Roller Derby rides again in Eagle
EAGLE — Five-year old Mitchell, a roller derby boy, walked confidently up to anyone who’d listen in order to make sure they knew he’d won the halftime Boogie Dance Moves contest.
“Who’s your mom?” Mitchell was asked.
Mitchell pulled himself up to his full height and pointed proudly to Vegas Baby.
“My mom’s the toughest!” he said proudly.
Vegas Baby is a 10th Mountain Roller Doll, a local roller derby team based in Eagle and playing in a statewide league.
Roller derby matches are two teams of five skaters — four blockers and one jammer. The jammer wears a star on her helmet and scores the points.
Games are called bouts, and are two 30-minute halves split into two minute jams. The jammer scores one point per skater each time she passes them legally in the two minute jam.
That’s how it works. This is what it is.
Roller Derby might be the ultimate redneck spectator sport.
Fit, young, fast-moving women wear clothes that move in ways that are illegal in most Southern states, while they try to smack each other into a parallel universe.
Sex and violence right along with your left-turn, heavy traffic NASCAR type bumper bumping.
But it’s so much more. Roller derby is a sorority on skates for smart women.
Iw spent a delightful few minutes with Pushup Brawl, learning all about roller derby. She’s a 10th Mountain Roller Doll who was carrying a sign that said, “Ask me about roller derby.” So I did.
She said Roller Derby is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and attracts a wide variety of people — teachers and business executives, for example.
Pushup Brawl is the proud owner of a master’s degree and is a speech and language pathologist.
About those names. They must be registered with roller derby’s intergalactic governing agency, twoevils.org, and no two names can be alike.
For the bouts we watched, Boston Bruiser was dressed in a tasteful yet sporty Lycra outfit. Ruby Redrumble was resplendent in a skort and spandex top, accessorized with a rhinestone necklace that spells out “SK8TR,” in sparkly, shiny letters.
Her teammates include Die’anGrenade, Pink FlameNgo, Georgie O’Grief.
Then there are the team names. If the roller derby gods smile, someday our local heroes, the 10th Mountain Roller Dolls, will skate against the Ithaca, New York SufferJets.
Even the tournament names are great. Just last weekend was the Miss Midwest Brew Ha Ha in Milwaukee.
They work out all the time, which is why they not only skate good, but look good doing it.
They work out at least twice a week. If there’s a big match or tournament coming up it could be five times a week.
“It’s a great workout,” said Ruby Red Rumble. “It’s better than anything else I’ve found.”
And they all look and skate like their workout time is time well spent.
This is not your father’s roller derby where Big Joanie Weston and the San Francisco Bay Area Bombers used to elbow pretenders to their throne.
It’s not really complicated, even though they have eight referees and four or five judges to make sure no one breaks any rules.
And they have lots of rules. Among them, you can’t hit people in the back. They have to see you coming. And you can’t try to decapitate someone with your elbow.
There’s a Team America, and Denver is home to the No. 2 roller dwerby team in the world, the Denver Roller Dolls.
Roller Derby teams now compete all over the world, and it might … just might … be in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and firstname.lastname@example.org