The Times Union’s blogfarm features a set of blogs written by the Albany All Stars Roller Derby team and the Hellions of Troy Roller Derby team. It’s really good stuff and it gives a great insight into the world of flat track roller derby.
Roller Derby has been part of the sporting scene for generations. And for a time, it was a hot television program, with syndicated matches between the top roller derby stars. Okay, usually it was the Bombers or the T-Birds versus some other squad, but you know what I’m talking about.
Heck, let me show you a classic Roller Derby program from 1973, featuring the Bombers hosting the Pioneers at Kezar Pavillion in San Francisco.
Roller Derby popped in and out of the television lineups, and I seem to remember it airing on WRGB on Sunday mornings, along with TV Tournament Time and WWWF wrestling.
Here’s another match from I think 1978, featuring the Chicago Hawks against the Los Angeles T-Birds.
By the late 1980’s, there was an attempt to re-start roller derby games on television, and this program – RollerGames – aired for about a year in in 1988. The track was replaced with a figure-8 layout, and in case of a tie, teams had to skate over – I’m not kidding – an alligator pit with live alligators.
Oh yeah, and the T-Birds were the home team. Like things ever change. 😀
The show didn’t last very long – maybe one season at best – but a decade later, we were blessed with another roller derby series, this time called RollerJam. In this series, there were actual teams – the New York Enforcers, the Illinois Riot, the Nevada Hot Dice – but, once again, the show was dominated by two teams, the California Quakes and the Florida Sundogs.
About the only thing the California Quakes had going for them were three blonde skaters who called themselves the “Bod Squad.” Oh yeah, and if you were ever thinking of putting bets on who would win each week… I’ve got a bridge in Kings County to sell you.
Then again, if you want really good rollersports – and have them be local at the same time – you need to check out the Times Union’s Roller Derby blog and read the stories of the skaters who travel around the flat track each night for your enjoyment and entertainment.