Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breakin it Down

You're skating along, warming up, doing your crossovers or maybe your scrimmaging grounding your footage to pump up for your next big hit, plotting your next move in the pack. Whatever it is, you're moving and the wheels under your feet are taking you places. Suddenly, without time to think or even blink, you find yourself on the ground. You stay there for a few seconds and get ready to stand back up, that's what you have always done after a hit or a knee fall or a slip. This time though, your brain is telling you to get up, but your body just isn't listening. You are sitting there thinking, it's been at least 20 seconds and I'm still sitting/laying here. What's going on? Soon you realize that you are hurt. How bad you may not know yet, but something unusual is going on and you don't like it. Then it hits you, you realize that you can't get up on your own. You need help and you are worried. The help turns out to be EMT workers who have come in response to a call from one of your teammates. In a state of pain and confusion, you go to the hospital only to hear the final diagnosis; A broken bone.

Recently, three of our Roller Rebels have dealt with this extremely unfortunate scenario. Home bound, some with young children, they find themselves in a place they never wanted to be in. Thoughts go through their heads I'm sure. What if I turned the other way, what if I landed on my knee instead, what if I changed my wheels? Injuries are not fun, and for some relying on others for help is difficult. In addition, one of their greatest outlets is now not an option. Roller derby is different things to many people. It can be fun, therapy, exercise or a place to simply let loose. It's all of those things and so much more and when that is taken away, a replacement needs to be found.

Our league President and Captain, Captain Morgan has been recovering from an injury for the entire season. Her way of dealing has been to continue to be a part of the league, taking care of her usual duties, coaching and being present at the fundraisers and bouts. Basically all of the things she had done before, minus the skating. I know it hasn't been easy for her and I know that it must not be easy for our other three hurt Rebels.

One thing that I've always known, but that now shines through more than ever before, is that I skate along side some of the most compassionate and caring groups of people. These unfortunate accidents have brought our roller family closer together and as a result, our fallen skaters have received, cards, food, car rides, flowers, phone calls, text messages and so much more, including the creation of The Cyanide Kisses/Eve L. Taco Broke Ass Roller Girl Foundation (visit us on The mission of the foundation is to acquire enough fans to help start a decent collection, so that they can help fallen roller girls all over the country. The money will help them with food shopping, errands or go towards other daily activities that they themselves are unable to do.

In addition, another fact proving itself to be true is that roller girls are strong willed and brave! Injured parties showed up at last Saturday night's bout ready to help out in any way they could. For some, fear or laziness would keep them away, but not our Roller Rebels! They were there IN uniform taking on whatever tasks they could to help out for the night.

For any of you out there who have suffered an injury, feel free to write in or comment. Let us know what your derby replacement was. Did you take up another hobby? Volunteer in other areas of derby? Your words could help others, so don't be shy! Step up and speak!

Cyanide Kisses, Eve L. Taco and Cheater Steele, we love you and wish you all a speedy recovery!!

Purring Like a Cat

Hello to my loyal readers, new followers and perhaps first time readers.

If you weren't able to make it to our championship bout this past Saturday, I would like to let you all know that The Rolling Thundercats were victorious against The Wicked Wheelers. BUT, it was CLOSE!! It was one of those great bouts where the teams are pretty much only a few points apart for the entire two periods, until one team, at the very last minute ends up taking the lead. The girls all played with so much passion and enthusiasm. The Wheelers had so many different strategies lined up under their, ahem, wheels, and they carried out each and every one of them with such commitment and perfection. The Thundercats showed off various skills including some whips that played an intricate part in allowing their jammers to gain position in front of the packs.

I had the pleasure of co-announcing the bout with Jake and it was so much fun and interesting to actually watch the bout and talk about what was happening play by play. There were times I'll admit, that I had trouble holding back my screams or commands. I wanted to help some players out and let them know where the jammer was or tell them that they should speed up or slow down, but alas, the position of the announcer does not allow for that sort of banter. Nevertheless, it was exciting for me.

We had an amazing turnout with more than 700 fans filling our stands and seats track side. Our merchandise sold like never before and we had the pleasure of welcoming Veterans of War (more on that soon) into our arena. All in all, a great time.

Congratulations to the undefeated Rolling Thundercats!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taking it Back

Welcome back Jammers, Blockers and Pivots of the roller derby world to another addition of Men in Derby.

I wanted to track back for this month’s column. If you’ve been following along, you know we have had a bunch of wonderful points of view from our fellow men’s teams across the United States.

But I thought to myself, when did men’s derby really start to take place? I mean women have been beating on each other, throwing elbows, tripping, etc. on skates since my mom was a kid. When did the men have the chance to do the same?

