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.

Both teams looked solid for their levels of experience. Thanks OlyHillary for the photo! Get more of those photos here!

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?

Thurston

Thurston

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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.

The wildest and westest of all showdowns!

“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):

Philly Roller Girls


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.

Oly Rollers

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 Rollergirls

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 Rollers


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.

Slaughter County Roller Vixens


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.

Central Coast Roller Derby


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 Rollergirls


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 Roller Derby


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.

Emerald City Rollergirls


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


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.

Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls


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.

Duke City Derby


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.

Jet City Rollergirls


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.

Bay Area Derby Girls


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.

Bellingham Roller Betties


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.

Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby


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.

Lava City Roller Dolls


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.

Pikes Peak Derby Dames


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.

Sacred City Derby Girls


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.

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.

I might have seen this then and not even realized!

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.

The original Chubby Chateau

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 ❤ you RCRD!

what what?!?!

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.

It opened the door to this: My debut in stripes. *shudders*

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.

It's like you see right through me!

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.

Victoria is a lovely town! Can't wait to get back!

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.

Rainy City goes International!

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.

Atomatrix of the Oly Rollers takes on Psycho Babble, then of Pikes Peak, last season. This is an Axel Adams joint.

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.

Come be a lonely Valentine with me! (or change my status...I'm available!)

5) Rainy City narrowly defeats the Terrormedixxx

Rainy City 139, Terrormedixxx 134.

Wow.

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*).

Plus, it's where the Unicorn Punchers totes happened!

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.

Not to mention drinking games!

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.

Just no more lengthy, self-serving diatribes about the merit of Journey though please. K thx bai!

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!

No. Really. Duelling kegstands actually happened.

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!

Oh yea...there was derby too.

1) Knocktoberfest

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?

Holly Hobbler was one of several making their last Rainy City bout.

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.

Which of course led to more partying, as seen here.

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.

2010 UPDATE: Mangles is still a super badass, as evidenced above. Portrait by Brian J. Bulemore.

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!

Short track

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:

Do it.

Alright kids…laters on.

Thurston

UPDATE: I forgot to mention a few things and a couple more were pointed out to me. You’ll find them below in italics. Thanks yo!

NOTE: Super big thanks to Terminal City photog and outstanding Canadian Nicolas Charest for the awesome bout photos. He knows lighting. He knows depth of field. He knows derby. So get to know him and visit his site on RollerGirl.ca. It’ll be worth your while. Thanks again!!!

I have to tip my hat to the Slaughter County Roller Vixens. Every time we go out there for a bout, the production runs smooth, the action is always intense. It makes it easy to see why they’re hosting such an amazing tournament coming up in February (more on this toward the end).

Saturday, Jan. 16 proved to be no exception, providing an incredible opening night for all teams involved as the Crackers (a Rainy City Roller Dolls party-mix team) battled the vastly improved Death Rattle Rollers, the Terminal City Roller Girls traveled south to battle the Terrormedixxx, and even the brats got involved, with the Kitsap Derby Brats hosting Spokane’s Atomic Pixies.

I was super excited for this bout for several reasons. First, as a fan, the offseason is just too damn long. Shoot, as a fan, ANY offseason is too long! I may be kidding, but there is truth in those derby withdrawls. But yes, before it comes flooding in, I know skaters need the break. But again, the fan in me needs derby…all the time. And this was finally the return of that much needed action!

Plus, there's Coach Crack's amazing get-up. Lifted this one from Scott's facebook page. Thanks dude!

Also, since I didn’t begin getting into derby until last season, this was my first official season opener for any team or league, and, almost perfectly, the one-year anniversary of my first bout. So that’s cool. Throw in the fact that just about all my derby cherries were broken between Rainy City and Slaughter County and it just gets better. Plus, I had never gotten to see junior derby before. And I haven’t even gotten to whiskey yet!

Now’s a good time to say that while I was not working this bout, in the NSO sense of the word, I was workin’ this bout in the drunkypants great-times sense of the word. So my details aren’t as detailed as normal, my voice is much more hoarse and my sense are still overloaded. So take that shot of tequila with a few dozen grains of salt.

CRACKERS vs. DEATH RATTLE ROLLERS

I was already pretty excited about this bout, as mentioned above, and the excitement was well justified right from the beginning. The aptly named Crackers (Crack Attack became Coach Crack for this bout, not skating herself) featured both Crack Attack and line coach Josh Bomb’s coaching debuts, the return of Deathrose and D.O.G.G. E. Style, and featured a host of Rainy City skaters getting their first in-bulk bout experience.

Coming in, I had heard a lot about how much better DRR had been skating since last season, how great some of their practices had gone. Throw in skaters like Skate Oddity, Roll-Model, Edie Disorder and Squid Viscous from the Cherry City Derby Girls (Salem, Ore.), and you’ve got one heck of a scrappy squad.

Deathrose tries to get around Edie Disorder. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

This one started all DRR too. DRR was being way more physical, thanks to the efforts of skaters like Slamber, Rude E. Gorland, Miss Direction and more. Bashley Blaze and Speedy Gun Haul-Ass held down the jamming line for the Rollers, as did Scuttlebutt Jibber Jabber. Meanwhile, the Crackers weren’t hitting, weren’t watching the opposing jammer and weren’t being the Rainy City team known for its hard hits and physical style of play.

The result? A hard-earned and well-deserved 34-point lead for the Death Rattle Rollers at the half (these are the details, like halftime score, my drunk pen-forgetting ass should have written down, but didn’t).

As a Rainy City fan first and foremost however, I was pissed. In my green Crackers shirt, I probably looked like I was about to Hulk it a couple times… Instead, I one-crutch hobbled my buzzed-and-fumin’ ass over to the Crackers locker room at the half to deliver a message: HIT SOMEONE!

Now, to be clear, I’m not claiming any part of what happened next. I was merely a pissed off superfan that had to get that off my chest. They did, however, start hitting.

The second half was like night and day for the Crackers. Within the first five or 10 minutes of the half, the lead was already cut down to something lik 88-80 DRR. The Crackers were on a war path and it showed.

Slaughter Kinney goes after Bashley Blaze. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

With something like 1:55 left, the Crackers ended up tying up the score at 109-109. DRR wasn’t about to just let them have it either, as both teams picked up the intensity. In fact, it was so freaking tense I don’t even remember who jammed last. All I know is when it was said and done, the Crackers came away with four more points in that final jam, just edging DRR 113-109.

Holy crap.

Another insanely close finish. Now, just to show you how far DRR has come, I saw them skate a few times. They lost to the Trampires 70-32 in a minibout at Dockyard vs. the Northwest in July (Rainy City lost by 4 to the Trampires 145-141 in August). At Knocktoberfest, Rainy City beat DRR a whopping 109-26 en route to the title. So you can really see exactly how far DRR has come in a single offseason. True, Rainy City has lost some skilled skaters too, but DRR looked like a team with a chip on its shoulder in this one (look at that use of cliche action!).

