Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Live to Skate, Skate to Live"

This past Saturday the Cincinnati Rollergirls opened their fifth season at the legendary Cincinnati Gardens. Miss Print and the team were kind enough to invite myself and my friend Alex out to shoot some photos and hang out at track side. Who are the Rollergirls? They're the city's all amateur flat track women's roller derby team. They're not paid athletes, simply playing for the love of roller derby and following their motto "Live to skate, skate to live." This isn't the scripted "Roller Jam" pro wrestling rip off that was on TNN years ago, its a full contact (I'd say balls to the wall, but...) sport played in an electric environment within the city's legendary arena.

- "K. Lethal" of the Black Sheep, the Rollergirls varsity team.

- 3,100 fans packed into the historic Cincinnati Gardens to see the Rollergirls.

- The Silent Lambs look on after a member of their team fell to the ground. Shirley "Carl" Temptya ended up leaving the game with a broken leg.

- Coach "Pale Rider" leading the chant "This one's for Carl!" The Silent Lambs would go on to win their bout.

- "Bombtrack" cheers on the Silent Lambs.

- A member of the San Diego Wildfires team falls to the ground at the hands of the Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep team.

- Every member of the staff goes by a nickname, even the referees like "Captain Gorgeous."

- "Sk8 Crime" and other Rollergirls signing autographs for fans after the bout. Fans are welcome to come down to the arena floor and meet the team after games.

- The Silent Lambs celebrate a victory over Circle City (Indianapolis).

The bouts are intense and being at track side gives you a whole new appreciation for what these girls do and the game they play. The team and their staff are incredibly appreciative of their fans and very friendly. Tickets are more than reasonable, the beer is cheap and the environment is awesome. The Rollergirls are back in action on April 17th against St. Louis and if you can't make it then they have more matches, plus you can catch them around town in the opening day parade! Check out their full event schedule for details. I highly recommend checking out a bout.

The Cincinnati Gardens is not only historical, but my favorite place to see hockey in Cincinnati. The environment and atmosphere the Gardens offers is a true Cincinnati experience and the Rollergirls definitely do the place justice. You should check out and support a great local team who's truly in it for the love of the game.

Check out the blog of roller derby diva and Enquirer journalist Lauren Bishop, aka #95 "Miss Print." She had a hell of a game Saturday night and has been an awesome friend and supporter of Queen City Discovery.

Thanks to the Rollergirls for letting me hang out, hope "Carl" heals up soon!

View all the stories from and related to the Cincinnati Gardens over the years.

Updates | Oct. 16, 2017:
  • The Cincinnati Gardens is now closed and awaiting an impending demolition. For all the QC/D stories on the great place over the years, go here
  • The Rollergirls were preparing for their final bout in the building in 2014, but got a few more seasons in before relocating to Xavier University. You can still catch them at Schmidt Fieldhouse.
Update | March 13, 2018:


  1. I'm a little embarrassed that a shot of my rear opens this blog post but I want to thank you for the awesome post about CRG's fifth season opener! It was a great night and we were thrilled to have so many fans turn out. Hope to see you April 17th!

  2. Nice shots. But on the last photo caption- the Silent Lambs beat Circle City (Indianapolis), not San Diego.

  3. Jennemy, sorry, that wasn't meant to embarrass you, but you were in the perfect spot to block the ugly light that was shining directly into the lens. I was just trying to show the overall look of the arena. Unfortunately, I won't be there on the 17th, but I should be good for the rest.

    Anon, thanks for checking out the site. The correction is fixedd.

  4. Dude, I think I got in bar fight with that ref one time!

  5. #1 - Jennemy, you look phenomenal in that photo! I absolutely LOVE it!!
    #2 - Gordon, awesome photos! you really captured some memorable moments. THanks so much for coming and for sharing your experience with the blogosphere!

  6. Lol... I was only slightly kidding about the embarrassment. I love the shot. As a ref though, I like the focus to be on the skaters. ;) And generally not on my rear. Though, it actually looks pretty good in your shot! ha!

  7. WOW, I can't get over the size of the crowd.
    I am so crushed that I had to miss the first game.
    Come hell or high water I'm making the next bout.

  8. @ Tricia: Thanks!

    @ Matt: Really? Who won?

    @ Librarian: Thanks for checking out the blog and letting me hang out by your guys bench that night.

    @ Jennemy: Well thank you for being a good ref, blocking that light to make it a good picture and for having a nice rear end.

    @ 5chw4r7z: I would say we need to get you to a Cyclones game too, but I'm done with US Bank Arena and giving them any money. The Rollergirls are a blast and I hope the crowd keeps growing for them. Nothing beats cheap beer and roller derby at the Gardens, except maybe hockey.

  9. Great shots!!! Thanks so much for coming out! :)

  10. THANKS FOR COMING OUT!!! I'm doing that happy dance that my favorite Cincy Blogger came out to support my team. AND I made it into 2 of your fantastic pics!!! You got talent and I love to read about Cincy history through your blog. THANK YOU! I'm a huge fan, hope to see you at more games in the future!

  11. @Trauma, thanks!

    @Nik, I'm glad I'm your favorite blogger. I will definitely be at future bouts. Thanks for supporting the blog and keep kicking ass.