Last night I attended my first ever Roller Derby event. The town of Athens Georgia now sports two teams, so last night was a Double Header. The Athens' Bad News B's vs. the Rome Roller Girls (In obverse to history, Athens triumphed and Rome limped home.) And then the Classic City All Stars vs the Atlanta Sake Tuyas (One of four Atlanta teams).
It was an all around exciting experience. Not really like the film Whip It apart from it featuring hot girls on skates. There was nothing I could tell that resembled anything like the malicious intent of popular imaginings.
The Athens v. Rome bout was a bit lopsided for the first half, with Athens cleaning up really fast and having a seriously daunting lead. But Rome came through in the second and managed to nearly even the score. I'd say they deserve being watched out for. But the Atlanta bout was Ugly. I'm talking waking up with a hangover next to Rosie O'donnel ugly. It was 43 to 206 for the final score.
If your not familiar with the sport, basically you have Blockers, Jammers and Everyone else. Blockers start out in front, the rest of the squads behind them, and lastly the Jammers. The Jammers goal is to zip around the mass of players and especially the blockers.. and then stay out in front of the group. Thats how they score points, for every opposing team member they pass. And so of course everyone is out to smear the Jammer. It's a bit of an unholy offspring of Nascar and the NFL, but with way fewer beer bellies. It's exciting is what it is.
Though most sports take themselves seriously. Lots of money riding on them. This is a sport with a serious sense of humour. It's evident in the ladies track names. Usually puns, and usually hilarious. Just a smattering "Tina Tourniquet", "Rudy Huxtabrawl", "Peewee Slayhouse","Princess Lay-you-out". It's evident in that the announcer in Athens looks like he just stepped out of an 70's porno.
It's a sport for people who don't particularly enjoy sports. But don't mistake, the athleticism of these ladies is nothing short of amazing. They took hits that would have sent NFL players limping to the sidelines and would have earned half a dozen Redcards in the MLS. Most moderate sized towns in the US have a team, sometimes two. If you live near one and have never been.. I really can't recommend it highly enough.