Poise N Bury gets a hand from D.O. into Speedy Gun Haul-Ass. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

For the Crackers, it was a good opportunity to get some skaters some bout action. Both Iatarainbo, Mambo Boom, and Violent Baudelaire made their true debuts, while others like Chun Lethal and NayK 47, and Mambo Boom saw some of the most action they have yet. Nic Fit and Bruiseanne Con-Her (formerly Maxxxine McFiercen), both saw, and made good use of, solid track time as well. It was to be the debut of Vi-Kerious and another round of bout experience for Bella Sol, but late injuries kept them from skating (but fear not, neither injury is super serious, so both should be back in action in no time.

Overall, as was expected, the results were mixed. Both The newbies (Iatarainbo, Mambo Boom and Violent Baudelaire) performed very, very well, especially Iatarainbo, who upon gaining more understanding of the rules and game itself, should develop into a top jamming threat for Rainy City. Baudelaire stepped up in the second half, looking more comfortable especially in the physical side of the game. That was also true of Lethal, Nay K and Boom, who were much more aggressive in the second half (particularly Lethal, who floored the jammer with a nice one in the second half). Speaking of Lethal, it was also her brother’s debut, ref Pat A. Hoedown. He also did a great job in his debut, showing he’s not afraid to step right in with some solid crews and make an impact (he’ll be primarily reffing out of Lilac City). Nice job Hoedown!

Pat A. Howdown reffing on the right of the pack. Stole this from Voilent's facebook page, so I don't know who shot it. Thanks though!

As for the usual suspects, it was the usual results. Slaughter Kinney was one of the top blockers yet again, and it was great to see D.O. lined back up with her for a couple jams. D.O., lost for the bulk of last season to the 9-month injury, didn’t take more than  jam or two to get back into a groove. And while Toot A. Lou and Lucyville Slugger did a nice job jamming, it was Deathrose holding down the jammer line all night. In her first bout back since moving to California and back, Deathrose continued to build on her early successes last year.

Lucyville blinded by the light. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

And while we’ve identified the top blocker and jammer on the night for the Crackers, it might have been Poise N. Bury who had the top all-around game. She has continued to evolve her game on the track and her knowledge of what needs to be done in particular situations. At the same time, she’s cut down her trips to the box. And on Saturday, it all added up nicely.

Poise N the box! With Jack Officer. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

Ultimately, I was most pleased about two things from this bout from a Rainy City bend: 1) The Crackers’ undying desire to fight back; and 2) the overall play of the newer/less-experienced skaters combined with the continued maturation and improvement of the team’s vets. It’s gonna be a fun season for Rainy City fans.

TERMINAL CITY vs. TERRORMEDIXXX

Another bout I was really looking forward to, having seen both skate very, very well last year. Of course, Rainy City beat TMX in one of the last season’s most epic bouts, while I was fortunate enough to catch Terminal for the first time against the Oly Rollers’ Prima Donnas.

So this was sure to be another nail-biter.

Ree Arrangher gets a push from the pack. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

By this time, I was pretty drunkypants and celebrating with Rainy City, so my details on how this bout unfolded are hazy throughout. But in the end, it was another extremely tight contest, with Terminal City getting the drop on TMX by another narrow margin – 116-113. Total team efforts by both squads kept this one back and forth from the getgo.

For TMX, everyone who hit the floor played very, very well. On’Da Sligh was jamming up a storm again, as was co-captain Ree Arrangher. Brawlyanna was joined in the huge hits department by Rollin Dirty, Anna Barbera, BrandiFurious and others.

Sligh almost outskated her shadow even. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

But the TMXer whose name I kept hearing throughout the bout by the announcers, and deservedly so, was Leanderthal. She had a great all-around game for TMX in this one.

As for the Terminal City All-Stars, 8Mean Wheeler was her stellar self, as was Shift Kicker and Luludemon. I was also very impressed by Barra Couga, RollerGirl and Trixi Trippin Chix. They too played a great team game and matched up well with TMX across the board.

8Mean Wheeler just avoids the pile-up. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

One thing I will say is that I thought (and again, I was drunky) that both teams scored points at the end in the last jam. Anyone with a clearer recollection care to chime in? Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that two awesome teams met and battled epically.

Just as in the last week’s Underground opener, both of these bouts could be played again tomorrow and could have come out with a Kitsap sweep. That’s just how good all these skaters are.

So, sorry again for the lack of detail in this one. Don’t blame me. Blame Jim Beam for being delicious.

You did this to me Jim.

I don’t often get to drink, kick back and enjoy bouts very often anymore (usually I’m NSOing, announcing or diligently working the camera and notepad), so this was a PERFECT way to kick off my 2010 derby season, considering I won’t get too many more opportunities to do so later.

KITSAP DERBY BRATS vs. ATOMIC PIXIES

I was more tuned in for this one, as I was scorekeeping the junior derby action that took place at the true halftime of this event between the Kitsap Derby Brats and the Atomic Pixies (of Spokane). Affiliated with the Lilac City Rollergirls, they even have a junior all-star team beginning! It’s great to see the sport growing so rapidly amongst the younger ranks!

The Brat Pack. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

This was the first time I’ve gotten to see an actual junior derby bout and holy cow, these girls are gonna kick some serious ass come legal age time! When they can skate on the regular teams, it’s gonna revolutionize the sport similarly to how speedskating and hockey skating have. It’s gonna be a whole new ballgame.

But for now, they’re still too young. But that doesn’t make them any less skilled or feisty than their full-grown counterparts.

I don’t remember the final score (LOL) but I know early on, the Brats were thumping the Pixies pretty good thanks to the efforts of skaters like Mutch Mayhem and Champ Pain.  The Pixies battled back behind Karakin Skulls, Ivanna Czokabich and, on loan from the Seattle Derby Brats, Alexacutor and Lilly Lighting, making it close in the second half (they played two 15-minute halves), but Kitsap still held out for the win.

Seattle's Alexacutor, skating with Atomic, gets by Champ Pain. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

My two that really stood out though? For one, Whamsday Adams. I knew she’d be good (her mom is DRR coach Jenocidal) and I’d seen her skate a little, score presenting some Rainy City bouts even. But wow, she’s got the complete package. She can hit hard, she’s vocal, she’s smart and she reacts very quickly. Very dangerous combo.

Whamsday is as good as this shot makers her look. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

The other, Vanna Fright, the Tiniest Jammer. She couldn’t be more than 12 years old or so going up against some much, much larger teenagers and she never shied away. She was easily the smallest frame on the floor (like, watch-out-or-you’ll-step-on-her small), but skated with more heart than I’ve seen some in some adult skaters. It’s that kind of determination at such a young age that’s going to change EVERYTHING about the sport in years to come. I can’t wait to see the day!

