What If…..


there was a professional Roller Derby League now?

You can’t say that the sport is not popular enough to have it happen.

Photo by Nikki Johnson from stock.xchng.com.

As of this date there are over 1050 amateur leagues in the world with more being added all the time.  And there will be heightened interest with the upcoming regionals and Championship in Denver; and the World Cup in Toronto in December should also attract a lot of attention……but sadly not enough to really change the perception of the game as a group of skaters competing in rinks or small venues.

Somehow the world just doesn’t really perceive what is happening. A great example occurred this week in Baltimore when it turned out that the “new” design “Pride” helmets worn by U of Maryland Terrapins were remarkably close to what the Charm City Rollers have been wearing for the past three years; maybe not identical twins, but at least fraternal.  And the Baltimore Sun picked up on it, then NBC, USA today and more.  And one of the radio sports shows had the woman mayor on to ask about the controversy, and when he mentioned the football helmets she said “you mean the Charm City Roller Girls helmets” and he asked what she was talking about and who were they; and she told him.

Now this is a great PR plus for Charm City, and I hope they take advantage of it in promoting the upcoming regional tournament (I have sent some suggestions, but haven’t heard back), but the point is that somehow the word is not getting out about this new, fastest growing major sport.

Of course there are exceptions:  Denver (which just happens to have two of the leading promotion companies in the country promoting the DRG and RMRG games), Los Angeles (how great are the Dolls in doing what they do!), Seattle, and maybe one or two more.

Even in my home region of the San Francisco Bay Area there is not the perception there should be.  I mean as much awareness of at least that of soccer!

There is now a Roller Derby PR group on facebook that might aid in creating a national perception, and maybe some of the organizations that determine what game the leagues are skating might hire a PR firm, but until national publicity comes about, it will continue as it is, which isn’t all bad.  Of course, if there could be more dollars to help pay skaters’ expenses, travel, etc it would make it less of a hardship on everyone.

There may be some quick-buck promoters out there who want to make a circus (again) out of what this game has become, but that would only hurt everyone.  Until Live Nation or AEG or Mark Cuban, Madison Square Garden or someone of that nature wants to get involved on the very best level that would benefit all who are currently playing the game, it will continue to grow as it has.

What do you think?

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34 comments on “What If…..

    • I have to say I was very surprised at the skill of the skaters and how good the game was on the banked track…..The track is about 20 or more feet longer than flat track and creates a much faster game……also, I think that OSDAPro show how well the game can be played competitively on the banked track…..There will be banked track and flat track; it is up to the skaters.

  1. I can speak from the radio point of view on a few things.

    When it comes to radio, the first inclination is to go to sports radio. I have found sports radio to be among the most sexist and difficult people to approach when it comes to derby. I’ve heard sports talk hosts say that women’s sports don’t matter (not in so many words, but the point was clear). Sports radio works a lot like pop music radio. In pop radio, the mantra is “play the hits.” In sports radio, it’s “talk about the hits,” or the most popular sports. That’s why there’s football talk almost 365 days a year in some fashion. When was the last time you heard a lot of WNBA talk? The less popular (read: mainstream) the sport, the fewer people will be interested and the fewer ears will be on the station. In my mind, sports radio as a whole will be the last to succumb to the allure of derby. This isn’t to say that some stations won’t throw leagues a bone and interview players, give away tickets, etc., but don’t expect long-form shows about derby.

    If you want to crack into radio, go after male-focused formats. Active (hard) rock and classic rock stations. Your Metallica, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Nirvana stations. While derby draws fans of all ages, sexes and sizes, the draw of women battling women is a natural draw for the male audience. Our league in Des Moines has had great success working with the rock stations in town, as well as some oldies/greatest hits (60s/70s/80s) stations. It helped that I work for some of these stations, but they took the interest because of the girls and the sport, not me.

    Start your dealings with radio small. Begin a relationship with a sales person at a radio station. Start them off by giving them tickets to give away on air or at station appearances. Eventually, talk to them about an ad schedule if it is in your league’s budget. You can start as small as $500 for a schedule of nighttime and weekend spots (commercials). Stations are more apt to work with you if you’re spending money in their building. The next step is to try to secure a station as an “official sponsor.” Work out a deal with your head of sponsorships/advertising on a deal that is mutually beneficial for you and the radio station. Most stations like logo placement at events, bouts on printed collateral, and your website.

