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Ditka made the announcement about joining the X League in a video.

Football legend Mike Ditka announced that he is coming on as owner and chair of "X League," the rebranded women's professional tackle football league that includes local team the Austin Sound.


The Austin Sound was set to start playing in Cedar Park this summer, but the debut was postponed until next year.

The X League will start up in April 2021, according to a press release, with eight teams: Seattle Thunder, Los Angeles Black Storm, Austin Sound, Denver Rush, Chicago Blitz, Kansas City Force, Omaha Red Devils and the Atlanta Empire.

The X League was formerly known as the Legends League, which was formerly known as the Lingerie League. Both were known for skimpy uniforms.

Local team the Austin Acoustics, consistent with the practices of other teams in the league, wore bikinis to play and did not pay players.

The X League, according to Ditka, aspires to be something different.

"I want to provide women the high-profile platform to compete against the greatest female athletes in the world while creating a destination league for millions of girls to aspire to play in," Ditka said in his video announcement. "We are seeing the world change all around us and it's changing for the better. The X League will be another indicator that equality has come of age."

The press release notes:

"Ultimately, through commercial success in the coming years, the X League is structured to become a professional football league that compensates its athletes as well as making those athletes and coaches with tenured resumes, equity owners of the respective franchises they help build."

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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.

Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.

A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.

Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."

She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."

That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."

Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.

Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.

Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.

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