This is why I love the Minnesota RollerGirls

rollergirls.jpgT, A, bloodlust – what’s not to love?

I was fully expecting my first attendance at a Minnesota RollerGirls bout to be awesome, but Buddha help me, the experience was so beyond awesome that my limited edition of the “Directory of Mega-Evocative Adjectives” has failed to do justice to the experience.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure, exposed cleavage and ass cheeks aside, this is a genuine sport. Nothing is staged. The girls aren’t cast-offs from Texas body building leagues or retired strippers from Nevada. The RollerGirls are just a bunch regular women that like skating, competition and inflicting debilitating pain.

This is not a joke, many of these girls are flat-out mean born and bred. Most had a criminal record by the 3rd grade. But it’s heartening to see that they’re not so consumed with unchecked rage that it inhibits creativity and wit when it comes time to select their menacing player pseudonyms, so as to invoke fear and loathing in their competitors and preventing creepy fans from stalking them. Names like “Punish Mint Patty”, “Kim Jong Kill”, “Frau Scientits” and “Ji Spot” are brilliance that primetime sitcom writers can only dream about and you know none of those pasties ever sterilized a home room teacher with a staple remover.

gardabelts.jpgFrom the moment of the first whistle, when the elbows started flying and the first shove caused a girl to fly into a happy geek’s lap, I was in awe. The flat, slippery corners at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium mean that speed is limited and spinouts guaranteed – ring-side spectators often come away with skate-shaped shin dimples. Flagrant penalties were frequent and celebrated. Not like those drama queens in soccer or basketball when the accused gets a pathetically incredulous “who me?” look after committing a foul. When a RollerGirl trips and face-plants a competitor, they skate to the penalty box with joyous satisfaction, gesturing at the crowd as if to say “Look at me! I dislocated that girl’s ankle! I own this track, mufucckkaaaaahhhss!!”

At half-time the Dance Band played to the euphoric audience that rushed the track to dance. I was too sober to get into it, due to the Roy Wilkins bar’s inability to serve more than one patron every seven minutes. I had to console myself with a $2.75 Snickers and the knowledge that their wine probably wasn’t fit for cleaning automotive components anyway.

The second half was inconceivably more violent than the first. There were times when the penalty box had three or four girls cooling their wheels at once. Checks and shoves were brazen, falls were bone-crushing and bruised knees and asses multiplied. One girl’s shirt was nearly torn clean off. The end of one particularly brutal bout was punctuated with a bench-clearing brawl, which was inconveniently held on the back side of the track so we couldn’t see who was doing what to whose kidneys. It was just outstanding.

As sweet and wholesome as an evening with the RollerGirls can be, the action unfortunately attracts a certain unpalatable element in the audience. Just behind us sat a couple of early-40s, Abercrombie & Finch-wearing douchebags that had just seemingly completed their annual recertification at the Chris Farley School of Gentlemanly Conduct and Sobriety. Nostalgic for their days at the frat house, these f*ckwits were in top form making asses of themselves from the moment the bout started. Our eye-rolling at their foot pounding and incoherent screaming turned to horror after Buffy the Vampire Skater was sent to the penalty box (directly in front of us) and they started hollering “Come over here and suck my dick Buffy!!” Either Buffy didn’t hear them or she showed Academy Award winning poise by not turning around and skating over their testicles. Mercifully, the douchebags got wholly distracted by the beer table during the first break and weren’t seen or heard from again until just before the night ended when they remembered why they’d come to the Roy in the first place.

I’d like to go again this weekend, but alas I’ll be half way around the planet scuttling around Micronesia, enjoying beaches, pristine waters, world-class diving and pseudo-Vegas dinner shows with Japanese budget tourists for travel journalism posterity.

So, if you think about it, I’m really the travel writing version of a RollerGirl. I’m dedicated, I’m cruel, I have a funny name and I totally sacrifice the bod.


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Sports | 18.03.2008 9:03 | 8 Comments

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