Photo by Ziv Kruger
What turned you on to roller derby?
I like the combination of athleticism, strategy and showmanship. Plus, the women are really hot.
When and how did you become a derby mascot? Why become a giant veggie hot dog?
A wiener is a phallic symbol, and I appreciate the irony of putting wiener into a female sport. Also I'm an ethical vegetarian, and I want to show that veggie dogs can have some attitude.
How do you get the crowd fired up?
The announcers do most of that. I'm just a small part of it. When the Hotrod Honeys skate out for their introductions I dance around like a hot dog sizzling on a charcoal grill. Fortunately, the Hotrod Honeys are the most popular team in Austin.
Are you friends or mortal enemies with other mascots?
Here is a short video clip of another mascot bodyslamming me and rolling me off the track. I thought it was pretty funny.
Tell us a little about your off-season training.
My training regimen consists of getting high and listening to the Dandy Warhols or Ladytron on my digital music player.
What's your favorite food?
Need you ask? Veggie dogs, of course. Here in Austin I go to Dog Almighty on South Lamar Blvd. Try the veggie reuben dog. Oh baby, I'm sweating just thinking about making love to one of those.
What do you do outside of derby/being a mascot?
Any advice for all of the mascot wannabes out there?
It's not enough to just stand there. The fans want to high five you, the kids want to hug you. You've got to be willing to interact with people.
Any future plans or final words?
There is one thing about roller derby that I want to change. I think jammers should wear a different color than the rest of the skaters.
Here is the reason. You can tell where the jammer is if you are looking right at her. But if the jammer moves into your peripheral vision, you can't tell where she is in relation to the other skaters. The jammer wears a different helmet, but that's not nearly enough.
If the jammer wore a different color uniform -- or even a tear away jersey -- your eyes could focus on the blockers. But the way it is now, you can't take your eyes off the jammer, because you would lose sight of her in your peripheral vision. As a fan, I would rather look at the blockers, because that's where most games are won and lost.
Look at it this way. Most professional sports teams have a first jersey, which they wear at home, and a second jersey, which they wear on the road. In roller derby, blockers would wear the first jersey, and three designated jammers per team would wear the second jersey. For example, the Hotrod Honeys uniform is black with pink accents. So their second jersey could be pink with black accents.
In soccer the goalkeeper wears a different color so the fans can instantly identify which player can handle the ball. Roller derby needs to do the same kind of thing.
Of course, I am only speaking from a fan's perspective - not from a skater's perspective. I recognize that the skaters might disagree with me, and that's OK. I welcome a healthy debate about the subject.