Yesterday I had the pleasure of announcing the CT Death Quads Men’s Roller Derby bout against the Mean Mountain Boys of Vermont. It was a bit different from the ladies’ bouts. The Men’s Roller Derby doesn’t have quite as large a following as the women’s league, so attendance was a lighter than what I’m used to with the women. That said, the fans that were there were enthusiastic and as an announcer it was kinda fun to announce to a more focused crowd. Some of the roller girls came up to compliment me on my announcing which was really nice to hear – thank you roller ladies! I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I’ve only been doing the announcing gig for about a year so I still feel like a mega-newbie. It’s good to hear that I’m occasionally doing things right. Three cheers for Roller Derby!
I’ve faltered a bit on my derby recaps in part due to the onslaught of my workplace. In fact, it has paralyzed my posting life in general but I’m trying to at least keep up with the daily posts for May. We’ll see how it goes. So stay tuned good people, there’s plenty more to come!
A few weeks back I let everybody know that I was going to be broadcast on local Connecticut television. I was asked to help give a play-by-play for the Stepford Sabotage bout.
The good news: The television broadcast which I was a part of did indeed go live.
The bad news: I didn’t have the cable station, so I wasn’t able to see it. DARN IT.
Still, here’s a picture of me in ACTION. Actually, this was taken just before the bout. So I’m not really in action, I’m about to act. Either way, it’s a sweet photo.
Special thanks to Jeremiah Adametz, Jr. for letting me use this photograph on mikedidonato.com. If you’re in need for a photographer you can check out Jeremiah’s stuff here!
Stupidly, I forgot my camera at home today so I will be unable to load my pictures from Germany. BUT! I still have exciting news to share: On Saturday night I had the privilege of continuing my role as an announcer for the Connecticut Roller Girls. Saturday’s bout was a double header with both the A team and the B team skating against visiting leagues.
Saturday was a little extra special because I got to sit out the Stepford Sabotage bout and provide commentary for Connecticut’s Public Television Station: CPTV. How cool is that? So for those of you who reside in CT, tune into your local CPTV station on Wednesday at 7pm to watch the bout and listen to my play-by-play (along with the CPTV guy Don).
It was SOO much fun. I had a special headset and we got to watch instant replays of the most brutal hits and sweet skating maneuvers – all the while trying to detail what was happening on the track and point out those things viewers should pay attention to.
Admittedly, it was not easy – and felt much different than speaking to a crowd. The commentary was much more informative and far less entertaining. Fewer jokes, more rules. Still, I had tons of fun. I’ll try and record some of the video and post it on the site!
Author’s note: I apologize for the lateness of this recap.
Saturday Sept 24th’s double header, where Connecticut’s Yankee Brutals met up against Ottowa Canada’s Rideau Valley Roller Girls was a challenging one for the hometown team. To say that CTRG’s team was outmatched is an unfortunate understatement. Rideau’s team had an almost surreal ability to work as a team. As the Rideau jammer would speed around the track, the Vixen pack, acting with eerie uniformity, seemed to pull the pack all at once to one side or the other opening up a gaping hole for their jammer to skate through. Though frustrating for the players and the fans both, it was an impressive sight to see.
The Rideau strategies pulled in huge dividends. Right from the start, the Canadians aggressively accumulated points. They earned lead jammer status for the first seven jams, pulling in 13 grand slams and completely shutting out the Yankee Brutals. The Brutal’s Slugg’er Face was the first to score for Connecticut tallying a single point in the eighth jam stealing lead jammer status from Canadian skater D.D.T. While the point did little to change the tide for the Brutals, it did wonders to liven the atmosphere at the Connecticut Sports Center. The crowd exploded with that single point. It was a moment of life for the ladies in black!
The opportunity for scoring only came up once more time in the first half with Revengela scoring an impressive four points having taken advantage of an opportunity as Rideau’s D.D.T. was sent to the penalty box.
Aside from those five points, the glory was in the hands of the Rideau Valley Vixens. The first half ended with a deeply lopsided score an oppressive 153 for Ottawa to a mere 5 for Connecticut.