    Work with your area radio stations, but always remember they’re asking the question “what’s in it for the listener.” It’s your job to show them.

    One other point – when you’re planning a bout, set aside tickets for the media. Always invite the media. They won’t all take advantage of your generosity, but some do. As we’ve all seen, it takes just one person to see derby and fall in love. Then, you’ve not only created a fan, but an advocate that works in the media.

    Send out an (professional-looking) email to any and all media withing 30 miles of your bout. Send to news directors, sports directors, anchors, reporters, djs, promotion directors, sales managers, everyone. Scour media websites and build an email database of local media. Tell them to RSVP for your bout and offer them 2 free tickets. Don’t just invite them to one, invite them to EVERY bout. You may not catch someone on a good night, but they may be interested in coming in the future. Also, send the email at least 10 days in advance of the bout. Don’t catch them after they’ve already got plans.

    Hope this helps.

    Jeremy
    Des Moines

    • Also when you invite the media:

      They are your guests, not your fans. They are not themselves a revenue source. Make certain they are not thirsty or hungry. Print/web media people aren’t paid much, and hospitality tends to be appreciate unless the person is an entitled douche.

      if someone is from a bigger media organization, make sure they’re treated like VIPs, not a bum who should be happy they got a free ticket.

      If your resources are limited (as they typically are), focus them on the most credible media most likely to actually report on you. In sales, this would be called “qualifying”, and in medicine they call it “triage”.

      Make sure there is someone from the league who can attend to whatever they need while the game is happening. Try to seat them near people who can explain what’s going on.They often take notes on computers, and need web access. Remember to accommodate them with at the very least, access to AC power.

      Always give them a +1. A perk of being a journalist is being able to treat someone else to something. Sometimes it’s the only way they can afford a date. Or they may bring a colleague who might enjoy the experience and lend support to any article that might result from the game. +1 is often reserved for photographers.

      If your league restricts photo access, as many larger leagues do, make sure someone is on hand who can issue a photo pass the day of the game.

      Consider “behind the scenes” access for more credible journalists. Including post bout referee meetings. People who are suspicious about the credibility of the officiating should know how seriously your officials take their job.

      And maybe access to pre-game team meetings. So they know how seriously the players take winning and what they do to prepare for a game.

      Have the league president/founder/HMFWIC chat with them before the game. Not only does that make them feel more important, but it can set the tone for how they see the game.

      While someone who gets a ticket, shows up, takes a seat, and takes notes can have fun, it is usually a little lonely and isolating. Meeting people and talking to people who are involved makes it a personal experience and helps the journalist make a connection to your event.

      Offer to give them a copy of the game stats, and have them prepared by the next morning at the latest. For journalists who have a same-day deadline, offer to let them photograph the stats if you’re not doing them directly on computer. Not many will accept, but they’ll learn that you keep detailed stats and the game is transparent.

      Make sure that they have team lineups in number order, not alphabetical order. When you’re reporting, you see the number and look it up. Do not list the captains/co-captains separately unless they aren’t playing in that game. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to scribble down names and numbers from a program in the order you need to match numbers to names. And especially with leagues that only have numbers on their shirts.

      Have a card with someone’s exact email address to give them for any questions they might have. Sure, they can look it up on your site, but giving them a card is a ritual that says, “I’m available to talk about this league any time.” Again, it personalizes the experience.

      • Nice it will make a differance 🙂 to treat everyone promoting you with the best hospitality . Remember your patron’s are promoting your leauge also. Have a few volunteers who know the rules sit with them to explain the rules during a match 🙂

  2. An enterprising entrepreneur WITH MONEY, could form a professional organization tomorrow if they just contract with the top existing leagues in the country for a season. No need to build an organization with the abstract goal of being “professional derby” on a shoestring and building from the ground up.

    That way, the teams actually represent their geographical region from bottom to top, the skaters are well trained, well trained officials are available, you don’t have to do anything to convince people that they’re legitimate players, since they earned they way to the top through amateur athletic competition.

    More to the point, it would conform to people’s expectations of a natural progression from the amateur derby in their area to the professional level, rather than being a complete departure from any other sport.

    I think the majority of top performing, competitive flat and banked track leagues have no philosophical opposition to becoming professional derby. They just aren’t in the habit of calling things professional until they actually have money in their hands.