Vanna Fright, the Tiniest Jammer. Thanks Nicolas Charest for the bad ass shots!

Great job to all the junior skaters though. I may have called out a few I remember busting big plays or such, but they all have skill. Derby is in a good place with the up-and-comers up and coming.

Short Track

Wow. What more to say after that? Well, a few things actually.

First off (and I meant to post this in last week’s blog), please join me in wishing Elwood Bruise well, as he should be arriving in Tulsa, Oklahoma today to begin his reign as head coach of the WFTDA-sanctioned Green Country Roller Girls. Elwood, who’s blog All Bout Derby you may have heard of :), has been instrumental in my succeeding with this blog as well, and from the very beginning. I simply sent him a message one day, asking questions about derby and covering derby, taking stats, all that kind of stuff. From the opening reply, he’s been nothing but helpful, making himself available to me as a derby resource round the clock. I was lucky enough to meet up with them all the Seattle Thunderbirds game almost two weeks ago (my first pro hockey game despite being a hockey fan since 2000), later partying at Skate Pauli Girl and Cop A. Phil’s T-Town pad til about 4 in the morning or so. Truly how any send off should end!

Elwood’s impact on the NW Derby scene is far and wide, and from day one, I’ve never pretended to reach as many people as he did or have the kind of impact he has, and will continue to have, on the sport. And that’s for one simple reason above all others. You don’t replace an Elwood Bruise.

So please, join me once again in saluting this great champion for the sport and wishing him the best of luck in his new digs. You’re gonna do badass coach Bruise!

OK…this weekend, Elwood’s home league, the Dockyard Derby Dames of Tacoma will be hosting a bout to benefit the Lakewood Police Independent Guild and honor the memories of the force’s fallen officers to tragedy all too recently.

Derby for a cause in Tacoma Sunday.

It’s $10 as a suggest donation at the Pierce College Health Ed Center. If you can make it, do it! It’s great derby for a great cause! I believe they’re doing this one intraleague, but you never now who’s libel to show up.

Also on the horizon at the end of this month is the Rainy City Black and White Scrimmages! These are always a blast and tons of girls and guys (that’s right…it’s co-ed) show up from the PacNW to take place. This year should be just a good.

Do it.

So ya. Come to that.

But there’s one date you have to circle and circle now, as tickets I’m sure are going fast. For the first time, Rainy City is battling the Oly Rollers, as RCRD gets ready for the Dropkick Donnas (formerly the Prima Donnas) on Valentine’s Day. Awwwwwwww.

Breaking hearts and body parts.

Don’t be fooled though. These girls may look sweet and precious, but they’d kick your ass. And my ass just for saying it. Seriously though, this bout is going to be extremely fun, if not for the Oly-Rainy City battle, then also for the fact that Oly’s newest team, the Bella Donnas (freshmeat and newer skaters) will be going up against Edie Disorder, Skate Oddity and the rest of the Cherry City Derby Girls. Good times! And besides. We all know you have nothing better to do on Valentine’s Day.

Then there’s also this little tournament coming up, the Wild West Showdown. I’ll link it, but I’m gonna tease you with that for now.

So word up kids…derby is back in session!

Thurston

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!)

One of Sick Town's skaters lays into Monacle Debacle. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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!

Those eyes got the looks that kill! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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!

Buttrock Mangles. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

It was a buttrock battle! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

Lastly, the night concluded with Everett’s Jet City Bombers taking on Rose City’s Axels of Annihilation.

AoA's jammer gets ahead. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

And while Jet City won that one 120-108, both squads look solid in a fast and exciting bout!

Jet City controls the front. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

OK…so that’s all for that one since it’s so freakin’ late anyway.

Next!

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.

oh nosssss! I iz brokan!

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:

I am one. Are you one too?

Take care derby lovers…and rest up! 2010 is gonna knock yer socks off!

<3, Thurston Gore!

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.

knocktoberfest 09

and what a knocktoberfest it was!

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.

mangles

Pink 'stache is just one of several to adorn Mel Mangles' face! Shananana!

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!

sparticus

here's sparticus! the first of two announcers I got to call with. Thanks for the shots Sharkey!

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.

SK hits Crazy

Slaughter Kinney throws a shoulder into Crazy Train. Thanks for the shots Sharkey!

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.

Bham-ECRG sandwich!

Two Bellingham blockers, including Dixy Dethdlr make a sandwich with Emerald City's jammer. Thanks for the shots Sharkey!

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.

ECRG-BRB

Bellingham's Chaos Fury takes I beleive ECRG's Blue Ruin outside. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

randy pan

Randy Pan the Goat Boy, my other partner in crime. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

big ecrg hit on jenevil

Emerald City's Ruby Vroom lowers a shoulder into Death Rattle Roller Evil JenEvil. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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).

nerdy jenevil whip

Nerd Rage assists Evil JenEvil with a normal whip. Has she forsaken the Fanny Packtastic whip? Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

b and bham

Did you know Killer B could riverdance on skates? Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

crack and bham

Crack Attack takes a shoulder from Beretta Garbo like it ain't no thang. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

Bham jamm Tulla jit gets help from her pack. bham mangles Jammer Mangles tries to get through a pack of 'Hamsters! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

Bham jamm Tulla jit gets help from her pack. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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!

we won!

Rainy City wins! Coach RyRod, Slaughter Kinney and Poise N' Bury share a moment. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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?

bham mangles

Jammer Mangles tries to get through a pack of 'Hamsters! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

hobbler vs bham jammer

Holly Hobbler in a jammer battle with Helen Damnation. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

PB

Poise N' Bury out front in a line including Mangles, Mak'her and Slaughter...ouch. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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!

Sk jamming

14 point jam! Nice job SK! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

team love

What a bunch of amazing athletes! Graet job by all teams! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

Short Track

Back to gushing for a minute, while I got to extend loving sentiments in context of the bout for Mangles and Hobbler,

mangles

We'll miss you Mangles! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

hobbler2

We'll miss you Hobbler! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

bashley

We'll miss you Bashley Juggs! Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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.

Group at Park

We'll miss you Noa Fantastica (seen here with, from left, Mangles, SK, Tina Burn'er and Suzzi Sidebomber)!

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!

schwanna vs ECRG

Schawana Boom Boom jams against ECRG. Thanks Sharkey for the shots!

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!).

party snapshot

If this shot of SK, Mercyful Kate and Mangles doesn't equal party, then nothing does! Thanks Mercy FU! for the shot!

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!

party scene

As josh_bomb shows, it really was that kind of party! Thanks Mercy FU! for the shots!

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.

leaving

josh_bomb and I leaving circa 3:30 or 4 that night/the next morning.

