Roller derby girls collect injuries the way other athletes collect trophies or rings. At the moment, Moby Nipps (who we’ll call “Moby” so we don’t have to say “Nipps” over and over again) of the Windy City Rollers probably can’t even put a ring on her left ring finger, which she mangled during a bout last May.
A blocker for the Brewcity Bruisers in Milwaukee at the time, Moby says she didn’t realize she’d broken her finger until a teammate “almost puked” when she looked at it. Moby recalls, “It was just a total freak accident. I don’t remember feeling it break, just thinking, ‘Oh, something’s wrong with my finger.’ After the jam, I held up my hand . . . it was pointing sideways.” The team medic popped the bone back into alignment, wrapped it up—and Moby finished the game.
“I’m an idiot when it comes to skating. If I can still move, I’ll skate.”
She’s also blown out her meniscus, almost broken her wrist, and, since relocating to Chicago in September, sprained an ankle that, yeah, she’s skating on.
If sustaining injuries is “just the price of derby,” as Moby says, so is inflicting them. With the slightest tinge of apology in her voice, she admits, “I think I broke a girl’s ankle. I know I’ve bruised the hell out of people.” And she’s been bruised back.
A worker in the financial industry by day, Moby avoids rueful glances by covering up. “I tend to wear long sleeves,” she says with a laugh. “Especially post practices and bouts when they’re freshest.”