Is Q2 Stadium cursed?
After two scoreless matches to christen the stadium, it may not be too far-fetched that Q2 Stadium was built on the site of an ancient burial ground (as was jokingly discussed in the Austin FC press box by Arch Bell).
In front of another sold out crowd, Austin FC once again pulled off one of their best matches of the season at their new stadium, but weren't rewarded with any points on the board as they landed a scoreless draw against Columbus Crew SC.
Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said that the overall performance was solid but that the team needs to utilize their hard work to score goals.
"I'll never fault the effort. Our guys kill themselves, they bust their asses, and they work tirelessly," Wolff said. "We're doing way too many positive things in these games, to not score goals...we've got to come away with three points, there's no excuses."
This is the only time that Austin will play built-in rival Columbus, which was formerly owned by Austin FC owner Anthony Precourt. Past Precourt and current Precourt collided, and sparks flew: as Columbus Crew fan club Murderers' Row told Austonia, "there is no rivalry, only hatred for Anthony Precourt."
The off-pitch tension that preceded Austin FC's existence was found on both sides of the ball, but neither the Verde nor Yellow will be able to hold any merit against the other until next season.
Curse or lack of curse aside, Austin FC fans continued to support their team even as they itched for that first stadium goal. Both the club and the supporters' section mixed Verde with rainbow hues to celebrate the last match during Pride Month, and the supporters' section produced a giant Pride banner en masse just before the match.
Austin FC was battling more than Columbus as the whistle blew- just before their match Wednesday, key starters including Captain Alex Ring, Matt Besler and Nick Lima were scratched from the lineup just before game time due to injuries. This week, Wolff rejoiced in Besler's and Ring's recoveries, and the starting lineup was mostly back to normal before the rivalry match began.
Taking the pitch at @Q2Stadium tonight. Man, that feels good to say. #AustinFC x @YETICoolers pic.twitter.com/RulZom9vLV
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) June 27, 2021
Ring, who was awarded Austin FC's Man of the Match, helped the club control the tempo of the match, and they held the highest possession percentage (56.7%) since they played Nashville SC in May. Austin FC produced 17 shots, five of which were on goal, but weren't quite able to see the finish they hoped for. See where the curse might come into play?
Part of the issue, Wolff said, could actually be the hunger that each player has to score that first goal.
"Everybody wants to score that first goal here," Wolff said. And I understand that and I appreciate it....But it's also now having the calm and the selflessness."
The scoreless draw was almost ended by several Austin FC players, however, and Jared Stroud, Diego Fagundez and Cecilio Dominguez riled up the crowd early with shots on goal.
Fagundez, who scored the first-ever goal for Austin FC, very nearly made history again just 20 seconds into play with a shot that brought the entire stadium to their feet. Dominguez followed suit just over a minute later and tested the waters against Crew keeper Eloy Room, who managed to save the shot.
Wolff said that Fagundez and Ring's performance up the field after a week of uncertainty helped propel the momentum of the game.
Alex is a warrior, He's an absolute beast.... and Diego has been such a strong player for us, so consistent," Wolff said. "When you have those guys in the middle of field working together, it becomes infectious around the field."
"Stuv" or boos?
Keeper Brad Stuver once again produced a clean sheet on the back end, proving he's one of the best players on the roster. He earned loud "Stuv" chants around the stadium as he continued to keep his opponents scoreless with high-stakes saves.
We can always count on @brad_stuver. 👏
Save of the Match x @TheZebraCo pic.twitter.com/TB53B8p8Sg
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) June 28, 2021
Austin FC has had three matches in eight days, and they face another quick turnaround— though luckily at home— as they face the Portland Timbers at 8:30 on Thursday.
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The Food and Drug Administration will consider Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine application for emergency use authorization in 5-to-11-year-olds on Tuesday. The vaccine will likely be available to kids starting next week.
With 2.9 million Texas children in this age group, state health officials say this is a "big factor" in reducing the virality of COVID. At a Monday press conference, the Texas Department of State Health Services released info on the rollout efforts of the vaccine for children.
Here are some of the answers to your questions.
When and where will it be available?St. David's Healthcare staff unpack the first few shipments of its initial supply of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.(St. David's Healthcare)
Assuming the FDA approves this version of the Pfizer vaccine this week, vaccines will start shipping out almost immediately with the first vaccines for children likely available next week.
DSHS has already put in an order of vaccines under the federal government's "pre-order prior to launch" program.
COVID vaccine providers will begin receiving those first shipments 1-5 days after the approval. After Monday night, DSHS will have put in three different orders for vaccines. The second shipment will arrive 3-7 days after approval and the third shipment will take place 5-9 days after the approval.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to discuss best practices for administration, allowing for the first shots to be administered after.
The state will be allocated 1.3 million doses across 814 providers in 120 counties. Individual county allocations have not been released but each county got to send a request for how many doses they may need. Federal retail pharmacies, such as H-E-B and Walgreens, are getting their own shipments.
The health department advises using its vaccine finder tool to find the nearest vaccine provider near you.
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The COVID vaccine for 5-11-year-olds is one-third of the dosage of the current vaccine available to those 12 years of age and older.