From the beginning it was clear that Ottawa was sticking with a strategy that was scoring points. The Rideau Valley Vixens were alternating almost exclusively between jammer Soul Rekker (#55) and jammer D.D.T. (#74). These two women were fierce jammers with impressive pack awareness. When the hometown team was able to break through the monstrous blocking of Rideau Valley, the visiting jammers were perceptive enough to end the jam before any points were scored by the Brutals.
The collective strength of the Rideau team was awe-inspiring. This was best exemplified in the seventh jam of the second half as Soul Rekker rolled up to the jammer line. She whipped around the outside of turn one as her pack screeched to a halt. She circled three times before the pack made it around once – such incredible skill on the part of both the jammer and her pack. And she kept going. and kept going. and kept going. Pulling in a jaw dropping 6 grand slams for 35 points… all in a single jam. 35 points! Amazing!!
There were a few bright spots for CT in the second half. Most notably eleven points scored by Paula G. Imnaughty and 5 by Dee Nasty and Slugg’er Face. But even with these great moments, there was little hope for the overpowered Yankee Brutals. As the time expired the score stood 301 for the visiting Vixens and 26 for the Yankee Brutals.
Soul Rekker: 186 points (17 leads in 19 jams)
D.D.T.: 106 points (14 lead in 16 jams)
Paula G. Imnaughty: 11 points (0 leads in 9 jams)
Slugg’er Face: 6 points (2 leads in 9 jams)
This was a tough one for CT, but it was still exciting to watch the impressive skating of Ottawa’s team. Special props to Soul Rekker for her 35 point jam and to Slugg’er Face for securing both of the Brutal’s lead jammer statuses.
A big thanks to Matt for sending over statistics and also to all those that help make Roller Derby as awesome as it is. If you’d like more information on the game, check out CTRollerDerby.com The next bout is THIS SATURDAY! Whoa! come join us at the CT Sports center. Visit the above website for more details!
See you then!
In chatting with Connecticut RollerGirl Your Mom about this past Sunday’s bout between the Stepford Sabotage and Montreal’s New Skids on the Block, Your Mom used a word that so well describes the efforts of Connecticut: Tenacity. Montreal is a powerful team. They have grown a ton since their founding in 2006. Saturday night they defeated Providence with something akin to a 200 point victory. Unfortunately for Connecticut derby fans, this Sunday’s showdown saw similar results as the Stepford Sabotage endured a crushing defeat of 298 to 52. Still, there was no absence of tenacity from the CT skaters, especially from CT’s lead scorer on Sunday: Pearl Jammer.
This was Pearl’s first bout back after coming off of a knee injury. It was great to see her skate again. She is truly skilled. Still, it was clear that her knees were still punishing her, especially under the aggressive thrashing of the Montreal defense. But no amount of hits could keep Pearl Jammer down. On multiple occasions Pearl Jammer would be on the receiving end of a devastating blow. She’d be knocked down but would force herself up without pause. Again. and Again. and Again. That woman is a wrecking ball of tenacity.
The CT pack did what it could to support their jammer but were outmatched by Montreal’s impressive skating and strategies. The Connecticut crowd kept up their support by cheering the small victories. Girl Fawkes and Murphy Outlaw’s incessant blows on Ti-Loup in the 2nd jam, Pearl’s four points in the 7th, Shiny Toy Bun’s great drive for lead in the 11th, and C.Mya Rage’s consistent ability to squeeze in a few points – even after lost leads.
There were other moments where the CT team seemed to shine as a collective group. Pearl, Rage, and Murphy had a great streak in the second half pulling in 13 points between them in a trio of successful jams.
But the power of Montreal was hard to contain. Their jammers pulled lead jammer status for 24 of the 35 jams and during power jams were able to rack up 25 and 30 point jams; a commendable achievement for any team. It was impressive to see such point domination as a result of not any single player as much as a well oiled team very much in sync with one another.
While the final score might suggest otherwise, this was a great bout to watch. Great job to all the players for their efforts!
Let’s look at some stats!
Montreal New Skids on the Block
Georgia W. Tush 67 points (eight jams, six lead)
Ti-Loup 65 points (six jams, two lead)
Chasing Amy 52 points (six jams, six lead – Whoa.)
