February 1, 2011
A few weekend’s back I got to be involved in the Underground Derby League’s Back Alley Sally’s (Olympia, Wash.) debut bout with the Death Rattle Rollers of the Slaughter County Roller Vixens (Bremerton, Wash.). And while it might be Rainy City’s offseason, you wouldn’t have known it from watching the bout, as RCRD had roles in nearly every facet of the evening.
From the NSO side, I did some line-up tracking while Rainy City vet BenjYa Over rocked the scorekeeping. Former Rainy City skater Pandora Bloxxx turned NW ref Shelly Jectu was on hand in the zebra stripes, as were Slow Your Roll and Whistly Crusher, both also Rainy City regulars. On the track itself, Rainy City’s Bella Sol and Whoopass Goldburg suited up for a short DRR roster that also included several Terrormeddixxx skaters, while the ladies in black and gold were lead on the bench by the coaching tandem of RCRD powerhouses Toot A. Lou and Poise N. Bury. And that doesn’t even count the eight or so in the crowd (or my four coworkers!).
So rest assured, even when we kick the term ‘offseason’ around, we’re still out and about in force!
As for the bout itself, the Death Rattle Rollers, well, rolled to a big win against UDL, 195-47, showcasing their own talent along the way despite the exterior additions. And underground, while showing they are still a work in progress, had some positive moments in the bout.
Also, I got to work as a scorekeeper during the Oly Rollers’ Bella Donnas bout on Jan. 16 against the Port Scandalous Derby Dames, the newest league on the Olympia Peninsula from Port Angeles.
And while Oly took a convincing 199-132 home win, Port Scandalous looked much more polished than I expected from a league playing its first bout ever. Granted, they still have a lot to learn, but they were tenacious and never let up. Oly also skated a good game, and showed that some talent could be moving up the ranks this year to help aid the Dropkick Donnas and possibly the Cosa Nostra Donnas, rumored to have lost Heffer 2 Ton and others to retirements this offseason.
Rainy City’s newest team, a mix of vets and fresh meat, will be playing Port Scandalous later this season, so it should be a fun one to look out for!
Sunday, the Cosa’s host the visiting Detroit Derby Girls for a 10 a.m. bout. I’ll be all up in that penalty box, so keep it clean ladies!
Slaughter County also has a fun double header lined up with a couple teams north of the border. I’m gonna be super town in this one. I love me some SCRV, but I also love me the Eves of Destruction and Terminal City, who travel to Bremerotn on Feb. 19 against DRR and TMX respectively. So get down to Bremerton ya hoser and show em some love eh?
December 1, 2010
Hi everyone. It’s been a while. Hopefully, it’ll not quite be such a while between blogs in the future. Life happens and such, blah blah blah, but its no excuse. I haven’t done derby the service I was hoping to since March 31, and that’s not OK with me.
But apparently that’s OK with everyone else.
While my last blog was published on March 31, 2010, I have been getting a record number of hits regularly since. It’s crazy. Like Rat-City-Setting-A-New-Attendance-Record-Every-Bout crazy. For example, while I was actively blogging, I once got 579 views in a month. In June 2010, two full months after my last post, the blog was viewed 1,064 times. God damn.
So, just to be clear, that’s not the reason I’ve been wanting to return. I’ve been wanting to get back into the blog because there’s still so much derby to write about. But a few things have become clear to me, as several friends have already heard.
First off, this likely means the end of the (save for the occasional) 5,000+ word blog. I write. A lot. I’ve never had to not cut a story for an editor, save for a story I wrote into a box already built on the page.
So, expect more blogs that are shorter and more to the point. Like this sentance.
Also, I’m not gonna try to rehash everything since last March. We all know Rocky won. Holy shit. I was there for the regionals version. But point being, yes, there’s tons of awesome stuff that happened (nationals, my coaching debut, my return to skates, Rainy City’s 10-1 year, etc.), but it’s in the past. So let’s move on.
I’m actually much more excited even just writing this than I thought I would be. So that’s good. Cause writing without the passion equals:
Lastly, I will be super busy as I am coaching, hoping to become certified as an NSO this year, and hope to watch a few more games as a fan too. Ultimately, that means I probably won’t be able to get as detailed as I used to even if I wanted too. But that’s OK. Again, less overkill, more
So, it’s good to be back. Hopefully my next blog will find you without several months in between. And while I know the timing seems good, given that there’s a shitton of derby stuff this weekend, I won’t be doing any of it. But still, expect something sooner than later.
Word yos. Thanks for sticking with the blog. Again, numbers and views and crap were not the reason I ever did it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pleasantly surprised at how much people have been checking it out in its dormant era.
But alas, the derby blogging volcano is dormant no more.
Til the next explosion,
March 31, 2010
*Bonus points if the next thing through your head upon reading the headline was “A state that’s untouchable like Elliott Ness.“
DERBY SENSORY OVERLOAD!
At least that’s how I was feeling at the height of activity surrounding February’s Wild West Showdown, the first WFTDA-sanctioned major event of the 2010 roller derby season. The Showdown, hosted by Bremerton, Washington’s Slaughter County Roller Vixens, welcomed 19 WFTDA teams, a host of other skaters and squads for challenge bouts, and became the hub of the derby nation for three days.
And it was fucking awesome.
For the past year-plus-some that I’ve been involved with roller derby, this was the first opportunity I had to see it on such a grand scale. I get to see Philly? Live? Yes please! Oly-WoJ rematch? Thank you! Throw in a metric shit ton of awesomeness from teams around the country, and I was all set! Plus, I got to work in many of the bouts…enough so that I actually only got to see one full bout as a fan. But it was still awesome. Cause derby rules.
Now before I go too far, I’m not really gonna highlight a ton of bouts. DNN is great for that!
My weekend derby saga began great, as I had taken off the Friday of the showdown. I pulled into Bremerton ready to rock and roll! In a last-second add-on, in addition to NSOing, I took over Slaughter County announcing duties for the opening bout, which was sweet. That meant not only did I get to announce at the Showdown, but I was getting to announce the tournament opener between SCRV and Central Coast Roller Derby (Pasa Robles, Calif.)! I’m still honored to have been thought of highly enough to get that slot. Damn…a little derby in a year goes a long way! Got to work with the always awesome Bulldog again, so that was definitely a pleasure.Let me just say he yells at crowds well! lol
That bout was a great tournament opener too, highlighting the local SCRV All-Stars against one of the teams I found out the fewest about prior…lol. SCRV made the most of it too, winning 224-159 in a pretty exciting opener despite the wider scoring margin. I always love getting the chance to announce for Slaughter County and this was no exception!
Now here is where my first snafu or sorts came in.
So, when I had last gotten online to check my NSO responsibilities, I noticed I had Friday off (one of the reasons I got to announce Friday and not the other days). Well, sometime between me last checking and arriving in Bremerton, that changed. So while I was supposed to be score keeping the Oly Rollers bout with Rose City’s Wheels of Justice, I was getting wicked drunk and hollering things like, “We want JUUUUUSSSTIIICCCCCEEE!”
Sorry everyone. I will be sure to check for last-minute scheduling changes at all future derby endeavors. Someone on the fly told the crew working that game that I was announcing. So, I got out of it without too much scorn. And I didn’t lie, so double bonus! But I still felt pretty bad about missing it. As much as I love to party with my derby, when I’m working, I take it seriously, so again, soarry aboot that buddies!
That bout, just let me say, was fucking epic. Rose City and Oly kept battling back and forth, with Oly earning a lead but the Wheels battling back, at one point closing the gap entirely to a 141-141 tie. Oly eventually went on to the 157-151 win, but they were sweating in their quads for a little bit over that one. Rose City showed it will be a player on the national scene again this year, a year after a disappointing showing at the regional tournament.
As many of you know, Rainy City and Rose City have some history, with skaters like Napalm Beth, Mercyful Kate and Miss Mel Mangles now on the Rose City docket. Throw in former Oly Roller JK Rolling, and you can see another layer of why this one was so intense!And why Rainy City’s <3′s WoJ so much! This is going to be a Western Regional rematch to watch out for kiddos!
Aside from the off-track action, it was awesome getting to meet so many people I’d chatted with online, particularly Hannah Grenade and Mia Cupcake, who are two of my favorite twitter friends. Now don;t get me wrong; I could fill a whole blog with the people I met and how cool everyone was, but alas, I have way too many blogs to catch up on to do that. So let me just give a blanket shout-out to everyone I got to meet there: “Hey y’all!”
There were two clear off-the-track winners Friday night. If you were there, there’s no way you could have missed them. On this night, it was Crack Attack and Edie Disorder FTW! They embody drunkypants, and so I hear by declare them the first recipients of the Thurston Gore Drunkypants Award.
You may know them by their sign-toting antics?
Well, those two are two of my favorite derby people for many, many reasons (here I should point out that Crack Attack is the newest derby girl roommate of our ever-evolving Rainy City house), but one of the foremost is their ability to singlehandedly win an afterparty. So you can just imagine them in tandem!
But Friday was but derby foreplay into the rest of the weekend, with Saturday kicking off some major morning-to-night derby action!
On Saturday, I had a pretty full slate, working the Arizona-Sin City, Pikes Peak-Lava City and Sacred City-Duke City games as a scorekeeper. Those were pretty awesome experiences as well, as I’d never seen Arizona or Sacred City and knew skaters on some of the other teams. But mostly, I was just excited for the Pacific NW skating return of DVS Dicer, a former Rainy City skater now jammin’ for Sin City in Las Vegas.
Lava City has one of my favorite derby partiers as well, who I had the pleasure to meet at D-Day in the Desert last year, Petty Rage. And Duke City is just loaded with fun. So this was going to be a fun “work” day. Again, you can catch the deets at DNN.
But the top matches Saturday were all a little bit of a let-down from a fan standpoint. Not for lack of action, as all teams skated their butts off on day two. But, there weren’t as many intensely close games as Friday’s main match had provided. Oly stood Philly up seemingly easily, Rose rebounded and stuck it to BAD (who seemed to have a lost a step since last year, although they totes maintain their amazing fashion and afterparty titles!), and Rocky Mountain blew out Bellingham. Still, it was lots of good-times-noodle-salad abound. I had a great time working with some of the different refs and crew, including getting to work each of my bouts along with Texas Hold Me, another of my fave NSOs in attendance.
Sunday’s bouts however more than made up for anything that was lacking on Saturday. First, Rat City and Philly bouted, providing one of my favorites from the weekend. Two things. First, Carmen Getsome is a fucking badass. 25 points! In one jam! Against Philly! Late in the second half! To take the lead! And eventually the win! Holy crap! Second, I second the amazing work of HELLARAD in helping confirm that Anya Heels too is fucking badass. Rat City is a powerful team as well and they too, like WoJ, will be a force alongside the Colorado squads to challenge Oly’s western (and national) supremacy.
