Derby Frontier is proud to provide coverage of the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup that was recently held in Birmingham, UK. At the end of this International Tournament, Team USA took first place over their competition which included such powerhouse teams as Team Canada and Team England as well as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden and Wales.
I was asked to contact Tony Muse (a.k.a. Peter Pan) from Team USA and ask him some questions about Team USA and get some perspective from him to share what it was like to prepare for and be involved in this first ever Men’s World Cup of Roller Derby.
Tony Muse, aka Peter Pan #3, is a member of YOUR MOM Men’s Roller Derby, the Des Moines, Iowa, based powerhouse derby club that won both the 2012 and 2013 Men’s Roller Derby Association championships.
The following is my conversation with Tony Muse about Team USA and their win in Birmingham.
DOUG PETERS: First of all, congratulations to yourself and the USA Men’s Team on your World Cup win this past weekend. I was fortunate enough to enjoy watching a number of the bouts on the Live-Stream.
TONY MUSE: Thank you very much.
DOUG PETERS: This event was the first ever World Cup for Men’s Roller Derby. I’d like you to share some perspective about your experience of preparing, participating in and dominating the tournament.
TONY MUSE: To get ready for the World Cup, The USA team held two different weekend camps/trials to put together some of the best male derby players on the planet. As a team, we outlined the goals, vision and expectations for the squad and individually each one of us was accountable to bring the best version of us that we could to the tournament. For myself, I worked out with weights and plyo’s four days a week. I teach/ participate in spinning classes three days a week. I play dodge ball with some of my team-mates as well as speed skaters and session cowboys once a week and I practiced twice a week with the Des Moines Derby Dames and once a week with Your Mom and Team United. I was essentially a stranger to my home for the last eight weeks.
DOUG PETERS: I’d also like to ask you what the future holds for Team USA and Men’s Roller Derby in general.
TONY MUSE: As for Men’s Team USA, we are currently reviewing a handful of opportunities to play together again and we hope that it was not our last time as one. I can only guess as to what will happen with men’s derby but my thoughts are we will keep growing and growing. I have only been playing for three years now and the number of teams and players is multiplying rapidly. As the sport for the men, I imagine we may start seeing some old school co-ed bouts (wishing) as I think the spectators would love that.
DOUG PETERS: To begin, please introduce me to the skaters on your Roster and give me a little background on this team and its formation. Specifically, what games Men’s Team USA 2014 had played prior to the worlds?
TONY MUSE: We had twenty players on our roster so introducing them all would take some time. Our first game that we played together was actually in Birmingham as we had only played against each other divided previous to the World Cup. The nice thing about the team is that we had a number of players who had played together on our MRDA teams in the past so this lent itself to understanding where and how everyone would play. Although the uniforms were new…the players were the same. My home team Your Mom, had 7 of the 20 players, The Gatekeepers had 4, Puget Sound 3, Shock Exchange and Magic City both had a two. Of note also was that Team USA was bench coached by my oldest brother Mark and featured my brother Dante (Frank NotSoHotra) as a star jammer and myself (Peter Pan) as one of the Captains and blockers.
DOUG PETERS: How did team USA skaters prepare for an event like this? Were they able to get much practice time together as a Team before flying overseas to compete ?
TONY MUSE: As I mentioned earlier, we did not practice as a squad besides our two camps. We have played against each other many times and many of our home team-mates were on the same line for Team USA so we could practice some of what we needed to work on at home. I think the men came together under a vision of how we wanted to play in England and everyone did a great job getting to that place.
DOUG PETERS: When it comes to participating in an International “World Cup” Tournament like this, what do you feel was the team’s greatest challenge?
TONY MUSE: The greatest challenges we faced as a team during this event was how to get all of the players playing time and how to keep the team focused on our vision and objective when some of the games were not super close.
DOUG PETERS: After playing so many International Teams (Scotland, England, and Canada to name a few) what has Team USA taken away from this experience?
TONY MUSE: After this event we have taken away a number of things. Off the top we realize roller derby is an international game and the world now claims it as a legitimate sport as opposed to just the States. Secondly we see how good the talent is all over the world. The USA may have the deepest pool of talent at the moment but that is because we have been playing the game longer. Soon we can see other countries surpassing us in talent and depth. Lastly, we got to feel a passion for amateur sports that we don’t often get to see in America and it was amazing playing in front of that type of crowd….even when it wasn’t us they were cheering for.
DOUG PETERS: With the success of Team USA Men’s Roller Derby at the World Cup, what do you feel this means for the future of Men’s Roller Derby in the United States ?
TONY MUSE: I am not sure it will change much for men’s derby in the States because I think most people in the States had an expectation of us winning just because we had been playing it so much longer. I think the legitimacy will become greater as the men and women are less divided and Team USA men and Women come from the same origins.
DOUG PETERS: Finally, what does the future hold for yourself and Team USA for the remainder of the 2014 season and beyond?
TONY MUSE: We are still not sure where you will see us in action again as we have a handful of events we are considering. We think it would be ashamed to waste such sweet uniforms for only one event so we are doing our best to make something happen. I will keep you informed as things pop up.
DOUG PETERS: In conclusion, congratulations again on your victory at the World Cup in Birmingham and thank-you for taking some time to answer some questions for our readers.
TONY MUSE: Your Welcome. Feel free to reach out to me anytime for men or women’s derby or any questions you might want answered from players in the heart of the game. Cheers!
To learn more about Team USA Men’s Derby, the first champions of the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup, check out their Facebook page.
Special Thanks to Kevin “Kevlar” Dennison for asking me to be the contact person for this interview on behalf of Derby Frontier!