I’m normally not one for sporting events.
But last night was pretty cool.
A bunch of girls and I went out to a west-end sports arena to take in some roller derby.
That’s right, folks. Two teams of tattooed women in team uniforms and co-ordinating skirts and roller skates, pushing, tripping and jostling each other for points around a flat track, for three 20-minute periods.
It was awesome.
Up until a week and a half ago, I had no idea the league even existed. But I’m glad when a friend suggested taking in a bout (not a match), I took up the offer.
It was great! Just seeing women glide, and occasionally whip around the track was fun. And of course, you had to say, “OHHHHH!” every time a girl fell, or took down a couple of other skaters in the process. The audience was just as cool, yelling, and banging on the fibreglass windows.
In between periods, Toronto’s Pillow Fight League kept crowd interest with fights of their own. You might think it was just two women in short shorts, fishnets, and wrestling-styled boots whipping each other with regulation pillows. But there were a few wrestling-styled tackles and pin-downs involved, too. Pillow fighting is not to be underestimated.
And the arena was definitely old-school, right down to the old signs, the royal blue seats, and the nostalgic aromas of equipment, co-mingling with the smells of concession stand foot and sweat.
The two teams we saw – the Smoke City Betties and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (or D-VAS for short) – are just two of a six-team league being run in Toronto, which only started last year.
And from what I hear, Toronto’s flat-track league is currently the biggest in North America. There are leagues in Hamilton, Montreal, and Burlington, with news of others springing up across the country.
But really, don’t take my word for it. You can go to the Derby’s Web site. They’ve got matches on between now and the end of August too. It’s totally worth checking out, if only at least once.