My name is Carpe Demon
, and I used to skate for Harm City Homicide
between 2007-2008. In August of 2008, I moved to Portland, Oregon... which does not currently have a men's derby team. There is a huge
women's league here in Portland, the Rose City Rollers (RCR), and they have one of the largest league-memberships in the country.
Since moving here, I have encountered HEAVY
resistance to the idea of men's derby in this area. In fact, RCR just put out a survey that asked league members and fans if they would like to see men's derby in the future, and a majority said they had no interest. I'm not quite sure where the animosity comes from, and though there are a minority of RCR skaters who are all for it, the majority I have spoken to seem to be afraid that men's derby will try and "take over" what they have built... at least that's the general gist that I have gotten. And as much as I reassure them that is not the case, they're still not convinced. Even a good chunk of the MEN
associated with the league here have taken an opposing stance to men's derby, possibly due to the opinions of their friends/girlfriends/wives/whatever, and look down their noses and sneer at "the merby" (goddamn do I hate that phrase - I don't play "merby" any more than the ladies play "werby"). A lot of them ask me why I don't just ref and forget men's derby, and it's difficult to explain that I really don't want to ref... I just want to PLAY. I really don't think I'd make a good ref, but I'll certainly knock the crap out of a few of them. It's really quite frustrating, going from practicing and skating every week with Homicide to absolute nothing. It's been a year now since I moved, and I'm getting tired of not skating (not to mention out of shape)!
So, lately there have been rumors amongst the RCR ref squad about starting up a men's team, "sometime in the near future". And for a few months now, there has been an upcoming event planned for mid-September, that will feature a halftime men's event to play against/with Puget Sound skaters. I have been expressing my interest for months, but the organization of this event has been in a constant state of flux, as well as any plans for a men's derby team. So it looks like it has fallen to me to finally kick-start this men's derby thing into action here in Portland.
What I need is some some help and guidance on how to move this thing into reality, from those who have done it already. I have at least eight guys who I know for sure are interested in starting something up.
Rose City has a dedicated practice space, which is available 7 days a week. I have heard from my sources that tell me that if we become dues-paying members of the RCR league, we we could potentially get a time slot to practice, though the slot may be inconvenient. It would also enable us to attend RCR's endurance practices. So I have an "olive branch" email out to the executive director of the Rose City Rollers to discuss things like practice space availability, insurance, dues, et cetera. For the September event, it's far too late to try and pull together a team to play Puget Sound, so it'll probably be a mixed-thing with refs here and some Puget Sound skaters. I'm not worrying myself about that so much. The thing I'm most worried about is trying to convince the head of the league that men's derby is a viable thing that they should support.
I'm ready to make this happen. So, does anyone have any advice or suggestions for me on how to get past some of this anti-men's-derby sentiment, and start making men's derby finally happen here in Portland? Any advice on how to convince them that we just want to PLAY, and aren't going to try and take over?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!Carpe Demon, #7734
AKA Lyle McNaughton
Formerly Harm City Homicidelylemcn@gmail.com