The Psycho 78’s Give Rebels A Cause with Renegade Roller Derby
In their last match of the season, the Psycho 78’s finished strong, beating South Jersey Derby 69 – 42, giving them an undefeated season of flat-track renegade-rules roller derby. Not sure what all of that means? Fair enough. Roller derby isn’t as ubiquitous a sport as football or hockey, but it certainly deserves as much credit (if not more), because while NHL players argue over million-dollar contract agreements, these players live completely DIY, hosting bouts, starting teams, and funding everything on their own.
The Psycho 78’s, formed in 2009, are northern New Jersey’s top renegade roller derby team, hosting matches in the parking lot of the Parsippany Presbyterian Church. The horror-themed team is captained by Razor de Rockefeller, in full cracked skeleton skull face paint, and GoreJes Gallows (who at their final match announced she would not be retiring!). “The match was awesome,” said Razor of last weekend’s final battle of the season, “It’s always a lot of fun playing South Jersey. They’re great skaters. It was fast, physical, and I think we put on a good show for the crowd.”
‘Renegade’ differs from standard flat-track rules in that, well… there aren’t any, at least as far as penalties go — there is no penalty box, and players expect to dish out and take hard hits. The Psycho 78’s, like most renegade teams, are independent and do not operate under an authoritative organization. This past season, which ran from early July until the end of October, the Psycho 78’s spent their time traveling and practicing for the seven games (both home and away) and helping the NY team, the Tank City Derby Dollz, get started in between.
On top of running a completely DIY sport and helping to build their community, the icing on the renegade cake is that all of the proceeds from the Psycho 78’s events go to charity. The season-ending match’s revenue has been donated to disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Tennessee floods, while other events have been for the benefit of the USO and the ASPCA.
Looking toward the future, Captain Razor has high hopes. “This has been our best season yet, and it’s only getting better,” she says, “I’m very glad GoreJes is sticking around. It was sad when we thought she was leaving.” With both captains still on board, the team is pumped to prepare for the next season, looking to improve their overall endurance and footwork, while training their ‘fresh meat’ (new skaters) and helping them grow and develop into members of the team. Though the season has ended, the Psycho 78’s are not gone. Between now and next July, they’ll be hosting bake sales, burlesque shows, and their annual post-season blood wrestling event (an inflatable pool full of fake blood) at the Meatlocker this coming weekend to build support for next year’s season.