    Instant “Professional Derby”. Just add money.

      • Me too! It starts with promotions as always, and coordination between teams and leagues that need to talk to each other. There’s a huge RD fan base out there – in fact, in the last 6 mos, as I talk to many people about RD, it is amazing – I have yet to come across a discussion where someone doesn’t say something like, “my Sister skates in LA…” or, “I used to go/watch that all the time.” It isn’t surprising that the fans exist, only that they exist despite Roller Derby mostly getting in its own way.” It’s almost like, they insist, and keep hoping for a better version of whatever it is that is so darned fun and exciting. That sounds like the beginning, or maybe the continuation, of a grass roots cause waiting for a place to happen. Publicity is on it’s way. The rest is about coordination and communication. As I do research on the “project” about RD, and as a tech “expert” of sorts, there are a number of ways that technology can and will help this effort. Anyone up for starting a monthly in-person “salon” to start more conspicuous progress toward that end? As a member of the Renaissance Salon SF on Facebook, our group gets together every couple of weeks to discuss how to bring film/art/entertainment back to SF in a big way (and distinctly away from the “big mills” in LA). We don’t just talk, we do. Amazing people are a part of this group, and there’s an equally amazing group out there about this great American passtime. Anyone interested? Just passion, talent, connections, and even good intentions are required to begin. Send me a reply and we’ll see what a good day is to start. Like Eddie said the other day, “Talk is cheap. Let’s do something!” I couldn’t agree more.

    • I think the exchange below, Busta, shows that no one should go anywhere now unless something close to what you are stating occurs…..the leagues must not lose control at this point in time.

  3. I don’t think that their isn’t marketable talent, There is PLENTY of talent around the WFTDA (just look at the World Cup try-outs for those who made it, and even those who did not). However, the issue would be could you pay enough for the talent to relocate themselves and their family for a sports career that might last them 2-6 years. (Average)

    At this moment we don’t on a regular and uniform basis pay our Officials/Announcers, and now people are looking to pay the skaters? (Not saying its a bad idea altogether, but…) At the same time this happens, this would force the leagues to go from “Skater owned, Skater operated” to owned by the person who’s paying the checks. Not sure how well that’d pan out, but I tell ya Jerry, if I hit the Powerball Lottery I’ll see if my local team would let me buy em’

    • Good point, of course everyone has to get paid ( I did, and even created a profit-sharing program that was far ahead of its time for the 60’s). One of my points is that there is such high unemployment now and many are sacrificing to skate….I think you would be surprised at how many would skate full time if they saw a future in it and were paid.

    • Hell yes, Daniel. I’ve often thought the same thing. Hit the big money, buy the league. But what then? I’d want to set up a BOD to make sure the on-track decisions are made by the right people. Off track…well, that’s when you hire professional marketers.

      And Busta, you’re right as usual. The sport’s doing just fine in its current stage of growth. Add cash and marketing expertise and ta-da; it’s pro-skate!

  4. Dude I’m a firefighter. They sunk 12000 in my education. I got pregnant. And guess what. I’m still a firefighter. Yes, I was on light duty. A driver and pump operator, but I was still a firefighter. If the passion is there and you love your job. Nobody “bails”. There are plenty of position for 9 month injuries. Look at mo pain. She skated preggo.

  5. Are you kidding, Pony? I love when anything I write makes people think and react. It is frustrating to put something out there and no one thinks it is worth reacting to. (sorry, Pony, about ending with a preposition).

    • WOW, I started to respond at the top in support of OSDA Pro and read through before I posted, this is amazing stuff and exactly the thought provoking conversation that needs to happen for derby to come together.

      In Seattle, we’re trying to offer derby up to people wishing to learn and WHEN they get their skills up they can come to advanced practice. SKILLS before DRILLS, mainstream this sport and people will take it seriously.

      We’re working with the Seattle Parks Department, and I expect that about 1% of skaters will eventually be pro materal, as in any other sport. I DO have a business model that can make people come together on the same page, bit by bit, piece by piece. It is hard and slow and I believe it is happening.

      NOW we just need to put the puzzle pieces together. BOOM.

  6. Also, in the early days of Derby, the skaters lived and ate in the buildings (a “race” was often 30 days in length). So bedding was set up for the women and men separately (separated by sex and not by team!). They seemed to have managed to gotten around this……If you haven’t already, read the history of the game: From Roller Derby to Rollerjam, loaded with stories and photos, at http://www.rollerderbycommish.com. Don’t complain about the commercial, the rest of this is for free.

