Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Pink Star Rookies!!!

Posted: April 20, 2013 by burningriverrollergirls in General, home teams, Interviews, Rookies, The Hard Knockers


Well, one rookie so far.  More to come in the next few weeks.

Skater Name  Black Ice

Skater Number 906

When did you become interested in derby? I started playing derby up in Anchorage, Alaska, after my boss (who was the head NSO for Rage City Rollergirls) invited me to an open skate with the league around October of 2011.

What is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater? I was surprised by Mooney, Coach Mike and Pinky Teaseadaro with a whole bunch of team pink goodies while I was out to dinner one night!blackice

What was your first bout like? My first bout with BRRG was Pyros (plus) vs. the Border City Brawlers; it was a good bout for our newbies/pyromaniacs to understand how bouting works and what it’s like to be in front of a whole bunch of people. Not to mention BCB has some crazy good offense.

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? Don’t be shy and just get yourself in skates! Once you’ve made it there, you’ve fought more than half the battle.

What’s your personal theme song and why? None of Dem by Robyn (feat. Royksopp) – it’s just the right amount of F*ck you that I like in a song.

What’s your spirit animal? Probably a river otter, they’re so sassy.

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you? My former coach and team captain, Salmon Ella! She’s been skating for many years with Rage City and really pushed me to be a better skater and a smarter player. She listened to my whines and gave me ice packs when I busted myself up. It’s a really lovely feeling when a veteran just listens to a newbie, even if she’s heard it a million times before, it makes you feel like you are important to the league.



New Polka Dots Pinning ’em Up!!

Posted: April 19, 2013 by burningriverrollergirls in General, home teams, Interviews, Rolling Pin-Ups, Rookies


Even the tiniest of Pin dots will eventually grow into fearsome Polka dots!  Meet our Rolling Rookies!

Skater Name “Rage”ing Blockoholic

Skater Number 40oz

When did you become interested in derby? I went on a roller-skating date with my husband over a year ago. There were Roller Derby flyers there,I’ve been hooked ever since!

What is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater? Playing as a TEAM, for the first time, was the most exciting.



What was your first bout like? Our first bout as a team was truly amazing. The camaraderie was intoxicating!

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? I personally regret not doing it sooner. If you have thought about it, GO!

What’s your personal theme song and why? I don’t have a theme song. I like anything high energy to get in my special “derby place”.

What’s your spirit animal?  Hawk

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you? There’s too many! Let’s just say my team has a few of them.

Skater Name Ma Loik

Skater Number 988

When did you become interested in derby? Growing up my parents allowed us to watch roller derby on TV.  I was always into the more competitive sports.  I never was given the chance to play full contact  sports growing up, and I felt that I needed to take this chance as soon as I saw a recruitment event pop up on BRRG’s Facebook in the fall of 2012.


What is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater? This whole trip has been extremely exciting.  My favorite things so far have been skating in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, and facing a team from Canada in my first real bout.

What was your first bout like? It was so much fun.  Of course I was super nervous until I got up on that jam line.  Once you reach that jam line, the nerves go away and the adrenaline kicks in.  You play the best that you can and leave it all out there!  We lost, but it was such a great experience and I will never forget it.

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? Do it.  Take this chance.  Derby has turned my life around and continues to do so every day.  Don’t get frustrated because it is challenging.  Be open to constructive criticism always, and enjoy every second of it.

What’s your personal theme song and why?  Perfectly Flawed by Otep.  It speaks for itself.

What’s your spirit animal? The tiger.  Tigers represent personal strength, willpower, and courage.

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you? Soul Eater has been there for me every step of the way, since the first day I started until today.  She’s a wonderful mentor and extremely approachable.  I am thankful that she was so kind and supportive from the get go.  From there on out, EVERYONE on the league has been welcoming and helpful.

