Sunday, October 4, 2015

People you will meet in derby.

Derby is such a diverse sport when it comes to personalities; it takes all kinds to make a team successful, and even more to make a league successful. After asking for input on this subject on Facebook, the floodgates opened! Some people took it as an opportunity to complain about some stereotypical people you run into derby, while others sang the praises of those amazing people who just make derby life worth all of the effort. Here are some of my favorites below, and thank you everyone for contributing! And now, the good, the bad, and the others!

1. The Derby Gypsy- This is a player who moves from one league to the next, either because she's just a nomad in real life, or looking for something she just hasn't found yet. Either she wants to step up to a more competitive league, or a closer league, or a newer league. Maybe she just likes to travel, but the Derby Gypsy can be a breath of fresh air in your league, or a disruptive force; it just depends.

2. The Brett Favre- The Brett Favre is the great player who retires, unretires, retires again, comes back and just can't make up her mind. Retiring from derby is a huge issue that some people seriously struggle with, but the mistake that the Brett Favre makes is announcing every time she retires. Just take a break, or if you do decide to retire for real this time, do it quietly. Or, just don't use the word retirement!

3. The Prodigy- The Prodigy comes in as fresh meat to the sport, but does everything well and is destined to be on the A-team. Part of you wants to hate her, but she's nice and humble, and just naturally better at skating than other people. You're not in competition with her, but you can use her success to inspire yourself to train harder!

4. The Rudy- The Rudy is the opposite of the Prodigy when it comes to natural talent, but The Rudy is one of the hardest working skaters in your league and will develop skills and talent through sheer repetition and practice! People tend to underestimate The Rudy, but don't! They're very inspiring teammates to have. Hopefully each and every one of you reading this has The Rudy as your spirit animal.

Curve Appeal is our Grace Under Fire. Photo by Kathryn Wall
5. The Grace Under Fire - When a serious injury happens, she's right there coaching the injured person through, telling you what needs to be done, and generally kicking ass. The Grace Under Fire is a great person to be on the Board as well, since she is the one that tends to see situations without any of that pesky emotional thinking happening. Anyone can be The Grace Under Fire: coaches, NSOs, refs, skaters or volunteers. Your league is truly blessed if you have more than one!

6. The Angel Minion- This is person who loves the sport but has decided that skating isn't for them, so they volunteer A LOT.  Read this three times folks, we could NOT have roller derby without Angel Minions. Nope. No way. No way in hell! They support the sport, put a lot of effort into running a game as a ref or announcer or volunteer or NSO, but they don't do it for personal glory. Make sure you're appreciating your Angel Minions, or they might go extinct.

7. The Bad Seed (aka The Storm Cloud)- These are skaters who come into practice is a craptacular mood and proceed to infect everyone else with their shitty mood or attitude. Sometimes they say snarky things under their breath, or they make faces, or they just give up in a huff and sit out drills. I'm a big fan of not bringing your problems to practice, but some people just cannot separate their personal issues from practice time. Hopefully The Bad Seed in your league either figures out that she's bringing down the rest of the league and changes her attitude, or she'll eventually decide she just doesn't like derby.

8. The Ghost- The Ghost teammate is supposed to be an active skater, but only shows up on picture day or when the media is coming to practice to do a story. The Ghost really doesn't hurt a league, but some skaters really find them irritating. I like to give Ghosts the benefit of the doubt; maybe this is exactly what makes them happy about roller derby? Who am I to judge?

9. The Lip Service- The Lip Service makes statements like " we all need to cross train and we should all be committed to this!" but when the time comes she's not there, or she's busy, or excuse excuse excuse. Lip Service people always get others fired up, but I can't help but roll my eyes a bit when I hear them be all gung ho about something, especially when 99% of the time they won't be a part of the activity, no matter what it is.

Glenn Hurr, the Equipment Guru.
10. The Equipment Guru- They can tell you everything about every wheel, bearing, and/or pad, and they have the tools and toolbox to save your skates when they decide to fall apart right before the big game. They also usually have the perfect set of wheels to let your jammers borrow if they didn't bring the right ones for the floor you're on. Every team needs an Equipment Guru, but skaters should LEARN from them and become responsible for their own skate maintenance. Don't worry! The Equipment Guru would love to talk to you about gear for hours, and hours, and hours.

1 comment:

  1. Hey much derby love, but I want to point out that a couple words you used are culturally offensive. "Gypsy" is a racial slur for Romani people, and Gurus are highly respected spiritual leaders or teachers in Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism, so it's not appropriate to use outside of that context.
    Perhaps consider some different terms? I appreciate it.