Friday, November 23, 2007

Oh, roller derby, we missed you.

If I could roller skate and weren't afraid of getting elbowed in the face by an occasionally aggressive stay-at-home mom or a homicidal school teacher, I would absolutely join a roller derby team. The New York Times ran a great article on the Gotham Girls Roller Derby and the rebirth of this once-popular sport.

"Roller derby, which seemed to have a short final flare of life on cable television back in the 1970s, has been reborn atop the skates of amateur women across the country. They have formed leagues, broken bones, drunk beer and won tens of thousands of raucous, loyal fans. The New York teams, which started in 2003 with a handful of women skating under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, include teachers, stage managers, accountants, a lion keeper, corporate lawyers and an antiques dealer, as well as the one known astronomer. Their ages range from 23 to 42."

I love -- love! -- that there's a lion keeper in the group. The story captivated me not only because it sounds just plain cool but also -- and perhaps more importantly -- because participants get to have their own roller derby nom de plumes, including Lil’ Miss Stuffit, Surly Temple, Beatrix Slaughter, Lemony Kickit, Brigitte Barhot, Auntie Christ and my personal favorite, Beyonslay -- "accent over the 'a,'" says the owner of the alias. Fabulous!

In lieu of actually joining a roller derby team, I may just come up with my own alias and wear it on the back of a t-shirt. Maybe Hermione Rager? (In)Sane Austen? I'll have to work on it. In the meantime, I'll just wonder what it's like to skate like the wind alongside Beatrix Slaughter. I'm betting it's pretty damn cool...especially the part where we cold-cock Farmer McGregor on the back turn.

Photo from


Anonymous said...

Just to get a better insight into the world of Chick Derby...please watch this video before signing up. I'm not sure you are ready.

How about "Lizzy Board'n"

L-D's D

Liz said...

I don't know. Have you ever seen me fight over the last piece of pumpkin pie? I'm a maniac.

Lizzy Board'n is an awesome name. I think we've found a winner!

Nicole said...

Try asking Gotham G.R.D to let you watch a practice, and see if you can ask them if you can give it a try.
I was a fan, and then I tried out and it's hard work but it's so worth it and I have absolutely fallen in love. It's a great way to keep myself active, and sane [off the rink].
Glad you are interested!
Claudia Van Damage
Houston Roller Derby

Nicole said...

That chick fight video is the Bay City Bombers, a pro league that really is nothing like real, genuine, Flat Track, WFTDA sanctioned roller derby. There are occasionally fights- but they are nothing like that.... well at least not around here.

Anonymous said...

If you're in Michigan check out the Detroit Derby Girls or the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls. They do the Detroit Bouts at the Masonic and they're so much fun!

Liz said...

Thanks, Nicole and Anonymous. I do live in Michigan, so I'll check out the local roller derby teams. I'm really glad to hear from folks who've actually tried this. It sounds awesome. Also, I love the name Claudia Van Damage!

TheWaveLife said...

Don't forget to check out the Kicking ass in a town near you...

Veronica Scarz said...

Roller derby rocks! I used to skate for the North Star Roller Girls in Minneapolis, MN. I think Hermione Rager would be an awesome derby name! ( I wanted to be J. K. Rolling...but it was taken)

f.k.a.Veronica Scarz
Delta Delta Di
North Star Roller Girls

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