Then Philly and Rose City bouted, a bout that Rose City took over and won. If you had asked me which of the 19 teams coming to Bremerton would leave without a win, I would never in a million years have guessed Philly. Still, they battled their hearts out and are sure to do some good things this year. It was super awesome getting to chat up Ginger Vitis at the merch table for a little bit afterward too.
Sunday found me up in everyone’s box! Literally! I was penalty box timer for the Pacific-Sin City, Emerald City-Bellingham and Jet City-Pacific bouts. It was actually sweet cause between all those teams, I got to watch or work a crew for everyone but Rocky Mountain Sorry Rocky! Still, it was good times all around! Pacific was fun for me to see because Rainy City’s Chun Lethal (who formerly lived in our house) and Crack Attack both met a ton of them at Rollercon last year, so it was cool to put faces and names to stories! lol
Couple of quick observations…Rocky Mountain, Rose City and Rat City all looked as good as ever. But it was Oly who, aside from the close bout with Rose City, proved they are still the team to beat in the western region. And while Philly didn’t win, they played the toughest schedule of anyone at the showdown. Mad props to all the other squads coming out too! Especially BAD…they played bad, but they also dress BAD.
That day also featured some of the more epic challenge bouts, like the Brawlyanna-led Bremalo Roller Cows. Awesome. Their logo is right up there with the Unicorn Punchers for me in terms of party teams.
But perhaps the craziest part of the challenge bouts were seeing Ida B. Choazz of Spokane’s Lilac City Rollergirls up and skating. She broke her leg something like 5 weeks earlier at our Rainy City Black-and-White scrimmages. Crack Attack summed it up best in a line directed at me: “I don’t wanna hear you bitch about your leg anymore!” She was right. It was tough, but she probably shouldn’t have been out there. Still, gotta love the girls who love the sport that much! Talk about dedication!
The brats were out and about too scrimmaging, and provided one of those “I wish I were a kid again” moments for me when I was walking though the President’s Hall (the location for challenge bouts) and saw not one, not two, not three, but four Kitsap Derby Brats in a row sprint at full speed, take a knee but three feet before the wall, and willingly go barreling into said wall. It ended with the four in a giggly pile. Ah kids. And that’s what these brats do for fun?!?! Again, they will be scary when they come of legal skating age.
A SUPER BIG HUGE THANK YOU TO THE BADASSES OF SCRV!!! You guys put on a kick-ass event with so few skips. The effort and dedication put in was evident from the get-go! You guys did such a great job! Hopefully, we’ll get to see the Showdown back and better than ever next year!
I know I’m forgetting things, but give me a break. It was almost two months ago now. And I partied really hard. So, there it is.
Also, big thanks to Masonite Burn, Joe Rollerfan and Axle Adams for letting me use various pics of theirs! We are blessed to have such awesome photographers covering the derby scene here out west, so make sure to check out their picture sets!
Speaking of RollerCon, guess who has his ticket?!?! I’m super stoked! I will be there. The party can officially begin this year. As usual, come find me a say hi! Or thrust a shot in my face! I won’t say no!
Quick note…expect a couple blogs in the coming days…first, one will come in from the last Underground bout I was at, as well as a scrimmage between them and Rainy City. Another will come int he form of Rainy City taking down Atomic City a couple weeks back. And yet a third backlogged blog will focus on Rainy City giving the Heartless Heathers of Rose City all they could handle in a scrimmage last Friday. I will do my best to get these all out before April 15, when the Blood & Thunder Camp comes to Bremerton! And I’ll be there for that too. Whew. So expect the rest sooner than later!
Til then kiddies,
Word to your mommas.
February 25, 2010
Well, well, well. Look at what we have here.
What at first seemed like a far-distant date on a map yet to conceived by reality is now just a day away.
Of course, I’m fawning over the Wild West Showdown, set to turn more than 19 roller derby teams loose on Bremerton for three days of glorious derby action!
I’m ready. In fact, my bag is packed, my flask is full and I’m ready for one of the biggest rcknrllwknds in history!
Personally, I’m excited for several things. Friday’s main bout, featuring the Oly Rollers vs. Rose City’s Wheels of Justice will be great, especially considering the four former Oly skaters on WoJ’s roster (three were also former Rainy City…what what!). I’ll be announcing the opening bout at 6 p.m. for host Slaughter County, so say hi if you see me throughout the weekend. I only bite when my mouth is foamy. Also excited to see Philly for the first time. Ah yeah. There’s the return of Dicer, one of our former Rainy City skaters, who has skater her way onto the Sin City travel team. Super stoked to see BAD for the first time. The list can go on and on. Check out my preview here before you hit it up, or find it in the Kitsap Smokestack when you arrive.
In any event, I probably won’t be on here too much throughout the weekend due to party, but I’ll try and post short-but-sweet updates when and where I can. I may be helping DNN out with some recap action too…we’ll see.
So, again, say hi when you see me. We’ll throw an impromptu party on the spot! Uh! Sha-na-na-na!
It’s finally here people.
February 3, 2010
NOTE: So here is my preview on the Wild West Showdown, which ran last week in Thee Kitsap Smokestack. Since it came out, I figured I’d post it here too. Enjoy!
For a weekend in February, Bremerton, Wash., will become the center of the roller derby universe, as more than 20 teams from around the country converge on Kitsap County.
From national powerhouse the Philly Roller Girls, to the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association National Champion Oly Rollers, derby’s upper echelons will be battling it out in three days of knock-down, drag-out roller derby mayhem at the Wild West Showdown, hosted by Kitsap’s own Slaughter County Roller Vixens.
“We’re totally excited,” Slaughter County’s Kitten with a Whip, one of the tournament organizers, said. “We met with the (Kitsap County) Fairgrounds and they’re excited for it. We’re excited to see some of the teams we never thought we would and to have the opportunity to play some of those teams.”
The tournament, which kicks off Friday, Feb. 26 with Slaughter County’s All-Stars battling Central Coast Roller Derby (Paso Robles, Calif.) and concludes Sunday, Feb. 28 with Everett’s Jet City Bombers taking on Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby (Honolulu), will bring together derby powers from around the country, but primarily teams in WFTDA’s Western Region. The region proved to be the best in the country last year, with the Oly Rollers toppling the legendary Texas Rollergirls’ Texecutioners, while fellow Western Regioners the Denver Roller Dolls and Rocky Mountain Roller Girls placed third and fourth respectively. Rocky Mountain (Denver) will also make the trip, as will fellow Colorado natives the Pikes Peak Derby Dames.
Overall, the tournament features seven of the nation’s top 16-ranked teams.
Also slated to attend the tournament are Pacific Northwest powers Rose City Rollers’ Wheels of Justice (Portland, Ore.) and the Rat City Roller Girls of Seattle. The Bellingham Roller Betties round out Washington’s players, while Oregon’s representatives are strengthen by the Lava City Roller Dolls (Bend, Ore.) and the Emerald City Roller Girls (Eugene, Ore.). Making the trip up from California are San Francisco’s Bay Area Derby Girls and Sacramento’s Sacred City Derby Girls, while the Sin City Rollergirls hail from Las Vegas.
Two more tournament contenders come from a little farther into the desert: Tucson Roller Derby and Arizona Roller Derby (Phoenix). New Mexico’s Duke City Derby also returns to the northwest.
So just how did Bremerton get selected to host the first major WFTDA-sanctioned event of 2010?
“Rat City had kind of mentioned the idea to us,” Kitten said. “And we were the one team that had the venue to support that (kind of tournament).”
The more the team thought about it, hosting the event became a no-brainer.
“We realized, ‘Wow, we’ve got this venue, so why don’t we host it?” she said.
Getting approval from WFTDA to hold sanctioned bouts was a must for Slaughter County.
“We wanted to make it so if they were going to take the time, that they were sanctioned,” Kitten said. “And that we had enough bouts.”
After finalizing the sanctioned bouts with WFTDA, a two-month process thanks to the national tournament coinciding, the focus turned towards the myriad non-WFTDA leagues in the Pacific Northwest. That led to securing the Fairgrounds’ President’s Hall for challenge bouts.
“This way everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this derby weekend,” Kitten said.
Tickets for the tournament are currently available and are sure to go fast as derby girls and fans from around the country are already buzzing about the competition. Tickets are $15 for Friday and $25 each for Saturday and Sunday. Three-day tickets are $55. They can be purchased online in advance through BrownPaperTickets. The tournament will take place at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, as well as another of the President’s Hall. A variety of vendors and food will also be available. More teams could be added as well, as registration was slated through the end of January.
In addition to the sanctioned tournament, the challenge bouts will simultaneously be taking place, featuring skaters and teams from around the western U.S., as well as themed bouts and co-ed bouts.
As comes with any derby bout, there’s always an afterparty. But unlike normal (read=stellar) afterparties, this tournament has the potential to be among the mothers of all afterparties. Consider this: If an afterparty is as fun as they normally are, and that’s with two to four teams, imagine what happens when more than 20 teams of derby girls descend on Bremerton. In short, it will be out of control and amazingly fun. Slaughter County has already made preparations to ensure such an end.
The three days will split bar duties between the 19th Hole and the Horse and Cow, both in neighboring Silverdale, and at Romeo’s in Bremerton. Check the tournament program for specifics on which bars are hosting the afterparty which nights. But fear not about driving. The league is running shuttles from the hotels, the pavilion, the afterparty locations and back again all weekend long.
“I’m just excited to see that many derby girls under one roof in my own town, “ Kitten said.
Now that you know a little more about the tournament itself, take a minute to get to know some of nation’s elite squads (in no particular order):
The Philly Roller Girls have long been considered one of the nation’s top five teams, a fact further proven in hosting the national tournament last year. And while they may not have had the showing many thought, falling to 128-121 to Cinderella’s Rocky Mountain, they twice defeated New York’s Gotham Roller Girls, 2008’s national champs, last season. The Liberty Belles and skaters like Robin Drugstores, Gloria Grindem and Teflon Donna will be eager to show that they still deserve to be considered among WFTDA’s elite. On day two, they’ll bout the Oly Rollers in what is arguably the tournament’s top bout. Philly is ranked No. 6 in the country by the Derby News Network and are ranked No. 2 in the East Region by WFTDA.
