No team at this year’s ECE is traveling farther or playing tougher opponents than the 25th-ranked Denver Roller Dolls. Denver skater Angela Death talks a bit with DNN about their chances against Carolina and Gotham, their hopes for this year’s regionals, and even a little breaking news about a 2009 Southwest tournament.
DNN: After this weekend, you’ll have played the #3 and #5 teams in the nation just one week after having gone up against with a home team from #4 Texas. And you played #1 Kansas City just a couple of months ago. The question most of the derby world wants to know the answer to is: are you crazy?
Angela Death: What derby girl isn’t crazy? Well, maybe we seem a little more crazy than most, but it’s our first year participating in WFTDA and we have to make up for lost time. The Denver Roller Dolls have worked hard to get where we are now and the only thing we’re lacking is interleague bouting experience. Prior to being accepted into WFTDA, we played KC twice (the closest being 68 DRD to 80 KC in March of 2007) so we know we can hang.
In the last 8 months we lost a number of our league’s top skaters to relocation or retirement (Friction VixXxen, Daisy Cutter, Ro Chambeau, Barbie Boop, Maybelline, Sissy Rinkshaw and Ivona Killeau) and this spring, we lost four Mile High Club skaters to injury (Indy Structible, Rockett, Bria Fraid, Lt. Redrum). We’ve since had four tough bouts and the team has learned a lot and everything is starting to come together. We’ve got 2 amazing rookies that will be joining the Mile High Club for the first time in Philly, Abbey Rogue and Fonda Pain.
I feel surprisingly optimistic going into this weekend’s bouts. I think Gotham and Carolina expect easy wins but our team is stronger now than it has been for any other bout this spring. Regardless of the outcome, it is going to be an amazing experience. That which doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger!
DNN: Have you found that the elevation of Denver gives your team a training or endurance advantage? I’ve definitely noticed that visitors seem to get tired out more quickly than usual — do you find that you get tired out *less* quickly than usual when playing away games?
AD: It’s hard to tell…our team always plays better in the second period anyways, but elevation advantage may have something to do with it. I wish I noticed a more dramatic effect! Our visitors have all done pretty well with the altitude so I don’t think it gives us a crippling advantage on our home turf either. What I do know is that we always win the afterparties! At sea level, we can rock out longer and harder!
DNN: So right now, Denver is one of only two cities with two WFTDA leagues (ed note: the other is Dallas, with Assassination City & Dallas Derby Devils.) Rocky Mountain’s going to be in action at ECE as well. Are there any plans for a crosstown showdown in the works?
AD: RMRG has a Saturday bout against Boston and then they get to rock out and watch some sweet derby action the rest of the weekend. I’m slightly jealous. I’m sure our teams will go head to head at some point in the next year. If it doesn’t happen in Houston, it will most likely happen at the Four Corners tournament hosted by Pikes Peak Derby Dames in February of 2009. We plan to host some local scrimmages in the meantime.
DNN: I was in Denver in April for your first bout at the Fillmore Auditorium, which I’ve got to say is one of the best derby venues I’ve ever seen. Is Denver planning to play future games there exclusively, or just occasionally?
AD: The Fillmore is awesome. We sold that bout out at over 2200 and the line stretched around the block to get in. People were scalping our $15 tickets for $50! We love the Fillmore and we’ll be there for 2 out of 3 of our remaining home dates. The Fillmore Auditorium is a larger show venue that normally holds 3600 people (before you make nearly the entire floor into a roller derby track). It used to be a rollerskating rink called Mammoth Gardens and still has the original wood floor. We just purchased bumpers in order to free up a little more space on the floor.
Our other venue, The Denver Coliseum (capacity 4000) may still be preferred by some, with free parking, stadium seating, and a separate warm up track, but The Fillmore’s central location, smaller size and their promotional efforts on our behalf means more sold out bouts and some actual profit. We’re definitely looking into bouting at The Fillmore more regularly but The Denver Coliseum will still be the optimal venue for hosting tournaments.
DNN: What’s coming up next for Denver in interleague play?
AD: After our bouts against Gotham Girls Roller Derby and Carolina Roller Girls this weekend in Philly, we have a much needed break from travel. Our next interleague bout is against the No Coast Derby Girls in Lincoln, Nebraska on August 31st. Then we host the Minnesota Rollergirls All-Stars here in Denver for a September 12th bout at The Fillmore. What happens after that depends on our performance this weekend at ECE. Hopefully you’ll be seeing the Denver Roller Dolls head to Houston for regionals.