They See Me Rollin’
I’m not sure what I like most about roller derby – the alternative crowd and atmosphere, the fact that there are chicks skating around a rink and shoving each other, the whole girl-power punk outfits and attitude, or the excellent puns that the teams, skaters and referees use for their derby names. I do know that all of those elements make for an awesome spectator sport, which is why I dragged my flu-ridden self out of bed to go to the first match of the season for the Sydney Roller Derby League (SRDL) on Saturday April 21.
I won’t pretend that I knew much about roller derby before I saw Whip It, but I’m certain the film did great things for exposure of the sport. The crowd packed out most of the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre to see a first bout showcasing the SRDL’s junior squads, the Black & Deckhers vs. the Little Dead Riding Hoods. I made some poor pseudoephedrine-related driving decisions so we arrived late and only saw the second half of the bout, but I got to see some of the upcoming talents like Speedin’ Seagal, Stacey DC and Foxy Beaver getting the crowd warmed up with a win from the Black & Deckhers.
The second bout was an all-stars match between two teams made up from the Sydney Assassins squad, the Ice Ice Babies and the MC Hammers. The game began with a choreographed dance-off between the teams to a mash-up of Vanilla Ice’s hit and Can’t Touch This, the MC Hammers getting the loudest applause for their sideways hammer dance-skating.
The MC Hammers’ initial dance-off advantage didn’t last long, with Ice Ice Babies’ jammers Winnie Bruise, Freyda Cox and Bacardi Bruiser dominating the first half of the bout. Just after half time the Ice Ice Babies were leading 102-48, and it looked like it was time for the MC Hammers to pack away their pants. With a few incredible late power jams from the MC Hammers’ Captain Ratz and Bomb Jones, the Ice Ice Babies’ lead was narrowed down to a few measly points. In a black-painted nail-biting finish, the MC Hammers managed to scrape a few points in the last few seconds of the game to snatch an unexpected but crowd-pleasing win.
As I mentioned, a great spectator sport. If you want to know more about roller derby in general, there are lots of great videos on YouTube like this one; or you can check out the SRDL website here or their facebook for further info about the teams and upcoming bouts.