It is being identified as the orange cap vaccine, unlike the current purple cap. The purple cap vaccine cannot be administered to younger kids, according to the state health department.
And like the current vaccine, it is 95% effective. The first and second doses are the same and will be advised to be taken 21 days apart.
What are the side effects for children?
During clinical trials, it was reported that some kids in this age group felt pain at the injection site, fatigue and headaches.
The data submitted to the FDA shows no serious complications, such as cases of myocarditis inflammation of the heart muscle, or pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart—rare complications that have been reported among young boys and men receiving the vaccine in other trials.
How will this affect herd immunity?
With so many children across the state, DSHS said "we need to have as many people vaccinated as possible."
State health officials said the herd immunity threshold is still being looked into, but with 3 million children soon to be able to get the vaccine, it will be a big factor in reducing the viral load in the state.
"Until we're able to add all the children, we'll see a bigger wave in stamping down the pandemic," DSHS' Imelda Garcia said during the conference.
Of those 12 and older, 72% are fully vaccinated in Travis County as of Monday.
I'm not sure if my child needs this vaccine. Why should I have them get it?
DSHS says this vaccine is important for young kids because it will protect the older population and others around them as well as themselves. The department says to ask experts and doctors questions if you are hesitant so you can be confident with your decision.
Tesla is officially in with the big guns.
After Hertz Global Holdings Inc. placed an order of 100,000 Teslas—the biggest single electric car purchase ever—Tesla officially hit the $1 trillion market cap for the first time.
The trillion-dollar club has some big names, including Apple, Facebook and Amazon. With the purchase, Tesla's stock shot up to more than $1,045 a share by midday Monday, a new record after topping $900 a share just a day earlier.
The $4.2 billion deal is the biggest purchase of electric vehicles to date. Hertz said it will use the Teslas to round out their fleet of electric rental cars by 2022 just months after filing for bankruptcy protection.
The news came just days after Tesla followed its leader, CEO Elon Musk, and relocated its headquarters to Austin. Austin's Giga Texas plant, which is currently finishing construction, is set to begin producing Cybertruck models at the end of 2022 and will begin "volume production" by 2023, Musk said in the meeting.
Musk celebrated the stock market victory on Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 25, 2021
Shortly after moving to Austin, Tesla saw its best quarter yet with Q3 revenue coming in at $13.76 billion—up from $8.77 billion this time last year. It was the electric car companies' ninth straight profitable quarter.
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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
While Northwest Arkansas isn't exactly looking to be a breakfast taco-loving, live music-having tech hub, it is branding itself as the Austin of yesteryear. And who better to come to the quickly-growing paradise than Austinites themselves?
OZ Brands is the latest NW Arkansas organization to entice Austin residents to pack up and make the move. The company, which is named after the area's Ozark Mountains, promotes travel, trails and art within the region and is owned by Runway, a NW Arkansas business investment group. Runway is headed by Walmart founder Sam Walton's grandsons, Steuart and Tom Walton.
OZ is targeting Austinites with the "One Way Out" giveaway, a program that will give at least 10 Austinites a one-way Allegiant ticket from Austin to the Northwest Arkansas National Airport.
"Fall is the perfect time to visit and explore the natural beauty of the Ozarks," the program's website reads. "Why just one way, because once you're here, you won't want to leave!"
Why swap cosmopolitan Austin for NW Arkansas' forest-filled hideaway? Just like other local programs including the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and the NW Arkansas Council, OZ Brands is looking to capitalize on priced-out Austinites who may not be pleased with the region's unprecedented growth.
"It's okay, Austin, we get it. You're tired of the tourists, the traffic, the hassle," the website says, escalating to an all-caps message reading, "YOU NEED A BREAK, AND WE ARE HERE TO GIVE IT TO YOU."
OZ is far from the first program to offer financial incentives to move to the area. Ads for Greater Bentonville began cropping up on the feeds of Austinites weeks ago as they promoted their annual tech summit, while the NW Arkansas Council rolled out similar ads. Instead of "Austin City Limits," the organizations promised "Bentonville City Limitless." If you "wish you'd bought in Austin 10 years ago," the Council promises that the area is perfect for you.
The Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and NW Arkansas Council have both made moves to bring Austinites to the region. (Greater Bentonville)
Like similar programs in the past, One Way Out "is an opportunity for Austinites who no longer feel at home in their own city to see for themselves the value and qualities of Northwest Arkansas ... It's for those living in the Texas city who feel the growing pains of Austin expanding beyond its limits," the company said in a press release.
The region has recently experienced substantial growth, moving to fourth on the U.S. News and World Report's list of 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022 and enjoying an influx of businesses, tech workers and startups tired of the West Coast's crowds and priciness. And with a great arts and culture scene, a lower cost of living and even a financial incentive to move to the area, talents like film producer Kristin Mann decided it was time to swap Austin for sunnier skies in Arkansas.
"I love (Austin) how it is now, don't get me wrong, but I've always fantasized about what it might have been like before it really exploded," Mann said. "And I feel like that's similar here...There's something really unique about this town, and it feels like there's something really exciting happening here."
The contest ends Oct. 29 and is open to anyone 18 and older that lives within 50 miles of Austin. Winners must book their trip within four months of the competition and finish the trip by May 1, 2022.
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