Rolling On A River

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May 22, 2011 by David Gillaspie

This just in from the date front:

A Rose City Rollers match at the Hanger in Oaks Park is not fertile dating ground for recent college grad guys.

The study group has a few suggestions if local Roller Derby wants to capture their all-important 18-34 demographic.

1.  They noticed more wine drinkers than beer drinkers.

That’s got to stop.

If it’s a professional game ticket in the $12 range, who buys wine?

Men in the 18-34 range go to sports events and drink beer more often than they sip wine in art galleries while discussing the effect of poor eyesight in the early Impressionists as applied to the abstract.

Thankfully there’s PBR to the rescue.

2.  Since the 18-34 age group relates to mainstream sports, they recognize the intro-song at The Hangar.  Bringing some Blazer energy is smart, but also a little sad since the NBA season is still going and the Blazers aren’t.

If the Rollers use Blazer intro-music, why can’t the Blazers use the Rollers’ intro:  for their next game the team forms a box facing the audience in the Rose Garden with their arms raised and crossed in front of them, legs straight and wide.  Coach McMillan kneels in a knighthood pose in the center, head bowed and a royal purple cape shrouding his broad shoulders.


3.  Introductions hook an audience.  This age group is used to seeing Ray Lewis dance like a killer demon before a Baltimore Ravens game.  They see LeBron’s powder puff, and it’s enough.

They don’t know what to do with a show-time announcer in shades and shorts, shaking devil horns and stealing thunder from the Rollers, even if he is lord of the prance.

If it’s not Let’s Get RRRRRRReady To RRRRRRRRRumble, they’re confused. 

4.  Roller Derby is a contact sport.  It “a game of brutal beauty.”  The brand for the Rose City Rollers is their name tattooed across two clenched fists.

Roller Derby meets Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter?

The sport calls for rough and tumble, but the rules prohibit initiating contact with the usual body parts.

No one wants MMA on skates, or even three periods of glove dropping hockey, just don’t promise a destruction derby during a bumper car ride.  18-34 guys love both, but aim them the right direction from the beginning.

5.  A halftime separates the first half of play from the second half.  In Roller Derby half-time separates the first period from the second.  If you need to separate two periods, find a new name for halftime.  If not, then at least go to the dressing room and come out fired up.

Going into the stands with friends at halftime ruins the suspension of disbelieve games provide the audience.  Guys 18-34 are big into suspension of disbelieve.  Who do you think buys the ‘mature’ rated video games?

6.  Roller Derby’s push for a greater audience means defining who they want to take notice.  With names like Assassination City Roller Derby in Dallas, Texas, and Dockyard Derby Dames in Tacoma, Washington, they’ll draw attention, then what?

Organize into a league?

After that, the next step for the 18-34 guys is Roller Derby Fantasy League.

7.  Baseball is the perfect game for nerds because they can track stats if they can’t play.  Football is the game for the once-strong who can point to a tackle and say “Man that’s got to hurt.”  Basketball is just right for thug-light behavior where you get to talk bad and keep your teeth.

All the big three sports have their Hall of Fame .

Shouldn’t Roller Derby have one if they’re serious about growing their audience?

(Note to ladies:  A pro wrestling event may not be the best place for you to cruise for dates, but if you do meet someone, make sure they dig Roller Derby.)

By David Gillaspie


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