Norfolk Bruizin’ Bettys
Brittany Hinkel, Reporter/Cartoonist
March 15, 2012
While others may spend their Saturday nights performing the boring and monotonous tasks of everyday life, the Norfolk Bruizin’ Bettys are on a derby track, making a difference in a way that is unique, yet fitting.
The Norfolk Bruizin’ Bettys are a roller derby team that practices and competes in Norfok, Nebraska. Members of the team include: Alexya (Christ Haulmighty) Christ, April (Dr. Feelgood) Oxendale, Brandy (Bedlam’s Bride) Hinkel, Bonnie (Rocky Bon Bon) Flook, Cecilia (One-Shot C) Holland, Dawn (Dirteee Lil’ Dawn) McKeown, Erin (Go Brawlin’) Beckenhauer, Jaimie (Miss Ruthless) Ruth, Jen (Jennycide) Keller, Kim (Kimakazee) Rusk, Lori (Reg U L8tor) Pfeifer, Mandy (Terror Nova) Peterson, Marissa (Cream Ur’ Soda) Pfeifer, Melissa (Ankle Breaker) Hoffmann, and Michelle (Psych-A-Della) Mook, as well as Coach Jamie (Jackyl Me Off) McKeown and referee Jim (RINKocRAT) Wonnacott.
The women on the team aren’t your ordinary, innocent little girls. They’re rough, tough, and they’re unbreakable. To them, roller derby is a “chance for girls to beat each other up” and to have fun doing it.
One of the members, Erin Beckenhaur described it best when she asked the simple question, “Guys have football…what do we have?” She also added that, “You get some really cool bruises.”
Though roller derby isn’t for the faint of heart, it also isn’t as intense as a lot of people perceive.
“It’s nothing like the movie ‘Whip It’, there’s no hitting or slapping,” said Alexya Christ.
Derby also gives the women on the team a sense of pride. It “helps to get some girls out of their comfort zone or shell.” One of the members stated that it gives girls another unique characteristic for them to be proud of. There is a lot of surprise and shock when people find out about the girls playing derby.
“I always hear people say, ‘You do derby?’…” said Kim Rusk.
Roller derby gives these women a chance to really express themselves. “I like the fact that you can dress crazy too! [You can wear] crazy costumes, crazy makeup, and it’s okay!” said Melissa Hoffmann.
However, one of the best things that the girls get out of the whole experience is the sense of family. They get the chance to meet a wide variety of new people that they normally wouldn’t be able to talk to.
They also stated that it “gives you a chance to fit in because there are more people like you.” After the girls meet, in most instances, they become lifetime friends.
“The neatest thing about derby is that you beat each other on the track, but off of the track, we’re all friends,” one of the girls said.
The members of the team are not just team mates; they are a family that has each other’s backs. “I don’t have very many friends from high school that I talk to anymore, so the girls on the derby team have become my new friends,” said Marissa Pfeifer.
While this derby team may already seem extraordinary, there is one thing that really sets them apart: everything they do is for charity. The girls get no cash profit from what they do. They donate their time and bodies to helping out the community.
Each roller derby bout is a fund raiser to raise money for various organizations in the Norfolk community. As of now, the team is lacking in sponsors and could use more support. And hey, what better way to help out the community than to watch these girls do what they do best, kick some butt!
“I love derby, it’s an addiction. I saw it in Sioux City and I’ve been addicted ever since,” said one of the members, Dawn Mckeown.
Referee Jim Wonnacott also added one of his favorite experiences, “I went to a bout in Rolfe, Iowa and residents of the nursing home burst into the door to watch. They were getting into the music and everything.”
Overall, each roller derby bout will ensure for a good time. The Norfolk Bruizin’ Bettys may not get paid for what they do, but they gain a lot from the experience. To these girls, without roller derby, life would be pretty boring.