In the early 2000's, Elizabeth Gomez had a crazy idea. By 2004, she had morphed into Juanna Rumbel and had co-founded (along with Kelly Simmons) the Windy City Rollers. The Rollers are the first flat-track Roller Derby league established in Chicago. The all-female league has four league teams that play within the league, as well as two travel leagues, an A and B team, that compete with other leagues around the world.
This isn't the televised form of roller derby from years ago. It has retained some of the theatrics, but it is a legitimate sport, played with real (enforced) rules and the score is kept. It took me a few games to understand the scoring system and the rest of the specifics, but once I did, I was hooked. It also helps that the ladies of WCR are all fan-friendly and very positive about the experience. It is simply a fun time at the bouts.
I had the pleasure of attending a WCR gala. I have to admit, I did not recognize several of the derby ladies. They look a lot different when out of their derby gear and all dressed up. Fortunately, they were all their usual nice selves and many reminded me of who they were.
Check out WindyCityRollers.com for more info, including event dates. All of my interviews with the WCR ladies can be found at the Johngy's Beat WCR playlist on YouTube.
Juanna Rumbel and me in Chicago, IL-October 2014.