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The Voice: An Interview with Sweet Willy T

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Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

Sweet Willy T-Bag has been an integral part of ARG since 2008. It’s a rite of passage for every rookie to hear their newly-christened derby name announced by Willy during roll-out. In addition to announcing for all of our home bouts, he’s also taken his signature voice to the international level at tournaments, including the 2014 Blood and Thunder World Cup. We had the chance to talk with Willy before he gears up those vocal cords and breaks out his latest adorably tacky jacket for the upcoming season. 

When did you get your start announcing for ARG?  I had announced an ARG bout in early 2008 as the visiting announcer when the Classic City Rollergirls played the Toxic Shocks. ARG then had a big scrimmage called the Southern Fried Smackdown in November and I was one of the dozen announcers for it. At the end of the day, ARG was playing Nashville in the big feature bout. Lucky Yates, one of the original ARG announcers, didn’t have a partner for the bout and he asked me if I would sit in with him. I guess I did something right because in January the Bout Coordinator emailed me and asked if I would become Lucky’s full time partner for 2009. (more…)

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ARG’s Debutante Brawl and Reveal Night

deb-slider copyThe Atlanta Rollergirls, the first and only internationally ranked women’s roller derby team in the city, are back on the track this February with a 2015 season of all the hard-hitting, live action sports that metro fans have come to know and love. Featuring the leagues’ popular home-team matches plus plenty of opportunities to root for Atlanta’s all-stars against nationally top-ranked teams, this season also promises Atlanta derby fans some exciting surprises. There will be Atlanta’s all stars, of course, with their notoriously brutal blocking and deadly defensive strategies, fighting to regain a place in the top ten after a fantastic 2014 season finishing 13th in the world. But to make things even more exciting for 2015, the Atlanta Rollergirls have decided to shake things up a bit. (more…)

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“You’re Never Working Alone”: BeKevorkian

Bekevorkian happy place (1)BeKevorkian makes history this season not only as ARG’s first skater to transfer from Atlanta Junior Roller Derby, but also as our youngest rollergirl. Her determination and drive show maturity far beyond her years. We look forward to seeing her star rise in the coming seasons. Here she shares her story of hard work, dedication, and encouragement from her number one fan. 

The first time I’d ever heard of derby was when I watched the movie “Whip It”.  I thought roller derby seemed pretty awesome. So, as a surprise for my 17th birthday my mom bought my best friend and I tickets to an Atlanta Roller Girls bout. It was a fast, tough contact sport, and I was really impressed with how strong and confident the women playing seemed. They were serious about the game, but smiling and having a seriously good time too. I made a comment about how fun it looked but that it also looked really hard and my Mom said, “You could do it!  I know you could do it! I think you should try it!” (Fun side note: She was already busy thinking up derby names that night.) (more…)

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“Rec League Unleashed My Inner Badass”

rec-league-182x300A new year always brings the promise of transformation and new experiences. Rec Leaguer Jasmin Bryant learned far more than she bargained for when she put on skates and joined her first session. And if her story inspires you, find out how to join our Rec League and turn over a new leaf in your own life. 

When I tell people I’m in a roller derby recreation league, I get a lot of different reactions:

“Wow, that’s badass!”

“Is it like Whip It?”

“Do you just love hitting people?”

I giggle because I am the opposite of badass — I’m a hippie at heart. Peace and love are what I’m about. But I really enjoy derby! (more…)

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Mistletoe-Stops?: Gift Ideas from Powerhouse Skates

Still looking for the perfect gift for that derby-lover in your life? It’s definitely not too late to make this Christmas the best ever! Wild Cherri and Deathskull of Powerhouse Skates have come to your rescue with these derby must-haves.

R3_Derby_ZoomKnow someone who’s considering trying out to be Fresh Meat or joining Rec League? Along with your moral support, you can help make her dreams come true with the Powerhouse Fresh Meat Package (only $215 before tax – with many upgrades available.) It includes everything needed to take her from regular girl to rollergirl.

bluestreak-boot-300x300Are her skates looking more than a little tired after a few long years? Surprise her with a pair of Riedell Blue Streak Sports ($299)! These new boots will be hers just in time to break in for 2015!

  • Hand-sorted full grain Kango-Tan leather upper
  • Innovative split quarter pattern
  • Full-grain Chinook leather lining
  • Genuine Shearling tongue lining
  • 2 Slit “Fox” tongue (to help reduce tongue rotation while skating)
  • HF-5 Heat moldable outside quarter right boot
  • Snug Tie
  • Finger loop backstay
  • Stitched and cemented leather outsoles
  • Available sizes: Black 1-13 Full and Half -BB/AA delta width

Forget awkwardly trying to figure out her clothing size or jewelry preferences this year. She wants new wheels! And these cost considerably less than the “new wheels” that you’ll find on a car lot.

Morph_84_88-850x850Green Monster Morph Wheels (Pre-order)- Sold in 4-Packs, $67.50

It’s every skater’s dream come true–a wheel that gives you the edge control and grip you need to execute your work on the track, all while not slowing you down. The responsiveness, speed, and stability of this wheel are sure to make it a favorite. Wheels come in 84/88A, 88/91A,88/93A,91/95A,93/97A.

BoomHC-300x300

 

Atom Boom Wheels Hollow Core – Sold in 4-Packs, $50-$65

The same hollow core technology that produced tremendous speed, control and stability in the infamous JUKE wheels now powers the new BOOM HP (High-Performance) derby wheels.

