Roller derby at Fast Forward skate center has become known for attracting a crowd, and last Saturday's 2007 finals for the Mad Rollin' Dolls was no exception -- the line snaked across the parking lot.
A burst of fierce ladies on wheels took to the flat track, decked out in enough toile, fishnet and vinyl to drive anyone to distraction. Knee and elbow pads provided the protection each skater would need throughout the night, as the four teams battled their way through the bouts. Team mascots walked the edge of the crowd striking poses, barking, or thrusting a fist into the air as they saw fit.
The night ended in a fierce showdown between the Quad Squad and the Reservoir Dolls -- and each team was skating to win. With some amazing moves on the part of lead jammer Mouse, the Dolls pulled ahead of the Quad Squad in the final seconds to win by one delicious point.
We pause, and take a moment to reflect on the sport:
Paddy Hearse: Unholy Rollers, mascot
"I get to hang out with amazing women, run around and get the crowd going. It is fun to be a different character -- a sexy undead. I don't have to do much to get into character -- I sorta just put on my vinyl and it does the rest from there."
Harlot Bronte: Vaudeville Vixens, #46, blocker and jammer
"The community is really amazing. I didn't really have a community of friends before joining the Derby, but now I have met so many really wonderful, independent, interesting and amazing women."
Chop Suzzy: Vaudeville Vixens, #311, co-captain, blocker and jammer
"Fast, intense, sexy, strong women -- that's how I would describe Roller Derby. I love it for all those reasons. It makes you feel empowered, good and sexy. There's nothing else like it out there. I wish I could skate as my full-time job."
Snack: Unholy Rollers, mascot
"How did I get this job? Man, I hang out with good-looking psychotic women! I volunteered."
Sassafrass: Quad Squad, #17, blocker and jammer
"Man, we smell awful. I didn't know we could smell so bad. It's foul! And then you wear the pads twice in a row, and put them in your car and forget about them in the sun... Jeeze, it can get bad.'
Mauly Tov: Unholy Rollers, #131, blocker and jammer
"I have been in sports all my life, but none like this. It gives women the power to be as independent as they want to be, to explore their aggression. When I'm old and gray, I'm going to be so proud that I'm in this."
Dutch Oven: Reservoir Dolls, #2, blocker
"I am so happy and sweaty! You get such a high from Derby, it's like the best high -- well, I don't really do drugs. So I wouldn't really know. But it feels pretty amazing! I have never been so happy."
Madison's local derby season has come to an end, and the women now begin training for the Dairyland Dolls traveling tournament season.