No one gave Olympia’s Oly Rollers much credit as a derby team in 2009, as it paid of big time. The Cosa Nostra Donnas stepped up to every challenge they faced last season, resulting ultimately in hoisting The Hydra, WFTDA’s championship trophy. Loaded with talent and speed, including national speedskaters like Atomatrix, Sassy, Tannibal Lector and Heffer, named MVP of last year’s nationals, Oly proved they have what it takes to challenge the nation’s best, beating Gotham, Texas and Denver en route to the crown. Their opening-round battle with Rose City is sure to be one of the Wild West Showdown’s gems. Oly enters 2010 as DNN’s No. 1 team nationally. WFTDA also has them slated as No. 1 in the West.
Rocky Mountain were one of the national scene’s Cinderella stories a season ago, beginning when former Pike’s Peak trio Deranged, Psycho Babble and Ecko Girl joined the squad prior to the 2009 WFTDA Western Regional tournament, strengthening a team that already included skaters like Whipity Pow and Frida Beater. They ended up thumping Tucson, Rose City and Denver before running into Oly, ultimately preceding a fourth-place finish at nationals. While their first bout will be against Bellingham Saturday, in will be Sunday’s bout with Bay Area that fans will be waiting for. DNN ranks Rocky Mountain No. 5 in the nation, while WFTDA slates them at No. 3 in the West.
Rose City was disappointed in their 2009 finish, falling to seventh place at the Western Regional a year after co-hosting the national tournament with Rat City in Portland. But with a strengthened Wheels of Justice roster including Blood Clottia, Hurricane Skatrina, Napalm Beth, Mercyful Kate, Miss Mel Mangles and a number of equally talented skaters, Rose City will want to use this tournament to prove they belong in the national discussion. In their opener Friday against Oly, they’ll get a rematch of last year’s 157-151 loss to Oly that kick-started the Oly Rollers rise to prominence. But that’s just the first of many challenges, as they have arguably the toughest slate at the Showdown, also battling Bay Area and Philly before the weekend is over. Rose City is ranked No. 8 by DNN entering 2010, while WFTDA puts them in at No. 5 in the West Region.
Becoming a WFTDA-sanctioned league a year ago (and debuting against the Oly Rollers), Slaughter County has wasted no time showing they belong, ultimately proven in hosting this year’s Wild West Showdown. And while they’ll have their hands full in opponents Central Coast and Tucson, it’s a great opportunity to show where they are against squads outside the Northwest. And with skaters like On’Da Sligh, Brawlyanna, Rollin’ Dirty, Anna Barbera and more, they have the size and speed to pack a serious punch. And, with home-field advantage, the Kitsap derby faithful should be on hand to catch SCRV in what amounts to two of their biggest bouts to date. WFTDA has Slaughter County ranked 13th in the West Region.
In all honesty, not much by way of their results exists online, so its tough to say exactly what Slaughter County will be up against. But judging by their 2010 schedule (which includes bouts against fellow Showdown participants Sacred City and Emerald City as well as Los Angeles’ Angel City Derby Girls), they’re up for the challenge (they also bouted Bay Area last year).
Rat City sprung onto the national scene in 2007 and 2007 by twice finishing second at the national championships. They just missed out on a tourney appearance last year, placing fourth at the Western Regional, beating Bay Area before falling to both Oly and Denver. But veteran forces like Carmen Getsome, Billie Boilermaker, Re-Animate-Her, Anya Heels and a host of other Northwest derby household names are going to among the Showdown’s most battled-tested teams. While they host Tucson on Friday, a Sudnay bout with Philly will be another of the tournament’s most touted bouts. WFTDA ranks Rat City as No. 4 in the West, while DNN has Rat City ranked ninth in the nation.
Tucson had perhaps the toughest opening bout of anyone at last year’s regional tournament, taking on Rocky Mountain, seeded prior to its aforementioned additions. But despite losing to both Rocky Mountain and Duke City, Tucson rebounded with a one-sided 185-91 doubling-up of Pikes Peak to finish ninth. They did finish second place at the Western Regionals in 2007 however to earn a berth at nationals. Skaters like Whiskey Mick and Sassy Sue were among the league’s founding members in 2003, joining up with Arizona and the Texas Rollergirls to host the first modern inter-state bout in 2004. Current skaters like Deadlock Doe Holliday and Helen Wheels only enhance their ability to ad to their history. After Rat City on Friday, they’ll battle hosts Slaughter County Saturday. Tucson is ranked No. 9 in the West by WFTDA.
Making the trip up from Eugene, Ore., Emerald City is quite familiar with a number of the teams at the Wild West Showdown. This should only help the Emerald City Skatesaphrenics as they prepare to take on Central Coast and Bellingham at the Showdown. Bellingham topped Emerald City at Knocktoberfest last October (a tournament hosted by the Rainy City Roller Dolls in Centralia) 84-76 in the 30-minute bout, eventually taking third place by beating SCRV’s Death Rattle Rollers. Skaters like Ambrusia and Surly Q, along with Rocka Rolla, Rex Havoc, Pow Wow and more, will be eager to avenge last season’s loss to the Betties.
Arizona Roller Derby is another that helped usher in the new wave of the sport, also forming in 2003. And while AZRD had a tough go last season, it was against some top-flight competition, falling to teams like Pikes Peak and Angel City. However, they beat Sin City last season 95-82, so you know skaters like Rayna Rage, Deez Nutz and Gratuitous Violet can hang with the Showdown pack, especially considering their first tourney bout is going to be again Sin City. They’ll battle Lava City on Sunday. Arizona is ranked No. 12 in the West by WFTDA.
Sin City has had a rough go in WFTDA-sanctioned bouts, having gone on a 10-game skid since 2007 in such battles. But having lost several of those battles narrowly, like against Arizona last year, they’ll be eager to test their mettle with some strong new additions alongside some of their vets. And while their all-star roster isn’t yet announced, you can bet they’ll be motivated, with Arizona their first bout at the Wild West Showdown. Following that, they’ll face Hawaii Pacific on Sunday. WFTDA has Sin City checking in at No. 15 in the West Region rankings.
Making the trip up from New Mexico (their skater base is largely from Albuquerque and Santa Fe), Duke City was one of 2008’s top stories, earning a trip to nationals after a huge regional victory over then-reigning national champs Kansas City. Led by Kamikaze Kim, the Munecas Muertas feature a number of talented skaters, including Muffin, Miss E. Vil and Amanda Jammitinya. They’ll battle Jet City in their first bout, which should be interesting, as Duke narrowly lost to a Rose City Axles of Annihilation team that Jet City just topped. They’ll also do battle with Sacred City, with both those bouts slated for Saturday. They finished 2009 ranked 16th after falling to Oly, beating Tucson and eventually falling 105-103 to Bay Area to finish sixth at regionals last year. WFTDA places Duke City at No. 7 in the West.
Everett’s Jet City Bombers are another team eager to improve on a strong 2009 finish. Hungry for a regional berth, the Bombers will look to use this tournament as a benchmark on the path to meeting that end. In addition to opening against Duke City, they’ll also battle Hawaii Pacific. Jet City will rely on skaters like Precious N Metal, Connie Torturous, Molly Python and Mona Agony, among others, especially since they’ll be without Re-Animate-Her, who now skates with Rat City. As stated above, they take a big win against Rose City’s AoA as momentum into the coming season.
San Francisco’s B.A.D. Girls were right there with Rat City and Rose City as nationals hopefuls from a year ago, but like their counterparts, fell just short. But also like the others, they had much to be happy with from their regional showing. Bay Area lost a tough fight with Rat City before topping Pikes Peak. They then beat out Duke City for fifth at the tourney and finished 2009 ranked 15th by DNN. Skaters like Taxi Scab, Demanda Riot, Sassy Slayer and Co. are another that hope to get a jump start on 2010 at the Wild West Showdown. After opening against Hawaii Pacific then Rose on Saturday, then get a battle with Rocky Mountain Sunday that should be another Showdown highlight. BAD is No. 6 in the West according to WFTDA.
The Bellingham Roller Betties may be one of the tournaments more underrated teams. While they may not pack the big national-level wins of some of their WFTDA competitors, the Betties have some serious talent in the form of skaters like Chaos Fury, Walker Texas Mangle’her, Beretta Garbo, Helen Damnation, Tulla Jit and many more. As previously stated, they beat Emerald City last October, and will use that as motivation in facing Rocky Mountain on Saturday, their toughest bout at the Showdown, before rematching Emerald City Sunday.
The Hawaii Pacific league has been one growing since splitting from the Honolulu Derby Girls in 2008. After growing enough to sport two homes teams and an all-star team, they’re ready to start challenging their mainland derby sisters. They hosted the San Diego Derby Dames (and fell 108-81) last year, proving they can battle with solid teams. They’ll get another chance to prove that at the Showdown, as they battle Bay Area, Jet City and Sin City in three bouts that should give them a good read on where there are beginning 2010.
Skating out of Bend, Ore., Lava City is another that has familiarity with teams like Emerald City and Rose City thanks to their geography. Last year, Lava City’s Cinder Kittens just fell to Slaughter County 59-56 at the Atomic Rollergirls-hosted D-Day in the Desert tourney. Unfortunately, their next bout wasn’t as close, with Atomic getting its first ever win at Lava’s expense (however, it wasn’t all-star teams). That said, they should be another that teams would be wise not to overlook. They also have an uphill battle at the Showdown, facing Pikes Peak Saturday and Arizona on Sunday.
Just as Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak seemed to be gaining momentum nationally, Pikes saw three of their biggest names transfer to Rocky Mountain. But teams at the Showdown can’t overlook Pikes skaters like Kamilla BloodSpilla, Fanny Fister, Hawaiian Punch and Count Smacula. And while a big prospective bout against Rocky Mountain won’t be happening, Pikes will still have its hands full with Lava City Saturday and Sacred City Sunday. WFTDA ranks Pikes Peak No. 10 in the West Region.
Sacramento’s Sacred City Sacrificers may be last here, but they’ll certainly be among the pack. In addition to the Showdown, where they’ll take on Duke City Saturday and Pikes Peak Sunday, they’ll take on teams like Bay Area and Angel City in 2010. Another squad the opposition would be wise not to underestimate, the Sacrificers are a scrappy squad that will fight until the final whistle. WFTDA ranks Sacred City No. 11 in the West.
2009 In Review: I Found Derby, or Rather, Derby Found Me: My top derby moments of 2009 (and yes, that’s double semicolons! Booyakasha!)
January 26, 2010
Happy New Year!
OK, so initially I had intended to get this post out closer to the actual new year, but whatcha gonna do. So instead of clamoring on unnecessarily for a thousand words about resolutions and new beginnings, let’s just get down to it. 2010 baby, year of cuttin’ to the chase.
The year of our lord two thousand and nine will always hold a very special place in my heart. Although in many ways it was a tough year, it also opened my eyes to this wonderful world of derby and all it encompasses. So in honor of finding derby, or rather, derby finding me, here’s my own may-or-may-not-be-relevant-to-anyone-else Top 10 favorite derby moments of 2009.
