Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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There are major life goals (things related to career, family, etc.). There are mid-range goals that are still fairly extensive (overseas trips, creative projects, etc.). And then there are fairly simple things that can be accomplished in no more than a day but still continue to sit in that pile of "why haven't we ever done that?" seemingly forever.
We would say that, for at least a year now, going to see the Minnesota RollerGirls was in that last category. But after this past weekend, we can proudly say we can check that off our list. Undeterred by sub-zero temperatures or a pregame meal plan gone awry thanks to a competing Wild game right next door to the LEGENDARY Roy Wilkins Auditorium, we gathered a crew Saturday night for some RollerGirls action.
Does anyone else remember watching roller derby on TV while growing up? We never intentionally sought it out, but sometimes it would just magically appear on one of the 12 or so channels that existed back then. The modern version bears quite a bit of resemblance, though we seem to remember some flying elbows back in the day. In the Minnesota RollerGirls version, it kind of looked like the use of hands was forbidden when blocking or checking an opponent (kind of like soccer, only on roller skates, and without goals or a ball, and without several injury complaints, and with massive amounts of scoring). Scoring is achieved when the "jammer" (one per team on the playing surface at any time) breaks ahead of the pack and then laps everyone (one point per opponent lapped ... we think ... it's still a little hazy). This can happen multiple times in a two-minute "jam," which are the mini-segments that make up 20-minute periods.
Forgive us if all that is review to you, the veteran RollerGirls attendee. What we really wanted to talk about is how every niche event needs a performer who transcends the rules and any other confusion -- someone who even a novice can clearly tell has a gift. And that person, at least Saturday night, was Suzie Smashbox of the Garda Belts (photo from the RollerGirls site). From what we can tell, being a jammer takes a combination of speed, balance, craftiness and violence. Suzie Smashbox possesses all four of those tools. With deft moves, she rallied the Garda Belts to victory and even enticed some in the fairly large crowd to start chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" Move over Joe Mauer. St. Paul has a new hero.
As for the rest: the halftime polka band was fun, though we would prefer a shorter break. The concessions options seemed better at ground level than in the balcony. And the most fun outside of watching a good jam is coming up with your own Roller Derby name. The RandBall Better Half -- who would be a pretty good RollerGirl, we imagine -- decided she would call herself Little Miss Fist. Go ahead and try and top that in the comments.
Stu thinks we look a little like Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Colleague Shari G. once compared us to Vincent LeCavalier. But Darlosity really went to great lengths to complete the lookalike trifecta. Darlosity?
I haven't dropped any emails to you since delivering my COW post sometime back in September. However, seeing as how you offer an invitation for submissions and evidence from RandBall that folks actually take you up on your offer, I thought you'd get at least a few moments of entertainment out of this.
I was looking up some statistics on a guy I knew from college who's been playing in the German basketball league for the last four years. Google showed me the way to EuroBasket, which appears to be some sort of catch-all website for every basketball league in Europe.
Each league has its own contributing authors, whose names and pictures appear in the left sidebar. While not-so-fortunate countries such as Azerbaijan and Latvia somehow scrape by with no authors (though, they are looking for help), Germany has five authors, one of whom is a gentleman named Miles Schmidt-Scheuber. Why does this matter?
Well, most of the authors have pictures posted with them, and Schmidt-Scheuber's picture seems to display your doppelganger, your German counterpart. I've attached a small screenshot, but you can see the page here.
Employing some Stu-esque huntdown techniques, I've discovered some more information on Miles, who is apparently an American-born sportscaster for the German league. Of particular interest, his pictures range from looking absolutely nothing like you to a brother who's a few years older than you to you simply moonlighting as a German basketball sportscaster.
Attempts to find his blog -- Schmidt-Scheuberball -- were unsuccessful. Boy, what started out as an email of a screen grab sure got out of hand quickly. Enjoy.
That. Could. Be. Us. Proprietor question: Who is your lookalike in the celebrity or non-celebrity world? (Roughkat looks like a mix between Joe Nathan and Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard, in case anyone was unclear on that). Ever see someone that looks just like you and it freaks you out?
Newbie wonders where the passion has gone in his life. Wait, no. He wonders how people read RandBall. Hint: Very carefully. Newbie?
I have always been curious how the randball regulars follow your posts and comments. As I fear change as much as the next guy I have the silly habit of just going to the page and hitting refresh. Which is far more difficult with this new system. Especially considering I found no easy way of toggling between posts.
Mr. Randball and others: how do you keep in touch with randball with such frequency? I assume Daveemen just sits on the page all day and hits refresh until he thinks of a comment. Jama spends his day toggling/commenting around various STrib pages. Fasolamatt I know has a finely tuned google reader. Stu, I'm guessing, just has a sixth sense about when a new post comes up and when to place a well timed comment. I have a mac and G1 at my disposal. Please let me know what kind of crazy RSS concoction you have come up with. Preferably one that can utilize the twitters, yammers, facebooks, etcs ... of the world.
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