Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saving the best for last

I witnessed a lot of great bouts this weekend, but the final bout of the weekend was far and away the most exciting. Forget the fact that I live and breathe Rose City roller derby. Forget the fact I’ve been building up this bout in my mind all weekend. Forget the fact that I believe that all Rose City bouts are monumental. Putting all that aside, this stands out as one amazing bout to end a weekend of amazing bouts.

The first half was rough for a Wheels fan to watch. There were stretches of 5 jams or more where the Wheels didn’t score a single point. I was doing the text boutcast for DNN, and was overwhelmed with trying to type updates, respond to people’s comments, drink the boxed wine that was provided by DNN, and keep up with the bout. That’s way too much multi-tasking for George. Nine minutes into the first half, Boston was starting to pull away, and I was starting to get nervous. This bout was another one that had fast-paced packs, like so many other bouts that I saw this weekend. Eighteen minutes into the bout, Wheels made a small comeback and I started to feel a little more at ease. But that soon proved to be a short-lived comeback. Boston killed a couple of our power jams with excellent blocking, and then took advantage of some of our time in the penalty box. By halftime, the Wheels were down 53 to 23.

The second half proved to be even more of a nail-biter. A couple of Cadillac jams and the Wheels were back to within striking distance of Boston’s lead. Add a few jams by Scratcher and Wreck, toss in some great blocking from Mick, Mobi, and Smack Ya, and top it off with some great pivot work by Blood Clottia and Rhea, and the Wheels were within 15 points of Boston’s lead. At this point, Scratcher decided that she had enough of this goofing around and went out there and put us to within 6 points of Boston’s lead. That set up Soulfearic Acid to pull in some points and cause a lead change in the score. Boston never regained their lead after that. All it took was a power jam by the amazing Wreck Deckard to put the final nail in Boston’s coffin. Shortly thereafter, the Wheels were skating a victory lap with an 86 to 61 point win.

They managed to come back from a 30 point halftime deficit and win this one in a BIG way! What an amazing end to an amazing weekend. The Wheels of Justice truly are my superheros. I'm sad to have to leave tomorrow, and I can't wait to come back to Feasterville next year!

Go Wheels!

WOJ wins early morning scrimmage!

Now, I’m not a religious man, and I'm not the type of guy you would find in church on a Sunday morning, but what I attended this morning was definitely my version of worship. I had the privilege of sneaking into a closed scrimmage between Philly and WOJ. And when I say closed, I mean CLOSED. Besides the skaters, there were refs, a scorekeeper, a barebones crew of non-skating officials, and four fans (consisting of Draggin’ Lady, Mike Chexx, Amy, and myself).

The Wheels started off slowly and looking groggy (it was, after all, 5:00 AM Portland time). Philly had us down 10 to 1 in the first three jams. Then, in the fourth jam, it was as if Portland’s morning coffee started working, because the Wheels started to turn! Cadillac took lead jam in the fourth jam, Sully Skullkicker took lead in the fifth, Scratcher took lead in the sixth, Soulfearic Acid took lead in the seventh…you get the idea. We gained a two point lead by jam seven, and never looked back from there. The Wheels jammed Cadillac, Sully Skullkicker, Scratcher, Soulfearic Acid, Blood Clottia, Rhea DeRange, Wreck Deckard…am I forgetting anybody? Oh yeah, the jammer panty got passed to Smack Ya in the second to the last jam. By halftime, the score was Wheels 44 to Philly 29.

The pace of the pack was incredible. It was like speed skating derby. Very little of that “slow pack strategy crap” (as I refer to it as) was used in this bout. It was clear that this was a bout between two teams of highly skilled skaters. Philly’s Teflon Donna and Elle Viento scored the majority of points for Philly. There we few penalties during this scrimmage. It was overall a pretty clean bout. Thirty-two jams into the bout, the final buzzer sounded and it was Wheels 120 to Philly 88. To further the joke of only having four fans in attendance (who had to sneak in to this closed bout past a crack security team, mind you), the Wheels lined up and skated a victory lap, slapping our hands. There was almost a 5-to-1 skater-to-fan ratio. It was hilarious!