10) Finding derby/my first bout
Finding roller derby was a very fluky thing for me. I had been working as a sports editor at a couple local papers in Kitsap County, home of the Slaughter County Roller Vixens, but hadn’t yet been introduced to derby until after I left those papers in Oct. ’08 for Olympia. I had heard a little bit about SCRV in passing, but didn’t really know what it was these days (like many, I pictured the one or two clips I’d ever seen throughout my life on the boob tube) and had seen an ad here or there for Rat City in The Stranger.
But alas, my true derby intro came after moving to Oly. More specifically, it came moving into my current house in Oly (dubbed the Rainy City house since). I answered a cragslist ad seeking roomies that had mentioned derby. I mentioned the very little I knew about derby and pow! I was now a roommate of two of Rainy City’s top blockers, D.O.G.G. E. Style (or D.O. for short) and Slaughter-Kinney. Like me, current roomie and Rainy City line coach Josh Bomb was also ushered in this way. Since that day (we moved in in December 2009, taking the house over from Rainy City co-founder and Guns N’ Rollers/Wheels of Justice badass Napalm Beth), only Josh Bomb and I remain of those original four, but the Rainy City connection remained strong, with Chun Lethal moving in, soon to be swapped out again as Crack Attack considers making our humble abode hers as well.
But I digress. The important thing about that ramble (so much for cutting to the chase…lol), is that without moving in with those awesome people, I’d not be sitting here writing these words today. And while getting to hear about derby made for a nice intro (we moved in during the offseason mind you), there was nothing like my first bout to sell me on it.
That came in January, when the Eves of Destruction and the SCRV All-Stars battled the Oly Rollers. I didn’t know much of what I was watching yet, except that it was badass and that I was officially hooked. And while my first Rainy City bout didn’t come until later, I owe my love and passion for the sport to the team I started with; I <3 you RCRD!
9) My first foray into announcing
Since I’ve gotten involved in derby, it’s been a rapid rise. I went from fandom, to shooting some photos, to blogging, to becoming an announcer, to becoming an NSO all in a matter of about 3-4 months of being introduced to the sport. Now I regularly do all of the above, even having worked a WFTDA-sanctioned bout (and soon, tournament).
But all that extra non-journalism-related stuff began simply enough, as the Guns N’ Rollers needed an announcer for a scrimmage they were hosting against Team Washington, a mix of skaters from throughout the state. Through the smoky haze, I became that person. Since, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of great announcers and have also become more involved as an NSO.
And while announcing may not be my favorite derby-related task next to some of the others (afterparty anyone?), I’m more than willing to take one for the team(s) that need a helping hand. Having a small sportscasting and larger radio background didn’t hurt either.
8) My first derby injury
We all know that injuries, depending of course on their severity, are one of derby’s badges of honor, an accomplishment to be looked back upon with admiration and respect (post-recovery of course). Well, I earned mine too. I won’t rehash all the details of fracturing my fibula, since I did already blog it once, but it happened on skates and while I was doing something. Score one for me! Usually my injuries were all stupid and self-inflicted. At least this one I can say with pride. And pain.
In any event, my recovery is coming along nicely! I’ve been putting pressure on it (while still booted) for the past two weeks, walking on it without crutches for the last week or so (although not outside as I still have to sleep in my boot. Outside and bathrooms still get crutches, as those are not elements I feel like tracking into bed). My range of motion is slowly but surely getting better and (hopefully) I get the boot off at my next appointment on Feb. 9.
Then the plan is to do my physical therapy, get everything back in tippy-top shape and, in theory, be back on skates in June! We shall see how this plan goes.
7) My first derby roadtrip
It was only too fitting that after seeing the Eves of Destruction, from Victoria, B.C., that my first derby roadtrip with Rainy City was against, who else? The very same Eves of Destruction.
I knew I had to make this one. I had to miss the team’s first road trip of the year, down to Bend, Ore., and heard all the stories and how much fun everyone had. I just couldn’t miss it. Plus, being a huge fan of most everything Canada, and having never been to Victoria while having spent more than my fair share of time in Vancouver, it just made sense.
This was a particularly fun trip, as it began with all of us not even sure who would make it through cutsoms. Alas, we all did, and hilarity, athleticism and plenty of good times, noodle salad, ensued.
6) Oly Rollers win WFTDA Nationals
So, having lived in Olympia from 1992 to 1997 (that’s fifth grade through half my sophomore year of high school), and having returned to town in Oct. ’08, there’s not a whole lot of sporting news that comes out of our state’s capital. We rely on the Mariners, Seahawks and now, Sounders, to get our mainstream sporting fix just as most of the Pacific Northwest does.
But thanks to the Oly Rollers huge showing at nationals, they brought Olympia its first non-school related major national title.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying that Oly has the skills that kills on the flat track. It’ll be interesting to see both a) How long their WFTDA-sanctioned undefeated streak lasts (the Cosa Nostra Donnas are 12-0 since joining WFTDA), and b) How they respond with the target on their backs.
You can find out on Valentine’s Day though! Come check it out with us as Rainy City will be taking on the Dropkick Donnas (formerly the Primas) in the first meeting between these leagues (Rainy City originally split from Oly). On the flip side, Cherry City is coming up from Salem, Ore., to battle the Bella Donnas, Oly’s newest team.
5) Rainy City narrowly defeats the Terrormedixxx
I’m still as lost for words on that bout as when I had the extreme pleasure of watching (and announcing) it back in May.
But holy cow, what a bout! This was the first bout I went too that was truly wire-to-wire intensity. From the starting whistle to the final whistle, both these teams wanted to win this bout sooooooo badly that is hurt to watch!
But also, Slaughter County and Rainy City have always gotten along well as leagues. We’ve always skated hard and partied harder together. Any heat-of-the-moment animosity dissolves just as quickly as the ice in the drinks they’ll buy you.
This was one of the best bouts I’ve ever seen. The first best bout I ever saw even. But as you’ll see if you keep reading, this season just got better and better!
4) Derby Daze
It may not be RollerCon, but Rose City’s Derby Daze was the first time I got to spend a weekend literally surrounded by derby.
I stayed with new-found derby friends (thanks again Mercy and Sedge!) in a city I’d only briefly visited prior (Portland). It was a full weekend of events, from scrimmages and bouts to excruciatingly early rules clinics. It was my first time working a sanctioned bout (Rose City’s Wheels of Justice vs. Albuquerque’s Duke City). It was the first time I wore zebra stripes (*shudders again*).
Ultimately, it’s one of the big reasons I will continue to stay involved with this sport on a number of levels, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Rose City for the endless derby opportunities they’ve afforded me. Their officials have always welcomed me on their crews with open arms. Their skaters have always been friendly and welcoming, even if I didn’t know the non-Rainy City alum at first. And I’ve gotten to meet other passionate fans out of the deal, like Sharkey, who I otherwise may not have met.
Good things, Portland, good things. And Derby Daze was basically the culmination of all that.
3) DNN boutcasting
I know this isn’t a specific northwest thing, or Rainy City thing, but whatever. If there’s one big trend that helped derby grow with rapidity in 2009, it was the Derby News Network (DNN) and the included partnerships that enabled them to boutcast teams from all over the country, so that derby fans all over the country could watch. I’ve seen Philly twice now. I’ve never been to Philly. Seen Gotham, Texas, KC, Windy; you name it. I was in New York for a few months in 2004…never been to the others. That is the glory that DNN has brought.
As long as the donations keep coming or another revenue stream comes in, the boutcasts should only improve, in turn helping further the sport even more on the national level.
Want proof? Well, are you one of the poor, unfortunate souls not able to attend the Wild West Showdown in February in Bremerton? That’s to bad…Philly, Oly, Rat, Rose, Rocky…the list goes on. Oh wait. Now you can watch it, thanks to DNN.
In short, next time you;re watching a bout that really impresses you, consider clicking that little paypal donate button. Heck, I’ve only been able to do a couple bucks here and there. but you know what? That couple bucks adds up when someone does that in Olympia, and Seattle, and Portland, and Denver, and Chicago, and Nashville, etc., etc. And in the end, it will only make the coverage we enjoy better quality and higher frequency.
2) D-Day in the Desert
Four teams worth of derby girls? Check.
Huge vacant camping area for all-comers? Check.
All-day tournament derby action? Check.
Dueling kegstands? What what what?!?!
That’s right. D-Day in the Desert had all that and whole lot more, as the Atomic City Roller Girls showed me a derby afterparty, and weekend, I’ll never, ever forget. Except for the parts I never remembered in the first place!
That weekend continues to be one of the constant reminder of all the glory derby an be. And don’t get me wrong…partying is fun and whatnot, but what really made this special again was that undying sense of camaraderie with no expectations, strings, or caveats. Everyone there just loves derby. What’s that? You love derby too? Sweet! Come join us! This was that ultimate scenario.
I really hope Atomic considers doing this tournament again, because it was an absolute blast! Thanks for hosting one of the best nights of my life Atomic!
Speaking of tournaments Rainy City won (what what!!!), we get to my overall greatest memory of derby related relatedness for 20-aught-9: Knocktoberfest.
In its second year as Rainy City’s signature tournament, Knocktoberfest brought a mix of great teams (Bellingham, DRR and Emerald City), great derby, and another wild afterparty.
First, on the tournament itself. Rainy City advanced to the championship against Bellingham. This had to be the best last jam I’d ever seen. Leading 61-60, Holly Hobbler, in her last Rainy City bout, took the star against Bellingham’s Dixy Dthdlr. Hobbler had to serve a minute in the box with time winding down. Game over right?
Wrong. Rainy City stepped up so huge. I’ve never been a more proud fan than I was at that moment (although the opener two weeks back made a pretty proud Thurston to0). I don’t want to rehash the whole thing here, since I did already blog it once, but man, oh, man, what a wild finish that was.
As for the party, it was also great, with most everyone from all the teams hanging at the local hotel (which I’m pretty sure we’ll never be invited back to), everyone was a winner. It was just a perfect finish to a perfect tournament, and really, a perfect season as Rainy City had one of its best showings yet. And with several people leaving, like Hobbler, Miss Mel Mangles, Bashley Juggs, Noa and others, it made the whole thing all the more special.
So there you have it…that about wraps up my favorite moments of 2009. Except to say that I’m sure there’ll be a slate of good ones coming up in 2010 too! Feel free to chime in on the comments section with your thoughts on these moments, or even what your favorite moments of 2009 were. I’d love to hear ‘em!
