I’m going to hop on my soapbox for a moment to talk about sportswomanship.

Once, we played a bout, and had a bit of a shock after the game was over. When we were announced as the winners, we got booed. Then when we slapped hands with the other team to tell them “good game” we got smack talked by a couple girls on the team.

Here’s my thought. As a hot headed woman, I sometimes have to take a deep breath before I can face an opposing player off the track. But in derby you HAVE to do it. We all sacrifice a lot to play this sport. Personally I spend a lot of money in payroll to staff my shop and head off to an away bout. I’m sure lots of girls on that team had to make a lot of sacrifices not just for that game, but to get to the practice for the game, to pay for uniforms, skates, pads, etc. It’s a tough sport that we all play not for money, or fame, or anything other than a love of an awesome sport.

With that in mind, if you can’t shake it off immediately after the game, if you can’t fake a smile and a high five with the other team… skate away. Don’t talk smack to a girl that had to pay a babysitter, give up money at her job, piss off her husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife by neglecting the hell out of them to play roller derby. I would rather see a girl head back to her locker room instead of slapping hands with us than have a girl smack talk me and come across as a sore loser.

Believe me, I’ve had to do it myself. I’m a happy, positive, cheerful person who loves everyone. But put my skates on, have a ref make a call I don’t agree with, or just make it so my team doesn’t win, sometimes I get pissy. Not because I hate the other team. But because I know my team, I know how hard we work, how much we sacrifice, and I know we COULD have won. If we had worked a little harder, if I had looked left instead of right and seen the jammer… if. If. If.

But I can’t take it out on the other team. Because they worked just as hard as I did. And it’s not fair for me to give them grief over a win. No matter what I THINK happened on the track.

I say all this because I’ve been guilty of it when I first started playing, and I feel bad about it. It’s been my goal to be a better sportswoman after the game than I have been in the past. Sure I’m not going to get along with everyone. Sure someone is going to foul me. But that doesn’t give me the right to make them feel bad about their win.

No hard feelings to the girls who did this. Like I said, I’ve been guilty of it before, and we’re roller girls. We get hotheaded. If we were all “pleases” and “excuse me” all the time, we would probably make crappy roller girls.

All I’m saying is that after a game, when it comes time to congratulate the other team, I’m going to flash back to kindergarten, and ask that ALL my fellow roller girls do so as well. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.

On the track however… let the smack talk fly! I know I will!