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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Name: Buffy Slammers
How she discovered KCRW:
Origin of her derby name:
Favorite derby moment: