Category Archives: Interviews

Featured Roller Warrior – September 2012


Our featured Roller Warrior for the month of September is Plan B standout Cold Gin!

Name: Cold Gin
Team: The Victory Vixens, Plan B
Number: 13
Position(s): Blocker, Jammer

How she discovered KCRW:
I discovered derby through my daughter Dirty Heri of the Dreadnought Dorothys. She had seen a bout at the age of 15, fell in love with the sport, and decided to try out once she turned 18. She couldn’t convince a friend to try out with her so we tried out together. We were both drafted in the first round, so we went to opposing home teams.

Origin of her derby name:
My derby name comes from the KISS song.

Favorite derby moment:
I have to say one of my favorite derby moments would have to be when I was blocking against my daughter in our home opener this year. I had taken her out and the announcer said to the crowd that Dirty Heri had just been taken out by her MOM! I think the crowd enjoyed it as much as I did.

Favorite skater:
I must say that it is hard to pick just one favorite skater. I love Red Ripper. She is our last remaining original skater and deserves props for playing eight seasons. This sport can be hard on the body. She is always the first to help and share her knowledge with anyone willing to listen. My other favorite skater is Evolution. She is a beast! Lou will show you how much she loves you by how hard she hits you. Tough love is her motto, and not to mention she makes the world’s best sangrias.

Derby philosophy:
Work hard and play harder.

Featured Dead Girl – August 2012


Our featured Dead Girl for the month of August is Kody Kayoss!

Name: Kody Kayoss
Team: The Royal Pains
Number: 11:11
Position(s): Jammer, Blocker

How she discovered Dead Girl Derby:
Imma B. Sneaky invited me to a game last season and I was hooked!

Origin of her derby name:
My name is Kody Kaye and I wanted to cause KAYOSS! But stay tuned, because I am changing my name next season!

Favorite derby moment:
The first time I lined up for a jam! My heart was going to jump out of my chest, or i was going to pee my pants!

Favorite skater:
In [the movies], Smashley Simpson in the movie Whip It. In real life, Dir-T Diana.

Derby philosophy:
My philosophy is to stay out of the penalty box!

Featured Roller Warrior – August 2012


Our featured Roller Warrior for the month of August is the always-indomitable Mary Lou Wretched!

Name: Mary Lou Wretched
Team: The Knockouts, All Stars
Number: Au79
Position(s): Jammer

How she discovered KCRW:
I transferred to KCRW after spending two full seasons with the Springfield Rollergirls. KCRW was our mentor league when SRG was a WFTDA Apprentice league. In fact, the All Star team had come to play SRG during my first season and watching them play was breathtaking. I instantly became smitten with them.

Origin of her derby name:
As a child of the ’80s, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton was one of my heroes. I always loved the fact that she was a charming, All American girl and fearless athlete. So when my best friend suggested “Mary Lou Wretched,” I knew it was perfect for me.

Favorite derby moment:
I’ll never forget my first bout. I had been dreaming about playing roller derby for years, and skating out onto the floor for the first time ever proved that I had the guts to go out and make things happen for myself.

Favorite skater:
I don’t think I can name just one favorite skater! I will say, Bruz Her has been an incredible inspiration to me this season. Not only has she been a phenomenal teammate and captain, but she’s really pushed me mentally to continue to be my best. The women who represent KCRW are all amazing, and I’m so grateful to be working with them and having people like Trauma, Evolution, Bella Fire, Annie Maul (I could go on and on) teaching me how to play this game. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Amber Lager from the Springfield Rollergirls. She was my first introduction to roller derby and I’m so grateful that she’s what first helped me grow into the player that I am today.

Derby philosophy:
I often like to quote the movie Roadhouse: “Pain don’t hurt.” As ridiculous as it might be, I do find some truth in it. You have to be a strong person to play roller derby. You not only have to work through your physical aches and pains, but often, you have mental challenges to work through, too. Eventually, you find yourself pushing through these challenges without blinking an eye. I try to stay positive, keep a smile on my face, and show my teammates and our fans that I’m totally in love with this sport.

Featured Roller Warrior – July 2012


Our featured Roller Warrior for the month of July is Knockouts co-captain Ruff Draft!

