Nov 242010

Why roller derby is far more sport than football

By Troy Lyle

Most anyone who knows me would say I’m a sports nut, a junkie for all things requiring skill or physical prowess. A real freak for competition.

That is until recently. For more than a month now I’ve been reexamining my relationship with sports. It’s no coincidence that my once beloved Washington Redskins stink. Exhibit A–the six TD shellacking laid out in week 10 by Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. Continue reading »

Nov 102010

By Thomas Helmers

NoC sports editor Troy Lyle was going to follow up his “Disillusioned with the NFL” piece this week but decided to crawl into the bottom of a bottle of Laphroiag instead, leaving me holding the bag. Here are my thoughts based on our observations following yesterday’s day of football.

While gleefully watching the systematic dismemberment last evening of what was once known as the Dallas Cowboys at the hands of the Packers, a recurring conversation between Lyle and myself once again percolated.

“How could you subject me to this god-awful white washing?” he asked me about halfway through the second quarter. “You know that I’ve basically waved the white flag on my football fandom after the stunt that invalid Shanahan pulled last week against Detroit.” Continue reading »

Oct 272010

Dis-Illusion in the NFL

By Troy Lyle

Editor’s Note: This was left in our e-mail box at NoC HW, accompanying an attachment containing the final drat of this article. We reproduce it here verbatim:

Troy Lyle archives

Author hits organized football.

“Here’s the final version. The next part should start with a quick back story about titans, the steelers and redskins, and how teams were just that–teams back then. From there I’ll segway into an 8 or so part segment into why the NFL has lost its way. Starting with the individual player (aka the premodonna syndrome), movingto why espn has ruined the nfl, to how the NFL sold its soul to capitalism, to how fantasy football killed team allegence, why pink out sucks for cancer, to the overregulating of hits, to the ridiculous nature of million dollar idiots. I’ll need your help as always. I’ll try and get it to you earlier the next issue. Continue reading »

Sep 292010

By Troy Lyle

Area Disc Golf Tournaments

The Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA) is still accepting new members. This fall BDGA will participate in a number of regional tournaments, and it’s not too late to join them. The group is still taking applications for all of its upcoming tournaments. If you’d like to enter a tournament, become a BDGA member or learn more about disc golf in general visit

Here’s a list of upcoming tournaments: Continue reading »

Sep 162010

Squad’s revenge will have to wait

[Editor’s Note: We changed the headline to reflect (1) that ROCK did not play Louisville; and (2) that it did play Black-n-Bluegrass.]

By Troy Lyle

When someone mentions epic sports battles in Kentucky, people immediately think of UK versus UL. But for the more than 400 people who attended this past Saturday’s roller derby bout at Heritage Hall, they can now add the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) versus the Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls (BBRG) to the list.

You could tell from the opening warm up skate both ROCK and BBRG meant business. This would be no ordinary derby bout. Skaters from both leagues rounded the track with purpose, eyeing their opponents every move, hoping to garner a glimpse at what the other was planning. Continue reading »

Aug 252010

By Troy Lyle

The Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA) was at it again. The tireless organization seems to have something for area disc golfers every weekend. Most recently, it was the Beware the Beavers IV tournament held at the Riney B course in Nicholasville on August 7.

Beyond the shear enjoyment of competing in 48 holes of disc golf, entrants managed to pad their pockets with some cash and their bags with a few new discs. The BDGA doled out more than $500 in cash and merchandise, with $205 going to first place in the pro, or open, division.

Of the 51 entrants, 13 were professionals and 38 were amateurs. Everyone took home at least one disc. Merchandise prizes included everything from Glow Champion Orcs to Glow Champion Gazelles and even a UV mini disc marker that changes color in the sun.

“None of these discs are available in stores,” said BDGA president Drew Smith, who pointed out that part of the allure of competing in a BDGA event are rare and cool prizes.

Smith said he was very pleased with this year’s turnout, up from last years, especially considering the event was contending with another tournament in Louisville. Part of what attracted so many entrants was the fact that the Riney B course was in great shape, thanks to the help of the Nicholasville Disc Golf Club and the Nicholasville and Jessamine County Parks and Recreation.

