Saturday, January 2nd seemed like a good time to kick of the 2010 bucketlist pursuit by crossing off item #124: Go to a Roller Derby Bout
What an adventure! It started when I met up with a few friends at O'Gara's (big mistake) intending to grab a drink and a few appetizers, and then take their free shuttle to the Roy. Bad idea. O'Gara's gets two giant thumbs down. Way down. We got there around 5:15 and didn't get our first drink for at least 15 minutes. At that point, the tables weren't even all full. We ordered our apps - and I am not exaggerating here, I actually timed this - it took OVER 50 MINUTES for a couple of quesadillas and two baskets of fried junk. How does that happen!?!?! And throughout, our waitress was surly and unresponsive. I had ordered a cherry coke and ended up walking it up to the bar to get refills when she avoided our table. Beers sat empty, and she missed major sales. When I questioned the time on our apps, she mumbled something about "the kitchen is slammed" and disappeared again. After all of my years as a server I'm almost always a 20% + tipper, but man, I think she got about 5%at best and was lucky we didn't walk out. I was MAD. We ended up racing through out food to catch the last shuttle, and getting there well after we had planned. Not cool. O'Garas = FAIL
We BARELY made the shuttle and ended up squished 3 to a seat, but at least that was warm! (this is me trying to be positive). Finally, we got to "The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium!"
I have to include that a couple of years ago, for about 2 weeks, I seriously considered becoming a Minnesota Rollergirl. I bought skates & pads, acquired a helmet, and started skating for the first time since elementary school. Then I realized I am a monumental wimp, and even the idea of ruffle butt panties and fun fishnets could not make it worthwhile for me to exercise that much. Better to admire from afar :)
These girls are serious athletes, and they will hurt you. And like it. And then drink a Pabst and knit some mittens for charity.
We missed the pre-show music, but made it in time for the explanation of the rules...which we "sorta" grasped. Cheer for the starred helmets to make it through the pack, whilst they get chucked by the rest of the girls. The striped helmets do something about pace.
And then they were off! Garda Belts (green) had a bagpipe introduction, Dagger Dolls (pink) wore tu-tus. But that is where the niceties ended. There was some serious body checking, a few pile ups, and a lot of nail biting.
The place was actually really full! We were in the upper/General admission area in the balcony, and all the "track side" seating was sold out. They were told "Remember, if a rollergirl falls in your lap, you don't get to take her home!"
Above are actually the GUYS, who just started their own league. You know how at NHL games they let peewee kids play hockey in between the periods? I felt like this was similar. The guys kicked it off and helped explain rules. I'd be interesting to see if they are as viscious as the ladies in a bout.
Polka party on the track at intermission with "The Bratwurst Brothers!" Also involved the longest conga line I've ever seen.
Carin was really excited about "The Ricola Horn!" We sang along and downed our Pabst Tall Boys. How hip am I?
All-in-all it was a pretty fun ride, I sorta understood the rules by the end, though I'm still lost on penalties. I got to try out my "paparazzi" lens for the first time - everything is a little blurry because I was working with low light & action, sort of a difficult combination for a newbie, but I think I got some fun shots. And now I really want to go skating again :)