Tuesday, May 27, 2008

They fight like girls

The Tampa Bay Derby Darlins are at it again. Having captured the inaugural Florida State Championship in February, the Switchblade Sisters, Vicegrip Vixens and Cigar City Mafia have begun their regular season schedule. I've talked about my love for the roller derby and the Darlins here before but it bears repeating that the game we're talking about now is a modern, totally unrehearsed, all female reboot of the old classic and not just a campy rehash of silly, staged WWE style antics with pre-determined outcomes. ESPN has even offered a stamp of legitimacy with a feature story they ran a couple of weeks ago:


I attended a scrimmage last week and skater Gore Mae (you know, I'm not sure that's her real name but it's not like I've never had a girl I was talking to at a skating rink give me an alias) who taught me how serious these women are about the roller derby. For starters, new skaters participate in a mandatory eight week training camp before they're allowed to skate in a bout. Also, there are minimum performance standards that must be met before they're allowed to participate in competition. Wow, what sport wouldn't benefit from adopting that concept? And as mentioned previously, these are actual competitions with scores tallied and results tabulated. There is plenty of style but no style points. The games count and they're playing to win.
For fans, it's great because there's plenty of fast-paced action, the skaters are accessible (how many times have you been invited to hang out post game at The Hub with members of the Rays, Lightning or Buccaneers?) and tickets are affordable ($12 or less). Plus, don't let the risque flourishes scare you, it really is family friendly entertainment. What more can you want?
The Tampa Bay Derby Darlins next bout is Saturday, June 7th at Skateplex, 5311 East Busch Boulevard in Temple Terrace. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Go to http://www.tampabayderbydarlins.com/ for more info, including a complete schedule of upcoming bouts and other events.

3 comments:

Blogging McBloggington said...

Great article, Clark! The Derby Darlins are AWESOME!! and the bouts are loads of fun!!

Wildhair said...

Heck, I'd be all in to watch such a spectacle! I'd watch roller derby when I was a kid. It would play on Sunday mornings. There was nothing else to watch but that and the show geared toward Jewish youth.
If you flipped back and forth fast enough, the derby girls shouted in Yiddish. OY!
I may have missed my calling as a derby babe. Talk about releasing pent up aggression!

Why, it's Clark! said...

Riss, why not now?
And I remember those Sunday mornings, The Lone Tanger, The Cisco Kid and Roller Derby all brought to you by Bert Weinman, Your TV Ford Man. Good times.