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!

DYDD vs Lava City poster

Go check this Tacoma derby action ish out! Uh!

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.

Thurston!

I absolutely, positively love, Love, LOVE! Canada. I love Vancouver. I love Victoria. I love the whole of B.C.

isn't canada great!

isn't canada great!

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.

roberto luongo will eat yr baby!

roberto luongo will eat yr baby!

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!

Short Track

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.

come to this, or else! (as in, or else whatever you're doing won't be as cool!)

come to this, or else! (as in, or else whatever you're doing won't be as cool!)

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!

good god that's a lot of derby!

good god that's a lot of derby!

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!

why can't I be in many places at once?

why can't I be in many places at once?

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 thurstongore@hotmail.com! 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!

Thurston!!!!!!!!!!

Roller derby fans got a little bit of everything Saturday night in Tacoma as the Dockyard Derby Dames played host to four different teams representing four different leagues at The Soccer Center. From huge hits and huge leads to first-time and last-time wins, the action was intense from start to finish in the four mini-bout format.

In the format, each of Dockyard’s teams (the Femme Fianna, the Marauding Molly’s, the Hellbound Homewreckers and the Trampires) played host to the visitors (consisting of the Slaughter County Roller Vixens’ Death Rattle Rollers, the Jet City Rollergirls’ CarnEvil, the Rainy City Roller Dolls and the Rainy Terror Brigade, a last-second mix team made up both SCRV and RCRD skaters as well as members of the Fort Lewis Bettie Brigade) in 30-minute mini-bouts, showcasing nicely each of Dockyard’s squads while also exposing fans to a variety of styles from across western Washington.

Just as you can imagine, with eight teams of derby girls all under one roof, things heated up quickly (anyone under the roof of the center can testify to that!).

Bout 1: Femme Fianna vs. Rainy Terror Brigade

The Femme Fianna were originally slated to take on the CinderKittens of Lava City, who were unable to make the trip. Instead, a group of skaters banded together from three leagues to battle the first team Tacoma offered on the night. Forming the Rainy Terror Brigade were BrawlyAnna, QT Krusher, Mistress Von Trample, On’Da Sligh and Less Than Shy of Slaughter County’s Terrormedixxx; Suicide Red, Legs Le’nor and Tamazon of the Fort Lewis Bettie Brigade; and Crack Attack of Rainy City. The Fiannain contrast, were a little short handed, enlisting the help of roving skater Whomping Willow as well to compliment the likes of T’erin Traxx, Skate Pauli Girl, Goldie Locksdown and company.

Things started off quickly for the Rainy Terror Brigade (RTB), with Suicide Red bursting through for an early 8-4 lead against T’erin Traxx. That’s when Tacoma derby fans got their first taste of On’Da Sligh, the TMX skater who’s been turning heads with her roller-hockey-inspired jamming. Behind a huge blocking line of Legs Le’nor, BrawlyAnna, QT Krusher and Tamazon, Sligh was able to punch through for nine more while Critical Hit was shut out, opening up an early 17-4 RTB lead. Just as Dockyard closed the gap behind a six-point jam by Skate Pauli Girl, Sligh was at it again, racking up eight more. Another four-point jam by Suicide Red and the RTB seemed to be on cruise control, up 29-14.

Suicide Red had picked up a penalty at the end of the fifth jam however, forcing her to start in the box as Whomping Willow took the line for the Femme Fianna. Red was joined shortly after in the box by her Fort Lewis teammate Tamazon, helping open the door for three grand slams to tie things up at 29 apiece, also giving the Fianna a much needed momentum shift.

The Femme Fianna rode that wave as T’erin Traxx and Skate Pauli Girl shut out the Rainy Terror Brigade for three consecutive jams behind great blocking and strategic jamming (not to mention a trip to the box for Sligh), growing their own lead to 45-29 and turning the tables for good.

The Rainy Terror Brigade tried to bounce back, with Sligh picking up eight more in the 10th jam. But T’erin was right with her again, picking up six herself to make it 51-37 Fianna. But rather than an RTB rebound, the Fianna delivered the knockout blow, shutting out the RTB the rest of the way while Fianna jammers combined for 26 more, blanking the RTB in the bout’s final five jams. One of the best moments during the run came when Diva State donned the jammer cap after focusing on hitting the jammers all bout. Diva State battled her way through the pack, but a minor elbow cost her lead jammer. Rather than take a more defensive approach against Suicide Red, Diva State went on a tear, picking up a grand slam and four more for a 9-0 advantage. When the final whistle sounded, the Femme Fianna pulled of a skillful win, 77-37.

The Rainy Terror Brigade put up a battle, especially early on, considering it was their first time bouting together. For the Fianna, the win is especially nice coming against a mix-team of some very talented skaters, among the best on their respective squads. I had only seen the Fianna skate a scrimmage prior to the bout and was very impressed by how well they skated.

In addition to claiming a win for themselves, the Fianna also struck first blood for Dockyard, looking to represent well for the home crowd. After one mini-bout, Dockyard 1, Everyone Else, 0.

(Here were my recommendations for star consideration: Terin, Diva State and Skate Pauli were my FF picks, with Sligh for the RTB. Also, if I had to call a key jam, it’d be Willow’s 15-pointer to tie it up and change the momentum.)

Bout 2: Trampires vs. Death Rattle Rollers

The second bout of the night may have been the most anticipated, with this blog’s creator and host Elwood Bruise answering the call of duty, stepping up to coach the Trampires against Slaughter County’s Death Rattle Rollers, a team known for hard-hitting blockers and tough defense. Elwood took to the sidelines as normal Trampire coach, Hollywood Chuck Bury, was at speed skating nationals in Peoria, Arizona.

Just as things began in the opening bout, both teams battled for position early, with Dakota D. Stroya breaking through the pack for a fast four for the Trampires. The Trampires got four more from Teeny Mussolini. Speedy Gun Haul-Ass got DRR on the board however, trailing 8-3. Another back-and-forth jammer battle between Bashley Blaze of DRR and Trampire Redd Die forced Die to call it down one to Bashley Blaze, helping DRR inch closer 11-7.

The Death Rattle Rollers seemed to gain some speed in the fourth jam. With Speedy up again for DRR against Tricky Mick, a minor on Tricky ensured no lead-jammer status. Both teams ramped up the hard-hitting, with an injury to Eve Aftermath stopping play following a 7-0 run by Speedy Gun Haul-Ass, giving DRR its first lead, 14-12.

That would be the team’s only lead however. Looking to make the deficit short lived, Dakota D. Stroya rebounded after being run out of the pack by DRR jammer Gun’her Gombos to pick up four. Trampire blocker Mytai Smashya sat back on Gombos after that, allowing Dakota another grand slam, reclaiming the lead 21-14.