Skater Name  Cautionary Tail

Skater Number A2Z

When did you become interested in derby? About a year ago, I randomly met a BRRG member who told me all about Roller Derby.  My immediate response was to go out and buy gear and start learning how to roller skate the next

ctday.  It was obvious I had to play derby.

What is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater? Playing in my first ever game was probably the most exciting thing I’ve done in derby so far, even though it wasn’t with my home team.  I played in a B/C travel game and was given the chance to jam a lot.  I was terrified but thrilled, and the shared excitement among all the other new(ish) players was really a special and memorable feeling.

What was your first bout like? My first home team bout went like this: Within the first 20 seconds of the first jam I was in, I made a totally blatant penalty and went to the box.  That’s when I thought to myself, “”Oh okay, that’s as bad as it gets, I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself!””

From then on I wasn’t afraid to mess up, I just tried my best to stay focused and work with my team.  And I think I held my own!  There was one really memorable jam for me, where I helped contain the other team’s jammer for nearly the whole jam – it was solid derby, and I felt like I knew what I was doing working with my teammates.  Everyone on the team was so excited, and Eva hugged me when I got back to the bench.  (Actually, THAT might be my “”most exciting moment in derby”” so far…)  That’s the moment I felt that, with a lot of hard work, I can really be an asset to my team.

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? Every time you think you can’t do something, whether it’s trying out or skating, just scream inside your own head, “HAVE NO FEAR!”  Then just do it.  It’s how you learn and progress.

What’s your personal theme song and why? Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Pt. 1, obviously), by The Flaming Lips.  Because I’m small but mighty.  And looking out for the good of all mankind, of course…

What’s your spirit animal? Probably a small jungle cat, like an Ocelot.

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you? Soul Eater’s been there for me and everyone else in my Fresh Meat class since day one, and I don’t think I would have made it this far without her.  Having the perk of playing on her team is surreal.  I love my Pin-Ups!


Posted: April 19, 2013 by burningriverrollergirls in General, home teams, Interviews, Rookies, The Hellbombers

hellbomberOh yes.  Even the demons of hell will often give birth and bring forth new minions!!

That was a little scary, but then again, so are the Hellbombers.  Meet their ferocious rookies!!!

Skater Name Enemylou Harris

Skater Number 74

When did you become interested in derby? This is so lame, but after I watched the movie Whip It.  I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw that.  When I found out it was real I knew I had to do it.

What is the most exciting thing that you’ve
enemyloudone so far as a new home team skater? 
It’s been exciting to be a jammer.  Breaking through the pack and getting lead jammer at a bout is a totally awesome feeling.

What was your first bout like? SO NERVOUS. I was so nervous until I started skating.  Once I was out on the track, I starting thinking about the game and not about being nervous.

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? If you’re interested in it, go for it. If you don’t like it, no harm done. If you love it, which you will, then awesome!

Prepare for tryouts, I was really glad that I had practiced some of the things required before I went to the boot camps. It made me feel more confident and less nervous. There are a ton of videos on youtube that helped me out.

What’s your personal theme song and why? Heads Will Roll- Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It pumps me up.

What’s your spirit animal? Owls. Their prey never sees them coming.

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you?  People in the league are so welcoming and helpful, it’s hard to choose just one.  Everyone has their own style of teaching and skating, so it’s easy to find something that works for you.

Skater Name Colonel Kurtz

Skater Number N7

When did you become interested in derby? Too long ago to remember. It took a while, but the stars had finally aligned in the right way for me to try out in January!

kurtzWhat is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater? Participate on Kickin’ it with Kenny!

What was your first bout like? My first bout is a happy blur! It was definitely really exciting to get to skate in front of my family and friends for the first time.

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? Do it! You’ll meet some really great people, increase your level of fitness, and have so much fun!

What’s your personal theme song and why? MMMBop! by Hanson *jokes* I like music way too much to narrow it down to one theme song; I’m a walking symphony. 😉

What’s your spirit animal? Unicorn, because… Hello! Super majestic!


