A potpourri of items I think you will enjoy, featuring Roller Derby

The rise of roller derby: No longer WWE on wheels, the rapid growth of women’s flat track derby in Greensboro is a microcosm of the sport’s ascension into the mainstream – SBNation.com.

Click above…….I think this article about Greensboro Roller Derby is an absolute knockout; beautiful photos, well structured……a pr dream for Roller Derby and Greensboro

This great video by the London Rollergirls, promoting the upcoming Ft Wayne Regionals, based on the “Wayne’s World” movie.

http://vimeo.com/72420911    (Click on link)

And Ft Wayne responds to the London Roller Girls:  http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fvimeo.com%2F72568661&h=YAQG4kRzP

And we are very proud of Brown Paper Tickets, 5 Northern California Roller Derby leagues working with the Red Cross to get 150 units of blood donated this week….More to come.

Photo: Thanks for donating blood!Photo: Come bleed for RRG and get cool stuff!  The Red Cross will be there from 11 - 5pm today.  Bleed, baby, bleed!!Photo: Look how awesome our own Hope's Fury is - she's giving blood and saving lives! Do it today. Click here for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/571250959583156/Photo: The Secret Cervix usually makes other people bleed on the track, but today she donated her blood! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated today. We had over 40 people sign-in today to donate and we even had to turn away people due to time and supply constraints. Thanks for such a great day!Photo: Don't forget to register for the blood drive on Friday! We need you! FREE Melo's Pizza! FREE t-shirts! The Undead Bettys Roller Derby team will be on hand for photos, sign your t-shirts, and just have fun! Jerry Seltzer, "The Commish" from Roller Derby will be there too! https://www.facebook.com/events/312570385546783/Photo: The Undead Bettys roller derby team (Antioch) came out to encourage blood donations... They rock!Not only did the Undead Bettys enjoy an exciting victory over the Oakland Outlaws, but non other than Mr. Roller Derby of the Bay Area himself, Jerry Seltzer, was in attendance to promote American Red Cross Blood Drive.Here's a better version (Photoshopped) of the photo from last night at the Undead Bettys bout in Antioch.

Don’t be terrified of Rollercon, be happy; you are entering Derby Nirvana

It starts Wednesday.  the most well-organized chaos imaginable.

When you see Ivanna and Trish and the few who seem like many who have put this Kraken of an event together, bow, nod your head, whatever, to show your appreciation.  There has never been anything like it.

Bitch about some things if you want, but what if you were in charge?  And things that caused delays or anguish in previous years have been dealt with:  entrance to classes simplified, help everywhere.  And how would you plan to house and schedule over 400 different activities for 5000 people flocking in from all over the Derby world?

Pardon me for thanking Sten Iverson and his great crew from Brown Paper Tickets (plug) for processing the ticketing, the badges and all.  Stop by the BPT booth and he might even have something for you, and of course you will probably see Bob Noxious and the Commissioner.

The energy is amazing.  You come here with a purpose.  You don’t see slackers.  You see those who want to make the game become what the promise holds;  those who want to skate better, NSO better, announce better, whatever.  Unfortunately, I can’t get better because I am at my peak (Oh really…..what the hell do you do?)

And meanwhile all of you continue to serve good causes; the raffle, the donation boxes for Scarlicious, and what ever is out there for your worldwide community, you support.  And I hope we can expand the American Red Cross-Brown Paper Tickets-Roller Derby blood drives across America.  It starts this Saturday at Resurrection Roller Derby in Rohnert Park and  6 other days are scheduled in August, more to come in September in Northern California.

I look around and can’t tell if you are from Christchurch, Des Moines, Bogota…..there seems to be an amazing relationship that unifies a world of skaters.  Please take advantage of this binding over the 5 days handed to you by this event.

Below is one of 10 amazing Lucy D shirts by Gamegear.  Sublimated, design lasts forever (remember, I do tend to exaggerate).  wonderful non-odor bearing material.