Following three more by Teeny Mussolini, Redd Die opened the door wide, getting a nice team blocking effort again anchored by Mytai Smashya, picking up a grand slam plus three for a 32-17 Trampire lead.

The next five jams proceeded similarly, with the Trampires going on a 17-3 run during that span, with Dakota picking up the largest chunk with nine in the ninth jam. The Trampires’ Tricky Mark took a huge hit from Death Rattle Roller Goodilicious, who was shaken up but returned.

Never a team to roll over, DRR got a big boost from Speedy once more, picking up nine points herself with a jamming Mytain Smashya starting in the box. That cut the gap back to 20, but the Trampires proved to be too much to contain the rest of the way, seemingly answering every DRR point with one of their own. In fact, after Speedy picked up three more to make it 53-32, it was the Trampires’ turn to put on a defensive display, shutting out DRR in the final four jams. Teeny, Dakota, Tricky and Redd Die combined for 17 in those five, locking up a 70-32 win. The run was also the result of great blocking by Trampire Rusty O’Toole, who had a solid bout from start to finish.

While the Death Rattle Rollers had some great blocking efforts from Anna Barbera, Goodilicious and others, it was the great teamwork between Trampire blockers and jammers that made the difference. So not only did the win give the Trampires a win, but made for a successful coaching debut for Elwood, who, should he retire from coaching right now, would be undefeated, among the coaching greats with a 1.000 winning percentage! In all seriousness though, the Trampires played a great bout and deserved the win they fought tough for. Dockyard Derby Dames 2, Everyone Else 0.

(In this one I’d have to recommend Rusty, Mytai and a toss-up between Tenny and Dakota for Trampires and Speedy or Goodilicious from DRR. Key jam would be Dakota’s fifth jam, scoring nine to take over the lead for good.)

Bout 3: Marauding Molly’s vs. Rainy City Roller Dolls

With the Rainy City Roller Dolls and Dockyard as a league familiar with one another this season (Rainy City topped the Hellbound Homewreckers 128-96 in April and scrimmaged the Femme Fianna in May), it was going to be interesting to see how these two squads matched up.

The Molly’s wasted little time, with a fast pack pace aiding Pain Goodall in blanking Rainy City 4-0 in the opening jam against Toot A. Lou. DVS Dicer, one of two Rainy City skaters bouting for the last time with RCRD, forced Double D-licious to call off the jam after getting a point back, 8-5. After another neck-and-neck jam between Deathrose (the other leaving Rainy City) and Anita Hit Sum Won, proved that the bout would be a narrow one, with the Mollies up 12-8.

After another close jam between Miss Mel Mangles of RCRD and Molly C. Jane Skate made it 14-9, the Molly’s turned up the heat, with Pain Goodall streaking through the pack for lead jammer and four points. A nice cut move at the end capped an eight-point jam for Goodall, putting the Molly’s ahead 22-9 against Rainy City, a team that had won six straight coming into this one. DVS Dicer and Dita Von Squeeze matched each other for six in the next jam to make it 28-15.

With things looking good for the Molly’s, Rainy City responded. A great job early by Slaughter-Kinney, including both a big hit and a nice job sitting back on Anita Hit Sum Won, helped open the door for Toot A. Lou to take lead jammer. Behind a blocking line off Slaughter, Miss Mel Mangles, Holly Hobbler and Crack Attack (making her second appearance on the night after skating with the Rainy Terror Brigade), Toots followed up a four-point pass with a grand slam run that saw Anita sent to the box. Another grand slam later for Toots and the back-and-forth began, putting Rainy City ahead for the first time, 29-28.

With Anita Hit Sum Won in the box, DVS Dicer started on a power jam for Rainy City, picking up a grand slam. Before she could call it however, Anita rejoined the pack and salvaged four for the Molly’s to keep it close, 38-32 Rainy City. Holly Hobbler of Rainy City and Marauding Molly Double D-licious each picked up four in the next jam. After a scoreless 10th jam Toot A. Lou again helped RCRD inch ahead, getting a 3-2 jam against Dita Von Squeeze to make it 45-38.

Both teams seemed to pick up the physicality of the bout in the twelfth jam, which saw Pain Goodall edge Miss Mel Mangles 4-0 thanks to some hard hitting by Vicious DivaLicious. Mangles got even against Double D-Licious in the next jam however, clearing out Double D while making way for Dicer to get four back for RCRD despite another nice jam for Molly Vicious DivaLicious.

Trailing 49-42, the Molly’s turned to C. Jane Skate. Early in the jam, RCRD’s Deathrose got sent to the box. Capitalizing on the power jam, C. Jane Skate got by Mangles and Crack to pick up a grand slam before adding two more to tie things up 49-49, the first of two ties in the bout. The Molly’s then took that surge of momentum and reclaimed the lead 55-53 thanks to six from Doubel D-licious to Holly Hobbler’s four. The Marauding Molly’s gained another point up in the next jam, with Dita Von Squeeze picking up five to a four-point effort from Deathrose. With time winding down and the Molly’s up 60-57, the fans began to buzz.

True to its build up, the bout came down to the very end. After Toot A. Lou held off Pain Goodall in a physical first pass for both jammers, a miscommunication on a whip attempt ended with Toots on the ground, calling off the jam defensively after three points to tie it back up 60-60. With a little more than a minute remaining, the bout came down to one final jam.

With a slow build up as both teams successfully held the other at bay the first time around the track, DVS Dicer finally got lead jammer for Rainy City. Anita Hit Sum Won stayed close, but got laid out on a big hit by Miss Mel Mangles, who was also sent to the box on the hit. That helped open a path for Dicer to pick up four en route to nine for Rainy City, utilizing a strong blocking effort to shut out Anita. When the final jam was whistled to a stop, Rainy City won a back-and-forth nail biter 69-60, providing the night’s most exciting bout in the process.

The win seemed like something scripted, with DVS Dicer scoring the winning points in her final jam with Rainy City. Both she and Deathrose closed out their Rainy City tenure with strong final efforts. Not only did the win keep Rainy City’s streak alive, but it also kept Dockyard from realizing a sweep at home. Dockyard Derby Dames 2, Everyone Else 1.

(In this one I’d have to go with Dicer and Pain Goodall as the clear-cuts. The third could go to any one of Mangles, Toots and Vicious DivaLicsious. Key jam in this one was the very last one.)

Bout 4: Hellbound Homewreckers vs. CarnEvil

With the previous bout being such a close battle, this one seemed to start similarly, with Jet City’s crew taking an early 4-3 lead after the opening jam as Ally Kazaam got a one-point edge against Homewrecker Cookies and MILF. But rather than become another back-and-forth, CarnEvil used some big hits from blockers like Beezlebabe and Suzi 9mm to go up 18-3 through three jams, with Bess B. Ware taking credit for five and Cia Woodnwannabia picking up nine.