Skater Name Bustin Stuff

Skater Number  41

When did you become interested in derby?  The second Amstel Standin started talking about it and posting pictures.  It was never the right time until last year.  Coming up with FM12 was the best experience EVER!!!  It was way bustinstuffmore than I ever expected.

What is the most exciting thing that you’ve done so far as a new home team skater?  Being able to learn skills and focus on what I need to be for my team from the absolute best.

What do you think your first bout will be like? It will be amazing!!  If it is anything like our practices it will end up being one hell of a game!!

Any advice for people thinking about trying out for derby? Get some skates and get on them!!  Only speaking from personal experience but I am mad I didn’t do this sooner.  Words cannot express how awesome this really is.

What’s your personal theme song and why? Move Bitch (Get out the way) – Ludacris Have you seen my size??? That’s how I come through lol and I mean “”Bitch”” in the nicest way possible 🙂

What’s your spirit animal? A Whale – big, beautiful but lethal if I need to be!!!

Do you have a favorite skater?  Someone who mentored you? Amstel Standin 🙂 if it wasn’t for her I probably would have never found this.


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It’s almost here.  Black & Blue 7 is a mere 3 days away!  And that means we are 3 days closer to Full Contact Musical Chairs halftime show!  I caught up with …oohSHINEE! recently to ask her a few questions about her victory.
Katniss Evermean: Did you get any pointers from other skaters before going into musical chairs?
…oooh SHINEE!: I Remember watching prior years on YouTube and I’m sure I asked advice but I don’t remember what I was told. Once I went out there, everything escapes your head and you just go for it.

KE: Are there any strategies you would recommend to the freshies skating this weekend?

oS: I would suggest getting a pair of receiver gloves to help with grip on chairs. And if you make it through the rounds and down to 3 or 4 skaters, go for the skaters first then the chair.

KE: How did you calm your pre-musical chairs jitters?
oS: I am the most nervous person, i never calmed them. I was so nervous up until we started but once the music started I forgot my nerves and just tried to win.
KE: How did you feel in those last moments before you were declared the winner?
oS: Tired!  Didn’t realize how much it would take out of me. I was so excited once I won, but so tired that the next thing I knew, I was on the ground because of the dog pile from my fellow new recruits!
KE: Any injuries from musical chairs?

oS: Bruising, bruising, and more bruising.  The next day my inner thighs looked like they were beat with a bat. I think a lot of the girls had the same marks from trying to clench the chairs.

KE: The Class of 2011 Fresh Meat  were a pretty close group. Did you have any qualms about destroying them to win the sash, tiara and scepter?

oS: Last year it was said multiple times that musical chairs was the most entertaining and most aggressive since they started doing the halftime show. The 2011 Fresh Meat were and still are a close group of girls that respect each other, but on that night there were agreements that we were going to go all out and not hold back. There was one moment when Hallie Tosis had her legs wrapped around me and  she was kicking my arm saying let go as I continuously said “I Loves You.” Even though we beat up on each other we still all had fun and didn’t hold any grudges. We all went out to the after party and had drinks together.

…oooh SHINEE! was drafted to the Rolling Pin-Ups and also plays for the Burning River All-Stars.  She was voted Rookie of the Year for the Pin-Ups, All-Stars, and the league.  Come and see her crown a new Musical Chairs Champion this Saturday, December 1 at the  Ohio Nets Sports Complex 12665 Corporate Drive, Parma, OH 44130.  Doors open at 6 p.m. / Bout begins at 7 p.m.  There’s still time to purchase your tickets in advance for $12 at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door for $15.  Hope to see you there!

We caught up with Burning River Roller Girl alumnus Mosh Spice to ask her some questions about her big win in last year’s Bracket Contest and her recent trip to North Central Playoffs. Here’s what she had to say:
So, what exactly is the WFTDA bracket? Last year the WFTDA started a Bracket Contest to try to get fans more involved with the Regional Playoff Tournaments. Each Region’s Playoffs consist of the top ten from that Region, playing against each other to determine rankings. The top 3 from each Region will go to Championships. You can pick who you think will win each match up and earn points for each day’s bouts – 1pt for the first day, 2pts for the second, 3pts for the third – as the competition heats up the points go up.

Can any fan fill out a bracket with a chance to win? Yes! You do not need to be a skater or actively involved in a League to play the Brackets and be eligible for valuable prizes! You can win t-shirts and other merchandise for individual tournaments or the overall prize, which last year was a trip for two to this year’s Championships in Atlanta. Just go to and sign up. You can also look up other player’s brackets so you can trash talk and taunt your friends. 

I hear you didn’t win any regional brackets, were you surprised when you won the Championship bracket? I actually didn’t win ANY individual Tournament brackets – not even Championships. However, I had the highest score overall, and that’s how I won. So, you don’t want to give up after doing poorly in any tournaments. The point structure can save you. Keep playing because there is always a chance.

Did you structure your picks around who you wanted to win, who had been playing well last year, or did you have a super-secret strategy for picking the winning teams? I’m just a little obsessed with derby at that level so I watch a lot, read a lot, and follow the stats and players carefully. So, I can sort of guess who is going to win based on that. It’s hard though when it’s a team you love. Last year I really wanted Ohio Roller Girls and Rat City to go further in their tournaments so I was a little generous in picking them for wins.

Mosh Spice being interviewed on!

How did you do on your bracket at this years North Central Regionals (held in Niagara Falls, September 14-16, 2012)? Absolutely awful. Then again, so did everyone else. By the game between Madison’s Mad Rollin’ Dolls and Detroit (only Game 12) there was only one perfect bracket left and that guy had picked Madison to win. They lost. He did go on to win the Bracket overall though. That was the only game he missed. (Grrrr!) I was EXTREMELY thrilled to see Ohio Roller Girls do so well. Having the whole stadium chanting “O-HI-O” after they lost a hard-fought battle against Windy City was pretty thrilling. OHRG worked Windy City over pretty good. I was hoping they’d ruin my bracket in that game.

Were there any upsets at NC Regionals that really screwed up your picks?  Major upsets by Brewcity (from Milwaukee) and surprise losses by The Chicago Outfit caused everyone trouble. The Brewcity game against St. Louis’ Arch Rival was won by 3 points – basically in the last jam. That game sent a lot of bracket players down the tubes.

Do you plan on filling out a bracket for each region and Championships this year? Or are you going to let someone else win? I’m going to play but I don’t think I’ll do as well this year. The teams have really stepped up, there have been some big changes on some of the rosters and some long-standing powerhouses are looking a little weak. It’s a difficult year to try to pick winners. I don’t feel as confident in my picks as I did last year. But then, the pressure is on, isn’t it?!

When you found out you won the national bracket did you suddenly have everyone vying for that second ticket? Who are you taking? My two main BRRG competitors, Ivanna Destroya and Hidden Ajennda were vying for that 2nd ticket because we’d all worked on our brackets together but in the end I had to take my husband, David Feck’em. He doesn’t get many chances to watch derby for fun because of his Reffing Addiction.

We all know you have a big soft spot in your derby heart for Gotham and Suzy Hotrod. Do you think they’ll take the Hydra this year? I am wondering. Last year they were sleeping in oxygen tents and prepping for playing at Denver’s high altitude. This year they seem like they’re all traveling around a lot playing separately. I would LOVE to be there to see them win. I really need an autograph on my Limited Edition Suzy Hotrod print that I got for my birthday from The Killustrator and Hidden Ajennda. An autograph from a 3-time Hydra winner would be pretty cool. I could gaze at the autographed print while drinking out of my Suzy Hotrod coffee mug with my cat, also named Suzy Hotrod, curled up in my lap. Yeah, that’s one big soft spot for Hotrod and Gotham alright.

