I had an opportunity to lose my virginity over the weekend…my Roller Derby virginity, that is. Actually, that’s still not accurate. I didn’t actually play roller derby. But I watched. And I learned. And I loved.
My BFF invited me to attend the championship game on Saturday. Her two favourite teams were battling it out for 1st place. I was informed I needed to dress in purple or teal (team colours) and that I might have to hold up a sign. Okay then…
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I wasn’t even really sure what roller derby was all about. I had a vague image of the rink and girls dressed in outfits that left little to the imagination. Oh and the players always had clever, usually violent stage names. Thankfully, the Terminal City Roller Girls organization understands not all attendees are knowledgeable. There was a quick video at the very beginning that provided the basics: positions, length of play, rules, etc. And as you watch you get an idea of what is going on but I still spent most of the first game asking my friend why something happened.
At the beginning of the night I wasn’t sure who I’d cheer for since I really didn’t know anything about either team. As we were entering the Beer Garden I saw a familiar face. A girl I’d figure skated with years ago. Turns out she played in the league a few years ago and was now a coach. Small world! Anyway, at least I had someone to cheer for (her team anyway).
The crowd was eclectic. Spectators ranged from fairly normal, everyday looking people to the other extreme: punk, goth, pierced up the wahzoo, tattoos galore…You name it, I saw it. My friend told me to bring along a camp chair so we could be ringside for the action. I don’t think I’d watch roller derby any other way. You could see everything and my chair was significantly more comfortable than the hard wooden benches in the arena. And you could get up close and personal with the players after the game if you wanted.
I think my favourite part of the night was reading the names off the back of the jerseys. Tiki Timebomb, Chic and Twisted, Nazdroveya Wyld, Lamb Baste-Her. Even the officials get into the fun. My favourite ref? A extremely tall guy who went by Commodore 6’4 (gee, wonder how tall he is??). For fun, I popped my name into a roller derby name generator and it came up with Scarlett DownAgain. Oddly appropriate considering my love for Gone With The Wind…
The first game was for 3rd place: Riot Girls vs Public Frenemy. Right from the outset it was clear Public Frenemy was the dominant team. They ended up winning their game by a huge margin. I was told that the next game between The Bad Reputations and Faster Pussycats would be much more intense. Both teams were high energy and exciting to watch. However, it was clear after just a few minutes that the Faster Pussycats wanted it more. They consistently outplayed their opponents and won the championship easily.
I have to admit, I’m intrigued. I loved figure skating, would I enjoy roller skating? Hmmmm….
If nothing else, I’ll probably take in a game or two next season.