Friday, February 27, 2009

Morristown, Part 2

For those of you who have been following the blog, you may remember the post I wrote about all of the action that would be taking place in New Jersey. It all started last month when The Morristown Madams hosted a home bout against The Hudson Valley Horrors. Many Roller Rebels were there to help out and watch and we had a blast, as derby girls always do.

Tomorrow night, the action continues as we head on over to The Morristown Inline Rink (30 Pine Street, Morristown, NJ - bout starts at 7:00, doors open at 6:00) for the Cupids vs. Angels bout. Teams will be comprised of skaters from both the Madams and the Rebels. We're so excited for this event! It's always great to play with your friends because no matter what goes down on the track, we're still psyched to party together afterwards. I should warn you though, there has been talk of halo stealing, wing clipping and bow and arrow tossing. Can't wait to see how it all turns out.
Hope to see some of our New York fans there!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check Out The Skills On Her!

I arrived at practice early last night for a meeting with the rest of the coaching committee. Captain Morgan prepped us on grading the physical skills tests which our Fresh Bloods would be taking just an hour later. After that, I was able to get a few warm up laps in and chat with some of the girls.

Then it began, the moment all of the new skaters had been waiting for, the physical skills test. I saw the nervousness in the faces of some, the excitement and confidence in others. As I graded the different strides, crossovers and hits, I took notice that although each of the girls skated differently, they all had one thing in common, determination. It was encouraging to see them out there working hard to meet the goal that they had set out for themselves when they started; To play roller derby. After 2 1/2 hours of testing, the coaching committee met up once again to go over all of the results.

We're excited to announce that a good number of skaters will be losing the title of Fresh Blood and will finally be called by the new names they have chosen for themselves! Congratulations ladies! Speaking of names, I am in the process of determining if we have a winner for the derby name contest and will let you know the results soon enough!

Finally, I wanted to send a message out to our girls who did not pass the skills test. Take your time, continue to work hard and you will achieve your goals! We're all in this league together and for that reason, we help one another. Stay positive, ask the vets questions and continue to practice hard. We're all rooting for you and will catch you at the next test.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Born to Roll

Imagine you're reading a book. It's a fiction story about a superb athlete, a superhero if you will, who moves around from one sport to the next and becomes the Michael Jordan of them all. A champion mountain boarder with record breaking skills who is sponsored by companies and featured in magazines. A skateboarder, rolling up and down half pipes, making the drops without hesitation, like it was second nature. Flying in the air, defying gravity, completely undaunted. From a dry board onto a wet, the athlete continues to trancend the ordinary. Surfing enormous waves, owning what was once shark's territory. From the open sea, to the cold snow, the character has sprung in to action once again, this time, on a snowboard. Gliding down the mountain, plunging into action and landing with precision, indomitable.

Now close the book and read no more. This superhero, redefining the definition of a strong independent woman, has come to life. She is real, her name is C-Roll and she skates for The Long Island Roller Rebels.

She moves around on her skates much the way she moves from board to board, with speed and without hesitation. For this all star jammer, fast does not exist in her vocabulary, let's instead call it supersonic speed. On the track she will lap you and lap you and lap you and lap you. She barrels through the pack with the endurance and velocity of a race car and she does this without as much as a twitch. Try and beat this futuristic competitor, I dare you! Just keep in mind that this superhero knows no Kryptonite

Derby Name: C-Roll
Position: Jammer/Pivot/ Blocker
Worst derby injury: Broken tooth with a bloody nose, face plant to the floor. Thanks Barbie the only day I decided not to wear a mouth guard, Murphy's Law.
Describe roller derby in one word: Skaters
If you could invite anyone to play derby with you, who would it be?
(eg. famous person, friend, enemy, family member, etc.): My team would rock with Michelle Kwan, Amy Fisher, Tonya Harding, PARIS Hilton (I bet she can kick your ass, if not she can pay someone to do it) & Drew Barrymore
Favorite derby memory: There are just so many good memories. Me scoring, I think it was 26 points in one jam that was pretty amazing. The first derby fight with the bad girls wow the crowd went wild. First season chaos.
Tell me something about you that would surprise people: I'm part robot running on Red Bull for my rocket fuel.
Always: Give it your all
Never: Quit, unless its cigs
A great skater: Comes with practice and time
Before a bout I: Pray no one gets hurt too bad
When I am not playing derby I: Make music & movies, snowboard, surf, skate and a whole bunch of other cool stuff with friends & family

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now You See it, Now You Don't

Apparently, The Rebel Yell was playing a game of hide and seek yesterday. I thought it was my computer, but then other people told me that they couldn't see the most current posts either. SPAM perhaps? Whatever the case, it seems to be back in it's original home. I know it sounds nuts, but I felt like my child ran away for a few hours! That's how much this blog has become a part of me. I love writing it. I love sharing it with all of you. My only wish is that I had more time to devote to it, which brings me to an important announcement. The Rebel Yell and I have decided to adopt some new members into our family. A group of clever, creative Roller Rebels, will soon be contributing to the blog. This fresh group of writers have enthusiastically taken on the task of tackling interesting and thought-provoking subjects for their new columns that are sure to stimulate the senses. So be on the lookout for The Rebel Yellers........coming soon!xo

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good Luck to All!

