Monday, December 19, 2011
Real Name: Shayla Nicole Johnson
Position(s): Blocker/Pivot and the occasional Jammer. Haha!
Number of years skating: Going on 4 years
What brought you to derby? I love skating and the full contact sport was just what I needed!
What do you do for a living? Graveyard supervisor in an assisted living facility
If you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Trustworthy.
Where did you go to high school? Good ol' Yoncalla High School
How old are you? 27
Favorite TV show? Oh man! Love Dexter, the Walking Dead, Grey's Anatomy. The list goes on!
Favorite midnight snack? Effing Doritos!
Favorite book? Was never much of a reader until about a year ago and fell in love with The Hunger Games trilogy and the books from The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
What is your bout day ritual? I try to not think about the game and just stay chill! I do my war face and pee a hundred times before I leave my house cause I don't like to pee after I get all dressed.
What's your biggest accomplishment? Being a mother for sure is my best accomplishment. She is someone that does not judge and is happy no matter what I do in life.
What's your favorite non-derby sports to play or watch? I grew up playing softball. I hate to watch it but love to play!
Assuming you don't get injured, will you be playing derby 5 years from now? One of the hardest things since starting derby is when to call it quits. I just don't know how to say no to playing the best sport in the world.
What qualities make a great derby player? Being determined and tough. You can't play derby and be a sissy! And you must work well with others.
What advice would you give someone interested in playing derby? If you want a sport to play for years to come that kicks your ass all the time and keeps you challenging yourself, and if you want to meet the most amazing chicks and have the time of your life then derby might be for you.
Friday, October 7, 2011
It was two straight days of derby. I didn’t skate in one jam but at the end of each day I was exhausted. From watching! That’s how exciting this derby was, people! Lap after lap I saw things that would make you rub your eyes and squeak that high-pitched ee-ee-ee-ee noise – like, what in the hey?! Did I just see Scald Eagle take a full-on Tannibal Lector slam to the hip and skate OUT of that shit to get lead? Where the hell did she fly out of?! And, seriously? Is the Rat City pack of blockers going to stand in front of the jam line (with Deranged, of all people, behind it) and NOT MOVE for two minutes and then do it again 5 minutes later while the crowd boos and jeers?! Are you freaking kidding me? And, wow, Four Closer, of Sacred City and Juska of Denver and Soulfearic Acid of Rose City. Just wow.
And right when I thought it couldn’t get any better than seeing Bonnie Thunders two feet from my actual face and then chatting her girlfriend, OMG WTF, at the Team USA merch table, I feel my boyfriend pull on my sweatshirt as we began our short walk back to the hotel. “Dude. Stop. You just walked by Demanda Riot.” Say, WHAT?! Demanda “Myfantasyderbywife” Riot?! The BADDEST of the BADDs?! (In my defense, I was bleary-eyed from derby-all-day and D. was off skates, in jeans and a windbreaker, and sans her usual trackside visage.) He then, fulfilling his role as Chief Photojournalist for the weekend, sweetly approached her and asked if he could take her picture with me. And she did! Put her arm around me while I grinned like a baboon. Swoon.
Don’t get me started about meeting Deranged and her sister, Psychobabble, of Rocky Mountain Roller Girls. I almost peed my pants I was so excited. But, that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, it was a weekend rich with discourse and analysis on how the Furies could take what we learned there and use it to our best advantage. Surrounded by eight of my teammates and coaches, we worked as one mind, trying to assimilate what we were seeing and apply it to our play. Light bulbs were flashing above more than one dome that night, I can tell you. Nothing made me prouder to be a Fury when, instead of heading directly to the Saturday night after-party, we all crowded into my hotel room and spent an hour discussing what we’d just witnessed and how we could translate that into taking home the big green jewel in 2012. This is our team, people. It’s how we roll.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
What have we learned? We are strong, powerful women who thrive the best when we are supporting eachother. We've rotated through injuries...broken ankles (Blitz, Jenesis, Skirtz)...broken collar bones (F-Baum)...many, many sprains, strains and bruises...and some bittersweet goodbyes (we LOVE you Burna Death and Lady Lumps for your inspiration and unyielding confidence)..and the one thing that is constant, aside from my suggestion that we start charging pushups for ankle injuries, is that we rely heavily on eachother to pick up the slack when we are down and know that we always have eachother's backs for that assist off the pivot line and sometimes just out the front door. We will fight, hip check, bowl over, and scream with all the force and fury of the gods. And we will do it together as one, regardless of background or experience, and regardless of what life tosses our way.
