|Don't hate the player...hate the name?|
I am a big fan of derby names when they aren't super duper offensive and are clever. Clever people with clever derby names really impress me. I'm always super excited when I see a new skater with a really great name; I want to point him or her out to the derby world and say "See! It can still be accomplished! Try harder derby world!" If you have a clever derby name, you're already pretty cool in my book, even if I've never met you in person. Yes, I have a list of awesome derby-named skaters I'd love to talk to....some day.
I love it when a skater has a really descriptive derby name too; I am HORRIBLE when it comes to remembering "real" names. I'm not exaggerating. I have to really work at remembering someone's name, especially because their first and last names rarely have anything to do with each other. Not so with derby names! Usually the first and last names in derby have something to do with each other, so I can remember them as a string! Also, it's a lot easier to find you on Facebook if you have your derby name in your profile. Without your derby name, I would never know if I had the right person, or a completely random stranger. I mean, is anyone in derby ever a stranger? Maybe?
Sometimes knowing somebody's derby name can make yelling for them in public way more fun than yelling their "real" names. See someone cutting across the Target parking lot, and you yell "Hey Beth Row" you're going to get their attention, and also probably the attention of a lot of Target customers. Let's face it, it's a lot of fun to drop some derby names in public.
It's funny, but I tend to use my derby name in public more and more. I guess it's because "Q" is unique and easy, but not TOO weird for the norms to understand. After practice, if I go to a stand and order restaurant and they ask for my name, I always say "Q." What are the chances there is another Q ordering food at that same time? Probably close to zero, and I like those odds. My government name is a lot more common than Q, I can tell you that. Last night, I had dinner with my non derby friends; it was fantastic, but they kept calling me Renee. Half of the time, I kept wanting to turn around and see who they were talking about. Oh yeah, my name is still Renee. For now.
Do I think that derby should ditch derby names? Hell no! Basketball is letting their players put their nicknames on their jerseys. Seems like "established" sports are heading our way, and not the other way around. Also, their nicknames don't hold a candle to our derby names, but it is nice to have the other sports follow our lead for a change.