For anyone interested in trying their hand at the Bracket Contest, here’s that link again –

Well hello Miss Pin-Up 2012

Posted: July 11, 2012 by burningriverrollergirls in BRRG News, General, Interviews
ImageLast weekend Burning River Roller Girls were in full force at Spitfire Saloon in Cleveland for the 3rd annual Mods vs. Rockers weekend!  Merchandise and baked goods (baked by Burning River Roller Girls!) were sold and our own West Nel Virus entered and won the first ever Mods Vs. Rockers Miss Pin-Up contest.  We asked her a few questions about her win:
Katniss Evermean: How does it feel to be Miss Pinup?
West Nel Virus: To be honest, my entry into the contest was rather last minute, which made winning all the more surprising.  Having won, I am flattered and honored to be the very first “Mods v. Rockers Ms. Pinup.”
KE: What kind of questions were you asked?
WNV: (these are paraphrased, as I don’t recall exactly how the questions were worded, and I was so excited/nervous when  providing answers.)
Q:What would you be if you were a dessert?
A: I’m not much of a sweets person, so I would be sweet potato pie, as it’s sweet and a lil’ spicy (wink, wink)
Q: If they made a movie out of your life, what would the title be?
A: Hot Mess – life can be a handful between keeping it classy at the day job, and being a rough and tumble derby girl at night.
Q: Why do you wish to be crowned “Ms. Pin-Up 2012?”
A: Rosie the Riveter comes to mind, not because of her pinup “look,” but because of the strong, independent woman she represents.  I would like to portray those same ideals as Ms. Pin-Up.
KE: How did you feel your chances were vs. the other contestants?
WNV: It’s hard to say, some girls brought their A-game – did you see those victory rolls?!  I did have the support of my BRRG – they certainly made me feel confident.
KE: Did you have any coaching from the sidelines?  I hear you had a stage mom?
WNV: Speaking of supportive BRRG members… I’d like to thank my stage momager, Mandy Maggots, for giving me not-so behind-the-scenes hints and tips along the way!
KE: Any advice for future pin ups?
WNV: You’re playing a character of sorts, put on a show for the spectators and judges!
You can visit Spitfire’s blog to read about the day.  And the most exciting thing other than the win?  West Nel Virus will be on their next  t-shirt! We will post details once we know them! Until then, enjoy photos of the contest and our gorgeous girl West Nel Virus!

Behind the scenes: non-skating officials

Posted: May 29, 2012 by burningriverrollergirls in General, Interviews, WFTDA rankings
Tags: ,

Who are those guys standing in the center of the track anyway? BRRG’s Travis Sickle (second from left) gives us some insight on the inner workings of being an NSO. Photo courtesy of Erl Sod.

Travis Sickle, head non-skating official (NSO) gives us some insight on what he needs to do to prepare for a roller derby bout, changes in national standards and why all of it it is so important to the game of roller derby.

What do you do as Head NSO and how much time does it take?

It’s a routine that starts the day before a bout. All game-day rosters must be mailed to me in advance by Derby Operations so we have no scratches or mistakes. I take these rosters and type their names and numbers into a blank WFTDA StatsBook, which automatically fills in the paperwork I need to print out for game day. Sometimes I have to print out inside whiteboard numbers for visiting teams (Sandusky, Firestarters, travel opponents, etc.) and I have a special spreadsheet for that.

On game day, it’s a cornucopia of activity beginning with assemblage of all whiteboards inside and out, arranging paperwork either on clipboards or at their proper stations, making sure the people who volunteered at their positions are arriving to or already at the venue and getting this all done prior to 5–5:15 P.M. I’m also part of referee meetings and sometimes have to do last-minute accommodations if there are NSO call-offs or absences. This all has to be ready before 5:45 P.M.

