Speaking out on one of the most controversial issues in Roller Derby


Derby names.

Phonebook page from picaland on stock.xchng.com

Phonebook page from picaland on stock.xchng.com

I probably have over 7000 of you who are capable of seeing my posts on facebook.  And over half a thousand on twitter, and tons more on WordPress.

I am about to tell you why I selfishly think this whole thing with Derby names has to end.

I just don’t know who the hell you are…..

I get a message from Antwerp twerp and then one from Auntie Burp and then I meet you at a game or Rollercon and I know you and we hug but don’t ask me to tell you who you are.

I love Val Capone, but don’t know her name.  I know Misty is Pia, and April is La Muerta, and hot flash is Donna, and I know Amanda and Larissa and Lori and Laura and Lara and Lauren and Jen and Candis but get confused on their Derby names.

I am in one way or another in touch with many thousands of you; life is confusing enough for me without having to double that figure in remembering who you are.

Therefore, I am issuing a decree:  from now on you just use your real name when talking to me….if you don’t like it, take it up with The Commissioner.

27 comments on “Speaking out on one of the most controversial issues in Roller Derby

  1. Wow, that’s might be a tough one! LOL. For a lot of derby girls, their derby name seems to be there alter ego. You know, I’ve always appreciated it when derby folks use their derby names as a kind of middle name. Like Donna “the hot flash” Kay. That approach might be helpful. What do you think?

  2. I get it, I really do…BUT, my only question to that is, exactly how many “Jen’s” or “Kathy’s”, etc can you remember?
    Hell, I have a LOT of girls with the same first names in my league, and if it wasn’t for their derby names, I would have a lot of heads turn by calling out that name. Personally speaking, I don’t think that the ones who have derby names would be bothered if you called them by either their given name, OR their derby name. I know that to me, it only matters that you smile and recognize me in the first place :)

  3. For better or worse, it’s not always the individual but the system that doesn’t want the name change. Because WFTDA started censoring my derby name, I now announce under Amy Jo Moore. But the derby world knows me as a skater, referee, and strategy trainer as Bitches Bruze. I suspect long after I stop skating, people will still call me Bitches – and I’m fine with that. There has to be a happy medium where we all are happy and willing to go by more than one moniker.

      • WFTDA.tv does censor announcer names. Not all of them though. I could get into specifics of names which aren’t censored, but mine is. Hyman Heaven, who is the official liaison between WFTDA, AFTDA, and WFTDA.tv goes by HH now because of it. She shortened me to BB for ECDX 2012 but I had a real hard time feeling right with that so for Eastern Regionals, I asked to be called Amy Jo instead of BB. Even back in 2010, the producers for the WFTDA streams were queasy on my name asking for me to be introduced as Bitches, but then to go by something else during the stream.

        Trust me, Commish. I know of what I speak/write.

      • And, just for the record, I’m okay with this name change. I’d actually like to see more real names used by announcers on the WFTDA.tv stream.

        I agree with Hot Flash. There’s a really good place for derby names. But when we get to the level of the new Division I teams and the kind of promotion being engaged in for and by these teams, being more formal and real all the way around is a natural way to go.

        I cringe when I hear “Inspector Muffin” (for example) using his derby name, knowing that I may not be called Bitches on WFTDA.tv. Some times my announcing partner may talk about my heritage and strategy training stuff, and then we talk about me as Bitches Bruze. But as a WFTDA.tv announcer, I’m Amy Jo.

  4. Yes, Reff, that is why it is in the last line……I guess humor is just too difficult to express in WordPress, errr, social media,, errr on line.

  5. And whomever gave this one star because you thought I was threatening something you like, please do not come up and hug me.

    • Wasn’t me!! I People with no sense of humor shouldn’t be involved in a sport in which one can potentially spend a lot of time on their ass, and be able to laugh about it!

      BB, you’re probably right about that one…lol

    • by the way, in case you are worried about Big Brother, I have no idea who punches the stars above, although on my posts you obviously have to punch the one on the far right.

    • I think Bill Cosby had a similar schtick about how for years, he thought his name was Jesus Christ, and his brother’s name was God Damn It because of their parents saying it all the time to them ..LOL

  6. Here’s the thing about this.

    Derby names belong WHERE they belong.

    People are attracted to having an alter ego. I LOVE being “The Hot Flash”, it helps me have an identity that I like better than Donna Kay – “Real Estate Broker”.

    When we have professional skaters representing their league or region, the only way it will be recognized as a legitimate sport is if we forego the derby names……… OK, I am all for that; I’d like to use last names for our travel team so they can be recognized as the athletes that they are.

    For someone who comes out to have fun, make friends, balance their lives and have derby name, good for them!

    OFF the track, have fun with your alter ego. ON the track this is about athleticism.

    When our top notch athletes are proving this is a mainstream sport I think real names should be used.

    Derby LOVE:)

  7. EVERYONE WHO THINKS I AM TRYING TO TAKE YOUR NAMES AWAY FROM YOU, PLEASE READ THE LAST LINE OF THE POST AGAIN WHERE I LET YOU IN ON THE GAG!

  8. Bravo, Jerry!!!!! The truth is the ‘names’ and the ‘looks’ only signal one thing – they don’t have faith in the game. The names take away from the game. Put away the egos and have faith in the game.

  9. i address people based on how they introduce themselves to me. most people extend the same respect over to me.

    so, is it commish or roller derby jesus? your complaining about us having two names, and your throwing in three for yourself :-) (btw the smiley face is how you show the internet your joking.)

  10. a couple of things, rollerderbyjesus.com is my link to wordpress, the Commissioner is my Derby name, and if I have to put a symbol out there to show I am joking I am playing to the wrong audience.

  11. Ya know Jerry, this is something I’m actually sold on. It took a while. I think, originally – cuz I go back in this era long enough – we did it because we didn’t know how people would react. Could you be part of it and still go to work without criticism? This was 2004, so we really had no idea. Would girls using their real name have issues with fans? Again, we didn’t know. Unlike your era of derby, fans know the girls are local. Finding them would be easy. That said, at least the acceptance of participation by work, neighbors, family…has not been an issue for the masses.

    Me? I never liked my real first name anyway. However, I’ve read enough lewd, disgusting names in my career to get really turned off by them. During intros, if one is pretty bad, I’ll actually read the name then say, “Remember, I don’t write them, I only read them.” I’m for using real names…but I’d likely take the name Bobby Nox…only because “Randy” or “Randall” has never suited me. Not to mention telling people in Europe you’re “Randy” has all the wrong connotations!

    Randy Hughes

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