The new flat face, set back hollow cap with 5mm lip, and stronger core construction, combined with Atom’s most amazing derby formula ever, makes BOOM extremely fast, lightweight, forgiving, and diverse…an entirely new kind of speed. Available in FIRM, XFIRM, and XXFIRM.

trolley-bag-2-500x500-300x300Mama’s got a brand-new bag! Or she will have after you buy her this awesome Atom Trolley Bag ($100). You could even use it as wrapping paper for all the other great stuff you just got her!

  • 2-piece set
  • Detachable mini-bag
  • Retractable handle
  • Durable wheels
  • Adjustable interior
  • Heavy-duty zippers

 

And if you’re still stymied, call or drop by Powerhouse Skates for the expert knowledge and customer service that you can’t find at any other skate shop in the area or online. Cherri and Skully will help you figure out exactly what she’d like best, and they offer gift certificates if you’d like to let her choose for herself!

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ARG Gives Back for the Holidays

In spite of the fact that we hit people for fun, the Atlanta Rollergirls are a caring and generous bunch. At this time of year, we like to take our generosity one step further. We spoke with a few of our rollergirls to see how they’re helping out the community as the holidays approach.

giving treePower couple Lez Dispenser and The Boss have partnered with the Decatur-Dekalb YMCA‘s Giving Tree program, which provides gifts and other items to needy families during the holidays. In addition to giving gifts themselves, Lez and Boss have coordinated a group of rollergirls who are all giving as well. We asked Boss what motivated them to take on this project. (more…)

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ARG’s World Cup Crew

RDWC Logo on BlackThe Atlanta Rollergirls are thrilled to be sending three skaters, one official, and one of our favorite announcers to the Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup this week in Dallas, TX! Wild Cherri and Baller Shot Caller will be skating for Team USA, and Nattie Long Legs will represent her native country with Team Canada. The amazing Rage Appropriate will officiate, while Sweet Willy T-Bag lends his commanding voice to calling the action on the track. We spoke to Rage about what she expects from her first World Cup this year. (more…)

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Smashgiving and Sweetwater!

smashgiving-webWhat are we thankful for this Thanksgiving? The fact that the fun hasn’t stopped just because it’s the off-season! We have two events just in the next week for you to check out, and they’re pretty amazing. Read on and join us!

Need to trim off some of that stuffing you put on over Thanksgiving? Or maybe you just need release that tension you have after listening to Cousin Eddy tell his turkey joke for the umpteenth time. Look no further! The Atlanta Rollergirls will be hosting Smashgiving, a co-ed Scrimmage-A-Thon for all levels, this Saturday, November 29th. (more…)

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2014 ARG Awards: Come As You Were

 

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The Apocalypstix (Photo Credit: Sarah Eubanks Photography)

We all feel like winners just for being part of the Atlanta Rollergirls, but once a year we recognize the best of the best! With the lovely Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center as our backdrop, an awesome photo booth from Sarah Eubanks Photography, and a “Come As You Were” theme, we gave our 2014 award recipients a party to remember!

 

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The Denim Demons (Photo Credit: Sarah Eubanks Photography)

 

InSINerator, our resident Iron Woman, gave a heartfelt thanks to ARG’s favorite speed coach, Jim Blair. Rebel Yellow then turned the tables on Sin, reading a haiku written especially for her. Just as everyone was dabbing at their eyes, Evil Olive tossed packs of Gushers fruit snacks into the crowd, sparred with some ravers who looked suspiciously like Nora Gretz and DJ Jazzy Reff, and began to announce the evening’s winners.

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The Sake Tuyas (Photo Credit: Sarah Eubanks Photography)

 

We had the chance to recognize our awesome officials as they were given their awards by Head Referee and Favorite Official winner, Morgue N. Donor. The awards wrapped up with another bittersweet moment as retiring longtime rollergirls, InSINerator and Belle of the Brawl tied for the title of Ms. Atlanta Rollergirl.

 

After closing out our 2014 season with a bang, we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds!

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The Toxic Shocks (Photo Credit: Sarah Eubanks Photography)

2014 Atlanta Rollergirls Awards Recipients:

Apocalypstix MVP: The Boss

Denim Demons MVP: Queen Loseyateefa

Sake Tuyas MVP: The Merchant of Menace

Toxic Shocks MVP: Nattie Long Legs (more…)

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Derby 101: Cutting the Track

Are you new to derby or just looking to brush up on your rulebook skills? Wayne Mooney is your man!  This week he explains the cut-track penalty like no one else can…

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Photo: Tim Stoklas

Ever since John Travolta invented the concept of standing in line, there have been rules governing how it is done, and chief among them has always been that you never, ever cut in line. Roller derby has a similar rule, but because rollergirls aren’t really the kind to stand around in an orderly fashion waiting for things to happen, they’ve come up with the brilliant addition that you can take someone else’s place by hip-checking them out of the line. Whenever a rollergirl goes out of bounds, she has to return in bounds behind anyone she was originally behind (including teammates) as well as the girl who forced her off the track in the first place. If she cuts ahead of two or more people in line, she goes to the box for “cutting a rug”. Wait, no. Excuse me. She goes to the box for “cutting the track”. That makes a lot more sense, actually. While it’s typically reserved for the thirty seconds between jams, dancing is perfectly legal at any time during a bout. (more…)

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