This ain’t your mama’s roller derby

After the Tennessee Titans disappointing loss against San Diego, quarterback Vince Young was talking about how physical and aggressive the NFL can be. Young said, “No disrespecting the women out there, but that’s why they don’t play the game. It’s real physical out here in that game.”   

Vince Young - meet the Nashville Rollergirls.

The Nashville Rollergirls (NRG) are an all female, flat-track amateur roller derby team that will knock you on your butt, look good doing it and skate away smiling. 

The NRG were founded in early 2006 and have two-intra-league teams, who fiercely compete against each other: the Assault Rivals (primary colors: orange and white) and the Damsels of Distress (primary colors: pink and black. When competing with other cities NRG’s all-star team is the Music City Rhythm and Bruisers (primary colors:black and blue).

More than 900 people packed the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena on Sat., Nov. 10, to watch the Music City Rhythm and Bruisers wrap up their inaugural bouting season with a 164-54 victory over the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls of Bloomington, Indiana. They finished the wildly successful 2007 season with a 3-5 record.

NRG is completely DIY. “We are skater owned and operated. We do everything,” stated Dee Dee Ramona, NRG’s marketing director. The leagues are run on the blood sweat and tears of the skaters, volunteers, friends and family. 

“We depend on the individual talents of our skaters on the track and in a business setting, “ Ramona said. 

According to the NRG’s 2007 Season End news release, roller derby is experiencing a national revival, with over 175 all-female, flat track leagues. Invented in the 1930s, popularized in the 1950s, and then snuffed out in the late 1970s, today’s roller derby revival takes the athleticism and showmanship of the traditional sport and infuses it with a new punk attitude. Elements such as sassy uniforms, clever pseudonyms and take-no-prisoners aggressiveness combine an unpredictable and feisty competition. 

Make no mistake, the sport is real and the stakes are high, as protective gear and hours of practice are an absolute requirement. 

“We practice three times a week in addition to meetings, events and the bouts. We practice hard, we run our business smart, we thank our supports and we celebrate our achievements," Ramona said. “We are very different women, but when we come together through derby—amazing relationships are made with each other and with the community."

NRG is active in the Nashville community and has partnered with East Nashville Tomato Fest, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, Walk/bike Nashville, Nashville CARES AIDS Walk, Music City Half Marathon and the Nashville Pride Parade. 

Vince, mark your calendar!

Nashville Rollergirl's 2008 Schedule:

  • Saturday - February 16 - Nashville:  Music City Rhythm & Bruisers vs. Hard Knox Roller Girls
  • Saturday - March 29 - Nashville:  Music City Rhythm & Bruisers vs. Tragic City Rollers
  • Saturday - April 19 - Huntsville, AL:  Music City Rhythm & Bruisers vs. Dixie Derby Girls
  • Saturday - May 17th - Nashville:  Music City Rhythm & Bruisers vs. Rollergirls of Southern Indiana

For more information on the Nashville Rollergirls visit

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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