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...

7 comments:

jbomb said...

What an incredible weekend of derby and incredible showing by WoJ! I was also impressed by the turnout of the WoJ army! Way to represent, Rose!

Elwood Bruise called last year's WoJ v Oly bout the 2009 game of the year and the 2010 Oly-WoJ "showdown at the showdown" is the easy standout for this year's game of the year so far!

Wow wow wow, I got goosebumps just reading this writeup and re-living all the excitement of this weekend. Thanks to all the skaters, the volunteers, and all the fans!

thurstongore said...

Great job capturing those bouts...SO INTENSE! It was also awesome to finally meet you! We'll definitely have to connect when I'm down in Portland next! And thanks for the sweet WoJ and RCR Derby Drunks swag too! I'll have to find a worthy Rainy City counterpart :)

Kanna said...

I'd say something but I still can't talk. . .

What a weekend of derby!

George said...

I'd say something about how great it is to have your wife unable to speak, but I'd probably get in trouble...

Excellent job as usual, JeLLyPiG! That was a great weekend and there was some great derby! I’ll see you in Salem this Saturday.

And I love the photo by Sharkey of the WOJ army!

JeLLyPiG said...

Here's my "saved for the comments" shining highlight from WWS.

Doing the "Nicotine Slave" thang outside at half time during the Oly bout, I sidled up to the RCR krew to eavesdrop and interject when a familiar face hobbled up to the group. Sporting a Vagine Regime jersey with the name "Twat Clottia" tacked together on the back, someone said something to her I didn't hear. The response, I can still hear in mind loud and clear. "I'm one beat Twat". Chuckling to myself I didn't catch the rest of the conversation, I did hear her say something about nine Challenge Bouts! Nine bouts...Damn!

She wasn't the only Heather or RCR skater that used the event to get some track time in. That Challenge Track was one of the coolest, sort of "Best Kept Secrets" at the WWS. Away from the main tracks you had the Challenge track, were a whole whack of skaters were pouring it out on the track, not for hype but for the love of the sport. Their only agenda was to gain experience, improve their skills, have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow skaters. It was beautiful man...

I peeked in a few times, trying to catch some Budz action between main events but didn't get to spend much time there. Maybe next year...

Mike said...

Honestly, outside of the Wheels of Justice, Twat Rocket was one of the most impressive things at the Wild West Showdown. I got to see her skate for Team Fairy (or was that ie?), The Vagine Regime, and one or two others that escape my memory.

It's obvious that she is working hard at honing all the raw talent she has. My only worry was that she was going to beat the hell out of her body! She was also a formidable foe for Rocky (the Philly mascot) when she turned into Pegacorn.

By far and away the best weekend of derby I have experienced to date. Can't wait for the ECE!

George said...

I would like to further echo the compliments stated above about Twat Rocket. She is amazing and is a great asset to the Heathers! I'm not too worried about her "beating the hell out of her body", because she’s young and can take it. I look forward to seeing her kick some ass this season!!!