Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New RCR Fan Forums - Pretty Cool

Even though we haven't gotten around to memorializing last weekend's fun, including a Heathers 146-107 scrimmage win against Rainy City and friends (including TeqKillYa!), and the Betties' 107-93 victory over GnR (which you can relive here), we thought we should let you know that Speed Bump has created a public forum for RCR fans, skaters, volunteers, officials, and other interested parties, and it looks like it will be fun. We urge you to register, get your account validated, and start jibbering your jabber, as they say.

RCR has also provided this great directory of other RCR resources (including the humble old C.I.) on the web. Dive in.

Oh, and here's the latest work of genius from JeLLyPiG -

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Potpourri for 1000

Skirmish: Heathers scrimmage v. tough ol' Rainy City. Unlimited roster. Friday night at the Hangar. Doors at 7. Roll at 8. $5 at the door. They're sellin' beer. Effin' A.

Bout: Betties v. Guns, Saturday night at the Hangar, door at 5, bout at 6. Trying to get a read on whether we'll see the return of Rhea and Marollin' this bout. Will report back.

Anyway, that stuff's sold out, so if you can't get in, watch it on the live stream or down at Kay's Bar or Buffalo Gap. Nice joints, both of 'em.

Fashion: Still diggin' on the tasty new Heathers uniforms. Word on the street is that Monacle Debacle had something to do with their design.

photo by Sharkey

Renegade: Twat Rocket has been getting in on some Bend renegade action. Skatie Kat was kind enough to link this vid in another venue:

UPDATE: Hoisted from the comments: Skatie Kat said...Both Twat Rocket and the newest HH, Blast Unicorn are featured in the video. Blast gets 2 grand slams! woot!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If I only had a heart...

Time for me to move away from watching Philly get beat by the Best of West on Dvd and throw some PiG crap at the blog. Yes, thanks to the efforts of Blaze Streaming Media you too can buy your favorite bouts from track 1 @ Wild West Showdown on Dvd. As you can imagine, I watch them like they are the Zapruder film.

Speaking of "back and to the left"…I’m not clear on which step of the grieving process I am currently on after the 112 - 113 loss to the High Rollers on Saturday. With all the money I spend on my Roller Derby Obsession, I can’t really afford the professional help I so badly need. Perhaps spewing it out in a blog will help more than the piles of empties around my desk...

I seriously doubt anyone thought for a second the High Rollers were going to go quietly. As the man on the mic, Mike Chexx pointed out in his podcast about the HR vs G’nr bout last month, the HR have depth. Entrenched in that depth is some highly skilled veterans, and a team that has proven they can play as a cohesive unit. The bout was always going to be a battle of capitalization, that is capitalizing on the mistakes of the competitor and not allowing them to capitalize on yours.

Starting off with a couple of quick jams, the Heathers went up, only to be down by a few points over the next couple of jams. Viagra’s nine point jam in the 7th jam, with some monster Firecrotch blocking seemed to give the Heathers some momentum along with the lead. The Heathers seemed focused through the next five jams and FC’s 4 points capped it off with a 42- 23 lead. Not a wide enough margin against a team that posted a 45 - 0 run against the G’nr and as you would imagine the HR powered back. After a six point jam by Minstrel Psycho, Wreck Deckard took the line with 4 on 2 pack advantage and hammered in a 17 point run to give those High Roller MF'rs a three point lead. Follow that with an HR Power Jam and consistent four point runs and the High Rollers put away the first .5 with 59 - 51 lead over the Heartless ones.

And my “critical first ten minutes of the second half” theory?

