Sunday, February 04, 2007

How Many Roller Derby Girls Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

ABOVE: Naptown's Touretta Lynn (red) takes down Ft. Wayne's Jammer Kitty Killjoy (black) with a textbook block, one of the few times anyone knocked her down the rest of the bout

I watched my first live roller derby bout last night in the bitterly cold, but Superbowl charged, city of Indianapolis (aka Naptown) as the beefy and uber-aggresive Ft. Wayne Bomb Squad whipped the dogshit out of the undersized, but well trained Naptown team - The Tornado Sirens. I was thoroughly impressed with the legitimacy of roller derby as an honest-to-God sport after this bout. If you don't already have tix lined up for a bout in your local area, hop to it!

The Naptown league surrounded the event with a lot of lame, over-hyped 'color' commentary, which would drive me nuts if our hometown league mimicked that when they start bouting. The officiating was decidedly inconsistent from period to period as the refs started a crescendo of penalizing illegal blocks and grabbing that should have been (at a minimum) standard from period to period. I also observed that this sport has an obvious gamut of opinions on the 'roughness' of the play. I am one who tends to err on the side of non-fighting and a tight standard of officiating. I think that fighting, cheap-shots, and emphasizing the drama of that tension only weakens the long-term legitimacy of the sport. But I think that is a minority opinion. Here's the important part though - despite all these forgivable new-sport glitches, these women deliver! This sport is as exciting, fast paced, and competitive as hockey, 2-minute drill football, or basketball.

I had an ass-kickin headache but I went to the after party in my role a security guard/designated driver. I missed the apparently requisite derby girl tit flashing (AGAIN DAMMIT) but it was nice to see no less that four different roller derby leagues (Naptown, Ft. Wayne, Windy City, Derby City), and some rugby team in a bar with a rough-rockin band (Whisky Tits - love the name) and no fights. It was like the beginning of The Warriors but this time no one killed Cyrus, no one was framed, and the truce was maintained.

The best quote of the night was actually some in-between-song banter from the Whiskey Tits members that went like this:

Q - How many roller derby girls does is take to change a light bulb?
A - Two. One to change the light bulb and one to kick your mother fuckin ass!


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