Derby Names: Not Ready for Prime Time
Back in the day, derby names were supposed to be fun and quirky. Fun – remember when derby was fun? Names were simply a clever twist on normal sports nicknames - not an opportunity to tell the world how much you love pot or Jager. Not a chance to tell us how big your wiener is or that you want to rip a girl apart with it. Seriously, boys and girls…
These days, there’s another issue. For a few years now there’s been a push for stricter codes of conduct in referee dress, names and so forth. I totally agree with the push. You can’t expect a crowd (or even a skater) to take officials seriously when they are dressed like clowns or have misogynistic or offensive names. It makes the sport look stupid.
And let’s take this a step further, shall we? For 2012 big 5 tournaments, refs and officials can't wear league affiliation on their uniforms. All officials must wear black shorts. All ref shirts must have vertical stripes of set width. All officials can’t blah blah or yadda yadda. So refs are starting to hold themselves to a higher standard than before. Yay. But … skaters can still skate out there wearing nearly whatever they want. With names like “Fist Fucker.”
But remember what we at WFTDA always say - the skaters are in charge. We lead the way – we dictate where the sport goes, not the refs. So…we want to take this sport to the next level? We want to be on ESPN? We want to be in the Olympics?
How do you think we are going to get there with names like “Clitler” and do you think FoxSports is going to want to touch us when they hear that a skater’s name will always have to be censored like we’ve already seen with “Clitty Clitty Bang Bang?”
I’d love to tell the ref who goes by the name Reffhypnol that I think his name is offensive and inappropriate -- but right there on twoevils.org there’s a “Rose Hypnol”? A date rape drug is not a cute and quirky name folks.
I spent 5 years as a WFTDA Marketing and PR rep. I’m the President of a league in the biggest media market in the country and this issue goes right to the nugget of "what are derby's goals" and "who is derby for?” If the answer is "derby is for the skaters" then this article is probably overstepping but I don’t care because some of your names are just gross - face it.
But if we want to take it to the next level it’s hard to justify these names. These names say that we don’t take our own sport seriously enough even to be PG-13 and accessible to all the aspiring junior derby girls – our little derby sisters – out there. It takes a village, people.
And if this sport is just for us, one specific point I want to make is this: I’ve seen some skaters with similarly offensive names starting petitions to “get us into the Olympics” and bemoaning the fact that ESPN likes professional dominos more than us. Our games airing on prime time of ESPN-bajillion is just not going to happen when we have skaters named “Raging Cock,” let alone refs named “Pat McCrotch.”
It’s like some of you drew George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” from a hat and made as many names as possible with them. “Shitbird,” “Bear Lee Giveashit” and “ShitShow Shocker.” Congrats – everyone knows you know another word for poop now. Welcome to the fourth grade.
Let’s hear it for the F-bomb squad, featuring “Fu-Quinn Hell,” “Pho Kyu,” “Fuchs U Up” and the (now retired) “Chainsaw Guts Fuck.” Why beat around the bush when picking the most offensive name possible? Just go for it!
Oh and speaking of bushes, there’s also “Cuntasaurus Wrecks,” "Smasher Indacunt,” and “Fingaz Feltersnatch” skating around somewhere out there. And to show pride for your homeland, one of you chose “Mexicunt.” Viva la CLASS! For the “hygiene” award, I’m torn between “Beast Infection,” “Pussy Dandruff” and “Scabby Gash.” Is anyone else out there feeling itchy? Then there’s “Clitorisaurus Rex” – what a name. “Clitastrophe!” (Oh wait, that’s taken too.)
Then there's just Clitoris. Clitoris. That's it. Which is downright refreshing in comparison to a recent addition on twoevils: Cunty McTaintStain.
It’s a registered name, people. Go look it up on twoevils. I'll wait. It’ll give me time to rinse my brain out with Goldschläger and acetone. Of course, it's registered as an "independent" non-league affiliated name, so it might be some awesome person trying to make a point, and for that I would applaud them. But still...
OH! Merby dudes ain’t any better. Want to be taken more seriously than just the ladies’ halftime act? Stop taking names like Ray Pugh (pronounced "RapeYou"), Calkin Balls and Buster Muffinhalf. (P.S. – way to GO Magic City for the trifecta!)
So, do I think refs should act in a more professional manner? Yes absolutely. Especially if their names are Pat Smear Dribblin, Barry McCaulkener, Dixon Syder, Buster Hymen, Grab'er Snatch, Turner Over, Sheik Shitheade or Liquor Muffin. You guys. “But wah wah wah don’t try and censor my creativity! “But the names are supposed to be fun! You are spoiling my fun! You’re a name Nazi! You are cramping my individuality! I have the right to take any name I damn well please!”
Yah – you do. But don’t come whining to me or complaining that you’re not being paid to skate when a network doesn’t want to air a game where a player’s name is “Sally Scumfuck” (yep.) “Why aren’t we in the Olympics?!” Well one reason could end up being that we have people taking names like “Baby Fuck Off.”
Wait - what?
Yes. There’s someone named “Baby Fuck Off.”
Don’t be douchebags, derby nation. Lead by example. Take responsibility for your sport, your audience and yourselves. No matter who the sport is for – our current derby family or a bigger, future sporting incarnation, you make the rest of us look bad with your icky names. That’s the dirtiest, filthiest truth of all – no matter what you name it.