I doubt the second half game plan was get Scratcher to the box in the first jam. BUT, two solid jams by Viagra sandwiched a four point Sol Train jam and took the Heathers to a 75 - 59 lead. After a down but productive run by Twat, Scratcher made a big run and took the Heathers to a 90 - 73 lead. At this point it became a series of little battles and the effects of penalties, which the High Rollers were winning. With about 10 minutes left in the bout, Wreck faced our Mobi at the line and hit big with 11 as MoB’s hit the box. Now down by 8, the pressure was on our ladies in blue to come back and they had ten minutes to get the job done. Unfortunately, Madame Bumpsalot made her post retirement debut, and the time off had zero effect on her skills allowing her to build a 108 - 92 lead.

With about five minutes left, my notes get sketchy when compared to my memory. I know Scratcher hit for double digits and got it close, Viagra took the line beating out Bumps and Heathers had the lead 112-108. Scratcher was back on the line in a Power Jam, because Bumps was called to the box as the jam lined up. Scratch gained Lead Jammer, appeared to be watching the clock wind down, almost playful threatening to call the jam and with 10 sec on the clock the fourth whistle blew and the jam was called. The High Rollers immediately called for the Time Out they had left…the clock rolled until Wench Warden straightened things out. Now with 10 seconds on the clock the last jam began, Scratcher again alone on the line. My eyes were fixed on Bumps who was up and on her way out of the box while the HR tied Scratcher up in pack. Bumps hit the pack with a vengeance, quickly assumed Lead Jammer, controlling the clock. Scratcher elected to play Jammer on Jammer defense at the rear of the pack, missed the block and Bumps was through racking up five points as the jam clock wound down and BOOM! By one point the High Rollers had that second .5 and the bout.

Now I am just a drunken yokel that has seen a few derby bouts. I couldn't tell you whether the annoying track barriers were set to the 5' WFTDA minimum standard or not. I do know Scratcher calling the jam with 10 seconds on the clock was a huge “Oh SH!T” moment. With time on the clock and Time Out in my pocket, even a Weed Seed like me would have called for a time out to stop the clock. Why, oh why the choice was made to call the jam and risk the Lead Jammer status you already owned is beyond me.The High Rollers used that poor choice as an opportunity to capitalize, which is exactly what they did. Don’t be confused though, the High Rollers won the bout, it was effort and team work that gave them the position they needed to be in to close.

Though my bout notes are written in mediocre teenaged penmanship and the numbers don’t quite all add up, the facts are close enough. Over three quarters of the Heathers offense and even more jams came on the backs of three jammers. Viagra Falls turned in huge numbers all the way around, Scratcher jammed enough for two people and Twat did one hell of a job as well, but the pressure was on those three. On the High Rollers side, they jammed 6, with NO WHITEY (To the Heathers 7 ) and got great consistent productivity from five of them, those five also shared pretty equally the number of jams jammed. Tired jammers make mistakes…the five Power Jams the HH allowed coupled with silly fouls and the call of the jam are evidence of that.

In the end I remembered my lesson from last season, this sandwich goes down easier with more Ketchup.

Thankfully Sunday gave me an opportunity to wash that taste out my mouth with some killer Buds. It was the Sisterly Smackdown with the Rose Buds paired up with their Derby Mommies. It was simple and pure Roller Derby Fun. From our Heartless Heathers there was D Day beaming like a proud Den Mother. Goodie was being all goodie. Scratcher…not calling off the jam out there. A rare appearance by the alter ego, Hard Candy. Mick U Cry was hiding out in a blonde wig in a vain attempt to avoid what no doubt feels like targeted officiating. The treat was recently retired and Original Eight HH skater…TeqKillYa on skates and out there trading blocks with the Rose Buds. The Barbie Breakers took the match up with a 140 - 133 win over the Jump Rope Mafia. It was a great reminder of just how fun this game can be to one of “those people” that takes it all to seriously.

And seriously, there’s a great match up on the 20th in Rainy City as they take on Atomic City in Centralia. Our precious Rose Buds will (NOT) be playing a halftime bout there. Of course Rainy City will be here on the 26th for a $5 scrimmage bout against our Heathers, followed by those Betties versus G’nr on the 27th.

