12 January 2014

Jan 2014 MICHIGAN Kalamazoo - Killamazoo (not Kalamazoo)

Remember way back when, when Mike and I happened across the Killamazoo Roller Derby team in the Kalkaska, Michigan Big Boys Diner? (read up at: www.trippingwithmikeanddeb.blogspot.com/2013/11/10122013-fast-forward.html ).

We met player Wicked Wings and promised to attend the all-gal Killa's next match in Kalamazoo. Last night was the night. The team was playing the first season match at the Fairgrounds Expo Center.

At the birthday party last weekend, we suggested the whole family go with us. So almost everyone went (except my younger younger brother's clan who probably had a sports event of their own going on). Even my 85-year old mom joined in.

Right from the start we knew it would be fun. As we entered the arena, they rubber-stamped our hands with a skull-n-crossbones to show that you had paid. The first game started promptly at 5:30pm. That was a Class B match between the Killamazoo Killa Crew and the South Bend Bonnie Dooms. A game is two 1/2-hour bouts with a 15 minute rest period. Lots of rules and regs and action, so hard to follow all the details for first timers like us.

Mom did comment though that in her 20's in Chicago, she and my dad would often go to basketball and roller derby games. I was amazed as my parents divorced when I was about two and he chose not to keep in contact. I don't know much about him other than that he passed in 2000. It was a cool surprise to learn such an fun fact about his existence.

But having a personal connection in "knowing" Wicked Wings (#178) made the game more interesting for us all. She (on right) is a jammer or point scorer on the team, although there are others jammers that take turns throughout the game. But we had someone special to root for whenever she scored a point. 

All the gals and the refs had funny names which cracked us up as various plays were recapped over the loud speaker system. Some of the team member rink names, besides Wicked Wings, were Bicked Witch, Stinker Belle, Buns and Roses, Brit Happens, Levita Beaver, Marj Attacks, Crashive Aggressive, Mushtache Ryder, Merica, Afro Disac, Slamador Dali, and Ginger Snapped. There's just not enough room to list all the imaginative (and some a little naughty) names.

Seven refs or officials work each match. Some of them were Black & Blue Boo Boo, Floorburn (my favorite), Wesley Stripes and Ariel Attack. As you can see, all the names are very creative and you have to be "in the know" to understand the humor in some of them. The announcer names were Reverend Killjoy and Ash Hole. The play recaps were hysterical with these all crazy names in the mix.

We tried to think of names for ourselves, but it got a little raunchy, so I won't list these. OK, I'll say one--Boob-Boob Bear. Hope you get the double entendre.

The final score was 269 (Kalamazoo) vs 163 (South Bend), so Wicked Wings had her work cut out for her and she came through with flying (no pun intended) colors. It was a big win for WW and the team. The only disappointment was the WW wore a full back t-shirt, so we could not see the lovely wings tattooed upon her shoulders and back.

During intermission, the Killer Beez Team displayed their skills. These are boys and girls, aged 6-17, who did precision (of sorts) roller skating. They all had their rink names on their jerseys, wearing mouth guards and elbow and knee pads, just like the big girl team. Each added their own touch to their uniform, such as Blu Berry Jam wore a tutu and another little girl had drawn a mustache under her nose. They are were  all adorable.

Also, during intermission there was a special surprise. WW came rolling across the rink with a white bride's veil attached atop her black helmet. She stopped in front of her boyfriend, knelt on one knee, and proposed to him. He said "Yes!." The crowd burst into loud applause, hoots and hollers. Congrats, WW!
The second game started a little after 7pm. These were the Class A teams-- Kalamazoo Derby Darlins and the South Bend Studebreakers. We left during half time, but the Darlins were way ahead. Will have to look for the final score on their website at: www.killamazooderbydarlins.com .

Our family had a blast. We laughed and booed and snickered and high-fived. All the ladies got Killamazoo t-shirts. It was a real hoot. I'm not sure we will do it again, but just one more thing to check off on our bucket list--see a roller derby game. Yahoo!

To read about the history, rules, and other info regarding roller derby, go here in Wiki:

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