October 1, 2006
I have a new love.
It’s the roller derby.
Back in August, I went to see the Flaming Lips and Ween play at Red Rocks ampitheater with my friends Larry, Nicole, and Jim. The carload of folks parked next to us (tailgating before shows is pretty much a requirement at Red Rocks) included a woman who, as we somehow discovered, had roller skates—with flames on them. Nicole and I were immediately enamored. She handed us fliers advertising the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, inviting us not only to come watch, but to try out. Yeah.
Well, we actually *have* looked into trying out, thank you very much, but it may be too much of a commitment for me, and besides, it’s in Denver. Sigh. HOWEVER, we *did* get a group together to check it out on Saturday.
And we did it up right.
[The tailgating crew: Jen, Laurie, Nicole, me, Nancy. Photo: guy in the car next to us. Being short on time once we got to Denver, and finding ourselves in suburbia hell, we opted for Papa Johns Pizza—which also had a liquor store next door. And, being starving (and apparently thirsty, too), we decided to eat (and drink) right there in the parking lot.]
The roller derby was in a place called the Bladium. No joke. We thought it was just called that on the advertisement, but no; it says it on the side of the building. It’s also used for roller hockey—I guess it’s a roller blade thing.
But these girls didn’t use no roller blades. It was all about the quads, baby.
There actually are rules, and even different positions. Three, to be exact: One pivot (setting the pace of the pack), several guards(?), and one jammer (sprinter).
At breaks, they had little one-point games.
And at half-time, there was a band. Really. They were playing punk. As we approached, I said, “I bet they’re, like, 14.” Nope. They were, like, 40. “Wow, they’re pretty tight,” said Nicole. “Yeah,” I said, “probably because they’ve been playing together since the early 80s…” Nicole thinks roller derby is where punk has come to die.
And Sunday…. well, I admit it. I bought skates. They ROCK! I’ll post a picture sometime. In the meantime, I’ll be brushing up on my skating skills….