The Carolina RollerGirls are a nice idea that stumbles and falls -
I would love to say that my Carolina Rollergirls roller derby experience was just awesome, a real asset to the Raleigh. I really would, because the Triangle needs more entertainment choices, especially unusual faire. But alas, this was so “on the edge” I feel off into the abyss. My fiancé and I took my child ($35) to the June 11 charity matches at Dorton Arena. I went in with expectations, here they are in one overlong sentence.
I expected something like the movie Rollerball, in comfortable seats at an air conditioned arena watching scantily clad, athletic women in matching outfits on a banked track with appropriate lighting, a good public address system with competent voice talent interspersed with rock’in music snippets – basically like a Carolina Hurricanes game but in a smaller venue and lady athletes instead of men.
What I got was none of the above. Rather than bitch and moan about the particulars, just imagine the reverse of everything in the aforementioned paragraph. We stayed for exactly one thirty minute ‘match’ and got the hell out of that furnace. I figured as long as I’ve spent thirty five bucks to learn a lesson, I’d save at least a few of you the trouble and warn you against this activity. There is nothing very good about it, as was evidenced by the 97 people in attendance (I counted) which rivaled the number of participants, staff, EMS, security, concessions and support crew (60) It was so slow and boring I actually had time to count. Sad. If it were not a charity event, I would have demanded my money back. C’est la vie. Of course, this is all just an opinion, and like a**holes, everybody had one, here’s mine.
As a public service, here’s five things the Rollergirls folks could do to make it even watchable until it all falls apart due to lack of interest in a couple years.
1) PA - I literally understood nothing the announcer said (glad there wasn’t a fire!) so no one seemed to really know what was going on. This was a key flaw, as it would have engaged patrons on some level. At the very least - rent, steal or otherwise acquire a decent PA system, if for safety if nothing else. It’d be nice if it didn’t fail during the National Anthem, at least.
2) A banked track – Watching people skate around on a flat circle at skipping speeds can be done at any cul-de-sac in the suburbs. Instead, borders were marked by duct tape…really. Boring.
3) Scheduling - Any event held in June in the mid afternoon without air-conditioning is just stupid. It’s also dangerous to people with certain medical conditions and older folks. Shame on you.
4) The Ladies – you’re probably great people and terrific athletes, so find a sport that treats you with the respect you deserve. If you like the fringe element, then show some skin, get rude and sexy and let it all hang out. Currently, you seem like fit but mislead soccer moms.
5) Let it go - The women's flat track roller derby league based in Raleigh should let this antiquated sport die a natural death, like the ‘hoop and stick’ fun grandma enjoyed. Continuing seems like a waste of resources and talents better utilized elsewhere.
Congratulations to Hill and Miller for allowing reality TV to be compelling again (sry Duck Dynasty et. al.)
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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