As we move through the Allstar Season, we encourage you to scream with us and our Furious sisters as they battle Slaughter County on July 16th...and then head in to our brief off-season with some wicked competitive ambitions to come back with vengeance and ferocity.
Until then, Hit hard, Skate low, and Stand tall.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Ah, to be a derby girl! There's nothing quite like it! Hard hits during a game, followed by hard drinking at the after party - fun, right? Everyone, in their secret heart of hearts, wants to be a badass! So you scour the internet for information on tryouts and start haunting the local roller rink at every opportunity. You buy yourself some fishnets, start planning that tattoo you've always wanted, and fantasize about your new rock star image. The day finally comes - you go to tryouts and skate your guts out. A few days later you get the call: you're a roller girl!!!
But pretty soon you realize something. Roller derby isn't always fun. Sure there's body aches, bruises, strains, and sore muscles, but you expected that! What you didn't realize is how much WORK goes into the business of running a league.
Don't get me wrong - roller derby is worth it! But as a grassroots phenomenon, it takes a huge amount of time and effort from everyone involved. Most people recognize this isn't a professional sport. Generally the players, officials, and trainers don't get paid. We do this in our spare time, working it in around everything else keeping us busy in our lives: from spouses and children to school and work. What most people DON'T realize is that making roller derby happen is not just a matter or practicing a few times a week and playing games. Nearly everyone in the league wears more than one hat. To give you an idea, here are examples from some of the Furies:
BLITZ VIXEN is on the Training Committee, the Rules Committee, and is a trainer/line coach for the Junior Gems (the local youth league). She has just exited her positions in the Sponsorship Committee (Sponsor Liason) and Bout Production Committee (Signage).
RePSYCHO is on the Bout Production Committee, responsible for overseeing the creation of bout posters and program inserts, as well as the season program. She is our Sustainability Coordinator, making our bouts green by providing recycling and composting at games and by printing all bout materials on post-consumer recycled content paper. She is part of the Training Committee, helping train our newest skaters (Bloomin' Doom). In addition, she's part of the Sponsorship Committee, developing sponsorship relationships.
APHROFIGHTY is one of the Captains and is Head Pivot for the Flat Track Furies. She's also on the Hospitality Committee, welcoming visiting teams. She's the outgoing Director of the Junior Gems (still transitioning to the new Director), plus an occasional trainer for the Gems.
VEXINE just finished her term as a Captain for the Furies. She's currently our den mom and a Furies coach/trainer. She's a member of the Board of Directors for the league. She's on the Training Committee as well, training Doom.
JENESIS O'SIN is our brilliant blog mistress. She's the Head of Training rep for the Furies on the Training Committee, plus she leads Bloomin' Doom, All-League, and B-Team practices. She's the liaison for visiting skaters and potential transfer skaters from other areas. She's also the Furies' interleague liaison, organizing games with teams from other leagues, including contract negotiation and gathering insurance information.
TERRIN SKIRTZ is the Furies rep for both Attendance Panel and the Bitch Patrol (the league's mediation panel).
FRANKIE FACEBREAKER is the outgoing Director of the Sponsorship Committee, where she oversaw the entire committee, plus recruited sponsors and maintained sponsor relations.
