Jeerleaders

Thoughts from Kung Fool Fighter

Beyond Icing on the Cake

The way I see it is the audience comes to have this delicious layer cake: The game, the players, the refs, the announcers, the ambiance are this tasty cake of your favorite flavor, with icing the colors of the two teams. It’s a Derby cake the crowd comes to enjoy. Cakes are even more enjoyable if they have something like mini-M&Ms or shaved chocolate on them. That’s where the Jeerleaders can come in. We’re fans who want to use our enthusiasm to help the crowd support the teams -and be entertaining in some way or other to help the whole experience be that much tastier. Hey, we’re multicolored sprinkles in jumpsuits!

What Do You Guys Do?

We encourage the crowd when the teams need a boost, try to raise the roof for close games, and hopefully make the game a more fun and happy event overall. For some spectators who may not know the game well yet, we help cue them to good plays. And hey, SOMEBODY has to do a three-high pyramid during time outs. Being a part of the team means you also help as needed – schlepping boxes, pulling tape, behind-the-scenes stuff.

Ok, I’m Interested.

If you want to be a more visible support for the teams, talk to us at the game, or email Kung Fool Fighter at <kungfoolfighter[at]hotmail[dot]com>. We’re brainstorming ideas like different cheers, simple gymnastic moves, circus skills, a drum corps, short skits with audience participation, or pre-game entertainment. That’s all icing on the icing. Most important is to have attended a game and have it hit you in the head that “I love this team and I wanna be a Jeerleader, Dangit!” You come with the heart, and the rest we can work out.

One Jeerleader’s name is Lee. He has the “European soccer Über-Fan” thing down. I realized that to be a Jeerleader, you’ll do fine if you can channel at least 10% of what Lee brings to a game. Get a suit, get psyched up, and be out front to support the team. There’s the trifecta.

On a Personal Note

I went to my first ILWR game last year and saw something I hadn’t come across before. These events find the ‘sweet spot’ combination of dedicated sport and competition, theater and play, self-improvement, supportive teamwork, camaraderie, camp, and not taking life too seriously. I really appreciate the communal enjoyment by both the fans and the teams where family entertainment meets real sport. The Ithaca teams in particular handle the whole thing with grace and confident smiles. Call it 3rd-wave feminism, call it neo-sports, call it managing issues from our deeper human nature. Whatever it is, it’s healthy and it works. The teams are there for you and you for them.

This is one of those things that make Ithaca a cool place to be. If you haven’t yet been to a game, get to one!



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Need a ride to the bouts? Hop in the Fan Van with the ILWR Jeerleaders. For info email events@ithacarollerderby.com

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