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Careers on a roll

Two femaile roller derby competitors

Boo Boo Radley (left) and Ro Chambeau are DU alumnae by day and Roller Dolls by night. Photo: Michael Richmond

Plenty of Pioneers get their careers under way when they graduate, but none quite like Roslyn Bauer (MS biology ’02) and Deirdre Sage (BA mass communication ’04).

And even though a day at the office leaves them bruised and battered, make no mistake, they are on a roll — as members of the Denver Roller Dolls.

Yep, roller derby.

They don’t seem like bruiser types. Bauer is wrapping up her PhD at the University of Colorado, studying insulin secretion to better understand diabetes. Sage is a social worker who helps the mentally ill find jobs.

Despite their demure real careers, you’ll find them hurling insults and elbows, and getting roughed up a little themselves.

“I’ve got this gigantic bruise on my leg that’s actually compiled of several bruises,” Sage says.

“I’m almost always covered in bruises,” Bauer says. “It’s pretty standard.”

Why would two nice, young women enter such a fray?

“It just sounded exciting, and I’ve always been into things that were alternative,” Sage says.

And Bauer, who was a figure skater in grade school, didn’t want to waste all that skating experience.

They practice about three times a week and play games once a month.

“I love the female camaraderie, the competition and, of course, the crowd,” Bauer says.

And to add even more coolness to an already cool sideline, they also get stage names. Bauer’s is Ro Chambeau, which is a way of settling disputes on the cartoon TV show “South Park.”

“You swap kicks to the groin with your opponent and the first to fall loses,” Bauer says. “The idea, of course, is that your opponent, who goes second, always loses.”

Sage is Boo Boo Radley after the character Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird.

“Boo was the perfect hero … misunderstood and underestimated, and when nobody was looking he’d save the day,” says Sage, who joins Bauer on the league’s all-star travel team.

Sage admits she was a horrible skater at first. But oddly enough what kept her in the ring was a single sentence from DU journalism Associate Professor Tony Gault.

“He said, ‘Don’t let your ego get in the way.’ I took it to mean don’t stop yourself from doing something because you might look silly or you might not be the best.”

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