Photo: it truly is better...at the very least less long term painful to get knocked down than knocked up...get to meet Jerry Seltzer, check out the Game Gear/ Seltzer Brand/ Roll Models lineup and get a sweet high performance shirt with sublimated printing to last as long as your shirt

My calendar? greeting as many of you as I can; being with Judi and the others in the Roll Model, Gamegear, Seltzer brand booth in the main hail; sometimes at the BPT booth; hanging with Baon Wolman (www.baronwolman.com), one of the great photographers who just happened to wander to our arena from the Haight/Ashbury crowd and capture classic photos of Derby; bringing Frankie Macedo and Judi to Karaoke; putting on what is left of my safari gear (Judi and I did the Kenya thing 25 years ago) for the fabulous Riedell party; stopping by the Roller Derby Skate Company booth, which my uncle and father started over 60 years ago;  and checking out all the great vendors and booths, including Blood and Thunder magazine who is right next to us (I do a column for Robin).

By the way, Baron is bring 4 sets of different photos…..he will sell and sign them.  (you will realize what a bargain you are getting when you go to his site and see what he gets for individual photos.)

Photo: And here is Number Two.

taking a new Derby wife, the amazing Donna “thehotflash” Kay, and then taking my pants off and dancing; hanging with my derby-over-40 homies  at the Victoria Pub on Friday evening; heading up the marketing (how to increase attendance) seminar with the powerful Bob Noxious Saturday at noon, #114; hugging Val, my first Derby wife; and catching all  and seminars and fun that I can and joining the continuous pool party.  Searching out at least two blondes:  The amazing Crazy Skates lady from OZ:  Lara Irons!   And my long time Bont friend and donor of the most amazing jacket:  Debbie Rice.  And obviously every other blonde, brunette and redhead out there (just kidding, Judi).

Please come and hug me, talk to me, take a photo, buy a book!  And I will update via twitter (@jeryseltzer), facebook (Jerry Seltzer), and of course here on WordPress (www.rollerderbyjesus.com), and writing my impressions for the UK’s Lead Jammer magazine. And I will be checking my new LG mobile device……..modern media isn’t going to overwhelm me.

To quote the great Ernie Banks:  can’t we just play a double header?

OK, Tim Roy, you are partially right, and it took Santa Cruz Roller Derby to prove it.

What a great weekend!

On behalf of Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross Blood Drives I took a trip to Monterey and Carmel over the weekend.   The Monterey Peninsula is one of the best places on earth, and I was happy to see the ocean was still running (all night too).

On Friday night I met with the great people from Monterey Derby Dames.  We went over the upcoming blood drive (which had been set up by Hanna Malak of the American Red Cross) and also got to spend some time on marketing and PR.   They use Brown Paper Tickets (of course!), but like so many of the users, really don’t know the literally dozens of free services available to them.  I think they do now. (look at http://www.brownpapertickets.com for services, just go get an idea).

Monterey Derby Dames!

Photo: Great seeing you tonight!!<br /><br /><br /><br />
I hope you and Judi enjoy your trip

Randy Boose from Santa Cruz Derby Girls had invited me to come to one of their games for a long time, but now they have moved into a new arena, are the leading participant in the blood drives (they are providing two days in August!) and I really wanted to see them play again.  They had been skating at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium where ironically we had booked occasionally about once a season in the 60’s; really a very small venue (about 1000), but SCRG had built a loyal following.

The city of Santa Cruz hosts the most laid back campus of the UC  University system; unlike their big brothers UC Berkeley and UCLA they are much more relaxed about things;  420 is their biggest holiday, and the name of their athletic teams (I kid you not) is the Banana Slugs.  The population of the town is 60,000, and as I found out, SCDG is neither small town nor laid back.