Okay, this self-imposed break is almost over. Back to the Sportsplex for more derby action! Don’t forget to tune into the live action today at 3:30 PM Portland time (6:30 PM Philly time) and catch the Wheels vs. Boston. I’ve been asked to do the live text-cast of that bout for DNN tonight, and I reluctantly accepted. So if you’re watching the live text-cast in conjunction with the streaming video, and the text part is three jams behind and everything is misspelled, then you’ll understand why. Until then keep tuning in here for more updates. Go Wheels!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

“Carolina” you say? “No problem” I say!

Out of the 34 jams that made up this bout, the Wheels of Justice had lead jammer all but a handful of times. The Wheels relied heavily upon Cadillac, Honey Hellfire, Sully Skullkicker, and Soulfearic Acid as their jammers. They had no problems breaking through Carolina’s defense. I mean no problems whatsoever. Many times our jammers would be just getting into turn #2, and the lead jammer whistle would sound. To the contrary, the Carolina Roller Girls seemed unable to break through our blockers at all. Carolina’s Holly Wanna Crackya and DVS were two of the only jammers that were successful at scoring any points. When the halftime buzzer sounded, we were ahead 107 to 12 (no, that’s NOT a typo). The second half proved to be more of the same. There wasn’t a huge amount of penalties on either side. As a matter of fact, the lion’s share of the penalty box time was done by the Wheels. When the final buzzer sounded, Wheels stood victorious at 189 to 31.

Two other bouts this day stand out in my mind as being a bit closer. The D.C. Rollergirls took on the Nashville Rollergirls in a sanctioned bout this morning. This was a good matchup because both teams have a fast, agile style. The pace of the pack was incredible. The score was close the entire bout until the last seven minutes, where Nashville pulled ahead to win it 117 to 86. An even better bout than that was Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota. During that entire bout the score didn’t differ by more than a few points, and at halftime the score stood at 52 to 53 Minnesota. The last 12 minutes saw Tampa up by 17 points or so. Then, in an amazing final 1:45 left, Minnesota staged a dramatic comeback to beat Tampa 98 to 96! The crowd went wild, to say the least.

Our old friend Slaybia is here with her Bay Area team. They destroyed Rhode Island 234 to 65. In other interesting news, Gotham’s Fresh Meat (referred to their Meat Packing District) took on Jersey’s first-string all star team, and CRUSHED them! Fresh Meat beating an all star team??? How often do you see that?

I learned that tomorrow’s scrimmage against Philly is at 8:00 AM Eastern time, not at 10:00 AM as I originally heard. So I’ll be getting up extra early to make my way to the Sportsplex to catch that one, for sure. Tomorrow’s sanctioned bout against Boston takes place at 6:30 PM (that’s 3:30 PM Portland time). So tune in here to watch our Wheels take on the Boston Derby Dames live. For now, I need to get some rest because I have another exciting 13 hours of derby tomorrow!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

How Swede it is!

The first day here in Feasterville started off with two evening bouts. The first of which was a regulation bout between Philly’s Independence Dolls and Gotham’s Wall Street Traitors. It was a close bout early on, but Philly’s defense proved to be quite strong. Philly was pulling ahead at halftime, and the score was Independence Dolls 47 to Wall Street Traitors 22. In the second half, Wall Street’s penalties were killing them, and the Independence Dolls’ defense was even stronger. Anne Frankenstein of the Wall Street Traitors put forth an amazing performance, but in the end it still wasn’t enough to save them from a 62 to 112 defeat at the hands of the Independence Dolls.

