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!