28 Before 28: Go to Roller Derby

13 Apr
Melis and I at the free photobooth before the match.

Melis and I at the free photobooth before the match.

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

I’m a huge fan of any form of female badassery. And as an avid sports fan, it does bother me a twinge that women’s leagues are ignored in favor of men’s. Men can be amazing sports gods, and women can just be fans.

Tis not the case in roller derby!

Two of my closest lady friends and I went to our first Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout last night. Other than seeing the movie “Whip It” I had no idea what to expect.

Manhattan Mayhem's Jeer-leaders.

Manhattan Mayhem’s Jeer-leaders.

The pageantry of it was by far the best part. The bout we watched was Manhattan Mayhem vs. Bronx Gridlock. Each team had their own Jeer-leaders who would throw beads into the crowd and helped little kids attending make signs for their favorite players. All of the players adopt incredible names such as Sweets McBacon, Full Metal Jackie, and Mayday Malone. Even the refs had fun names like Ref in Peace and TestosteRON Jeremy. I’ve been brainstorming a name for myself  and have only come up with Whammy Wilson, although it’s a work in progress.

Beginning of the jam.

Beginning of the jam.

The derby itself was a little confusing, and we spent a lot of time trying to figure out why teams were getting the points they were. I also assumed there would be more skating. Most “jams” had one skater called a “jammer” trying to push through members of the other team without getting pushed off the track. Once they broke through, they would skate one lap and be allotted points. So most of the time we were watching the skaters not move much, just pushing each other back and forth. I wish I understood the rules better. I think I would have enjoyed it much more.

Hula hoop halftime show.

Hula hoop halftime show.

But I still enjoyed it immensely and want to go more regularly. I found myself cheering for Bronx Gridlock, because I fancy myself an outer borough girl. But my heart and residence has been in Queens, and I’m looking forward to becoming an avid fan of the Queens of Pain. Maybe one day, even becoming a player.



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