This might be getting boring to those who are not affiliated with Roller Derby, but before I go back to other topics I have to write about one that is really concerning me.
We all get excited about publicity and breakthroughs with the amazing game and people connected with it. Some of the journalists and TV producers get it others don’t. The article on the front page of the Sports section of the L. A. Times semi-got it: Chris Hawkins reported on the game, but still had to get the question in about the legitimacy. I wish all of these writers would do a little more research on the sport. Marsha Jordan of WLS-ABC Chicago really got it, and she was a fan of the classic game. She covered the Nationals, featuring the Windy City Rollers (Chicago, of course), but managed to get excellent interviews of why the women are in the game and what it means to them. I hope you all read the article and saw the ABC Chicago piece.
How can we all get together and form a unified product that can be presented on a national basis. interestingly enough, there is already a national TV network (Derbynewsnetwork.com) that could be easily integrated into am existing cable network (ESPN, Fox, Comcast, Versus, etc) that would get viewers. If all cities compiled who their sponsors are and what success they have had, it would be a compelling document (and I mean to get real money for sponsorship, not just trade for merchandise). There should be promoter involvement, as there already is with Live Nation for the RMRG and AEG-LIVE for the Denver Roller Dolls. Boise also has a promoter, and I am certain there are others out there. We also should know total paid attendance per month in the US as a selling point to show the national impace.
I would gladly work with the WFTDA, the OSDA, the Men’s leagues and whomever else to make it happen. It is time, and if the current participants do not do it in some form, some smart people out there will take the concept and run with it, and it may end up again as an exhibition and a lost opportunity.
I also believe that in the long run the game in the major cities and arenas will be skated on the banked track. There are so many advantages to doing it, and not because that is what I did. The game is faster, actually safer (falling on the masonite is a bit like a trampoline, and the rails can be used to protect) and more spectator friendly. I am not advocating the abandoning of the flat track game, that would be impossible for many of the leagues. However with funding and more money available to the leagues and the participants, the expense would not be as much of a factor. We solved the storage factor by having the arenas we skated continuously buy their own tracks and set them up.
Maybe this concept is impossible now. Initially it may have to be flat track only; however television is fickle, and if the best presentation by the best athletes is not available, there would have to be a great love of the game for it to continue in an expanded form, without any of you losing control of what you have created.
Please give feedback and I would like to hear from those who would like to at least discuss Roller Derby going forward together, and how it should be accomplished. I think all of you know you can post a comment here or on my facebook page.
2011 can be an amazing year.