Connecticut’s Stepford Sabotage
Pearl Jammer 18 points (ten jams, four lead)
C. Mya Rage 15 points (eight jams, one lead)
Shiny Toy Buns 6 points (six jams, one lead)
As far as I’m aware, no MVP’s were officially announced. Still, I think Stepford’s Pearl Jammer deserves some major street cred for her resilience. And New Skid Chasing Amy is worthy of accolades for her flawless record of lead jammer attempts.
If you’d like more information on Connecticut Roller Derby, check out the website here.
This past Saturday, July 9th, Connecticut’s Yankee Brutals bumped skates with visiting rollergirls: the Hellions of Troy. As the crowd filed in eagerly and the skaters warmed up, the excitement was tangible. Roller Derby victories seem to result from any number of strategies and skill sets. Sometimes you can see victory in skilled blocking – other times due to speed strategies. This bout, however, jammer control played a major part.
Revengela started for the hometown team up against Baby Nuclear – a match-up that was repeated seven times (dang! that’s 20%!) throughout the bout. Nuclear pulled in the lead for the Hellions of Troy and started with a quick four points for the New Yorkers. Dee Nasty took it right back in the following jam after the Hellion jammer, Flexi Wheeler, was called out on a penalty. Unfortunately, this early give and take of lead jammer status was short lived. After Paula G. Imnaughty took lead and 4 points in a massive roller skating assault in the 7th jam, the tide turned against the Yankee Brutals and lead jammer status was taken again and again by the Hellions of Troy.
In the last eleven jams of the first half, the Yankee Brutals were kept to just a single lead jamming status by Revengela in the 13th. The Hellion’s blockers, like Epic Kate-tastrophe and Masochistic Molly, were doing a great job of holding back the Brutals jammer long enough to get their own jammer into a lead position. While jammer control is a big deal, it doesn’t prevent the opposing team from scoring. The Hellions stumbled with penalties and trips to the box a few times in the first half opening the door for Pow-Pow Powerwheels and Dee Nasty to score 15 and 10 points respectively amidst the lead jammer drought.
The first period ended 61 to 42 in favor of the visiting Hellions.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the impressive mastery of DJ LOKASH. DJ LOKASH does a great job of keeping the pace of the bout with intense tunes. He keeps track of the action on the track and changes the music to fit! Great job DJ LOKASH! As an aside, I really wish that I understood the mysterious ways of the turntable.
Annnnd… Back to Derby.
The second period started with the same pairing as the first: Revengela and Baby Nuclear. This time, it was Revengela that took lead- breaking the Hellion streak of lead jamming status. This wouldn’t be the only time Revengela broke the momentum of Troy either. In fact, Revengela alone came through with over half of the lead jamming executions for the evening! But when Vengie wasn’t jamming, the Brutals had a hard time breaking through the pack. This unfortunate predicament resulted in a tsunami of points by the visiting team – countered only by the occasional break through or power jam by a Connecticut jammer. The earned points in the second period speak volumes of Hellion’s lead jammer control: +76 for Troy + 26 for Connecticut.
This is not to say that the Connecticut team was sitting idly. Certainly not! Paula G. Imnaughty, in particular, played very aggressively in the second half. With big hit after big hit, whips, and great motivation dancing (like you wouldn’t believe), Paula G. made sure that the Hellions were earning their successes.
Still, as the clock timer ticked to conclusion the final score stood 134 to 68 in favor of the Hellions.
Let’s check some stats!
Hellions of Troy
Hanna Solo: 59 points (9 jams/7 lead)
Baby Nuclear: 41 points (13 jams/9 lead
Pork Slap: 30 points (7 jams/6 lead)
Pow-Pow Powerwheels: 25 points (5 jams/1 lead)
Dee Nasty: 22 points (12 jams/1 lead)
Revengela: 10 points (7 jams/5 lead)
As mentioned above, the Hellions controlled lead jamming status with an iron fist. Lead totals for Troy were 24 compared to 9 for Connecticut. Yikes!
Hellions of Troy: Baby Nuclear
Yankee Brutals: Revengela
For those of you unaware, there is a Roller Derby bout in Connecticut this Saturday July 9th at the CT Sports Center (doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm).
There’s some added fun in that the roller ladies are helping the VFW collect supplies to send to troops! Not supplies like bullets and missiles, supplies like stuff for care packages.
