C and I went to see the Rose City Rollers last night. It was the most fun I’ve had at a sporting event in recent memory. The Rose City Rollers are Portland’s own all-female roller derby league.
I was very loosely connected to one of the Breakneck Betties so C and I had a lot of fun rooting for “our team” with my coworker, Ms. J_, and her he-mate, A_. The Betties’ match with the undefeated Heartless Heathers was something to watch as the two teams were neck-n-neck until the finish. The courage and sheer gutsiness of the ladies on skates was impressive as were the referees who skated the outer perimeter and therefore had to skate very fast to keep an eye on the race. There was no lack of irony or camp in the trappings of the event — it would have been enough fun with the costumes, mascots and half-time show, alone — but the dedication and go-get-em-ness of the players made it much more entertaining than I expected.
The game is played seriously, not staged like wrestling (as I have heard some folks make that comparison), so the physical risks to the roller derby players are real and injuries were a common occurrence. It all added up to a rousing show that brought the crowd to their feet many times. The Rose City Rollers are one more reason to love living in Portland.