There is an interesting story brewing in the city that is the capital of coffee stores.
KING-TV has a contest for the best of everything in Western Washington. And Rat City’s Re-AnimateHer was nominated in the category of best pro athletes. There is a lot of competition: Felix Hernandez (Cy Young award winner) and Ichiro from the Mariners, Sue Bird from the pro basketball team, Kasey Kahn, and even the great old quarterback (Warren Moon) and several dozen others.
Well Cecilia Hanley (Re-AnimateHer’s other name) jumped into first place. Then KING decided to disqualify her because she didn’t fit in the category of “pro”, but then several of the others didn’t in the strictest sense. Well Derby skaters and fans immediately drew up a petition and within a matter of hours had 550 signatures and sent it to the station. By then, Cecilia had fallen into 4th place as they weren’t counting her votes. So worried about a backlash, the station put her back on and at that point she had 10% of the total votes, a highly respectable figure. But at the end of the day as a result of the posting by all who had become aware of it (from the leagues around the country and the world), she was in first place with a tremendous 24% of the total votes, over double that of Mr. Hernandez in second place.
Wonderful, so why all the fuss?
Now it has the making of a national story and maybe a major awareness boost for all of Roller Derby, ironically in the weekend with the regional tourneys which are so important to all of us, and of almost no concern to most of America, have begun.
This is no longer just about Cecilia, although she certainly deserves the attention. It is about getting one of our leading athletes out of the underground (well, you can scarcely call it underground in the Derby-aware greater Seattle area) and making her a winner in everyone’s eyes.
And this brings me to another point: virtually all major sports draw fans to their games because of either the stars playing on their team or the opposition. We must start calling attention to the stars who are skating. This will not draw away from the team aspect of the game, but will enhance it. Now that there is a strong PR page on facebook (Roller Derby PR), that should be one of their main publicity efforts. Features should be written about the exploits of Re-animateHer, Suzy Hotrod, Val Capone, Tara Armov, Pia Mess, Lucky 7, Brandy Rettig, and the hundreds of others who have become famous within our circle.
And you may not like this, but we should also feature their non-skating names; remember Julius Erving was Dr. J, Ty Cobb “The Georgia Peach”, Wayne Gretzky “The great one” and on and on. Better press with real names. Still include their skating names.
If you want to vote for Cecilia, go to best.king5.com. The contest goes until October 9, and you know that it will get closer as the contest draws to the end. Everyone is eligible to vote. and I noticed a tricky one today (Elwood, please check this one out), when I went to the site to see if I could vote, the words “best amateur athlete” came up…..Uh Uh……we can’t accept that now. I just went again and they only list her as amateur…..However, go to the list of pro athletes and you can write her in if you are willing to.
And oh by the way, Leo’s mother’s name was Celia.