  7. I know I’m gonna’ catch hell for this, but since I respect the hell out of Jerry what the hey…

    I have been, and am working with, television and cable sports networks in the area of getting derby on national TV. It will happen.

    The major obstacle we face right now is negotiating around the perception that the “modern” game is nothing more than a relative handful of semi-skilled amateurs playing a game that once the “camp” factor is gone (aka what we define as major tournaments / teams etc) the only thing left are blowouts, speed skating, fans booing because of stand-still derby, and funny names.

    They want hard blocking (preferably banked track) derby, close games, and personalities – not stage names.

    Some of us are working to get past this perception – and while progress is being made – it would really friggen’ help if pivots were allowed to break without a pathetic panty pass and we lose minors!

    Until then, either don’t be surprised if someone unexpected gets the shot at national, mainsteam recognition or we continue to wallow in our own delusions of grandeur.

  8. Yes, Herpy, this is OSDA Pro exacytly and what we are trying to do in mainstreaming this.

    I found OSDA online with these exact thoughts in mind, and felt strongly that their mission was in aligmment with what I think needs to happen. OSDA and OSDA Pro have been very helpful and supportive.

    WE can all make this sport inclusive and recognized for having the athletes that are drawing the fans.

    Seriously.

  9. And Sharon I’m going to email you with results from a survey that I did with 150 + skaters responding.

    I’m hoping to continue research using a modifed Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale and an attitude and exercize questionairre PROVING how extraordinary this sport is. I’m hoping that my measurable results will hope leagues everywhere find funding and prove how this sport can help people.

    • Fabulous, and exactly what I’m looking for too! My background in science appreciates the metrics, as well as my sense of business funding! Gonna go take a look. Now you know how to find me too. (long live prepositions, Jerry! LOL!) Seriously. There are a number of creative financing opportunities that exist today like never before. The point at all times needs to be to model the “league” after the funding requirements – so exactly where that money comes from is relevant to both the development and the prospects of “the game.” I suggest people get acquainted with sites like “Kickstarter.com” and “ActSeed” to spark your imagination if it isn’t so already. When combined with adword/keyword strategies and tagging marketing campaigns through strategic social networking activities, you turn up the power of ticket sales about 47% at the local level, and magnify the exposure exponentially with the right strategy. The game needs to be the pure stuff. The stuff the fans have been coming back for year after year. Jerry is providing a fabulous opportunity here to take advantage of some apparent amazing minds and passions that can take this forward, and it is absolutely invaluable to have his guidance, support, and advice as it goes on – not to mention an honor and pleasure!

      God, I wish my knees would let me skate again…. what fun! “Uncle Jimmy” owned a Roller Rink when my mom was a teen in Princeton, Illinois – when they closed down, we got these huge boxes of skates from which we chose successive sizes to last our lifetimes on skates. We were always so cool showing up at the rinks with our very own skates! Fun memories here. Not to mention a slice of the American story – it continues to be so in these comments and the organizations and efforts they describe. There couldn’t be a better time to focus on community support for skaters, league and official “event” coordination, and some very cool education and community programs that can bring the best of this sport to people everywhere. It promises to be an exciting discussion!

  10. oh, and I forgot to say – campaign metrics provide backup to your funding requests and projections. needed stuff in today’s world of money. Short term projects with expected “return” matter. Metrics will set you apart. Using them to define direction is the next step and the opinions of people willing to put up from $1.00 to thousands help organizers and leaders shape the next “project.” Projects can be anything – from an event to a collateral promtional product. By the way – it only costs about $50k to get a super cool video game up and ready with today’s tech experts. With that comes video of real skaters, and profiles that highlight today’s Roller Derby heroes…or at least that was the counsel of a friend recently when we were discussing some fun Roller Derby events I recently attended. ahhh, but maybe I’m ahead of myself. The point is not to make a game, but to shift the Roller Derby strategy to an audience that will support it and drive it for the right reasons and motives. History provides plenty of examples of what not to do. It’s fun and amazing to know this really matters for the right reasons to a whole lot of people!

