Tuesday, June 09, 2009

That's My World Tuesday #34: This Is Not Your Mom's Roller Derby


"Short Track Speed Skating Meets a Mosh Pit"
Raleigh, NC - June 2009 (Click to embiggen)

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Unless of course, your mom is a member of the . You might remember this My World post I wrote back in January about Dorton Arena (or not) and the sign by the road advertising the Roller Derby bout scheduled for January 24. I didn't make it to that event, but this past weekend the stars aligned in just the right way that I got my first look at the sport. And it has about as much in common with the version I used to see on TV as a kid as Olympic wrestling has in common with the WWE.

Seriously kids, if you're looking for theatrics, get tickets for Monday Night Raw or something. This is a serious sport despite the colorful "stage names" of the participants (even the referees go by handles like "Mae Q. Cry"). Serious or not, I don't understand it nearly well enough (yet) to explain it, so I'll defer to the website of the where you can find out all you want to know from people who... umm... actually know.

"Holly Wanna Crackya"
Raleigh, NC - June 2009 (Click to embiggen)

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I can tell ya... If I tried this, I'd be gassed before the warmups were over. If it doesn't look like work, all I can suggest is, "Try it yourself". Let me put it in perspective for you. An NHL level hockey player typically skates a 30- to 45-second shift before coming over the wall for a replacement. At the one-minute mark, fatigue becomes a concern and every second beyond that becomes a real liability. A Derby "jam" can last up to twice that long with skaters going full bore around a track so short that by the time you're exiting one turn if you're not setting up for the next one you're toast. Oh, and by the way? There are 5 people in the other team's colors that'd like nothing better than to introduce you to that concrete floor under your wheels.

"Minnie Mauser"
Raleigh, NC - June 2009 (Click to embiggen)

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Saturday's bout was a double-header featuring both of the CRG travel teams, and things... uh... didn't go so well for the home squad. The first bout was against the defending National Champs and current league leaders, and it's pretty obvious they're #1 for a reason. Then again, they're based in New York City where you've got a much larger pool of potential players -- and a lot more potential sponsors. The nightcap was a close one though, and even a Derby virgin like me couldn't help getting excited about it. I have a long way to go before I understand what I'm watching, but I'll be back.Violence UnSilenced
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25 comments:

Shadow said...

wow, you do make it sound like a hoot.....

Roxy said...

Thank you for such a great post!

One of the hardest things modern roller derby has to overcome is explaining (and convincing) skeptics that this is indeed a true sport and NOTHING is staged!
We practice 5 days a week, which can be up to 10 hours for some skaters.

We're holding try-outs July 25 at the Skate Ranch for girls who are 18+ and interested in joining!
If you need more info on what try-outs entail, check out our join us page and get in touch with us with any questions!

http://www.carolinarollergirls.com/join_us/

Hope to see you September 11-13 when we host a full weekend of East Coast derby, Wicked Wheels of the East.

Again, thanks for your awesome post!

lisaschaos said...

That always looks so scary violent! but fun too!

Mama Zen said...

I haven't seen the modern version, but I loved roller derby when I was a kid!

Daryl said...

Rollerball, the original, is one of my all time fav films ... love these shots

Artist Unplugged said...

Oh, I remember watching it on tv many, many years ago. We have a team or two here also but I've never seen it live. Sounds like you are hooked! Ha.

Carver said...

You got some great shots and it does sound like an exciting event. I noticed your comment about linky not being up but it was up when I went to post.

Jedediah said...

That looks like fun (to watch, I think I would drop dead right away tring it) and your photos are awesome

barb said...

I'm all in just reading about it! Great action shots!

Ishtar said...

W.O.W.

Never saw or heard of before, so thanks for sharing!! Would not make it to warm-ups either. Would need a horse to keep up with those ladies!!

Warm greetings from West Africa!

ingrid said...

*love* this pic.

James said...

This brings me back to when I was a kid back in the 1970's, I loved to watch the Los Angeles T-Birds roller derby on T.V.

Guy D said...

Now that looks like alot of fun, great shots.

Have a fantastic week
Guy
Regina In Pictures

judi said...

That hurts to look at it. Some people can tolerate more pain than others.

tarheelrambler said...

What a great photo essay! Nice job, Mojo. I'm going to have to watch the schedule, grab my camera and head for Dorton. This looks like fun.

Pam said...

Great photos, I can feel the action.

Sylvia K said...

What a great post and your photos are terrific! Hadn't thought about a roller derby in years! Thanks, Mojo, as always!

Babooshka said...

Now this is me all over the photography and woman getting stuck in to some serious sport. Pumps the adrenalin just snapping sport which is why I enjoy it so much. fantastic.

Janie said...

Sounds like it would be fun to watch. I don't think I'd want to get in the way of one of those gals. They look strong and tough!

ewok1993 said...

Great post. I don't mind watching this on the sidelines with my camera hanging around my neck.

Sally in WA said...

I remember watching the roller derby on TV as a kid. The names of the players today crack me up with laughter. Better that than having my bones cracked up! :-)

Thanks for bringing back some fun childhood memories.

Larry D said...

Wow, very cool sport! Great post and photos.

Vita Stunder said...

It looks fun, but rough and quite violent!

Great shots!

itsnotjustapicture said...

maybe it is something we should take up...we'd sure enough burn calories :)
a fascinating piece and i enjoyed the photographs and commentary :)
have a lovely evening.,

aguthrieimages said...

These women scare me in a have really big muscles kind of way! Now I am not one to worry about breaking a nail but they could hurt me! Can you tell I make a much better spectator? Was that one gal smiling cause you were taking her picture or cause she killed someone? ;-)
http://aguthrieimages.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/thats-my-world-tuesday-signs-doors-artwork/