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, just my opinion


This will be my last post before Rollercon, and certainly my last comments on the state of Derby today.

First what I find frustrating:  in so many of the games I watch on DNN or WFTDA.tv I find more and more teams utilizing the slow down strategy to try and equalize the match.  By virtually stopping the pack several things are happening:  often a relative inaction by both teams in starting the jam, and when it does start because the pack is “locked”, the jammer catches them in 25 or so seconds, making a 2-minute jam ridiculously long.

You, the skaters, control the game and the rules.  Just a few changes would help and maybe even check the off-balancing effect of the power jam.  The officials should signal the pack to keep moving or a penalty would be given; the jam time shortened to one minute; and if a jammer is sent to the box in a jam, the team is allowed to field a jammer on the subsequent jam, with a blocker position serving the remainder of the penalty.

Roller Derby is about action, speed, and the chase.  I personally don’t think any jam should start without a jammer on each team.  Don’t allow this game to become one of inaction.  There is far too much intrinsic excitement.

I know I am talking about the WFTDA game; USARS has made some significant changes, and MADE with 40 leagues and OSDA are skating basically the original rules, but I really hope that the different games could be brought closer together…..I have heard complaints that WFTDA teams are discouraged from participating in other skating leagues and often great animosity is shown between the different leagues under different rules.  This certainly will not help the sport move forward, and it seems crazy to me that different leagues in the same areas do not compete against each other.

But that is just my opinion.

Now for the positive.  As time goes by, many of the original skaters are still going strong, bringing their basic knowledge of how the game should be strategized and played to others.  I see less and less of players not understanding what their function is.  The fan base in many areas has grown significantly, and you see so much acceptance and pride in so many communities of what their league means to them.

A recent list in Buzz-feed had Roller Derby listed among the 10 most difficult sports requiring the most skill to play.  You have really established a foothold and admiration for what you are doing and have accomplished.  And remember, when you are compared to other sports they are mostly professional or very well funded.  I am amazed that the growth continues, and as you know, I am just blown away by the love of the game and each other you portray, often with hardships that few outside the game realize.

As I head for my fifth Rollercon, I am more excited than at the first.  I am participating in so many different things:  my seminar on 4 PM on Saturday;  my announcing of the over 40s game at 2 PM on Saturday with Derby wife Val Capone; my Derby wedding with the wonderful Lori Milkers (“I like women” post on this blog), and for the first time, a booth.

Come visit us in the GoMerch/Seltzer brand booth with Judi Flowers and Jim Weymouth of www.seltzerbrand.com, Dan Cooper of GoMerch, and Lori Milkeris who will be selling her end violence bracelets for her continuing medical expenses.  And I just might autograph a “Roller Derby to Rollerjam” book for you.  and the blessed  Laura Blastfemi Kelly has sent some of her delilghtful “Kiss” stickers.

And of course, being a promoter, one more thing:  a free raffle to win books, bag tags, rock and roll shirts from Go Merch, autographed “Roller Derby to Rollerjam” books, and an original Midwest Pioneer jersey (like the one I wear on my facebook page), from 40 years ago.  Priceless.

And Judi has candy for you.