F-BAUM is our league ombudswoman, which means she coordinates the Bitch Patrol and sits on the Grievance Panel as needed. She's also a trainer for the Junior Gems.
KATARINA VAN ROTTEN is our other current Furies Captain. She's on ECRG's Board of Directors (which leads to many other league responsibilities). She's the Travel Team's Secretary. In addition, she is on the Training Committee, helping with Doom training. She occasionally trains the Junior Gems as well.
MEDUSA HARM is responsible for our bout posters, including coordinating volunteers for poster distribution, maintaining the list of poster locations, and distributing posters in several neighborhoods not covered by other volunteers.
LADY LUMPS finished her term as ECRG's president, but keeps herself busy on the Board of Directors, the Bout Production Committee, and the PR Committee. She's also Secretary for the Furies, our announcer liaison, and most importantly, is our team's choreographer.
DIEZASTER is the league's Merchandise Coordinator, is on the Bout Production Committee, and is the Furies' Team Sponsorship Director. Previously, she's been on the Rollerball Committee and a bout volunteer.
SUGAR HOOKER is our team's Ticket Wrangler. For every bout, she's responsible for distributing tickets to the team for sale, and later collecting the money and unsold tickets.
KIKI O'KEISTER (that's me!) is on the Bout Production Committee as the league's Ticket Maven, ordering and distributing all bout tickets. I'm also on the Training Committee helping to train Doom.
Some of our busiest teammates aren't represented above (I didn't have complete lists for them). So here's a partial list:
-Blue Ruin rules over the Training Committee and is responsible for organizing the league's practice schedule, which is a HUGE job, among many other things.
-Noble Savage keeps Attendance for both the Furies and the entire league, and is the Merch Person and is on the Grievance Panel for the Furies.
-Boldy Knocks has been our Bout Director, a position she's happy to be passing to new hands. She's also currently on the Training Committee.
-Stormbird is our team's Treasurer.
Roller Derby is fun and fantastic. The punk rock awesomeness is still there: I love flashy socks and my tattoos. But roller derby is far more time consuming than one might expect at first glance, and very hard work (not just of the muscular kind). Just remember that roller derby is definitely worth it. And all that stress can be worked out on the track - goodness knows there's nothing more therapeutic than beating the snot out of your best friends!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
If you weren’t tied to Derby News Network this afternoon, then you missed an amazing performance by Emerald City’s all-star team, the Skatesaphrenics. In Battle for the Coast, they faced four teams throughout the afternoon and evening in shortened 20 minute bouts, hoping to emerge as one of the top two teams in their bracket and advance to tomorrow’s finals.
In their first three games, the Skatesaphrenics demonstrated their incredibly strong defense, allowing only fourteen points by the Ventura County Derby Darlins, fifteen by the OC Roller Girls, and seven by SD Roller Derby. For ECRG a tight, defensive game is the standard mode of operation, so the control they maintained within the pack came as no surprise. What ensured their success, however, was their decision to dedicate at least one blocker to offense in the majority of the jams. ECRG jammers were looking for holes and found them thanks to some stellar, well-timed offensive hits.
ECRG’s last game of the day was against the toughest opponent playing in Battle for the Coast—Bay Area Derby (BAD), who are ranked sixth in the nation by DNN. While ECRG lost decidedly to BAD, they had some real successes as a team. Most impressively, ECRG skaters kept level heads despite a point deficit. They played a clean game and were able to execute a pretty tight defense despite the wrecking ball that is Demanda Riot, working her magic for Bay Area in the pack. ECRG demonstrated great teamwork; skaters were sticking together and were far more effective as a result. Nice work, Phrenics, and congratulations on advancing to the finals!
While all of the women on the Skatesaphrenics played outstanding games today, I would like to take a minute to acknowledge the awesome work of the members of the Flat Track Furies who played for the all-star team this weekend; this is the Snake Pit after all.