The Homewreckers could do little to slow CarnEvil or put big jams on the board themselves, allowing the team from Everett to jump ahead 25-6 behind the jamming of Cia, Mona Agony and Connie Torturous, none of whom earned lead jammer prior to the 7-3 run.

With a fast pack pace continuing into the seventh jam, Homewrecker Streeperella put a big shoulder into CarnEvil jammer Ally Kazaam. Cookies and MILF couldn’t take advantage despite gaining lead jammer however, sent to the box on a cutting major herself. That set up Kazaam on a power jam. Some good blocking (including a blasting hit by Blonde Amazon), helped hold Kazaam early to four before she could pick up a grand slam. Cookies and MILF returned before jam time ran out though, picking up three to make it 34-9.

Following a scoreless eighth jam, the Homewreckers seemed determine to get back within striking distance. Cookies and MILF powered by CarnEvil’s Indy Pendant to earn lead jammer in another fast pack. She was then on the power jam with CarnEvil’s Cia Woodnwannabia picking up an ill-timed cutting major. That (along with more stellar blocking from Blonde Amazon) opened up the door for three grand slams and 17 points total to pull back within 12 at 38-26.

Both teams proceeded cautiously in the next two jams, with a 4-4 jam between Ally Kazaam and Blonde Amazon following a scoreless jam. Someone would have to become the aggressor; this time, it was CarnEvil.

A big hit by Beezlebabe floored Homewreckers’ jammer Ivanna Pound-U, clearing the way for Mona Agony to pick up a grand slam for Jet City. Mona Agony passed the pack twice more before Mary K. LeTurnover sent her to the sport court, forcing her to call the jam off after a devastating 16-0 run. She was given a late penalty after the jam however, forcing her to start in the box after opening up a 58-30 CarnEvil lead. Cookies and MILF couldn’t take full advantage again however, as CarnEvil’s wall held up, allowing just three points.

Connie Torturous grew the CarnEvil lead to 67-33 on a nine-point jam following another scoreless jam in the 14th. Bess B. Ware and Sister Slaughter battled to make it 69-37 CarnEvil. But with Bess B. ware to the box for cutting and with time winding down, things again started to get interesting.

The Homewreckers again called on Cookies and MILF to begin on the power jam. After picking up lead jammer and getting through for an initial four, Cookies and MILF put a nice juke move on Cia to earn four more. Needing to maximize points, Cookies and MILF sprinted around the track to earn two additional grand slams, capping a whopping 18-point jam and pulling the Homewreckers back within range of a conceivable comeback, 71-55.

It was Cookies and MILF taking on Connie Torturous in what would be the final jam of the night. Showing she can get the job done and score points in bunches, the Dockyard faithful was behind the Homewreckers. Could they really rack up another big jam and tie, or even surpass, CarnEvil on the final jam?

While Cookies and MILF skated well, the answer simply was no. CarnEvil went into the jam with a plan to control the pack pace, setting up hyper defensively to keep the Homewreckers contained. And while Cookies and MILF had a solid six-point jam, it simply wasn’t enough, with Connie Torturous adding three more to cap a 74-61 CarnEvil win, the team’s first victory this season.

So while what started as a blowout got closer toward the end, the visiting teams were able to level the playing field against their hosts. Dockyard Derby Dames 2, Everyone Else 2.

(In this one it’d have to be Cookies and MILF and Blonde Amazon for Homewreckers and Ally Kazaam, Connie Torturous and Suzi 9mm for CarnEvil. The key jam in this one I’d say was Ally’s nine-pointer in the seventh from a strategic standpoint, but Cookies’ 18-pointer to pull it close was nice too.)

STATS

Here’s the stats (most graciously compiled by Green Fairy, Jet City’s score keeper and a member of Seattle’s new banked league the Tilted Thunder Rail Birds).

Stats

Jamming

Femme Fianna vs. Terrormedixxx

(Okay. I hate to say it but the scoring on this sheet is all over the board…lol. And I can’t match everything on here up with what Thurston has in his recap. So, no jamming stats for this one. Sorry.)

Trampires (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Dakota D. Stroya (4-4-28)
Teeny Mussolini (5-5-15)
Redd Die (5-4-22)
Tricky Mick (3-1-5)
My Tai Smashya (2-0-0)

Death Rattle Rollers (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Bashley Blaze (7-0-4)
Speedy Gun Haul Ass (7-1-25)
Gun’her Gombos (2-0-3)
Ruby Rottin (1-0-0)
Scuttlebutt Jibberjabber (1-0-0)
Anna Barbara (1-0-0)

Marauding Mollys (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Pain Goodall (5-4-18)
Double D-Licious (4-1-8)
Anita Hit Sum Won (4-1-3)
C. Jane Skate (2-1-9)
Dita Von Squeeze (3-1-17)
Vicious DivaLicious (1-1-4)

Rainy City (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Toot A Lou (6-3-21)
DVS Dicer (5-3-21)
Deathrose (4-0-15)
Miss Mel Mangles (2-0-1)
Holly Hobbler (2-1-9)

Hellbound Homewreckers (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Cookies & MILF (7-7-51)
Pandora Panic (1-0-0)
Blonde Amazon (2-0-4)
Sister Slaughter (2-1-5)
Marcel duStomp (2-0-1)
Mary K. LeTurnover (2-1-0)
Ivanna Pound-U (1-0-0)
Twiggie Smalls (1-0-0)

CarnEvil (Jams-Lead Jammer-Points)

Ally Kazaam (3-1-17)
Bess B. Ware (4-3-7)
Cia WoodNwanna-bia (5-2-13)
Mona Agony (3-1-18)
Connie Torturous (3-2-19)

Blocking

Femme Fianna (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

T’erin Traxx (3-0-1)
Skate Pauli Girl (1-0-0)
Louda Than Bombs (1-0-0)
Snicker Brutal (2-0-2)
Whomping Willow (0-0-1)

Terrormedixxx (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

On’da Sligh (1-0-0)
Brawlyanna (1-0-1)
QT Krusher (7-0-1)
Crack Attack (1-0-0)
Suicide Red (0-0-2)
Leg Lenore (1-0-0)

Trampires (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

My Tai Smashya (3-0-1)
Teeny Mussolini (2-0-0)
Eve Aftermath (2-0-0)
Dakota D. Stroya (2-0-1)
Rusty O’Tulle (4-0-0)
Foul Play (1-0-0)

Death Rattle Rollers (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

Miss Direction (0-0-1)
Anna Barbara (1-0-0)

Marauding Mollys (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

Vicious DivaLicious (6-0-0)
MzSNOWmer (1-0-2)
Pain Goodall (1-0-2)
Double D-Licious (2-0-0)
Wicked Whip (0-0-2)

