"I've been to the ER more times in the past three months than I have in the past three years," Smashley Adams says of her preparation for the upcoming inaugural Arizona Roller Derby season. Adams, who plays for the Smash Squad (whose only current rival is the Bruisers), is among a dedicated handful of young ladies -- ages 19 to 32 -- who are reviving the schlocky '70s sport for a new generation. The league's first preseason exhibition bout is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, November 22, at Skateland in Tempe, 1625 East Weber. Though the girls have been practicing since the league's inception in July, and relentlessly promoting Arizona Roller Derby via punk rock benefit shows and cupcake stands, this will be the first time that patrons des derby can see the smash-'em-up brawling antics of what might be Arizona's most dangerous female athletes. Voyeuristic perverts are sure to enjoy the show as well; the Smash Squad's uniforms are of the punk rock cheerleader variety while the Bruisers dress like naughty nurses -- and, as Smashley tells us, when a player goes down, who knows what you're bound to see. Be warned: If the photos on their Web site are any indication, the girls of Arizona Roller Derby are prone to ass bruises the size of watermelons. Tickets are $9 to $12; visit www.azrollerderby.com for more information.- Brendan Joel Kelley
Rodeo riders learn the ropes
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Bill Pickett was just one of hundreds of thousands of black Americans who tamed the American West. In the late 1800s, Pickett originated "bulldogging," a rodeo event wherein a mounted cowboy ropes a steer and "rassles" it to the ground. (A true cowboy, Pickett used to bite the steer's lip to subdue it.) The all-African-American Bill Pickett Memorial Rodeo happens this Saturday, November 22, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Corona Ranch in south Phoenix. In addition to the usual bareback riding, calf roping, bull riding and barrel racing, there's an event called "Ladies' Steer Undecorating" that we simply gotta see. Lasso a seat for $17.50 at the Ranch, 7611 South 29th Avenue, south of Buckeye Road. For more information, call 602-763-9900 or see www.billpickettrodeo.com.- Kim Toms