When it comes down to what really matters in roller derby, Denver’s Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are number one. Their “extremely impressive takedown” of previously undefeated Oly, of Olympia, Washington, during Sunday’s Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Championships in Chicago came via a combination of enough “physical talent and game strategy to defeat anybody,” writes Derby News Network. The Rollergirls won by a single point, knocking Oly back to number three in the network’s rankings.
And the Rollergirls’ Facebook page is filling up with praise and comments, Westword notes, like one from Susan Phelan: “Hey Denver media. Quit crying over the Broncos and the Buffs and get hip to the fact that the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls Fight Club just won the Natl Championship?????”
Roller derby has a long history in the United States, as 5280 online editor Vanessa Martinez wrote in a feature story on the sport for the Colorado Springs Independent back in 2005, when the Pikes Peak Derby Dames were just starting out. Derby was founded in 1935 and became one of the first televised sports, but its golden era is clearly right now, having evolved from a handful of loosely affiliated leagues into the WFTDA professional organization.
Westword recently updated the storyline with a focus on Denver’s other WFTDA league—the Denver Roller Dolls—who earlier this year signed a contract with Kroenke Sports Entertainment to play at the 6,500-seat 1stBank Center in Broomfield. Their “crosstown rivals,” the Rollergirls, who last year finished fourth at nationals after losing to the Dolls, partnered with promoter Live Nation to play at Denver’s 2,000-seat Fillmore Auditorium, where the Dolls used to compete.