I Don’t Get It.
This is my weekly section where I will bring you topics from the sporting world (obscure or otherwise) that “I Don’t Get”. I’ll either discover the legitimacy of something thought absurd, or further exploit the sheer stupidity of it all. This week I bring you…
Minnesota Roller Girls – Minnesota’s Foremost Roller Derby Squad
When I happened across a 3-day tournament called “Brawl of America”, I was stunned to see it was for A FREAKING ROLLER DERBY. In an arena. Really??? Okay, number one…this is like, a full-fledged event complete with judges’ panel, referees, and lighting. So my friend and I go in and these girls are doing laps like an Indy race, only on skates. People are cheering and yelling and going crazy, but to me it just looks like a big cluster-F of roller skates, helmets and booty shorts. Oh yes, they battle in booty shorts.
After about 15 minutes of not knowing what in God’s name we were witnessing, we get a program and then it all makes sense. The scoop is that they have teams made up of: (1) Jammer, wears a star helmet and scores the points; (3) Blockers, wears a plain helmet and…DUH; and (1) Pivot, wears a striped helmet and organizes the pack and calls “plays”. Basically all you really need to know is that once the Jammer gets out in front of everyone, one of the refs spots her and she scores points by lapping everyone. There are various penalties a girl can be dealt i.e. cutting the track, elbowing, what-have-you. If a girl gets too many she gets sent to the penalty box. So the moral of that story is, if you jack a girl in the face you’ll get put on time-out (but it would make for great entertainment).
One of the cool things is that they have sweet names like Harmony Killerbruise, Hannabelle Lecter, Jackie Daniels, Venus Thightrap, and Tone Loco – to name a few. The bout we made it to was for 9th/10th Place (Oh yeah, that’s how I roll. Watchin’ it when it counts!), and it was the Minnesota Roller Girls vs. Grand Raggidy Roller Girls hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I tried to keep a play-by-play after I figured out what was going on, but it’s mostly just the two teams trading off the lead.
The sweet parts are when say, one girl hip checks an opponent and the girl goes flying across the floor for like 15 feet and hits the people sitting along the track. Then there was big drama when all of a sudden Jackie Daniels is spinning out of control and she crashes down on the sideline in front of us. The medic rushes out, her coach comes rushing over, and they’re all trying to figure out what was going on…turns out one of the trucks on her skate broke. Ohhhhh! So much drama in the M-S-P (that’s the airport code for Minneapolis-St. Paul, people). Anyway, my Minnesota Roller Girls threw it down and finished 91-75. That’s how we do!
After their bout, we kind of hung around to see if I could get pictures with some of the girls. Luckily I spotted one of the Minnesota Roller Girls “It” Girls, Jammer #109, Psycho Novia.
First of all, she is freaking TINY and ADORABLE. Not the kind of girl you’d expect to be out there checking/being checked/potentially losing teeth. She asked if we were going to try out for the team. I laughed. Or chortled (God, that is a fantastic word). [Note: Something everyone should know about me is that for some reason I can’t navigate a room without getting injured. If there is a table 10 feet away, I will run into it.] So then! Super diesel badass Jackie Daniels from the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls comes out, and she’s also just a little thing.
Things I learned from this experience:
1) These are like, normal girls (in booty shorts). I totally thought they were going to be tatted up Amazonian lesbians.
2) This is like, a sport. They skate their asses off (in booty shorts), and sweat, and get injured (Seriously. Medics on stand-by.) They have tournaments. People pay to attend these things. In arenas.
3) They serve booze. FTW!
Check it out sometime. It’s really hard not to get into it and start cheering for these girls when they’re kicking the crap out of each other. On wheels. In booty shorts.
Visit http://www.wftda.com to find out more about the league.
P.S. I bought these.
P.P.S. Apparently there’s some movie called Whip It coming out. About roller derbies, or something. No one’s gonna see it until it’s on TBS, so I wouldn’t worry about it.