Monday, March 30, 2009

All About The Boys

Ideas and submissions from some of the upcoming Rebel Yellers are starting to trickle in. Today, I'm really excited to present the first of many to come!

Celtic Thunder has agreed to carry out the task of writing about men in the world of derby. Because roller derby is primarily a female sport, attention is rarely paid to the guys who battle it out on the track. Therefore, I thought the topic deserved some attention and hey, learning more about the boys is something I'm all for!

Last month, Celtic attended a bout and had the privilege of catching a men's competition that night as well. Here's her story about how it all went down.

Lincolns vs. Booths

It was cold and brutal, much like the assassination of President Lincoln, inside the big white tent, but that didn’t stop fans from cheering on their favorite roller dude. That’s right…I said roller DUDE in the Lincolns vs. Booths men’s derby bout on February 21st in Atlantic City.

There I was, sitting on the bleachers that had a sign stating: “Sit at your own risk: Skaters fly.” I had a front row seat to the mayhem, waiting in anticipation for that first pack whistle followed by the Jammer whistle.

And before I could blink, the New York Shock Exchange who was divided for the day as Lincolns and Booths, took off at full speed.

It was nothing like I have ever seen before. It was roller derby in fast forward! The pack was racing; Jammers were flying, some successfully making it through. But it was difficult as what we know as roller girls as hitting, seemed like tapping after watching these men slam into one another to help their Jammers score points. It was amazing to watch the drills that they practice really come into play. Many a time, the men would literally stop at the drop of a hat and jump from the outside to the inside line, doing 180’s to control themselves from falling.

Needless to say, the jams were intense. Flying Squirrel and Rinkworm made jamming look like a piece of cake as they applied both speed and quick maneuvering through the pack. However, their opponents did not make it as easy as they were throwing hits, which cost many of them penalties, including one of our own Long Island Roller Rebels, Jefferee, who played as a blocker for many of the jams.

As the period came closer to an end, the jams got more aggressive, both teams fighting for the winning points. The clock hit zero and the Lincolns and Booths finished out their last jam. The Lincolns took victory with 67—blowing the Booths out of the water with only 33 points.

On the rink, these men portrayed determination and pure aggressiveness, which made the bout that much more exciting. But at the end of the day, the team came together, congratulating each other on their awesome playing and success. Over some brewskies at the bar, the men showed amazing sportsmanship. Exactly what derby is all about!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seeing Green

We have been so busy this month. Practice, scrimmages, a bout against The Steel City Derby Demons in Pittsburgh and many a St. Patrick's parades (with one more on the way, Patchouge, April 5th). It's hard when we have to split up our derby family, but while some are called to play and some are called to hold down the home headquarters and take care of public relations, that's the way it has to be. We can however always count on meeting up again at practice.

I'd like to share some photos with you from two of the parades we have skated in, St. James and Rockville Centre. We had a great time skating, meeting new people and handing out our latest bout schedules to some new fans.  

St. Patrick's Day Parade, St. James, Long Island

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Rockville Centre, Long Island

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ask Etta

Welcome back to Ask Etta, the monthly column designed to answer all of your questions. Today, read on to learn more about jeerleaders..........

Dear Etta,
Has LIRR ever thought about having Jeerleaders like Gotham Girls (I have a friend who is actually a first time GG Jeerleader this season) and other WFTDA teams have (with the national competitions at Roller Con)? I think it might be a great idea so you could have in between "half time shows" as well as the musical acts you have and other things you have already and I wanted to know what you thought about that or if has even been discussed before with the league. Singed - A quiet fan of the Roller Rebels

Hello -
Since I joined the league a few years after it was formed, I went to Captain Morgan to help answer this question. Evidently, The Rebels used to have Jeerleaders. They were called the Thunder Kitties. Though they didn’t perform a half time show per se, they ran around and “jeered” during the bout, much the way a mascot would do. We like the idea of having Jeerleaders at half time, but don’t have anything in the works at the moment. Anyone interested in forming a group?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the Winner Is............

Last month I held the first ever contest on The Rebel Yell. Our fresh bloods were in the process of taking their skills tests and once they passed, they would be eligible to be called by a new name, a derby name. So I asked readers to submit roller derby names that they had come up with and if one of our fresh bloods chose one, the reader would win a Roller Rebels T-Shirt.
I would now like to congratulate Doc of The Long Island Road Runners MC who came up with the clever derby name Smurfetish! One of our rookies loved the name and picked it. Thanks for entering the contest Doc. A Roller Rebels T-Shirt is on it's way to you.

