Some recent opinion contributor to The Bagpipe has evidently never heard the ancient proverb, “Never enrage a blader.” Because here we are and I, a blader, am quite enraged. In “An Open Letter to Bladers,” a certain Will Friesen made some extremely bold statements in reference to the victory of rollerbladers in the races held at 80s Skate Night a few weeks ago.
After a few fallacies of false comparison (sharks and minnows cannot be equated to the serious sport of skating, whether on roller skates or inline skates), Mr. Friesen finally begins his argument, pulling from a few old films he watched (instead of practicing his skating, might I add) in efforts to produce an argument that “blades symbolize 90s paganism.” Bold.
Rollerblades, also called inline roller skates, were in existence in the 1700s in an effort to recreate ice skating on solid ground. Inline skates were later made in 1863 then mass produced starting in 1959. But the time was not yet ripe for inline roller skates—or blades—to reach their potential.
The real excitement began in 1980 (hm, 80s…) when some people realized that blades would be great for hockey training, and they soon became a means of good ol’ recreational fun. By the mid 80s, rollerblades were being distributed to sports retailers and the rest is history. (All supporting evidence taken from the “About” page of www.rollerblade.com). So, we can all conclude that blades most definitely hail from the 80s.
The reason for Mr. Friesen’s disappointment is evident, he said it himself: “I hate losing.” If anyone cannot match the competition, perhaps it is a sign that they best serve the student body as a spectator. Since “looking cute” is clearly more important to Mr. Friesen than the glory of victory, he should have no qualms with those who are not as vain.
1 Peter 3:3 tells us, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear.” Some commentators argue that “gold jewelry” can be translated as “roller skates.” If anything, the administration should consider how Biblical it is to let people who only care about looking cute compete in the races at all.
I also challenge the verity of his claim of “spending three straight weekends training at the rink”—even if this is true, know that bladers work hard, too. I myself (one of the champions) rollerblade for an hour each week (this is very true—it’s a PSE 152 workout); ask anyone who lives on Rowan or Harambe. Thus, I am deeply offended at the lack of respect for my hard work, as well as that of my fellow bladers.
P.S. Daniel Dupree is living proof that someone on roller skates (when blessed with adequate skill, of course) can match, if not completely destroy, the speed and accuracy of a young blader.
P.P.S. If you are only after the money in this tussle, please surrender sooner rather than later. Some of us actually care about the dignity of the sport.