Roller Derby Isn’t Dead


At least not yet.

If you’re a man my age, you remember watching women’s roller derby on television back in the ’60s.  And if you’re my age, you don’t admit to that, either.  You also don’t admit to having watched Kansas City Bomber starring Rachel Welch.  But, come on, admit it . . . you know you did.

I hadn’t thought of roller derby in many years.  Indeed, I rather thought it had pretty much died long ago.  So, imagine my surprise when Ursula told me that one of her REALTOR colleagues was in a local roller derby team.

Now, my Swiss-born wife had never even heard of roller derby, let alone watched one.  Thus, I can honestly say that this was her idea, not mine.  And so it was last Saturday evening that we found ourselves at a match between El Paso’s Tex Pistols against Tucson’s Bandoleros.

Now for the rules.  I’m sure there are some.

I think El Paso won:

5 Comments

Filed under Humor, Movies, Photography, Television

5 responses to “Roller Derby Isn’t Dead

  1. elainezfw

    A friend of mine does derby (eschewing the “roller”) in Wisconsin. I was astounded to learn that it’s a flat track, as opposed to the banked track that I recall (Yes – sob – I admit it) from the 60s, when the teams alternated sessions with men skaters and women skaters. It’s also revealing that the participants refer to the contests as “bouts.”

  2. Linda

    Hi Doug!
    Thanks for such nice memories. Spending the last few days with my sister – I shared your blog article. We watched the Bay Bomber & we even skated in the back yard playing Roller Deby. We blocked pretty hard & knocked each other into the bushes. :-). Fun times fun memories!! Thanks. Linda

  3. Not only do I remember, I partook! I was working in Johannesburg and still going to grad school a thousand miles away in Cape Town. Weekends in Cape Town I was supposed to study but spent them at the roller rink instead. Ah, the girls, the girls of the Belleville Roller Skating Rink. Grandmothers all, now.

  4. Yup, roller derby was never popular in Europe, so it’s no surprise that your wife never heard of it. I remember always being very confused whenever an American crime drama on TV did an “undercover at the roller derby” episode, because I really couldn’t get a handle on that sport at all. The roller derby episodes were even more confusing than the American football or baseball episodes, because the average European TV watcher at least knew those sports existed, even if we might not know exactly what the rules were. But roller derby was a complete mystery.