Player Profile: TuTu LaRue

By: Rainbow Rucker

Derby Name: TuTu LaRue #22

Real Life Alias: Billie Jo Mosley Burns

Freshie Year: 2012-2013 with G-Force

Number of Tattoos:  2

 

We call her “The Ever Graceful TuTu LaRue” but you can call her a jammer’s worst nightmare. And we’re not gonna lie, we all know her butt is magical. Even though you know you can’t get around her easily as a jammer you are just drawn to trying, and that’s alright by ARG! She is the 2017 AllStars Captain and a proud, important member of ARG.

Her derby career started with G-Force in December 2012 but long before that she was an art skater for over 11 years. Unfortunately, as an art skater she learned how to fall a very specific way, so falling on her knees was an incredibly difficult transition for her to make. You spend 11 years learning to fall on the meaty part of your thighs and rear, and then derby strapped some pads on her and told her to hit her knees first, it was counter-intuitive to her previous training to say the least. But she made it through that to her first bout in a co-ed invitational and then with her team against Smokey Mountain Rollergirls. She remembers the highs and lows of that bout well, an injured teammate but they won.

If you want to get on TuTu’s good side she really likes tutus, in case her name didn’t tell you. Pink, purple, glitter, light up yeah, she probably has that kind of tutu at home. And at least when you have a name like TuTu it is easy to pick your number, or sometimes your number picks your name when a lot of things in your life revolve around the number 22. But clowns can just stay away. Far, far away. If she was the lawyer that she originally wanted to be when she was growing up there would probably be a standing restraining order on all clowns getting within 100-yard radius, but she became a master barber instead. That’s right, this fiercely fabulous blocker extraordinaire can also provide a nice close shave with a straight razor. Don’t ask her to do your makeup though, that’s not her thing.

TuTu has one of the longer drives for ARG players to get to bouts and practices as she lives in Belmont NC right now and commutes up to Boone for practice, a fact that we are eternally grateful for. She has a day job that seems to involve her posting pictures of amazing looking food to make the rest of us jealous. Or maybe there is other accounting work going on behind the scenes. All we know, is that she’s happiest whenever she is on skates, and the only break she really took from skating was to get married and have a kid. Since he skates too we are giving them both a pass on that one. She made up for it by working to foster the love of derby in others and encouraging new skaters. She has an abundance of derby littles as well as two current derby wives. And if you want to see her at some of her happiest you should check her out when she’s on the track.

Buy the woman a hotdog after practice, make it grilled crispy so that it’s a little black then smother it in chili, cheese and ketchup, but leave the mustard at home, she takes enough shots of that at practice and hates every slurp.

Photo Credit: Terry Bruce

Player Profile: Marie ‘Buttah’ Fury

By: Rainbow Rucker

Derby Name: Marie Buttah Fury #52

Real Life Alias: Erica Stewart12132596_10207799482296115_3629637778158240914_o

Freshie Year: 2014 with ARG

Number of Tattoos: 2 (with plans for 2 more)

 

You may have heard that the Co-Captain of our Boone Shiners team is smooth like Buttah, but only because she is. Sometimes you come into fresh meat with a nick name in mind like Buttah did in October 2014, but one of the All-Stars announced that she was smooth like Buttah and the nickname just stuck [Buttah admits she may have been too intimidated by said All-Star to object to her name being changed]. She’s made good sport of it, and combined her love of the female physicist/chemist Marie Curie and her smooth nature to become a leader of Appalachian Roller Girls B Team, the Boone Shiners.

Buttah is currently a student at ASU and the team is considering bribing a professor to fail her so that she cannot graduate in May [we kid]. Her molecular biology degree is leading her towards a future doctorate that will have her bouting with another league, and ARG will be sad to lose her. But as long as we have her we are going to keep her on the roster and in the gym. Buttah is an extremely dedicated teammate who claims that all she does with her time is roller derby. And if you have seen her interview about our speed dating event, you will know her claim is true. Like Boom, Buttah has her mind on derby, and derby on her mind.

