Sunday, May 10, 2015

MVP Awards: The Good, the Bad and the Enh

Moar cowbell!
What do you think of when you hear "Hey, we need to choice an MVP for each team?" Usually, this request comes after a game, when you're either reeling from a defeat, or ready to uber celebrate a hard earned victory. Sometimes people have no idea who deserves the MVP award. Often the decisions are made under the gun and not made well, or are made over politics. It seems like 50% of the time the right people get the MVP awards, while the other 50% of the time people choose favorites or "the person who was the least douchey on the track." Hey, I've had my share of MVP awards, and some were definitely not given to the best player on the track (because I was the one who received it.) Even though I don't always agree with receiving an award, I cherish my MVPs, because when I'm not feeling awesome about myself, I have these tangible reminders that someone didn't think I completely sucked at some point. I know that most of your motivation should come from yourself, it is nice to get the occasional ATTAGIRL.

Bootleggers do internal awards for their players.
Our B team, the Carolina Bootleggers, has internal awards it gives out for every bout. They are recirculated, so they aren't permanent, but it's a true honor to be named by your teammates for doing well in a game. The internal Bootlegger awards are the Brute Boot in black and silver, the Brain Boot, in pink, and the Golden Boot, for team MVP. You get to keep the Boot awards until the next game, and then they go to another teammate, or possibly return to you. Whenever I was a Bootlegger, I really loved those awards. I think every team should consider doing internal awards for their own players. It can be the one thing that keeps someone who needs that tiny bit of motivation working to get better at derby.

May the Fourth MVJ
So, the first question you have to answer is, do you want to do MVP awards? It's usually up to the host team to make this decision and then provide the awards. If you're hosting, you can either say yea or nay to them. If you do decide to provide them, you should find the most creative person in your league, and let them create! Some of the best MVP awards are the most creative and unique ones. If your bout (and yes I still say bout) has a theme, try and make the awards match up with the theme.  If you're playing a team that has a mascot they're fond of, maybe use that mascot in the award itself. When we played the Charlotte Rollergirls this year, we knew they loved sharks, so we made the MVP awards from toy sharks. Sometimes it's the little things that count.

I think some of the coolest MVP awards are the ones where the recipients can wear them to the after party. Evidently, the newest rage is making MVP capes to wear to the after party. Trucker hats are pretty popular too. T-shirts would be great, but they can be pricey, so think about some cool and wearable ideas that won't necessarily break your league's bank.

Low Maim loved her awards from the lock in.

I've got to say, I've seen some pretty spectacular failures when it comes to MVP awards.  Be careful with what you create as an award. Sometimes, people like to show them off to family and friends, or at least have them where they can be seen in their house. At times, I've seen teams make awards that were definitely not rated G or even PG. One team gave out an MVP award that was a Barbie doll perched lasciviously on top of a golden sex toy; yes, it was hilarious, but honestly, do you want to bring that home and put it up on the mantle? Probably not. Keep in mind that the MVP award will probably be a reminder of a derby memory, so maybe keep them less risque instead of putting glitter on a dildo.


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