The Austin Chronicle

'Out of Bounds': AusChronSports

By Mark Fagan, December 17, 2011, 12:05pm, The Score

I love sports. I also love music, film, good eats, my dog (and your dog), hanging with friends, etc. But sports is a big part of my life. Here at the Chronicle we love sports too, you just might not be able to tell from our print edition. But online our Sports coverage is picking up thanks to a crew of talented contributors and a little push from yours truly.

Don't expect to come to AusChronSports to get the latest injury update on the UT football team or in-depth high school football coverage, but I do hope you'll find some interesting commentary on our local sports scene as well coverage of some of the more off-beat sporty happenings about town. So please let me introduce you to our current roster of sportswriters. (If you are interested in contributing, please email me at

Nick Barbaro is a the publisher of the Chronicle, a co-founder of South by Southwest, and a soccer fanatic. His weekly column, "Soccer Watch," has been running since before the days of 24-7 Internet sports coverage and began as a way for local soccer fans to get the latest news on the World Cup. It continues its weekly run to this day where you'll get the latest on local soccer (UT, St. Ed's, the Aztex, etc.) as well as the top stories from across the globe.

Richard Whittaker is a staff writer for the Chronicle and is as crazy about Roller Derby and wrestling as Barbaro is about soccer. I expect Whittaker to write a book someday about Roller Derby and you can read his Nov. 27, 2009 cover story "Electric Skaterland" here and his July 18, 2008, "Industrious Anarchy" Sports feature on Anarchy Championship Wrestling here. If you are a fan of Roller Derby, then you most likely are familiar with the writing of Richard Whittaker. Check out Richard's Chronicle archive here, there's really nothing that he hasn't (expertly) written about.

Joe O'Connell is an accomplished novelist, long-time Chronicle freelance writer in both the Screens and Sports departments, writing teacher at Austin Community College and St. Edward's University, and brilliant UT football columnist. I find myself more reading than editing his columns – which is a compliment to Joe, but I really should focus more. Purchase his novel Evacuation Plan: A Novel From the Hospice from Amazon.

Alex Dunlap is a new addition to our roster but has been making a big splash. The local musician's column, "The NFL Beat," has been blowing up and he's already interviewed renowned musician Amos Lee (about fantasy football of course) for the Chronicle and has an interview with Steeler rookie RB Baron Batch on tap for tomorrow. As well as his work for the Chronicle, Alex is the host of RosterWatch on 104.9FM ESPN Radio Austin, founder of, and a featured expert contributor to the network. When he has any free time, he can be seen performing with Alpha Rev.

Russ Espinoza has been doing an excellent job sharing UT football coverage duties with Joe O'Connell and will now be focusing on UT basketball. We're thrilled to have Russ as part of our writing stable. His analysis is accurate, knowledgeable, and informative. Read his work for the Chronicle here.

Barrett Walton and I both share a love for the Houston Texans. While I have been a dedicated fan since day one, Barrett is someone I would consider an expert on all things Texans. He is the managing editor for Texans Bull Blog and often makes me feel like my knowledge of the team is inadequate, and that's why we love him. Visit for news, analysis and commentary and read his Chronicle columns here.

My faithful intern Will Eidam is a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. I feel that must be stated first and foremost since his love is so strong. Second to his love of Cornhuskers sports is his love of fantasy sports. As well as helping with my sports listings, Will has shared invaluable fantasy baseball knowledge with me and we co-captain a team in South by Southwest's Peter Lewis' fantasy baseball keeper league. 2012 is gonna be our year, I can feel it. That is if I let Will handle the draft. Check out his contributions here.

Will Schmidt is another new (and welcome) addition to our staff. When not slangin' meat at the incredible Franklin Barbecue and posting-up at pickup basketball games, Schmidt will focus his attention on our local NBA D-League team, the Austin Toros. He'll also be covering other odds and ends basketball stories, such as his recent review of Shaq's third autobiography. Check out his writing here.

We've got plenty of holes to fill and lots of work to do, but please stay tuned as our Sports coverage continues to grow. Look for my column, "Out of Bounds," to run every other week (or so) and cover whatever somewhat-sports-related topic is currently on my mind, and follow Austin Chronicle Sports on Twitter @AusChronSports.

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