Stay tuned for more contests in the future!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet on Sour

Roller Rebel Anita Cookie, subscribes to Blood and Thunder Magazine. When the current issue arrived in her mailbox this month, she was as happy as ever. Receiving news and updates about derby is something we roller girls always look forward to. What Cookie didn't realize though, is that this edition would be all the more interesting. As she was flipping through the pages, she was elated (as were the rest of us) to find a photograph of our very own Amaretto Sourpuss. She is featured on page 49, skating, while holding the title of lead jammer. The photo was taken during a bout at an event hosted by Dominion Derby Girls in Virginia called Commotion by The Ocean. Get your copy today and check it out!!

Skate on Sourpuss!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck of the Irish

Not knowing the origin of popular Irish phrases, I did a little research to find the true meaning of my title for today's post. Unable to find one solid answer, I decided to go with the one I found to be most fitting; Luck of the Irish: The saying refers to the fact that the Irish people have come through such overwhelming adversity and have come out on top and kicking! It must be luck... or true perseverance.
The Roller Rebels are pleased to have a league member who proudly represents her heritage and personifies the true meaning of the word persevere. Some people have so much determination, you can actually see it in their eyes, this skater is one of those people. I can recall a few nights arriving at practice only to find her running laps around the rink, just as a warm up. I can also recall, seeing her several nights after practice doing the same thing. I don't think she ever missed an evening of skating, be it our practices or an open skate session. She has worked hard from her first night and she's worked harder and harder every day since! This Irish wonder wheel held fast, maintained and took some hard hits from veteran skaters, until she reached her goal and became one of the newest members of Long Island's only derby girls. She recently played her first bout, willingly skating any position she was asked, and her team was triumphant. I couldn't think of a better time than St. Patrick's Day to present to you this month's Roller Rebel, Celtic Thunder!!
Name: Celtic Thunder


What made you want to join a roller derby league?:
I really was looking for something different to do that I enjoyed, contained working out and possibly meeting new people. I love any adrenaline sport and this definitely hits my list of favorites!

What was your first practice like?
I showed up for open house, which is where I first met Terrorpin and my wife Muscles Marinara and I was blown away. I have never seen anything like it. I knew skating on inlines for so many years would make quads seem so much harder…and they were! I’m pretty sure I fell on my tuchus a few times during that practice!

What is the hardest skill you had to learn?
I think just understanding the entire sport as a whole takes a lot of attention and strategy. The girls on my team always said one day it would just click. And it finally clicked at my first bout in the 2nd period. I was pivoting, for the first time ever by the way, and right then and there I finally understood the importance of controlling the pack. But if you are asking about skating skill…I had the most trouble with T-stops and 180 turns. I definitely need to build my endurance and work on the booty/back blocking.

What position would you most like to play and why?
At first all I really wanted to be was a jammer, but I realized after the Morristown Mash-up, that playing every position is fun. Jamming is fun because you get to make your way through a pack of girls that are determined to knock you down (eh hem…Chest Blockwell and D-Ball) and rack in the points for your team, however, blocking is so important on the offense and defense and you really get to put your practice drills such as whipping and hip whips, hitting and leaning into play.
Celtic Thunder Jamming, proves her strength and reps her heritage and name with a Celtic Cross tattoo

What do you like most about derby?
It’s not just the sport that is amazing, it’s the friendships, the community and the family that is built through common interest. All roller girls are welcoming with open arms—you can meet such amazing skaters throughout the nation and that is so exciting!

Do you find it hard to find the time to fit derby into your schedule?
It’s a lot of rushing around commuting from NYC, home then practice but I make it happen. I’m invested in derby so I will do whatever I can to make sure it is a part of my life.

What would you say to someone new who was thinking about joining roller derby?
Don’t ever think that you can’t do it. It looks rough, and sometimes it is, but I assure you, it will bring so much excitement and satisfaction to your life. It has for me!

Stay tuned to The Rebel Yell and check out Celtic Thunder's new blog column coming soon!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Suburbia Scrimmage

This past Wednesday, some of the Roller Rebels went up to Yonkers for a night of scrimmaging with Suburbia. My fellow derby girl Smurfetish emailed me some fantastic photos from the night. I love my derby girls for always hooking me up so that I can get the news out to all of you! Thanks Smurfetish!

Thank You For All Your Support

My buddy Muscles Marinara bruised her knee on Sunday and was nice enough to give other derby girls a warning as to how they can avoid a similar circumstance from occurring. Last night at practice she brought in the packaging from her new knee support system to let you all know what she is doing (besides icing) to help her knee heal.