Beyond cash and merch, four entrants managed to snag some additional prizes for their efforts in the closest to the pin competitions, one for each of the events divisions. Holly Williams won the pro division on hole 20, Evan Bennett the advanced on hole 9, Jeff Worley the intermediate on hole 8 and James Key the recreational on hole 21. These four took home another couple discs and a Beware the Beaver shirt and hat.

Up next for the BDGA is the Super Summer Slammer scheduled for September 11 at Veteran’s Park. The 36 hole event will once again award cash and merch prizes. The first 50 amateur entrants will also receive player’s packs with extra discs and markers. If you’re interested in competing in the event visit for more information.

Here’s a breakdown of the top three scores in each division of this year’s Beware the Beaver tournament:


Jay Embree, 135, $205

Jeff Eades, 144, $145

Sean Turner, 145, $95


Evan Bennett, 139

Dillon Nickell, 149

Zach Skees, 155


Thaddeus Highbaugh, 146

Charlie Cavalier, 153

Colin Nickell, 155


Matt Partain, 158

Eric Kopser, 163

Damian Roddy, 165

Aug 252010

By Troy Lyle

The Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls.

That’s who it all came together against for the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) earlier this summer. Lafayette is where ROCK started to show everyone this year’s league is better at every facet of roller derby: skating, blocking, jamming, scoring.

And score ROCK did.

For the first time in the team’s three year history it managed to completely impose its will over another derby crew. When the final whistle blew, ROCK had banged, bruised and burnt its way into the record books, landing its first ever 100 plus point victory: ROCK 215, Brawlin’ Dolls 100.

If you were one of the more than 600 people present at the Lexington Civic Center on August 14, you may have been lulled into thinking such a feat was common place, even ordinary. Don’t be fooled. ROCK was so on its game this night that every jam, every skate and every block appeared effortless. How far have these women come in a very short period of time? For ROCK, roller derby is fast becoming instinctual.

“The Brawlin’ Dolls were very competitive throughout, but I think we played a smarter game than they did,” said ROCK Captain Ellie Slay. “We had this mindset of ‘We Will Win This!’”

That opening mindset clearly laid the foundation for the team to communicate and execute its strategy to perfection. Not only did ROCK perform flawlessly, it managed to do so for 40 solid minutes, the length of time a derby bout lasts.

“For every one good blocker they had, we had two,” said Slay. “And our blockers made it easy for our jammers to take the lead and often. From there it was score, score, score.”

By the half ROCK already had 100 points on the scoreboard (another first), but that didn’t stop them from coming out in the second refocused and reignited.

“We started the second as if we had zero points, not letting up on any of the intensity or momentum we had gained,” said Slay. “When we started to get frazzled, from fatigue or over excitement, our coach Ragman would call a timeout and we would quickly regroup. He really kept us focused and pushed us hard to kill, kill, kill.”

Slay said at one point the bout was going so well that not even a penalty could set ROCK back.

“Ryder Die had fouled out in the second half and I had to take her place in the penalty box as jammer. When I came out of the box, I was in and out of the pack and lead jammer before the Brawlin’ Doll’s blockers even knew I had hit the track,” she said. “My blockers kept their jammer busy and their blockers frustrated, causing the pack to slow way down. It was probably the easiest jam of the bout for me, every time I approached the pack my blockers made a huge lane and I skated through unscathed. It was spectacular.”

ROCK assistant captain Rainbow Smite had her own version of a bout highlight. Hers centered on punishing the Brawlin’ Dolls jammers, blockers and one particular pivot.

“I was really proud at one point in the second period when I put their pivot on the floor as soon as the whistle blew,” said Smite. “It was such a vicious blow I could hear the crowd go OOOOOOOOH.”

Smite said ROCK has been training to be more aggressive, and it’s beginning to show–and not only for Slay and Smite.