Name: Ruff Draft
Team: The Knockouts
Number: 2.0
Position(s): Blocker

How she discovered KCRW:
In 2007, we bought a ticket through Arts Alive! It was a combination ticket with an art gallery opening at the Hobbs Building combined with a ticket to roller derby at Hale Arena. My husband and I had been to a few Arts Alive! events and our reaction to this was, “how did we not know about roller derby in Kansas City?” We went to the bout and loved the energy, enthusiasm, and uniqueness of the sport.

Origin of her derby name:
I tried out for the 2008 season and was a terrible skater. I didn’t make it through tryouts. I promised to spend the year improving my skating ability and learning the game, so I served as a referee during the 2008 season. The name is a combination of two things: partly a play on my profession (I am an architect, so drafting is part of what I do) and partly because I considered myself a “work in progress.”

Favorite derby moment:
When I was first involved with derby there was a fantastic rivalry between Kelley Young on the Dorothys and Xcelerator on the Knockouts. Their jammer battles were epic. One bout, when I was a jammer referee, Kelley had gotten the better of X and flipped around to skate backwards to be a little showy. X was hot on her tail and laid her shoulder directly into Kelley. Kelley went flying but still got up with a smile on her face and a little nod of “you got me.” That’s roller derby.

Favorite skater:
There are so many that I admire for different reasons, but my favorite has to be Delia Death. She always played with such fierceness and intensity, with the best expression of joy and fun on her face.

Derby philosophy:
This is a sport like no other, and a women’s organization like no other. While we welcome all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, you can only excel if you are willing to work very hard and be a student of the game. You have to be smart, fit, and tenacious. It has taught me a lot about myself and the lessons we learn through derby can spill over into every aspect of our lives, increasing confidence in ourselves and empowering us to be stronger and more resilient. That probably sounds trite, but I have seen a lot of people change their lives after playing derby and I have seen our junior girls really come into their own when they did not fit into other sports. It is a powerful thing.

Featured Dead Girl – July 2012

KC Derby Digest‘s featured Dead Girl for the month of July is none other than Sha’ter’ra Thunder!

Name: Sha’ter’ra Thunder
Team: The Deadly Sirens
Number: B6
Position(s): Blocker, Bump

How she discovered Dead Girl Derby:
I was at RenFest in the fall of 2010 getting a beer. I looked up and noticed a skull and crossbones flag with skates and asked the wenches if they were a roller derby team; they handed me a recruitment flyer, and it has been love ever since.

Origin of her derby name:
I hate nicknames, so it was hard. I actually did not pick out my own name, my friend Jenifer did.

Favorite derby moment:
Its a toss-up between the Cowtown Butchers expo game when it all clicked, or the last time we played the Shotgun Sheilas and got my first fan.

Favorite skater:
I have two favorite skaters. The first skater I fell in love with was Kancer Stiik. When I first started derby, I just admired how well she skated. I would watch her at every practice. My second favorite skater is Pippi Strongblocking, I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Derby philosophy:
If you fall down and break, if you love it a lot, then get up and keep doing it! I was devastated when I broke my leg my first year and had to live by that motto to get where I am today!

Featured Skaters, Demystified

One of the most common questions I’ve gotten this season so far has been, quite simply, “How do you decide who your ‘featured skaters’ are each month?” Readers (and writers) of KC Derby Digest can, month after month, name half a dozen ladies in each league deserving of such recognition, and it’s been brought to my attention that the process needs a bit of demystifying.

Well, you’re in luck. Not only is the “process” quite minimal, it’s also very flexible and leaves nearly everyone in the league eligible, not just the superstars. True, we’ve had some very high-profile Track Rats and Dir-T Dianas featured this season, but we’ve also introduced a couple of very promising new rookies named Cuppa Crazy and Buffy Slammers who were no less deserving.

Having said all this, here are the rules of eligibility for KC Derby Digest‘s featured skater of the month, followed by a quick look at how we go about selecting them.


1. She should be an active, full-time skater in good standing with the league.

For our purposes, an “active” skater is anyone who’s not out on injury or medical leave of any kind. “Full-time” is really a misnomer, because there’s no such thing as a part-time derby girl; this just means any player who isn’t All-Star-only. This season, Kansas City has no All-Star-only skaters.

