Archive for April, 2011

Meet BRRG: Aphrobitey

Posted: April 29, 2011 by burningriverrollergirls in Interviews, The Pyromaniacs
Tags: , , , , , ,
Aphrobitey-first class of the BRRG’s PyroManiacs!

Skater Name: Aphrobitey
AKA: Bitey

Q:What sports did you do before derby?
I played CYO sports very poorly in grade school and I joined the reserve tennis team after not making the high school volleyball team. I don’t think I have ever put this much work into a sport before. Even my dad was surprised when I told him about this because I’ve never been very athletic.

Q: So, what first attracted you to BRRG?
I became interested in derby overall because I follow In Sept ’08, the author Pamela Ribon started posting about how she had joined the LA Derby Dolls. She was posting different videos and information about derby on her blog. The videos made me go “I want to do *that*.” One of the videos she posted was the 2008 ESPN Outside the Lines piece . The quote that I most related to was “I had two female friends in my life before I started roller derby. Two. Now I have eighty. That’s a big deal.” That was me; I’m that girl who had very few female friends. Flash forward to 2010, I had more time on my hands, so I joined wRECk, and with a little pushing I decided I was going to do Fresh Meat August and voila!.

Q:What bit of advice do you have for girls out there who are on the fence about joining derby?
Just do it! It is a challenge, but worth every ache and pain. You will be surprised what you can do. Also, start working out now.

Q:What did you think when you were watching your first derby practice as a recruitee?
I came to an open practice a few months after I had been going to wRECk, so it wasn’t totally foreign to me, but it looked faster and harder.

Q:Were there any “ah ha!” moments for you as you were in the Fresh Meat stages of the game?
Fresh Meat feels so long ago, yet it is hard to believe I’m going into my eighth month of being a member of the league.

Q: So now, eight months later, What do you think it takes to become a top-notch skater?
Dedication and confidence in your skills

Q:Do you have any goals for your upcoming training, as you continue to work with the Pyros?
I’ve been trying to increase my off skates training. My personal goals are to get better at hitting and to keep my feet moving. 

Q:What do you do for fun when you’re not doing derby?
There is a life outside of derby? Seriously though, I like to hang out with friends, watch TV, playing catch up on my movie pop culture education and knit. I’m usually up for trying something new.

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you:
I was a swing and blues dancer for seven years. I consider myself retired now.

Wanna join Aphrobitey and the rest of the BRRG on the track?  Now’s your chance! E-mail to receive up-to-date info on derby training, workouts, gear workshops and try-outs.  Details.

Season 5 game 2: Knockers vs. Steamers.

BRRG would like to send a huge thanks to the folks at Midwest Transatlantic Lines, Inc. MTA is a licensed freight forwarder and NVOCC who works in the transportation industry and whose features include customhouse brokers, IATA agents, a certified screening facility, transportation consultants and a bonded container freight station. MTA is one of the industry’s best at fulfilling all international requirements from the smallest shipment to the largest types of general cargo and dangerous goods. Contact MTA today for all of your international shipping needs! 

For sponsorship opportunities at any level contact

Pin-Up Pixie posing with the Hazard Cup

Skater/Ref Name: Punkd Pixie
(AKA): Pixie, Pix, Pixieloo

 Q: You came on as a rookie in Season 2-Is there anything about derby that stands out in your mind as having changed since you first became part of BRRG?
Oh my, so many things have changed it might be easier to talk about what is still the same.  When I joined the league we were still trying to decide if we were a league that wanted to do this for entertainment/skate for fun or if we were going to take this as a serious sport. I am so grateful for the skaters who pushed us to take this as a serious sport! I love the level of competition that decision brought the league. Watching other skaters strive to improve keeps me working harder and harder even after four seasons. We have some tough girls on this league!

Q: Is there anything you miss about those days, when derby wasn’t such a well-known sport?
Hmmm, I honestly can’t think of too many things. I’m so excited that derby across the world is blooming. I guess if there was one thing I miss it would have to be the personal interaction with the fans. I miss being able to meet all the new fans and chatting with them for a few minutes. So if you’re a new fan out there, come say Hi!

Q: What do you have to say to people that question the athleticism of modern derby?
Shut Up!! Just joking. I would love to have those people follow us to a practice to see how hard we skate, or how often the majority of the girls work out outside of practicing three plus time a week. We are constantly watching games on DNN (Derby News Network), reading articles, on chat boards with skaters from other leagues to learn new strategy, or trying to figure out just how to do a skill better to improve our game. So much of my derby time is focused on the athleticism of modern derby, if they knew they wouldn’t question it.

Q: Captaining the championship team must be quite a workload! How do you handle all of the different struggles?
It is very challenging but I love it! I was captain of the HazMat Crew when it first started, have been writing and running practices for a few years, and usually always help at the Fresh Meat practices, training the new recruits. All these experiences have helped get me ready to captain the Pin-Ups. We have six new rookies on our team out of 15 skaters! You have to be able to see what’s working/not working for not only your team but individual skaters, too. Everyone learns in different ways so you have to come from multiple angles when trying to coach, but I’m having a good time with the challenge.

Q: It’s pretty epic when all of your fans show up to create the sea of green and polka-dots at the Wolstein center though, right?
Oi! It was crazy! I remember skating out and looking around going “Whoa…. every one’s in green!” When you know you have fans out there, the energy they help you create is amazing. The awesome thing is this is a new season with new skaters so who knows what colors the stands will be painted with this year (but I’m working hard to see green again.)

Q: What was it like for your team to win the Hazard Cup in Season 4?
We had such a hard Season 3 only skating with nine players one game due to injures, etc., and we ended up in last place. I think we all came back hungry for a victory! When that last whistle blew in the final jam last July I just stood there with my hand over my mouth… I couldn’t believe we did it!! We were all very proud of each other for coming together as team, which is really important I think. We can honestly say there wasn’t one or two skaters who won that game for us, we all played our best together, and it showed. I think all of the BRRG teams work really hard to be their best.

Q: What has been your most humbling moment in derby, so far?
It would have to be when my fellow BRRG league mates picked me up on their shoulders after we won the Championship. I was so overwhelmed that they were that proud of me. I’ll never forget that moment.

Q: What is your favorite drill?
My favorite drill is probably the Windy City hitting drill or maybe The Gauntlet. The WC hitting drill was develop by the Chicago derby league. Skaters are in a single-file line, the last skater in line skates forward touches the inside of the track and winds up to hit the next skater in line as hard as she can. It really teaches you how to use powerful hits with your core. The Gauntlet is two single file lines (one on by the inside line of the track one by the outside) you start from the back, skate forward and just start hitting skaters as hard as you can while skating forward. I guess I just like to hit people.

Q: After all these years, does anyone still intimidate you on the track?
There are a few girls that stand out but I won’t name names. I think when you’re skating you have to put all thoughts of who is tough out of your head. To be a good jammer you need to be fearless and take risks on the track you can’t let yourself be intimidated.

Q: Tell us about your off-skates work-out regimen.
My goal every week (and yes I keep a chart on my wall like a dork) is to skate at practice three times a week. Beyond that at least twice a week I bike (stationary) 1/2 a mile, run 2+ miles, and do a set rep of arm weights, abs workout about 15 minutes, plyometic exercises 15 minutes. The whole thing takes about 1 1/2 hours. At least one day a week I try to do a not-so intense smaller workout around 30-45 minutes of something fun like jump rope intervals, using a stability ball, or I find and try out new workouts online to see if there is something I should be adding to my normal routine. So I skate three times and work out three times. I love pushing myself to get better.

Pixie takes a moment with her biggest fan, her daughter.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
I would say trying to teach myself how to be a jammer. When I first started skating my desire was to only be a blocker, a great blocker, but I never saw myself as a jammer. However, by the time Season 3 (my second year skating) came around the Pin-Ups were short handed. Eva was captain at the time, she came to me and said “Pix we need you to jam. It’s gonna be me and you jamming every other jam.” I was like, OK I better learn how to do this thing.

Q: Any words of advice for someone considering trying-out for BRRG?
JUST DO IT! It is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in my life. Two things to start doing now — 1) Get into a weekly cardio/strength training workout.  2) Go to as many open skates/Wreck derby days as you can. The more familiar you are on your skates the faster you’ll be able to learn the game and not worry about just moving your feet.

Q: Tell our fans: 1 fun fact about you
I love hot dogs! I usually get a hot dog and a beer after every derby bout. I even have a hot dog sticker on the back of my helmet. He has an eye patch and flame thrower too! The Diabolical Hot Dog is his official title.