Next up was the Bout that I was anticipating to be a bit more competitive. Windy City took on Gotham in a sanctioned bout. Swede Hurt, who used to play for Rat City, is now playing for Gotham. She was no slouch when she played for Rat City, but she has really groomed her jamming skills while playing for Gotham. As a matter of fact, Gotham has a host of amazing jammers. Carmen Monoxide and Bonnie Thunders racked up the points jam after jam. But it was Swede Hurt that got the nod from me for the MVP of this bout. The halftime score of Gotham 86, Windy City 14 not only underscores Gotham’s jamming skills, but also their amazing blocking abilities. Beyonslay is back playing for Gotham, and she is blocking better than ever! Windy City’s Jackie Daniels put forth an amazing performance (especially in the second half), but in the end it didn’t save them from a 191 to 50 loss to Gotham.

Tomorrow (Saturday 6/26) the Wheels of Justice take on the Carolina Roller Girls in a sanctioned bout. Also, I learned from Rob Lobster tonight that our Wheels are going to take on Philly in a 10:00 AM scrimmage on Sunday. It’s not on the schedule, and it won’t be on any webcast, but I’ll be there reporting on it. So keep checking back here to get exclusive details on that bout! Until then, let the derby freedom ring!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza!

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again. The championships are over and it’s time for me to start packing my bags and get ready for travel season. So it’s off to the East Coast to watch our Wheel of Justice team compete in the East Coast Extravaganza located in beautiful Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Looking at the schedule, I strongly suspect that our Wheels aren’t going to have too many problems. There are only two bouts that they are competing in this weekend. The first one takes place on Saturday night at 7:00 PM (that’s 4:00 PM Portland time) against the Carolina Roller Girls. Carolina is currently ranked 6th in the East Coast division, and fails to get a national ranking by DerbyNewsNetwork (the WFTDA no longer keeps track of national rankings, only rankings within each division). The second bout isn’t until Sunday evening at 6:30 PM (3:30 PM Portland time) against Boston. Boston is currently ranked 13th nationally, and 3rd in the East Coast division. I’m guessing that this will be the better of the two bouts to watch…but that’s just speculation on my part.

The whole thing kicks off Friday evening with a pair of bouts featuring Gotham vs. Windy City, and one of Gotham’s league teams vs. one of Philly’s league teams. Of course there will be a lot of challenge bouts to watch throughout the weekend in addition to the sanctioned and regulation bouts on the schedule. So if you can’t bring yourself to withstand the sweltering humidity of Philadelphia, then you can watch the whole weekend live right here from the comfort of your own air conditioned home. As for me, I’ll be suffering the heat and humidity to bring you updates, bout recaps, and interviews from the City of Brotherly Love. My writing won’t be as eloquent as that of JeLLyPiG or the Coroner, but whose is?

So keep checking back here throughout the weekend for more updates. Go Wheels!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Just How We Roll

I'm still trying to decide whether I had the "Best Birthday" or the "Best Birthday Ever!". It was one hell of a derby weekend and the Semi's certainly didn't disappoint. I'll spare you most of my usual derby dribble and get to the point-

My dream season ending was always to have our lovely Heathers face off against those pesky High Rollers. A dream soon to be realized...

For two seasons now, those HRMF'rs have dealt our Heartless heroes losses. Don't waste your time arguing the 30 minute season opening silly bouts, you just sound like my fundamentalist relatives try to explain dinosaurs to me. The facts are really simple, in full fledged, 60 minute bouts, for the last two seasons the Heathers have been the Gang Green's Bitch. Check it out for yourself: 5/10/09 , 6/07/09 and lastly the heartbreaker that was 3/17/10 .

If I may be so bold as to suggest, '10 Heartless Heathers this streak needs to end this Saturday @ the Expo Center!

I won't bore you with my superstitious sports fan theories that connect this losing streak with that unholy, demonic and cursed T shirt that makes our boy George the poster child for this event. I will suggest that WE, the Icebox Cadavers go old skool and bring the noise!

You know what I'm say'n.

If for some bizarre reason you don't have tickets yet, they are doing Cheap Ticket Night at some fine drinking establishments. The link is.............................HERE

Saturday, June 5, 2010

An old Heathers fan makes his voice heard...