I would say it’s not very time-consuming in terms of what I have to do vs. what skaters and referees have to do, but when the time is consumed, you have to make the most of that time if you want a successfully-run bout that doesn’t fall apart on itself.

Travis keeps an eye on the NEO vs. BRRG bout.

Why is your job so important to the league?

The general answer is that statistics serve as a guide to help skaters improve their game.  It also helps skaters and bench coaches understand which of their line-ups worked best as a unit, how each element of the line-up operated in the jams they were in, and how effective they were on both offense and defense. 

How many games have you done stats for?

Not counting scrimmage-like events (e.g. Corndogs n Carnage) or Firestarters (did a few and what a great bunch of skaters they all are), about 136 bouts, 29 of them WFTDA-sanctioned. I have to keep a RefSume for travel purposes.

Does WFTDA officially recognize NSOs?

WFTDA has now instituted a certification track similar to what they do with referees.  Before, the highest certification an NSO could get on a referee track was a One, which is why certification is optional for NSOs. With this track, a non-skating official can pursue a track similar to refereeing and become certified in their position of choice, as well.  There are officiating clinics for non-skating officials as there are for referees.

How and when did you get involved with BRRG?

Thrash-Her (Travis’s wife, of the Hard Knockers) joined in late-2006 and they needed volunteers. I told former-coach Stir-Fry I wanted to volunteer for statistics. I had to come up with a derby name and thought of Travis Sickle in like, 10 seconds. 

I first did scoring (not really scorekeeping as we know it today) and gravitated toward line-ups, where I remained for the first two seasons. In 2008, upon Teddy Roxspin’s exit from the league, I took over as Head NSO and have done penalty of tracking, spotter/wrangler and inside whiteboard; there have been bouts where I’ve performed all of these positions at the same time. Right now, I’m just focusing on Spotter/Wrangler, which allows me to be an all-seeing ubiquitous eye on everything else.

Back in the early years, stats were pretty much a free-for-all with haphazard tracking and spotty volunteer attendance; many leagues weren’t really following a set standard for how they tracked statistics. We didn’t even start using a StatsBook until around 2009.  I’m very glad that the governing body nationwide has issued standards for their NSOs so that the process of tracking interleague bouts is less of a hassle, and these standards also make interchange between leagues far easier.

Travis (forefront) works with NSO team at the championships in Denver last year.

You NSOed for the WFTDA National Championships last year. What did you do and how was it different than NSOing for a home game?

Each individual that was chosen for the Championships was selected based on the mastery of their position. I was honored to have been chosen as a Spotter/Wrangler for an extremely talented crew of experienced officials, many of whom I worked with previously at East Coast Derby Extravaganza and a few new faces as well. That’s huge for someone’s first Big Five tournament experience. I’d say the most emotionally satisfying experience in my derby career to this point was being part of the team of officials that worked the 2011 Championship Bout between Gotham and Oly.

What separates the Championship experience from an interleague game (and in some sense, travel bouts) is that because you’re part of a team that’s considered the best of the best, it allows you to focus on just your piece of the puzzle, which in turn makes the unit itself far more effective. The refs and the crew HNSO kind of let me know this during other bouts and I refined my game that way. I didn’t have to do as many things or worry about how effectively the other positions were performing in the quarters, semis and finals of the WFTDA championships as I did in a home bout. In a way, our home bouts and scrimmages offer the best training for this sort of environment. Spartan-like training to make the real thing easier. That’s not to say wrangling the penalty-heavy matches that we did were easy in any sense of the word, but strict concentration on what you do very much tames a hard task. I brought home a lot from that event.

Since you and Thrash-Her are both involved with derby, how do you keep derby separate from your personal/home lives?
It’s kind of difficult not to, since derby events involve us in so many ways. Between her being involved in the street team and other promotional events and me lending my services to other leagues and tournaments, we’re just all about this thing called derby.  Our 16-year-old keeps us grounded and is a good sport about our involvement.