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October 1, 2006

New Love

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.]

[I hydrate before the bout. Note the houses in the background—oddly enough, the venue is right smack in the middle of extensive cookie-cutter housing.]

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.

[Getting ready to roll. Photo: Nancy]

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).

[A “jammer” sprinting. Photo: Nancy]

At breaks, they had little one-point games.

[Photo: Nancy]

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.

I had to get a shirt. So did Nancy. We love them.

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….

Posted by beth at October 1, 2006 12:56 AM

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I don't suppose you can tell me how I can get a shirt too? Hope all is well in your world, keep smiling,


Posted by: Brian at October 5, 2006 2:20 AM

Hi" It was hilarious to read about your roller blade adventure. By the way, how "young" are you?. I wish I could jump in your suitcase and go along with you on these adventures.Kind of a silent observer and I could learn about the places you visit. Could you please reply and let me know what your degree is in(major) as I'm considering a job change. My degre is in human resources and that can be stressful and also boring. Thanks, Mary

Posted by: Mary at October 6, 2006 7:09 AM

I can remember loving roller derby back when I lived in Maine. For me, it was as good a hockey.

Posted by: mz. em at October 10, 2006 8:03 PM

SO, it's a too beautiful Saturday after Thanksgiving. Cincinnati should not be 65 degrees this close to Xmas.I'm sitting in the house listening to the UC BEARCAT football game and reading the NY Times online. Something made me realize that I hadn't checked the iceblog in a while. So here I am and I read you discussing rollerderby. TWO thoughts: 1)One reason I am listening to the game on radio is the local TV station that nornally shows UC football is showing.............................................................................................."Rollerball". The 1975 movie about rollerderby in the future. In my opinion the violence of football-pro and college will keep this vision of the future from ever transpiring.
2) Guess what. If you ever make it to Cincinnati you can check out the rollerderby league. Here's a link to a rollerderby blog http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/pcult/

Here is the league's website http://www.cincinnatirollergirls.com/home3.html

Happy Holidays Beth!

Posted by: Gary Collins at November 25, 2006 6:15 PM

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