I "snapped" this pic of a surprising Heathers fan way back when...during the HH 2006 Championship bout, but last night's amazing victory inspired me to put it out there once again.

As Axel says, Heathers Por Vida!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Semi Awesomeness!

Okay kids, the Coroner has left the building and the inmates have taken over the Asylum. Looks like it's just you and me now. Yep you're stuck with the man, the myth, the PiG. So let's talk derby.

Our wacky and wild RCR Intra league Season 5 is drawing to a close and this weekend is the beginning of the end. Our lovely Heartless heroes sit atop the number one spot and now face off against the 4th place G'Nr. The trash talking has been going for a little over a week now, over on the RCR Fan Forum. Our boy George has been doing a wicked job of shaking cages, riling the rockers and generally spouting some hilariously Heather-centric propaganda.

I chimed in too, playing my usual role of the cat turd in "the League" sandbox.Honestly, from the beginning of the season I expected the Gunz to be a force of nature. Early on I was spewing drunken bar babble about "The Four Horse Woman of the Roller Derby Apocalypse" to anyone that wasn't listening. Ironically, looking back at my bout notes for the G'Nr this year, most of the names that pop up were not the players I thought would be the biggest impact on the line up. Mercifully, I was 25% right, which is still a higher percentage of rightness than any of the 24 hour news networks. Cohesive pack play still seems inconsistent for the G'Nr and behind that kind of pack even great Jammers prove ineffective. I find it ironic that some of the best jams for them to date have been on the backs of lines up that I would not expect. The beautiful thing here is, I have a new appreciation and definition for the real work horses of the G'Nr.

When the Heathers faced those Buttrockers in the regular season, it was a nail biter. Oh sure, the HH held them scoreless for the first five jams and lead for the first eight, but those Gunts also served up a four and then a nine jam run that didn't add squat to the Heathers scoreboard. Those runs left the Heathers down by 24 at the half. Hell, they didn't reclaim the lead until the 13th jam of the second half, BUT... they DID come back. They also built their lead with 2 on 3 packs which says tons about the Heathers Pack Monsters. (MōBs is my Hero this year.)

It took the entire 60 minutes and a healthy slathering of Baconnaise, but our Ice Princesses took the 96 to 86 win. Now they face the GN'r again, in the battle before the battle. It's "Win and Advance" time and I can't think of a better obstacle between here and the City Championship.

I won't babble on about the value of team play (Teamwork only makes your ass look bigger if that's what you want it to look like) or what I think are the keys to taking the G'Nr out of their game. Every Heather and Ice Box Cadaver already knows this shit and if you don't read the blog archives.

I will tell you the story of two little boys. Two boys that for years thought their lives were complete, until one day...five years ago, they saw an RCR bout. They fell in love with the sport and not in that creepy "get over on chicks" sort of way either, just pure passion. Through some force of destiny those boys both became Heathers fans. As their love for the sport grew so did their belief in their team. These boys would bleed blue for you, if they only had a heart. They not only share an admiration for the sport, it's players and this team, they also share a birthday and that day is June 4th. (I know, nothing worse than evil Gemini boys but stay with me on this one.) These two only want one thing for their birthday this year, and no it's not another Polly Pocket or an E Z Bake Oven, it's a Heathers victory. They would love a Championship but are only asking for one more win!

Of course that's on the 4th and I don't know anyone with a birthday on the 5th, so I guess the #2 High Rollers and #3 Betties ;,) will have to find their own inspirational story for motivation. That could be a scrappy match up and of course feed us the next opponent to face for our Heartless lovelies for whatever sort of final battle that will be the season ender.

You can check out more Semi blogging on "the League" site with a great piece "From the Crash Zone" by the latest addition to RCR blogosphere Amanda HugNKill.

Of course we'll see you Friday at the Hangar.

Until then, stay golden Pony Boy and yes...

Heathers Por mf'n Vida!