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.
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.
July 8, 2009
Just when you thought roller derby at the Rollerdrome couldn’t get any better…
Just when you thought watching the Rainy City Roller Dolls was enough…
Just when you though a double header couldn’t possibly get any more raucas…
That’s right, on Saturday, July 11 (this Saturday), the Rainy City Roller Dolls are hosting a double header at the Rollerdrome in Centralia, unveiling for the first second time a beergarden explosion!
In one bout, Rainy City will do battle with Boise, Idaho’s Treasure Valley Rollergirls, who are coming off a nice win down in Reno, Nev., on June 27 against Reno’s Battle Born Derby Demons 124-117. They needed it too, as the Emerald City Roller Girls, of Eugene, Ore., upended TVRG in Boise, 104-100. You can read more about that bout from May 26 over at Elwood Bruise’s All Bout Derby.
They bring a strong balance, using blockers like Scarlet Danger (13 blocked jammers by Elwood’s numbers at the May bout), Cybil Dizorder and Mia Wallups alongside jammers like JillDozer (33 points against Emerald City) and B-Header (41).
Of course, in Rainy City, which has been on a roll since defeating Victoria, British Columbia’s Eves of Destruction, they’re getting a team that’s won two head-to-head bouts and the D-Day in the Desert tournament the Atomic City Roller Girls threw on June 6.
Ultimately, you’re likely going to need a cold refreshing beer to cool off, as the action will be heating up throughout!
In the undercard on the bill, the Fort Lewis Bettie Brigade is taking on the Sick Town Derby Dames (STDD…hahaha!) of Corvallis, Ore. I was trying to look up recent results and honestly, and not sure if either of these teams have bouted of late beyond scrimmages. So, it’ll be a good first look (at least for me) at these squads.
Tickets are only $10 in advance at brown paper tickets! It’s $12 at the door. Did I mention I’ll be making my announcing debut for Rainy City? How’s that for added incentive! (if this actually acts as a deterent for you, let us and know; I can “take care of” myself, if you know what I mean…)
Beer, derby and fishnet tights…what could possibly be better?
Hey! Yeah you! I see you asshole! Just kidding. But if you are reading this, ask yourself a very important question… Are you going to be at this bout? If the answer is no, then maybe you should reconsider your priorities in life. Just sayin. If the answer is yes, then maybe you should consider free admission and a free t-shirt!!! That’s right…the Rainy City Roller Dolls need some volunteer help for this very bout! For additional info, message the team on myspace. If for some reason you *still* refuse to have a myspace, then go ahead and get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure it gets into the right hands!
July 1, 2009
There’s truly no place like home for a season-ending bout.
Last weekend, I got the pleasure of joining the Kitsap County-based Slaughter County Roller Vixens for their final bout of the season, There’s No Place Like Home. With a Wizard of Oz theme, the SCRV Dorothys took on the Lilac City Rollergirls’ (Spokane) SheWolves, while the SCRV All-Stars did battle with 7 + 7, a mix team feature seven skaters from Oregon and seven from the Rat City Rollergirls.
And while the action on the track wasn’t the closest (the SheWolves claimed a 174-89 win while the SCRV All-Stars won just as handily, 169-65), there were two things that really impressed me about this bout.
First, location, location, location! For the first time, Slaughter County was able to make use of the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion. Utilizing a sport court on borrow from Jet City (Everett; isn’t the derby community rad?), the Pavilion proved a great derby atmosphere, with a nice section of elevated seating providing some great birds-eye views on the action.
Secondly, with about 400 people turning out, it’s great to see the fan support. Derby was not the only option in Kitsap last weekend. The derby literally had to compete with The Thunderbird Rodeo, happening literally at the arena right across the street; the Kitsap BlueJackets, who had a game at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields, also right across the street; Fathoms of Fun, Port Orchard’s community festival; and I’m sure there was more going on too. Kitsap County is one of those places where nothing happens for four weekends in a row, then five different things you want to do are all packed into the same Saturday. So the turnout was definitely a great sign! Hopefully that means more Fairgrounds bouts in the future. And not to go too far into speculation, but word is SCRV may be getting their own sport court a la KitCo sometime in the future, so god luck with that too!
Now, on to the action. I was announcing alongside side Stab-Her Lee and Haulin’ Oates, giving me pretty much the best seat in the house. I was however a little busy, so many individual moments and mentions, as usual, escaped me for these purposes. But, I did make a more concetrated effort to at least take note of some of the skaters who really impressed me. To the action!
The SheWolves and Dorothys first did battle, and while the score was a blowout, it never felt like it was as wide open as it ended up being. The jammers, as usual, were on point, with Onda’ Sligh and Evil Jenevil doing most of the jamming. Sligh was her usual all-over-the-effing-place self, but did take some pretty hard hits from SheWolves blockers that left her battered and bruised. Jenevil did a nice job handling the bulk of the load, but a few jams her blockers had some issues opening up holes for her. Gun’Her Gombos was also pretty busy from the jam line, but ran into similar issues as Jenevil. The only reason Sligh was more successful is because her crazy skating relies less on opened holes and more on opening her own. But the Dorothys did have some solid blocking efforts, particularly from Goodilicious, Throb-N-Robyn and KnockerHer SocksOff.
It wasn’t enough to keep the Lilac crew at bay however. Jammers Schwanna Boom Boom and Whomping Willow skated extremely well, cruising around the track like flying monkeys.
They also got some nice blocking assistance from Dirt E KT, Graham SlamHer, Ida B Choazz and others. Baby Snakes also had a strong all-around bout.