Also like Boom, Buttah’s favorite venue to bout in is our home, Holmes Convocation Center at ASU. So if you are thinking of transferring your skating status to ARG, know that our venue is apparently the best [from completely unbiased sources]. Her first season was abbreviated, but this season Buttah thinks she might actually have enough fundamentals down to be a “decent” player. When she isn’t skating derby you will most likely find her in class, in the gym, or at work at Panera Bread in Boone. She is even manning our fundraiser with them [for which ARG is very grateful]. But in the less than five percent of the time she isn’t doing one of those three activities Buttah is a most likely to be found next to a microscope with an instrument in hand.

Okay, maybe we are exaggerating. Buttah has been playing violin since she was 5 though, and she also plays cello, ukulele, and guitar. In addition to being musically gifted she is extremely passionate about molecular biology. How many other twenty-somethings do you know that own their own microscope? Just don’t ask her to pick a favorite anything [we asked instrument, we asked book, we asked movie. She got a little exasperated with us]. She will probably being doing her research as a geneticist one day while playing a quiet piece of Mozart, or perhaps Csardas by Monti [a personal favorite for Buttah]. Or maybe she will be blasting movie scores. It’s hard to tell with Buttah. For someone who is extremely analytical and precise [she will make a great scientist, but trying to interview her was similar to pulling teeth] she is very passionate about her music. And her dog Sadie, who is immortalized as one of her tattoos. Buttah has not always know what she wanted to be when she grew up, but now that she’s here, she has discovered her niche.

Another thing Buttah recently discovered is that she has asthma. Derby helps people learn new and interesting things about themselves [just not always fun things]. Playing soccer in middle school only lead her to discover that she hated running. But when she started training to skate derby she discovered the slight hitch of asthma. She hasn’t let that stop her though. Struggling with endurance during her time as an unassessed freshie only made her stronger and while she still has to work on endurance and staying low, she has certainly conquered her first hurdle. Her first bout is still a blur to her. It’s best to hear about her home bout in Buttah’s own words, “Uh, what was my first bout? I think it was a home game? Yeah! That was it. We did a home bout. And I really don’t remember who we played against, but I remember they were a very big and intimidating team just like very sturdy. And we lost by about 300 points. But we were very excited because we broke 100 points. We got to 100 points! But every time we tried to hit them, we just bounced right off them and they didn’t even move. Everyone expected us to be really upset. But when they came over we were just like ‘ALRIGHT, GUYS! WE GOT A HUNDRED POINTS!’” She’s been a derby addict ever since.

Her derby addiction competes with other additions. For instance, if you wanna take Buttah on a special outing fly her to the Daintree Rain Forest in Australia, take her on a nature walk where she can nerd out on endemic species and all the various shades of green [her favorite color], and let her get to train with Scald Eagle of the Rose City Rollers. That is her number one derby crush. Buttah calls her “Life Goals”. She keeps a picture of Scald Eagle as a background on her phone for motivation. Her derby big is another huge motivating factor as well, since PYT (Patty Young Thang #711) is her derby big. PYT, Nerdfighter, and Public Jenemy have strongly influenced her skating style, as well as Honey Boom Boom, whom she considers her derby Mom [which she says makes Wookie Mistake her derby Papa]. She got herself a derby wife in her housemate [one of three] Bullyt Bri. (Bullyt conducted most of Buttah’s interview, thanks Bullyt!). Her derby little is the Notorious D.O.U.G., whom we all call Dougie. All in all, a huge derby fam that only gets bigger because she considers all of October 2015 freshies as her derby children. And has taken us all under her wing to impart her derby knowledge to us.

