WBEZ | Roller Derby http://www.wbez.org/tags/roller-derby Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: August 13, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/morning-shift-august-13-2015-112651 <p><p>Michael Jordan is suited up in court, defending his name and his image from unauthorized use. We find out what the case could mean for His Airness and for other athletes and celebrities. Target is doing away with in-store gender specific labeling on some products. Is it a &ldquo;boy&rdquo; toy or a &ldquo;girl&rdquo; toy...or is it just a toy? Roller Derby turns 80 years old today...and it was born here in Chicago. We talk about the history of roller derby, and how it&rsquo;s become a symbol of female empowerment in the new millennium. And musicians and dancers have come together to re-interpret a legendary jazz suite that was originally written to be a ballet.</p></p> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/morning-shift-august-13-2015-112651 Roller Derby turns 80 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/roller-derby-turns-80-112648 <p><p>It&rsquo;s a wonderful piece of Chicago lore: In 1935, a guy name Leo Seltzer is sitting at a table with a bunch of guys at a restaurant name Ricketts at Chicago and Rush. He mentioned an article he read that said over 90 percent of the country has tried rollerskating. One thing leads to another, and he draws up plans for a sport that combines roller skating with then-popular week-long bicycle races. Later that year, he stages his first Transcontinental Roller Derby at the Chicago Coliseum. 25 two-person co-ed teams skate 3,000 miles &mdash; the distance from New York to LA &mdash; on a banked, oval, wooden track. At some point soon after (nobody quite knows exactly when) the great sports and short-story writer Damon Runyon mentioned that when contestants occasionally collided or fell, it could be a thrilling sight, and that Seltzer should turn it into a contact sport. Seltzer wanted to keep things legit, but he tried it out, audiences went nuts, and the rest is history. Today marks the 80th anniversary of that first Roller Derby, so we&rsquo;re joined by Joan McDonald and Laura Hennigan ,two players in Chicago&rsquo;s Roller Derby league, the Chicago Outfit.</p></p> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/roller-derby-turns-80-112648 There's no crying in roller derby http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/theres-no-crying-roller-derby-105169 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Windy City Rollers.jpg" title="WCR's Yvette Yermaker booty-blocks a Kansas City jammer at the 2011 Derby National Championships. (Gapers Block/Steve Stearns)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In contrast to <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-movie-culture-lance-armstrong-manti-teo-20130127,0,6057775.story">broken men</a> spinning sob stories&nbsp;to the likes of <a href="http://www.oprah.com/own_tv/onc/lance-armstrong-one.html">Oprah</a> and <a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/01/24/manti_teo_to_katie_couric_what_i_went_through_was_real/">Katie Couric</a>, tough-as-nails women have been dominating the news lately. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/23/four-memorable-moments-from-hillary-clintons-benghazi-testimony-video/">held her own</a>&nbsp;against&nbsp;a room&nbsp;full of men during her Benghazi testimony, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg took a fiery stance on<a href="http://www.jezebel.com/5979366/sheryl-sandberg-takes-a-blowtorch-to-gender-stereotypes-in-the-workplace">&nbsp;gender stereotypes</a>&nbsp;at the World Economic Forum, and&nbsp;female soldiers in the U.S. Military finally received permission to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/us/pentagon-says-it-is-lifting-ban-on-women-in-combat.html">fight on the front lines</a>. And on January 26, the <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com">Windy City Rollers</a> kicked off their home season at the UIC Pavilion with a bout for charity that spared no mercy on the track.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">All four of the Chicago home teams (The Fury, Double Crossers, Hell&#39;s Belles and Manic Attackers) played the Round Robin tournament in support of their respective <a href="http://gapersblock.com/slowdown/archives/2013/01/26/">charities</a>&nbsp;on Saturday night,&nbsp;but The Fury emerged victorious. Will they be able to take their early momentum to the home season&nbsp;<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/about-the-league/event_calendar/">beginning February 9</a>?&nbsp;Or will they literally collapse under the pressure? From what I&#39;ve observed of these hard-hitting dynamos on wheels, the latter scenario is highly unlikely.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As shown in the 2006 A&amp;E reality show&nbsp;<em>Rollergirls</em>&nbsp;and the 2009 feature film <em>Whip It</em>,&nbsp;roller derby has made an explosive comeback in recent years. Although the sport originated in Chicago in the 1930s, a transition to televised events (i.e.&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roller_derby#Evolution_to_contact_sport">scripted fights</a>)&nbsp;in the 1960s caused attendance to decline. The scene was basically dead from 1980 until the new millenium, when amatuer female flat track became an exciting new phenomenon.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Roller derby began its <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roller_derby#Roller_derby.27s_worldwide_amateur_female_revival">modern revival </a>in Austin, Texas during the the early 2000s, and renewed interest in the sport quickly spread to other major cities across the United States. In 2004, Elizabeth &quot;Juanna Rumbel&quot; Gomez and Kelly &quot;Sister Sledgehammer&quot; Simmons formed The Windy City Rollers: Chicago&#39;s premiere all-female flat track derby league. Now the organization consists of four competing home teams, two travel teams (<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/travel-teams/second-wind/">Second Wind</a> and the #1 ranking&nbsp;<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/travel-teams/wcr-all-stars/">WCR All Stars</a>) and a farm team&nbsp;of up-and-coming skaters called the <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/home-teams/haymarket-rioters/">Haymarket Rioters</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I&#39;ve never been a rough-and-tumble kind of girl, and I&#39;m fairly certain that one bump from a &quot;Smash-ley Simpson&quot; would snap me in two. Luckily for my delicate bird bones, just watching roller derby live makes me feel like I&#39;m part of the team. The rules can be a bit confusing at first (handy guide to pivots, jammers and blockers available<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/about-roller-derby/how-to-watch/"> here</a>) but the combination of quirky nicknames, stadium theatrics and high-octane girl power always provides plenty of thrills from start to finish.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I love the Bulls and the Blackhawks as much as the next Chicagoan, but somehow, nothing beats watching female athletes duke it out with the power of men twice their size. Win or lose, every bout is a guaranteed good time&mdash;especially when there&#39;s an <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/join-us-at-the-afterparty/">afterparty</a>&nbsp;involved!</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Interested in joining the league? Email <a href="http://tryout@windycityrollers.com">tryout@windycityrollers.com</a>&nbsp;for more information.&nbsp;Want to know more about roller derby in general? Visit the official <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com">website</a> of the WRC, &quot;like&quot; them on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/windycityrollers?fref=ts">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and Netflix this little gem when you get the chance:&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RQGPdXnb2Gg" width="620"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett.</a></em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/theres-no-crying-roller-derby-105169 The Weekly Guide: Skating around town with the Windy City Rollers http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-29/weekly-guide-skating-around-town-windy-city-rollers-89834 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-29/Windy City Rollers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The theater can be a place to while away the weekend but if Chicagoans want something a little less refined, they might consider the roller rink. Not the dancing-on-wheels variety but full-throttle aggression! Tamiko Saame and Alisa DePedro are two players from the <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/" target="_blank">Windy City Rollers</a>. To fans of the sport, it's "<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/members/tamikaze/" target="_blank">Tamikazi</a>" and <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/members/sargentina/" target="_blank">"Sargentina</a>." The crew will roll at <a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com/category/events/" target="_blank">Saturday’s game</a> but first, they shared some other suggestions for how to have fun and maybe take one or two folks down too in the latest edition of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/weeklyguide" target="_blank"><em>Weekly Guide</em></a>.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 29 Jul 2011 20:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-29/weekly-guide-skating-around-town-windy-city-rollers-89834