People walking into the wide world of roller derby and staring at our teams who headed into Champs may have noticed a theme in those top teams… three of them have a mythical horse-like creature as their mascot. And that extends into WFTDA even beyond those three. And best of all, each of them is a fabulous combination of hilarity and inspiration that reflects many of the best parts of the derby community.
It’s an interesting theme, given the historical coincidences of storytelling and women drawing strength from horses (think Black Beauty, or any number of made-for-tv movies set in the stables). It’s also apt, given that roller derby team and league origins often become the mythical stuff of legends to freshies and fans alike. But one thing’s for sure, they all have quite the story behind them.
Angel City Derby Girls (ACDG), Hollywood Scarlets
The league that has long been known for their angelic name, that twins with the name of the city they call home, has had wind beneath their wings from the get-go. But their mascot, that spawned the cry ‘Pop Pop’ from their supporters and members, really gave them the Power Of the Pegasus (POP).
Skating star extra-ordinare, and one of the very first league members, Estro Jen, aka Michelle Steilen has a story to tell about how their mascot was born, from right in its founding days:
Rose City Rollers (RCR), Wheels of Justice
Local legend has it that in 2010, Rose City was seeking to rebrand, after it became clear that many top teams had committed to a red-and-black color scheme, and they needed to set themselves apart. With the new color, the now-familiar purple, came a thirst for more evocative symbology, and they committed rapidly to the Pegacorn as a mascot – half Unicorn, half Pegasus, and all Justice.
It clearly had a starring role in their ascendent rise up the rankings of late, and blessed them through their Playoffs, and their games through Champs. It takes the best of two mythologies and melds them so well that it inspired another mythology.
London RollerGirls (LRG), London Brawling
Legend has it that one epic trip to Portland left LRG with the hangover to end all hangovers, and a drink-inspired trip to a store to find their very own unicorn full-head mask. A series of hilarious photos ensued, the head made it into someone’s gear bag back to Old Blighty and the Brawlicorn was born.
The recent video in which he stars more effectively illustrates what he has truly become:
Mad Rollin’ Dolls (MRD), Team Unicorn
The team name says it all. They’re glitter and rainbow-themed, and full of sparkle, and they’re the fun play-away team of Mad Rollin’ Dolls. They have travelled the country, neigh, the world to bring their sparkly goodness to opponents home yards in many locations.
As the tale has been told, the Unicorn name came from searching for unified team who could find the fun beyond home team set-backs way back in 2007, here’s how it was narrated by now retired MRD skater, Sassafrass:
“And it was absolutely joyful to feel like you were playing with peers and not trying to survive a bout or prove you had deserved your draft spot. It was joyful and contagious and inspiring. We wanted to win, but more than that, we wanted to play…
We were something different. And we began to call ourselves that. At some point before the bout, we began to call ourselves Unicorns…
We were about glitter and teal and purple and jokes on the track. We were about choreographed jumping and engaging strategy. We were about doing the robot in a bout warm-up and falling madly in love with roller derby and other women and building something great. And we were so fucking fun”.
The likes of Old Capitol City Roller Girls (OCCRG), one of the movers in this latest rankings release from WFTDA (taking position 56 in D2, up 9 places from last rankings release), have the indomitable Parkles. And while this particular mascot is a pint-sized mere foal of a creature, rescued from the wilds of the shelves of a Walgreens on the road, that took some time to wind her way into the hearts of the local derby players, think no less of him for it.
Do we have more? Oh boy, do we.
Did you spot the Unicorn on the WFTDA dias at Championships on Halloween?? Oh yes.
Did you know that Rat City‘s Belle Tolls has this magical display of collected Unicorns she’s been gifted over the years, because of her reputation on the track?
Check this hilarious oldie-but-goodie from way back when. Yes, it’s My Little Pony roller derby:
Oh, and here’s a collaboration between the 4-time WFTDA Championship winners, Gotham Girls Roller Derby and some hair product company. Let me know when you understand the unicorn reference, because it’s confounding me.
Does your team have a horse or some approximation as a mascot?
Tell us about it in the comments, we’ll happily amend our piece in our strivings for accurate and comprehensive reporting.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE