Time to say goodbye

This coming weekend I will be in Atlanta for the Championships.  And actually it will be the last one I plan to go to.

The first one I attended was in my (and Leo Seltzer’s) hometown Portland, Oregon.  And the WFTDA was kind enough to let me address the sold out crowd. I have been to each subsequently, with the exception of Philly.  I am pleased, however, that I was able to help that great league get access to the beautiful center at Temple in which they now play.

Chicago was the best for a lot of reasons (see “We are the Champions of the World” post), and Denver in the gleaming 1st Bank Center did the game proud.  And I was able to ask and get my wonderful friend of many years, Marsha Jordan, to produce the best coverage by a major network (ABC) of the Nationals in Chicago…you can see the video on the above mentioned post).

This has been a difficult year, however, involving personal things that I do not mention.  And I guess I was blindsided by the “he wants a free ticket” controversy.  I have been invited and credentialed at all previous tournaments not because of me, but because of my connections to the origin of the game and, I assume, because of my continuing support of the game and its players.  I always have had a ticket, thanks to Doug Martin of Roll Model uniforms, who likes me to hang out at his booth with him in order to see where the skaters request I autograph them (I won’t get too graphic).

So  the furor exploded (I guess I should have just shut up) when at the regionals I was turned away and then informed where I could buy a ticket for the championships (I already had one!) and wouldn’t be credentialed; I could certainly accept that.  But the hate and mockery that poured out from one site in particular really hurt:  an old has been, expects too much, what has he done for Derby today.

I know that most of Derby does not feel that way….I get the love constantly.  But I have a great new job now, with probably the greenest, kindest, most caring company I have ever known:  Brown Paper Tickets, whose mission it is to see you are just paying 99 cents service fee for a ticket (plus nominal credit card charge, if appropriate) and donates 5% of that to good causes and charges the producers nothing and supports at their cost educating arts education and more, I certainly will be limited on my time.  By the way, did you pay more than 99 cents service fee for the events you are attending?  Talk to Bob Noxious if you want BPT for Derby, or ask the hundreds of leagues that use them.  And by the way, BPT sells tickets for tens of thousands events around the world!  just 99 cents!  unbelievable.

I am at the FU stage of my life…..I will continue to support all Roller Derby as I have in the past, but certainly don’t want to feel I am imposing on anyone.  I love the Resurrection Roller Girls, Sonoma CountyRoller Derby, and the two wonderful leagues in Sacramento and will go when I can, and of course the BAD girls and SVRG and GSRG and more.    I have been invited to the first USARS Championships in Fresno in December,and they are going to announce a surprise soon.  And I thank you all for the dozens of invitations I have received…..I wish I could come to all of them.  Some have even offered free hot dogs!

And I will work with Donna “The Hot flash” Kay on her one world Derby plan, to set standards for all Derby everywhere.  Probably the most amazing woman in the game…..had a masectomy earlier this year, waited to have another till next week so she could skate with her team in a tourney (she is only 56) and is devoting her life to making Derby better for everyone…..Please check her out and support her!

And Rollercon:  of course I will be there.  I honestly feel what Ivanna and Trish and the others have created is the most important and most influential event in modern Derby……they will have to lock the doors to drive me away.

I can’t wait to meet Angela Ward and the truly inspiring Atlanta Roller Girls next weekend and the other great leagues who have earned their way to the championships.

So please come by the Roll Models uniform booth; please give Doug’s uniforms a look (they are the best, by the way; quietly, there are now over 60 leagues using them) and thank him for providing me transportation, lodging, and a ticket to come there, and I don’t even work for him!  I will hug you all and sign what you bring, and give you chatchkes (courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets), and try to sell you a book.  And I will see you in the pool at the Marriott.  And sorry, I will not buy a ticket to any Roller Derby game again.  If you don’t understand, that is your problem.

And the wonderful Lori Milkeris will be by the booth; you know, the woman whose life you helped save through contributions and “derby against domestic violence” and she will have her stop the violence bracelets.  And Loretta (Little Iodine) Behrens will be there also.  A great gathering of fun folk.

And yes, I will take a picture with you for 19 cents….please bring exact change.  Well, you can leave more, and it will all be donated to the American Red Cross for their relief efforts with the Sandy destruction.

