Roller Derby: Coming To A Skating Rink Near You!
Let’s face it. We, as a society, love seeing people beat the living crap out of each other. Boxing, MMA fighting, hockey, football, rugby, even the bench-clearing brawls at baseball games make for popular TV. It doesn’t even matter if the beatings are real or fake (IE, Professional wrestling, Jackass and Jean- Claude Van Damme movies).
The Roman Empire had gladiator fights to the death in giant coliseums; we have par-per-view fight nights that bring in millions of dollars. But there is a female-dominated smash-mouth sport that is gaining lots of popularity... roller derby!
Roller derby actually had a run at fame in the 1980’s when it was popular enough to have its own TV show called 'Rollergames'. (I admit, I watched it…a lot. And I hated those do-gooding T-Birds!) It wasn’t ‘true’ roller derby as it followed Pro Wrestling’s format with mixing some drama in with the participants and predetermining the winners. It only lasted one season and the producers went bankrupt, but it was popular enough to spawn a pretty sweet Nintendo game.
Recently, the movie ‘Whip-It’ put roller derby back on the forefront of pop culture. (It had a killer soundtrack and starred Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon). Now, the movie didn't start the movement, but it certainly didn't hurt in the popularity department. Now, there are tens of thousands of derby girls and even more derby aficionados across the country and the globe.
I'd be amazed if you said you'd never seen a flyer or a poster for a derby match around here, these girls are masters of self-promotion. But I bet you have no idea just how many roller derby teams/leagues there are within an hour drive or Fort Collins. (Colorado even has a good number of teams represented in the national Women's Flat Track Derby Association rankings!)
- FOCO Girls Gone Derby: Fort Collins
- Choice City Rebels: Fort Collins
- Daughters of the Revolution Junior Roller Derby: Fort Collins
- Slaughterhouse Derby Girls: Greeley
- Cheyenne Capidolls: Cheyenne
- Prairie Fire Roller Girls: Cheyenne
- The Naughty Pines Derby Dames: Laramie
- Denver Roller Dolls: Denver
- Rocky Mountain Roller Girls: Denver
- D-Town Derby Crew: Denver
- Southside Derby Dames: Denver
- Wreckin Roller Rebels: Denver
- Colorado Junior Roller Derby: Arvada
- High City Derby Divas: Arvada
- Boulder County Bombers: Boulder
- Detour Derby: Brighton
And I’m sure there are plenty more that I don’t know about. You can see a world-wide list of Derby Teams out there and see just how ‘big’ the sport is getting here.
Tonight Derek and I are going to go meet up with the FOCO Girls Gone Derby and they are going to give us a little derby tutorial that we will of course share with you. I think I can say that the ‘Average-Joe’ has no idea how roller derby works or how points are scored. We’ll get it squared away in layman’s terms for everyone.
I also have a feeling the derby girls are going to put us through the ringer tonight, as long as I come back with all my teeth I’ll be happy. (And yes, there will be video to share.) I can’t remember the last time I was on skates so you can expect plenty of squeals and whimpers once you put me next to those ladies who can probably skates circles around me…literally. It should be embarrassingly awesome.
You can also check out the FOCO Girls Gone Derby match happening this Saturday at Rollerland Skate Center. The theme? “Heroes vs. Villains!” Derek and I got a little over excited about this one when we found out about it at Free Comic Book Day. Get tickets and more details about the derby match here.
I can't decide if I am just really excited about taking the rink with these girls, or mortally terrified. Maybe it's a little of both...