“Good standing” refers to her eligibility to skate in that month’s bout. Sometimes skaters are ineligible to play simply because they’ve missed too many practices that month, and that can be difficult for us to know because we’re not always privy to that information from the outside. But we’ll do our best.

None of this, of course, is meant to diminish the contribution of those ladies whose injuries have temporarily kept them off wheels. Edith Myfist, for instance, was injured back in November but continues to design game programs, flyers, logos, and advertisements for Dead Girl Derby and the Blacksnake Rollergirls‘ upcoming events — not to mention KC Derby Digest‘s own logos on our Facebook page.


Logo by Edith My-motherflippin’-fist.

Featured Skaters, though, should be currently playing and actively skating in time for that month’s home game. This means that once KCRW‘s season progresses past the Rink of Fire championship, only All-Star and Plan B players will be considered, because they’re the only ones skating. Any All-Star-only players who weren’t eligible prior to the Rink of Fire will be eligible from that point on.


2. The league should have a full season of regularly-scheduled home games.

Several people wondered why there was no Featured Banked Beauty after their successful home opener on April 21st. Very simply: that was the only game the Beauties had on the horizon at that time, and a featured skater “for the month of April” sounds a little silly if there’s not one for any other month the entire season. She might as well be Skater of the Year in that case, and that’s really not where we’re going with this.


“You came in first out of one — nice!”

You may have noticed that we haven’t named a Featured Butcher for the same reason. We can’t wait to begin featuring players from these phenomenal leagues, too, once their schedules become a bit more fleshed out. In the meantime, we’ll keep on promoting their games and events, same as we always have.


3. A Featured Skater will only be chosen during months in which the league holds a home game.

This is kind of a corollary to #2 above, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s mainly an issue of logistics. We try to piggyback that month’s column on that month’s game, and we also make a point to get a handful of new photos of the Featured Skater before the game begins. Obviously, none of that is possible if they don’t have a home game that month.

KCRW, for some damn reason, didn’t have a home game at all in May, so there wasn’t a Featured Roller Warrior either.


You and me both, buddy.

So far, no league has held more than one home game in a given month, so we’ll keep dodging that bullet for as long as we can.


So now what?

We began the 2012 season with the idea in mind that each team in each league would be represented once; after that, all bets are off. At this point, each of Dead Girl Derby‘s teams has had a Featured Skater at least once, but only three of KCRW‘s four teams have been represented thus far because their fourth game is still a couple of weeks away. Since the Featured Rollers Warriors so far have been a Susan, a Vixen, and a Dorothy, you can safely assume that a deserving Knockout will be next in line.

Once all teams have been represented, no more consideration will be given to team affiliation, except that we probably won’t repeat teams two months in a row. But even that’s not set in stone.

Featured skaters won’t be chosen based on performance, points scored, or other stats. We started off with a few of the more high-profile ladies to get the ball rolling, but from this point forward, no further consideration will be given to a player’s veteran or rookie status.

In other words…

If you’re active and eligible to skate in a league with a full-season home schedule, you may as well accept the possibility that you could be the next Featured Skater on KC Derby Digest. That’s really the long and short of it.

We will contact our intended Feature Skater no later than Thursday prior to Game Day. We will usually contact her via Facebook, and that’s simply because Facebook is a popular, hopefully non-intrusive way of getting in touch with someone we’ve likely never met before.

If the player agrees to be featured on KC Derby Digest — fortunately, no one has declined so far — we will send her the same short list of standard questions we ask all our Featured Skaters. Ideally, she’ll respond with her answers no later than that Sunday. We will try and catch up with her before the bouts begin that Saturday or Sunday night (whichever applies) to say hello and get a few new photos for the feature.

We’ll also make a point to get a few extra photos of her during her bout, and then we’ll post the feature first thing Monday morning… even if her “featured month” is over by then, like it was with Buffy in June.


Suggestions?

If you know of a particularly awesome skater deserving of our monthly feature on KC Derby Digest, we’d love to hear from you! E-mail KC Carr at kcderbydigest [at] gmail.com and let us know why you think your favorite lady on eight wheels should be featured next. We take all feedback seriously, but please limit your suggestion to one skater for these purposes.

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