Blue Ruin: Blue is one of the unsung heroes in ECRG. She’s not very big but can hit and withstand hits like nobody’s business. Her greatest strength lies in her constant awareness; she knows where both jammers are as well as her blockers and can move agilely to get wherever she needs to be on the track.
Frankie Facebreaker: I may be biased because Frankie happens to be my wife, but I think she’s one of the best defensive players in the league. Having spent years jamming, she is lightening fast and can chase down the opposition before they even see her coming. She showed us this tonight, having a sweet hit on a BAD jammer, chasing her from a spot in the back of the pack, nailing her, and forcing her to call off the jam.
Burna Death: Burna has recently taken over the role of bench coach for ECRG. She did a hell of a job tonight, picking out the line-ups and making sure that her players stayed fresh enough to score some points against BAD. Burna is great at keeping the ladies on the bench calm, positive, and focused. Her positive energy was resonating throughout the team this evening.
Katarina Van Rotten: Can I hand out the award for most improved ECRG player right now? Rotten made the all-star team about a year ago and has quickly garnered a position as a first-string jammer, likely because she’s a juking machine. Her cheery demeanor off the track gives her the I’ll-never-give-up attitude that is crucial to great jammers. Rotten scored FOUR of ECRG’s points against Bay Area and countless others throughout the evening. All I have to say is… Suzy Hotrod, look out.
Emerald City 38
Ventura County 14
Emerald City 30
Orange County 15
Emerald City 53
Bay Area 70
Emerald City 7
Monday, May 9, 2011
However, lesson learned. Never say never.
About a year ago, the FTF had a huge turn over. We lost most of our seasoned players to injuries, babies, and just plain life stuff. And that is when it happened, there was the expectation and my own will and desire to be better and to watch my team mates smile. I was becoming a jammer. Not just a 'now and then jammer', but an 'all the time, get your ass out there AGAIN, and jam' jammer.
I took it heart. If I was going to jam, then I was going to be the best jammer I could. I practiced jumping, juking, falling and getting up so fast, that you never knew I was down. I switched out my wheels, tightened and loosened my trucks, tried different arrangements of softer and harder wheels. Started working out on off skating days. And one more very important thing...I started trusting and believing that my Furious blockers were going to do everything in their power to keep me safe and get me through the pack.
I think it has paid off, all the extra stuff I do and my blockers do. I still strive to be better, that is just the perfectionist inside me.
We have had the most thrilling season, filled with success, tears, growth and bonding.
We are the new FURIES!!!! I guess you cant get any better than that.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
"Man, I don't know if I wanna hit my friends..." was the beginning of a conversation back in 2007 about this crazy idea of a roller derby league in Eugene, Oregon. 4 years later, this idea to let off some steam and exercise a couple of times a week in cute clothes has made us nationally recognized athletes and the derby heroes we admired in our chicken-scratch skating days.
Becoming a roller derby player is the most difficult thing I've ever done. It's hard to describe the amount of patience you demand of yourself as you are learning skating, hitting, jumping, yelling, strategies, when to use those strategies, the rules, and how not to get mad when someone lands a hit on you that drops you like a sack of potatoes.
My love for the Furies has been long-lived and unwavering. I am always amazed by the level of professionalism and the humble nature of my team. I believe our success lies in wanting to be the best skaters we can be for each-other. Winning doesn't matter. We celebrate a loss as much as a win when we come away knowing we played our game and brought the FURY.
I'm purchasing new skates next week. It's a sign of commitment to my team, my game, and myself. I still have a lot of derby left in this body.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I would like to say a few things though. Being a part of the Furies has made me so happy. I love all the girls on this team, the trainers and the fans. You are all amazing. I could never explain the feeling that my team and derby gives me. I have fallen in love and I am so thankful for this amazing time in my life. I have the best family, friends, and derby sisters a girl could ask for.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Special Props to our illustrious captain Katarina Van Rotten, who embodies all things Furious. Jamming, Blocking, Keeping a Cool Head, and a Smile on her face; Rotten proves that you CAN do it all, and in fabulous shorts to boot.
