In accordance with the rule system I initiated a few blogs ago, the next rule I’d like to discuss is #29, The Buddy System.
Again, there are so many ways to interpret this valuable rule. In terms of the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, it is always good to have an extra set of eyes. Somebody to watch your back, and maybe help the creative juices flow when put on the spot in regards to slicing and dicing an opponent with a chainsaw or kabob skewer (or whatever else is on hand). Two against one is always better odds, and two against an entire mob of the flesh-eating undead…well…it’s better than nothin’.
This also applies to derby. If you have ever skated as a Jammer and have come up onto a pack and noticed that one player starts to hang back, slow down…get low…preparing themselves to block you with only their two little lonesome butt cheeks, you probably recall smiling to yourself and thinking….silly…silly blocker (unless of course it’s 8mean Wheeler, then of course you are thinking…for fuck sakes).
But I can tell you from experience…if I am entering a pack where each blocker is independently blocking on their own; it is a much easier time for me, and for my teammates, to get the points.
Also, as a Jammer, you should be utilizing the buddy system. The Jammer buddy, sometimes referred to as your “O” (offense), is there for you, so use them! Not too long ago I learned the value of the “O” buddy. When heading into the pack, look for her, and wait for her to do what buddies do…get you through. Whether you are part of an offensive or defensive play…working with a buddy will always make the strategy that much more effective.
And of course, this rule transcends from the track to the ‘off-skates’ relationships in derby. The “derby wife” becomes an obvious next topic in the Buddy System.
If life doesn’t get complicated enough, throw in derby, and things can get all kinds of crazy. With a busy practice schedule, bouts, scrimmages, fundraisers, potlucks, birthdays, cross-training, dry land (the list goes on), at times it can be difficult to remember who you were, or what you used to do, before derby came along.
Step in: Derby Wife (aka, Bestest Buddy!).
This person is not only your partner in crime on the track; they are also your glue in life! They remind you who you are off skates, off the track…they are your number one PJ’s and pizza partner…they are the first to wipe away the “I didn’t make the team” tears of pain, or induce, “I can’t believe you peed on the track” tears of glee. They are your navigator on roadtrips – cranking the tunes and relieving the guilt of scarfing down junk food; and the instigator of you hitting the dance floor at the afterparty- promising you that you really do have moves!
They will stick up for you if things get heated (between whoever dare cross your combined path); they’ll always swear you are amazing at everything you do, especially skate; and they will be the first one to bedazzle up a poster for your first game (whether they are on your team or not).
In terms of the search for a derby wife, I strongly feel it just happens. There is a click. You might be strangers but suddenly, you feel a connection stronger than anything else you thought you could feel…for a stranger.
Be open to the possibility and before you know it, you will find the perfect buddy on and off skates. Maybe you’ll bump into them on the track, or on the dance floor, but keep an eye out, ‘cus they’re out there!
Bottom line, Roller Derby = Buddy System. Zombie Apocalypse = Buddy System.
If you choose to ignore this rule, you are going to find yourself pretty lonely when the apocalypse comes, or permanently implanted in the crash pads at your next game.
This one goes out to all my current and future Derby Buddies out there! Check out these playahs when you have the chance:
Wry N Ginger (fellow blogger buddy/skater who also makes the baddest graphics this side of anywhere, and used her Derby Wife as inspiration for the featured image, Pink LemonRaid!) http://cquilty.tumblr.com
My fav hometown buddy gang the NWO Rollergirls! http://www.facebook.com/NWOrollergirls
AND my future buddies (my new team!!) Faster Pussycats!! ❤ http://www.facebook.com/tcrg.fpc
I got your back!