Q: Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions?
I definitely have a pre-bout routine. No red meat and start drinking a ton of water 3 days before a bout, night before I eat pasta and go to bed early, day of I wake up and eat oatmeal, 2 eggs, banana and I start doing what I call “derby zen” I think about what I’m going to do on the track, what I can say or do to help my teammates, and of course winning the bout. I clean my wheels, pack my bags, and arrive at the Wolstein early to eat a big salad with chicken and start pumping up the other Pin-Ups .We train all year to skate a few times, by bout day I am ready to play hard but have a ton of fun too!! Derby is a blast, skate hard! Have fun!!

Looking for a cure for these April showers?  We’ve got just the thing: How about a mini vacation to the tropical Ft. Wayne, IN?  Come watch as our travel teams take on the Fort Wayne Derby Girls.  We’re bouting against both the Bomb Squad and the Swat Team. We love when our teams can skate double headers and cheer each other on.  Hope to see you there too!


Demona Driver

Let’s meet Demona Driver of the BRRG HazMat Crew!

What do your fellow skaters call you?: Double D or Demona

Q:What prompted you to get into derby?
I love contact sports and skating, so it was a win-win situation.

Q:Tell us about your experience before joining up.
I started skating when I was about 5 years old; it’s always been a favorite past time activity. So, when I found derby it was great.

Q:Is there anything about derby that stands out in your mind as having changed since you first became part of BRRG?
The athleticism of it. I think some people see derby as cute girls in skirts skating and hitting each other, but it’s so much more than that. It takes a lot of work and skill to be an effective player.

Q:What about being on a team is different than you previously thought?
Just the way everyone comes together for a common goal, working hard to make sure we all learn each other’s ways and abilities, and find a way to help and encourage each other.

Q: What was it like, getting to skate in your first bout against Bleeding Heartland?
It was amazing, the gals of Bleeding Heartland had some great strategy work, and I learned that I can put out more energy than I thought when my adrenaline is pumping hard!

Q: What did you learn in that bout that you’ll put to good use in the next HazMat bout?
How important forming good strong walls is. Also, how important solid communication (on and off the track) is for success.

Q:What has been your most humbling moment in derby so far?
Just hanging on and trying harder. When I first started I felt very slow and confused, and I knew I had to put in a lot of work on and off the track to rise above.

Q:What travel team would you LOVE to face off against?
I would like to play against the Detroit derby girls!

Q: What is your favorite drill?
Windy City hitting drill. Not only is it hard hitting, but it’s great endurance work as well!

Demona in her first bout against Bleeding Heartland

Q:Tell us about your off-skates workout regimen.
Well I go to Soza Fitness and Wellness at least three to four times for various boot-camp classes, and I also go to the Y for running, weight lifting and swimming at least three days a week.

Q:What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
Overcoming my physical limitations.

Q: Any words of advice for someone considering trying-out for BRRG?
Off skates training is essential for success. I don’t think enough people realize how important strength training is towards your derby goals!

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you:
I love to karaoke and don’t get to do it enough!

Q:Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions?
I love to do yoga or some form of meditation before a bout.

Congratulations Demona on becoming the newest addition to the Hard Knockers!  Be sure to check her out when The Knockers take on The Hellbombers April 30 at the Wolstein.

Meet BRRG: David Feck’em

Posted: April 8, 2011 by burningriverrollergirls in Interviews


David Feck'em

Ref Name: David Feck’em
What do your fellow skaters call you?:
They call me everything, David (which is actually my father), Feck’em, Fecks.

Q: What prompted you to get into Derby? I first got into derby when my wife Mosh Spice started with the wRECk league. I started going as well and endured a good fall on my head the first two times. While in the ER getting my CAT scan after my second time, I determined I would go out and get my own gear. I don’t know if it was the head injury talking or not but I was bound and determined to make a referee of myself from that point on.

Q:Which ref position do you enjoy most? While I enjoy all the positions, inside pack is my favorite. That is where all the action is going on, and you get to stay with it the whole bout.

Q: First of all, congratulations on being voted the most fair ref of Season 4 by your league mates!  That’s quite an honor!  What did you think about that? It rocked, I don’t know what else to say except that I was quite suprised being a baby zebra and all at the time.

Q:Now you’ve been selected to ref the bouts at ECE and BrewHaha this year? Can you tell us more? Uh, I don’t know more yet, I signed up and they accepted me. I’m excited to go and hope I don’t get injured in the first bout. It will be a great experience to learn from some of the best refs in the country, and I hope to bring a lot back.

Q:Which BRRG bout are you looking forward to reffing the most? I look forward to them all, every bout, every scrimmage, it’s all a great time.

Q: I never envy the refs-having to make the calls in the heat of the moment. What has been the most challenging part of reffing so far? The most challenging part is trying to explain a rule in the middle of a scrimmage or a bout. I understand that skaters are running on adrenaline during a bout but so am I. As a result I can never find the right section of the rule book to explain it until I get home. It usually makes me feel like an idiot.

Q:You’re always one to follow up with a skater after a bout, to go over the calls. Would you say this is as much a learning experience for you as it is for the skater? Yes, everytime I have to go back through a rule it helps me to remember how it is broken down. Sometimes I got it right, sometimes I get it wrong. It happens…

David Feck’Em reffing HazMat against Bleeding Heartland

Q:Do you have a derby ref mentor? Oliver Pist — he is always one step ahead of things and someone I look up to for his ability to assess a situation. It’s almost like he has WFTDA May 26 programmed into his brain.

Q:What basic advice would you have for a newbie fan who is trying to understand the rules of derby? I would say read the rules, but they are pretty complicated to understand until you know the flow of the game. I always thought there should be WFTDA rules for fans that explained things easily, but that would be a lot of work and I’ve got a lot of skating to do.

Q:Do you have a favorite moment from Season 4? My favorite moment would have to have been getting to jammer ref in the finals, not necessarily because of the position but because of the confidence that others had in me by putting me in that spot for that bout.

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you: I’m a referee. The world is supposed to see me as cold and uncaring. Let’s not ruin it for everyone.

Bad Mooney Rising takes down The Killustrator with a low block.

With the fifth season well under way, the name of the game for the Burning River Roller Girls second bout was learning from previous games as we saw in Hard Knockers vs. Cleveland Steamers and Hellbombers vs. Rolling Pin-Ups.

The first game of the night with Hard Knockers vs. Cleveland Steamers started low scoring and slow.  After a loss in the previous bout, the Knockers regrouped and started to play to their strength as a team of hard hitters.  To control the pack and keep it slow, they employed the less than exciting to watch but effective stop game of keeping close to the jam line at the start of the jam, not letting the jammers start.  The Steamers eventually edged forward enough causing a split pack so the jammers could start, only to be met by a solid wall of pink.

Vendetta Farfalle escapes a pack of pink and gold.

This was marginally effective at the start of the game as the Steamers inched into the lead in the first few jams.  It started to pay off when the Knockers tied it up, then Vendetta Farfalle had multiple grand slams on Rainbow Fright.  With a slow pack and solid walls, the agile jammers on the Steamers couldn’t get the momentum to break through.

Realizing this, the Steamers call a timeout to reassess their strategy.  The next jam they are able to keep the pack fast and break up the back wall so The Killustrator can get lead.  However, they were unable to do this for the majority of the game.

Other than Take Out’s 25 point jam at the end of the first half with the Knockers in the lead 91 to 28, there were no other high scoring jams like it in the second.  The Steamers were able to narrow the score but not enough with the Hard Knockers winning 143-93.

Rookie Sovrizal and vet Morbid make things hard for Punkd Pixie.

The second bout of the night pitted the Hellbombers against the Rolling Pin-Ups.  After losing their title last year to the Pin-Ups, and winning the last bout against the Steamers that was close enough to make them nervous, the Hellbombers were even more determined.

Pin-Ups and Bombers play a hard hitting game

The Hellbombers were able to prevent The Pin-Ups from scoring a single point for eight straight jams in the first half of the bout, but the girls in green never gave up.  They stood tough, stayed calm, and hit hard, working to close the gap.  It was an action-packed bout, to say the least, as evidenced by jams being called off as a result of downed skaters and jammer Punkd Pixie taking a helmet to the face as she called off a jam.  Slaughterama Mama was witnessed doing her signature sneaky take-downs. Taking advantage of their lead, the Bombers tried to run down the clock, leaving Pin-Ups no room for error. Keeping an eye on strategic opportunities, Pin-Ups would stuff the leading black jammer back into the pack, forcing a call off.  But it wasn’t enough.  The Hellbombers took the “W” with a final score 106-67.

Special thanks to our League Photographer, Dave Brown, for being so snappy with the shutter!  For info on his work, visit Dave Brown Images.