Skater of the Month: Stevie Knickers
It is more likely that you will hear Stevie Knickers before you see her. Selling tickets, grilling hot dogs, engaging an audience, Stevie is out and about at SVRG events. She is an unstoppable force who is equally intimidating and absolutely loveable. She retired from competitive roller derby this summer after she was part of the team that won the inaugural Attack of the C Squads tournament in Sonora, CA. Married to Brigid Fitch, Stevie is a beloved member of the community. Congratulations on being voted in as the December 2013 Skater of the Month, Stevie! We love you.
You recently retired from SVRG after skating with the league for years. Tell us about that transition back into civilian life.
It’s been pleasant, actually. I cried like a baby after my last bout, because it was quite overwhelming. I felt joy, relief, sadness, excitement, and a hint of regret - four years of emotions in a single moment. I miss the competition, but the camaraderie doesn’t go away. That’s the great thing about derby: working your butt off to be a part of something and knowing that it will last forever. Even though I’m no longer a competitive skater, I’ll always be SVRG. It’s humbling.
What is the significance of your derby name and number?
I love classic rock. I should have been born in 1958 just so I could have experienced all the music I love during its heyday. I admire Stevie Nicks, because she’s shameless. She doesn’t apologize for doing drugs and sleeping with her band mates, because it is just part of who she is and helps to make her awesome. I want to be like that. Accepting of all my faults and flaws, and knowing that they are integral parts of what makes me who I am. And my number 53? 5 girls on the track, and 3 as tribute to Aim DeKill, one of the best human beings I know. And 3 kind of turned out to be prophetic. *wink, wink*
What were you known for on the track?
My loud mouth, throwing up, and wanting a beer. I’d like to think that I was known also for sportsmanship and being a team player. I’ve been told I throw a pretty decent hit, and I’ve been complimented on my ability to break up a wall.
What has been your worst injury?
There have been two. During my first bootcamp, I tore my left quadriceps. I was on crutches for two months and had to do a second bootcamp. I broke two ribs playing against Monterey. I knew they were broken but I just kept playing. Adrenaline is freaking awesome.
Who is your biggest fan?
Brigid Fitch, of course. And possibly the fine folks at Pabst Blue Ribbon, although that is unconfirmed.
Tell us about some of your career highlights.
Winning the first bout I rostered for: Killas vs. Bakersfield. It was freezing. I blocked, I jammed, and at the afterparty, I rode a mechanical bull. Pure derby awesomeness.
I jumped the apex during an outdoor bout at Roosevelt. The only thing I remember is hearing the announcer say “She jumped the apex! And she made it!” It was surreal.
The infamous “PACK OF STEVIE, BITCHES!!!” bout against Sac City. I was the sole blocker on the track, and Mongoose was my jammer. Mongoose got lead while their jammer got a no pass, no point call on me. We won by one point. It was epic.
My swan song was winning the Attack of the C Squads tournament.
You were recently lauded by many league members for grilling hot dogs at the First Annual Gobble Wobble tournament. What brought you (and your grill) out to the event?
Before heading off to spectate (which is a great part of retirement usually, you know, actually getting to watch derby) I texted my amazing derby wife Absolutely Scabulous to make sure there would be food trucks. I was hungry. When she said they weren’t coming, I immediately envisioned hordes of hangry (so hungry you get angry, for those of you who don’t know) derby girls. This is not a pretty picture. So I grabbed my travel grill and did what I could. I really enjoyed it. I’d like to do it again next year, with a little more planning and maybe a second grill….
You were very helpful at the Burlesque show, as well. What is your secret for engaging an audience?
Pay attention to them. It’s easy to talk to your teammates and friends, but at a fundraiser they aren’t the ones opening their wallets. You need to get out there and make folks buy those raffle tickets, or some merchandise, or those VIP passes to our next bout. Talk to everyone. Sell yourself (not in a dirty way, jeez!), your sport, and your league.
What advice do you have for aspiring league members?
Do it all. Become the most naked version of yourself, and you will find that it has given you the best version of yourself that you’ve ever known. Wrestle in Jello and drink Jack Daniel’s from the bottle whilst doing so. Help build a house because they let you use power tools. Start your own dance party, either on the jammer line or in line at the grocery store. Listen to your coaches. Work out so hard you throw up. Make mistakes. Make more mistakes. Only say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. Stand up for what you believe in, and I guarantee you will never stand alone. Laugh, mostly at yourself. Cry, because sometimes derby isn’t fair. Then remember that the fair only comes around once a year, and you are lucky if you even get to go. Then, my friends, realize that roller derby is once in a lifetime. And you are in it. Right now. And you are not just lucky; you are blessed.
How about advice for skaters contemplating retirement?
When the time comes, you’ll know.
Anything else we should know about you?
Just that I am eternally grateful for what the universe provided me. Thankful that I met Juicy K. Tore in a bar one night, and after some tequila that she asked if I wanted to try roller derby and not, say, competitive chess. Because one “Sure, why not?” led to this moment, sitting at my computer, with a heart full of love at what SVRG means to me. Because honestly, it means everything. SVRG por Vida.
Also, if the Eagles ever make it to another Superbowl, I am going. And they’re going to win.