So if you can come you should bring something to donate! The following is a quote from the CTRollerGirls event page:
They’ve requested food (trail mix without chocolate, jerky, snacks, protein bars, etc.), toiletries (unscented sunblock, lip balm, shampoos, etc.), white cotton socks without logos, pillow cases, and towels, or just stop by their table with a cash donation. CTRG loves, supports, and thanks our service members!
Okay… who the crap would want trail mix without chocolate? If I were a troop I’d be happy with trail mix, but waaaay happier with chocolate trail mix. Even if all the chocolate melted in the desert turning the bag into a gooey pile of delicious. The key word there is delicious.
Let’s help the cause and show our support! Bring some stuff!
There are many bouts each year but rarely does one possess all the characteristics of a true battle: tightly matched teams, seemingly invincible heroines, a major rally, and a tight finish. But such was the case on Saturday June fourth as The Stepford Sabotage took on The Suburban Brawl. All present – participants and spectators alike – were in this one until the final whistle sounded.
The bout started with Black Cherry and Charlotte Bupowski on the jammer line. Both women became the most depended on for their team – each logging over 10 jams over the course of the night. Black Cherry took lead in this first match up, but could only snag one point before Charlotte got too close to point territory for Cherry’s comfort. This one point was only the slightest setback for the visitors in black, as Suburbia skater AWOL promptly responded with a 19 point power jam.
If the crowd was getting uncomfortable at the skewed score, it only got worse as AWOL returned four jams later with 14 more points widening the point gap to 34 to 6. It was a tough start for the Sabotage.
After a short time-out, the ladies in green got to work with Ether and Cherry pulling consecutive 7 point jams. The momentum didn’t stop there, however, Stepford climbed further with 8 points via Delilah, and 10 via Bonnie Voyage.
Suburbia’s Domestic Violet and Smashing Pumpkin were able to lesson the damage with 9 point jams of their own, but still, the drive had been a success. Stepford cut the seemingly insurmountable 28 point lead to a mere 6 by halftime. And they didn’t stop there, Stepford came back hitting even harder in the second half. Black Cherry starting with eight points over Harlot Bronte’s two in the first jam of the second period and Delilah Dread kept it going with four points more in the second jam. The Stepford Sabotage had taken the lead!
But Suburbia was not to be outmatched. With the powerful support of Dina Sore Jr., Domestic Violet, Suffah Kate, and Pony Girl, AWOL came back with a vengeance pulling in 14 points more point for her team and gaining the lead once again.
Give and take! Give and take! Rage, Delilah, and Cherry (via an epic leap over the inner track) immediately stepped up to the challenge with 4, 8, and 4 points respectively, bringing Sabotage back into first. It was a rollercoaster of emotion!
Unfortunately for the hometown team, the Suburban Brawl’s final push was too much to overcome. Charlotte Bupowski broke free deep in the second period. She circled the pack three times, and those fifteen points followed by consistent scoring by Domestic Violet and Dina Sore Jr. gave the Suburban Brawl a strong lead. The final score? A win for the Suburban Brawl: 137 to 107
What a bout! Both teams skated their hearts out and the strategy and drive of the skaters were truly commendable. It was a joy to watch this match up.
Let’s check some Statistics!
The Suburban Brawl
AWOL with 51 points in 5 jams (3 lead)
Charlotte Bupowski 36 points in 10 jams (2 lead)
Domestic Violet with 21 points in 5 jams (4 lead)
The Stepford Sabotage
Black Cherry with 35 points in 11 jams (7 lead)
Delilah Dread with 29 points in 9 jams (6 lead)
C’Mya Rage with 21 points in 6 jams (1 lead)
Suburban Brawl: Suffah Kate and Dina Sore Jr. each with 6 trips to the box
Stepford Sabotage: Bonnie Voyage with 5 trips to the box.
Stepford Sabotage: Luciana Pulverotti
The Suburban Brawl: Domestic Violet
Great job to all the players and support personnel. The hard work is appreciated and the athletic display is inspiring. And you, dear reader, if you’d like to learn more about Connecticut’s Roller Derby head on over to CTrollerderby.com
And come on down to the CT Sports Center to join us on July 9th for the next bout as CTRG’s Yankee Brutals head up against the Hellions of Troy! See you then!