May 082013

Saturday, April 20. Skaters, bikers, and bladers line up at Woodland Park for Friends for Skateparks’ First Annual Greenskate one-mile fun ride.  Greenskate supports action sports as a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative mode of transportation, while also supporting the development of action sports facilities within the Lexington Parks & Recreation system.  To learn more, find us on Facebook by searching “Friends for Skateparks.”


Photo by Jeanna Justice: You, Me Studio


May 082013

DDG employ Killbox strategy to victory

By Sunny Montgomery


Junk Drawer makes a GRRR face at opposing pivot. Photo by Johnna Mckee of Speakeasy Studios.

On April 20, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) faced off against the Dixie Derby Girls (DDG) of Huntsville, AL, during the first home bout of the 2013 season.  After two full seasons of coverage, I was finally in the swing of things. As I entered the arena, I delighted in its familiarity.

The arena smelled of hot dogs and beer.  Beyonce blared from the speakers overhead while the Pebbles, ROCK’s junior roller derby, chased each other excitedly through the crowd.  I nodded hello to the photographers, the score-keepers, even the avid fan who never misses a home bout and who brings a bean bag chair from home so that he may lounge comfortably in the suicide seating.

I took a seat close to the action, opened my notebook and peered onto the track where ROCK was warming up.  I squinted and adjusted my glasses…

Wait. Something was different.  Continue reading »

Mar 062013

By Sunny Montgomery

The Rollergirls of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) sixth season is quickly approaching.  Recently, I met with the girls during a weekday roller derby practice—or rather “colder-derby” practice, as ROCK’s Rainbow Smite calls it since the team is currently practicing in the unheated warehouse space of the Bread Box.

It was quite chilly.  I kept my coat buttoned and my scarf tight around my neck as I took a seat against the far wall of the building.  A dozen or so rollergirls did laps around the track, occasionally spinning onto the sidelines to do push-ups.  I scanned the floor for familiar faces, but I recognized only a couple of the skaters.

When I mentioned this later to ROCK’s President, Kitty O’Doom, she told me that she thinks the new faces on the team will be what fans notice most about the upcoming ROCK season, at least at first.  So, in preparation for the pending season, let us meet a few of the newbies!

Continue reading »

Nov 072012

Fifth season concludes

ROCK’s Sugar Shock fights her way to the front of the pack. Photo by Lewis Gardner.

By Sunny Montgomery

On the last Saturday in September, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) concluded their fifth season when they faced off against the Red River Sirens (RRS) of Clarksville, Tennessee.  I attended ROCK’s final home bout with my mother and my grandmother—or Mimi, as I call her—who was visiting from Philadelphia.

My mother and Mimi arrived just in time for announcer Bill Widener to introduce ROCK’s junior roller derby team, The Pebbles. One by one, he called their names.

“Sue Nami!

Lean Machine!

Devilish Cutie!

The Amazons of the future, ladies and gentleman!”  Continue reading »

Oct 032012

Christianburg rains on Robin Souls’ parade

By Sunny Montgomery

On September 8, I attended the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) second to last home bout of the season against Christianburg, Virginia’s New River Valley Rollergirls (NRV), aka the Bruisin’ Burgs Rollergirls, who to my horror were sporting the same pink and black jerseys as ROCK.

Regular fans of the roller derby know the sport is fast-paced with lots of action.  It can be difficult enough to follow without the added complexity of both teams dressed in the same colors. Twenty minutes before the bout began and already I was confused.  This was not a good sign, in hindsight an omen of what was to come.

Continue reading »

Sep 052012

179-53 victory impresses Reese the Beast

By Sunny Montgomery

This past Saturday I attended the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) home bout against the Greenbrier Roller Vixens (GRV) from West Virginia with my best friend, Teresa, who was a roller derby virgin.  I love introducing my friends to the sport.  Being able to answer their questions makes me feel important.

We chose front-row seats so close to the track they were practically in suicide-seating, the area around the track where, due to the very real possibility a skater could skid out of control and into the crowd, fans are permitted to sit so long as they are over the age of eighteen.  As announcer Bill Widener began introductions, I surveyed ROCK’s competition.  Based on stature alone, it was going to be a fair fight. Continue reading »

Aug 022012

Don’t stop believing

By Sunny Montgomery

An hour before the bout and already a long line of fans were assembled at the arena entrance in anticipation of the Rollergirls’ of Central Kentucky’s (ROCK) home bout against the Gem City Rollergirls (GCRG) of Dayton, Ohio, the same Gem City who ROCK beat in 2007 for their very first victory.

Tonight was the team’s annual salute to the armed forces. Service members received door discounts and rollergirls challenging them to push-up competitions.  In the far corner, the 108th Army Band from Concord, North Carolina—dressed in fatigues and equipped with keyboards, saxophones, and guitars—played a loud and soulful rendition of “My Girl.”  Continue reading »

Jun 242012

Pebbles propel ROCK to 177-51 victory

By Sunny Montgomery

Doing it for the kids. Photo by Lewis Gardner.

I arrived to Heritage Hall last Saturday a little after six o’clock.  The Lexington Rollergirls (ROCK) were warming up, skating graceful laps around the track in preparation for their second home bout of the season against the Jewel City Rollergirls (JCRG) of West Virginia. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake serenaded overhead.  As I took a front-row seat and opened my notebook, announcer Bill Widener welcomed the audience, introduced himself, and then his co-announcer Mike Trusty, husband to league president and five year ROCK veteran Kitty O’Doom.

Mike gestured to the west-facing wall where a group of little girls leaned, wearing white t-shirts, kneepads and roller skates.  These, he announced, were special guests:  members of the junior roller derby also known as the Pebbles.  The miniature rollergirls made their way onto the track for individual introductions while the crowd cheered in raucous agreement:  this was unequivocally adorable. Continue reading »

Jun 062012

By Andrew Battista

The 2011-12 academic cycle is over, and many at the University of Kentucky will remember the year primarily as the “season of the unibrow,” a long odyssey that culminated when the Wildcats won their eighth NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Of course, the bygone academic calendar also doubles as the “year of the protestor,” a period in which activists gathered en masse to beat drums, camp out in tents, and occupy the chasm between the fantasy of justice and the reality of global economic imperialism.  Time Magazine did actually name “the protestor” as the Person of the Year in 2011, an honor, Kurt Anderson explains, meant to recognize citizens who “share a belief that their countries’ political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt—sham democracies rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change.”  Continue reading »

Jun 062012

By Danny Mayer

True readers of the Lexington Herald-Leader know Joel Pett for what he is: a regional treasure. Pett, the paper’s Pulitzer-prize winning political cartoonist, mostly focuses on local and state politics. Though he’s often derided in the paper as an offensively appalling liberal, Pett is an equal opportunity observer. He has an admirable knack for creating things that piss off all sorts of people.

Pett’s most recent cartoon to rouse the ire of Herald-Leader readers poked fun at the more shady underside of UK Basketball Coach John Calipari’s NCAA career. In the May 8 comic, a giant NCAA Champs trophy looms between two taped shards of paper (“This space vacated,” “This one, too…”) and a runty, deflating basketball perched atop a trophy base reading, “Lose at IU, Take My Ball And Go home Award (One and Done).” Below the trophies, a plaque reads, “Coach Cal’s Trophy Shelf.” Continue reading »