Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rollerderby Virgin

Today was day three of my whirlwind social tour, which involved driving around all weekend to do new things with interesting people. Am I bushed? You bet! It's been a fabulous time.

My Sunday trip was to see the Tri-City Roller Girls perform for friends, family, and foodbank. I've never seen a rollerderby before -- on the basis of the late-night television show that I occasionally watched during the '90s I'd assumed it was just a bunch of people jumping over alligators -- and I was impressed by the skill and strategy of the actual sport.

I also enjoyed the other significant part of rollerderby these days: the attitude-fashion-lore. Tattoos, rockabilly styles, amazon moms with starstruck children, a guy who looked like Elvis in the "suicide seats."

With both teams being somewhat arbitrarily-assigned home-towners -- the Vicious Dishes and the Venus Fly Tramps -- I found it difficult to know who to cheer for. I finally settled on the Vicious Dishes because I know more of the members, and I vividly recall sitting in my parent's living room at the age of fourteen, listening to Depeche Mode with the woman now known as "Mean Little Mama." Old loyalties die hard.

I'll definitely try to keep up with their future exploits. May I see the day when they teach those Hamilton women a thing or two?


Anonymous said...

wow! on the surface this sounds even more redneck than 'rasslin'. :-)

Anonymous said...

that was me. jj

Adam Thornton said...

On the surface yes, and it certainly has the potential to be a "tough guys look at the underwear of curvy women" show.

At the moment, however, the spirit is somewhat tongue-in-cheek...and that's what turned me off (before I actually saw it)...I thought it wouldn't be serious enough to have staying power, that it would just be a fad.

Well, it might be, but the sport was actually fun to watch, and the participants are definitely into it.

Anonymous said...

I just checked out that newspaper article - I certainly wouldn't want to be in mean little momma's prison. :)

But like lots of things human, the attraction of roller derby is a mystery. Don't tough Canadian girls play ice hockey? And if you want a summer sport, isn't lacrosse rough enough? :)

Anonymous said...

So tough Canadian girls have two choices? Hockey or lacrosse? zzzzzzzzzz
Roller Derby is at worst a campy sport, and at best it is kick ass women working and training hard. This sport is REAL, no fake fights, no fixed scores and no jumping aligators.
I challenge ANYONE who doesn't believe me to strap on the quads and come scrimmage with us. It will be fun!!

Lippy Wrongstockings #19
Vicious Dishes

Adam Thornton said...

It seemed more "serious" than "camp" when I saw it on Sunday, which is why I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I was very glad NOT to see an alligator!

As for getting a taste of the pack...even if gender were on my side, I wouldn't be able to handle it...I'd be too busy apologizing for bumping into people.

Adam Thornton said...

JJ, "sports" is a subject I don't know much about. I certainly don't see female sports teams mentioned very often outside of the Olympics.

In high school, the only female-exclusive sports I remember were field hockey and ringette, both known for hard knocks against calves and ankles with wooden sticks. It seems to me that lacrosse was mostly a male sport (at the time anyway) and female ice hockey was waaaaay under the radar.

Rollerderby, I'd imagine, has a much better sense of style and history. It isn't seen as either a "girly" sport or an extension of a "guy" sport.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that lacrosse was mostly a male sport (at the time anyway

Imagine that! Like most 3rd world kids whose idea about British kids was shaped in large part by

I used to think lacrosse was an exclusively girls sports. So imagine my surprise when I saw NFL style lacrosse on ESPN. :)

And seriously, since lacrosse is the one true natively Canadian sport, one would expect the schools and everyone to encourage the girls.

Adam Thornton said...

Considering its background, you're IS strange that Lacrosse isn't popular. Maybe the equipment is too expensive for kids who just want to practice in the driveway? Or maybe it isn't very fun? :)

I've never played it, and I only saw it once: during a public school trip to a local conservation area, one of their socially-responsible activities was to teach the older kids how to play lacrosse. This was probably considered a "heritage lesson" of some kind.

Anonymous said...

So Muffy, as a Canadian, with the long cold winters, do you go out on the ice? Or ski? Chess?

And talk about hopeless dweebs succeeding at becoming mainstream culture:,28804,1815747_1815707_1815675,00.html


Adam Thornton said...

JJ, your link got cut off...tinyurl time! :)

I don't do winter sports. My parents used to take me skating and skiing, but I hated getting cold and sore ankles. Tobogganing can be fun but requires the perfect hill.

Nope, winters for me are all about hibernation. Or rather, continuing the hibernation that I do during the summer as well. :)

Anonymous said...

View the source code of the page! But (at least on IE) starting a copy from the beginning of the line allows me to paste on the address bar.

Except for football - where EVERYONE can pretend that they are busy without having any skills whatsover, I hated participating in competitive sports - for the simple reason I am no good at them. :-)

So in adulthood, I am on a over -compensating trip. A sport is all about streching your own limits?
I am there, baby. :)

Adam Thornton said...

I'm glad you've found an outlet for your over-compensation!

I agree, competative sports were not for me, I just wasn't blood-thirsty enough. I was forced to play all sorts of sports in compulsory grade 9 phys-ed, but in subsequent grades we could take drama instead.

So Tanzi, is that why you have so many drama students? :)

Anonymous said...

Lippy Wrongstockings is the best fake internet name I've seen today.

Unless it's that person's real name...which may just be even more awesome.