Tag Archives: roller derby

Monday 06/26 2017
Remembering Frank Deford

“When people ask me why I write about sports, instead of some or any other thing, I tell them this: when it comes to social constructs—the membranes and ligaments which hold groups of people together, the bonding agents not visible on a map or in a flag, things that tie us together socially, not politically—there are only three which can rightfully claim true and enduring power: religion, war, and sport.

Those three social constructs reach, bring together, and separate more people than art or music or movies (both so close!) or literature or whatever else is generally deemed “more important” than sport.

And so, should not our writers who cover so important a social construct be admired and examined with the love and seriousness commensurate with what they cover? All of which is a long way of saying, sport matters, sportswriting matters, and Frank Deford was a fantastic sportswriter. His writing matters, and so does he.

And what fucking writing! Go on ahead and Google an image of Deford, because the easiest way to explain his rhetorical stylings is to say that he wrote how he looked. Unafraid of the purple and being picaresque, large but not bulky or intimidating, charming but not unctuous. He’s a rakish hero, broad shouldered and be-pompadoured, glossy and flashy but never to the point of inelegance.”

Read the rest in The Classical

Monday 08/15 2016
Wrenching, Riding, and Drinking Beer: Women and Wheels

“Take, for example, the soft shades of green shot through “Stephanie – 1966 Suzuki Bearcat B105p 118cc,” or how the hot mist of the pyroclastic flow of the burnout in “Melissa – 1975 Honda CB400″ echoes in the pattern of her plaid shirt, the distress of her denim jeans, and the gleaming rubber of her boots, tires, and seat. She wants the women comfortable and showing off their vehicles; Vaun will postpone shoots if a favorite bike needs work, rather than have them shoot with a friend’s. The agency is completely returned to the rider.”

Read the rest of my write up about Sarah Vaun’s photo series in The Creators Project

Sunday 05/25 2014
Born to Skate

“Beyond that first push, the wraithlike quiet with which skaters approach speeds of 40 mph lends the sport a hypnotic, surreal quality when seen up close, each one alighting fleetingly against the opaque ribbon, as close as mortals get to Mercurial motion.”

Read the full article at Sports on Earth

Sunday 05/25 2014
Rolling Thunder

“Derby nicknames are often supremely clever or delightfully vulgar. They can be subversive, ridiculous, salacious and are, as a whole, excellent, perhaps the most enjoyable collections of puns available anywhere. They extend to skater numbers, coaches, officials and derby-centric media members, and the very best of them read as a conflation of P. G. Wodehouse and Ghostface Killah. A representative sampling: Alpha Q. Up; Beth Amphetamine; Nasty Nikki Nightstick; Heavy Flo; Hyper Lynx (number 404, natch); Hell Vetica Black; Queen Loseyateefa; Ghetto Fabu-lez; and my personal favorites, belle RIGHT hooks, Olivia Shootin’ John and Sintripetal Force.”

Read the full article at Sports on Earth