Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Roll on, Roller Girls, Roll On!

When I was a kid, I remember seeing the Roller Derby on TV. It was usually Saturday afternoon, all the cartoons were over and there was something hypnotic about watching those skating babes demons going around and around that small track.  Ok, yeah, it was cool when someone got knocked out of the track, too.  I was a kid, so sue me.

Roller derby got its start as far back at the late 1800s, with endurance races and the like. With the advent of Television, Roller Derby made its mark and from the 1950s (when I was a kid) the Roller Derby grew into a legitimate sport. (There were both Men's and Women's teams - but let's face it, we all watched the women's teams more.) Due to the increasingly 'circus' like atmosphere of the games, fans began deserting the the stands and the sport officially closed in the mid 1970s.

Ah, but wait!  Roller Derby has returned!  Starting back in 2001 with the founding of new, local teams and new leagues.  Most, Women only. The way God intended it. Ok, I'm not sexist, but let's face it, All Women Roller Derby just makes more sense! And guys just don't look as good skating.  (Other than Scott Hamilton or Bryan Boytano, that is.  Yes. Digressing again, as usual.)

Today, there are Leagues/Teams in every state of the union and worldwide.  That includes the team above, the Nashville Roller Girls, in Nashville Tennessee. Have I been to a match? No. Will I? Probably not.  But I have to respect anyone who plays such a game.

The Nashville Roller Girls Team is more than just the 6 members you see pictured above. On the team's website, you will find 36 members.  I hesitate to call them 'girls' because one has to be careful what you call someone who uses the professional name "Bettie Rampage," "Firestormer" or "Happy Killmore."  Of course, that's part of the charm, the names.  Who's going to watch a roller match with someone named Suzie Homemaker? Not me.

When I was younger, I took up skating.  I envisioned myself getting good enough to join the Roller Derby and kick some butt!  Then I realized that I could barely stay upright.  And backward skating?  Oh forget it! The reality of it all is, the physical talent needed for Roller Derby is more than I have that's for darn sure - and I'm talking these all female teams!

I can still dream.  Maybe as a coach?   

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