Until then…I'll be reading Tank's article in the Spring 2010, FiveOnFive...(page 16) and watching RCR vs Oly on DVD. At least up until it's 4:00 mins into the second half, because the game ends when PiG says the game ends.

Edited the Buds in Rainy City bit based on Creepy Stalker intel from the Social Networking site

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wow, another RCR blog

Not sure who does the "a game of brutal beauty" blog, but I certainly do enjoy it.

Somebody over there really likes RCR.

The Daily Ab also really likes Portland Roller Derby.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

High Rollers 113, Heartless Heathers 112

Hard-fought, fun-to-watch bout.

Congratulations to the High Rollers and, as always, thanks to the Heartless Heathers.

Seemed like a tactical error in the heat of battle at the end, there, for the Heathers to call the jam when they could have run out the clock for victory.

But that's the fog of war for you.

The Mascot Who Shall Not Be Named!

Rich Wholesome Streaming Goodness

RCR's live stream will have the bout tonight. And if you're feeling sociable, you can watch it down at Kay's in Sellwood.

Some Betties will be there. I've met some of them and they're actually quite nice. Not at all the devils I had been raised to believe they were.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

HRMF: The return of Madame Bumpsalot and White Flight

photo by Chris Barnes

We were able to confirm with the lovely, talented, and formidable High Rollers capo Intensive Scare that Madame Bumpsalot and White Flight will be returning to the HRMF Roster for the bout against our beloved Heathers Saturday night.

Scurr: "Madame and Whitey are both skating. So exciting! Whitey is doing fantastic! The whole team is fabulous and oh so ready."

So the High Rollers may be an even tougher team than the group who almost overcame GnR a few weeks back.

We look forward to a raucous bout.

Heathers por Vida!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Docket

Amazing weekend of Portland roller derby, this one coming up. The Oaks Park Hangar is where the action is.

Guns N Rollers scrimmage against Eugene's Skatesaphrenics Friday night, door at 7, skating at 8. $5 at the door, and they're selling beer, so bring some pretzels.

The big deal bout between our beloved Heartless Heathers and our beliked High Rollers (will George wear The Shirt?) is Saturday night, doors at five, bout at six, and it's sold out. Of course you can still buy pro rata discounted Season Passes in two distinct varieties should you desire to gain admission to this and a multitude of other spectacular matches.

We hope to have more on this Heathers/HRMF bout soon.

And Sunday the Rosebuds mix it up with some of their RCR elders in the Sisterly Smackdown, 1 p.m., $5 at the door.

Groovy Times.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Justice restored in the Wild West...

It took the Wild West Showdown to finally get me off my lazy blogger @$$. I have some great reasons and lame excuses for my lacking contribution thus far this season, but that ain't what this here blog is all about.

Bremerton/Silverdale (aka;Sunnyvale, as I was partial to calling it), WaRshington was the picturesque area, the Kitsap County Pavilion was the cool site, and Slaughter County Roller Vixen the hosts of the awesome event that was the Wild West Showdown. This was a major undertaking and for the most part went off without any real "Derby Standard Time" nonsense though Power and P.A. issues created some funny challenges. I'm talking announcers yelling and "Derby By Candlelight". It was really well organized and great fun given the complexity of an event that featured 19 teams, two sanctioned bout tracks and a challenge track. I know there were Official's, NSO's and Volunteers from all over...Thank YOU for helping making this event go as smoothly as it did

Unlike single track events, if you found yourself thinking the bout you were watching is well in hand or in my case "They are just going to keep doing the same stupid sh!t for the next 20 minutes" you could walk right over to another bout. It was at times overwhelming trying to see all the teams and match ups I wanted to see. By the time I got back Sunday night, every time I closed my eyes I was seeing derby tracers on the inside of my eye lids, a small price to pay for all that fun.

