I'm fresh meat, a feminist, and an athlete. I think this book is incredibly informative and certainly asserts the pro-female camaraderie within modern roller derby. I am, however, disappointed that this book persistently claims that derby girls are both athletes and hard drinkers.
Any serious athlete will tell you that when you start training with intent, drinking disappears- there is no time to waste on headaches. To be an athlete is to be a warrior, and this takes a certain asceticism. Down and Derby tells us that along with strengthening our bodies, we need to be ready to weaken our livers in order to fit in with the after party. Personally, I like staying sober and alert so that when bad things happen someone is actually there to bare witness or hold back the hair of our drunken derby wife.
They do mention one sober skater throughout the entirety of the book- Betty Ford Galaxy. Where I admire her sobriety, I do not feel that people who refuse to drink should be alienated or alienate themselves by denoting their state with a name that points it out. (Note, it's called Alcoholics ANONYMOUS for a reason) Drinking does not make people normal, not drinking does not make one weird. Please, for those of us who are fresh meat or hard-living vets: do not feel obligated to drink because it's part of a role you need to fill. This is called peer pressure, and this book lays it on hard. Why is it that in order to be a "bad ass" you must immediately have bad habits? Why don't we look up to the people who live life through clear eyes, no analgesic in sight? Let's re-adjust our perspective.