Imagine a lineup where you have Streak, Dirty Larry, Mega and Seahorses as your pack. Shanego is jamming, with Shortbus, Chef and Suicide Snowcone all cheering from the next lineup. Not a bad lineup, and one that would improve any league, yes? But what do those skaters all have in common? Well at one time or another, they all could have skated for the Cowtown Butchers, being their nearest MRDA team, rather than their actual leagues. Most were already with other leagues, some decided to skate with other leagues, some were in the area just short term and passing through. The Cowtown Butchers are in the fortunate - or perhaps unfortunate - position of having their two nearest MRDA competitors ranked at number 1 and 2 in the world, which means that a team that's at the other end of the rankings ladder has a hard time keeping or claiming great skaters that come into the area. It's human nature that people want to be the best and skate with the best, and if that means that someone wants to travel two or more hours further to practice to skate for a world class team then so be it.
And the point is: The Cowtown Butchers are fine with that. In fact they're more than fine with it, they're all for it. And here's the reason why. While it is true that Cowtown would be a better league than it currently is, the fact is that if skaters have the opportunity to play for the best, they should be allowed to do so. If you are good enough to play soccer for Everton or Liverpool, most - not all, but most - people wouldn't play for Tranmere Rovers, for example.
There has been a lot of commentary recently about skate where you live, and Cowtown would be one of the teams that would really benefit from it. But they don't want to. They're happy to be the team that they are and don't want to hold back or prevent people from having the opportunity to shine on the national and even international stage. There are people that would disagree with this outlook, some vociferously, but the thought process is that derby is an amateur sport and people play for the love of the game rather than for a phat paycheck; and so if skaters would rather play for better leagues that are further away rather than for a less good team that could stifle their abilities and growth as a skater, then who are Cowtown to stop them doing that?
At the end of the day, and this may well sound sacreligious to some, but it's only rollerderby. It's a hobby. It's amateur. It's supposed to be fun and Cowtown doesn't want to be a league that makes it less fun by having skaters play for a team they'd rather not be with, just because they're the closest and deny someone the opportunity of playing at champs simply because the rest of our squad isn't up to scratch. Yet. Cowtown wants to see the best players playing for the best teams and if that means that we don't get some skaters that we'd really love to have play with us, well that's okay. And anyway, if you look closely at the 2013 MRDA champs video, you just may see a Cowtown Butchers logo on one of the helmets in the final so, in a way, we were there afterall.