Friday, August 28, 2015


After watching last week's D2 playoffs, I thought it would be funny to make a Bingo card with all of the people we tend to see on the feed, whether they are skaters, spectators, refs or NSOs. I hope you have fun with this week's Bingo game.

For more fun, cut it up and rearrange the squares for a viewing party interactive game.

Friday, August 21, 2015

BINGO: Shit announcers say

Now, we all know that derby announcers are the best announcers ever, but when you watch play offs all day long, you do tend to catch some oft repeated phrases in their lexicon. This is tongue in cheek, ladies and gentlemen. I have nothing but mad respect for our announcers.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Don't Be Veruca Salt in Your Derby League

Do you know who Willy Wonka is? You probably do, and that means you probably remember the most bratty of bratnicks from the book and movie, Veruca Salt. Lord. Veruca was a child nightmare if there ever was one. She wanted everything, and she wanted someone else to give it to her. Her favorite line? "I want it now!" She was so vile even the other bratty kids on the chocolate tour gave her wide berth, and for good reason! She was the ultimate soul sucker and everyone in the audience loves to see her come-uppence, when she gets dumped down the garbage chute. 
Oh piss off, Veruca.

Sometimes I see Veruca Salts coming into derby, and I just want to reach out and shake them before I push them down the garbage chute, so to speak. I know some of us don't think we're headed down the garbage shoot, but sometimes we come into derby with a lot of ego baggage. If your motive to being in this sport is glory, then for your league's sake, I hope you change what motivates you; being there just for yourself is slowly killing the morale of the league.

So how can you discover the warning signs of becoming Veruca Salt?

1. If you find yourself saying "I want something" and it's not followed by " I think it will help us get better, and I volunteer to head it up or start a committee to look at how we can implement it." then you're just expecting everyone else to hand you what you want. Derby doesn't run like that. When I was a kid and I wanted a new Barbie doll, my parents said "It's good to want" and put the ball back in my court. How badly did I want that Barbie? I saved my money and bought one on my own, which made me really proud abd realize asking for stuff to be given to me wasn't the way to success. Derby doesn't run like that. I often say that I want a million dollars, but I clearly want someone to hand it to me; I'm not going to go balls out and put all of my energy into getting a million dollars. I hear people often say "I want more high level training" and when I  say, "and what do you mean by high level training?  I get blank looks. People who say "I want" really are saying "I want someone else to do this for me." "I want" is definitely a selfish, passive sentence. If you have a want, have a way and the energy to make it happen!

2. Sometimes I feel like people forget that they are in a group of people all struggling for the same goals in derby. The goals may be the same, but our paths get all sorts of twisted and maze-like. We don't lose sight of the goals, the problems that happen usually occur in league dissension is HOW we get there. How do we get to the goal? Veruca Salt doesn't care about any of that. She only cares about her personal goals, and fuck the rest of the people on the tour with her. Do you care about the success of the league more, or is only about you? Make it about the league, first.

3. Remember how Veruca would stomp her foot and raise her voice and generally get on everyone's nerves?  Don't have tantrums on the track! People should minimize their drama. I understand that every damned person in the world has drama. We're human, and emotions are emotions. Don't bring your drama to practice. Learn to make peace with strong personalties! You're in a sport that attracts strong, alpha women and men, so you're not going to always get your way. You need to come to peace with that; although if you want to be Veruca, you can stomp and pout and throw temper tantrums. I'm sure someone will help you down the garbage chute.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Do you suffer from Gambler's Syndrome?

The other week, on my podcast, Beth Row and I started discussing how you deal with derby egos, in your teammates and yourself. What makes people feel like they are so amazing, that they won't listen to feedback from coaches, refs or teammates? What came out of my mouth surprised me a little, because it was one of those things I have been thinking about, but sometimes you need to hear it out loud before it really gets cemented in place. The words that came out of my mouth were, "Some players suffer from Gambler's Syndrome."

WTF is Gambler's Syndrome?

I'm glad you asked, Citizen, because I basically made it up last week. Meaning, I haven't really found anything specifically about this thought process on teh interwebs, but I know it exists because I see people falling for it over and over again. Hard core gamblers fall for it, fans fall for it, coaches fall for it, and derby players who don't sit down and analyze their style of play, statistics and footage, fall for it. It's the fallacy that the one good thing the player did on the track makes them excellent. It may be one hit, or one apex jump, or one grand slam in a game of several errors.

I drew this for Bambi. She doesn't suffer from GS.
Gambler's Syndrome comes in two flavors, positive and negative. We all suffer a bit from Gambler's Syndrome, but we don't all suffer from it in the same extreme. Some people tend to remember what they want, and sometimes we like to color the world with rainbows and glitter farting unicorns. They remember their one great hit they did in a game, but they don't remember all of the times they weren't paying attention on the track, or left their walls when they shouldn't have. All these people remember is how awesome that hit was, therefor, they are always their heads.

On the other side of the coin, you have people who remember only the one-time mistakes others make. Say you were skating in a game and you got a forearm penalty. The coach or your teammate who suffers from the negative version of Gambler's Syndrome will latch on to that one penalty, and now you will be always known as the player who has a problem with forearms. Isn't it funny how that works? No, it's really not, but I had to say it.

The only way to combat Gambler's Syndrome, either the positive or the negative version, is to study footage with your team. When looking at footage, try and look for the trends you and each of your teammates have on the track. Is the team leaving the inside line open? What are the majority of the team's penalties? Does your team take advantage of the pack definitions? Do they have good track awareness? What do they do consistently well?  Is your team a defensive machine? Watching footage with your team constructively, will help clear out some of that Gambler's Syndrome from your league!

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