On a super awesome note, the Dockyard Derby Dames recently held a benefit bout Sunday for the Lakewood Police Officers Guild in honor of the families of the officers killed a couple short months ago. And, from what I hear on twitter, it was a huge success! Dockyard brought in more than $4,000 for them, with Pierce College generously donating the space and a host of other sponsors and vendors chipping in. Great job Dockyard!
Last but not least, don’t forget to come visit us this weekend and BRING YOUR SKATES! Rainy City is hosting its annual Black and White scrimmage for just $5! Check the flyer for more:
Alright kids…laters on.
Rose City vs. the NW; A Slaughter County Halloween; and How Derby Saved My Soul (and Broke Mah Leg!)
December 28, 2009
UPDATE: Sorry for the delay. At first it was my own delay, then I broke mah leg! Oh nos! That’ll be a blog too as I play catch-up. Also, since it’s been so damn long, this blog post will kinda suck compared to the others.
I have to say before I begin this blog that I’m truly grateful to the Rose City Rollers. The Rainy City Roller Dolls got me hooked (still have their hooks in me too for that matter), but one of the things that’s allowed me to grow and thrive as a fan, NSO and other within the sport have most definitely been my awesome love affair with the team residing in the City of Roses.
Of course, there’s the heavy Rainy City connection there too now, but what I mean is more along the active derby lines. Outside Rainy City, no league has been so willing to help me learn and grow as a non-skating official, fan and all-around derbynator. It was in Portland I made my announcing debut, for example. It was also the host site of the most drunken wedding I’ve ever attended. The Derby Daze NSO clinics were the first time I’ve been able to meet officials, both skating and otherwise, en mass.
So, it came as no surprise that I found myself back in good ole PDX on the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24 (yes, I’m still playing blog catch-up). This time, it worked out great. Already in Vancouver, Wash., for a work-related conference up through Friday late morning/early afternoon, the drive was much nicer than it normally is from Oly. With a bunch of time to kill, I took to the parks, hitting up a variety of scenic (albeit wet) riverfront parks and drives. But before long, it was time for peace and tranquility to fade into my favorite shades of chaos, nighttime and whiskey!
This weekend Portland was on a mission. This was Rose City vs. the NW.
In a great opportunity to get some experience for some of their league team’s fresh-meat skaters, the Friday night bout at the Hangar at Oaks Park featured the High Heathers (a mash-up of Heartless Heathers and High Rollers (MF!)) teaming up against the Sick Cherries, a mix of the Cherry City Derby Girls, a younger league out of nearby Salem, Ore., and the Sick Town Derby Dames, another recent upstart based out of Corvallis and Albany, Ore.
Now before I get too far along, I was working in the penalty box all weekend, including this bout. We were trying out a new stat tracking sheet designed, in my deduction, to help determine if skaters are accurately serving their time. Well, with a new stat sheet as well as the usual stop watches, I wasn’t able to take any kind of accurate notes. When I’m working derby, my attention is solely on that (lord knows I don’t want to make the mistake that screws some shit up royally!). But as a result, these blogs will be a little less meaty.
Now the Sick Cherries consisted of Back Alley Bruiser, Barium, Face Kontrol, Jalapainyo, Rice Cracker, Smackdapus and the Wrath of Kant (Sick Town) and 2001:A Skate Oddity, Areola 51, Des Demona, Flea Bitten Kitten, Keeley, Krista-phile, Peaches & Poison, Roll Model, Va Voom Va Vet and Toxic Assets (Cherry City). (Note: Thanks again, and as always, to Masonite Burn aka PDXSharkey, for providing some badass photography yet again! Check out his sets here!)
Taking to the hardwood for the Heartless Roller (they were listed by this name in the program, but everyone referred to them as the High Heathers) were Hard Candy, Monacle Debacle, Butcher Block, D Day, Knotty La Rue, French Tickler, Skintastic Dynomite, She Rex, Titania, F Bomb, KicKassedy, Penny Dreadful, Minnie Van Mayhem and Devaskating Deva.
I’d be lying if I said I still remembered who performed best in this bout at the individual level. In fact, I don’t even remember the final score. But thanks to the glory of the interwebs, I can save you the trouble of looking it up yourself! Thanks to the Coroner’s Inquest, a blog following the Heartless Heathers in Rose City, I can tell you the High Heathers won 142-109.Thanks to JellyPig for that write-up!
It was a good bout for several reasons. One, I’m a big fan of these types of bouts and scrimmages, as any opportunity to get fresh meat some on-the-track action is always a good thing. Secondly, it exposes us derby fans to the next wave of talent for our respective leagues and teams. Also, for a pair of younger leagues in Sick Town and Cherry City, it’s a great way to gauge where they’re at against very quality competition. Everyone wins in these match-ups essentially.
The second such bout featured Spokane’s Lilac City Rollergirls taking on the Buttrock Betties, a combo squad of the Guns ‘n Rollers and the Break Neck Betties. Making the trip over for Lilac City was Ida B. ChoAzz, Baby Snakes, Rosie Toes, Pink Taco, Smart Ass, Crazy Train, Sweetart, Dirt E KT, Tone Death, Joyful Destroyful, Southern Krush, Solar Ray of Death and Misato Herdemise. As for the Buttrock Betties, it was Soulfearic Acid, Slim Sheety, Lethal Lolita, Siouxsie Slambo, Barbahella, Rosie the Ripper and Frisky Sour from the Betties teaming up with GnR’s Cher the Pain, Fist O’Fury, Gutz n Boltz, Sugar and Vice, Hockey Honey, Evillia D. Stroiu and Suki Hana. Now, one of the GnR skaters couldn;t make, leading to the debut of a very special skater indeed….ladies and gentlemen, in her first sanctioned Rose City action, I present GnR’s Mel Mangles!
Now of course, anyone following Rainy City or this blog knows all about (Miss) Mel Mangles. She’s gonna leave quite a stamp on Rose City, just as she has here with Rainy City. She certainly didn’t waste any time either, helping her Buttrock Bettie teammates to a 142-64 blowout. I don’t think was Lilac at their best, having seen them several times before, but I think this bout speaks more tot he strengths of the Buttrock Betties rather than Lilac’s weaknesses. This was a freshmeat squad that could beat many of the teams I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in the 2009 season. Quite simply, they rocked it.
And while Jet City won that one 120-108, both squads look solid in a fast and exciting bout!
OK…so that’s all for that one since it’s so freakin’ late anyway.
On Halloween I decided to make the trip up to Bremerton and help out the Slaughter County Roller Vixens as the Terrormedixxx battled the Death Rattle Rollers! I was announcing this one (while bloodied up for the occasion of course). TMX won this one pretty handily, but it was a really fun bout, as both sides were having a good time in the name of Hallow’s Eve. The afterparty was another winner as well, with everyone in costume and a concert from Tumbledown (featuring Mike Herrera of MxPx fame). Good times!
So let’s see, there was also a little tournament called nationals that happened, and some team called the Oly Rollers won. OK…they didn’t just win…they turned the national derby scene on its head by thumping Gotham, Denver and a 78-point spanking of Texas. If you don’t know about that tourney yet, this blog isn’t gonna save you…lol. Huge kudos go out to the Oly Rollers though, bringing home the Hydra and shuttin’ up doubters around the country.
In other derby news, I began skating at practices with Rainy City just before Thanksgiving, finally opting to give it another shot. My main motivation was those awesome, hot, sunny June days when everyone is like, ‘Let’s go trailskate!,’ and everyone else but me was all like ‘Ya! That sounds awesome!’ and I was like ‘:( I can’t skate.’ I want to be in the ‘Ya! That sounds awesome!’ group. Well, I started out pretty well. My first practice, I only fell one time (although is was kind of in the splits position….). Still, I felt good about my progress, as I could actually turn (a feat I’d not been able to accomplish while skating as a child).
My next practice started well too, with me simply skating my beginner laps around the outside while practice went on on the track itself. Well, this days was individual drills, like walking on your toe stops, crossover footing practice, single-knee drops and the like. I was all like, ‘Pshhhh. I can do THAT!’ So I started to, doing meh on the toe stops. I did my single-knee drops fine (about four or five onto each knee) before beginning double-knee drops. I got three or four in as I was approaching the finish line, with enough space for one more. Just as I began to tuck my legs under to drop to my knees, at that exact same split-second moment, I lost my balance up top and fell backwards. The result was a pop in my leg I thought at the time was my ankle.
Fast forward to now, and I know it’s not my ankle. I broke my fibula on my right leg. Word of advice: Do not break your leg. It sucks. Seriously. Luckily, I have good insurance through my job, so I should be financially OK…much kudos and love to those skaters who have gone through something like this without insurance. Now that’s dedication to your sport!
In any event, the break didn’t need surgery, my ankle ligaments (which I thought may be out of whack) were OK too and now I’m about 5 weeks into my recovery, with another 3 or so left (maybe longer, as smoking cigarettes can slow bone growth and regeneration…damn you cancersticks!). I’m on crutches and still not weight-bearing, but hope to be all good and mended by the time the season begins (and hopefully in three weeks, when Rainy City is scrimmaging SCRV up in Kitsap). Thanks to everyone who’s already sent along their love. Derby community equals uber-rad!
And at least I did it on skates! This is the first major injury I’ve had where I was actually doing something. I had previously dislocated my right knee (chipping five small bone fragments off the back of my patella on the way back in) while getting on a bicycle. That’s right…not riding, getting on. I 3/4-fractured the bridge of my nose while playing with special ed preschoolers. I’ve hairline-fractured my right ankle while hiking (but really it was walking, since the spot I did it on was totally flat). So it’s nice to say I earned this injury. Plus I feel like its a derby badge of honor of sorts (although still one I’d rather not have collected!).
But yes, to there you have it. This blog is caught up. Sorry for the alarming lack of posts and action on here since October. I try not to be more than a week late in write-ups, but this was one spiral that just got away from me. All rested and rejuvenated now however, and already glimpsing the calendars for various leagues’ upcoming seasons, there’s gonna be a whole lot more to write about in the new year!
Speaking of writing about derby, I just finished my first story for Blood & Thunder, so we’ll see how that turns out! I’ll keep y’all posted. Merry x-mas to those of you who celebrated it, merry whatever else to those of you celebrating other things, and happy upcoming new year’s to all! You all rock my world! And best x-mas gift I got this year? Well, it came in February in the form of my first derby bout. This has truly been one of the funnest years of my life, and it has everything to do with roller derby and all the amazing people involved in it (read=you). So thanks derby. Sorry I could only get you this crappy shirt:
Take care derby lovers…and rest up! 2010 is gonna knock yer socks off!
<3, Thurston Gore!
November 4, 2009
It’s weekends like that one that remind me just how much fun roller derby is, can be, and will continue to be in the future.