The Golden State Warriors NBA has their D league team (the Warriors) in Santa Cruz, and this year the city and Kaiser Permanente provided them with a brand new 2500 seat arena.  The building is clear span, very raw in terms of amenities (you go outside to use the bathrooms), but is about the greatest Derby venue imaginable.  You walk right into the arena, through no lobby or hallway and are right there.   And right in front as you walked in was the blood drive table, where fans were signing up for the upcoming event.

the building was packed: about 2000 on hand; surprising since it is summer vacation, and parking is impossible……the location is very near downtown, and there just isn’t any parking nearby.

I was greeted by Randy and went to my reserved seat.  And then one of those things happen that are so funny and leave a person wondering.  I was next to a nice lady, probably in her fifties or early sixties, who said to me that this was the first Roller Derby she was going to see since she used to watch in Minnesota.  I had not told her of my background.  “Did you watch on Sunday mornings at 11 on WCCO, channel 4?”  She looked at me startled, and said yes.  I then excused myself and walked down to the floor.  I used to know every city and time and day our tapes were shown in all 120 cities across America.

It had just been announced a few days before the Santa Cruz would be the number 1 seed in Division 2 WFTDA in the upcoming regionals.  Ironically, their last game previous was a loss, so they fell out of the top 40 rankings to #41, which meant they would not compete in the Division 1 regionals, but would be a favorite in Division 2, which might give them a path to the Division 1 championships in Milwaukee later.  Confused?  check it all out on the WFTDA site.

The fans went crazy when their home team appeared.  And they were doubly excited when the local paper the day before had announced the city’s representative would be #1 in Division 2, and the team basked in the audience’s approval.

The opposition was the Humboldt County (far northern California) league.  Due to injuries, they only had 9 players on their traveling squad, so I was ready for the slow down, sit down, twirl around pattern of skating.  Was I wrong.Photo

Right from the first starting line both teams bolted out and engaged.  Great pack blocking and skating, and the outmanned Humboldts stayed with Santa Cruz for a while, but then the home team showed its dominance…..no slow down by either team, no disengagement-let’sstandhereandlookatthecrowd skating.  And the fans loved it and responded.  They had been there before, they would come back next time (like the LA Derby Dolls fans, the Gotham Girls, the BAD girls etc, all who skate action games).  I was so impressed by the Santa Cruz jammers!

At half time, a tremendous response from the crowd (their team was up by a large margin).

And great halftime entertainment:  a group of women danced in Brazil Carnivale fashion and not much costume.

The fans got what they came for, the players got the love from the audience (and the money from the gate!) that let them know they were stars and appreciated for what they give up to be part of Roller Derby.  And the wonderful Mildred Fierce told me that since moving to the new arena skater tryouts and junior wanting to skate had skyrocketed.

Now Tim Roy had said to me that the rule set was not at fault for the problems with Derby.  And if leagues want to play an action sport and ignore the loopholes as I saw on Saturday, he is partially correct.  I still would like to see the pivot able to provide the function the position was created for:  to block and jam if no other jammer was available; the jam time cut by 30 or 60 seconds; penalties for skating backwards or stopping, and allowing the pack to keep moving; elements which are available in other rules sets.

But if all games were like what I saw on Saturday….it is a great start, unless you don’t care whether or not fans  (outside of friends and family) show up.

Good show, SCDG.  Hope you make it all the way to Milwaukee!

What to do at Rollercon besides skating (which I don’t do)

The first Rollercon I attended was in 2006, and I don’t remember exactly why I went.

I think it was because Loretta “little Iodine” told me about it, and I had met the Windy City Rollers and my first Derby wife Val Capone the year before.

And Judi Flowers sent along 300 pair of her flower slippers that had been featured on Oprah and Sex and the City and we gave them out…..anyone still have them?

Judi and Jerry:

Photo: IMG_7904

Loretta and I were so honored to be introduced and get to say hello to everyone at the big opening dinner (gone the way of the dodo bird).