Our fresh bloods are very excited over here on Long Island. Tomorrow night, they take the roller derby written skills test. This is just part one of the process one must go through in order to become an official Long Island Roller Rebel. Part two will take place next Tuesday when the girls gear up and hit the rink for the physical skills test. Finally, they can take all of their hard work and knowledge and quite literally put it to the test. I know some of you are worried and nervous, but remember this, us veterans were in your shoes, er, skates once too. We did what you're doing to get where we are today and if we could do it, why can't you?!

Now the fun begins! Once these ladies pass their tests, they are eligible to choose their derby name. This is always something we all really look forward to. Having a new identity can be so much fun! Our internal message boards have been flooded with talks of new aliases. Variations of different puns have been mentioned. Extensions of real names too. In the spirit of this thrilling time, Sleeping Booty came up with an awesome idea. Let's ask all of YOU for some suggestions.

So, The Rebel Yell will now hold it's first official contest and here's how it's gonna work. Email me (no comments for this one please) derby name suggestions. If a fresh blood chooses one of your names, you win a free Roller Rebels t-shirt. If none of the submitted names are chosen, well then this T-shirt will be up for grabs at a later date. There is no limit to the amount of names you can submit. Final submission date is Monday, February 23rd at 5PM EST. Go, now, email me


P.S. Roller Rebels are not eligible to win.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Skate Jam 101

Monday night I made my way over to United Skates for my first jam skate lesson. It's so funny how in a sea of skaters, you can spot a derby girl a mile away. As I surveyed the rink, one of the first people I noticed had on shorts, knee pads and wrist guards, not the normal garb for an open skate session. I took another look and it was Fresh Blood Maryann, my little derby sister. So nice to see one of our girls working hard outside of practice!

So there I was, derby skates on, in jeans and a tee shirt, gear free and feeling naked. I can't remember the last time I put on my skates without the rest of my protective wear. I kept touching my wrists to adjust my guards and reaching down to move my knee pads. They weren't there. Nevertheless, I made my way out onto the rink and met my friend who began to teach me the basics.

Rule #1 - Your foot should hit the floor on the beat of the song.
Easy enough I thought, but at this point, I'm not really doing it with any sort of rhythm, I'm just taking steps up and down. In the midst of all of the lithe skaters, lifting their feet from side to side, front to back as if they were being pulled on strings, I looked more like the tinman trying to take one step. If only I could blow smoke out of my head like him then maybe no one would notice my feet. Hopefully next time my lifts and my steps will flow a little better.

Rule # 2 - Don't squat down or stick your butt out around the turns.
Easier said than done. I've trained my body for over a year to teach it how to get low, stay low and lean in on the turns. This was going to be a challenge. Ok not as bad as I thought, but I had to keep telling myself "don't squat". I'm a pretty good listener, so it worked out better than I thought.

Rule #3 - Don't look at your feet
This one was easiest of all, especially when I wanted to watch everyone else's feet to see what they were doing. Though I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have been looking down at all. Ok, next time.

To sum it all up, I may not have as much rhythm as the other skaters, but feel like in a very short period of time, I learned quite a bit. It helps when you have a good teacher! I also realized that working on some of the simple steps will actually help me with derby. Lifting my feet more, not looking down and becoming more agile, are definitely skills that can move from jam skating to jamming. The only real problem I came across was my urge to sprint. I couldn't wait to squat down and speed around those corners and from time to time, when my teacher wasn't looking, that's just what I did. Shhh don't tell! Some habits are just too hard to break.

Can't wait for lesson 2!


A Successful Sunday

I couldn't make it out to either of our events this weekend, but my sources tell me that they were a success. The girls braved the cold, sold some merch and gained new fans. Rumor has it that a woman at the Mr. Beery's Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser was so excited about her new Roller Rebels Tee Shirt, she changed into it at the bar. D-Ball shared some pictures with me from the event. Thanks D-Ball!
The Roller Rebels send our apologies out to our fans who arrived at Mr. Beery's before us. Thanks for coming out to support us and we hope to catch you next time!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Tonight Etta, Jams

Sharpen your pencils and dust off those erasers! This week, we give our wheels a break and broaden our minds. First, on Wednesday, The Rebels will meet up for a night of bout watching and a rundown of the rules. This is the 3rd class of this kind since our new season started. A wise addition to our physical repertoire.

