Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I might have mentioned that I've got a new job. It's not a cash paying job, more a volunteer position. I've now announced two separate roller derby bouts, and based on their smiles and compliments, the league seems to like me.

To an extent, I'm almost worried that my abilities are not so much good as they are better than the last guy. I hate to say too much bad about him, especially considering all the bad that's already been said about him. I have to imagine at some point that karma may swing around and whop me in the butt, but there's also the fact that he did indeed suck, long and loud, though not really too loud as one of the complaints about him involved an inability to understand or even quite hear him.

So with two bouts under my belt, I'm much more comfortable doing it than I was when it was just this thing looming on the horizon. Our next home bout is not till August, so it will be that long till I get my talk on again. That one is our first intra league bout of the season.

Our last bout was not a "real" bout, in a sense, but it was certainly real enough as any of the participating skaters can verify. It was put together almost at the last minute in a bid to decide what we think of a new location as well as to let the new location decide what they think about us. The three teams that make up our league played three periods, but rather than time them, we set them to be twelve jams each, something that didn't quite work in the end, as we ran pretty long. It was the only way to really make it fair though, to make sure that each team, playing staggered jams, had the same amount of time on the rink as well as having each team face each other an equal number of times.

It was an exciting bout. Momma's team pretty much flattened the other two, though all the teams were skating down some girls. Between injuries and people being out of town, we are missing a few people.

As far as announcing goes, I'd agree that, for the most part, I did a pretty good job. It's really not hard for me to talk, and it's certainly not hard for me to get excited about roller derby. I know the rules, and I know the skaters, and I've absolutely fallen in love with both roller derby and our entire league. I can only hope that my excitement comes through and infects our fans, building our fan base.

And that's really where it's hard for me to express myself. I think I'm gracious with praise, maybe slightly less so with criticism, though I do want to know people's opinions, want to improve myself and the job I do. The skaters and refs have all fairly lavished me with praise, almost to the point where it starts to sound like flattery, leaving me to wonder if it's me or just that I'm not the other guy.

One of the biggest differences between me and the last guy, I'm not doing this for me, though there is a part of me that's proud to get to be involved, that loves the acceptance. It all comes down to the fact that I really believe in these girls. I believe in our league. I believe in the power of roller derby to bring out the best in people and to show women what they are truly capable of.

And then we come to the things I've fucked up, whether or not anyone else heard it happen. There was the first bout when I referred to LP as a jammer, which she happened to hear and which she is certainly not. She is in fact a blocker, one hell of a hard hitter as well. In the expo bout I referred to her three separate times as MM, another blocker, equally as amazing with her hits. I suppose I had Momma's team Machine Gun Kellys on my mind when I called the penalty box the machine gun box, though I can honestly tell you that I really have no idea how that came out. There was at least on instance, which a few people caught, when I almost called one of our skaters by her nickname, Douche-ass, funny but best left a bit private as it certainly is not her derby name. There were several other random flubs that I caught at the time, though they weren't as memorable as they could have been.

And that's the story of my new job. It may not pay cash, but I get paid back when the league has that much more fun, when the fans scream and cheer that much louder, when people start to understand derby and start to fall in love like I did. And really, how hard is it to convince people that roller derby may be the best thing to ever happen to them? even when I am stumbling over my words.