Got back from the Northeast Derby Convention yesterday. Only problem was I only lasted Friday and part of Saturday, coming down with heavy congestion and laryngitis.
On the flight from Oakland to Boston (a redeye, I should have known better), I started feeling not well, and by the time Doug Martin of Roll Models (you know, over 60 of the leagues are using his superior uniforms) picked me up to go to Providence, I knew it would be a tough haul.
Well, Dee Stortion (Jeezus, will I ever know anyone’s real name…..try having 5000 friends on facebook and when you meet them you don’t know who the hell they are), her mother, Eric, and her whole staff did an amazing job for this event. Personally, on behalf of the vendors, I wish there had been more spectators and walkers around, but I am sure that will be rectified in the future. There were a lot of skaters and quite a number of my friends who said hello.
Dee and Eric were kind enough to change my talk from 6 PM on Saturday to 1 PM so I could rattle off a few words and Doug was good enough to shut down his booth, and get me back to Boston……I am home now and feeling much better.
I watched the skating and the top trainers were all on hand: My old buddy Quadzilla (from Rollerjam days) as well as Bonnie d, Suzy and all the others. And the skaters from the 84 leagues present were very serious.
And that made me think of something: The average skater today probably has been at it for 2 to 3 years or more, and all they want to do is get better and better and enjoy what they are doing even more. The intensity with which they pursue perfection is perhaps unequaled. And what is their reward for taking time off from work or family, spending the dollars to come, and buying and upgrading their equipment, etc? Only that they will get better at this thing they love and has so grabbed their life.
If only those who needed it could get some of the costs covered. The most obvious solution is greater attendance and merchandise sales, more sponsors, and, wherever possible, playing in larger and more profitable venues. As we know, that is easier said than done.
At Rollercon this year, I would like to address how can leagues merchandise themselves better? This obviously involves production, marketing, and certainly a top level of game against the best possible opponents. Let me know your feelings about this. This game will only die if those in it decide it is too much of a sacrifice. Let’s not let this happen.
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