July 30 to August 4 at the Riviera in Las Vagas will be either my fifth or sixth.  Ivanna and Trish and all the people who put together this amazing event are wonderful…..at least to me it has become the centerpiece of modern Roller Derby, even more than the championships……over 5000 from all over the world (will there be anyone there from the leagues in China, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, etc?) because this is Roller Derby Mecca.  The best skating instruction, the best functions, seminars, trade show etc.  It is really Roller Derby University, where it is not as much what you learn, but who you meet, hang with, and make even more bonding relationships.

First league being formed in Russia:  in line skates for now!

Photo: Our traning of 5 June. We usually have around 10 people, there are several who are coming every time, but also we get some new guys every training, what's good. It is sunny in St.Petersburg. and we are enjoying it on the Palace Square (in front of the Hermitage, yep)

I have never been a skater (unless you count my time on the banked track in a match race with a sponsor (I had sense enough to lose) or when I skated with the Singer midgets (their actual name) when they were in Hollywood filming “The Wizard of Oz”…….I hope that doesn’t date me).

But boy, this is my Disneyland, Space Shuttle, Super Bowl all wrapped in one.

And Brown Paper Tickets, the only ticketing company with a full Derby Division with Derby people, has me doing sales and outreach for them.  This not just for profit, fair trade company had me start with them last September.   And if you can imagine the logistics of doing every admission function for Rollercon, you can see what a snap they would be to handle your league (lowest service fee, no cost to you, magnificent customer service….www.brownpapertickets.com).

And what will I be doing?

Well, I have 7500 facebook friends and tens of thousands who follow my blog and twitter, so I get to see many of them this one time of year.  And we take pictures and I sign the various places they want to be signed (yes, it is true, I did).  And I will hang in the Brown Paper Tickets booth with Sten and Michelle and the many others they will bring just to make sure all problems in Las Vegas are handled.

And Judi Flowers and I will be at the Roll Models/gamegear booth in the main hall (#24, at the corner right in front) where Judi will introduce the Derby fashion forward SeltzerBrand/Gamegear designs by Lucy D which are sublimated (what till you find out what that means) and unlike anything else in Derby.  the designs last as long as the fabric, regardless of washings etc.  There will be a limited amount on sale as well as books autographed by the Commissioner and photo ops, etc.

And if you are even thinking about getting team uniforms, please check out Roll Models, unless you don’t want professional looking, long wearing, sublimated designs.

Bob Noxious of Roller Derby fame and Brown Paper tickets and I will be heading a seminar on Saturday at noon in #114.  If you are super-successful in attracting fans or not successful, you will want to be there to be part of the discussion…..there is so much about promotion, marketing, ticketing that is not obvious, and we will get into all of that….and oh yes, I promoted over 3000 Roller Derby games, Willie and Waylon, and much more.

And here is an oddity:  The Roller Derby Skate Company, started by my father and uncle Oscar Seltzer 70 years ago will be making its first appearance at Rollercon, in the west hall where Brown Paper Tickets booth is.  I have no ownership; cousin Ed (a nuclear physicist who attended Cal Tech!) owns it, and has made it one of the most successful roller, ice, skateboard, hockey companies in the world.  I guess he figured it was time to visit his namesake.  I am certain he has gone for a certain niche, and you really should stop by and see the products in the booth.  We required all of our skaters to wear them back in the day.

The voluptuous Val Capone at our Derby Wedding.

Jerry Seltzer

It appears that about 200 members of the vibrant Derby over 40 group will be on hand.  We will have a little gathering on Friday night, and hope you can attend my (third) Derby wedding to the breathtaking Donna “thehotflash” Kay at the top of the Riv and then stay for the pants off/dance off party (I guess that is appropriate on a wedding night).

Oh Donna, (sigh)

Donna 'thehotflash' Kay

And of course Dumptruck officiiated at the Lori and Jerry nuptials.

Photo: After ceremony

If you don’t know about Donna, please check out her facebook page.   Maybe the most amazing woman around.

I can’t remember your derby name and real name (I check the labels in my shirts to make certain they are mine), so just come up and hug me, tell me who you are and let’s take a photo.

Gawd, I love Rollercon.