What weekend is that, you ask? Well, the particular calendar date in question was Oct. 17, less than two weeks ago. But really, this was a weekend unlike Centralia will see again for some time. This was Knocktoberfest 2009.
The morning began innocently enough, with everyone waking and prepping for a long night of roller derby action. I knew I’d be at least partially announcing, so I started reviewing the rosters, getting ready for who I’d be calling out. When I got to the Rainy City Roller Dolls roster, it hit me. This really would be the last Rainy City bout for a number of the team.
There’s assistant coach Noa Fantastica, who is moving to Portland to hit some bitches of his own in the merby circles. There’s Bashley Juggs, who’ll head north to Tacoma to concentrate on school and work (Tacoma is already where she does both; perhaps we’ll see here with Dockyard next year?). There’s Holly Hobbler, following Noa to Portland where she’ll no doubt become a Rose City “Tiny Jammer.” And of course, Miss Mel Mangles.
Mangles, the leader of Rainy City on and off the track, is also Portland bound. In fact, just two weekends back I saw her make her Guns n’ Rollers debut (that blog is coming too; fear not!). In losing Mangles, the team isn’t just losing a player, but a truly exceptional leader who knew just what to do and/or say on and off the track to elicit the right response from her teammates at just the right time. She brought the Unicorn Punchers to life, donned the stache on more than one occasion, and found a number of ways to make this blogger feel like a little kid again.
Before I get too gushy though, let’s run through the rest of the amazing derby tournament that several hundred were lucky enough to witness. Featuring Rainy City, the Slaughter County Roller Vixens’ (Bremerton, Wash.) Death Rattle Rollers, the Emerald City Roller Girls’ (Eugene, Ore.) Exhibitionists and the Bellingham Roller Betties, there was no lack of action on the flat track.
Now, I’m not going to go into great detail in any of the specific bouts, since it’s been done and I’m later than usual with my recap (life is busy sometimes, ya dig?). Also, since I was working (I announced two bouts and was the score keeper for two bouts), didn’t get to catch as much of the action from an undivided standpoint this go round. So, for the nitty gritty of what went down, where and how, check out Elwood Bruise’s recap, now on Examiner, where he gets paid! Help a debry brother out and click on over there.
Bout 1 – Rainy City vs. Death Rattle Rollers
I was announcing the first bout along side Sparticus, the first time I’d gotten to work with him directly after we were originally slated to do a couple others together. I always enjoy getting on the mic with new people, and this was no exception! Where as I feel like my strengths are more of a traditional sports broadcaster, particularly in play-by-play action, his are not only an awareness of what’s happening on the track, but also, the ability to throw in comedic relief where I clearly can not. Nice job sir!
The opening bout ended up being Rainy City and the Death Rattle Rollers which was probably the one match-up I was hoping against in the opener. Now don’t get me long…I love the Slaughter County teams almost as much as my own Rainy City. But, they’d already bouted a couple times this year, either in official bouts or scrimmages, so I was hoping more for the mix up just because I’d never seen the other two teams skate. But alas, the draw had spoken.
Rainy City held the Death Rattle Rollers at bay throughout this one, scoring early and often to open up an early lead that would hold through. Elwood reported that Rainy City shut out DRR in 14 of 19 jams in the minibout (the tourney was played in 30-minute minibouts), while themselves scoring in 14. Anytime that happens, you can pretty much be assured of the outcome. In this case, the first bout ended with Rainy City on top, 109-26.
Bout 2 – Bellingham vs. Emerald City
This was the first time I got to watch either of these teams skate and I must say, they both have a lot of talent and are pretty evenly matched. I was a scorekeeper during this one, so again, not the most detailed notes, etc.
Still, I was impressed by several members of both squads. They both seemed pretty evenly matched. It started back-and-forth, but Bellingham built a pretty hefty halftime lead, up 45-20.
Not making the long drive from Eugene to Centralia for nothing however, Emerald City battled back, going on a 20-3 run to start the second half and pull closer at 48-40 Bham.The next jam, Sirius Smack, one of ECRG’s finest, took a 15-4 decision to put the Exhibitionists up 55-52.
This bout continued back and forth until the final jams, when Pearl Haggard and Helen Damnation each picked up 5-0 runs to secure a spot for Bellingham against Rainy City in the final, 84-76. Great bout from both teams!
Since I’d never a seen either of these teams, a few quick individual observations. For Bellingham, Chaos Fury stands out first and foremost. She is as formidable a threat on the track as I’ve seen int he NW, using size and agility to takes hits and dish ‘em out. Walker Texas Mangle’Her was pretty killer in the pack too. Other solids were Lady Blackhart and Osaka Punch!. Jamming, it was Haggard and Dixy Dethdlr who stood out. But let’s see…I’m forgetting someone…oh yea…one of the night’s top all-around threats, Helen Damnation. She not only capitalized when jamming, but was a thorn in the side of her opponents all night long in the pack too.
As for Emerald City, how could you not be impressed by Pow Wow? She was one of their top players on this night and rightfully so, as she was ECRG’s most effective jammer. But like some others mentioned here, she has the size and agility to absorb a hit as well, making her particularly dangerous when she’s wearing the star. Sirius Smack was also stellar, and ECRG jammers Betty Aim Fire and Ambrusia were both solid as well, with the latter also doing a great job blocking. Rex Havoc was one of the better blockers in this tourney as well, while her teammates JuJu Doll and Ginger Kid were also solid all-round.
So, it was now time to go back to announcing for the third bout, which was the third/fourth-place bout between….
Bout 3 – DRR vs. Emerald City
I was actually pretty stoked to announce this one too, as it gave me the chance to work with another announcer for the first time, Rat City’s Randy Pan the Goat Boy. A derby vet who’s been around the block a few times, it was a great experience for me to just see another style of announcing. Randy is a good dude and it was pleasure to call a bout with him.
As for the bout, you could tell right off the get go that DRR wanted to make a statement. One of two players helping DRR out on loan from Spokane’s Lilac City, Crazy Train and fellow DRR jammers Evil JenEvil, Bashley Blaze and Speedy Gun Haul-Ass helped build a 23-10 lead early.
But Emerald City, once again, wanted to drive back to Eugene with something to show for it, and kicked it into high gear, outscoring DRR a whopping 65-18 the rest of the way en route to a 74-41 third-place victory.
For DRR on the tournament, each of those jammers were solid, but blocking was one of their strengths, with Ruby Rotten, Knock’er Socksoff and Goodielicious doing the most damage. And while DRR may not have won a bout at the tourney, they just may have won the afterparty (more in a minute).
That left just one more bout…
Knocktoberfest Championship – Rainy City vs. Bellingham
For me it was back to the score table, but for this bout, turns out there’s no better seat in the house.
What a bout this turned out to be! After Rainy City pulled ahead early, thanks to nice jams from Holly Hobbler and Killer B. But, as was seemingly the theme for this entire tournament, it didn’t stay that way.
Bellingham battled back behind those same key aforementioned cogs, eventually working Rainy City to a 47-47 tie.
That was when it got really intense. In fact, Elwood told that so well, I’m gonna lift his play-by-play, but you can read the entire recap of his here.
The 18th jam was one of the most intense jams I have ever seen! Jammers Toot A. Lou and Tulla Jitt couldn’t get through the pack during their initial pass no matter what they tried. Tulla eventually found herself sitting in the penalty box for the middle part of this jam, but Toot A. Lou still couldn’t find that gap to get through so she could go on her scoring run. Although all the Bellingham blockers should get credit for this, Walker Texas Mangle’her did an especially good job with keeping the dangerous RCRD jammer in check. The jam went a full 2 minutes with neither skater escaping the pack during their initial pass!
The next two jams were the exact opposite of the previous one. In the 19th run, Helen Damnation slapped the star on her noggin, claimed lead jammer and raced away with a devestating 13-4 decision over Holly Hobbler, giving Bellingham a 60-51 lead. But in the very next jam, Rainy City answered back with a vengeance as Lucyville Slug’her got to show off her jamming skills in a rare occasion by earning lead jammer and collecting a pair of grand slams for a 10-0 scoring run that gave Rainy City a slim 61-60 lead with time quickly running out.
That set the stage for one of the best moments I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in roller derby. With one jam to go, Rainy City up 61-60, Holly Hobbler took the star again for Rainy City while Dixy Dthdlr sported it again for the Betties. With two of the best jammers on the floor, most everyone, especially me as an official scorekeeper, figured there’d be a lot more adding before the final tally was posted.
But rather than an offensive outburst on either side, Rainy City’s wall of Crack Attack, Slaughter Kinney (in one of her best bouts yet), Poise N’ Bury and Miss Mel Mangles made sure that didn’t happen. They suffocated the pack, and while Hobbler herself was never able to score a point (thanks to a wall of Walker Texas Mangle’her, Lady Blackheart, Helen Damnation and Chaos Fury), neither was Dthdlr, as Mangles finished her off by improbably sitting on her for the entire final lap. In fact, Hobbler had to serve a full minute in the box in the final jam.
But alas, Rainy City had done the improbable, preserving a 1-point lead and ultimately, a Knocktoberfest 2009 championship win! SHANANANA!
So, which team had I not yet called out great players for? Who does that leave? Rainy City? What, what?
Rainy City was ready for this tournament, and you could see they did not want to lose in front of the home crowd or in the last bout for so many awesome members of the league. While there wasn’t that ‘Win one for the Gipper’ feel in the air, you bet your ass that Rainy City wanted to send Mangles, Hobbler, Bashley and Noa out on top. And what better way?
First, Mangles. Holy crap. There’s a reason she’s already been drafted to GnR folks. If you haven’t gotten to watch Mangles skate competitively, do yourself a favor and catch her the next time she’s in action. If you haven’t had the insanely awesome privileged of getting to party with Mangles, then this too is a must-do before you die. Mangles, I’m gonna miss your Unicorn-Punchin’ ass up here, but we’ll see you in PDX too. Oh ya, and did I mention this feared blocker took lead jammer in four of her six bouts as a jammer?
Next, Holly Hobbler. Rainy City’s Tiny Jammer had been a little back and forth this year, following up a great bout with a tougher bout, then vice versa. But there was no question in this one, as her 37 points speaks for itself. Another great asset to Rainy City and also a ton of fun on and off the track, Hobbler is another one I’ll miss dearly. She too is going to be a great asset where ever she goes. But again, what a way to end it.
Now, Killer B. If anyone can soften the blow of losing a jammer like Hobbler, it’s B. Four jams, 40 points. You do the math. She was on her game tonight and has come a long way since joining Rainy City just a few short months ago.
