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For the first time in state, rock 'em sock 'em derby sees men join the fray
What: An inaugural bout of the local men’s roller derby
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Big House Sports, 2660 Vickers Drive
Tickets: $10, $12 at the door; brownpapertickets.com, mmmderby.org
Thanks to the roller derby revival, it’s not uncommon to hear crowds cheering for the likes of Thumper or Sugar Cookie as bodies go flying around the track.
What makes Saturday’s bout a bit different will be the cheers for King Pin and Mr. Flashy. No, those masculine names are not the monikers of especially tough derby girls. The Mountain Mad Men of Colorado Springs takes on Denver’s Rollin’ Bones in the first official male versus male flat-track roller derby bout in the state of Colorado.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” says Daniel Duffy, aka Bangers ‘N’ Smash, the chief financial officer and vice president of marketing and relations for the Mountain Mad Men. Although the league formed in 2011, Saturday is the first bout.
“In October of last year, we got tired of skating and not playing, so we decided to form our own league,” he says.
Mountain Mad Men now has 13 active skaters, but Duffy says they would like to have up to 40. Not only would the league be able to have a full six-game season with that number, but like their female counterpart, the Pikes Peak Derby Dames, they could host home-team bouts as well. With four teams, the Derby Dames are able to have competitions among their own teams, such as last weekend’s bout featuring the Candy Snipers and the Danger Dolls.
Duffy says men’s derby is not that much different from the women, “Except there’s less fishnet.”
“The women play more strategically,” he explains, then comparing men’s roller derby to football on skates. “The men are harder hitting. We just get through to get our points.”
The women of the Pikes Peak Derby Dames are supportive of the guys (and at least one Derby Dame is married to a Mountain Mad Men). “A lot of our sister leagues support men’s roller derby,” says Pikes Peak Derby Dames league president Erin Stewart-Patton aka Grenade. “We just know the girls are better.”
Duffy says that women’s roller derby started its comeback a little more than 10 years ago and has seen exponential growth; men on the other hand have been slower to grow. Since its creation in 2007, the Men’s Roller Derby Association, the international governing body of men’s flat track roller derby, has grown to include 25 leagues across the country. Compare that to the 159 leagues that belong to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
The Mountain Mad Men range in age from 18-40 and boast such days jobs as insurance claims adjuster, engineers and a firefighter. The team practices about four hours a week -- one night at Skate City and another in a warehouse. Duffy says at the very least it's a great form of exercise. But those drawn to the sport are not usually satisfied with just a work out.
“Our goal” Duffy says, "is to become the men’s roller derby association champions.