When I was a kid, I watched roller derby matches on television. In the Boston market, the television stations would air this sport at odd times opposite things like candle pin bowling and Saturday’s Creature Double Feature. I haven’t seen a roller derby match since those childhood days, but I have a friend who actually plays the sport in North Carolina, and I am secretly hoping that my next book tour will take me there so I can see a match.
In his Idyll Banter column, Chris Bojalian explains the beauty of roller derby perfectly:
There are any number of reasons to explain the crowd at the Champlain Valley Exposition, but my sense is that any sport that combines interesting, athletic women in fishnets and ripped stockings with speed and the possibility of violent collisions is going to have appeal. There is also a soft, gauzy halo of nostalgia (didn't our grandparents watch roller derby?) combined with the hard edge of good-natured and completely filthy sexual parody. Half the skaters have derby names and numbers that are brilliant and, alas, unprintable. Here, however, are a few that are: "Ivana Thump," "Terminate Her," "Miss Dairy Air," "The Atomic Muffin" and "Track Infection."