Then on Thursday, our written skill test will take place. Some of us will be taking it for the first time, others taking it again to be in compliance with the new rules. The WFTDA rules are alwayschanging and as skaters, it's important for us to brush up on our knowledge. So whether we've been a part of the league for 2 years or 2 months, we will be filling in those blanks, circling a, b or c and answering true or false. Good luck to everyone!

Since we have the week off from skating and I'm feeling a little out of shape, I made a decision to do something I haven't done in a very long time. Tonight, for the first time since I can remember, I will brave the rink for "open skate". Yep, I'm gonna hit United Skates for a public skating session.To me, this is about the equivalent of having an in ground pool in your own backyard, but going to a public one instead. You see when we practice derby, it's our rink and we don't have to share it with anyone else! No need to lock up our shoes, no need to worry about getting in someone's way. I don't mean to sound like one of those mean girls in the playground with the newest toy that she doesn't let anyone else play with, after all, we do pay for our practices, it's just that, well I guess I've become a bit spoiled. Tonight a friend offered to give me some jam skating lessons, so I thought, why not?! It suits my name pretty well too. I think I might break out the sequin pants and matching headband.

I'll fill you all in on how I do.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Task Force at Work

We're busier than ever down at The Roller Rebel Headquarters! Special league agents are meeting and organizing a year of top secret assignments! Plans are underway for tons of appearances, fundraisers, parties, scrimmages and bouts. A lot of investigative work goes in to each and every operation we roll out, but they always pay off in the end because with every event we hold, we meet new people, gain new sponsors, fans and members and have a blast. As an agent of the PR squad, I've been sworn to secrecy until plans can officially be released. Imagine that! Me the blogger who loves to give you the latest scoop, having to zip her mouth?! Well, I suppose giving some hints wouldn't hurt, just don't tell Executive Officer Blockwell. She's one of the league's hardest hitters. You guys can keep a secret right? Ok, so our upcoming events involve water, pins, style, prizes, funny shoes, cars, bikes, and hair stylists. Any guesses?

There are however, two events for which information can formally be released! First, kick off your Sunday (2/15) afternoon at Mr. Beery's in Bethpage, for The Band Battle to End Cystic Fibrosis. There are a slew of bands performing and The Roller Rebels will be setting up shop with a table full of merchandise. Then Sunday evening, head on over to The Dead of Winter and Visual Affair at Ollie's Point 140 Merrick Rd., Amiityville, NY 11701. Listen to DJs and bands while you check out live painting demonstrations by Kustom Kulture Tattoo and other 3-D imagery displays. Of course, The Rebels will be there with merch and info. Visit for more information.

Enjoy the festivities!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ask Etta

I'm happy to welcome all of you back to the second edition of Ask Etta. Thank you to all of my loyal readers for continuing to send your questions in! Today, I'm responding to your inquiries about skate classes and bout production.

Hey Etta,
What kind of run through did you guys have with the skate parts? We're looking at having a 'gear session' run by our resident gear nut, and I know she wants to show people how to clean bearings etc (cause some of our girls just.don't).We just did an intensive jam workshop, it was so, so good! -Ivanna Shoverova, Adelaide Roller Derby
Hi Ivanna!
In our skate class, our league captain took apart her skates and explained each and every part to the class. She went over the purpose each part serves and recommended the brands or types to buy. We discussed everything from the plates, to the bearings to how to take your skates apart and put them back together. She explained the importance of rotating wheels and cleaning bearings. In addition, one of our veteran skaters, Roxy Heartless talked about Riedell’s sizing chart and how various skates are available to help solve different types of foot pain and problems. We’ve also had classes in the past where we all brought our skates in and dismantled them together.
Both classes were very helpful.

Hey Etta!
At the bouts there is always a band or performer during halftime. Who are some of the scheduled performers for the 2009 season and how does a band get invited to play?

-Scorpion - LI Road Runners MC

Hi Scorpion,
We don't have any performers scheduled yet for 2009. The league has a Bout Production Committee who are in charge of scheduling and organizing everything needed to make a bout happen. This includes, but is not limited to, booking bands, a DJ and halftime show, ordering the tickets, ordering items necessary for making a track, assigning jobs to skaters who are not playing that day....the list goes on. Bands are booked several ways. Sometimes a derby girl approaches a band they hear and asks them if they would be interested in playing. Other times, the performers contact us. Any interested performers can reach Sleeping Booty, Bout Production Director, at

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hard Core Hitting

If you live in New York you have been witness to a pretty brutal winter this year. Temperatures have repeatedly been below 20 degrees and snow has been falling often and in abundance. To make matters worse, that little furry guy known as the groundhog, went and saw his shadow on Monday, therefore granting us another 6 weeks of bone chilling, uncomfortable weather. This week it snowed enough to have to call off one night of practice.