These two I’ll include together: Poise N’ Bury and Mak’her Mark. Both of these RCRD blockers were known forces on the track for their team based on their performance throughout the season. Mak’her was already a big threat coming into this season, while PoiseN has surely established herself with her rapid ascent this season. And while both continued to be a blocking force on the track in this one, I was excited to see both of them jam, and jam well. Rainy City is going to need someone to step up on the scoring side, and they both showed they have the capacity to do just that. Great all-around bouts for both.
Crack Attack and Lucyville were both solid as usual, but one of their partners in crime on the Rainy City blocking line was another standout: Slaughter Kinney. In two of the best bouts I’ve seen her in, my former roomie not only kicked some major ass from a blocking standpoint, dishing out big hits and holding the inside line with the best of ‘em, she also got the don the jammer cap against DRR. SK had never scored a point before. Well, how about 14!?!?!?! In one jam!!! She did rad!
Really, it was a total team effort by Rainy City to pull this one out. If anyone had let up for any of the time they were on the track, the outcome could have been drastically different. And that is exactly why I think Rainy City will be a-ok in the face of their departures. Sure, you lose a lot of leadership in Mangles and a lot of size and blocking ability in Mangles and Bashley. Sure you lose a very solid jammer in Hobbler. Sure, you lose a great bench coach in Noa. But Rainy City is a team in the truest sense of the word. In fact, if anything, this is all just part of a greater ploy for Rainy City to take over Portland.
I kid, but it’s true. While all four have made huge contributions to Rainy City’s history, it’s now on the shoulders of the remaining RCRD skaters and staff to pick up where the team left off. Rainy City made some huge strides this year. Just because some key players are leaving doesn’t mean that run has to end. The pieces are there to keep this successful run going. Really, it’s not a matter of if someone will step up. It’s really just a matter of who. And the answer, honestly, could end up being everyone. But one things for sure: We haven’t seen the last of any of these key Rainy City now-alum. But so is something else: You haven’t seen the last of Rainy City either.
Back to gushing for a minute, while I got to extend loving sentiments in context of the bout for Mangles and Hobbler,
let me do the same now for Bashley and Noa.
Both have been important pieces of Rainy City’s rise, there to help the team grow and mature and get to where it is today. Bashley had better keep skating with Dockyard; when she’s on top of her game mentally and physically, she’s just as big a blocking threat as anyone. I’ve seen her lay out some skaters with some pretty big shoulders. Now she has the opportunity to do it again for Tacoma.
As for Noa, his contributions as a coach you’d think you’d never see in a bout. On the contrary, you see it in every fresh meat skater that’s come up with Rainy City. Noa has taken the RCRD newbies under his wing and made competent, if not skilled skaters out of them. He’s also pretty damn funny. But now he has a chance to take those skatin’ skillz of his own and put them to good use in the merby world. Kick some ass both of you! Both will be missed as we move toward next season.
A big shout out to both Crazy Train and Schawanna BoomBoom for making the long trip over to Spokane to help out DRR. An even bigger shout out to Hector, the dude who was kind enough to pick these two up after their car broke down on the pass, drive them to the Rollerdrome in Centralia, and stay and cheer them on in the bout! I got to talk to him and thank him personally, and he was truly a humble and amazing dude. He truly felt it was a sort of divine intervention that made it all happen. No matter your religious beliefs, some kind of derby magic was working. I’m just glad they all got their safe. And I’m sure Hector didn’t mind getting his derby cherry popped by those two!! Come to think of it, how hard can hitching a ride in that tandem really be?!?! Just kidding…thanks again for coming over to rock this side of the mountains once more!
That leaves us with one more piece of business to be covered here. Ah yes, the afterparty. With Atomic City hosting D-Day in the Desert earlier in the year (featuring Crazy, Schawanna, RCRD and DRR, as well as Lava City and the rest of Atomic City), I thought there’d be no afterparty to rival. And while the Knocktoberfest afterparty may not have been quite as wild and crazy as that one, there’s a reason a rumored three-to-four guests unexpected checked out of the Econolodged after midnight (sorry!).
We partied the shit out of that place, with the cops eventually making a delayed appearance at about 3 or so in the morning. Really, I was surprised they hadn’t shown up soon. There was no fights or drama or anything to warrant it, just loud, fun good ole drunken debauchery!
It was great to get to hang out with all the teams, as well as guests like Rose City’s Mercyful Kate who had made the trip up. Everyone was super fun. I must have floated around to a least a dozen conversations and groups of people in various hotel rooms, parking spaces and hallways, and every single one was pretty rad. But, while everyone certainly won the afterparty, nobody won it more than DRR! While the lovely ladies from Slaughter County may not have won out on the track, they partied the shit out of everyone! I’m sure we can expect more of the same when it comes time for them to host a pretty big tournament this winter…more on that soon. Also, only one window was killed in the production of this afterparty.
Again, special thanks to PDXSharkey/Masonite Burn for shooting rad shots (as usual) of a rad sport! He’s pretty badass, so go check out more of his awesomeness on flickr!
Also, Dockyard has a rad bout coming up this weekend against Lava City! Check it out!
I also wanted to add a note about Slaughter County skater Goodielicious. While I was announcing their bout last weekend between the Terrormedixxx and Death Rattle Rollers (Goodie is DRR) she took a very hard spill, breaking her ankle in 2 or 3 places. She is a single mom who works two jobs (with no insurance) to make ends meet for her family. As a result of her injury, she can’t work. It’s gonna be tough times. So if there’s anyway you can dig into your wallet, even for just a buck or two, it’ll all help. This isn’t a faceless charity somewhere where you send off your money and never really know what it went to or how it was used. This money all goes to Goodie, and in turn, all supports her and her family in this difficult time. So please, again, even if its just a buck, it all ads up! Let’s show everyone how much PacNW derby, and Roller Derby in general, takes care of our own! Just click here to begin the donation process online via paypal. Thanks!
Lastly, I apologize formally for the delay in posting the bloggity blog blog. It’s been a combination of being out of town, at other derby stuffs, work stuff and personal life, all taking things back I guess (lol). In any event, since I went to this bout, I’ve been to two others: The wild weekend two weeks ago down in Portland where Rose City battled the PacNW, and to Slaughter County’s DRR vs. Terrormedixxx battle. Both of those blogs will be posted in the near future here too. I’ll be playing catch-up, that’s for sure! But what better time to have a derby delay than when we’re heading into the offseason?
Word up kiddies.
October 16, 2009
I absolutely, positively love, Love, LOVE! Canada. I love Vancouver. I love Victoria. I love the whole of B.C.
Seriously though, from the moment I first went drinking in Canada and the waitress in the pub bumped into my chair, turning to me and saying, “Soary aboot that,” I’ve been hooked.
This has translated into a love for beer, stickyicky, massive amounts of culture and of course, hockey. Particularly the Vancouver Canucks.
As a result, I tend to have a bias for things from Canada. In fact, it’s probably (in a very small way) partly responsible for my love of roller derby. After all, the very first bout I ever attended was a Oly Rollers double header against the Slaughter County Roller Vixens’ Death Rattle Rollers and Victoria, B.C.’s own, Eves of Destruction.
Later, Rainy City went up to Victoria to bout the Eves; my first derby road trip.
In any event, this is all relevant because on Sunday, I finally got to see one of the derby teams I’ve longed to catch in action: Vancouver’s own Terminal City Roller Girls. Terminal came down last weekend to take on the Oly Rollers’ Prima Donnas, although, this was not your average Primas roster.
In addition to normal Primas like Mary Etoppins, Betty Blockade, Halle Scary and Intended Anger, the team was boosted by usual Cosa Nostra Donnas (fresh off winning the WFTDA Western Region in case you’re been living in a derby-insulated cave) lik Atomatrix and Trikk Tracy. The intention clearly was not to stack, as, for example, Atomatrix never donned the jammer cap, spending her whole bout as a blocker (and an incredibly effective one I might add).
I was just enjoying this one, so I didn’t take any detailed notes. But holy crap! this bout was an absolute nail-biter!
Right from the get-go both teams showed a lot of determination to take the win, with a literal back and forth happening the whole time. Couple points here, five there. Early on, I could have sworn I saw the Terminal City jam ref flash 4 points that never went up. Could be wrong though. However, in a bout like this, I clearly remember thinking, “Hope those aren’t important.”
Terminal City had some very impressive skaters who were a lot of fun to watch. Particularly, I really liked getting to see Lamb Baste-Her, Rollergirl, Chica Bomb, Shift Kicker and LA Gunns. In fact, it was Gunns, who let’s just say is not the tallest derby girl on the track, who set the stage for one of my favorite moments as she tried to split the Oly pack for better blocking position while pivoting. She decided to try to cut in between a pair of Oly blockers, but not just any pair of Oly blockers. She tried to go right in between Trikk Tracy and Betty Blockade. Ouch. Predictably, this did not work out too well for her. She found herself a ridiculously undersized slice of lunch meat between two huge pieces of Oly Rollers bread. but hey, anyone who sees those two in front of her and THEN goes for the middle has some major guts!
Luludemon was another who had a great night for Terminal, perhaps egged on by the fact that her parents, who live in freakin’ England, were in Oly to catch the bout. She did get hurt late in the bout (looked like it might have ben a hammy pull, but who knows for sure). But she was jamming very effectively throughout.
As for Oly, my favorite moment was getting to see Halle Halle “>Scerry jam. If you’ve read this blog before, you know it’s no secret I love seeing blockers jam, and Halle was no exception. She even earned lead jammer before being forced to call it off as Terminal’s jammer began her scoring pass.
In any event, the back and forth continued right down to the wire, when Oly found themselves on a power jam in the final jam of the game, outscoring Terminal in the last jam to pull out a crazy, intense, super fun 110-107 win.
Now, if those four points I thought were flashed were counted, then Terminal would have potentially finished up by a point. But woulda, coulda, shoulda. In a bout like this, a million other things could have happened to change the outcome too.And that’s on either side.
In the end, it was a very nice win for Oly, getting some action for some skaters as they prep for Nationals, while Terminal too had a great showing. I’m sure we’ll see these squads battle again on the wood grain before too long. And when they do, you won’t want to miss it!
One other funny moment happened late when josh_bomb and I noticed that a Oly jammer called a jam off. Routine enough. Except there was no lead jammer in the jam. We both started yelling rather loudly, and in the end, a penalty was doled out and order restored. I don’t know if we were truly the ones to tip it off, but if we weren’t, we certainly helped! lol
So, what are you doing this weekend? If it’s not Rainy City’s Second Annual Knocktoberfest, then quite frankly, I don’t want to know.
It’s gonna be epic! Beer garden, four teams, after party (and likely an after after party). What more could you possible want? Basically, it’s gonna be a derby cluster-ef of Rainy City, Slaughter County’s Death Rattle Rollers, the Bellingham Roller Betties and the Emerald City Roller Girls. Order for the tournament has not yet been determined. But one thing is certain…there will be killer derby!
