Earlier this week, my podcast partner Tommy Else and I interviewed Crimson Vixen, the founder and still active skater for the Chicago Knockouts Roller Derby league. Yesterday, I talked to announcer Steve Ahrendt to get another view on the CKO. That interview is at On the Beat With Steve Ahrendt.
Ahrendt has been the subject of several of my other interviews, but those were about his various roles on the Chicago-area wrestling scene. Perhaps best known as a longtime, well-respected broadcaster, Ahrendt has been a GM, manager and more.
Chicago Knockouts roller derby has been described as legitimate sport with a little wrestling theatrics. With that in mind, Ahrendt would be the perfect choice to broadcast bouts.
The interview started with Ahrendt discussing how he got involved and hooked on CKO. Worlds merged as CKO skater Cactus Rack and Ahrendt met at a wrestling event.
While there are similarities between wrestling and derby, obviously the action is vastly different. Ahrendt explained the differences in preparing to broadcast and the actual act of announcing during the bouts. Ever humble, he also admitted, after just a few bouts behind the mic, he is still learning. Having heard him call the action, I was very impressed with how he relayed the action, while revving up the crowd.
Knowing everyone involved in roller derby has interesting names, I asked why he still uses his given name. I admitted, I was struggling trying to think of a good moniker to play off his name. I also revealed my name of “Beltin' John” given to me years ago from another derby league.
This Saturday, the CKO season comes down to one highly-anticipated bout for the title. The Comic Book Crushers take on the Horrific Haunters for the Golden Skate trophy and bragging rights. Ahrendt took the middle ground by not picking a winner, but he promised it would be a tremendous night of action.
Finally, we had a little fun bantering about Crimson Vixen, Marley Quinn or other skaters possibly getting Ahrendt involved in some of the physicality. Perhaps relying on his wrestling background, Ahrendt proclaimed himself ready for anything that came his way.
I will be “On the Beat” for the championship bout and report back here. Check back on TheEveryDayFan.com for my recap and other great sports coverage. Also, follow the Chicago Knockouts and Steve Ahrendt on social media to get all updates.