Our thoughts and well wishes to our lovely teammate Blitz Vixen, who had to leave halfway through her first bout due to injury. You were seriously rocking it on Saturday, Blitz! We love you, so get better soon . . .
Monday, February 14, 2011
2010 was a year of change for the Furies; filled with injuries, pregcellency (trying to coin this phrase for sure), teammates moving on, and new blood moving in. Despite the upheaval- the levels of commitment, dedication, and hard work that all our skater's put forth has never been higher. Countless grueling hours of the off season were spent honing skills and strengthening our bond as a team. The Resurgence of Fury is a real and visceral thing, as any of our loyal fans that were at the season opener can attest.
(From left to right) Top row: Terrin' Skirtz, Boldy Knocks, Katarina Van Rotten, Blitz Vixen, Repsycho, Boneyard Brawler, F- Baum. Second Row: Drive-by 45, Aphrofighty, Jenesis O'Sin, Noble Savage, Frankie Facebreaker. Third Row: Vexine, Blue Ruin, Stormbird, Cobra Commander. Bottom Row: Lady Lumps, Diezaster, Kiki O'Kiester, BurnaDeath, Medusa Harm. Not pictured but much loved - Sugar Hooker.
Some of you out in the vast interweb may be asking yourselves, "Dang how do they look so good, and also what the heck is RollerBall?". I'll answer the first with the same thing I say about our skating skills- all natural talent baby! Secondly and all joking aside, Rollerball has different meaning and importance for all it's attendees, but from the lips of Babes (A.K.A. my Furious sisters) -
"Rollerball is very special occasion for us Derby Gals. It is a time that we get to clad our bruised and scraped bodies in fun and sexy attire. We get to talk and laugh about non derby related stuff with our derby wives, derby widows, team mates, sole mates and league friends. It is the celebration of US: beyond average, athletic, courageous, and daring."
"This was my first Rollerball with ECRG. In my old league, we had awards ceremonies and end of season parties, but nothing like Rollerball. It was great to talk to some of the skaters that I don't normally get to talk to, and to get to know their partners! This Rollerball was very special to me. Not only did I get to see how vast and amazing our league actually is, I proposed to the beautiful and extremely talented F Baum (and she said YES!) We even took our engagement photos that night! I am very proud to call myself an Emerald City Roller Girl. To see all of the league come together is a very beautiful thing! I couldn't be a happier roller girl, and couldn't ask for a better league to be a part of!"
"This season was my first Roller Ball experience...I am so pleased that we have this opportunity to ditch the booty shorts and dress up in some pretty fantastic outfits that perhaps haven't seen daylight in years...all to recognize the hard work that is done throughout the season. We have some phenomenal members of the league, skaters and non-skaters alike. They have absolutely earned recognition for what they have contributed. The food was fabulous, but the company was even better."
"My rollerball experience was fantastic... It included me drinking too much, being the last to leaving the bar, not sleeping in my own bed, and vomiting all the next day (The not sleeping in my own bed thing involved my boyfriend and I crashing at Bullet Brains' house)".
"I was on the decorations crew and I was so happy with how everything turned out - like a fiery winter wonderland! And winning the award for top trainer was really important to me. Focusing on training my team helped me get through my recovery from knee surgery and it meant a lot to me for being recognized for the work I put into it. It also shows that people are feeling the Resurgence of FURY!!!"
And just for posterity, here is a list of the various awards won by your favorite Furies:
Best Attendance- Blue Ruin
Best Sportswoman- Katarina Van Rotten
Rookie of the Year- F-Baum
Best Coach/ Trainer- Vexine
The Saint Award- Blue Ruin
"Belle of the Brawl"- F-BaumCleanest Player- Drive-By .45
Signing out my darlings,
Your Mysterious and devoted Blog Mistress.