3-Minute Interview: Jim Fitzpatrick

The general manager of the San Francisco Bay Bombers roller derby team is getting set for the franchise’s second season. The Bay Bombers won the American Roller Skating Derby championship last year and face the Brooklyn Red Devils tonight at 8 at Kezar Pavilion. Open tryouts will be held this afternoon at Kezar. For information, visit www.freewebs.com/bombersrollerderby.

What are your goals as you look forward to this season? Well, last year we wanted to get back to Kezar, recruit some new skaters and win the championship and we did all three. So we have the same goals as this year, plus we want to get on TV this year.

The first game is a rematch of last year’s final. Is there a rivalry developing between you and Brooklyn? Yeah, they’re still whining about last year, saying they should have won. It’s gotten pretty chippy.

You were a player for 14 years. What was the worst injury you suffered? The nastiest thing that happened was probably when I separated my shoulder. I recovered all offseason and then in my first game back, someone flied into me with a dropkick and I fell on it and separated it again.

You’re looking for skaters. What makes a good roller derby player? You’d think a speedskater, but they’re taught to avoid contact and sometimes they get hit once and they’re out the door. We’re concentrating more on hockey skaters and even skateboarders. Those guys have incredible balance and definitely ain’t scared of falling.

Who are some players to watch on your team? For the girls, Lisa Hartmayer. She’s not the main star but was a rookie last year and got better and better. For the guys, Brian Robles. He’s something else. Fast and physical.

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