Monday, April 19, 2010

Roller Derby 101

(*Click the post title to go to the website*)

So this weekend my friend Jen and I went to a Girls Roller Derby match in Ogden.Why? Because there was a Girls Roller Derby match in Ogden. How could we pass up on a chance to say we'd been to one of those?

The two teams were The 25th Street Brawlers (in pink) and Wasatch Roller Derby (in blue). Right off the bat we were rooting for the Brawlers. My brother-in-law would tell me that my reasons for this are girly, as are most of my reasons for favoring certain sports teams, but I am, after all, a girl. Our reasons were as follows: 1- Their name was cooler, 2- They were wearing pink which just seemed right for a Girls Roller Derby team, and 3- they had more individual personality with bright tutus and tights than the other team that were all more demure in their choices and just felt like a whole instead of being able to single out specific girls to root for, 4- the sister of the guy who was sitting next to me was on that team. For not having been to a RD match before and having no connection to either team, I feel that these were all valid reasons.

Had to love the signs on the floor where we were sitting.

Friendly ENT's waiting on the sidelines in case someone gets severely pummeled. Disappointingly, nothing too serious happened. I wonder if these guys enjoy getting assigned to a show or if the whole time they were thinking, 'we could be out helping people who are getting hurt by accident.'

Difficult to capture such swiftly moving persons

The girl in the font in the pink tutu who is mostly in focus is Skull Candi, captain of the Brawlers.

You can go HERE to read more specific rules and get a history of the sport, which it fairly interesting, but here is what we picked up as we watched (because we had no idea before hand.) The Derby was split into two halves, each about forty minutes long, and there are several heats. In each heat one girl sticks a cover over her helmet with a star on it and to get points that girl has to get through everyone and make one full lap around. They keep trying for as many laps as they can within each heat and they swap out who has the star (and the other positions) each heat.

Unexpected Highlights (is 'highlights' the right word?):

1- There were two commentators throughout (they must have been local radio hosts or something) and I couldn't really say if they were more amusing or irritating. Example: at one point one of the Brawlers, code name, Carnage Kitten, had a pretty bad hit and the stopped everything so the ENT's could have a look at her to be safe. After a few minutes when is was clear it was nothing serious, one of the commentators said something along the lines of, "What a trooper. All Carnage is suffering from is too much awesome." Jen and I exchanged a silent eye roll and moved on.

2- There were some pretty exciting falls and shoves, but we were slightly disappointed that there was no blood and that no scuffles broke out. We did almost get rammed into by a roller girl who got knocked out of the rink. She slid into the lady sitting next to us.

3- Four little scouts came out at the beginning with an American Flag and one of them was on the microphone trying to give them orders the whole time, 'about face!' and stuff like that, and they had no idea what they were doing. It was hilarious and I wish I had gotten video of it, but I was busy with, you know, my hand over my heart like the true patriot that I am ;)

4- The fact that they patted down the girls right before the match started to make sure no one was packing any kind of shiv. The announcers played it of lightheartedly, but I'm pretty sure they were serious.

5- The creeper fourteen or so year old kid and his Grandma sitting near us. The kid had a crush on the captain of the Brawlers, 'Skull Candi', was not in the least embarrassed when Grandma told us this little fact, kept pestering his Grandma to take pictures of her for him, and at one point, in his weaselly voice, excitedly told me how Candi was dating one of the Refs, though the kid obviously didn't know her personally. Grandma told me that she came for lack of something better to do, and saw that her ex-stepdaughter (yeah, sounds complicated) was on the team, though she certainly wasn't there rooting for her. It's a toss up who wins the creeper award of these two.

Turns out we were rooting for the underdog and didn't know it. We were kind of surprised when part way through the second half we realized, ummm, where was I? Oh yes, we were surprised to discover that the Brawlers were being quite badly beaten. Because we were gradually figuring out how rules and points went as we watched, and because we were so distracted and captivated by the feisty flurry of pink, we didn't notice how often Wasatch was scoring. It ended up 142 to 67, Wasatch. apparently they have a shot at going to Nationals. Yup. Roller Derby has Nationals.

Not sure how clear it is with all the cheering, but I loved hearing them announce all their funky names. Examples: Daisy Dukes Em' Out, Tsunami Bombshell, Pandora the Explora, Mauly Mormon, Sadistic Stiletto, Skatey GaGa, Chica Dolor, Miss Bizness Das...

And here they are in action:

The verdict, creepers aside: Was it quite as exciting as I hoped it would be? Sadly no, though I bet going to Nationals or a Derby competition that was more professional and hard core, would be extremely fun. Am I glad I went, was I entertained and would I go to one again? Yes, yes and yes.


Chris said...

you should join up... could be a good workout :)

Elisabeth (and Tyler) said...

Yep. You're still the coolest girl I know :) I agree with Chris.. JOIN UP.

SisterPresidentMann said...

This is a great blog! (Sadly, I prefer real life to TV, although possibly not to books...) Where are roller derby competitions actually held? The venue did not look like the ones in the movies... I may need to cross-reference this blog to mine: how many people can actually have seen a roller derby-er? -ite? -ist? in a pink tutu??