Last Saturday night I drove to Rohnert Park to see the game between the local “B” team and the Shasta team.
Like so many other leagues it seems these days, this rather small population area (Sonoma County) had recently split. The Sonoma County team is now skating in Santa Rosa (I have to see them soon), and Resurrection is actually what it says: starting over. Not that there are not good players that stayed, but this “B” league team was composed of skaters in their first game. And they showed it. For virtually all the early jams, the skaters were so concerned with merely being in the game that their concentration didn’t allow them to actually play with any strategy and the Shasta team, a lot more composed, followed an excellent game plan and even though the Sonoma team pulled even in the first half, by the second half the more experienced Redding area team pulled away.
Like all the other games I have seen, the fans are really into the game. They cheered and supported their local representatives, even though it became apparent in the second half that they couldn’t match Shasta. They never stopped trying and you could see them feeling better about themselves as the game went on. And at the end, the teams high-fived each other and the fans, and stayed around for photos, and feelings of glory for skating the best they could.
That is one of the most wonderful benefits of this game. The participants are so happy just to be playing, whether they win by 100 points or lose by 100. It is so hard for those not involved to understand.
Personally, I have never been treated better by any of the teams I have supported (all of you). The announcers were among the best I have heard, patiently explaining the games to the fans (even in my day we never assumed that everyone understood the game, and there were always new fans on hand, after 15 years), and both had great announcing voices (and didn’t try to “perform” or scream into the mike).
The event was at Sonoma Skate rink…..from a production point of view, I would like to have seen them add some more lighting for the event so that the spectators would have had more of an arena effect. And of course, with all the officials, etc, there is a lot of dead time, which I would hope to see eliminated in the future, but realize, I am much more of a critic than others.
Afterwards I was able to go to my first after party, which was in Cotati at Brixx. Good pizza and drinks (I stuck to root beer as I had a pretty long drive and it was memorial day weekend) and then Dee Jay showed up with her music studio, and I was able to dance with at least three women and left on a very high note. (you can see photos on my profile page on facebook). And I left with a Resurrection Tee shirt with “Commissioner” on the back and a Shasta tee shirt, so I am getting quite a collection.
Next week will be a “woo woo” homecoming for me. For the first time since we skated at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco back in 1973, I will be attending the B.A.D. girls double header on June 11th, their initial appearance at Kezar, and the first time the modern Roller Derby game has been skated there. I am certain they will have a great turnout.
So now there are 890 leagues in 33 countries, and all leagues, wherever you are, should realize you have a giant gorilla with you that most people don’t see or know about. and that is the tens of thousands of participants around the world in at least 33 countries. There may be 1000 leagues before the end of the year. Thank you all for staying with it!