Rainy City (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

Ghetto Heart (1-0-0)
Miss Mel Mangles (1-0-0)
Holly Hobbler (0-0-1)
Poise N Bury (1-0-0)
Pandora Bloxx (0-0-1)

Hellbound Homewreckers (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

Blonde Amazon (0-0-2)
Cookies & MILF (2-0-0)
Mary K. LeTurnover (1-0-0)

CarnEvil (Blocked Jammers-Open Holes-Big Hits)

Beelzebabe (1-0-1)
Bess B. Ware (1-0-0)
Connie Torturous (3-0-0)
Indy Pendant (1-1-1)
Mistress Whiplash (0-1-0)
Mona Agony (0-1-0)
Suzi 9mm (0-0-2)
XE Cutioner (0-0-1)

Penalties

Femme Fianna (PIM)

T’erin Traxx (1)
Skate Pauli Girl (1)
Snicker Brutal (1)
Whomping Willow (1)

Terrormedixxx (PIM)

On’da Sligh (3)
Mistress Von Trample (2)
Suicide Red (1)
Tamazon (1)

Trampires (PIM)

My Tai Smashya (1)
Dakota D. Stroya (1)
Rusty O’Tulle (1)

Death Rattle Rollers (PIM)

Goodilicious (1)
Gun’her Gombos (1)
Ruby Rottin (1)
Anna Barbara (1)

Marauding Mollys (PIM)

Vicious DivaLicious (1)
Anita Hit Sum Won (1)
SARAted Edge (2)
C. Jane Skate (1)
Pain Goodall (1)
Missed Congeniality (1)
Wicked Whip (1)

Rainy City (PIM)

Benj Ya Over (1)
Crack Attack (1)
Deathrose (1)
Holly Hobbler (2)
Miss Mel Mangles (3)
Poise N Bury (1)
Toot A Lou (1)

Hellbound Homewreckers (PIM)

Blonde Amazon (2)
Cookies & MILF (1)

CarnEvil (PIM)

Ally Kazaam (1)
Bess B. Ware (1)
Cia WoodnWanna-Bia (1)
Mona Agony (1)
Suzi 9mm (1)

Short Track

With so much going on, it’s hard to get everything you catch or think about into the recap itself. So let’s do a bout-by-bout on some additional things that impressed me on the night.

Beginning with the very first bout, I was very impressed by the Fianna. I had seen a few of their skaters, but they really skated well against a team that had a lot of talent on it. In the second bout, it was great to see a new team, the Trampires. I’d seen some of their skaters before, but they had a number of skaters who really impressed me. And, getting to see Elwood pick up the ‘w’ was nice. In the last bout, I had never seen any team from Jet City, so CarnEvil definitely gave me a good first impression of what that league has to offer. Another fun crew to watch on the track too with some hard hitters and jukin’ jammers.

But wait, what about the third bout? All I’ve got to say about that is RAINY CITY WHAT!?!?!?!

What a great bout to watch! The Marauding Molly’s, who I’d also never seen, skated extremely well, as did Rainy City after their slow start, making for one hell of an exciting bout from a fan standpoint. But what I really wanted to do was say some additional goodbyes and hellos.

Both DVS Dicer and Deathrose made their final RCRD bout appearances in this one, and both showed exactly why they’ll be missed on the track, with Dicer getting the bout-winning jam and Deathrose continuing to look more and more mentally tenacious on the track throughout. But they’ll also be missed off the track, as they both brought great personalities to the RCRD team. While both are planning on skating down the road (Dicer is moving to Vegas and will try to get on with Sin City while Deathrose is moving to California, where she’s currently researching league’s in her area), they’ll definitely be missed!

On the flip side of that though, three brand new Rainy City skaters made their official debuts in this one, with Chun Lethal, NayK-47 and Benja Over hitting the track for the first time! While they mostly skated in one jam each (Benja had to go to the box, getting her a follow-up jam as well…coincidence? I think not! jk 😉 ), it was nice to see that even as league’s like Rainy City are forced to part ways with talent, that an influx of new talent is stepping up to fill the gaps! And while they didn’t get enough substantial time in this one to fully show how far they’ve come, the fact they made the roster speaks to how hard they’ve been working! Nice job ladies!

But my super huge fucking STAR! star goes to Dicer. You really couldn’t have scripted a better ending. It was fitting that she got to bring it home in her final jam for Rainy City!

So, there you have it. Many commendations to you if you actually made it this far. This is a lot of shit to read; no easy task.

Til next time derby lovers,

xThurstonxGorex

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.

Setting up the sport court *photo by .00Buck

Setting up the sport court *photo by .00Buck

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.

Gun'her Gombos jams while Evil Jenevil helps hold off a blocker. *photo by .00Buck

Gun'her Gombos jams while Evil Jenevil helps hold off a blocker. *photo by .00Buck

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.

This is what their jammers were like...only less hairy and way hotter.

This is what their jammers were like...only less hairy and way hotter.

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.

Blockers Ida B Choazz (69) and Schwanna Boom Boom (39) work on trapping jammer Gun'Her Gombos. *photo by .00Buck

Blockers Ida B Choazz (69) and Schwanna Boom Boom (39) work on trapping jammer Gun'Her Gombos. *photo by .00Buck

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!

Anja Downigan jams while Nerd Rage stylish blocks a SheWolf with her ruby-red fanny pack and her MJ-green fauz-rhinestone glove! *photo by .00Buck

Anja Downigan jams while Nerd Rage stylish blocks a SheWolf with her ruby-red fanny pack and her MJ-green faux-rhinestone glove! *photo by .00Buck

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.

Anna Barbera battles Ima Handful. *photo by .00Buck

Anna Barbera battles Ima Handful. *photo by .00Buck

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!

I love watching blockers jam! Nice job Anna! *photo by .00Buck

I love watching blockers jam! Nice job Anna! *photo by .00Buck

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.

From left: StabHer Lee, Haulin' Oates, Thurston Gore! *photo by .00Buck

From left: StabHer Lee, Haulin' Oates, Thurston Gore! *photo by .00Buck

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!

Now with BEERGARDEN!

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!

Blow shit up with derby-approved fireworks!

Blow shit up with derby-approved fireworks!

Alright…see ya on the 11th kiddies!

xThurston Gore!x

Ah homecomings. Sometimes they can be the thing we look forward to, even need, more than anything else. Sometimes they can be the things we need to avoid at all costs.

Luckily, I got the witness the former last weekend in a very special scrimmage at the Rollerdrome in Centralia. Before this scrimmage, I’d seen a Rat City team and I’d seen a Rose City team. But until Saturday, I’d never seen a Rat-Rose battle. And while this was just a scrimmage, it was easy to see why both teams are revered in the derby world.

