unsung heroes and not sung enough about heroes

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Photo from stock.xchng.com by Ove Tøpfer.

And when they have occurred in Roller Derby unselfish people jump in to fill them.

We all know this game is a disease; when it grabs you it just won’t let you go.  In no way am I aware of all of you who give your time and effort and sweat and blood for no other reason that it is what you want to do, without looking for excessive reward.

And the first thing that comes to my mind is what the Seales have brought to the table.  How many of you think you are entitled to watch great Roller Derby from Boston, Chicago, London, Australia and the countless American cities that Derby News Network brings to you every week on DNN?  They and their ill-paid compatriots have done more to let people see what is going on than anyone.  I was in television production and distribution back in the day, but this whole idea of carrying everything on their backs and making connections so that you and I can sit at our computer or iphone and watch the top teams in the world play is something we certainly take for granted, without giving much thought to how Dumptruck, Val, Tara and the technical people often jump in their cars and drive thousands of miles so you won’t be disappointed.

And we all learn from these telecasts:  how the game should be played and what should not be part of Roller Derby.  They help all to understand the strategy, the speed, the conditioning that are necessary, and the game becomes the same wherever it is played.

And the Seales are not making a fortune and have sacrificed so much to make this happen.  In their case, Derby Love is almost not enough.  When you get a chance, go to their website, see what they have to offer and even help with their fundraising if you can.  To have this kind of TV coverage is not a right, but a privilege.  God Bless all connected with DNN.

There is an enigmatic soul in Virginia who goes by the name of cat of nine tails.   If you try to friend her (as I did) you will end up with a new friend in Australia who is a dominatrix and an erotic performer…..well friends are friends.

As basically a marketer I find that www.derbyroster.com is an invaluable site.   You find how many amateur leagues there are in the world (as of this moment, 977) and an encyclopedic cross section of indices that let’s you see every league’s websites, how many different governing bodies, men’s leagues, flat track, banked track, etc, etc.  I ask all to look at this site often and utilize it.  You are in Bumfrick, Albania, and you want the media to pay attention?  Hell, we are part of the fasted growing sport in the world so don’t ignore us…..just go to www.derbyroster.com and see how big our brethren are in London, New York, South Africa, Israel, Brazil France, Germany, Australia, etc.  And I have spoken to this lady who does all of this, and if she wants to be known, she will be.  We have our own Google because of her.    Please send her a message on that site and let her know how much you love what she is doing.

There are dozens more to be appreciated, and I hope to hear from all of you who are publishing, taking photos, putting yourselves into producing fun and serious items for your sisters and brothers, but I have to address the people behind Rollercon.

How can you create something that incorporates both West Point and Disneyland?  Why start Rollercon of course.   Ivanna and all the others who have given so many hours to create this monstrosity of an event, with 27 pages of skating instructions, ref training, announcer bellowing, and seminars on everything that could possibly be of interest to anyone associated with Roller Derby is a herculean task.  And adding the hosting facility, the meals, the parties and the dynamics of coordination for 5 days of activities that go from early morning to late at night is mind boggling.  And each year it gets done and this year was the best!  Thousands of people doing what they came to do at a very reasonable price.  So are these people going to rest until next year?  No, they have already started for next year and,  just for fun, are adding London and Australia as new venues.

So of course if you haven’t done so, let the Rollerconites know what you think.  In just a few years it has grown from a grass-roots event to a very finished product, and that doesn’t just happen.

Kudos to the Seales, the mystery woman, and to the people behind Rollercon.  If this is what being underground means, then there is nothing wrong with it.

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