Sunday, November 16, 2008

Roller Derby of my Dreams

disclaimer: this is long. i am sorry.

Several weeks ago I witnessed something not even close to anything else experienced in the whole of my life. It was awe-inspiring, humbling, invigorating, emotional. I don't think I could have experienced such an array of emotions anywhere else than at the GOTHAM GIRLS ROLLER DERBY!

It's an amateur roller derby league in NY, NY. Here are the teams:

Bronx Gridlock
Manhattan Mayhem
Brooklyn Bombshells
Queens of Pain
and Wallstreet Traitors (An all-borough team)

The girls are rough & TUMBLE! It's live or die out there. Sean & I went with some friends and were witness to the greatest event ever to be held on this green earth.

First, I love the team names so much. They are awesome. The match we went to was Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. Manhattan's uniforms were orange cut-off prison jumpsuits. NICE! And Brooklyn had blue sailor'ish suits. Fun stuff. Here is an example of the girls' names, which they choose themselves:

Hella Skelter
Lil' Red Terror
Luna Impact
Raggedy Animal
Ariel Assault

OH YES. Love the puns.

Here are some more:

Em Dash (her number on the back of her uniform was "-" nice.)
Lucille Ballistic
Surly Temple

MY roller derby name? Jenocide. (Thanks Sean.) And you BET i was/am dying to join. I think I could be really fast.

The rules are complicated so I'm not sure i'll get into it. Let me just say that the roller derby is so awesome and if you go (and EVERYONE should go) you will find yourself screaming your guts out and watching the most amazing halftime shows that, dare I say, will bring a tear. Seriously. EMOTIONAL. The spirit and pride of the game is super contagious. I haven't been to a setting like this in years. And add the quirks & explosive personality of the girls, their names and personal touches to their uniforms all combined with a high impact, high energy, VERY sweaty and likely-to-be-dangerous sport and you have a solid gold winner.

Here are some pictures.

These are the Bombshells in their v-formation as they introduce each player who skates out onto the track and joins the group. Love it.

Here are they are getting ready for a round, or "jam." (And like i said, sweaty.)

Here we are pre-cheer, lost in the intensity of it all.

Finally when a player breaks free from the pack and starts scoring points, the crowd explodes!

Here are the Brooklyn "jeerleaders." ha ha..

If you are penalized, for throwing an elbow or tripping someone, you get sent to the penalty or "bad girl" box.

Here's some video of a "jam." The girl with the star on her helmet is the "jammer"(there is one from each team each "jam") & she is trying to break free from the crowd and pass members of the opposite team. She gets a point for each one she passes. The jams don't last very long. Up to 2 minutes. The other girls try to keep her from breaking through, or if they're on her team, help her break through. Sometimes you'll see the bigger players reach back, grab the arm of the jammer, and totally whip her around and rocket launch her ahead. It is so cool. I feel like I could be a good jammer. I'm agile, with cat-like reflexes and speed.

When your team's jammer breaks through, it is seriously so exciting and the crowd erupts.

Almost as good as watching the match was watching the halftime shows. Allow me to introduce "hula hoop girl."

I don't think anything more needs to be said about her.

The brooklyn jeerleaders also put on a halftime show, choreographed to one of the best songs of all time: Under Pressure. It was amazing, and I watched, stunned. What looked to be a cheesy, unimpressive amateurish show turned out to be the most jaw-dropping & heart-wrenching performance i've ever seen. I have video of it and it is 28 megs too long. Major bummer. All of us were screaming and cheering our hearts out and singing along. I could not stop from yelling, "YEAH BROOKLYN!!!" I felt the pride. sniff.

Well, anyway. Just wanted to share that with you. Long live the roller derby.


MelBroek said...

I feel that "Jenocide" is absolutely perfect. Way to go! Also, Hula Hoop Girl is quite the talent. Perhaps if you can't make it into the derby league, you could come up with some kind of half time show. That way you could at least be included in the merriment.

Also, good call on "Under Pressure" being one of the best songs ever. You speak (type) the truth.

Lindsey said...

Did you pay money for this? :-)

Natalie R. said...

That looks totally awesome! I wish it were on rollerblades, I would totally join then! :0)

)en said...

Are you kidding? I paid $20 and would have paid more. SO WORTH IT.

Natalie, you would rock it. I always was better on skates than blades, but yeah... i so dream of joining.

I WISH I could come up with a cool halftime show. All of these shows/events were so much cooler than I can possibly convey.

Brooke said...

This sounds like a rockin' experience and I am more than a little jealous. I mean, I've been to a Demolition Derby, but it sounds like the Roller Derby was a lot cooler.

linsey said...

"jenocide"--i will be laughing about this for days, weeks, possibly years.

R* said...

JOIN!!!!! You will not regret it. I've gone to Rat City Roller Derby and it was enough for my friend Nodya to become a roller derby monster.

In 'Bama, though.

Do it! I mean, it would make for some great blogs in the future, right?

Joel said...

The whole audience looks far too well-dressed, for some reason.

)en said...

Ah, that is because it is comprised of hipsters and NYU students.

I should, i should do it... I think try outs are soon'ish. It would make for AWESOME blog stories. Unless i'm sitting in the hospital with broken bones. Except that would make for a good story as well... hmmm...

Rob said...

If you make a team I will drive to NYC and see a match GUARANTEED-and make Jenocide T-shirts. It also might not be a bad idea to have a dental professional on hand to handle the inevitable avulsed and fractured teeth.

)en said...

don't worry, they wear mouth guards.