Captain Morgan made up for this by holding a three hour practice in one night. As always, we performed various exercises, some new and some oldies but goodies. In addition, half, if not more, of the night was devoted to hitting drills. Captain went over the physics of hitting. How hits should not be executed using your arm or your hip, but rather by using your entire body. A hit should come from your core. She explained this more in detail and told us why crunches and squats are imperative to strenghten the muscles needed to hit well.

Coincidentally, yesterday , Rei Zerburnn posted a very descriptive article on her blog all about hitting and blocking. It was informative and thorough and she too spoke about the importance of using your core. She even went as far to talk about different size players and what type of blocking skills would work to their advantage. This article is definitely something any derby player could benefit from reading. I would even recommend it to a jammer. It will give you a better idea of things you should be looking out for when trying to get through the pack.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Date

Apparently, tickets to see "The Date" are in high demand so Sleeping Booty has made your purchasing power that much easier. Visit Brown Paper Tickets to get yours today!

Meeting the girls and watching the boys is just a click away!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Destined to Meet

She, bold and rough, looking ever so pretty in her tank top, mini-skirt and fishnets. He with his charming, semi-toothless smile, determined and ready to throw down. They share the love of the game, they hit, they score. They glide on such similar paths yet somehow, their two worlds never collide. Finally, a mutual friend realizes that he has the perfect match up. He puts the two in touch with one another. A call is placed between them and he and she flirt with talks of the penalty box, uniforms and the period clock. Bliss! It didn't take much more before the two realized that they were destined to meet and so, roller derby and ice hockey planned an official first date. Now, any other date either of them had planned in the past required ticket sales and an audience. So they thought that this one should too.

The date will take place on Monday, March 2, 2009, 7:00 P.M. at Nassau Coliseum. Come check out this affair to remember as The NY Islanders take on The Colorado Avalanche with your favorite roller girls right there to meet and greet you! Tickets valued at $55, are now available through The Long Island Roller Rebels for just $35. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to support The Rebels.

Tickets MUST be purchased through The Long Island Roller Rebels, no later than February 23rd. To make a purchase or for more information, please contact Chest Blockwell at 631-816-0217

So come on down, watch some hockey and chat with some rebels about derby!

Now this is my kinda date!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Morristown Part 1

Saturday afternoon, several cars filled with several derby girls traveled several miles from New York down to New Jersey, for The Morristown Madams' first home bout of 2009. Like all bouts, this one was a thrill to watch. The rink seats were filled with an overwhelmingly large amount of ambitious Long Island Roller Rebel fresh bloods, who were very eager to observe (some for the first time) and learn how the game of derby is played.
I was definitely impressed with how many of our new girls came out and if it wasn't for this damn derby plague that seems to be traveling from one player to the next, even more of them would have been there. Did you have fun and learn a lot FBs?

It's always an interesting game when you're rooting for both sides. Cheering gets divied up and at times, you're not sure who you should be applauding. So you clap and whistle and encourage for both. But of course, in the end, one team will triumph and earn the title of The Winners. Saturday night, that team was The Hudson Valley Horrors. The Horrors have a solid team, not to mention some incredible style! Pinky Swears of The Horrors, plays every position with precision and ease. I watched in amazement as she went from blocking in one jam to jamming in the next and then on to blocking again. Puffy Bangs has a low, mean, booty block and the coolest and most intimidating face guard I've ever seen! Rough Gem as always did a great job jamming and Rxy Ramalotte's got a hard hit and some fantastic eye make up applying skills. Let's not forget the powerful players of The Madams. Mega Menace is definitely a star for The Morristown Madams. Her ability to easily find holes in the pack, enabled her to score quite a few points for the cute-n-brutals. Rogue Rage and DeeLicious are both aggressive, fast skaters and Irene Supreme has a crazy, low stance which she held the entire time jamming. Very impressive! I have to add that one of my new favorite derby names is ASSault Shaker, brilliant! I know I have probably left out some good players (on both sides) and didn't get to watch all of you girls show off your skills, but I can say that overall, everyone did a great job and I can't wait for part 2!
Oh and those Roller Rebels! You've gotta love Roxy Heartless, "the prepared vegetarian", for packing her very own hummus and chips, Sleeping Booty for the amazing coconut "coffee" she had me try and D-Ball for the most innovative tie around!
Thanks Morristown for hosting a great bout!

On another note, I wanted to thank those of you who emailed me after reading my last post and thanks to my sister Frann (forever my favorite athlete) for her comment! It really meant a lot!!

OK, I'm off to write my next entry.......