Saturday, November 21, 2015

Roller Derby Revival

You know why I love roller derby? It is because I love the people who are in it. I never thought a sport would do this to me. Roller derby has.

As I sat, watched, photographed, I felt happy and sad. Happy that I was there. Sad that I had not been to the last couple of games. I do not know the ladies of the South Side Roller Girls, meaning we are not close friends. To see their smiling faces as I walked in, saying hi, thanking me for coming, well lets just say it brought some tears. Not externally . . . internally. Then to see the other smiling teams that came to skate because they love derby. That is always icing on the cake.

It does not matter who wins or who loses. When you see the passion for this sport, from a small group of people, it overwhelms you. Yes, I remember the day of Michael Jordan, the Bulls winning, and the same passion from them and the masses who followed them. You can say the same about the Cubs. However, roller derby goes way beyond all that. These roller derby athletes may not know this. They are moving mountains for the rest of us. There dedication to the sport, to themselves, to their team, makes you want to get in there and skate with them. They are whipping us along for the ride to our journey with them.

It is about (for them I think) letting out on the floor every last drop of skill they have developed. They learn as they go. Individual against individual or team, yet working with Your team. It is proving to themselves, and the world, that they matter and they will fight to make it matter.

Sometimes you are beaten down. It just was not your day. The other team was better. Still, for some sick reason you still enjoyed it. Probably because you learned something about yourself and about others. In the end, everyone comes together saying a good job was done by all.

Now, are there combatants, ones who will do anything to kick our ass out there? Well yes. Do you like it? Hell no. Still at the end of it all, it is about the sport and how much they love it. To that end, I would like to take this time to thank this years sponsors of SSRG. If it was not for them, this team would not have gotten this far, this fast, with the attitude they have for winning. Yes, we the public also participate. I thank you for that too. The sponsors, however, I think keep the ship afloat while we send it on sailing.  (List of sponsors at the end of the blog.)

Today we had a double header. First bout the Chicago Bruise Brothers Roller Derby vs. Race City Rebels. Second bout the South Shore Roller Girls (SSRG) vs. Lafayette Brawlin' Dolls. Portion of the proceeds went to benefit the Hammond Girl Scouts!

National Anthem by the girl scouts!

1st Bout - Men

Quick half-time photo shoot with the Girl Scouts.

Men's Bout Photo

All Teams Photo

2nd Bout - Women

I tried some upper deck photos. Looking back at them now, sort of cool. At the time I photographed it felt weird in that I was out of position. I spend too much time on the line I think.

SSRG Team Photo

Women's Bout Photo


Other sponsors not shown:

Hill-Dilly's Pickles

Angles Salon

Jimmy John's of Portage

International Brotherhood

The Bruised Boutique
(skate apparel)

Rusty Nail

Sun Liquors of Hobart

Broadway Glass & Customs

This Roller Derby revival took place at the Hammond Civic Center where I believe the last banked track event took place in 1975.

To find out more about SSRG:

South Shore Roller Girls (SSRG)

Twitter - @ssrg_nwi
Instagram - Southshorerollergirls_nwi

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You can see a categorized thumbnail filmstrip of blogs I have done by going to StreetPhoto.ME.