Throw into that mix some action from my favorite clan of derby divas, the Rainy City Roller Dolls, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a good time!

Rainy City played host to the scrimmage double-header, which since it was a scrimmage I won’t be super detailed about the action on the floor. Basically, this was an opportunity for both teams to get together and, under supervision of several refs, practicing skating under the new WFTDA 4.0 rule set. It gave refs a chance to see how it changes their side of things and it gave score and penalty trackers, like myself, a little more to check into as well.

As far as the teams go, Rose City came up with a mix of Axes of Annihilation and Wheels of Justice skaters, fielding mostly both teams. Rat City brought a mix of A and B team skaters as well, but seemed to share throughout the scrimmages. Rainy City had about eight skaters on hand, so they jumped in the mix some too.

The morning — that’s right, morning — began at 9 a.m. with warm-ups before Rat City’s A Team took on the Wheels of Justice. That was a nice way to start the scrimmage, setting the tone for both skaters and officials to see what, if anything, was noticeably different under the new rule set. Rose City was definitely the dominant team on the track, but Rat City was without some of its regulars too.

Rose City jammer XXXXX gets ahead of Rat City's XXXXX

Rose City jammer White Flight gets ahead of Rat City's Nasty Trick

The Wheels of Justice didn’t up, more than doubling up Rat City. They were skating fast, hitting hard and showing just why they’re ranked fourth in the Western Region by WFTDA. Three members of the Wheels racked up 20+ point jams and another scored 19 in one go. But that didn’t keep Rat City from trying. Ultimately, Rat City starting getting into penalty trouble however, with Valtron 3000 committing three majors and nine minors in the scrimmage.

A Rose City blocker puts a big inside hit on Nasty Trick

Rose City blocker MaRollin' Monroe puts a big inside hit on Nasty Trick

The veterans like Blood Clottia and Cadillac were jamming like crazy, but it was relatively new skater White Flight turning some serious heads, scoring five grand slams for 25 points in a single go. Rat City had some solid performances from the likes of Billie Boilermaker, Wile E. Peyote, Katrina Whip and Ima Handful. But again, it was a scrimmage, so take all these recap notes with the appropriate grain of salt. The teams got together at the half to chat about what was different or just give each other feedback in general.

Pow wow

Pow wow

During the first bout, I was able to work on my own multitasking, both penalty tracking for Rat City while also shooting some photos. It was nice to see that I’ve still got it from my days as a sports reporter where I’d have to cover the game play by play, take my own stats and notes and shoot photos. Also, it was cool to see more hits from the inside of the circle. Normally, I’m stuck on the outside shooting, so that was a nice way to mix it up.

While the A-Team bout was the main event, it was the B game I was excited for. It was an interesting format. Rat City had less B-team skaters, so the Axles of Annihilation lined up against Rat City for a jam, then Rainy City for a jam, more or less. Sometimes Rat City would stay out for back-to-back jams, sometimes Rainy City would.

Not that A-team...

Not that A-team...

This was what I was excited to see. You see, Rose City’s Mercyful Kate and Napalm Beth were two of the original Rainy City Roller Dolls before heading south to Portland. So when Rainy City lined up opposite Rose City – and those two in particular – everyone wanted bragging rights, scrimmage or no.

Personally, I had never gotten to meet MercyFU in person, much less seen her skate. And Napalm, whose old Oly house I know share with a pair of RCRD skaters and mt.tillicum, is also a force on the track. All I knew was this was gonna be fun!

The line-up we were waiting for!

The line-up we were waiting for!

It was hard to gauge who was specifically doing well in the second scrimmage, just because Rainy City and Rat City kept swapping out, but playing Rose City as a team (just different lineups). But for Rose City, both Napalm and Mercyful had nice return trips to the rink they used to skate in. Smackya Sideways as always was strong, as was Scrappy-go-Lucky, J.K. Rolling a nd Edie Disorder. For the Rainy City side, Suzzi Sidebomber had another nice outing, as did Make’Her Mark, Miss Mel Mangles and Lucyville Slug-Her.

Rainy City's Suzzi Sidebomber sits on the Axle's jammer

Rainy City's Suzzi Sidebomber sits on the Axle's jammer

But I think it was Holly Hobbler for Rainy City that provided my favorite moment of the bout. Known affectionately by her team as Tiny Jammer (as in ‘Hold me closer Tiny Jammer’), she’s been a force blocking the last several bouts as well, adding to her versatility. But what really impressed me was when she found herself out front all alone with no one to hit but Smackya Sideways. Instead of shirking away, Hobbler lowered her shoulder and sent all her momentum in Smackya, who (no offense smack! nothin’ but love!) is about three Hobblers at least. Needless to say, the blow barely sent Smackya skating a different line, much less knock her down. Still, it was the thought and fearless tenacity that counted! In fact, immediately after, Hobbler also drove one into Napalm, albeit with similar results.

Rose City's Mercyful Kate tries to contain Rainy City's Holly Hobbler

Rose City's Mercyful Kate tries to contain Rainy City's Holly Hobbler

Rat City did OK in its intervals too, but again, Rose City took the combo-scrimmage handily again.

Rose City what?!?! P.S. GOOD LUCK HIGH ROLLERS!

Rose City what?!?! P.S. GOOD LUCK HIGH ROLLERS!

But again again, this was just a scrimmage, so no one was putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllables, so to speak. Still, it was a great way to spend three hours of a Saturday morning! Even ref Papa Crack said he enjoyed the morning go-round.

On the penalty tracking side, the only new thing for me was getting the send-offs right. Where it used to be that four majors in a half would send you off, it’s now five trips to the box total. You could commit 20 minors for your five trips, five majors, or any combination therein. Otherwise, things seemed to be pretty much business as usual.

On a completely unrelated related note, I also got to go to the Mariners game that night! It was a pretty sweet M’s win, 7-3! Talk about a busy day! But, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

On an entirely different note, I’m going to be announcing with Stab-Her Lee Saturday at the last bout of the season for the Slaughter County Roller Vixens as their party team for the even, the Dorothys, gets ready to take on the Lilac City Roller Girls’ (of Spokane) SheWolves. Originally, a B-team of all-stars for SCRV was going to take on a team of Coos County Roller Girls, but now it looks like it may be a mix of multiple Oregon skaters, which should be pretty sweet! The theme for the bout is ‘There’s No Place Like Home,’ so make sure you bring your Ruby Reds or some such shit. This time it’s at the Kitsap Fairgrounds and Events Center, so that should be an interesting new venue too. Come on out and say hi! It’s gonna be awesome!

Also, Rainy City is prepping for its next home bout on July 11! Here’s more on that too:

WOOTS!

WOOTS!

So, until next time, catch ya on the flip side of the dolla dolla yo’s.

Much love,

Thurston Gore!!!