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So, it seems that the Santa Cruz Derby Girls (Well, mostly their hippie friends and boyfriends trying to show how forward-thinking and feminist they were for standing up to my blatant sexism) were none too pleased with my previous article about Roller Derby. I happen to know one of the SCDG ladies and waved hi and she smiles, turns to her team and I hear “That’s the guy who wrote ‘The Article.’” Now, I have fought my fair share of women (I mean, who hasn’t?!), but a whole team at once? It was time to skedaddle.  Later, however, I was able to calmly discuss the article with a Santa Cruz player and she discussed my blaring ignorance of the sport. As such, I’ve decided to write a follow-up article now that I have ACTUALLY seen a roller derby game. Now, for a retraction rarely seen on Racket, I’d like to say that the SCDG’s had neither red eyes (though the CVS down the street recorded the highest sales of Visine they had ever seen) nor reeked of patchouli (it was just a faint scent, and the parking lot was littered with Fabreze bottles and the smell of marijuana seemed to show up when they were around).

However, Racket would like to point out that, as was our prediction, the Angel City Derby Girls’ Hollywood Scarlets smoked the living hell out of the SCDG Boardwalk Bombshells 157-60. Hey Angus, you were right, they DID smell blood and humiliation, just not their own.

Now, I have to admit, I didn’t expect to see such athleticism or strategy, NOT because their small women brains don’t have the capacity for it, but because I barely knew shit about roller derby going into this. It turns out that the sport is WAY more sport-like than some so-called “Olympic sports.” Curling, archery, golf and synchronized swimming, I’m looking at you.

I found myself quickly understanding the basics, how the jams go, what blockings were allowed/disallowed and how points were scored; but seeing the players making split-second decisions and near-ninja moves on skates showed me that these chicks have, in modern vernacular, “mad skillz.” It turns out that for a guy who has minimal interest in sports, I became REALLY interested in looking up more about the sport. Wikipedia, you’re REALLY well read on the sport, aren’t you?

And just like any other real sport, pounding a couple cheap beers and heckling the opposing team made me feel like a proud Goddamned American.  However, the downside of becoming emotionally invested in a sports team meant that I bit a thumbnail WAY too short, and that shit hurts like a motherfucker. What makes this a sport that I can REALLY get behind, though, is announcers wearing Viking helmets and doing a Nelson-esque “Ha ha!” when an opposing player ate shit. That was awesome.


-Jonathan Yost