I guess introductions are in order for my first column.
My name is Sam Fowler, a 2017 graduate of Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. I played football for ASU and garnered All- Conference, All-Region and All-American honors during my three-year career.
I am now the Sports Editor for the Pleasanton Express and I am excited about this opportunity. I come to Atascosa County from the online publication San Angelo LIVE!, where I covered 27 schools in the sprawling Concho Valley in two years.
However, most people don’t recognize me as Sam. Instead, my nickname from my freshman year of college continues to follow me — I’ve honestly instigated that.
I’m frequently recognized as “The Fat Punter,” my name on Twitter. I was given the moniker during my freshman year at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
So, how did that name come to be, you ask? Well, first off, I was a punter and never a small one at that during my career.
But the name came to be after one of our offensive linemen at TVCC noticed that I frequently out-ate our offensive line during our weekly trip to the Asian Buffet in town. He called it the Fat Punter Saga.
But my time in Athens ended that summer and I opted to transfer to ASU. I didn’t want to let the name go, though.
During our introductions at the beginning of fall practice in 2013, the player introducing me asked what was an interesting fact about me. To the whole room, I replied, “You can follow me on Twitter, #FatPunterSaga!”
The name evolved into many things during my six years in San Angelo, such as the abbreviation FPS and just Fat Punter. Following the end of my playing days, people started to refer to me as THE Fat Punter and it just stuck.
After graduation, I had kind of ignored the moniker for a more professional look and using my actual name. That was until my boss at San Angelo LIVE! encouraged me to keep the nickname as a way to brand my work.
So, I made sure I renamed my Twitter “THE Fat Punter” and it continued to carry similar weight as when I played.
During the 2018 season, I was lucky enough to cover the Mason Punchers and their undefeated run to the Class 2A Division I state championship.
At halftime of their 44-6 win over New Deal for the title, I was able to meet some of the guys behind Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. I was introducing myself and before I could get to my last name, their Director of Digital, Max Thompson, stopped me and said “Fat Punter,” meaning some of the best in journalism knew who I was because of the unique nickname I was given my freshman year of college.
With that being said, I am excited to begin my time in Atascosa County. I hope the experience I’ve gained in sports media from 2012 to now allows me to give this region the coverage y’all deserve.