I think a common thread throughout my postings is the future of the game. We all know it’s underground, but is it really? in just the last year 500 leagues have sprung up that bring the count worldwide to near a thousand; the stories of the skaters appear almost daily in various papers, on-line publications, radio and TV. On ABC’s Nightline last week there was a great feature on the Hot Rod Honeys (first tee shirt I ever got from the Rollergirls!). and it featured the personality and life of a teacher who won awards, has kids and a husband and is a great skater. And Julianna Gonzales of the WFTDA gave a passionate rundown of the Derby world today.
I think anyone who looks at the prospects of the game realizes that with more men’s teams, more banked tracks, so much junior Derby that it is picking up steam at a tremendous rate. I know that is very satisfying to many within the game, but I know that eventually professional Roller Derby will rear its head. And of course I have concerns.
If any league starts, will it respect the groundwork done by all of today’s athletes and somehow reward them for their sacrifices. I would like to invite those interested to work with me to devise a business plan that can be presented to promotional organizations or sports entrepreneurs that would be a workable plan. Obviously, such a league would not cover the whole country but will probably appear in major markets. So what would happen to the leagues in those areas? I would like to see them not only protected but also subsidized. Where will the future professional players come from except from existing leagues. Interestingly, you would only have to average 2 or 3 players from each league who want to join to create a huge talent base. And most of the current skaters wouldn’t be involved in professional Roller Derby, but just want their leagues to continue.
I have done some initial groundwork already and people are interested, but certainly they are short of commitment. I would love to work on this whole project but realize I am not interested in promoting or controlling anything. I have seen what has happened to prior attempts, and because there was not the faith to make them completely competitive (and at least three had no desire to create a legitimate game), I constantly worry that someone who would see this as a fast money-making scheme would create something that would set us all back years in the public’s eyes.
What can we do? I would like to meet with those who would like to work and contribute on the plan at Rollercon, but certainly I want to hear from all who believe in this project. I am on facebook, and I am at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The huge expansion to the next step might happen without you and me, but let’s all we can do to be part of it so the past 76 years have not been a waste.