Of course the real motivator for the trip was seeing our Wheels of Justice skate their three bouts. Talk about a tough schedule, Friday night #1 ranked Oly followed by a bout Saturday with their historic rivals the B.A.D. Girls and capping it off Sunday with the last seasons "Giant Killers" the Philly Liberty Belles. Based solely on those three bouts the trip was a "must see", add in all the other bouts and teams you got a "cannot f^#king miss" event.

Thanks to the responsibilities of parenting on Friday, when I arrived it was already 31-16 Oly. I immediately went to the crow's nest view of the Beer Garden to drive a few in me, shake off the drive and watch a battle of inches. WoJ showed no sign of letting up despite being down. It always felt like they were a good jam or two from taking the game back. As Caddie's monster jam closed the half, WoJ was down only 13 points with 87 to 74 on the board.

(One of my wacky derby theories is the first ten minutes of the second half is the key to turning mommentum for the team that is down and conversely for the team that is ahead the time establish true dominamnce in any bout. That's why REAL and MEANINGFUL bouts are 60 minutes in length, only a GooBeR would count a 30 minute bout. Watch how I make facts substantiate my theory...)

The second half started with a power jam for WoJ, with the lovely Rhea Deranged at the line. With a clear game plan in place and smart well executed blocking, she turned in a 20 point jam and gave WoJ a 93 to 87 lead over Oly. WoJ did a fierce job following their game plan and riding the lead spot to 104 to 100 mark. At that point, that Heffer turned in a 15 point jam and gave Oly back the lead. WoJ maintained their poise and continued to play heads up derby as the game progressed. At this point the blur set in for me, I remember being down by 16, then Sully up against Atomatrix who got the lead and then was off to the box, a battle of blockers, WoJ doing a great job controlling the pack and then a damned tied game with about 8 minutes left! 141 to 141...my heart racing as we work through the next few jams. Oly did strike back to gain the lead, but WoJ never lost sight of how close they were. Blood and Scratcher would post 4 more apiece but at 157-149 Oly, the last jam came down to lead and that was Atomatrix who called it for the win.

A huge statement was made by WoJ in this bout. Yes, they lost BUT (PiG's BiG BUT) there are only three bouts and two teams in Oly's 13 game official record that have ended within 10 points. One bout was against those pesky Denver Roller Dolls (A home bout for Oly that was within 2 pts) and both other times they had "officially" faced Rose City. The next closest score with Oly would be their win over Gotham that had a 31 point differential. It was a damn fine way for WoJ to kick off not only the Wild West Showdown, but the 2010 All Star Season. Of course, this was only the first bout of the weekend for our Wheels.

Saturdays closing bout on Track 1 brought WoJ face to face with their nemesis of years gone by, those B.A.D. girls. I really expected a bruiser bout given the history. Though the bout started with quick jams for single digit points, WoJ would control the bout the entire way. WoJ took the lead and limited B.A.D.'s offense and dismantled their blockers. By Halftime it was 91 to 12 Rose City. Have I explained my first ten minutes of the second half theories to you?? Well, I gave this one about 5 minutes or at least until it was 100 to 13 Rose City before I committed the ultimate act of sacrilege and walked away to track 2 to watch Sacred Vs Duke City. That's right, despite my usual response of being HypMoTized by Bay Area's Demanda Riot and being a RCR loyalist...I left for greener pastures. Of course I watched the clock to return for the 156 to 27 WoJ victory lap.

WoJ saved the best for last...

Sundays final Track 1 bout was with #6 ranked Philliadelphia Roller Girls. Now I was a Philly a fan until this point in the weekend ("Duh"...I know). Philly has a soft spot in the old PiGz heart with the win over Gotham in Wicked Wheels of the East and their narrowly missed second half bounce back against Rocky Mountain at the Declaration of Derby. I wanted Philly to take down the "Giant" again against Oly. I also selfishly wanted them to win a hard fought battle against Rat mainly to keep pressure off WoJ in the standings if things went hinky. It would also help "theoretically" wear Philly down for WoJ, since Philly was doubling up bouts on Sunday. Philly had dropped both those bouts but were not going to leave the West quietly.

