Friday, June 29, 2012

Hunh? I just don't get it.

Ok.  There are things in derby I just do not understand; I'll admit it.  Some things I actively think are stupid and should GTFO of the sport, and some things just baffle me about skater culture and derby.  Below is a list of things that I just don't understand.  Maybe you can explain them to me!


1.  Sore winners.  Whaaaaaaaat?  Are you kidding?  I've seen teams that are ahead by 100-150 points and they are exhibiting behaviors like screaming at the refs, or flipping out at their teammates.  I often wonder if some people just can't enjoy a win.  When I see a team melting down during a crushing win, I start cheering even harder for the underdog.  This is one of those things I think should GTFO of derby!  Please don't explain why this happens, just make it go away.

2.  People who care about what color their wheels are.  Uh....maybe this is a leftover from when women are trained to match their handbag to their shoes, but I couldn't care less what color my wheels are.  I could be skating on purple, blue, green or orange wheels, depending on the surface conditions I'm skating on at the time.   I've heard people say they only buy pink wheels, or they won't buy pink wheels, or ugh!  Pink wheels!  Who cares?  If the wheels I like only come in pink, I'm buying them.  Weirder yet are the people who take the time to dye their wheels!  Every once in a while I see posts on Facebook about dyeing wheels, and how awesome it makes them look.  I'd rather be spending my time cleaning my bearings than dyeing my wheels, but whatever works for you ladies and gentlemen!  If you have time to explain this to me, I'd love to hear the reasons why you care.


3.  Why every ref does equipment check completely differently.  Just recently, I played in five challenge bouts at ECDX, and every ref checked equipment in a different way.  I don't mean that they did it in a different order, it was a completely different inspection each and every time!  I guess it wouldn't baffle me so much if a couple of the refs didn't seem so angry that we weren't sure how they wanted to check out gear.  "Arms up first!"  Sorry dude and dudette, the last three refs didn't want our arms up at all.  Also, slightly unrelated, but still a part of equipment check, why do our helmet straps come loose constantly?  I always have to tighten mine after inspection, and sometimes that means the day after inspection!


4.  Women that skate half naked.  We've all seen them on the track, women like Holly Wanna Crackya, Vicious Van Go Go and Holden Grudges.  They are awesome skaters with smokin' bodies, but I'd still want to have more coverage in case I fall down.  Rink rash doesn't care how pretty you are, it loves to feed on skin.  But, I don't condemn the urge to skate that way, I just wonder about it.


5.  Skaters who don't care if their wheels or bearings are making noises.  This one might belong to the  "Q is crazy and hates hearing her wheels" category, but if I'm hearing a squeaky bearing or a strange noise from my wheels, I instantly wonder if my bearing is seizing up.  Trust me, before the next time I skate, I will have investigated the reason for the noise.  I think that some skaters follow the philosophy of "If I ignore it, eventually it will go away" and never look into it.

6.  Don't Stop Believing.  Why?  WHY!?  Why is Journey such a staple in derby?  Please explain it to me with using phrases like "It's awesome!"  I often wonder why derby girls have the same musical tastes as a middle school dance in the 80s.


7.  You people are still smoking?  Damn.  I was really baffled by that at ECDX this year.  It seemed like 40% of the ECDX population was outside smoking between games.  This needs to GTFO of derby, because that is just STUPID.  Stop smoking!  You play a sport!  You need your lungs!  The thing that floors me about this situation is that you all know it is killing you, but you do it anyway!  STOP IT!  Don't explain this to me either, just stop.



And just for fun and unrelated....another derby card.
Now, this one I can totally explain.



38 comments:

  1. #5. My trucks squeak. They have for years

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    1. Check your bushings - mine squeaked because my bushings were absolutely busted! One looked like I stuck it in the microwave! (If you don't know what a bushing is..ask someone that does.)

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    2. I changed out the bushings, still squeaky. They're needing to be put out to pasture but a new set of skates are not in my near future.

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    3. Now I want to discover wtf is wrong with your skates! I would have bet the bushings too. Damn. MYSTERY!

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    4. It's probably the pivot pins if it's not the cushions (bushings are on skateboards). Also, did you replace rubber cushions with newer rubber cushions? Try something in a urethane. Doesn't hurt to put white lithium grease on the tops and bottoms of the things to keep 'em from squeaking through normal use...

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  2. For me the wheel thing is about the hardness. I mostly use pink tuners because I like their hardness and that they are made for skating on multiple surfaces. The skating in a sports bra thing just comes from our warehouse being 56859694 degrees in the summer.

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    1. I get the hot thing...but I think some skaters just do it because. Also, wheels should be chosen on performance, not pretty

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    2. Luckily my hardness/brand preference just so happens to have my favorite color :)

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  3. I think the wheel thing is part of the campy/individuality spirit of derby. It's just another way of adding to accessories to 'express' yourself. Like wearing hot pink fishnets. Take Flat Outs for example, they come in and array of colors that all perform the same... so then it comes down to your favorite color or team colors. I agree NOT picking a wheel that might perform well for you because of the color is silly... but I've definitely WISHED the wheels I wanted came in the color I wanted. I wasn't fond of the turquoise Reckless Evaders I got, but they were the style and hardness I like so I got them anyways.