The product that she bought, by McDavid, is called Knee Support 401R. It is a thermal neoprene sleeve that retains warmth, promotes healing and reduces abrasions and according to Muscles, it works! Many derby girls know McDavid for the super thin Hexpad booty shorts they make and it seems they have a full range of products for other body parts as well. Check out their website.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Down on One Knee

This past Sunday marked the finale (for now) of Throwin' Down in Morristown. The Roller Rebels once more, made their way to New Jersey for Morristown, Part 3, where a scrimmage with the Morristown Madams (sans the "working on Sunday Etta Jams") took place. I received plenty of feedback from my ladies who participated and what I found out was that the practice was a learning experience for most. Since a scrimmage is sort of a dress rehearsal, we try and concentrate more on how we play both as individuals and as a team and we are less likely to worry about the score. I heard talk about things we do well, and things we need to work on. I unfortunately also heard about more than one knee injury. Injuries are something we try to prevent, but there are times when it's unavoidable. I'd like to share an email with you that I received yesterday from my fellow derby girl, Muscles Marinara. She wrote to me in hopes that her unfortunate experience would prevent one of the avoidable injuries from happening to other derby girls.


When I was jamming - I did a knee fall but tripped over the other jammer and went down more uncontrolled than I wanted....and my knee pad slipped down and my knee stopped my body - which HURT. I thought maybe if I tell others they will be sure to tape their knee pads - or buy a gel protector for their knee. After it happened OvaDose from the Madams team told me about a gel protector- I haven't bought it yet - but plan to do that tomorrow. She said its about $9 in Sports Authority. I plan on buying it tomorrow so I can at least skate on Tuesday. I was pretty swollen yesterday and this morning but I am constantly icing it and putting Flexal 454 on it (same as Icy Hot). Hope that helps others prevent their own injuries.

Muscles Marinara

To Muscles and my other injured ladies out there, you know who you are, here's wishing you all a SPEEDY recovery!!

On a happier note, here are some pictures from Sunday, courtesy of Doc Block. A special thanks to Doc and to her daughter Sydney for taking the pics!!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mark Your Calendar

You will notice some new information listed here on the blog. Off to the right, under the blog's followers, I've posted our 2009 season schedule complete with links to get you right over to Brown Paper Tickets where you can purchase your tickets, including season passes, for each event. Simply click on the event listed in pink and you're on your way to see Long Island's ONLY roller derby league in all their skating madness!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Can't Keep The Rebels Down

Last Sunday night into Monday, it snowed. It snowed a lot. By the time it had finally stopped, there was well over a foot of the white stuff on the ground. We have experienced a harsh winter and I can recall starting off so many posts talking about the severe weather we've had here in NY. The thing is, it never seems to stop the Roller Rebels from accomplishing whatever it is they've got planned. Our events still go on and people still show up. To me, that says a lot. Dedication, love, determination. We all have busy lives. We are care takers, commuters, lawyers, physical therapists, art buyers, office managers, teachers, interpreters, bartenders, photographers, mothers and friends. We get sick, we get tired, we work two jobs, over time and go to meetings. We go to school and send the kids to school, we attend family functions, and friend's weddings . We are and do all of these things, but we manage to always find time for our great love, roller derby. And so, on Monday night through the snow and ice, The Rebels kept their promise and made their way out to Nassau Coliseum for The Date. The event was a huge success and thanks to all of you who bought tickets, we were able to make some money to benefit our league. I have to give a big thanks also to my dear friend D-Ball, who is forever camera ready. Here are some pictures she took from the event:

See you all at the next one.......

Monday, March 2, 2009

More of Morristown

Well, The Roller Rebels just can't stop talking about how much fun the Cupids vs. Angels bout was. I thought that all of you might be interested in seeing what all the fuss was about. Thankfully, you can! Roger of The Morristown Madams has provided us with video and photographs! To watch what you missed click here for full video coverage. After you click on the link, click "on demand," and scroll to the game.

Video too much action for you? You can also take a look at some photographs. The Madams have a Flickr account where you can flip through photos from this past weekend.

Thanks for the links Roger!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

So Close

I've come to realize that our trips to Morristown just don't disappoint. There's always a warm welcome at the door of the rink, and things just get warmer as the night goes on. I'm typing today with a sore right arm and a fishnet burn covered bruise on my left thigh and both were worth every minute of skating last night's bout.

To start, the skaters donned theatrical outfits that were a show of their own. Crinoline layered white skirts, silver halos, glitter painted arms, face stickers, wings of all colors and some of the cutest little boy shorts I've seen.
To add to the theatrics, a barber shop quartet, The Four Old Parts, sang the national anthem. A nice change from the traditional "one singer behind the mic performance". It was a fun bout for a good cause (portion of proceeds benefited Habitat For Humanity Of Morristown) and it was the best kind of action because the scores were so close for pretty much the entire two periods. In the end, the Angels were triumphant with a 3 point lead over the Cupids! GO ANGELS!! Each skater played well and if everyone had 1/2 as much fun as I did, which I'm pretty sure was the case, the bout was a success.

Madams, thank you so much for having us for this fantastic event. We look forward to seeing you next week for the big scrimmage!