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Roller Derby Fri Aug 16 2013

Bruise Brothers Want To Keep Growing

bruisebros.jpgThe Chicago Bruise Brothers have come a long way in less than three years of existence.

In the beginning, said Frank Evan Smith, who skates for the Bruise Brothers under the name Frank Broosevelt, it was a small group of guys who loved roller derby. But without enough skaters to even scrimmage, it was slow going at first.

"We knew it would be a while before it developed into anything serious," Smith said. "You just kind of keep showing up each week."

When the league formed in late 2011, Smith said, it barely seemed real. But that changed in the spring of 2012 when the league started charging skaters dues and planning their first bouts.

"It started to become a little more legitimate," he said.

The first bout was when the reality set in, Smith said.

"Our first bout, we went on the road," he said. "It doesn't get any more real than that."

Dave Arias, who skates for the Bruise Brothers as The Mandozer, agreed that in the beginning, the league seemed like just a group of guys getting together and skating every so often.

"It didn't really feel like a team yet," he said. "We were kind of stumbling through the motions in those early days."

But since then, the league has grown quite a bit. According to the league's website, there are now 23 skaters and tomorrow, they face off against the Race City Rebels of Indianapolis.

The Rebels, according to the Men's Roller Derby Association (the governing body of men's roller derby), are the 9th-ranked men's team in the world, out of 31 teams.

The next major step in the Bruise Brothers' evolution is now in the hands of the Men's Roller Derby Association. Smith said the league has applied to be an MRDA Member League, which would allow them to compete in MRDA-sanctioned events and be ranked by the MRDA. He expects the league's application will be approved soon.

But the league's evolution won't stop there, Smith said.

"We want to have a B-team," he said. "That's been a goal of ours for a while."

See the Bruise Brothers in action

  • What: The Chicago Bruise Brothers take on the Race City Rebels of Indianapolis.
  • When: Saturday, Aug. 17.
  • What time: The action kicks off at 6pm with a bout between the Third Coast (the C-team of the Windy City Rollers) and the Peoria Push Derby Dames. The main event starts at 7:30pm.
  • Where: Lombard Roller Rink, 201 W. 22nd St. in Lombard
  • How much: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For kids ages 5-12, tickets are $6 at the door and kids under 5 get in free.
 
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