I still don't think I know exactly how the scoring works. Every time J and I thought we had it figured out, the round would end, and we'd be off by a couple points. Oh, sometimes we got it right. But not usually. "No, no -- that point doesn't count because the blocker skated past the jammer before time ran out!" "Do they get a penalty for riding their bike off the track? 'Cause I think she just knocked over the referee. Or maybe that gives them an extra point?"
Which is to say, I understand the rules of Roller Derby just about as well as I do any other sport: not at all. But I was utterly determined to not let that (and the $5 I had to pay for a can of Tekate!) get in the way of my enjoyment. So I grabbed myself a beer and a cookie, sat up on the railing, and did my best to follow along.
And really, how could I not enjoy an event that featured hot chicks on roller skates beating each other up, with pseudonyms like Kelly Kaboom, Crystal Deth, Judy Gloom, and Laura Palm-Her (points if you catch the reference)? Or a team whose mascot is the cookie monster? Where the sole objective of the game is to skate past the other team as they fling themselves into your way and try to knock you to the ground? Everything I could possibly want in live competition was there -- except chainsaws. Lumbersports still has a lock on that particular aspect. I've yet to attend a live sporting event that's nearly this much fun to watch. Although I suppose my only points of comparison at this point are American football and baseball, so competition's not that strong at this point.
Beyond the beautiful brutality on the rink, the spectacle on the sidelines was fantastic. Sure, American football has its halftime show, basketball its slam-dunk contests, baseball its... what the hell does baseball have, actually? But roller derby -- roller derby has ushers in fishnets and spiked collars, tattooed and pierced to the nines. Players committing too many fouls ushered off the field to Rage Against The Machine. A flag-wagging gorrilla on roller-skates setting up a marriage proposal in the audience.
And that's a beautiful, beautiful thing. I was going to go on a little bit here about how it takes talent to orchestrate a mood -- an ambiance, if you will -- and how important the attention to detail (gritty character bios on the website, disco ball shaped like a rollerskate) is for the overall effect. But then I realized blah, blah, blah, who cares? Dammit, there was a gorrilla on roller-skates! Waving a flag! Proposing marriage! Just put that image in your head for a little bit. Just for a second or two.