SpudTown Knockdown 3: An Interview with CandyMan, Tournament Director

What’s your title and what would you say you are doing for the SpudTown Knockdown?

I am CandyMan. I am the Head Announcer for the Treasure Valley Rollergirls (TVR) as well as the Tournament Director for SpudTown Knockdown 3.

Have you been involved with SpudTown since the beginning?

I have been involved with SpudTown from the start.  The first year, 2010, I was a very green announcer. I had little involvement other than calling for TVR.  However, being there and having the opportunity to work with and learn from veteran announcers like BobNoxious and Mack the Mouth was invaluable.  Last year, I was the Head Announcer for the tournament.  I handled everything from recruiting announcers to making sure we had our tournament streamed on DNN.  Again, I brought Bob back.  But, this time it was to help train and get experience for other newer announcers in our area, Fragglepuss, Boba Fatt and H.P. Shovecraft to name a few.  During the planning stages of SpudTown 3, TVR’s BOD approached me and asked if I would be the Tournament Director.  It has been a lot of work, but I have a superb supporting staff.

How did you get involved in Roller Derby?

My wife (Candy AssAssin) joined TVR in 2009. At that point I was just Mr. Candy, the loud obnoxious derby husband in the stands. Eventually, they asked if I would clean up my language, not drink so much, and be the announcer for the home bouts. The language part was easy, it was the beer that was hard to give up….

How has your position in the league evolved?

This year was where I really became involved in the league.  In 2010 and 2011, I was just the announcer. But, in 2012 I decided to put more energy and effort into helping our league grow. I took a position on the BOD as a Co-Sponsorship Chairperson.  As the Head Announcer, I was also given the duty of Bout Production Coordinator. When my wife went down with a broken leg in January, we decided the two of us would join the coaching staff. So, in short, for 2012 my responsibilities include: Announcing, Bout Production, Sponsorship Relations, Coach and Tournament Director.   

Have you tried skating or is it not your thing?

I actually bought a skate package this year. I enjoyed skating a lot as a kid and realized it was much easier to be on a pair of skates during practice.  I have no desire to compete, but I do enjoy skating.

Any additional information about yourself you’d like to share?

One of my bucket list items is to announce a nationally televised flat track derby bout. Until then, I will keep trying to educate people of the wonderfulness that is the fastest growing women’s sport in history.

Who is the host league of SpudTown and could you tell us a little about them?

The Treasure Valley Rollergirls based in Boise, ID host SpudTown Knockdown. TVR has been playing derby in Boise since 2007. In 2011, TVR gained their WFTDA membership. TVR has finished 2nd the last two years of SpudTown Knockdown.  

Could you explain what SpudTown is?

SpudTown is unique in that we host this tournament just prior to the Big 5 Regional Tournaments and we also award a cash prize to the top 3 finishers. SpudTown Knockdown is our annual double-elimination tournament held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Boise, ID.  This year we have 10 teams, up from 9 a year ago, vying for the title of SpudTown Knockdown Champion. We like to think of this tournament as “The Best of Rest of the West”, so to speak.  

How did SpudTown come to be?

I’m not sure on the exact specifics on how SpudTown came to be. I do know this; Vermin Skum, a ref for TVR, had the name picked out years ago. In 2010, TVR moved their home bouts and started playing in what is now Century Link Arena. That year the league decided to host a double-elimination tournament and call it SpudTown Knockdown. We had such a positive response that we decided to make it an annual tournament. I guess when you host a tournament, in a beautiful downtown Boise location, in late summer, over a 3 day weekend, good things happen.

Which leagues are competing at SpudTown this year?

Jet City Bombers, Treasure Valley Rollergirls All Stars, Wasatch Roller Derby Bonneville Bone Crushers, San Diego Roller Derby Starlettes, Lava City Roller Dolls Smokin’ Ashes, Hellgate Rollergirls All Stars, Magic City Rollers All Stars, Cherry City Derby Girls 8 Wheel Assassins, Junction City Roller Dolls TrainWrecks and Happy Valley Derby Darlins Molly Morbids.

Which matchup would you like to see at the tournament?

Call me a homer, but I’m really excited to potentially see Jet City and Treasure Valley. The Bombers come in ranked #11W and TVR is ranked #21W. I’m also excited to see how teams like Hellgate and Magic City do against some the other WFTDA ranked teams. They have had a great season and this will be their biggest challenges, I think.

Will there be an online broadcast of the tournament?

Yes, we will be streaming all the action on DNN just as in years past. 

SpudTown is happening over Labor Day weekend, any suggestions for those of us that are sticking around in Boise after the tournament is over?

You gotta float the river! On Monday, a large group will take the waters of the Boise River that flows through downtown Boise. All you need is swimwear and flotation device. It’s as much of the tradition as handing out the over-sized ‘Price is Right’ checks!

Any additional comments, shout-outs, etc?

So many. Obviously, my Inter-league coordinator, Gawd Dame Savage. It hasn’t been easy job this year. Then there are my Tournament Head Ref, Collin DeShotz and my Tournament Head NSO, Nine Inch Wheels. They are running this program to the book and have assembled a top notch crew of officials.  My Tournament Head Announcer…..what’s his name…..ah yes, FragglePuss! Thanks for lending a hand and helping out!  I want to also give a huge shout out to our venue, Century Link Arena. Without them, we would not have a place to host this tournament. And last, but most definitely not least, my league. The Treasure Valley Rollergirls.  It has taken the whole league’s help to put this tournament together. Without the likes of JainSaw, Whip Jagger, Sinister Kate, Dawn of the Shred and everyone else who has volunteered to help in some way or another. Now, let’s get this party started!

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