That is what I decided my roller derby moniker would be should I ever have the time, money and where-with-all to join such a motley (fun) crew! Roller derby? Why, yes! This past weekend, I and my mother attended our first ever Roller Derby bout. It was the season opener of the NH Roller Derby where we got to watch the Seabrook Meltdowns go up against the Granite Skate Troopers. The whole event was a marvel to watch. Not only did the players dress in “motley crew” attire with nicknames to make any Mama proud, but also the referees had applicable intimidating nicknames (i.e. Van GoToTheBox).
We were in good company Saturday evening, when about half the audience raised their hands to indicate this was their first derby bout. The ladies of the derby were gracious enough to go through a run through of what roller derby is: rules, player roles, and objectives. Yes, this whole event had a lot of “showboating” type entertainment, but it’s still very much a serious sport. Those ladies are very competitive and it’s a contact sport to rival hockey (in my humble opinion) so the fragile and scared probably shouldn’t apply (although there were several thin ladies out in the rink Saturday night that had their own brand of toughness – so looks are deceiving!)
The fans in the stands that are regulars aren’t as flashy with their attire but they are very boisterous for their teams. One group of male fans came equipped with trash can tops, plastic buckets, and some sort of horn to be a make shift “Stomp”-like band for the Granite Skate Troopers. It was quite interesting to watch. It’s a lively sport, with lively fans and I don’t even know where it came from! I imagine if I wanted to get all nerdy, I could do some research into the sport, but for now I’ll forgo the aforementioned research project and enjoy being a newly-acquired fan.
I had the pleasure of meeting some of the ladies of the NH Roller Derby back in February, when I attended the WZID Women’s EXPO. They are normal every day gals, like the rest of us, but they obviously enjoy an ‘edge’ to their life with their involvement in this sport. They invited my mother and I to one of their games when we met them at the EXPO. I’m glad we were able to take them up on their offer. I had a good time. Due to reasons I cannot disclose here, my mother and I had to leave the venue just as they were beginning overtime due to a tie bout (70 to 70).
Watching the game Saturday brought a few childhood memories back of the days when I looked forward to going roller skating every weekend at the local roller skating rink across from the old Riverside Park grounds in Agawam, MA. Those were the days of Space Invaders, Pac-Man and other pay-to-play video games found at such venues. I loved roller skating. I skated forwards, backwards and even took a figure skating class (in roller skates). Doing the limbo on skates was fun too: fond memories for me all around. Even as I type this, a smile is spread across my face.
I may not don roller skates as the “Princess of Mischief Stephanie” (a.k.a. “PMS”) in a roller derby bout, but I may just try to find a local skating place and make a few rounds around the rink for old times’ sake. Thank you, ladies of the NH Roller Derby for the walk down memory lane and a fun bout to watch. I am sure I will be attending another sometime in the near future!
Wait!? Who won? The Seabrook Meltdowns did. To learn more, check out this article about this very bout here.
Here’s to hoping you support your local women’s roller derby league!
“Princess of Mischief Stephanie” (a.k.a. “P.M.S.”) 🙂