Sunday, November 09, 2014


last month while roadtripping we went to see a roller derby match.

neither my friend nor i had ever seen roller derby before, so that was exciting. i was expecting it to be more like pro wrestling and less like a sport, so imagine my surprise and delight to find myself front row at this amazing spectacle.

sport. it is definitely a sport. but while the girls take the sport seriously, there's a veneer of not taking too much else seriously. there's a lot of wackiness in naming and costuming and the general feel of the venue, which suite me just fine.

we get to the venue early, right when they open the doors because we don't know a thing about it or how early you have to come to get a seat or even what the seats will be like. the ladies at the door are delighted to hear it's our first time and they explain the seating and the point us tot he page of the program that explains the rules.

we decide to sit on the outside edge of the "suicide zone".  flat track roller derby hasn't got anything to keep the players inside the track besides some tape lines, and outside the track there's a fifteen foot ring of tape inside which children may not stand or sit and chairs must not be placed. it's the buffer zone.

we set up our chairs right on the edge of that, on a corner of the track where the players will be coming at us as the go around.

it's very exciting.

it it the last home bout of the ithaca SufferJets (how i LOVE that name), who are hosting the gotham city Grand Central Terminators.

at first, even with the explanations we've been given, we do not have a clue what is happening. but we watch and we pay attention and fortunately there are some nice young women sitting near us who skate for the syracuse Assault City Squad, and they're happy to explain to us what just happened, so by the end of the bout we have a good grasp of the basics.

it is amazing to watch.

and while we have no particular affinity for either team, the SufferJets win the bout and it is pleasing to see the home team win if you haven't got a stake in the other team.

after the bout, they did a thing i liked very much: the SufferJets took a victory lap and the crown came down to the track and high-fived the skaters as the passed, all around the track. then the Terminators took a lap and high fived the crowd, too.

they all went of to the afterparty, but we went up to the campsite and went to bed.


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