Philly came out with the fresh legs of Shenita Stretcher and took the first jam 4-0. WoJ fired back with a 36 point run before allowing any offense to Philly. As the bout wore on they traded some decent scoring runs, though WoJ maintained the lead 65 to 49 at the half. Despite leading most of the first half, you could see Philly had something to prove and challenged WoJ at every oppurtunity. Again, it was poise, smart play and execution that gave the Wheels the first half point advantage.

Philly came out from halftime with their own plan, their own focus and corrections to play that further proves only a GooBeR thinks a half bout can count. Yeah the lead would ebb and flow for WoJ, and they maintained that lead for those critical first ten minutes of the second half, but Philly was still only down by 17. At this point, with all the bouts I had seen, beers consumed and my "emotional investment in this bout, I went into a total Derby Trance.

I can recall watching the jammers rotate through and the blockers pounding it out, "We're doin it, Yeah, Yeah We are doing it" I was thinking to myself. At 102 to 80 about halfway through that second half, I felt like WoJ was in prime spot to put this one away. As I had said to someone early in the weekend Philly is adaptive, they are also smart enough to capitalize on every mistake and call that goes their way...and that is just what they did over the next few jams. Philly took a 110 to 102 lead with about ten minutes left in the bout. The WoJ ArmY that had been well respresented all weekend was in full effect in the stands. WoJ, the team, though down, looked focused, intense but calm. Despite some quick productive jams by Scratcher and Licker, Philly was also racking up some points which brought it to 116 to 114 Philly. After a quick 0-0 jam jam where Philly took lead jammer, Licker went to the line against Persephone. After getting lead jammer and a quick two, Licker tied the bout with less than a minute on the clock. With no real time on the clock, Scratcher took the line for the Wheels of Justice for the final jam against PRG's Elle Viento. Once Scratcher took lead jammer...it was a quick 2 and the jam was called.

At that point, I resumed breathing...

There is no recap that could do justice for the way our Wheels rolled all weekend long. Every bout they played was focused, with great pack control and awesome blocking that gave jammers the chance for some great jams. Every member of the WoJ team played smart. They didn't allow themselves to be distracted by their mistakes and capitalized on most of the opprutunities created by their opponents mistakes. I was damn proud to be one of the many RCR fans in the stands.

As I said the stands were full of RCR Faithful or "The WoJ Army", which was great to see and to chat with all the friendlies. It was a treat to see a ton of Roller Derby talent, as I said 19 teams and some great bouts. If you missed WWS this year, don't make the same mistake twice. I hear we have 361 days until it happens agains, so one dollar a day put away could put your butt in the stands next year for all the fun! If you were there, you should fill out their survey.

I know the Dapper Don of Derby,
Mike Chexx will treat us to a WWS podcast of sorts as he makes up for the missing Heathers/Betties podcast from last week. (If you haven't checked out the podcasts...you're missing out) We were also blessed with some coverage from the mighty DNN, which is also worth checking out.

Of course we have more great local derby coming up. I'm making the trek to Salem to see Cherry City take on Sicktown in the Banshee Brawl this weekend. March 13th has the New and Improved Heartless Heathers take on those High Rollers, in a bout that could wash away the sins of last year. I also hear tales of a Heathers scrimmage against those brutal Rainy City girls Friday before the GnR/Betties bout in a couple of weeks. Check out RCR newsletter for up to date info.

Until next time...

Monday, March 1, 2010

One more from the weekend: Wheels of Justice 118, Philadelphia 116

photo by Skatie Kat

Scratcher in the Eye scored two points for victory in the final jam.

As JeLLyPiG reported it from his Twitter page "JeLLyPiG Has chewed his nails to the quick, rung my hand so hard I damn near broke my fingers...but Scratcher was on the line and Justice served .."

A great weekend for the Wheels of Justice, the Rose City Rollers, and roller derby fans.