Sunday, July 06, 2008

Flat Track Roller Derby

A special thanks to Lauren and Steven for their invitation to join them this evening at the Texas Rollergirls Flat Track Roller Derby. It had been far, far too long since Jamie and I had gone out to see Roller Derby.

I still think its a great sport, and Austin has two different Roller Derby leagues, so I had no particularly good reason to have not hit the Roller Derby here in town since our return. Especially as Roller Derby's current revival had one of its epicenters here in Austin.

This was not the TXRD of Austin, which once had its own A&E-based TV program. Instead, this is, according to Steven and Lauren, a splinter group. Apparently there was some weirdness that I'm not clear on, and so... Austin has twice the RollerDerby of many other metropolitan areas. This evening we saw Texas Rollergirls at Playland Skate, which longtime Austin residents might recall sits by 183 and Burnet. Jason's band actually played there last September.

The set up was fairly similar to the Flat Track in Arizona, but they had four teams, so there were actually two games, who played a half each. One of the teams was visiting from Arkansas, and I thought they did pretty well for being in the second leg of a roadtrip.

The feel of the games was somewhat different from Arizona. In general, I think the Austin teams were technically a bit more skilled, probably because the league has been around a bit longer, and this made some of the jams pretty exciting as you'd get to see folks weaving in and out of the blockers. And, amazingly, I don't recall anyone flying off into the crowd because they'd built up too much speed, like I recalled from AZRD.

That said, I sort of missed the occasional explosion of fisticuffs that were part of AZRD. I get the feeling there's just a different focus with sportsmanship here in Austin, and that's okay. But you have to admit, girls dressed as baseball players and pirates slugging each other on skates = awesome.

I want to try the banked track roller derby, just to see what the difference is. So I'll have to see if I can get Steven and Lauren to head downtown with us to check out one of those bouts.

Interestingly, I ran into my two former office mates from my previous job. They weren't even there together and were unaware the other was there at all. The odds of that happening is pretty darn low.

I also ran into my former co-worker from UT, Beth. Beth is an awesome artist and web designer, and I really don't know when I'd seen her since maybe 2000 or 2001. She looks remarkably exactly the same, and it seems she's a retired member of the Hell Marys.

Anyway, it was great to be back at a Roller Derby bout, even if we had to leave a spot early.


J.S. said...

I have these fantasies about dating a roller derby girl...

The League said...

You should come to a match with a handful of posies.