Again, while the score was never really too close after the first 10 or so jams, both teams kept the intensity high and the hits hard, still making it an enjoyable match to watch. Mad props to one of my personal SCRV favs too, Nerd Rage, who not only busted out a ruby red fanny pack for the occasion, but also sported a green limestone glove in honor of the recently passed Michael Jackson. Nice touch!
The second bout was similar, but kind of the mirror image if you will. The SCRV All-Stars, consisting predominately of Terrormedixxx with some Death Rattle Rollers in the mix (whereas the Dorothys were largely DRR), did battle with 7+7, a mix team of Rat City skaters along with a mix of skaters from the Lava City Roller Dolls (Bend, Ore.), the Coos County Roller Girls, (Coos Bay, Ore.), and the Emerald City Roller Girls (Eugene, Ore.). That made for a great opportunity to see lots of skaters I haven’t seen before, catch up with a few I had, but also made for an interesting bout as none of these girls had skated together previously.
Again, after the opening five to 10 jams, this one was also a blowout. And while it too happened early, it mimicked the first bout in terms of action to keep myself, and presumably other fans, paying attention.
Really, it’s hard to mention any one girl from the SCRV All-Stars because literally everyone who skated in that bout had a moment or two minimum to be happy about. Brawlyanna, Lolli Von PerkiPops, QT Krusher, Ree Arrange’Her, Roller Rage Rosie, Rollin Dirty, Mistress Von Trample, Ruby Rotten, B Murda and Tune’Her up skated did their steady-as-usual game. Ree Arrange’Her was especially on point in this one, as was Roller Rage Rosie. Bashley Blaze and Speedy Guns Haul-Ass were solid jamming all night, easily finding paths through the much smaller 7+7′s. But I was super impressed with one SCRV skater in particular in this one: Anna Barbera.
Not only did she spend the majority of the bout blasting Seattle or Oregon girls left and right, but she also took the jammer cap late in the bout. To take it even farther, she scored a point! It was a great effort capping a great night for badass Anna Barbera! Nice work!
On the 7+7 side, Rat City’s Ima Handful seemingly did all the jamming! She definitely got a little worn by the end, but she skated very strongly throughout. Petty Rage from Lava City and Dolly Demented from Coos County did a nice job, as did Rat City skaters Sake Bomb, Foxy Throwdown, Grim Chi and Slutnik. But my favorite moment for the 7+7′s came late when Des Demona **(thanks to Izzy Wright for letting me know Des is formerly)** of the Emerald City Roller Girls got low and picked a great angle to accelerate and lift Bashley Blaze an inch or two off the ground before the huge (and legal) hit sent her into the sport court. Great hit capping a great effort for Des Demona! It was easily the biggest hit on the night. **(It would appear then that Emerald City was not part of this team afterall)**
Overall, judging from the action on the floor and the final scores, it probably would have been a little better had the SheWolves and All-Stars bouted with the Dorothys and 7+7′s on the undercard, but I’m sure it was a great skating experience for all teams involved in terms of exposing some strengths to continue and some weaknesses to shore up.
On a HUGELY important side note, this was the final regular bout for SCRV announcer Stab-Her Lee, who will step away from the position to focus on her crazy-ass busy-ness, which includes, but is not limited to, multiple bands, jobs, cupcakes, clothes and I’m sure a shit-ton more.
In making my official bout announcing debut a few weeks back, it was StabHer who taught me the most, almost always through her sterling example! From promoting sponsors to adding some unmatched wit behind the mic, she’s truly been an asset during her three years with Slaughter County. It’ll be sad to see her step away, but understandably so. And as she’s stated previously, she’ll be back as a fan and I’m sure won’t be able to stay entirely away. But it was great working with both StabHer and the equally witty Haulin’ Oates last weekend! I think my favorite part was when KnockHer came up to me at th afterparty and mentioned the skit we had performed in the beginning, in which StabHer and Haulin’ were the god and wicked witches from Wizard of Oz and I was the cowardly lion. I believe KnockHer’s comment was “You were the stoned guy they told to stay in the car!” Waking lion…stoned guy in car…I’ll let you decide which is more fitting.
Secondly, it was great to see a lot of the girls we camped with in Atomic City back out for this one! In addition to the SCRV team and the Rainy City team, Baby Snakes, Whomping Willow and Schwanna Boom Boom all skated for Atomic in that one. Also, Petty Rage as well. It was awesome being able to see some teams out there with a little greater face familiarity! Although, given that camping trip, some people are probably less recognizable now… Also, Ima Handful and Sake Bomb were both at the Rat-Rose-Rainy scrimmage the week before. There may have been others, but as I said on twitter, I’m “meeting derby girls too quickly. Even derby names not standing out like they used to!” But that’s a good thing!
The afterparty was pretty fun, although I had to head out kinda early to drive back down to Oly. It was great getting to hang out with Ms. Von Trample and Tripart, her beau and the friend I walked with during our 1999 PHS high school graduation!, as well as talking sonic youth with Kitten with a Whip, talking a variety of awesomeness with Jenocidal and Nerd Rage, and getting to freak it in a soul train-style dance line with both StabHer Lee and Schwanna Boom Boom. Needless to say, my drive back to Oly was much dreamier!
Lastly, if you haven’t bought your tix yet you should! Rainy City will be hosting a double header on July 11, now with BEERGARDEN!
You can find out more about that bout, and all of its awesomeness, here.
Lastly, big congrats to the Breakneck Betties for winning Rose City’s crown last weekend, with equally big props to the High Rollers for getting there! HRMF! Also to the Guns N’ Rollers, who just fell to the Standing Heathers.
One more sidenote I forgot to put in the original…If you need fireworks still so you can blow the shit out of some shit on the fourth, then Slaughter County has you covered!
Alright…see ya on the 11th kiddies!