Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Breakneck Betties deconstruct the GnR, 177 to 94. Post Mortem

Rose City Roller Derby fans certainly got their moneys worth last night at the Hangar. It was a hard fought throw down and the final score hardly reflects the drama on the track. A classic comeback story. A made for TV movie sort of thing, which my half ass notes, drunken fan perspective and junior college writing skills will struggle to tell. Like any good inside joke, you had to be there.

The Betties put a quick six points on the board with the first jam. You had to wonder if this was going to be the way the night going to go. Over the next three jams you could see the GnR had brought their “A” game with them. By the 4th jam the GnR was up 20 to 6. And four jams in, the Betties appeared to be getting frustrated. The GnR continued to do the job, communicating in pack and controlling it, taking a comfortable 54 to 29 lead by the midway point of the first half. As we got closer to the end of the first half the Sin Bin was flooded with a sea of red, as the aggravated Betties picked up more and more penalties. It was 70 to 36 with two minutes left in the half, my designated “beat the crowd” departure point. As fate would have it, I missed the tipping point. The half closed after 18 jams with the GnR 70 to Betties 55.

As the second half began, the Betties had clearly found their “center” .Gone from their faces was the obvious frustration of the first half. They were on the comeback trail and after five second half jams had tied the score at 74. The Betties has managed to pull off a 38 to 4 run in the course of roughly six jams. You could see the pressure in the eyes of the GnR pack now. The Betties had returned to dominating the pack in the same way they did back in May. By jam 29 the Betties had a 100 to 74 lead over the GnR. There was no sign of them letting up. Over the next twelve jams the Betties would limit the GnR to 20 points and accumulate another 77 points for themselves. After 41 jams the Betties had 177 points to the GnR’s 94. The Betties are once again returning to the Championship bout, June 27th at the Expo Center.

Two lousy paragraphs hardly does justice to the great plays and players in this bout. Since I’m no Elwood Bruise, I don’t have any factual stats to reflect efforts or heroics. Only the half baked impressions of who stood out in my mind. It’s also no secret I am not much of a Betties fan so I know I’ll fail to give proper props despite my efforts to play nicely with others.

On the GnR side, Blood Clottia has to be the “Iron Woman of Roller Derby”. I would swear she jammed every other jam last night. She racked up serious points as a jammer, dealt quite a few good blows and took some major shots. Including what looked like Licker pop’n her in the face in that critical 4th jam.

Aura Brutalis was also a stand out. It felt like she and Clottia were just taking turns jamming during that first half. She is a fairly crafty jammer. With great blocking in the first half, she put up some major points for the GnR.

In the pack, Nepalm Beth, Viva, Smacks all put together a great first half. They had control of the pack and were running the floor. That first half, the GnR did a good job of sandwiching the Betties with walls of two in the front and back of the pack. They were talking and playing it smart, very aware of where the Betties Jammer was and creating holes for their own jammer. Sadly that didn’t last the whole 60 minutes.

As for those dang Betties, D. Konstructor and Rhea DeRange are two of the most dangerous jammers to face on the line. Both of them possess the ability to see a line through the pack and skate it hard. And per usual, that is what they did. Both played key roles with huge jams on the Betties comeback trail.

Licker is one of those Betties I struggle with the whole Love/Hate thing. Honestly she has some major jamming skills, she has the ability to literally “Hop” into a hole. She’s one tough lady and last night she had her war face on.

The blocking crew for the Betties as a whole deserves major kudos. It took the whole crew to turn the bout around. They managed to make the game time changes required to get the bout back to their style of play. The second half was that “Wall of Red” upfront and the GnR strung out with no way to be effective blockers or assist their jammers.

So the stage is set for the end of the season. The High Rollers will have their hands full with the Breakneck Betties in the battle for the Championship. Of course the Heathers faithful can expect a brutal match up against the GnR for the 3rd place spot. (Insert some remember Sump Pump cliché here).

I know what I'd like to see. Hell, you probably already know what I'd like to see too. Do you think the High Rollers have what it takes to defeat the Betties “Derby Machine”? Will the injury riddled Heathers hand out another loss to the injury riddled GnR? Will all of this make for a highly rated, made for basic cable TV show? I guess we’ll have to theorize until it all plays itself out…June 27th at the Expo Center.


scrappy said...

couple things worth addressing...

i'm sure blood wouldn't mind a name correction on her part: it's 'clottia' not 'claudia'. and yes she did a great job last night, no doubt... but brutalis was by far GNR's strongest jammer last night with a total of 49 points in 14 jams, compared to blood's 28 points in 15 jams.

and while derange and dk are always formidable jammers, licker was actually the Betties highest scoring jammer with 42 points in 10 jams. i have to say i am proud of all of our jammers last night... all of them scored more than 30 points apiece - even our most recent draft, sufearic acid!

