I will keep it short.
Yes there are 1628 Leagues in the world.
And yes the growth has been phenomenal over the past 10 years.
But the impact never really hit me until I saw players and fans from 15 nations during the phenomenal coverage of the Men’s World Cup from Birmingham,England. And my friend and cohort at Brown Paper Tickets Bob “Noxious” (Randy Hughes) announced the final game.
The other sports should enjoy such love and sportsmanship. Skaters patting opponents while on a jam. Amazing moments you will never forget:
Japan and Argentina being adopted as home teams by the entire crowd; Japan brand new to this type of game (My good friend Hiroshi Koizumi is the father of Roller Derby in Japan); Argentina with just 8 players and astonishing everyone with their play; maybe the loudest cheer of the tourney when Scotland got 10 points against the US powerhouse in the final jams.
And on and on: the Argentinian player proposes to his girl friend and the crowd cheering and tearing (I did).
And the winning US team, coached by my Derby wife, the incomparable Val Capone; tell her Roller Derby needs her anywhere in the world and she is there. And so many of my “friends” on the squad, from three members of Rollerjam (which could have been so good if not so phony) to Tony Muse who represents the Roller Derby Skate Company Elite skates, finally getting back to the game that meant so much to them; and my father started that company!
And my father, Leo Seltzer, who died in 1978 believing his beloved game which he fully intended to bring back as a legitimate contest was gone forever.
And me, the almost unwilling heir to the family business, whose videos from the 70s inspired April Ritzenhaler and others to bring it back to life in 2003.
I am so sorry I didn’t make it to Birmingham; but nobody will keep me from the women’s World Cup in Dallas this December. After all I write a column for Blood and Thunder magazine who is sponsoring this event, and I know Robin will put me on the credential list; and even if she wouldn’t, I will be at the Fair Park Arena where we used to skate.
My god, this is a worldwide sensation…..just how would you feel?