Sunday, November 4, 2007

I go to Roller Derby for the articles.

Ah Tankerbelle... I DO believe in magic!

So after 4 years of saying I should check it out, I finally made it to a Gotham Girls Roller Derby match. I cannot believe I haven't gone before.

Rather than sitting on the bleachers, we chose to go for court side seats, in prime crash zone. While a small segment of the track was blocked by the central benches, it was quite easy to track the action. Our friend Heather who is also the penalty ref ("Lady Refstrike") came over and explained the basics to me and a few other newbies and then we were off.

And by off, I mean we sat and watched the roller derby girls warm up and stretch for 30 minutes.

Then the matches began. It was a double header - two Gotham Girls league teams versus a visiting team from Long Island and one from Jersey. I'm not going to attempt to recreate some sort of play-by-play here; I couldn't do it justice. But even though the Gotham Girls teams annihilated the visiting exhibition teams, it was still incredibly exhilarating to watch. Face paced, physical, tension-packed - everything you could want from a team sporting event.

My personal favorite was Tankerbelle, a tall, lanky and gorgeous rookie-transfer from the reportedly devastatingly athletic Kansas City league. Sweet and pure looking, with a colorful tutu; the blue roller derby floor was the only thing that kept her legs from going on forever. I was then quite pleasantly surprised to watch her mercilessly and repeatedly upend her NJ Hellraiser opponents in the pack with the viciousness of a mother protecting her Jammer.

Down goes 'Raiser! Down goes 'Raiser!!

Her motto in the program was "Every time a bell rings, a fairy kicks your ass!" Well RANG-A-DANG, Tank!

I have often said that the Olympics should only consist of ancient, military-based sports. The marathon. The decathalon. The javelin throw. Women's beach volleyball. Etcetera. But now I add Women's Flat-Track Roller Derby to that proud list.

Sally forth, you wheeled warriors... to VICTORY!

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