In what I hope will become a yearly tradition, Kim Paffenroth and I went to see the roller derby team that he sponsors, the Hudson Valley Horrors. This time I brought my camera and took some very bad photos.
Roller Derby is interesting. There aren't a lot of non-sexualized contact sports for women out there, and watching them in an aggressive sport is fun. Because we know Kim, we're supporters of the Horrors, but Albany has its own team, the Department of Public Hurts. Slightly closer are the Hellions of Troy, who within easier reach than our own state's Green Mountain Derby Dames, who just finished their first season.
Game-wise, the Horrors got their collective assets handed to them by the extremely team-oriented Suburban Brawl. The Brawl had some impressive moves, including the team-mate sling, in which they would grab a teammate's hand and pull them ahead, giving them a momentum boost. They were also consistently faster off the mark than the horrors, and had pin-point accuracy in body-slamming the Jammer (the person who scores the points by lapping members of the other team) off her feet. Following my thought that Derby is more about treachery and teamwork than being young and fast, we're pretty sure the star player of the Brawl, Hard Core-Vette, was an original Disco dancing queen, a possibility reinforced by her victory dance on her final jam.
A good time as had by all, not the least because Kim is a lot of fun to talk to, and he signed the books I shoved under his nose without complaining. The punk sensibility of derby tickles me still. Who wouldn't be a fan of the New York Shock Exchange? Wrestling seems overhyped and over 'roided in comparison. Who cares about such dull names as Triple H when you can cheer for Ann Sane or Pinky Swears?
The Queen of Science has decided her 'derby name should be "Decked-Her Horrible."