  11. I have quite a bit to say but I’ll keep it short.

    1. Pregnancy: about the same amount of time out as a torn ACL. A player capable of captivating fans, will have much anticipation if return, if they are belived by fans, as you have in your hypo. To say you’ve invested in a product that is now defunct is a very corporate dehumanization of your players and I think you are being very short sighted with that opinion, or you lack talent for actual marketing as opposed to just riding the coattails of talent.

    2. What is being done currently is being done without deep pockets and thus making history. All other sports have investment backing, including the unsuccessful. It is also a bad economy. People with deep pockets stick to the guaranteed money makers as opposed to being more risky in the investment. In addition,the desire to retain control will also drive away the big money. It’s fine and admirable to want to retain the culture. It just means waiting a little longer for anyone to take notice.

    3. The growth of derby is largely self sustained. Of the fans at any regional tournament for WFTDA, how many are not somehow internal to a derby league somewhere? How many don’t ref, skate, announce, etc. Derby is far from mainstream and until it goes beyond a one person removed from skater fan base,there will also be difficulty getting non local media.

    4. The sports world is still highly sexist and the pro women’s sports that exist, other than tennis, are no match for the money or audience numbers of men’s sports because men viewership and sports perpetuates itself from childhood. This is still a new sport. Junior leagues are just starting. It will eventually get there.

    This sport is still very new. All profitable pro sports have been around from 75+ years. If you want to retain culture, control and spirit of the sport, which we should, we need to overcome the undercurrent of sexism (demonstrated earlier with the cop out pregnancy issue) and await the “time” and ir may not happen in anyone’s current skating years.

  12. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

    1. I share Busta’s belief that what derby needs to go pro is one enterprising entrepreneur willing to pay the current top teams. And then s/he needs to develop a marketing and advertising campaign and get derby back on national TV. That’s how players like Joan Weston and Ann Calvello became stars. Plenty of today’s skaters have just as much charisma and skill; we just need to introduce them to the masses. All of this is much easier said than done, of course…see Sniper Ella’s post.

    2. In my opinion, WFTDA needs to hire a PR person, internal or external, to help member leagues get local coverage and to get national coverage. Some leagues have gotten quite good at getting publicity, but others need a lot of help. I was happy that WFTDA sent out a press release template to leagues that received invites to the playoffs; I’d love to see more of this.

    3. For the love of God, leagues need to track and publicize multiple stats in the same way, and there needs to be one place (i.e., WFTDA website, if you’re talking about women’s flat track derby) where you can find them all. It’s hard to demand to be taken seriously as a sport when there’s no easy way for fans to compare teams (beyond rankings) and perhaps more importantly, individual players. Fantasy derby, anyone?

    4. While we wait for all of the above to happen, there are a number of things that leagues can do to raise their profiles. First, make sure you’re doing all the traditional grassroots marketing and promotional stuff. Make posters (preferably with a good action photo as opposed to an illustration) and plaster the town with them. Have a presence at events and festivals that draw big crowds. And if it’s in your league’s budget, advertise online, on the radio, on TV, in print, on billboards, on buses, wherever you can. In short, be everywhere.

    Re media coverage: Jeremy had some great suggestions for radio. Cincinnati has also developed a great partnership with a local rock station whose morning DJs invite a few of our skaters on in the morning before every home game and treat us like pros. We’ve tried to get coverage from local sports talk radio stations and have encountered much of the same sexism and unwillingness to take us seriously. And because Cincinnati has pro football and baseball teams, it’s that much more difficult to get sports-oriented coverage from mainstream media outlets.

    Given that, leagues need to reach out to potential fans in non-traditional ways. Keep hitting up TV, radio and newspapers, but realize that they’ve all had to make drastic staffing cuts as a result of the recession, declining ad revenues and the shift to online news. I’m a newspaper reporter, and I can tell you that it’s increasingly difficult for us to cover everything that’s going on with the cutbacks we’ve had. These days, reaching out to fans directly through social media and through local influential bloggers and Twitter users, from young professionals to moms, is just as important as reaching out to traditional media. Treat bloggers as you would the media: Offer them tickets to games, give them good seats and then link to their coverage from your league’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    Finally, one of the biggest things I’ve learned in my five years with the Cincinnati Rollergirls is how important it is to make your league fan-friendly, and specifically, family-friendly. And it takes more than making tickets cheap or free for kids. In Cincinnati, skaters greet fans at the door with programs, and after every home game, the skaters come down to the floor to talk to fans, pose for pictures with them and sign autographs. Neither of those things would ever happen at a Reds or Bengals game, and the fans know it. There’s nothing quite like signing an autograph for a starry-eyed kid and seeing the look of eternal gratitude in their parents’ eyes. That’s all it takes to make fans for life, and you can bet that they’re going to tell all of their friends about the experience.

