My first Roller Derby Match was an experience. I went with a Photographer friend of mine who was on assignment to take photos of the Northern Brisbane Rollers Derby team. I tagged along for the ride.
Now, my friend said I would enjoy it, I just didn’t realise how much. For those that don’t know Derby, if I was to tell you it involved:
2 teams of smokin’ hot athletic women on roller skates, d
ressed in short shorts and fishnets thrashing it out against each other in a game of skill and wit, you would be in right?
Allow me to walk you through my experience: My photographer buddy goes off to do her thing, so I grab myself a hotdog and a beer. And friends, I feel truly alive! The crowd was totally different to any other sporting match I had ever been to. These people are uber cool, and not wanker cool. Clearly Derby is an underground cult hit that I have been missing out on my whole life.
It isn’t just a sporting match, it’s a live action show that provides everything that commercial sport doesn’t.
Retro Rock n Roll tunes blare and the MC introduces the 2 teams to the rink. (Keep in mind kidults this isn’t in a normal skating rink, it’s a stadium) Each team has the chance to do a couple of laps, wave to the crowd, and I cannot believe I’m seeing girls do cartwheels on roller skates! These ladies are freakin super heroes, and the crowd is agreeing with me on this. Rather than traditional numbers on the back’s of their shirts the ladies have names printed, "Dead Meat" being one of them. I pick a team, clearly the Northern Brisbane Rollers, and a few ladies that I am interested to see get their Roll on.
HOW DOES THE GAME WORK: There are 2 teams of girls ready to unleash absolute chaos on each other. In each team there is 1 girl with a star on her helmet that has the goal of out lapping, and out-rollering the opposing team. And it is the job of her team to help propel, protect and scoot her through the masses trying to bring her down. And let me tell you folks, this is a no game for “girls”. I’m talking women with a view to bring down their opponents, and each lap I see ladies literally flying across the track... I see one very unfortunate face plant that looks incredibly painful. But you know what, she gets up again. And instantly I feel like a derby fire has been lit inside me, this is not just a sport, it’s a metaphor for life!
One of the stars of the show is “Dead Meat” from the Northern Brisbane Rollers. Tall, athletic and shockingly quick on the track, I am instantly a fan. On and off the track she is a force to be reckoned with, and it is with pleasure that I bring you an interview with the lovely Carla. (a.k.a Deady)
1. Carla, how did you end up with the alias "Dead Meat"?
Being a small person, when I went try out, all the other skaters looked big and scary, I literally thought I was DEADMEAt!
I wrote it on my helmet in nikko on the way to rink, and drew wings on the sides. When we arrived I realised I'd accidentally drew the wings backwards!
2. What drew you into Roller Derby in the first place?
A mates girlfriend insisted I try out, since I had a pair of $8 roller skates.
She lied down on the road out front of the house and got me to jump her.
So my derby try out was jumping people in the street.
3. How have you grown as a player from your first ever match to right now? What has Derby given you as a person?
Derby made me a Lady.
4. Do you have an Arch Nemesis in the derby world?
No way! I have a Derby Wife.
Her name is Vaderella and she's an Adelaidy from Adelaide.
5. As well as being one of the best Derby girls in the country, you are also a D.J. A.k.a "Carla-Me-Badd", and even more impressive is that you only use vinyl records. If you were going to create an ultimate derby play-list of 10 songs, what would they be?
Want To Be Startin' Something~Michael Jackson
Spin The WheeL~Hi Tek 3
She Wants To MOve~NERD
Eye of the Tiger~Survivor
I See Red~Split Ends
Bad Reputation~Joan Jett
We Will Rock You~Queen
Gonna Fly Now ~Bill Conti
6. From what I can gather each season has a theme to it, what's the theme you dream about?
I want to play a reverse game, we always skate in the counter-clockwise direction. When I was at the Honky Tonk Stomp in Knoxville, I told the American girls that, like a toilet, we skate in the opposite direction in the southern hemispere.
7. When the "Freshies" come through to try out (Freshies being Fresh Meat), how can you pick who has got talent? There has got to be more traits you look for rather than just who can skate? This sport has some serious 'tude'!!
Derby like all sports needs all different styles of players.
What I like to see in a freshie is a huge grin as they hurtle toward the floor!
8. For those who haven't been to a Derby match yet, what's your message to them?
Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre
9. What is coming up for Derby in 2010?
Roller Derby is coming to town! Specifically the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre on APRiL l7 NORTHERBN BRISBANE ROLLERS present
Diner Might Dolls Vs Love Rockettes, first bout of the season of five.
Of course there will have to be a rematch between North and South Brisbane, and
word on the rink is an Australian National Tournament in Adelaide mid year. Hell yea
10. Last question...what is your theory on how to make dreams come true?
In the words of Bruce Lee, "it's like a finger pointing to the moon
Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory"