Perhaps the snarling theatrics of Whip It have rubbed off on yours truly, but I think it’s no stretch to say that the upcoming bout between the Bay Bombers and the Brooklyn Red Devils (Sat/6, Kezar Stadium) will not only be a showdown between east and west, but also a fight between good and evil. This is co-ed roller derby at its most epic. Why? Your ignorance is regrettable, but forgiven. Let me brief you on the history that has lead up to this momentous event.
Jim Fitzpatrick, an ex firefighter, current general manager of our American Roller Skating Derby home team and a Bomber himself from 1977 to 1987, was injured on his day job years ago. After a long struggle with physical therapy and attempts to regain his athleticism, he was offered his old team’s GM position in 2007. He’s never looked back, winning the league championship and GM of the year award every season since. “Roller derby might seem like a strange outlet,” Fitzpatrick humbly says, “but if I can inspire someone go forward and not give up- no matter how difficult life can be at times- then I'll feel I've accomplished something special.” Fitzpatrick’s daughter’s Alta Loma middle school band will be playing the national anthem before the Bombers’ bout on Saturday. Let’s say it all together; awwwwww.
Bay Bombers bust out their league champion blocking skills
And who is his team defending these hard-won accolades against? In the other corner! The Red Devils are managed by the “Demonic Dame of Derby,” Georgia Hase, who started skating professionally in 1964 but rose to fame as a supervillan on the ‘90s TV show Rollergames, where she screamed at her own players when they fell, broke up sister-sister teams and made families everywhere screw up their faces at the boob tube and say “I don’t like her at all!” And she’s started taunting our Bombers already, people! The Red Devils’ website says “our skaters are taught to skate hard and dirty the way we want them to- not the way the pansy San Francisco Bay Bombers or those San Diego Firebirds are taught to skate.” Oooooo! Talk bad about California, will you?! It’s on!
This year marks the return of Bombers stars Roman Lacson and Brian Perry, plus the newly signed speed skating champ/derby legend Patsy Delgado. The SF team, who have been in the bay since 1954, longer even than the Giants, will also feature seven rookies who made it on the team fresh off of this winter’s banked track boot camp. The team is offering wannabe bruisers like yourself the chance to skate their track before this weekend’s game- the perfect chance to see for yourself what it feels like to bomb.
San Francisco Bay Bombers vs. Brooklyn Red Devils
Sat/6 8 p.m., $10-20
755 Stanyan, SF