    As for dying wheels it's got the individuality aspect "No one else has wheels like these!" But it's also crafty and fun... as long as you don't burn the wheels like I did -_-

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    1. And I don't wear ANYTHING in Tarhole blue! Not even wheels.

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    2. You have Tarhole-blue-ish wheels now! Kidding!

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    3. They are turquoise, thank you!

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  4. Agree with everything except the dyeing of wheels. I think you should get the wheels/gear best for you, and worry about looks and colors after, but I see nothing wrong with making something unique. I know skaters that pick a wheel based on colors (and will admit that it isn't a good wheel), but I don't get why it's a problem to dye them. A lot of my wheels are ugly as shit. I get most of my wheels used and exclusively based on performance. I make custom dyed clothing for people, so sometimes it's fun to just toss in some wheels or toe stops while I'm at it.

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    1. I just wonder who has the time to dye wheels. If you're dyeing other stuff, I see the appeal, but to go out of your way to do it seems weird to me. I barely have time to do laundry! :)

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  5. Re #3...Refs do NOT like it when you say "While you're down there..."

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    1. Hahahah! I've never said that, but now it will be echoing in the back of my head!

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  6. #7 is the one I think I most agree with. Who in their right mind skates hard for half an hour, goes for a smoke break during half time, and then comes back for another half hour of hard skating? It totally baffles me. I know it's hard to quit smoking, but you're ruining your lungs and your skating ability with your smoke breaks. I always sort of wonder how much better certain skaters would be if they quit smoking... who knows.

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    1. People tell me they only smoke sometimes, and it calms them down. I wonder how much better they would feel without nicotine in the first place.

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    2. I've heard that too. Actually, at one practice we were all sort of talking about how smoking + derby don't really go together, and one girl says "I only smoke when I drink." After practice, I look out of my window and she's in her car smoking a cigarette. It was one of those moments where you're like... "huh?"

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    3. You didn't see the 40 in her cup holder ;)

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    4. Smokers smoke because they're drug addicts.

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    5. In my old league, as soon as practice was over, everyone would go out into the parking lot, and a handful of skaters would have started smoking before finishing getting out the door. Most of them would also smoke on the way in to practice. They were typically skaters that were pretty good, but completely lacking in endurance. Never quite understood how people could do that. You can't be an athlete and smoke. It's counterproductive.

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  7. I think it's cool that we are ABLE to dye our wheels. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to. I just think it's a nifty idea. I like crafts and stuff. I cannot skate half-naked.

    I've skated ONCE without tights under my shorts and it was just Open Skate. I finally got rink rash at my last bout (lace tights are dangeous) and now I understand why I keep my legs covered.

    Skaters don't HEAR the squeaking. I spent weeks trying to convince my derby wife that her trucks were creaking before she finally heard it. I get super paranoid because one of my trucks started creaking last November and soon after, the truck broke.

    "Don't Stop Believing" is an anthem for the underdog. Everyone can sing along and that's a satisfying feeling. Glee has done it. It recently got another revival in Rock of Ages. I love "Don't Stop Believing" and you will never convince me otherwise.

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    1. There's got to be other anthems out there.

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    2. My anthem is another 80s song, "Mama said knock you out" by LL Cool J. :D

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  8. hahhaha... This post made me laugh a lot.

    About the smoking thing, though... Try not to be too judgy. People have deep-seated reasons for their self-destructive behavior, and guilt trips don't fix it.

    I just quit smoking a few weeks ago and still reserve the right to. Other people drink too much alcohol, or complain too much, have too many toxic relationships, or whatever.

    I don't, but I'm sure they have their reasons. Reasons that aren't likely to come up in casual conversation. And roller derby attracts a lot of people with... reasons.

    We all have our demons. Yours might be more socially acceptable or sports-appropriate, but nobody's vice-less. In my opinion.

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    1. I've recently quit biting my nails! That was a serious struggle for me!

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  9. great post... only comment, Gear Check... it really is a formality; we let you skate regardless but just want to let you know what's up, make sure the whole team is there and verify numbers... plus, as my Ref mother Hannah said to me, "It's the only chance you have to interact with the skaters so make a good impression for your WFTDA evals (or general avoidance of skater ire)" ... I literally go up and as I do the routine say, "Hi, I'm Cardinal Sinner, I'll be your XXX Ref today" 97.3% of the time the skaters smile back and comment how sweet to introduce yourself. Still doesn't get me absolved of being blamed for skaters losing, but makes the after party more enjoyable :)

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    1. I would have to say that I have NEVER had a ref introduce themselves and would love it if they did.

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  10. I'm going to start doing that, introducing myself to the players (at least from the other team).

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  11. i like to ask the refs if i get to check their equipment next ;)

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  12. I am a baby skater..just skill checked off 2 months ago & a smoker. I never really had a desire to quit until recently. I see myself as the turtle with no endurance on the team. I'm trying really hard but after 20yrs of smoking it is VERY HARD! I'm determined to do it!! Quitting cigs is more difficult for me than any other addiction I've broken. Don't judge just do like some of my teammates did offer support & maybe even bribe them with something when they achieve the goal. I'm looking forward to a party in honor of my victory. I'm currently down from 1.5pks a day to a half a pk & my ecig in between to curb the withdrawals & the need to eat myself back to 200lbs..I worked hard to become 150lbs. Baby steps.

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    1. Baby steps...and gum! Gum helped me quit twenty-five years ago...it was a great decision and worth it!

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