Monday, October 11, 2010

Roller Derby 101

Let's face it, you're probably ashamed that you don't really know as much about Roller Derby as you should.  Don't worry, we're all friends here and we won't reveal your dirty secret.  In fact, we'll help you get your roller derby learn on.   

The lobby of Asbury's Convention Hall.  Not visible: the shabbiness. 

On Saturday night, LG's sister, MIG, corralled him and two of her friends for a roller derby "bout" at Asbury Park's (NJ) Convention Hall.  LG had never been, and, truth be told, he was not really psyched to go, but he figured that there might be a blog posting in it.  There was. 

According to LG's extensive research (i.e. 20 seconds on Google), roller derby started in the late 1800s in the United States.  Today, there are over 600 leagues operating in 20 countries.  Most roller derby athletes are women.  And they wear fishnet stockings and revealing outfits; at least on Saturday night they did.  From a purely business standpoint, it appears to be a sound marketing strategy.

Roller derby bouts are contested in two 30-minute halves with a 30-minute intermission in between so that fans can get tanked at the bar and buy t-shirts and other essential souvenirs.  Only the "jammer" can score for a team, and points are earned by passing opposing team players while making sure that your butt doesn't look too big in your uniform.  We made that last part up. 

It's a roller derby tradition for skaters to use pseudonyms.  Saturday night's bout, between the Jersey Shore Roller Girls All-Stars and the River City (Richmond, Va.) Rollergirls, featured such skaters as Shermaine Tank, Ciri L. Killer, Ricin Beans, Belle Maul Her, Maliciously Delicious, Forty Ounce Bounce and Paris Kills. 

Mannah Montana (a dude) and Bertha Control (a woman whose looks matched her name) were the announcers. 

The skaters warm up.  We know, it's hard to
believe that a Blackberry took
this excellent sports action photo.

Each team skated hard right from the opening whistle, but the River City squad managed to jump out to a 90 - 47 lead.  However, weariness from being on the road, coupled with the deafening noise of the hostile home crowd, must've worn away River City's resolve.  They let the match slip away in an exciting ending, with the Jersey Shore squad prevailing 127 - 120 (or thereabouts; truthfully, LG wasn't paying all that close attention at the end.)

Tickets were $20.  There were plenty of refreshments and other money-making items sold, but the skaters aren't paid a cent. 

"The only compensation we get is that they cover our bus and hotel rooms for away games," one Jersey Shore team member told The LG Report (she was duped into thinking that we're a reputable blog.).  "But it's always like four girls to a room and not in a great hotel." 

Hmm, four roller derby girls in one hotel room, LG thinks he may have seen a movie about that once.  No, wait, LG is mistaken, sorry about that (we don't want to lose our "G" blog rating...)

LG managed to catch up with one of the Jersey Shore skaters for a short post-bout video interview during the afterparty in a bar across the street from the arena.  Here's that riveting piece of journalism, which is sure to go viral shortly (or at least bacterial):

There you have it folks, all you need to know about modern day flat-track roller derby, which, by the way, differs from the old-school "banked track" version.  Banked track roller derby features a railing over which skaters can be hit or thrown, and is considerably more dangerous than open-floor flat track roller derby.  And, even more important as distinctions go, the serious-minded banked track girls don't wear fishnet stockings.  You couldn't drag me to one of their bouts with a Shermaine Tank!


PS A loud and heartfelt LG Report shout out to our good buddy Noit who fell from a tree over the weekend.  Since Babe Ruth is no longer around to hit a homerun for him, we thought we'd do the next best thing by dedicating this posting to Noit while wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.

Thanks for checking in everyone, we hope to see you back again soon. 

1 comment:

  1. My sister-in-law Jen is a roller derby girl in Johnson City, TN. Her handle is "The Jen-erator" and she kicks ass. I am forever fascinated that she does this in her free time!


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