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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FIGHTS: CHAPTER 12 - The Iron Announcer is Born

At the end of my past life, I earned the right to be the first flat track derby announcer with the Texas Rollergirls.

What follows is a very old, very unauthorized, and very unedited version of the document I produced describing my experiences during the genesis of flat track derby.  It would be some of the last moments of my past life.


LOUDMOUTH: Confessions of a Flat Track Derby Announcer


Bowie V. Ibarra

Copyright 2007  Bowie V. Ibarra

“…To realize his dream he secretly started picking the top men in the world in various styles of cooking, and he named his men the Iron Chefs, the invincible men of culinary skill…”
- From the opening of Iron Chef

Chapter XII:  The Iron Announcer is born

            It took several weeks before the hysteria of the Dust Devil Debacle to blow over.  Thanks to encouragement from Jim, Chip, and Whiskey, I changed my mind.  The next derby bout was a week after the Devil and I wisely chose to not be included in that particular bout.
            The subsequent bout would take place as a side event at Austin’s annual South by Southwest music extravaganza.  Usually referred to as SxSW, it was a giant musical exposition taking place at venues all over Austin for just over a week.  It was one of Austin’s newest traditions.  A grand effort to cement their global claim of being “The Live Music Capital of the World”.  The Rollergirls wisely booked an exhibition bout at the Austin Music Hall in conjunction with a show that would take place afterwards.  The Dallas leagues would be joining us here this evening.  It was an exciting time for all of us to be a part of an Austin Music Tradition.
Bob Noxious
            But I was not ready.  With the loss of my zarape came the loss of my gimmick.  Without the zarape, I was just a Mexican wearing a guayabera.  There wasn’t much special about that.  Sophisticated Mexicans in guayaberas were all over Texas.  So my costume was nothing special anymore, especially compared to my colleagues, whose over the top gimmicks were quite the spectacle. 
            How could the “Julio” gimmick be adjusted?
            I had become a huge fan of the Japanese import “Iron Chef”.  I had even tried to push the gimmick to several rollergirls to take on the subtitle to their name.  The Iron Rollergirl.  No dice.
            Before “ZarapeGate” as it came to be known thanks to senior announcer statesman Bob Noxious, I had started calling myself Julio E. Glasses: The Iron Chef of Roller Derby.  Perhaps it was time to make the jump and tweek the gimmick.  No use stagnating.  Like a piece of cheese, you don’t want to keep it out too long or it loses its color, flavor, and fun.
Muffin Tumble
            One of the things I loved about the Iron Chef show was the Japanese pride and sophistication, even when cooking.  I really liked the chef outfits and thought they were super cool.  Despite the uniform quality of the chef jackets, each chef had a distinctive style.  Some were quite informal.  Others were very formal.  I really liked Tadamichi Ota’s Faction wearing white counter coats and black ties with a  paper hat.  Very slick.  Taking on a chef gimmick would provide an immense flexibility in costume variations.
            I decided to seek out the formal outfit first and within a day my new outfit was complete.
            I was a new man walking into the Austin Music Hall.  Dressed in a deep white counter coat and matching skull cap, an off white shirt with a black tie, shoes, and pants, the new Iron Announcer was born.
            The response was lukewarm.
            “I liked your other look better”, commented Muffin Tumble with her signature dimpled smile and ice melting charm.
            After three years of guayaberas and suits, the new look was going to have to grow on everyone.


More to come...

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