Monday, July 14, 2008

Meet the Cadaver: JeLLyPiG

cadaver name JeLLyPiG
age: 44
neighborhood: Hawthorne
beverage of choice: Anything priced below $5.26 a glass…and alcoholic
Heathers fan for: 2+ years

Q. How did you get started going to Portland Roller Derby?

I actually don’t remember how I heard about the Rose City Rollers, only that they had already had one bout and that I already missed it. I do remember telling my then fiancée, “there is Roller Derby in town and we’re going!” She promptly replied with a look of hesitation and the long wind-up response “Mmm…yeah…that kind of sounds like a boy’s night out…doesn’t it?” Sounds good…but I didn’t really have any “boys” to night with. So, some emails, voicemails and a few text messages later I had enough half-assed commitments to go out and buy four tickets knowing that I would fill the seats.

So the four of us, rapidly approaching or already in the midst of middle age, jaded cynics assembled, picked a DD (a Designated Driver… not a Derby Drunk) and headed out to the Expo Center for some roller derby action. I remember walking into “Season 1 Bout 2” thinking this is the shit! All of us had goofy grins, the spark of excitement in our eyes and that whole “this is cool” head bobbing thing. Beers were in order!

That first bout was cool because I had no allegiances, didn’t know anyone connected to derby, it was all fresh for me and I could just sit back and take it all in and I did, along with about 80 bucks in beer (I scored the ticket so I wasn’t in the drawing for the DD prize).

The basic rules of the game I understood, having watched roller derby on TV as a kid and the two odd bouts I saw with some random traveling teams at the Junior High Gym in my hometown of Nowhere Oregon back in the early 70’s. This new derby was different, it seemed more real to me and the event itself had some crazy energy and I was getting hooked. One of the guys asked if they had season tickets and all us were talking about what blast it was to watch and how we would definitely be going to all the bouts.

I remember thinking and then telling everyone “It’s the most Punk Rock thing I have been a part of in years”. And there is the key to my addiction, I saw and still see myself as being a part of “it”. From that point forward it was all bout derby for me.

Of that original foursome, I was the only one to make going to every bout a near reality. Oh they hit the odd bout here and there, usually with me…since I have two season tickets they are stuck as the designated driver. Sucks to be them!

Q. Why did you become a Heathers fan and what keeps you coming back to the Ice Box?

Since I had no real connections to the league beyond the love of the game when it started, no friends, friends of friends or some coworker’s sister playing on a team, I spent the first few bouts just watching and cheering randomly for crushing blocks and various rallying jammers. Eventually there were a few players I really enjoyed watching and some were Heathers. The lynchpin in my choice of teams was when Goodie Two Skates finally joined the roster.

I took major crap from my teenage daughter, a part time GnR fan, for “jumping on the winning team bandwagon” and in ’06 that argument could be made, but it's bollocks. The Heathers had and still have not only my top three all time favorite RCR players but a host of other wickedly talented players, win or lose. So now I would bleed Heathers blue if I even had a heart.

As for chillin' in the Ice Box, shit I don’t even sit there. I have this elaborate theory about the best viewing spot for big moves through the pack and where the best blocking crashes happen. Though the Ice Box is the coolest seat in the house (especially on those hot May bout nights) I need to watch the damn game AND have easy access to the beer trailers.

Q. Did you make those "Posse" graphics that slide across your MySpace page? Whose posse are you in? Who are your top Heathers and why?

Am I under oath? Um…those are scans of stickers that I…aw…”found” yeah found, on the rough and tumble streets of East Portland. A nice clean cut guy like me would have nothing to do with the nefarious Derby Drunks art crimes through out this fine city of roses. It is just a crazy coincidence that the first three “Posse” stickers happen to be not only my favorite Heathers, but my all time favourite Rose City Rollers. (I spelled it all Canadian that last time in case any Terminal City Roller Girls read this, eh?).

Seriously, Goodie Two Skates (G2S), Vominatrix and Sol Train are a pleasure to watch every bout. “Why?” Well, they are all quite different players in execution and style but with the Star, the Stripe or in the pack, they can be effective in all the positions. They are the treasured utility players of the sport, hard working, consistent and entertaining.

Goodie is not afraid to be a goofball and a hardass usually within the same jam. You can tell she is having fun. I love her arm moves, when she noses in front of the some skater she has been jockeying for position with she gets an inch of edge and sticks her arms out like she is “just stretching out…no foul here”. Or her “It’s the Cops!” move, when she is deep in the pack and bearing down on a skater, close to making contact from behind, her arms go straight up, she glances at the refs and attempts to look innocent. She says she’s “In it for Grin, Not the Win” and that’s no bullshit because even though she plays for keeps out there you can tell she is loving what she doing and I can’t help but root for her.

Vominatrix like G2S is clearly having so much fun and it’s great to watch. She’s got that long lanky body, sort of a praying mantis in a crazy outfit with skates but capable of great speed. She knows how block in the pack, how feed the opponent what looks like an open passing lane only to shut them down when they make their move and I laugh my ass off every time she does it.

Sol Train, well…SOL TRAIN! Here is a player that does an amazing job controlling the pack as a pivot, skates smart and tough as a blocker and has this uncanny way of seeing the line she needs to skate and cutting though the pack as a jammer. How do you NOT love that shit? The little engine than can and does.

Now, if you skate in any roller derby league, you have my utmost respect, if you are a Rose City Roller you have my admiration and if you’re a Heather, well you have my heart. These ladies are huge part of why I became a hardcore derby fan.

Q. Do you have any favorite moments from bouts past?

You mean like when I tried to hug uber-volunteer Johnny Franco? Or the bout I was obsessed with stealing a VIP seating sign for my office? Or maybe the bout when G2S was in the penalty box? Wait… that happens EVERY bout!

Actually, there have been some great moments over the years and they sort of all meld together. That might a result of the beers…

Q. What words of inspiration or advice do you, hardest of the hardcore fans, have to offer to the Heathers as they prepare for their upcoming epic battle with the Breakneck Betties?

Win…Win damn it!

Let’s face it, the Heathers know what they need to do and come August 9th they just need to execute it. We are talking about a team with great skill, poise and seasoned players. My advice would only be the ramblings of some drunken fan, so here we go!

Get in there heads early and take their game away from them.

Shutdown Ava: she’s not their only scorer but she is a key component. That crazy butt block that knocked on her ass the last bout seemed to throw her game off. Lock up Domesticated Violence early on because in the pack she has some great moves but she loses focus when she can’t skate her game. And Rhea…shit Rhea…do not let her get De Ranged!

Skate hard, skate fast, skate as team and leave a wake of red in your trail. We are with you…you’ll hear us out there:

Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers! Hea…thers!


Ringer said...

OMG - amazing! I am sooooo excited for Aug 9th, reading this gave me the chills!

Thanks for being Heartless!!!

Robin said...

JeLLyPiG -- you are an awesome fan!! You've just got me all excited for the next bout -- Let's go Heathers! Your cadavers want that championship back and BAD. I totally agree with the advice about Ava. If you can get in her head it can really throw her off. When it comes to those Betties, I say: KNOCK 'EM DOWN!!

Mercgirl said...

What a great post! I am blown away Mr JellyPig. I loved reading this. I cannot wait for next month! It is going to be epic.

Kurt Maier said...

Excellent interview.

I can't believe that I'll miss the Championship bout... shit, shit, shit

Vominatrix said...

I love the posse stickers I have to have them where oh where to I get them?