Sunday, July 08, 2007

Big Easy Rollerbulls

It was a beautiful, hot, sweaty morning in New Orleans. For all intensive purposes, it was looking to be a typical July 7th in The Big Easy, but hidden underneath the humidity there were prodigious forces in play. While most of the French Quarters’ occupants were returning from an evening of revelry, the sounds of skates scraping the sidewalk could be heard down the semi-deserted streets of the Vieux Carre. Many residents rubbed their eyes and did a double check as The Big Easy Rollerbulls rolled down the streets in search of blood and glory. By 7:30AM, a buoyant and slightly spry crowd of 200 runners gathered at The Three Legged Dog in preparation for the first ever San Fermin in Nueva Orleans. The Rollerbulls happily obliged the runners, who were dressed in white with red handkerchiefs tied around their necks, by posing for pictures and signing autographs.




Brave Runner, AKA "Nutty McGillicutty"



Loco, Trix, Sleasy, Pummel


Mama Luvinblood


Blood, Sleasy, Loco, Blaze

The Rollerbulls were also grateful to many of the runners who allowed them to warm up and take practice hits on them with their wiffle ball bats and pool noodles. The Rollerbulls were all greatly moved by their sacrifice and unselfishness to the cause.

The jubilant crowd was suddenly interrupted by a pounding music and some of the funkiest beats The Rollerbulls’ ears ever experienced. Emerging from the haze came a large metal bull with smoke coming out of its horns, and music coming out of its butt. Operated by the ingenious and visionary DJ, Mic Phedusha, The Rollerbulls quickly demonstrated their dominance by beating the steel bull, although nothing could stop the pulsating sounds from this corrugated beast.

At 8AM, everyone knelt in prayer to San Fermin to have a safe run. Moments later, the runners took off.

A few minutes later the air horn blew. The bulls were released!

The Rollerbulls pushed, shoved, beat and gored their way through the crowds. While some runners sprinted away in terror, others consistently (and conveniently) “accidentally” stopped various times to bend over. Apparently they must have kept dropping things they had to pick up… They paid the price.

The strenuous run ended at The Sidebar, where all runners and bulls were awarded with approximately 15 gallons of Sangria, specially prepared for the day of the Encierro! With stunning banners made by Beth Hanning hanging from the bars’ balconies, the founding members: Tracey Bellina, Kurt Eishen, Mickey Hanning & Dylan O’Donnell were able to take a moment and appreciate the effulgent event they created. Although some of the runners were exhausted and bloodied by the emotional and physical toll of the run, they still requested regular beatings from the bulls. The Rollerbulls, always accommodating, were happy to oblige. Dancing ensued, as well as a Congo Line and limbo contest, for which the recently rehabilitated rollerbull, CHEAP THR!LL awed and inspired the crowd.

The party continued until 2PM, when the Sangria-saturated runners and bulls retired to their respective homes and pens. Obviously resting up for next year.

Special thanks to Archbishop Pummel for organizing this glorious happening.

As always, big shoves and kisses to our photographer, Scott Stuntz for documenting the event.

Until Next Year…

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