If  it is our only chance to meet and talk, let’s make the most of it.  DERBY LOVE FOREVER!

35 comments on “Time to say goodbye

  1. Very sad. I am not able to get to the championships but I was hoping to meet you sometime. My friend Deb Owchery speaks very highly of you.

    • Jerry, I am so happy to have met you at the Northeast DerbyCon this year. I am sorry for the way you’ve been treated by “some”…actually, truth be known, I am more incensed by it. However, I do hope to see you again here in the New England area soon….you will ALWAYS be welcome here!

  2. Very sad. I really love your enthusiasm for the game. Just in general. I think you are an upstanding man, and I appreciate your input about many subjects. BPT is gaining an awesome guy! I already love that organization and they made a really great choice. XOXO -Anja Patellas

  3. I know not of the hate and furore and controversy, but seriously? Whoever they are, they SUCK. You support, promote and just do good things for derby, Jerry– and women in general.

    So much unimpressed, whoever they are. If I find out who they are, I won’t exactly be jumping fences to give them my money… I don’t make a habit of supporting arseholes.

  4. I love reading your blog Jerry. Having met you at a fundraiser you attended in the bay, I feel I have an idea what kind of character you have. I lived on an island once and have dealt with contraversy of this type before. It doesn’t seem to make sence and takes on a life of its own. I decided not to give it my energy and turned away from it as you have. I understand you.
    Keep writing!!!

  5. No matter what ANYONE says, and though we have never met, you the man in my book!! You EARNED your chops in Roller Derby long before most participants today were even alive. And now you seem to be the sport’s leading advocate. I too have experienced some of the rudeness in today’s derby from uninformed and misguided “persons in power”. Leadership by such persons is usually temporary at best as no one really likes a jerk. People in this sport should be well-aware that as fast as it’s grown in the recent past, it can certainly be taken away by the true stewards of the game–the fans. Hopefully the fans will not be forgotten in some cocky people’s arrogance and lust for power….

  6. You know, Jerry, I have very low expectations of the human race, yet I find I am continually disappointed. You have been nothing but an inspiration to just about everyone involved with derby. I don’t understand the venom spewed in your direction. I can only assume it stems from a juvenile need for attention. All those hateful cunts at Hella Rad can eat me raw!

    • thanks so much Ms Thunderthighs, and by coincidence I approved your joining of Derby over 40 today…..just a few to go till 1400 members…how amazing.

  7. Jerry:
    Anybody that would put you down in any manner is truly quite
    plainly an ignoramus. You have stood behind these “new” skaters
    as really nobody has …..especially someone like you who was born
    in to what Derby was, and in the minds of most will always be. You
    are too intelligent to take this type of ignorance to heart. Keep up
    the good work Jerry, they are lucky to have you alongside of them.

    • Buschie is head of the box office for Madison Square Garden…..I wonder if he is ready for Brown Paper Tickets or Roller Derby…thanks so much, old friend.

  8. Jerry,

    I tried to respond to this on my phone (still churning) so I hope it doesn’t post twice.

    I can’t tell you how much you’ve impacted and inspired me to keep going, and I speak for many when I say that you are truly a man of honor and integrity. Your post actually made me cry.

    Thank you foryour ongoingg support, being part of derby, being part of my world and for just being who you are.

    You make the world a sweeter place to dwell, sweet friend.

  9. In derby did we ever run away from a problem.We had a problem we all talked it over and tried to settle with no hard feelings.If its just a hand full of groups that want to take over it can see what happened in derby and will see it happens here,

  10. Pingback: Time to say goodbye | Thehotflashseattle's Blog

  11. I have never deleted anyone from my friends until I saw some things posted on “their page” that I could not let go. They were my first delete…because you deserve far more respect than they even show themselves. ❤ Derby Love Forever! (and I WILL meet you…someday!)

  12. Loretta, you will find me…….and skHATER, I am not abandoning Roller Derby…..in a way, I have been relieved of feeling obligated….what city are you in?

  13. Hey Commissioner- now I have heard everything. I experienced the haters for years… But I sincerely thought that you were the one person in Roller Derby who could avoid the hate. There are haters amongst the Has-Beens also.

