Monday, April 19, 2010

"Those are my douche-bags you're talking about."

Outside of the referees, there is almost no volunteer position least respected than those who work security at a derby bout. These people, all of whom work without pay, sacrifice the chance to actually watch a sport they love so that the skaters can play the game without interruption and retreat to the locker room without molestation. Unlike the bouncers at most dance clubs, or the armed entourages of numerous recording artists and actors, these people did not begin this job with huge chips on their shoulders. Thus, it's the duty of anyone involved in derby to not allow that chip to grow.

When you stop and look beyond their silly staff shirts, it's clear that what you're looking at are our fans who are so committed to this sport that they're willing to give up seeing the game to make things better. Other fans see them as assholes, bullshit artists, and douche-bags. Hell, some skaters do, which is a shame. I am ten years past praying for broken limbs and cancer, as that's a rotten thing to do. But I will say this to all passengers on this train:

           Those are my douche-bags you're talking about. Technically, they're yours as well. Cut the crap and fly right. They're doing it for you.

I am often filled with mirth, and in this blog I've talked about the joys of being behind the scenes. But the rotten popcorn kernel stuck between the teeth of derby's fractured smile is that we don't often thank or even get to know the people who work with us each month for a bottle of water and a possible piece of pizza. And if autographs and photo-ops are given to the people who spill beer on the floor and spit at our volunteers, what do we feel is fitting for the volunteers to receive?

For those of you pondering the answer, I'll give it to you. Thank them. Get to know their names, if you can. They're more than human, they're the silent golems protecting your playing field and backstage so that you get to skate. There's one cure for a thankless job. Thank them.


  1. "There's one cure for a thankless job. Thank them."


    These people sign up to be yelled at by drunk fans and skaters (poo on those skaters, IMHO) and they're lucky if they even get fed on some of the worst nights. Thank them? How about offer them backrubs?!

  2. Glad that this was said, painful that it HAD to be, hopes that some of the offenders can read....this. And, as one of these said douchebags,I am ALWAYS available for back-up!