It's kind of a thing, best explained in this essay:
The Origins of the Derby Wife by Kasey Bomber, L.A. Derby Dolls
The tradition started in November 2003, when a load of Derby Dolls went to see the first AZRD bout and the Derby wife concept was born. Now, see, we Derby Dolls (and I imagine/KNOW a whole lot of the rest of you out there) really like to drink. Some of us have been a little further in the barrel than others, and some of us have done so on a 6 hour van trip to Phoenix. Well, my dear friend Evil E and I initiated both the world’s most ill-advised drinking contest and what was very likely the first verified pairing of Derby “wives” called as such on that very trip. Yes, yes, a fifth of Jim Beam a piece is likely to not only be accompanied by many “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”s, and all kinds of wall-eyed hooey, but before those bottles got too empty we realized something. A Derby wife is quite simply this -
1. She is the one person in this whole sport of roller Derby that the very instant you looked at her, you felt like you’d known her since you were a fetus. She looked just like your best friend from fifth grade, or something she did reminded you of all the things you ever liked in anyone else.
2. She is the first person you’d call if you ever need to get bailed out of jail. (Or in my case, ever need to have an entire legal crusade started in your name.)
3. She’s the one who will be holding back your hair when you puke after drinking too much, and she won’t let anyone take your picture while doing it.
4. She’ll ride in the ambulance with you when you lose a tooth, break your wrist, or tear your ACL. She’ll make you laugh the whole way to the hospital, try to steal your pain medication (lovingly), and sneak your favorite food and a beer into recovery.
5. She’ll make her actual husband understand that if he loves her, he’s gonna have to put up with you, too, no matter how many times you come over forcing him to revisit all the derby-related shows on his Tivo that you missed.
6. She may not even be your best friend in the league or the sport, but she’d be the one you know will be the first one to back you up, even if you’re dead wrong. She’ll just tell you you’ve lost your fucking mind later in private, possibly kick your ass a little bit, and then be the only one who could ever talk your hotheaded ass into some reason.
If you can find more than one Derby wife who can meet those needs, then you are lucky indeed, but myself? I’m a one Derby wife gal. Kasey Bomber, LADD Mrs. Evil E
Today, I got this text:
Do you like attending public events & being super 'out' about derby wifery? I am looking for derby wife!!! Someone proposed to me last week, but she wants it to be secret:( I'd way more marry you, Buster!!!!
I've got a derby fiancé!