The Joys Of Roller Girls, Community & Saturday Nights

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Robert Phoenix

Robert Phoenix

journalist, blogger, interviewer, astrologer & psychic medium

Lest you all think that I am merely a crypto-crumudgeon, hell bent on going deeper into the rabbit hole with each passing day.  It will shock and amaze you to know that I actually have a lighter side, one that seeks out and experiences new joys and old past times.  And so it was, just two weeks ago when my son and I hoofed it down to Santa Cruz to hang with The Captain and take in The Santa Cruz Roller Girls.

The “SCRG” as they are known by their fans are a team of valkyries on wheels–part of a women’s roller derby league in The Bay Area.  I found out about them when I was hanging with Lex from Survivor at The Thievery show.  His wife skates for them.

So we met The Capt for burgers at the legendary Jacks, just around the corner from The Santa Cruz Civic.

Fueled up on beefy carbs, we hit the arena.  I was struck by how un-slick everything was.  There was no banked track, just a marked off oval with a center, filled with chairs for both teams to sit.  The place was filled to the ceiling with friends, family and just plain derby nuts.  There were no corporate sponsors and snacks were all priced under five dollars.

This was a throwback night in more ways than one.

The Civic Center roared and bellowed as the likes of “Heather Headlocklear” and “Candy Darling” buzzed and crashed into heaps of elbows and hair, bodies sliding across the slippery gym floor into the grandstand walls.

I felt like it was 1970 all over again–but with a decidedly modern twist as a DJ spun old school punk before and during half time. The announcers were pretty PC and were more invested in educating the crowd than whipping them into a frenzy. If there’s one thing this smart little event missed, it was the theatrics from the good old days. They could invest in a little more drama next year.

The entire production was an affirmation of what we like about community, high-level amateur athletics, and hot chicks in spandex shorts getting physical. Oh yeah, The SCRG got pantsed by The Oakland Outlaws in a rout. But who cares? At the end of the night it was high camp theater and feel good vibes at it’s finest.

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