This isn’t your Saturday night roller disco.
The Durango Roller Girls take their sport seriously, and they aren’t afraid to pummel anyone who dares think otherwise, let alone get in their way.
“We practice three times a week with an extra practice every other Sunday,” Brook “Brewtal B.” Herb said. “And then there are free skates on Saturday so I guess we practice five days a week sometimes.”
The Durango Roller Girls, now in its third go-round, have expanded to two teams since the organization’s inception in 2009: the Helter Smelters and the Pain Conductors. The two teams will face off in an intrasquad bout at 7:10 p.m. today at Chapman Hill, showcasing all their hard work for the hometown fans.
The DRG sold out all three home bouts last season, attracting a gathering of around 900 people, Herb said. Tickets again are selling fast this season, and bouts are expected to keep drawing sold-out crowds.
(The doors will open at 6 p.m. There is a $15 charge at the gate, and beer and food again will be served.)
“I really hope we continue to have people show up and buy tickets,” Herb said.
Roller derby is a hard-hitting, fast-flying sport that has attracted women from all walks of life.
Herb originally joined the sport after some nagging from teammate Christy Woodard, “Brickhaus Betty,” who according to her profile on the league’s website, likes teapots and dislikes finger braces.
“I needed some more girlfriends in my life and a way to get good exercise,” said Herb, a geologist by trade. “And let’s be honest, everyone here loves to hit people.”
Monica “Her A$$mint” Colvig originally saw the sport in Portland but didn’t have time to participate. When roller derby started in Durango, she jumped at the chance to be apart of the league.
“I jumped in at the beginning,” said Colvig, who is an attorney for Alternative Horizons by day. “It is so much fun. I absolutely love the rough sexiness of the sport.”
Colvig also loves the camaraderie the women have developed with all their time together.
“The best part is these ladies and the sisterhood we have developed,” Colvig said. “We are there for each other on and off the rink.”
Alison “Gigi Homewrecker” Noyes found roller derby as stress relief from her day job as a nurse.
“I have to be nice all day so it’s fun to come out here after work and blow off some steam,” Noyes said. “I love to smash people and love it when they smash me.”
Noyes also found it a safe haven to simply be herself.
“This is a group of women who has brought me in and accepted my vulgarness and aggression,” she said.
The roller girls provide a truly competitive environment, unavailable outside high school or college athletics for most women.
“It is competitive,” Herb said of the league. “We put in a lot of hard work year round.”
The women are starting to get excited for their highly anticipated home debut, too.
“It took a while for the nerves to kick in, but they did at (Thursday’s) practice,” Colvig said.
“I can’t wait to go out there and work hard for my team and get the win, or any other Bull Durham cliché you can come up with.”
Noyes almost was too excited for the bout to say anything, so she simply reverted to a scream.
“Oh my god yes,” Noyes eventually got out. “I am freaking out right now.”