Five Reasons There Shouldn't Be A Men's Roller Derby

There's a local men's roller derby team called the Phoenix Rattleskates. Why? We understand why women's roller derby is popular: there are hordes of tattooed hot chicks in skimpy uniforms wrestling and slamming into each other.

It's the only full-contact sport dominated by sexy women, and the ladies' leagues here -- particularly the Arizona Derby Dames and Arizona Roller Derby -- demonstrate fierce athletic prowess.

There's a men's league in Tucson called the Dry Heat Derby, and the Phoenix Rattleskates play here every Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. But we can only think of reasons why we would not want to go see men's roller derby. We managed to whittle the list down to five.

1. There are already enough sports filled with brawny dudes beating their chests and throwing each other around. Guys have hockey, football, basketball, boxing, wrestling, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (not to mention drunken bar fights). We get that roller derby is a new way for guys to move fast and hit hard, but it doesn't sound fun to watch. We just hope they're wearing cups, or they might be trying rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming next.

2. The possibilities of men's roller derby outfits are horrid.
Obviously, the skimpy shorts, skirts, fishnets, and low-cut tops of derby dames won't do for the dudes. So what if they're actually wearing baggy knee-length shorts (watch out for butt cracks) and T-shirts? For us, just the thought of men on skates in leg-hugging 1960s basketball shorts makes us cringe.

3. The smell. Any men's locker room emits a certain odor that's a combination of dirty feet, sweaty arm pits, and for some reason, the rubber on new shoes. We can only imagine the olfactory horror that would come from adding sweaty, dirty roller skates to the mix.

4. There are enough pun names in the world already. The women in Arizona roller derby have names like Ginger Mortis, Nova Kane, Gwen Steponya, and Kat Von Double D's. The guys are donning similar pseudonyms, like Arth Riddick, Bombs Onya Moms, Girth Brooks, and Skip Play. It's cute and kind of vicious when the girls take such monikers, but the guys sound like Garbage Pail Kids.

5. There are no illusions of grace. When a woman gets on a pair of skates and glides around a rink -- even if she's kicking people in the gut the whole way -- there's an inevitable feminine grace to what she's doing. And no, it has nothing to do with boobs bouncing, because men can have boobs, too. There's just something about the image of a big, hairy guy rolling around on eight wheels that makes us think less about lithe athletes, and more about Mack trucks.

[This blog has been edited for accuracy since publication]

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea