Clatsop County Roller Derby? are you kidding me?


(1) Tara Hopman Dyrset.

Pictured in the link above is Shanghaied Roller Dolls, out of Astoria, Oregon……see if you can pick out my friend, Tara Hopman Dyrset…..of course you can, immediately.

So much of my family history is in Clatsop County. Every summer for as long as I can remember we were in Seaside and eventually had a home there. Seaside is on the Pacific Ocean, just 16 miles from Astoria, which sits at the mouth of the Columbia river on the ocean. I fished in the Columbia and actually caught a 38-pound Chinook….not sure you can still catch any in the River.

Tara’s day job is at the Columbia Hospital, an excellent medical facility serving the county……Her fun job is Roller Derby.

She does the merch and tickets for Shanghaied Roller Derby….I can only assume the name comes from the former great seaport of Astoria and those unfortunate enough to have been slipped a mickey and awaken on a sailing festival far out to sea.

Astoria is named for the prominent pillager of animal skins and other travesties, John Jacob Astor…..the Astor tower sits far above the small city and you probably saw it in Arnold’s Kindergarten Cop which was filmed in Astoria, and Tara sent me a great photo of her team around the statue in front.

This is a league for fun; they got rid of the drama last year and have made it easy to come and skate and learn and enjoy…..great participants in the local communities and parades and gatherings and functions….just what you would want to be when you think of Roller Derby.

And a number of women are from Seaside, near Seltzer Park.

Last Saturday they had a game at the Fairgrounds in Astoria; ironically where we had scheduled Willie Nelson for a benefit to raise money for Seltzer Park….Obviously we succeeded with other fund raising and benefit concerts by Willie again in Seaside and one by the Smothers Brothers.

And their game last weekend sold out, drawing 500 people to the building and it was fast and hard hitting and everyone had a great time….who won? I don’t know and don’t care.

By the way, they sold out their advance tickets through Brown Paper Tickets.

Five Strides on the Banked Track, the classic now available on Kindle or ebook!


Facebook.

please clink on link above.

Roller Derby on the road.

Appeared as a short version in Sports Illustrated.

This classic sold out almost immediately and was never reprinted…..available at up to $600 from amazon.

this version will all the original photos and copy (and with a new forward by The Commissioner) is available at a very reasonable price. read the above information on how to get your copy.

what if your father had invented a game and you just watched the World championship


I will keep it short.

Yes there are 1628 Leagues in the world.

And yes the growth has been phenomenal over the past 10 years.

But the impact never really hit me until I saw players and fans from 15 nations during the phenomenal coverage of the Men’s World Cup from Birmingham,England. And my friend and cohort at Brown Paper Tickets Bob “Noxious” (Randy Hughes) announced the final game.

The other sports should enjoy such love and sportsmanship. Skaters patting opponents while on a jam. Amazing moments you will never forget:

Japan and Argentina being adopted as home teams by the entire crowd; Japan brand new to this type of game (My good friend Hiroshi Koizumi is the father of Roller Derby in Japan); Argentina with just 8 players and astonishing everyone with their play; maybe the loudest cheer of the tourney when Scotland got 10 points against the US powerhouse in the final jams.

And on and on: the Argentinian player proposes to his girl friend and the crowd cheering and tearing (I did).

And the winning US team, coached by my Derby wife, the incomparable Val Capone; tell her Roller Derby needs her anywhere in the world and she is there. And so many of my “friends” on the squad, from three members of Rollerjam (which could have been so good if not so phony) to Tony Muse who represents the Roller Derby Skate Company Elite skates, finally getting back to the game that meant so much to them; and my father started that company!

And my father, Leo Seltzer, who died in 1978 believing his beloved game which he fully intended to bring back as a legitimate contest was gone forever.

And me, the almost unwilling heir to the family business, whose videos from the 70s inspired April Ritzenhaler and others to bring it back to life in 2003.

I am so sorry I didn’t make it to Birmingham; but nobody will keep me from the women’s World Cup in Dallas this December. After all I write a column for Blood and Thunder magazine who is sponsoring this event, and I know Robin will put me on the credential list; and even if she wouldn’t, I will be at the Fair Park Arena where we used to skate.

My god, this is a worldwide sensation…..just how would you feel?

“A (bout) Rose by any other name”


It has been awhile since I have been able to write two posts in a row.

I have columns in “Blood and Thunder” magazine and “Leadjammer” magazine and both are out soon, and I do some writing for http://www.Brownpapertickets.com.

But I saw an item today that seems to be upsetting some people. In the new set of WFTDA rules apparently the word “bout” has been redlined, which doesn’t mean that you can’t call your games that, but maybe a sense of official approval has been removed.

One comment as a result of the examiner.com piece on this change was “why are they taking this WFTDA term away from us?”

OK, a couple of things….I have always avoided the term “bout” because it brings up the images of boxers or UFC or worse wrestling, and for a sport that is trying to differentiate itself from those kind of images, I don’t think that is good….and of course I have called them games all my life.

And exactly where did the term “bout” come from? When April Ritzenhaler and her cohorts were starting modern banked track skating in Austin in 2002 she had just come from boxing training and when someone asked what the events should be called, she suggested “bout”. And of course the Texas Rollergirls flat track split off from TXRD and WFTDA was created, so it really isn’t even a WFTDA term…..and even April calls them “games” now.

Call them what you want…..Please just make sure they are fast moving, hard playing and entertaining.

And by the way, if you want a brand new copy of “Roller Derby to Rollerjam”, the fun pictorial history of the game from 1935 to 2000, I have put the remaining out of print copies on http://www.amazon.com for $25 plus shipping. Other new copies on Amazon for this wonderful read range from $92 to $654.

And in this official lexicon of Roller Derby you will never find the word “bout”.