I came across the Men in Derby Coalition’s history page and found it quite interesting. So this month, I’d like to share with you how men’s derby came to be.

A brief history of men's flat track roller derby:

• January 2006 - Pioneer Valley Roller Derby is founded - featuring both men and women skaters

• September 17, 2006 - PVRD's Dirty Dozen travel to Baltimore to scrimmage male and female refs for Charm City Roller Girl's Championship Bout halftime entertainment.

• April 29, 2007 - First Men's Flat Track Roller Derby Bout ever. Double header with PVRD's Dirty Dozen vs. NY Shock Exchange, and PVRD's Western Mass Destruction vs. New Jersey Dirty Dames (hosted by NJDD).

• Mid-2007 - Old School Derby Association (OSDA) founded.

• September 2007 - Providence Roller Derby invites PVRD, HCH, and NYSE to play their first mixed team scrimmage during PRD's championship bout.

• November 7, 2007 - HCH, NYSE, and PVRD found the Men's Derby Coalition

• March, 8 2008 - Puget Sound Outcast Derby hosts the Throwdown in the Sound - a one day men's roller derby Tournament

• April 5, 2008 - Men's Derby Coalition host the first Men's Derby Conference to help other start-up men's derby leagues.

• June 29, 2008 - First Men's 60 minute bout featuring New York Shock Exchange and Harm City Homicide. First ladies halftime entertainment by the Garden State Roller Girls.

• July 29 - August 5, 2008 - First fully co-ed RollerCon. Men are invited to scrimmage in an all-male challenge bout at Freemont street. Bout featured male skaters from all over the country.

• August 19, 2008 - Hot off the heels of RollerCon, Men's UK Roller Derby Association (MURDA) announces its presence as the first international men's derby league.

• October 3-5, 2008 - Men are invited to play a public challenge at WFTDA Western Regional Tournament. Bout featured male skaters from all over the country.

• October 5, 2008 - MDC and Harrisburg Area Men's Roller Derby (HAMRD) host their first joint recruiting effort for a men's derby league.

• November 14-16, 2008 - Male skaters from all over the country are asked to play at WFTDA Nationals - the most important WFTDA event of the year.

• December 7, 2008 - Men's Derby Coalition host the Second Men's Derby Conference (MDC2)

Who’s Who in Men’s Roller Derby:

MDC Affiliated Leagues
Men's Derby Coalition Leagues are confirmed to be skater owned and operated, feature male-only teams, actively bout/scrimmage as a team and train/play by the most up-to-date WFTDA rules (with masculine pronouns).
• Pioneer Valley Roller Derby (The Dirty Dozen) - Northampton, MA
• New York Shock Exchange - NYC, NY
• Harm City Homicide - Baltimore, MD
• Connecticut Death Quads - Waterbury, CT

Non-Affiliated Men's Roller Derby Leagues
The following leagues are either not actively bouting, don't train and play by WFTDA rules, aren't skater owned and operated, or haven't been confirmed by MDC organizers.
• Midwest Men's Roller Derby - Cincinnati, OH; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN
• Twin City Terrors - Minneapolis, MN
• Puget Sound Derby Outcasts - WA
• Dallas Deception - Dallas, TX
• Dry Heat Militia - Tuscon, AZ
• Diamond City Death Kings - Wilkes Barre, PA
• Harrisburg Area Men's Roller Derby - Harrisburg, PA
• Men's UK Roller Derby Association - London, UK
• Melbourne Men's Roller Derby League - Melbourne, Australia
• Worcester County Roller Derby - Worcester, MA
Biloxi Roller Derby - Biloxi, MS
• The Quadfathers - Utica, NY
• Southern Middle Tennessee Roller Derby - Tullahoma, TN
• Quad Balls - Hudson Valley, NY

OSDA Leagues
Leagues do not play by WFTDA rules, and are not explicitly endorsed by the MDC.
• Hell City Hooligans, NJ

Source: Men’s Derby Coalition

Do you have some interesting and fun Men’s derby stories? I’d love to hear ‘em. Email me at

Till next time!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thumbs Up!

I liked it! I did. Whip It, did not do all that well at the box office, but I thought it to be well worth the money. Then again, D-Ball and Sleeping Booty paid for me. Anyhow, It was a coming of age movie, done well. I liked the choice of actors cast for the characters and Drew has got my vote for her hilarious performance in this one. Ellen Page is adorable and Razor, coach of The Hurl Scouts, played by Andrew Wilson was just hysterical! Were some things obviously staged on the track? Yes, but not enough to make me say that it all looked really fake. In addition, there were some real-life derby players on the track. I only recognized Jackie Daniels, but I'm sure some older veterans could point out other players. All around, just a fun film that I would see again.

What did you all think of it?