    The difference (as I see it), is that a Has-Been would have the balls to tell you to your face how they felt. I have found the ability of the ignorant to “post at will” is rampant, and that they feel entitled to say whatever they want- regardless of whether they are right, wrong or otherwise.

    You and I also both know there is a faction of modern Derby who doesn’t give a rats ass about the history of the sport they are playing…maybe it is their egos that make them say “This is ours, we started it, and if you don’t see things our way – well then you suck and we will make an example of you so no one else dares to say we might be less than perfect.

    It can be heartbreaking for the fact that it is so personal and vicious. I am sad that after all you’ve done to encourage skaters and modern Derby that you have found yourself as an unlikely target of some people’s ignorance.

    Mama Loretta has suffered the same, as you know.

    All I can say in closing is remember that there are people out there who love and respect you for all the right reasons. You can’t really blame someone for being ignorant- they simply don’t have the mental capacity to know when to keep their comments to themselves and its so important for them to “spew” that they seldom see how very ignorant they are.

    Hugs from Texas, Commissioner- and to Mama Loretta too!

  14. Very sad to see this! I know we haven’t met in person, but even chatting over Facebook, reading your blogs, and seeing your true love and genuinely blessed spirit, my league will ALWAYS have a free ticket for you. Now I know you don’t often come through my area, but when and if you do. I hope we can be HONORED to have you in our presence. Thank you Jerry for all of your hard work, past and current. Oh and F*** off to the haters that caused this. Jackarses.


  15. Hi Jerry, It’s a pity you never made it to Australia to see just how much derby has taken the lives of so many around the world to some really great places. I do however, and I mean no disrespect at all, wonder how the two quotes “I will continue to support all Roller Derby as I have in the past” and “I will not buy a ticket to any Roller Derby game again.” go together?

  16. Mr. Jerry-Sir,
    I’ve only been in derby.. going on 3 years. I know that this has been a long time in the coming, for sure. I have (just as of late) seen the hate that ‘lesser people’ have for people that can be (and are) truly great.. the idiocies of those that would think someone’s ‘trying to pull a fast one or get a free ride’ and all I can do is sadly shake my head. Ya know what? SO WHAT if someone has the audacity to call you a has been? That shows that they, themselves, do not know their place in this sport. You, and countless others, have taken this from before it was a sport to where it is now. Those people should be THANKING you!!! I know this game isn’t where its supposed to be, and I’m praying to be with it to see it go further and light years beyond what it is now..

    but dammit! you’ll have just about anything you need, cooperation, understanding and full out support from me and whomever I skate with (Lord willing I make it beyond the small time) because? You helped form the sport I love. And for that? I will be eternally grateful. I don’t care if I never skate again.. I’m on your side. Period. This game needs an wake-up call.

  17. Come along at 1pm on the 27th October to witness roller derby in all its fast-paced glory as Auld Reekie’s Cannon Belles take on Dundee Roller Girls’ Silv’ry Tayzers in some epic Scottish roller derby action. You’ll see pitiless hitting, speedy sprinting and awesome strategic play all the while our announcers explain the team’s tactics and commentate on the action. If you’re new to the world’s fastest-growing sport you’ll learn what a whip, a jam and a panty are in the world of roller derby. If you’re a derby regular, come and yell for your favourite player, encourage the refs and sing along to our derby playlist.

  18. Jerry,

    Yeah, it sucks that derby is a bitter-sweet adventure. I’ve experienced enough heartbreak and surprise that a small handful suddenly forget all the things I’d helped them with, only to be shut out. But, those are the exceptions. Like everything, it’s not perfect. And, this year will test everyone I think. The proposed format for next year’s WFTDA season is not something everyone just accepts.

    And yes, meet and cheer for the Atlanta Roller Girls. They have always been one of my favorite leagues. They will treat you well.


    • Everyone should know the great resource you are for all of Roller Derby, Bob, and I am delighted to be working at the same company.

  19. Hi Jerry, You always treated me and my family great and respectful and deserve better! You were also always welcome at our games but sadly (totally out of my control) our thing went way, way in the wrong direction! We had a golden opportunity to do something special and I would have loved to have honored you and your dad’s sport but it didn’t happen! Best always, Jim

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