Flight of the Dirt Bird

This week, one of our sweet fresh meat babies (aka Dirt Birds) brings us a telling of his experience skating so far. Here are the words of Chris Eichel, aka Jabberwock.

I can't skate.

This was the mantra that I kept repeating as my friend Leo, who now goes by the derby name of Mosh Bit, urged me on to come to one of the Atlanta Men's Roller Derby practices. The excuses that I came up with were endless. My dainty ankles will snap in half. I've the balance of a drunken sailor. My knees are made of wet paper. This was the battle that went on for weeks, until I began to run short on witty things to say in response.

Finally, I caved. I ended up going to one of the Atlanta Rollergirls games, and fell in love with the sport.

At the end, I knew I wanted to be a part of it, but the fears still lingered. It was going to be that high school experience all over again. The fear of being laughed at when you can't throw the ball as well as the next person over, or when you're the slowest one running the laps. I prepared myself for the worst, picking the cheapest mouth guard I could as to not regret the purchase later.

I could not have been more wrong.

I went to my first practice, and I still couldn't skate. But that didn't stop our fantastic coaches and equally fantastic team members from working with me from the start. From the tips on how to balance, to the motivation to stand back up when I've fallen, and to the cheers that came when I was able to stand on my own and begin to move.

I ran out to buy my own gear the next day, and I've been getting better ever since.

I'm coming up on my fifth practice with the team now, and the support has not stopped. I am constantly pushed to learn new things, and am able to do so at my own pace. The genuine love for the sport seems to drive these 'Gents to welcome new members with open arms. I can say it is one of the most welcoming groups I have been a part of.

Regardless of whether it’s your thousandth time on skates, or your first time lacing up, come out and join us on the track. The worst thing that can happen is you make a few great friends.

Hot 'Gent on Gentlemen Action!

Your Atlanta Men's Roller Derby ResurGents are thrilled to announce our second bout in as many years all up inside your perimeter. On Saturday, August 20th, the 'Gents will take on the Brigade of Handsome Gentlemen at the Yaarab Shrine Center in Atlanta! The best men's roller derby teams who purport their gentlemanliness and are specifically based in Atlanta and Southern Illinois will come together right before your very eyes. Be there by 2pm to see these hot sweaty dudes beat each other up for glory and your satisfaction. Pittsy and Jazzy might even take their shirts off at some point, I don't know. Be there to see what happens! Bout Poster

RECAP: Atlanta Men's Roller Derby vs Classic City Rollergirls

On May 14th, in the year of our Lord 2016, members of your Atlanta Men's Roller Derby ResurGents took a little road trip to the beautiful city of Athens. Together, and along with the sisters who coach us, we took over Highway 316 as we jammed Yacht Rock on our radios and made gestures towards one another from neighboring lanes of traffic. The distance was short, but the journey stretched into the experience of a lifetime. The 'Gents got off to a respectable start, drawing first blood on the ladies of CCRG to go up 4-0. A variety of factors, including the incredible CCRG Jammers Louis Strongarm and Rumbalina, and high skill level of the CCRG Blockers, lead to the ladies from Athens going up by a total of 62-31 just minutes into the first half. Undeterred, the 'Gents regrouped and found an inner strength to solidify their walls and hold the CCRG Jammers at bay for the remainder of the bout. Your final score from Athens, in a bout that was played more closely than the score would indicate:

AMRD vs CCRG Scoreboard

Atlanta Men's Roller Derby ResurGents 233, Classic City Rollergirls 111.

Road Trash, Co-Captain: "In our second bout at the Classic Center, I could not have been more proud of the Gents’ metamorphosis between visits. The first bout we played there (2015) was against Collision Men’s Derby, and may have given the impression to the CCRG kill squad that we would not be difficult to topple. [The 2015 bout against Collision] was the very first game for many of our players, and we had not yet begun to gel as a unit. In spite of the not too distant memory of a crushing defeat at the hands of Collision, the Gents came prepared to win a war in our return to the Classic City.

Most of us have seen CCRG play on more than one occasion, so we knew that they would be fiercely competitive and intimidatingly aggressive on the track (and after party, which is less intimidating and more awe-inspiring. But, I digress...). We planned to counter their approach by working together as a single defensive unit. The words "calm" and "slow" echoed through our walls, giving us a renewed strength on each jam; even after getting crushed by the Athenians in the first few minutes of play. Once we began to absorb this mantra of patience and strength, our walls began to slow and sap the CCRG jammers' energy.

It was all so surreal, as we were executing strategies that we’ve developed as team for the last several months. As we would come off of the track, both of our LadyGent coaches would qualify and quantify our play and sort out who was going out for the next jam with focus and composure. Though CCRG hit us hard, time after time, we were somehow able to hold strong. In the words of our fellow teammate and third base coach, Goggles, we met them unyieldingly in their direct path. My hat is truly off to the entirety of CCRG, from the Refs and NSOs to the ladies who gave us bodies full of bruises (as I cannot exclude anybody that contributed to this experience) for taking part in the first Women v. Men Flat Track Roller Derby Bout for our respective teams."

Jazzy, Captain: "We've had a couple of rough games lately. We went back to practice; focused a lot on our strategy, and I saw us execute that strategy which was really exciting for me. We've worked on a number of different strategies, from the Delta/Rambo wall with two teams of two skaters (one facing towards the jammer, the other with their back towards the jammer) to the Rotating Wall (one skater facing the jammer, in a team of three, with the fourth skater serving as "Safety"). Practicing a variety of strategies allowed our skaters to very quickly transition between different blocking styles and adapt to each situation as it developed and the personnel available.

Men's derby is very young, so we don't have a whole lot of heroes to look up to. The women's leagues around us are definitely our heroes. They're the ones we look up to, the ones we try to emulate, and for years we've been trying to fight and get good enough to stay on the track with them. I think we did that in this bout, and hopefully impressed our heroes with how far we've come. The Classic City Rollergirls went out of their way, and possibly comfort zone, to host us and the result was a fun and entertaining bout. And, I'm really proud of the result."

The Ruffian*, Coach: "Static Shock (recent transfer to the 'Gents from the Carolina Wrecking Balls) earned his MVP for Jamming. Road Trash earned his MVP for Blocking. Surfer Rosa (AMRD Bench Coach) put together some of the strongest lineups I've seen AMRD skate in. Sakemon was like liquid seduction on skates. The alluring way in which he tripped over his own skates and tantalizingly bumped into people on accident was a sight to behold. Truly he is a skater to watch."

You can see some clips from our bout, as well as interviews about the experience, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFlgDa2WXCo

*The Ruffian could not be reached for comment. A proxy was identified to give statements on her behalf.

IT'S BOUT WEEK!!!

Who's ready for some roller derby?!?  Who's ready to make history?!?  The answer to both is Atlanta Men's Roller Derby!  That's right, the 'Gents have a bout upcoming that will be different from anything we've done before. For the first time in AMRD's history, we'll play in a bout against a Women's team.  And, not just any team.  On May 14th, the 'Gents will take on our friends from the Classic City Rollergirls!  The bout will be tough, and the 'Gents will be in for the fight of their lives against a very competitive WFTDA team, but we're stoked for the opportunity and we hope you can join us!

AMRD vs CCRG

If you have plans, cancel them and come out to Athens!  AMRD vs. CCRG happens on May 14th at the Classic Center in Athens.  We'll be ready to roll at 7pm, and you don't want to miss this action!

 

Oh, and we've got a special sneak peek of what you can expect:

Click here for your sneak peek!!!