Unholy rollers

Fishnet-wearing, mini-skirted, roller-skating women.
They may look hot but the Savannah Derby Devils are just one big skating family. Honest.
“We all came together in different ways,” says Amy Sheridan, known on wheels as Sinner G. “Some of us found out about it on the Internet, some of us were dragged into it by friends, and most of us were recruited by our founder, Heather Hamilton.”
In addition to skating, Sheridan is the co-president of the league and does media relations for the Devils. “We come from all walks of life, all different lifestyles and professions, but we’re one big skating family,” she says.
The Devils have been together since January 2006 and will face off against the Atlanta Rollergirls on March 2. So what took so long?
“We’ve been practicing for a year, but this bout against the Atlanta Rollergirls is our first real bout,” Sheridan says. “Practicing for a year sounds like a lot, but this is a very physical, full-contact sport, and we work as hard as we can to do it safely and to do it well.”
Roller Derby consists of three races per bout, or “jams” on an oval track. When the skaters start to “jam,” literally anything can happen.
Roller Derby is a very aggressive contact sport and the skaters will do just about anything to stop the competition, including tackling, tripping and blocking. Even though their skirts are dangerously short, the skaters wear knee pads to protect themselves.
For many years, Roller Derby was a wildly popular form of sports entertainment. It fizzled in the 1970s, and despite efforts to revive it, didn’t come into its own again until 1999.
Today’s Roller Derby leagues tend to be grassroots organizations – and all female. Under the helmets and padding are sexy costumes and tattoos, and the skaters sport sexy names.
The Devils sport handles such as Clea DuBrawl, June Cleavage, Rosie Bottom and Amanda Huggandkiss. Founder Hamilton is known on the track as Ms. Defiant.
Such tactics are working. Roller Derby is increasing in popularity, and the March 2 bout is widely anticipated.
“We expect a sell-out crowd, somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 people,” Sheridan says. “We’re encouraging people to come early or buy their tickets ahead of time.”
The game will consist of three 20-minute jams, with intermissions between. The punk band Hot Pink Interior will perform during both intermissions.
Want to get up close and personal? Spectators who choose the suicide seating might very well end up with derby girls in their laps. Others should bring their own chairs, as bleacher seating is limited.
“There will be an after-party at Bogey’s on the Southside,” Sheridan says. “Everyone will get a chance to meet us and the Atlanta Rollergirls.” ƒç
The Savannah Derby Devils will face off against the Atlanta Rollergirls on March 2from 8-10 p.m. at the Supergoose Center, 3700 Wallin St. Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 in advance by calling 1-800-838-3006 or visiting www.brownpapertickets.com/producerevent/10430?prod_id=3587. For information, visit www.savannahderby.com.

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