GNR gave us a tough run for our money and fought hard to join HR in making an epic underdog assault on the championship game... and in the words of angus young, GNR, 'we salute you!'

thanks for the write-up!

jesse said...

Jam 18 was the key turning point of the game so here's what you missed. In Jam 18 the Betties defense completely stopped Blood while their jammer, Cadillac, racked up 15 unanswered points, the highest net point gain outside of power jams. The jam accomplished a few things. First, it was when the Betties defense really came together for the night and stayed solid the rest of the bout. Second, it was when the Betties shut down Blood. Blood who had am admirable first half, racking up 27 points and getting lead jammer in almost every jam never recovered from Jam 18. Whether it was fatigue or frustration or solid Betties defense Blood was kept to only 1 point in the second half. Third, it cut the GNR lead almost in half.

Aurora Brutalis definitely deserves kudos for her 49 point bout. Blood also deserves recognition for her solid first half and keeping her team ahead.

Missing from the Betties jammers recognition thus far is Cadillac who scored 37 points and played a key role in giving the Betties their momentum in Jam 18. And you can't neglect recent draft Sulfuric Acid who scored 34 points in 3 jams, though 2 of those were power jam situations.

I know I would neglect names of blockers if I tried to give kudos but the Betties blockers were so solid in the 2nd half they all deserve recognition. In the first 20 jams of the half GNR was kept to only 9 points. I don't think I've ever seen a shutdown quite like that.

It was a great bout because no one likes to watch a blow-out where 1 team dominates the entire game. Fans of both teams had some emotional highs and lows but everyone got to see some good, high-intensity playing.

Congratulations to both teams for playing hard and playing well.

The Coroner said...

Thanks for the write-up, JeLLyPiG. Well observed as always.

And thanks for the notes scrappy and jesse. JP, I took the liberty of doing the fix-up on Blood's name.

Sufearic Acid, wow, she came out of nowhere and did a nice job.

My crew was so amazed at Blood Clottia's conditioning - she's in such incredible shape. She looked as though she could have jammed on for a couple more hours.

A very fun game to watch, that was, made more fun by the presence of die-hard Betties fan Glenn and the opportunity to bask in his happiness.

As always, difficult to see the faces of vanquished friends afterward.

I have loved the hangar bouts this year, but am looking forward to returning to Expo for the championship spectacle.

Thanks to all involved for the hard work.

JeLLyPiG said...

Thanks for the name note and correction. It must be a subconscience thing where I mangle the name of non Heathers skaters I really like. First Kate, now Blood...I see a pattern.

Anonymous said...

More name corrections: isn't that new Bettie named "Soul-fearic Acid"?

The Coroner said...

Thanks, anonymous. We'll add Soul-fearic Acid to our spell-check.

the_mad_nader said...

As always, nice Post Mortem JeLLyPiG - and thanks Jesse for filling the late-1st period gap with your thoughts.

I watched portions of this bout with incredible depth, but no breadth, so I had absolutely NO CLUE about the details, just a general sense of the vibe.

From my perspective I'll give GnR a ton of credit for making it competitive for at least 30 minutes; probably about 25 mins in the 1st, and 5 mins in the 2nd. I really thought this would be a runaway Betties win from the beginning, and while the final score was remarkably lop-sided, from all reports it seems to be a bit misleading.

Anyway, I think this sets the stage for a phenomenal Championship bout come the 27th. The High Rollers are positioned as good as any "underdog" challenger - riding a growing wave of momentum after two straight wins by increasing margins.

For their part the Betties aren't exactly stumbling into the Championship (as they arguably did last year). I expect an exciting, fierce battle...and for the High Rollers to become the 1st ever RCR champ NOT wearing blue or red they are going to have to continue their growth and development, play with focus, and not let nerves or "the moment" get to them.

By anyone's measure the Betties have to be the favorite, but then so was another skating team in red...and we all saw what Sid the Kid and the Pens did last weekend!