Attacking my paranoia


Illustration by Mary LaVenture

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 jerryseltz@aol.com.

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.

8 comments on “Attacking my paranoia

  1. I’m all for dropping fishnets facepaint and rec leagues in favor of men’s and women’s competitive Derby that can move back into to the conservitive spotlight. I’m performing at a competitive level with risk of future income. .I want paid a cut for the bout. Starting a new league in my home town to test out the idea of that being the missing piece to the marketing puzzle.

  2. There will be many different paths and I think what you are doing is a good idea. Let me know how it turns out and I will pass it on.

  3. I will be staying at the Riviera starting Thursday night, just call my room. For those who don’t now, April is one of the originators of the flat track game!

  4. I’m puzzled that you seem to feel professional roller derby would need to come by way of big money outsiders who’d pluck the best talent from existing leagues. Moneyed interlopers looking for a quick return on their investment would probably take the sport down the same sad road as RollerJam.

    The NFL and Major League Baseball didn’t drop out of the sky with IPOs and “here’s how to play the game,” did they? They formed, evolved, and developed their rules organically. Much like modern derby has.

  5. Both those sports evolved over many years….if you noted, I said only a few players from each league would even be interested, and a six-team league would have a maximum of 150 players.

    No one has to do anything with this or participate…Just if it happens, we should be ready. I of course have been contacted at least several times, but I will not be part of a separate promotion myself…..this is only for those who might want to help as I stated in the post above. 99.94% of the current leagues would not be involved of affected

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