As for the rest of the horizon, I’ll be in Portland on Oct. 24 for the Axles of Annihilation as they battle the Jet City Bombers. Actually, this one is gonna be a weekend of Rose City Rollers vs. the Pacific Northwest!
I’m already going to be down in Vancouver, Wash., Oct. 21-23 for a work-related conference, so I’ll be jumping the river and catching some PDX funtime!I’ll likely be NSOing these, so we’ll see how detailed the recaps are.
However, if you feel like that’s just too damn far to go, then make sure you go say what’s up to Dockyard for me, as the Tacoma league is hosting its championships on the 24th too!
Originally I was gonna be here, but the work conference and proximity changed that. So, if anyone wants to do a recap of that one for the bloggy blog here, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org! This bout is gonna be a ton of fun too. Ah, if only I could be a million places at once!
Also, I’m looking to buy skates. Cheap ones. That don’t entirely suck. We’ll see how that goes…maybe a derby equipment blog coming in the future??? We’ll see.
Alright…that’s all for now! Peace outski derby lovers!
September 23, 2009
NOTE: This version of the blog has been added to because I am wetodddid and failed to mention three moments I certainly intended to talk about. Nothing from the original blog has been deleted or altered in any way, shape or form. The blog has merely been added to. These paragraphs will begin with a ! and when the section ends, will be followed by a ! for clear identification. In the interest of full disclosure, yours truly, thurstongore!
ANOTHER NOTE!: Now, there’s photos! Thanks to Narra99 from Jet City for letting me use these!!
On the track, it seemed like the Jet City Bombers were looking for a relatively easy win, and for good reason. On paper, it all added up. They just dismantled the Dockyard (Tacoma) Derby Dames’ all-star squad, the Waves of Mutilation, by more than 100 points. The Rainy City Roller Dolls, their hosts in Centralia last Saturday, had just lost to Dockyard’s Trampires, the team providing the bulk of the Wave roster, in a four-point nail-biter.
But this, my friends, is why roller derby is not played on paper.
Jet City walked out with the win the Everett all-star squad came for, but they also took home some new bruises as Rainy City put up a fight that made the Bombers earn every last point en route to a 184-122 win. Don’t be fooled by the 62-point difference…this bout came down to the last several jams, with Rainy City making a great run to narrow the gap before Jet City responded in the final moments.
Things started just as Jet City had planned, building a 31-4 lead while shutting out RCRD in four of the opening five jams. Rainy City’s Toot A. Lou (responsible for the first four) then racked up nine more to indicate Rainy City wasn’t going to take it lying down. However, with just one more point in the next three jams, and nine in that final one by Jat City’s Precious N’ Metal, made it 44-14 despite the fact Rainy had lead jammer in two of those.
Jet City did a great job in the first half of holding Rainy City at bay. It seemed every time Rainy scored some points to close it, they’d be another one or two ahead. For example, in the 10th jam of the first half, Rainy City’s Killer B racked up seven on the comeback path followed by another four from Miss Mel Mangles. In those same jams, Jet City’s Precious N’ Metal and Missus Unshine scored eight and six respectively to still gain three more, at that point making it 58-25.
The Bombers got a big boost from Connie Torturous, who netted a 17-point jam before being sent to the box, her team now up 87-31. That let Rainy chip back before the half however, building momentum with a 10-pointer for Lucyville Slug-Her. Holly Hobbler scored another 8 for Rainy City to close the half on an 18-0 run, cutting the gap to 87-49.
It was definitely a hard-hitting first half, with Jet City’s Trixxxie’s Trash’n Em, Nasty Nikki Nightstick and Cheerbleeder dolin’ out the biggest hits. Rainy City was hitting hard right back, with Mangles, Crack Attack, Poise N’ Bury and Lucyville dishing em out.
Rainy City has long touted itself a second-half team, but this lead was large and Jet City, with the exception of the last couple jams, was largely in charge.
Early in the second half, the Bombers jumped even further out in front with Metal again putting up a 17-point jam and building a 121-59 lead. But again, rather than roll over, Rainy City resolved to go down with a fight. That might have led to one of the more gut-wrenching moments for RCRD in the second half.
Rainy City was aided on the night by the return of DVS Dicer, who had recently moved to Las Vegas. Going around turn two, she was hit hard (and unintentionally) in the face by Cheerbleeder, who was then expelled from the game despite the fact the hit was ruled unintentional. And honestly, Cheerbleeder seemed pretty upset about it, since Dicer was on the ground for some time. In fact, with about 15 minutes left, she had to go to the hospital since her nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. Ultimately, she had a minor concussion as well as a fractured nose (didn’t break all the way). Not how you want to see one of your former teammates exit when it’s a one-off showing anyway.
Perhaps out of motivation (or perhaps out of necessity, as another big jam – this time a 20-pointer from Molly Python, who had a very strong all-around game – made it 141-60), Rainy City battled back. Killer B racked up nine in two jams, but then it was Toot A. Lou’s time to shine. With Precious N’ Metal just picking up another eight points herself, she found herself headed to the box with a cutting major. This was a welcome sight for Rainy City, as she’d been the most consistent thorn in the team’s side from a jamming perspective on the night.
Rainy City took advantage, as Toots raced around the track for four grand slams plus four more before Metal got back on the track, a 24-point jam! Holly Hobbler, eager to take advantage fo the momentum, racked up 14 in the next jam herself while Jet City’s Mona Agony, who also had a stand-out all-around performance, got just four despite lead jammer status.
In just two jams, Rainy City went from 69 points to 107, cutting the gap to 155-107 with time for four jams left. Having just put up 38, the crowd got noisier, realizing this one wasn’t as far out of reach as it had seemed throughout much of the night. RCRD thought similarly, getting it back to 161-119 with two jams left.
But as any good team does, Jet City realized what they needed to do to keep it from slipping away, outscoring Rainy City 23-3 the rest of the way (10 more for Python and 13 more for Connie) en route to the 184-122 win.
This was the first time I’d ever witnessed a Rainy City loss. And I have to say, in many ways, it felt like a win. Given the results the week before and RCRD’s loss to the Trampires, Jet City was skating with purpose if for no other reason than a survival instinct. You could see their expressions change as Rainy City continued to battle hard and batter harder. But still, kudos to Jet City for keeping calm in the face of the change of momentum and reacting appropriately. Kudos again to Rainy City for showing a lot of heart in the face of a blowout. This was a great bout by two great things. You can tell the future is bright for both squads.
A couple more shout-outs performance-wise: For Jet City, Cia Woodnwannabia has always impressed me, and she skated well again in this one. For Rainy City, Killer B had a great bout alongside the aforementioned skaters, and it was nice to see the continued development of fresh meat Nic Fit, who really looked as comfortable in the pack as I’d seen her yet. Slaughter-Kinney and Lil Miss Mak’er Mark both performed solid as well, with the latter providing my favorite moment of the bout (next to the overall comeback effort of course).
I can’t remember who was coming through, but one of Jet City’s jammers in the first half found herself in both Mak’er and PoiseN’s sights. With these blockers known to floor a skater or two in their time, I was bracing for a painful-looking sandwich. But in a rare moment of mis-timing and a nice burst move by the Jet City jammer, both Rainy City blockers ended up putting a shoulder at full force in to…each other! I just remember Mak’er looking over at PoiseN right after it happened with a huge grin on her face. Ah roller derby; it’s moments like this that remind me why I love you. An instant classic to be sure!
!A particular shout-out to two of Rainy City’s inspirations Saturday night, if to none other than myself, go to Miss Mel Mangles and Chun Lethal. Mangles, always an imposing force on the track, had one of her best nights. She successfully executed blocks twice while skating backwards but moving forward, which I have to say from a fan perspective was pretty rad. Not to mention the heated exchange between Nasty Nikki Nightstick and herself in the penalty box area in the games final jam (Nightstick had taken out Hobbler just inside turn three with a kind of lunging forearm that earned her a trip to the box, but also sent Hobbler to the floor hard with the clock ticking down).!
!Nothing came of it but some heated words, and I’m sure there’s no bad blood among these two teams. Derby is derby and I’m sure we’ve all seen first hand the intensity and pressure of the sport on more than a few derby girls! !
!Now, as for Chun Lethal, she had been unfortunately Mangled herself during a recent practice, leaving her literally immobilized (you have to come back and check this picture out when it’s up! I’ll repost). While she’s been recovering, she was still wearing her brace at the bout. Well, she is a Rainy City skater, so you know her heart was in it. In addition to yelling (a yell fueled by a flask-and-a-half of whiskey, neither here nor there of course ), she could be found on more than one occasion hopping on her one good leg while trying her hardest to both keep her Mangled leg stable and her attention focused on who she should be yelling praises and curses to (whether they be toward her team, the other, or of course, the zebras). It was truly an inspirational sight to behold! !
Again, kudos to both squads, as Jet City got the win and Rainy City made sure they earned every point. This was one 62-point difference that certainly didn’t feel like a blowout. !Jet City has many talented skaters, and, as joshbomb was first to point out, will certainly be WFTDA Regional contenders in the near future.!
So, no pics yet. Waiting for potential shots from a couple sources, so I’ll keep you all posted. Hopefully I can ad some in before week’s end. Check back for more. I was originally going to announce, but with only two mics and Jet City bringing their own announcer, Bulldog, I gladly let he and Sparticus run the show. I really enjoyed getting to be a fan again, even if my voice was raspy as all hell the next day. But, since I thought I’d be on the mic, I neglected to bring my camera. Lesson learned.
Also, check out the Rainy City Web site, http://www.rainycityrollerdolls.com. The site was just launched by fresh meat skater Mambo Boom! and looks great! Some parts are still being built, but what’s up is a nice foundation.
Next up for Rainy City is Knocktoberfest, which will be on Saturday, Oct. 17. Stay tuned for more details!
I’ll be in Slaughter County this weekend as the Terrormedixxx and Death Rattle Rollers prepare to battle….each other! More details on that as we get closer too. Nice to see Brawlyanna and Brandifurious out too in the crowd!
Lastly, in addition to my Rainy City girls, it was great to see Precious N’ Metal at the afterparty. She was super cool to talk to and hang with for a bit and it’s always a pleasure getting to mingle with the opposition!
So, that about sums it up. Don’t forget to get your regionals fix this weekend, with Southern Fried Smackdown kicking off Friday in Atlanta. Will it be Texas? Who will be this year’s Kansas City-sized upset? Can hometown Atlanta shake it up? We’ll see…
No matter what though, it’s gonna be a fun weekend!
Take it easy derbyers!
NOTE: Again, sorry for my own brain farts there. Cheers!