Tomorrow night, Sunday, May 6, get ready for Bruisers, Brawlers, and Beatdowns as The Connecticut Death Quads skate their first home bout of the season at Roller Magic in Waterbury. For us it’s been a long break, but for them it’s been months of hard work, determination, and serious a** kicking in preparation of what’s to come.
I had a chance to talk to coach extraordinaire Girl Fawkes (whom you may also know from the Connecticut RollerGirls and works alongside equally extraordinaire Pearl Jammer), who told me that the team was formed in early 2008. At the time, they barely had enough skaters to fill a roster and now not only have they grown exponentially, but they are currently ranked #10 in the world’s only all male flat track derby association, Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA).
The DQ’s will be going toe guard to toe guard with one of MRDA's newest members, Vermont’s travel team, The Mean Mountain Boys (formerly The Burlington Bomb Quads). Doors open at 5:30 and the first whistle is 6. Make sure to get there on time because before the men come out, there will be a 30-minute exposition bout between CTRG’s Yankee Brutals and Rookies and Hartford Area Roller Derby’s B-Team.
Next weekend, Fawkes tells me, the Death Quads are “ramping up to travel to a tournament in Fort Wayne, IN.” This tournament is no other than Spring Roll and this will be the second year that the team has participated. Check out this video footage of some of the amazing “big hits” that DQ skaters laid out last year in Indiana. Seriously.
Fawkes also told me, “There will be 13 men’ s teams and we’ll be playing Sioux City (IA), Magic City (FL), and Portland (OR)!” Last year the tournament was televised on justin.tv, which by the way you can get an app for, so keep an eye out for showing times.
Tickets are $12 at the door, but you can buy them in advance for $10 through this link. This is totally a family-friendly event and I encourage you to bring your kids (children under 12 are free with a paying adult—no more than 2 children per adult). Not to get all preachy, but nowhere will you find a display of better sportsmanship. That’s actually one of the things I love about men' derby. On the track there is seriously athleticism and these men play hard, but on AND off the track, you will see an amazing display of respect and friendship. Sure a blocker may send the other team’s jammer across the track and it may look like they are literally trying to kill each other, but later you’ll find them high-fiving in the penalty box or buying each other a beer at the after party. That my friends, is doing sports right.
Because of lack of men’s teams (although this is changing) in the area, the DQ’s don’t have that many home bouts. And even if you are a huge fan of woman's derby, you haven’t seen anything like a live men’s game so come out tomorrow. You'll be sorry if you miss it.
Note: I want to thank Fawkes (and head ref Annepersand) for taking the time to help me out with this article. Stayed tuned for a longer article based on when Fawkes and I have a chance to sit down and talk even more about the Death Quads and MRDA.