Buttah’s derby knowledge is wide and varied because Buttah splits her time between jamming and blocking equally, and can’t decide which she likes better. She worries that this will make her mediocre at both rather than excellent at one, but ARG appreciates her dedication to the sport. We might even make her a big thing of Pasta Alfredo, a giant bowl of salty snacks, get her Juan Anna coffee from San Lucas Guatemala [she has had a hand in the process of making those coffee beans and knows they are the best], put two creams and one and a half sugars in the coffee and not judge her for not being able to cut the sugar down any more. We also just might get Buttah her very own polar bear so that she has her spirit animal with her at all times. We will not get her ketchup or mayo though, according to Buttah, “It’s not even real.” When you get her a grilled hotdog, she’ll take it mustard only.

Player Profile: Honey Boom Boom

By: Rainbow Rucker

Derby Name: Honey Boom Boom #426                                12068577_1509814766002001_4451403855211596627_o

Real Life Alias: Mallory Sadler

Freshie Year: 2013 with Classic City, Athens GA

Number of Tattoos: 3

 

Honey Boom Boom may be small, but the girl [nay, woman] is fierce. She conquered her fear of heights by going sky diving, who doesn’t look up to that kind of power? And don’t even get her started on Ebola, the CDC lost out when she changed her mind about working there. Boom got her derby start with Classic City Roller Girls in Athens Georgia in Jan 2013, and this is her fourth season. Plow stops only held her back long enough to get to her first bout against the Greensboro B team that she will never forget. But then again, skating with half the field of fourteen in their first bout ever versus the All-Stars as a rematch, not the B team as originally planned, would make a memorable first bout for anyone. And now she can look back at the pictures with a smile. They may have lost by nearly three hundred points, but her team managed to get fifty. And she no longer stands straight up the entire time she is blocking, for which ARG is eternally grateful.

ARG really loves Boom, and Boom really loves derby. When I asked her what she liked to do outside of derby I then had to explain that I didn’t count watching derby, or going to the gym to train for derby [she loves that too]. And while sitting on the couch to veg out in front of the television is her favorite thing to do outside of derby, she would so rather be skating derby. As her favorite venue to bout in is the Holmes Convocation Center we are happy to accommodate her twice this year. And last year, as she was able to play her favorite derby match up against her old team from Classic City. Boom fondly remembers that derby friends were everywhere, and it was just amazing; everyone got to roll out into a giant arena with a giant score board, it was just incredible.

But while Boom loves ARG and Classic City, her derby crush is definitely Sexy Slaydie of Gotham Girls. Boom told me that she wants to be her [it’s good that she got rid of her fear of heights, as Slaydie comes in over six feet before she throws her skates on]. Her real life crush is the man she married, whom she calls the best decision she has ever made, league referee Wookie Mistake. She also has an extended derby family including a big, wife, and two littles. Her derby wife is skating in Iowa now though and her two derby littles are both in Athens. Boom, who loves being a sneaky pivot [particularly with jammer Public Jenemy], has two tiny jammers that are amazing for littles and she went back for their bout debuts, even though she was no longer with Classic City. Boom came here to Boone with Wookie in August 2014 for her first season with ARG [fine, she didn’t come for the derby, but we at ARG believe she did]. And thankfully her favorite color is purple, so she was finally able to come to a team who could accommodate her.

If you’re going to buy the lady a hotdog please get a grilled dog with slaw (that’s coleslaw), but leave off the condiments. Boom doesn’t like them, no ketchup, no mustard, no mayonnaise. Maybe it comes from being one of nine kids in her family. Her Mom must be superwoman, after all, she was what finally helped Boom decide on her name. Boom would call her mom with every name she came up with, and if mom didn’t think it was funny it was a no go. When the call for Honey Boom Boom went in her mom laughed hysterically, then called Boom’s gramma. Clearly, that was meant to be.

If you want to sweep Boom off her feet, I would have to recommend you don’t, because she can hit hard. But she would like to go relax on the beaches in Greece. Me personally, I would like to go with her. Just as soon as this season is over. ARG is incredibly pleased to have Boom as our All-Stars Captain during her second season with us, and looking forward to many more seasons with her here.

Photo credit: Terry Bruce