looking again at “Whip it”

This film created a lot of interest in Roller Derby, and it gave the sport a huge burst.

And although it used the game as a consistent backdrop, it really was about one young girl finding her own place in the world.

And by the way, are Ellen Page and Mel Mellfire the same person?

And ironically it was the banked track game they skated, with a lot of showmanship thrown in.

So what is the point?

The film was 5 years ago, and today something has to get the game out to the public more.  It seemingly has become even more internal, with the primary viewers at the games friends and family, as well as pretty much the same demographics watching on the now limited live streaming because of DNN’s disappearance.

You may say there are now more leagues than ever, but is that really an indication of the game’s popular appeal, when attendance seems to be declining in many venues.

You have to decide if that is even important and what is the problem if there is one.

3 comments on “looking again at “Whip it”

  1. I watched Whip It, after I liked roller derby…liked roller derby a WHOLE LOT. I got a fever and a rash and could not sit still enough to run dungeon’s with my guild in World of Warcraft. It’s 2 years later and I’m still infected. It just gets under your skin, in your blood and it can’t be washed out of your clothing. Audience attendance is failing due to a sorry lack of Sportsmanship. (Sorry Jerry, this turned into a rant-but no one else wants to get on the soap box and spell it out-so here goes) I did watch Whip it and thought it was funny and cute. I can’t stand that line about “…be your own hero…”

    I think that line describes perfectly some of the anti-social, too- cool- for school, I’m- too- punk rock to recognize I’m part of a team-behavior. Just because a fan-would be skater, can honor and be inspired by the skill of another, don’t think for a second he/she has denounced their own strengths and abilities. Plus, l think team audiences are falling because the sport is so confusing AND some leagues just are not very accommodating of fans. This is part showmanship and sportsmanship and this sport is lacking it among their world renowned teams. I want to point out that smaller leagues, (that are not yet WFTDA sanctioned and have not gone to Championships) are putting on a great bout experience. It’s the top leagues that are falling short and shrinking interest. Here’s some experiences I’ve documented from people.

    Some (not all) world-class popular leagues maintain their fierce unapproachable demeanor before and after a bout. They even treat the opposing team with indifference to disdain. They do not have anyone going through the audience answering questions about how the sport is played, they house very popular (in the world of derby) players and don’t have organized photo opportunities with any of the players. These same leagues blame mishaps on brand new volunteers (that were not even trained in the first place) Furthermore the home bouts are charging way more for tickets and then not playing their All Star teammates, even though said all stars are on a home team. It’s fine if you don’t want to play your more skilled headlining players, but don’t have the audacity to charge double for it. This type of behavior is happening with top leagues and is killing the audience attendance. Maybe it won’t get addressed, though. For example, if I’m the only person who speaks up about this, then I look like the proverbial “lone nut.”

    Maybe it’s because only half of derby wants to be professional athletes and the other half wants to be antisocial prima donnas. I think the top leagues in the Nation should have their bout experience rated or lose their WFTDA standing. Seem harsh? Not when you think about the fact that these leagues are already WFTDA official and have people all over the world (already passed minimums) banging on their door to play for them or ref. They have more than enough volunteers to improve their bout experience, their community efforts and train new volunteers before holding them accountable. So what do you think? Do the top leagues need to pull their head out of the clouds and stop dismissing their bout experience as just something to pay for Championships air-fare???

  2. Boy, you are telling it like you feel it is……I think these conversations are so meaningful to the future of the game and shouldn’t be supressed.

  3. I could give a two page dissertation on why I give Whip It! a thumbs WAY down, but it boils down to it couldn’t figure out if it wanted to be on the Disney Channel or Limetime

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