Gettin' Derby. A night with the Windy City Rollers!

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In my continuous effort to find awesome stuff around the city, Saturday night's adventures found us at the UIC Pavilion for an evening with the Windy City Rollers. Yes friends, we hit up the roller derby. And it was easily one of the most fantastical, badass sports (yeah, I'm pretty certain we can call it that) I've ever witnessed. 

Armed with a few good friends and only one of us with a clue as to how Roller Derby is played, we settled in with our beers and immediately got in on the action. Our rules were simple: keep the beer coming and cheer for the team wearing the most fishnet tights.

We quickly picked up on how exactly roller derby works and threw ourselves into the game full throttle with cheers galore.

More after the break!

 

At first glance, it seems like there isn't an exceptional amount of strategy to the sport. Just a bunch of fierce chicks, skating in circles, knocking one another down.

But it so much more than that.

Beneath the glitter and tattoos and fishnets, there are well thought out plays, endurance and a bit more athleticism than one might assume. The jammers were nimble and quick-wheeled with names like Jackie Daniels, Deb Autry, Beth Amphetamine and my personal favorite, Hermoine Danger. They'd creatively dance around the blockers, avoiding a crash on the track; while blockers in turn, plotted for maximum carnage. Once you understood exactly what was going on, it was actually fascinating to watch. All the while you secretly hope to witness an epic spill (without injury, of course).

After all was said and done, The Fury overcame Hell's Belles and the Double Crossers bestest the Manic Attackers. 

My friend Shannon and I watched in awe (seriously...these gals were nothing short of fierce). In between bouts, we started to talk about how we should give it a try...perhaps form our own team...or even grow some balls and try out this summer. Branded with bumps and bruises, we could learn to deliver a beating and instill fear in men and women alike.

And the best part? We'd earn a derby name. Peresonally, I think "Barbahella" has a nice ring to it...don't you?

Now I just need to dust off the old 4-wheel pink roller skates hanging out in my parents basement back in Kansas, then actually remember how to skate and I should be good to go.

One thing we all agreed on? The derby draws an interesting crowd. We saw college kids looking for a random night out. Younger kids sporting signs with their favorite derby girl's name in sequins. Grown men and women, with fists in the air, valiantly cheering for any great crash. And yes, I even spotted a bachelorette party in tow. A healthy mix of all ages, out looking for a festive evening. So if fear of "sticking out" is your reason for not going...you've got nothing to worry about.
 
It has already been decided that we'll be going back in the future. It's a fun and unusual idea for a date night. A great outing for friends. Something everyone should experience at least once. Plus GA tickets at the door are only $20/each (plus a $1 surcharge...saving a good chunk of change from Ticketdisaster Ticketmaster pricing).
 
The next night of bouts throw down on May 22nd at 6pm where the Double Crosses will take on The Fury and the Manic Attackers will challenge Hell's Belles. Hope to see you there.

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