Roller Derby Is Alive And Well

Growing up in L.A. in the late-70s was a glorious time for a young sports fan.  The Dodgers won back-to-back NL pennants (’77 & ’78,) we still had an NFL team (the Rams played at the Coliseum until ’79,) the Aztecs played soccer at the Rosebowl, and every Saturday morning channel 9 broadcast Roller Super Stars featuring the Los Angeles Thunderbirds.  Although I (still) loved the Dodgers, I was a nerdy kid and could (still) not care less about the NFL, and only went to one Aztec game. It may have been a glorious time for a young sports fan, but that wasn’t me. One thing I looked forward to every week, though, was roller derby.

Of course, that was 30 years ago.  L.A. hasn’t seen a pennant in 20 years, the NFL has long since departed, and seriously, soccer? Did anyone else remember the Aztecs? The bright spot in this story is that the L.A. Derby Dolls have revitalized roller derby over the last five years, and the first bout of 2009 is this Saturday night at the Doll Factory between the Fight Crew and Tough Cookies.

Follow me past the jump for details on the most fun you’ll have Saturday night with your pants on**.

click to embigify

In case you’re unfamiliar, the L.A. Derby Dolls are a league of four teams of women who skate on a banked track in the fast-paced, full contact sport of roller derby. All the action happens at the Doll Factory in Los Angeles.

These women are bad-asses, and an absolute blast to watch.  According to their website they are “…half-clad, all bad!!!”  The first bout I saw was just before Halloween, and I became an instant fan. In addition to all of the excitement that happens on the track, there is also a beer garden, (sometimes?) live music, lots of vendors, and a pervasive atmosphere of fun.

The Derby Dolls have a great website with lots of features such as Meet The Dolls, roller derby rules, and a Derby Doll glossary to familiarize you with the game.  Perhaps most importantly, they have a link where you can buy tickets now.

Mickispeedia, a friend of friends, will be skating with the Tough Cookies Saturday night. Come out and join me in rooting Micki and the Tough Cookies on to victory! The doors open at 6:00pm, game starts about 8:00. (That means you’ll have time to join LAMetBlogs authors and readers for Classic Eats #2: Downtown Delights, then cruise over to the Doll Factory for roller derby action.)  I’ll be in the general admission section, so find me and say hello.  I’ll see ya there!

**I’m not saying pants are optional for Classic Eats, but they are definitely required for roller derby spectators. How you dress for the MetBlogs meet up (“eat up”?) is entirely up to you.

4 Replies to “Roller Derby Is Alive And Well”

  1. To hell with your soccer bashing.

    In the late 70s, the Aztecs had two of the greatest players ever, George Best, and then Johan Cruyff. They won the NASL championship in their first season, but didn’t have much success beyond that. Elton John was briefly a co-owner of the team.

  2. Oops. Sounds like I touched a nerve. I kinda had a feeling that bit might rile the soccer fan(s). Sorry, evan. Given that the Galaxy won’t be playing Saturday (why can’t I find a 2009 schedule anywhere?,) I would encourage you to come see the Derby Dolls.

  3. MLS doesn’t start up until late March. I don’t think MLS has finalized the entire season’s schedule, but the Gs will open the season at home against DC United on March 22.

    And thank you for mentioning the Galaxy, and not Chivas USA. Feh.

    Anyway, the way the team’s played the last two years, the Derby Dolls will be far more entertaining than the Galaxy. And they were featured on the Los Angeles episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.”

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