    • The TV model that existed in 1970 no longer exists. Instead of 3-5 channels in every market there are now hundreds. In other words, were you to spend the same money it cost then (adjusted for inflation) to put derby on TV, you’d almost certainly get far less in return. Reality TV being popular isn’t the only reason there’s so damned much of it. It’s relatively cheap to make.

      A TV show isn’t the key to our success, it’s more something that can come along and give a bit more help when we’re already more of the way there. TV really doesn’t see itself as a vehicle for putting newly discovered things on top. It wants to get things that people already want to see. Otherwise they’ll ask for you to pay for it up front.

      OTOH, the best way to get on TV right now is via pay cable’s regional sports stations. These are the channels that your cable system adds on so the sports fans and parents with kids in high school sports won’t switch to satellite. A number of derby leagues at all levels already work with these channels.

    • As for statistics, check out the newest additions to Flat Track Stats, or click the “Login” button on the Rinxter web site. This stuff is very much coming.

  13. TV is “different” today – the average “feature” length of digital film content that is growing about 56% in the next year is a 13 minute production. The idea is to package the “Derby” into an entertainment delivery system where fans can follow serials, stars, leagues, and “stats” or other such pertinent info. There definitely need to be “events” and access to ticket sales through the “site.” The full package is multi-media/multi-venue with TONS of collateral material, products, organized promotions…. No one league can really afford to do the “package,” neither in simple content updates, nor the actual activities that would have to take place to support it. That calls for a central supported operation where things like dues, or memberships or “franchises” could be acquired, and funds come from well-heeled supporters, investors, and from proceeds from “collateral” things (like video production, talent referrals (for movies and games as well as track/skating, games, skates, clothing….). The nice thing about this is it is a relatively inexpensive operation (obviously it could grow), and technology makes many things both affordable and possible that were not available to people like Jerry in the past (at least not at today’s price tag or labor/tech options)

    Well, at least that is one approach. The first thing that would probably need to be done would be to research the average funding requirements and the actual income from the majority of the leagues to ascertain what level of capital would be needed to kick something like this off – i.e., what could the leagues/locals afford and what would remain to be covered. Once you know that, you know if this is a moot discussion or an actual possible thing. Otherwise, you start off with grass roots organization on a small scale. Another possibility exists there – simply start a website sort of like “kickstarter.com”… where instead of projects, the features are teams, and things that teams need. People can vote, donate, purchase etc., based on their own preferences for what they want to contribute, to whom. That works within the framework for keeping everyone on their own, while presenting possibilties for all the teams with a very, very simple central “news/tech” organization helping things along. Obviously there’s more to this, but the general structure is there. Depends on what people want to see from all angles – and as always, starting with the fans and the skaters.

  14. So tell us about your season and how you set it up? It’s not listed on your website, which doesn’t seem very smart for fans to find out when/where your games are being held.

    How many public games have you already had,? Any interleague experience with a top 20 WFTDA league? Any footage we can check out?

    For someone who talks a big game, there’s very little to suggest your follow-through is worth the bluster.

  15. Parts of this are excellent. Drat. Can we go back to those parts? Love hearing the experiences of the leagues and the skaters that are out there. Ideas are ideas, but they are the ones out there “doing.” The rest is hyperbole and doesn’t amount to much. I hope skaters and “owners” and “supporters” alike will come together to move things forward more positivey than denigrating the discussion to self-serving vents and pointless retorts that only fan the flaming fires. I tend to think that just because Roller Derby is an aggressive sport, doesn’t mean discussions and efforts have to match the cantankerousness of a match. It is, however, a mark of all things RD to be passionate in nature, and with lively discussions only rivaled around the dinner tables of the closest friends and family. (?)

  16. For me, professional derby is a bad idea. First it will make all other derby look inferior, leading to fewer fans – like minor league baseball. Then, when the investor or investors are done with the “fad” of derby, and they pull out our sport collapses. I prefer a widespread, sustainable amateur sport like we have now. But that’s just my two cents.

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