“There was one point in the bout where Sharon Moonshine kept beating the crap out of Psycho Socializer,” said Slay. “She’d give her a little space on the inside line, which is the most tempting thing if you’re a jammer, and just as Socializer would attempt to passWHAMShine would knock her down.”

“I remember one insane quadruple grand slam that Ragdoll Ruby had,” said Smite. “She was juking all the Brawlin’ Dolls blockers and staying in bounds on a single skate on about 3 inches of floor space. It was a thing of sheer beauty.”

Beyond the bone crushing blocks and deft, sidewinder skating, ROCK managed it all in style. Sporting their new uniforms provided by Julie Butcher’s Law Office and UK Orthopedics, the team not only played but looked the part.

“These new uniforms are so awesome,” said Smite. “We look more polished and streamlined, and I think that helps with the mental aspect of the game as well. Plus, they flatter everyone, so that’s always a positive.”

New uniforms. New mentality. New aggressiveness. Watch out derby world, ROCK is on the way up, as one fan put it.

With only a few bouts left on this year’s schedule, Smite said ROCK’s main focus will be on consistency.

“We have to bring it like this for the last three bouts of the season,” she said. “I think we’ve got such a taste for blood now that we’re all fired up.”

Slay echoed Smite’s sentiment.

“We have to skate smart, and execute our strategies automatically as a group,” she said.

Slay also pointed out that ROCK has big plans for its future as well. The league intends to apply for the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s (WFTDA) apprentice program. The governing body for women’s flat track roller derby, over seeing the WFTDA oversees all professional derby team rankings and tournaments.

But there are still a few hurdles in ROCK’s near future, one of which is finding a new location for the team’s three or four practices a week. If anyone knows of a location or can connect the team to an interested party, please contact ROCK at or

Up next for ROCK is another home bout set for September 11 against the Black n’ Bluegrass Rollergirls (BBR). In the two teams’ last meeting, BBR barely edged out a 10 point victory. ROCK looks to avenge the loss, this time on its home turf. Doors open at 7 P.M. at the Civic Center. Bout is set to begin at 8 P.M.

Aug 112010

Major League responses to SB 1070

by Troy Lyle

Arizona Senate Bill (SB) 1070 was created with but one goal in mind, to undermine the civil rights of Latinos in Arizona. The odious and controversial bill has been called a witch hunt, “the hate bill,” and racist to name a few. In effect it provides blind provisions by which Arizona police can approach, detain, report and in some instances imprison illegal immigrants—men, women and children of color—based on nothing more than suspicion of false status.

The bill is far more convoluted than my above description, though in general it must be said that it falls prey to man’s weakest sense, that of sight, and uses it to justify a chain of discriminatory acts. Latinos are brown, they speak another language, therefore they are different, subject to things those of us who are not brown would never allow to happen to us. Continue reading »

Jun 232010

By Troy Lyle

If you weren’t at the Lexington Ice Center this past Saturday you missed the hottest show in town. Literally! With temperatures indoors reaching well into the 80s, a sold out crowd of 500 plus sizzled with anticipation as the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) took the floor for their home opener. Their mission was simple. Put on one hell of a show and let Lexington and all of Kentucky know who rules the rink.

Their opponent for the evening, the Vette City Vixens (VCV), a young league named for the Corvette factory in their home town of Bowling Green, were hoping to play spoiler. They too eyed the prize of state bragging rights and desperately wanted to prove that though new to the sport, they knew a thing or two about winning roller derby. Continue reading »

Jun 232010

His & her tourney provides rare chance for sexes to compete together

By Troy Lyle

Having fun is a concept seemingly lost in modern sports where winning trumps sportsmanship and losing is simply unacceptable. But fun was exactly the reason for the 3rd annual Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation (WCCPR) His & Her Doubles Tournament sponsored by the Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA).

For the 16 teams of two that participated at the Ironworks Hill course in Winchester on Saturday, June 12, fun wasn’t the only reason for the tournament’s format. The alternate shot setup provided a rare chance for girls and guys to play and compete together. Continue reading »