Monday, August 6, 2012

Herp-a-derby: the dumb things we all do

Oh derby, I really really love you, but sometimes you make fools out of us all.  I've often wondered if there is a correlation between putting wheels on your feet and a natural drop in IQ.  Maybe it's all of the questionable head injuries we receive while playing this sport, but every once in a while I worry about derby players!

1.  How many times have you skated out to start practice and you have forgotten a key bit of protective gear, like your wrist guards or elbow pads?  I myself have skated out after I've put on my gaskets and didn't realize I had neglected to put on my knee pads.  Derp!  Have you ever forgotten to put your mouth guard in because it was jammed in the vent hole of your helmet?  These things seem funny, but you can really get injured if you neglect to wear your gear.  Do you and your teammates a favor and check each other out before you start skating.   You usually can tell when someone doesn't "look right" when they come out on the floor.  Even funnier than this is when you forget to take derby gear off before you get into the car.  It's not as dangerous, but it's pretty derpy.

2.  Jammers going before the second whistle.  I blame slow derby for this, especially with the advent of scrum starts! As we've all become accustomed to scrum starts, we've also learned to anticipate the second whistle coming immediately after the "No pack" call.  Unfortunately, some jam timers are a little slower on their second whistle, and I've seen it trip up several jammers, and it's usually both of them at the same time!  Nothing is more amusing than watching two jammers try to yield to each other; it's like this really weird and formal ritual that happens on the track.  This weekend, I saw two jammers both go to the box because they both false started, and I also saw two jammers yield to each other.  Ah derby, you make us dance your derpy dance.

3.  Smelling your stinky pads.  DERP!  This is socially inappropriate behavior that has been trained out of most of us, but in derby, it's the norm to smell your pads before you put them on.  Even MORE derpy, you ask someone else to smell how bad your pads smell.  Derpa-herpa-derp! Stop doing this in public!

4.  Not checking your toe stops.  This is a dramatic derby derp.  I like to think of it as a derpy time bomb; eventually your toe stop will come loose, and usually it happens when you're jamming.  Yea toe stop carnage!  Now, have you ever tried to skate after you lose a toe stop?  Woof! 

5.  Leaving the track when you're called on a minor.  This is soon to be a a quaint derpy antique, but a lot of newbies tend to think that any ref call means they're going to the box. I've also seen seasoned players with a guilty conscience do the same thing: DERP!

6.  Jammers who call of the jam by daintily tapping their hips. a world of derby scrums, walls from hell, and booty blocks that never quit, waggling your fingers at your hips to call off the jam may seem cool to you, but the refs can't always see you calling the jam.  We teach our jammers to tap helmet and hips repeatedly, and I flap like the gangly flamingo I am to make sure the ref sees me.  You can tap your hips like a refined little school girl, but don't get all agitated at the ref if he doesn't see you right away.  DERP!  Conversely, jam refs, if your jammer is about to take flight calling off the jam, please acknowledge it!  I've seen jam refs just keep pointing and skating at their lead jammer while she's practically airborne! 

There ya' go.  Derpy.  Derpy sneaks into derby and sucks our good sense out of our brains.  Don't be a victim of derpy derpitude!
Beth Row wore her helmet on the plane...on purpose because she didn't have room to pack it, but it's still derpalicious.


  1. I got one, I got one! Calling off the jam when the opposing jammer is coming out of the box, and they havent made their initial pass.

  2. Reading this before practice tonight may have somehow led to me having two major derpy moments. First, after warm-ups, I went off track, took off my shoes, geared up, then put my shoes right back on. Tied and all. Second, after practice, had to pee. Tied my track jacket around my waist, went to the loo, proceeded to dunk the bottom of my jacket in the toilet water. Derp!