Move over Kentucky…there’s a new derby in town.
We didn’t really know what to expect.
ROLLER DERBY. You’ve heard of it, and maybe you even saw that movie about it. But few us us actually understand what the heck roller derby is. It has to do with roller skates, right?
We’re all about new experiences here at Patientco. We’ve braved white water rapids, raced around go-cart tracks, and made the Inc list of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the US. But roller derby? That was definitely a new one for us. Long-time derby enthusiasts Cori Wixon (derby name: the Coroner) and Annie Czarnecki (derby name: Anniemal) were thrilled to spread their love for the Atlanta Rollergirls to the rest of the Patientco squad. “We had a great showing and gained a few new derby lovers along the way!” said Annie.
The Atlanta Roller Girls are a local amateur, flat-track roller derby team, but don’t let those adjectives lead you to think this sport (yes, SPORT) is anything but tame. These women kill it. We were so impressed by the athleticism, agility, and tenacity that the Roller Girls displayed in their bout.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s definitely more to roller derby than a bunch of women in spandex and glitter and ruffles beating up each other around a track — although those elements are certainly a factor. It’s actually an incredibly nuanced, tactical sport with a 74-page rule book to prove it.
At the heart of it, there are two teams with five players, including a Jammer. The Jammer is like the quarterback of the game, if the quarterback had to rush like a fullback and weave like a wide receiver, in addition to having the strategic edge to make plays and advance the field. The Jammer’s job is to score points by getting past the opposing team’s pack in successive laps, gaining points for each player they pass. The other teams try to help their own jammer through the pack while doing everything they (legally) can to block the opposing jammer. This includes full contact body slamming, shoving, and blocking.
The Atlanta Rumble Bs, one of the Atlanta Roller Girls travel teams, took on Team Tennessee over at the Yaarab Shrine Center in Atlanta. Tennessee started off with an early lead, but the Rumble Bs tied it up with 16 minutes to go in the first half. The Rumble Bs squarely took the lead at the half change, leading 107-59. During the second half, the lead changed hands often, until the final four nail-biting minutes. The Atlanta Rumble Bs pulled ahead to close and surpass the gap, finishing at 210-168.
The Patientco crew is now wholeheartedly on the Roller Derby Bandwagon. “It was a blast! Everyone picked out their favorite players, from ‘Man Child to Queen Loose-Yateefa,’ and we were all cheering for the Rumble Bs by the end,” remarked Corina Wixon. It was an exciting day for all of the Patientcoian crew, and we may even have a few roller derby future members in our ranks.