Sports Center To Take A Look Into Roller Derby This Sunday, Seriously

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a question that's been on my mind for awhile so I know you've been thinking it as well. What happened to Roller Derby? Wait, that ISN'T a question I've ever thought about, but apparently ESPN has....

SportCenter’s featured piece Sunday, May 18, will trace the rebirth of roller derby, which peaked in popularity in the early 1970’s and has failed in several comebacks . In 2001 a grassroots-revival in Austin, Texas has grown to more than 200 amateur, all-female roller derby leagues across the country. Today’s reincarnation blends entertainment with genuine athletic competition, compared to the highly criticized sport of yesteryear that was viewed mostly as fake.
Actually that sounds pretty interesting now that I think about it. I find it odd that ESPN would decide to put this on Sports Center though. You know with all of the Spygate coverage to still air. I'm also surprised that this wasn't on E:60 so Lisa Salters could it something that "white people do".


Posted by Awful Announcing- at 1:57 PM


I've run a few stories on roller derby because we've got clubs up in my area, and I gotta admit, it's a pretty fascinating type of environment and sport. The placement on SC is kind of odd, but whatever.

Signal to Noise said...
May 15, 2008, 2:16:00 PM  

When I was in college around 2000, I used to get drunk while watching Roller Jam. You had to drink to enjoy that crap.

GMoney said...
May 15, 2008, 4:07:00 PM  

I knew a lady that skated on Roller Jam.

I had no idea that roller derby was making a comeback.

Anonymous said...
May 15, 2008, 4:37:00 PM  

Oh goody.

Anonymous said...
May 15, 2008, 6:24:00 PM  

Roller Derby requires an incredible amount of athleticism, and it's poised for an incredible boon in popularity. SportsCenter's smart to run this one.

Anonymous said...
May 16, 2008, 10:22:00 PM  

Roller Derby is way more intense than people realize. I can't wait to see ESPN's take on it! This year is my team's first season and we're having a BLAST doing what we've been training for (some of us have been training up to a year before)!

Terribelle Demise #187
Silicon Valley Roller Girls

Anonymous said...
May 17, 2008, 2:28:00 PM  

I've followed Roller Derby, closely, since the 60's. The comeback is real, and it's pretty extraordinary. The old Derby had evolved into a sideshow that was made for TV or a crowd that was into a carnival on wheels. The new version is more like X Games, an athletic competition that's mostly for the participants. It's the first time in its 73 year history that Derby has actually had people who just play it for fun in semi-organized competition at local roller rinks. I hope ESPN treats it right, because there are hundreds if not thousands of skaters now around the country, and they deserve to be taken seriously.

gjdodger said...
May 17, 2008, 3:29:00 PM  

the documentary film "Hell on Wheels" is a from-the-trenches look at the original Austin league that re-launched the derby craze. It was shot from 2001-2004 and completed last year and will be available on DVD soon. It's currently screening in select cities.

Anonymous said...
May 18, 2008, 2:00:00 PM  

Yes, but the one VERY IMPORTANT thing that Hell on Wheels doesn't cover is that roller derby is very real now, nothing staged about it. The WFTDA leagues (equivalent of our, skater NFL) follow strict rules which don't allow fake fighting or theatrics. This is very important for fans to understand. We are athletes. And the competition is extremely fierce, especially when we play at the national level (WFTDA Eastern Regionals happen the weekend of October 10th in Madison, WI & WFTDA National tournament happens the weekend of November 14th in Portland, OR). Go to for more info.

Unknown said...
May 19, 2008, 6:22:00 AM  

Props to Sports Center for thinking outside the box and spotlighting something new and different! I am part of a newly formed roller derby league in Lubbock, TX and we had our first public home bout this weekend. We had over 2,000 people come out, which by far out sold out our hometown arena football league who had a game the same night!! The women that are involved in this sport are true athletes that come from all walks of life and should be recognized as such! Roller derby has changed and is a real sport with just as much strategy and excitement (if not more) as any other sport out there! Support your local roller girl because roller girls love you!

Smack in the Box #34D
West Texas Roller Dollz

Anonymous said...
May 19, 2008, 12:24:00 PM  

check out:
Ramblin' Rephro rinkside roller derby repoter

Anonymous said...
May 26, 2008, 10:57:00 AM  

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