Nick Underhill's New Orleans Football site.

There have been plenty of people leaving other journalism jobs to join The Athletic, but it’s interesting to see someone leaving The Athletic to start their own site. That’s what’s happened with Nick Underhill, a long-time New Orleans Saints beat writer with The Advocate who wound up covering the Patriots for The Athletic last year. On Friday, Underhill announced that he’s leaving The Athletic to return to New Orleans to cover the Saints on his own New Orleans Football site:

Here’s more from Underhill’s first post on his new website:

The opportunity with The Athletic was incredible. The people are incredible. I just wasn’t up to the task.

I could spend every day of the next decade apologizing to you all for leaving, and I will, hopefully, through my work as long as this venture survives, which I’m praying is for a very long time. But here’s the thing: I now know what makes me happy.

That path I was on? I know where it leads. I sat down, had a couple of discussions about various opportunities, but I knew my heart wasn’t in it the way it was supposed to be. After one of the interviews, I texted one of my friends in New Orleans and told him about it. He asked me what I thought about the opportunity. “Well, at least I’d get to hang out in the city now and then.”

So here we are.

I want to work for you. This thing is called New Orleans Football. This site, these words, are in essence, yours. I want to give everything I have to this city, you guys. This is the most direct way to do that without interference. This venture isn’t about getting rich. This is just about me being here for you, and I hope you for me. I’m not going to browbeat anyone, but the reality of the situation is this: If you want me here, I’m going to need your support. All my chips are down.

When I first came to New Orleans, I was told that if I loved it, it would love me back. I had to leave to realize just how deep those feelings run on my end. I never knew what it felt like to belong somewhere, to get accepted for exactly who I am until now.

I’m back.

It’s interesting to see Underhill trying to launch his own website. A few NFL reporters have been able to pull that off, including ex-ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky, but going it alone isn’t easy. However, Underhill does have a very good reputation in New Orleans, so there will undoubtedly be people interested in his new site. Underhill’s site’s subscriptions range from $9 a month to $89 a year to $199 a year for an elite plan with preferred access. We’ll see how this works out for him.



About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.