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Mature - Ages 17+
Sports and the Sport Skill in Dark Conspiracy

Sports in Metrodome


Sports have been popular pursuits since time immemorial - as well as a proven form of entertainment, for both participant and spectator.  This much is the same in the dark future.

The two most popular athletic endeavors in Metrodome are pro-wrestling and rollerderby (with the auto-racing/derby event, Deathrace, a close runner-up).  Both sports have established immensely successful leagues whose exploits are televised nationally and even syndicated to the world market.  While both leagues would love to expand their brands into other cities, states, and countries, problems with communications, transportation, and more have hindered their attempts.  For now, they remain centered in Metrodome, where they enjoy astounding success.  However, each has made strides in foreign markets with their "Regulation" gear and "Official" guides, which players elsewhere use to establish their own amateur leagues - making the leagues' overseers up-and-coming players in the corporate realm and giving them a steady crop of talent from which to choose.

Of course these games are a very serious business, and the darker side lay in the internal politics both in and between the leagues.

History


Both the pro-wrestling and rollerderby leagues started-out as amateur teams formed by several regular participants in pick-up games across the Dome, and both began their rise to fame at about the same time.  As their popularity and membership grew, so did their responsibilities - and their fan bases.  In response, organizers introduced "Regulation" rules and held irregular "Tournaments" and "Demonstrations."  More and more, clerical help was needed to handle the rosters and scoring, and games were being recorded and circulated amongst friends and fans.  Homemade fliers and posters were being distributed by the fans themselves and when audiences got to be so large they were causing disturbances, admission was added to offset the cost of bribes and rental fees.  Gamblers and hustlers developed lucrative sidebusinesses, taking bets on the matches and peddling refreshments.  Soon enough, cunning, young media executives took notice, and "Official" leagues were established.

With corporate sponsorship came better equipment and venues, allowing the sports to expand and develop, free of the limitations imposed by playing in the streets and concrete-slabbed warehouses with their own shoddy, piecemeal, and often hand-crafted equipment.  Better healthcare meant athletes took bigger chances - and bigger hits - which drew bigger crowds.  Metrodome citizens, starved for nearly any form of entertainment which allayed the stress of everyday survival, flocked to the events, which took on a carnival atmosphere.  At this point, everyone took notice.

Now


The athletes who make it into these leagues are true stars.  While household names in Metrodome, they are known throughout the world; to say they are "only famous in Metrodome" is like saying someone today is "only famous in America."  Their images adorn children's walls and corporate CEOs' computer screens, their exploits in the rings make headlines, and their exploits outside the arenas are regularly splashed across the covers of yellow journals everywhere.

Both sports vie for fans' attention - as they are the only real competition either has - and disputes over arenas have arisen more than once.  In fact, the historic brawl between the leagues over the use of
ARENA is what rocketed the two sports to super-fame (many insist it was staged, though all participants vehemently deny this).  There is definitely bad-blood between the two and each constantly tries to outdo the other with larger, more spectacular, events and rougher, bloodier tournaments.  Ticket price wars rage periodically - sometimes resulting in free demos and other live events - and recruitment of young talent can be fierce.  Both corporations are engaged in a brutal "brand-loyalty" war and love to stoke the fires; it is not uncommon for fans of one sport to accost fans of the other, and both (surreptitously) encourage this at every level.  For these reasons, most venues will not allow the sports to be hosted within a one week period of one another.

Teams within the rollerdery league are almost all dictated by, and named for, the sponsor - so you have
BioHazzard and the Punisher Blades - but the Metrodome Rollers are the exception for good reason: they are the original rollerderby team of Metrodome.  Almost none of the founding members still play, though all are still involved in the sport to varying degrees.  Some are trying to establish leagues in other sectors and cities; several coach teams in the league; others are involved in the corporate side of the sport; and still others have used their rollerderby celebrity to move into other careers.  The biggest sensation in rollerderby right now is probably Firefly - a relative newcomer who has taken the sport by storm!

One of R.A.S.S.L.'s founding members still competes: Carl (the self-proclaimed "King") "
Dragoon" Kovechs.  However, detractors gleefully point-out "King" Dragoon is nowhere near as good in non-wrestling R.A.S.S.L. events and, at nearly 40-years old, he isn't as good at wrestling as he once was, either!  For as fast and violent as rollerderby gets (the recent fatality in the Deathball event drew record viewers - amazingly, it was the first death in the event since the league began), R.A.S.S.L. is downright brutal.  Few R.A.S.S.L.ers last long; the average career span of a R.A.S.S.L. athlete is 3-5 years (or one term) and there are limited options for the athletes within the organization afterward, though some do find roles as trainers, recruiters, managers, and more.

Other Sports


While rollerderby and the varied events of R.A.S.S.L. are far and away the most popular sporting events in and around Metrodome, there are many others.  Some are popular because they are interesting to watch - flashy, fast, and/or violent - but others are popular because they invite participation or are easy for viewers to take up on their own.

Most notable is the auto race and derby, Deathrace.  While few wheeled cars still operate on the roadways, there are of course millions of cars still in existence, and many of them are just there for the taking - setting in the driveways of abanoned suburbs across America, in junkyards, and so on.  Some historians of the sport insist it originated in the Out-Law, while others say the nomenklatura took up the hobby (arguing only they could afford it; opponents note there is a financial reason for these claims), but however and wherever it began, Deathrace is now a televised annual event, replete with corporate sponsorship and its own star athletes.

On the one hand, it is nowhere near as popular as R.A.S.S.L. or the Rollerderby, but that is misleading.  In short, as so few can actually participate or mimic the sport on their own, automotive sports will never be as popular as others; on the other hand, the annual Deathrace draws millions of viewers and hundreds of thousands of fans (who stand along the path, cheering paticipants on).  In many ways, it is similar to IRL's Kentucky Derby and carries many of the same associations: it is a highly-regarded, annual event; many high-powered CEOs and celebrities attend the launch and finish parties, which are themselves legendary events; the bets made on it are sometimes so large as to be newsworthy themselves; and there are rarely any repeat winners.

In-line streetskating is also very big.  Considered the individual precursor to Rollerderby, many participants disgaree, saying they prefer in-line skating or skateboarding because the races are less violent and it is more about showmanship.  The sport is exactly akin to the sport IRL.  The Rollerderby often sponsors freestyle and in-line skating events as demonstrations (primarily for recruitment).

Many of today's sports are still popular as pick-up games - American football, a modified form of baseball, basketball, and so on - but many of them appear in modified, more violent forms in R.A.S.S.L. competitions.  While children still play improvised pick-up games throughout the streets and alleyways, they all dream of one day being contenders in one of the "real" sports prevalent in the
Dark Conspiracy world.
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Picture courtesy of Mikael Persson.
Used by Permission.
Modified for use by C Harris Lynn.
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