I have decided that being a part of roller derby is like being a zombie. I know, I know it doesn't make much sense to you now but it will all become clear soon.
First of all let me say that I became involved in derby because of my good friend, Jess. This is her hobby and I was only trying to help out. I offered to do anything that I could. When someone suggested that I announce the bout I figured that I routinely make a complete idiot of myself on a daily basis in front of 30 people so 500 hundred more couldn't do much damage. It turns out that we all got a whole lot more than we bargained for.
On Saturday, November 7th Fargo held it's first ever roller derby bout. As of 7pm when the doors opened we were still praying to sell 500 tickets and break even. I was praying that I didn't say something really really stupid and screw up the whole thing for the ladies who had actually put the work into it. By 7:30 it was pretty clear that we had more then 500 people and by the time 8pm rolled around it was clear that the building was getting full. I got lucky and had two fabulous announcers John Maddening from St. Paul and Cracked Pepper from Minneapolis come and walk me through the finer points of calling roller derby. At half time I had the extreme privilege of announcing to North Dakota's first roller derby league and to 1700 fans that they had sold out the civic center. I thought for a moment that I was going to deaf by the end of the night because of the noise that the crowd made. People were going crazy, clapping, screaming and having a generally awesome time. I was still praying to not make a complete fool of myself.
The other amazing thing about this league is that everyone who helps is a volunteer. Everyone from security to the band was there donating their time. The other amazing thing is that all of the people who volunteered asked to come back and do it again.
I suppose at this point in the story you would like to know a few things. Like who won and how did the night end. It turns out that all of the practice and hard work paid off. FMDG won their inaugural bout and then threw a huge party to celebrate. On a personal note all of the ladies came up to me afterward and told me how wonderful I was. My favorite comment of the night was “You were awesome. Can we keep you?” It turns out that they really did want to keep me and that I am now the permanent announcer for the FM Derby Girls.
So I started this little journey trying to help a friend and ended up with a whole new set of friends and extended family. It was an amazing thing.
Oh, you are still wondering how roller derby relates to zombies aren't you? Well think about it this way... When you get bitten by a zombie you have two choices. You can become a zombie or have someone shoot you. When you get involved in roller derby you are pretty much stuck there it seems. You can either stay involved or... well...
I, for one am enjoying every second. My name is Julia Childless and I love roller derby!