Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hollywood's Version of Derby

I've been quiet about this foolishness too long. I have to get it off my congested chest. The way flat-track roller derby has climbed onto the coattails of a movie about banked-track roller derby is driving me crazy.

Flat-track skaters sit around bitching and moaning about how flat-track derby is not your momma's roller derby and it's a legitimate "sport" with rules and what-not and blah blah blah. Then we all turn around and kiss Drew Barrymore's ass because she learned how to roller skate and made a movie about it. How about this little gem from one of the "trainers" who explains she couldn't even do a 360 when teaching the movie stars? That's the crap you're telling Hollywood it's ok to spoon-feed us, when you've got derby girls in your own backyard who can do so much more.

I just don't get it. Flat-track puts all these rules in place, practices as much as professional athletes do to set up a grassroots sport, distances itself from the history of banked-track, and lets Hollywood come along with a gimic to put it right back where it started, with a new generation of fans believing roller derby is still the same ol' stuff.

OK, fine...that actually suits my style better. I have nothing against banked-track; in fact, that's what I grew up dreaming of doing. Still would if I had the chance, but life goes on for the common (wo)man and sometimes dreams just aren't a part of it. But I spent three years of my life trying to do something more rewarding, and it's hard to reconcile the two for me. I'm sure it's a great movie, but it's not about what I lived or what thousands of other flat-track skaters are still living. I just wish it was about "modern" roller derby. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who feels this way.

So bring on the hate mail. I can take it. I'm a real derby girl.


  1. I can't believe you'd write something so ridiculous!

    I'm just kidding :) I really really wish they would have done a flat track movie instead. I think they will. The real life stories of the girls who don't fit in anywhere else, but come together and skate every day for years, and eventually skate all the way to Nationals... that's a story that brings a tear to my eye without a movie. Banked track just doesn't do it for me.

    The best part of the movie is that it will bring in new recruits. Other than that it's just Hollywood.

  2. I understand where you're coming from. I was really disappointed that they were making the movie about banked track, and felt like it was really misleading to people who might get interested in derby after watching. Pretty much during every derby part, I was like, "That's illegal...and that's illegal...and THAT'S definitely illegal." I do think that, like Elle said, it can help bring derby to the forefront.

    I heard about derby through an article, and had a hard time researching, so watched Rollergirls, which was also about banked track. I was disappointed to learn that I was going to be skating flat track, until I got into it and realized some of the differences, which made me appreciate flat track. Point being, whatever spreads the word, spreads the word. And I think people who are really interested in derby will stay interested and hopefully, like I do, appreciate the differences between banked and flat track.