and complicated enough to merit blog entries concerning the finer points of baserunning. I’ll spare you the details and just say that there are six balls and lots of team communication (read “shouted, cross-field advice”). Almost everyone plays at all times, and assuming there are ample players, you can run yourself silly or take it a little easier. The next game is on Oct. 22, at 3pm at Krieg softball field No. 5. Drinks and snacks are provided, but to offset the field’s reservation fee the Mojo Kickball gods ask that you bring a dollar. And, honestly is that so much when, in return, you can call your friends in Brooklyn and tell them how the cool kids play kickball. Check out www.mojokickball.com for rules, strategies, pictures, and, for some reason, a Mojo Kickball Dating Service. Yeah, it’s that fun.

12:29PM Fri. Oct. 20, 2006, James Renovitch Read More | Comment »

Toros Tryouts: Day One, Part One
Like free elections, a system of checks and balances, and the right to trial by jury, the open tryout is one of the great glories of democracy: “Open to all and closed to none,” like the inscription on the base of a noble statue. Surely the present administration would be overjoyed if 10 years from now there were open tryouts in gyms throughout Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Provided they have gyms in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, which I’m not sure they do.

This past weekend the Austin Toros held open tryouts for their 2006-2007 season at the Dr. Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco Activity Center, near the corner of Manor and 183. In case you missed my blog last week about the structure of the NBDL (available now as a book on tape, narrated by John Houseman and featuring Ethel Barrymore as the third contessa of Milquetoast), each team in the league is required to bring at least one player from an open tryout to training camp. That player isn’t guaranteed a spot on the team’s roster, but he is given a chance to make the team. So any man off the street with $175 dollars in his pocket and a sure sense of his own basketball worth can come and take a shot at the NBA dream. Populism at its best.

5:06PM Thu. Oct. 19, 2006, Josh Rosenblatt Read More | Comment »

Walk the Walk at Next Week's 'Chronicle'-Fadó Adult Spelling Bee
Ah, the Chronicle-Fadó Adult Spelling Bee. This Austin Public Library fundraiser comes around every fall, and the Chronicle proofreaders scramble to compile a new list of words tricky enough to stump the eerily smart hordes who show up and whose spelling abilities always belie the incredible amount of beer they’re drinking.

Even more strange than the size of the bee's audience and its general level of revelry and mayhem – I remember last year in particular watching a guy and two girls who, when they weren’t cheering, were joyously ballroom-dancing with each other at the back of the crowd – is the frenetic energy of all the people in charge as they run back and forth between the stage and their stacks of Merriam-Webster's.

This year's bee is Thursday, October 26 at Fadó with registration from 4:30pm-6. For more ...

11:18AM Thu. Oct. 19, 2006, Nora Ankrum Read More | Comment »

Euro Champions League,
Game Day 3
With games this midweek, the European Champions League is now halfway through. In the highlight matchup, Chelsea edged Barcelona 1-0 in London; they'll meet again in the Catalan capital in two weeks. The Londoners had third-string keeper Henrique Hilario in goal, after starter Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull on Saturday against Reading.

10:51AM Thu. Oct. 19, 2006, Nick Barbaro Read More | Comment »

Next-to-Last Chance to See Your 2006 Lady Longhorns!
The UT Lady Longhorns ran their record to 12-3-1 with a pair of wins last week. Up next: Missouri and Iowa State at home this weekend.

The Lady Longhorns thoroughly dominated Sam Houston State last Friday night, winning 7-0, behind goals from seven different players. Amy Burlingham, Priscilla Fite, Caitlin Kennedy, Jill Gilbeau, Stephanie Logterman, Kasey Moore, and Megan Upah scored as UT outshot the Bearkats 46-3.

10:39AM Thu. Oct. 19, 2006, Nick Barbaro Read More | Comment »

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TXRD Season-Opening Recap and a Quick Course on Roller Derby Rules
The 2006-2007 season of the Lonestar Rollergirls kicked off Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Austin Convention Center. Lust was in the air for blood and nasty panty-ripping among Austin's finest roller skating/fighting babes.

To start off the season, Sunday's Cornucopia of Death consisted of five minibouts to allow the teams to feel one another out (up) and get to know the competition facing them in the ankle-twisting months to come. The teams competing for the gold in the 2007 Calvello Cup Championship, finishing out the season on June 23, 2007, are the Cherry Bombs, Hellcats, Holy Rollers, Rhinestone Cowgirls, and the defending Calvello Cup champions, the Putas del Fuego (fire whores). To spice the event up even more, in these matches the referees only called major penalties, not minor ones. Elbows to the face? It's all gravy.

2:10PM Wed. Oct. 18, 2006, Sofia Resnick Read More | Comment »

'I'd Unravel Any Riddle for Any Individ'le'
If I only had a brain. Jeff "the Scarecrow" Weaver (if we only had Major League Baseball's permission to use their photographs, I could provide visual proof of his ability to ward off avian pests) has allowed only four earned runs in 11.2 innings during the National League Championship Series after a disastrous season start with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and a 5-4, 5.18 finish with the at-the-time lagging Redbirds.

11:22PM Tue. Oct. 17, 2006, Shawn Badgley Read More | Comment »

'Hell on Wheels' Roller Derby Doc Nears Completion
Bob Ray and Werner Campbell of Crashcam Films released their stoner-rock epic, Rock Opera, in 1999 and have been mad at work on follow-up feature Hell on Wheels for the last five years. Hell on Wheels follows local Roller Derby leagues the Texas Rollergirls and the Lonestar Rollergirls as they build their Roller Derby empires from scratch and create a model that has been since copied in cities around the nation including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Houston to name just a few. In a recent conversation Campbell disclosed, “We've completed the editing. It took us 18 months to cut and mold our film from more than 500 hours of footage. We still have a minor amount of work to be completed. We are currently recording a score, EQ, graphics, color correction, etc. Expected release date is early-to-mid 2007.” To stay up to date check the film's Web site and to keep abreast of our local leagues' activities see Texas Rollergirls and Lonestar Rollergirls. You can also find Rock Opera on DVD at your finer rental outlets.

4:09PM Tue. Oct. 17, 2006, Mark Fagan Read More | Comment »

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