You may not see them on ESPN and your Twitter feed might not blow up during their bouts, but Charlotte Roller Girls leave the other Queen City sports teams in the dust when it comes to sheer bad-assery. Here are seven reasons why.
(1) Derby is rough
Roller derby is a full-contact, hard-hitting contact sport. Although illegal hits do get players banished to the penalty box, no skater leaves a game without some bumps and bruises. And more serious injuries have occurred—ACL tears, broken collar bones and knocked out front teeth.
(2) Derby girls have day jobs
They’re lacing up their quad skates after a hard week of working as journalists, veterinarians, students and lawyers.
(3) Anyone can try out
There’s no draft here. If you want to try out, go for it. There are players over 50 and others not even old enough to legally drink. They range from 110 to 300 pounds. If you make it through tryouts you’re “fresh meat.” Once you pass your skills assessment you’re on the “B-Dazzlers,” the feeder team to the “All-Stars.” You don’t even have to know how to skate to try out. You just need skates, a helmet, a mouth guard, pads and health insurance (see #1.)
(4) Their announcer is an evil clown
And nobody cares. Everyone has their quirks.
(5) They have awesome derby names
There is no Luke Kuechly on this squad. All the players have nicknames and that’s what they’re known as in competition. Rita Maneata, Margaret Snatch’Her, Carmen Getme, Elly Mae Slammett and Thor Loser are all Charlotte Roller Girls.
(6) They’re the boss
The skaters own the team. Nobody’s telling them what their uniforms can look like. Or anything else, for that matter. They make the decisions. Of course, that means they do it all themselves. Web design, accounting, graphics, everything.
(7) They’re community minded—big time
They’ve worked with RAIN, Second Harvest, Time Out Youth, Girls on the Run, Habitat for Humanity, Community Blood Center and Friendship Trays. This year they’re supporting the Coalition to Unchain Dogs. Plus, they take time after every bout to spend time with their fans, especially kids…and especially girls, who are learning that they can be tough too. There’s not much more badass than that.
Photos: courtesy Charlotte Roller Girls