Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are these phrases a part of your derby lexicon?

I think if you spend any extended time around skaters, you start hearing the same statements.  I know I have, and I know that I am also guilty of saying them myself.  Some of them are so common that we don't even realize that they might have a negative impact on other people you're skating with.

1.  "I just want to skate"  Ooh ooh....I don't want to skate, I'd rather permanently do committee work instead!  Well duh, who doesn't want to skate?  I personally would rather skate over just about anything that happens when I'm dealing with my league, but that isn't always the reality of the situation.  We all work our asses off so we can skate, and unfortunately sometimes that means doing the humdrum crappy jobs of running a league, dealing with drama, or raising money.  Suck it up sweetheart, you have to do the other crap in order to skate.  Our sport just isn't at the point where we can say realistically "Can't someone else do it?"  The answer right now is no, so get your butt in gear and get to work!  If you think the league work gets done by magic pixies, I implore you to get a new helmet.

Self motivation...not for other denigration.
2.  "Shut up and skate"  Yes, I hear this one too, and I'm pretty sure there are several versions of this statement floating around as stickers, pins and t-shirts.  Mostly, I hear this phrase when someone is being a little whiny about some part of practice.  I usually say it to myself, especially if I'm tired, or pissed at a ref call, or just being down on myself.  I even made a graphic about it, and I use it to motivate myself.  When I hate hearing this phrase is when someone is muttering under her breath at a newbie who is being "whiny."  Yes, newbies are whiny by nature.  Their skin hasn't toughened up yet, their feet haven't transformed into hooves, and they're just discovering that derby is a lot harder than they thought it was. We have all been through it, but it kind of sucks to tell a newbie to just shut up and skate....although maybe if she hears it from someone else, she'll learn to say it to herself.  I don't know.  I guess I'm split on this one, but think before you slam a newer skater with "Shut up and skate."

3. "If you can't play nice, then play derby" Puke.  Anytime I hear anyone say this I know they're probably going to be a douche on the track, and worse yet, be proud of it.  Is that vinegar I smell?  I know a lot of derby skaters have had limited experience with sports, so they think that being aggressive means being an asshole; I argue you can play hard and not be a jerk.  That means not screaming at the refs, not losing your temper at the other team and not making every hit personal.  If you can't, take yourself off of the track please.  The rest of us would like to play a sport.

4.  "There's no crying in roller derby"  Lies. Go hide your lying face and shut your lying mouth.  I say this one in jest sometimes, but I've cried over derby.  I try not to do it in front of people, and mostly on the ride home...or over a Snickers bar.  Plenty of people cry in derby, around derby, on top of derby, under derby, BECAUSE of derby, so stop lying and accept it.  Now, to be fair, if you cry at every damned practice, I might suggest that you rethink your desire to play derby.  Also, please don't cry when you lose.  Someone has to lose in a game, and eventually that might be your team.  Learn to lose gracefully and with some least in public.  You don't have to do a happy little jig for the other team, but crying just seems kind of....lame.

But that's just my opinion.


  1. Fine, crying fine. But no feelings dammit!

  2. What about crying when you win? I feel like our team does that a lot, but I love it - makes me feel like we're the Mighty Ducks!

  3. I love this! I have heard about all of these at one point or another.

  4. Spot on! Could I add another? "Be grateful! They're volunteers!" Usually said after criticism of announcers, NSOs, or refs. Stifling criticism is not a good way of making the sport better.

  5. I usually cry in the shower after a cry-worthy event. I'm slowly learning that more of my teammates have cried about derby. Makes me feel less embarrassed.

  6. I've had the unique experience lately to hear "shut up and skate" used to shut down any discussion that doesn't strictly adhere to what our coach says. I used to be ambivalent to the motto but recently it's become one of the things i hate to hear.

    "So why are we doing this?" "Shut up and skate"
    "What's the focus on this drill?" "Shut up and skate"
    "I couldn't do that coach because then I'd be destroying the pack" "Shut up and skate"