On Saturday night the Connecticut Roller Girls met once again to face off in a flurry of fury. This bout put the Devil’s Rejects against the Ave Marias.
The Ave Marias were introduced first.
Parker Poison (assistant captain)
Guns N’ Bruises
MiZ CoN SepJeN
and visiting skater Zoomz Byda Boomz
Guns N’ Bruises was returning to the CT league after a short time off. Welcome back Guns!
The Devil’s Rejects were introduced next. Their red and black outfits were in stark contrast to the angelic blue and white of the Ave Marias.
C. Mya Rage
This was Babe Vigoda’s (#56) first bout, and Vixen’s return after a brief break in the action. Welcome Babe and welcome back Vixen!!
Elle and Pam, rolled up to the line to start this extremely unique bout. It didn’t take long for the Ave Marias to gain control of the scoreboard. After Elle’s 2 points at the onset, the Devil’s Rejects were scoreless for the next six jams. The defensive action within the Ave Maria pack was commendable. The girls capitalized on a few hugely strategic blocks in those first few minutes. Ether and Parker put the stop on Milla in the second jam, Pearl closed the door on Violet in the fourth, and Miz cleared the way for Pearl in the fifth. The Devil’s Rejects responded in kind. The crowd erupted in excitement when Elle ended Pearl’s jamming success in the fifth by dramatically pushing her teammate into Pearl’s path.
Halfway through the first period, Violet breathed some life into the struggling Devil’s Rejects. Her run of success began as she and Elle worked hard to successfully hold Doom to 4 points while the Devil’s jammer sat out on a penalty. Doom reached the front of the pack quickly off the starting line, but Violet, acting as pivot, held her back long enough for Elle to join in the defense. Just two jams later Violet robbed Pam of a profitable jam by breaking a brutal block by Elle and staying tight on Pam’s tail.
Riding off of violet’s defense, Flora, Milla, and Elle pulled 2, 5, and 3 points respectively. Unfortunately, the Devil’s 10 point drive wasn’t quite enough to close the gap between the two teams. Ether, Pam, and Pearl came back twice as hard with 5 consecutive claims on lead jammer and 20 points. Things were looking grim for the Devil’s Rejects until Doom was pulled out on a penalty with only a few minutes remaining in the first period. Elle and Flora took advantage of the opportunity and concluded the first half with a 9 and 4 point jam respectively. Halftime score? 38 for the Ave Marias, and 25 for the Devil’s Rejects.
Milla tries to push by Zoomz
photography by Dan Camera
One thing that made this bout particularly strange was the occasional thinning of the pack. The refs were frequently forced to make calls to pull the pack back together. Sometimes it seemed deliberate as a team tried to force the pack into a slower or faster pace. Pack speed can be a critical variable as the jammers scream around the track pulling points on a slow pack – or losing their endurance as they try to catch up to the fast pack. Other times, however, the pivots seemed to be trying to get their blockers to act as a single unit without success.
Elle pulls to the inside to try and sneak by Lemme Atter
photography by Dan Camera
The second half started off with the Ave Marias aggressively pulling points. However, Pam’s 9 and Pearl’s 8 (special bravo to Parker for a beautiful block of Rage) were the last big point jams for the women in white. Violet Riot came in strong yet again for the Devil’s Rejects with a 9 point jam. Shortly thereafter the Ave Marias seemed to change their jammer strategy. For the first half, the teams were rotating their jammers regularly – mixing it up between 4 or 5 women, but the second half saw the Ave Marias depending almost entirely on Pearl and Pam, only occasionally mixing it up with a serving of Doomcake. These jammers kept the lead for the Ave Marias, but the Devil’s Rejects were working hard for a comeback.
Holding back Doom.
photography by Dan Camera
Some especially commendable skating included Guns N’ Bruises decisive bump of Violet in the ninth jam (giving Pearl an edge for a 5 point jam) and Elle and Pearl’s furious race in the tenth which had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Talk about speed!
The night concluded with the Ave Marias with 84 and the Devil’s Rejects at 65.
Pearl Jammer 41 points, 7 leads in 12 jams
Pam Terror 35 points, 7 leads in 13 jams
Violet Riot 18 points, 2 leads in 7 jams
Eleanor Bruisevelt 16 points, 3 leads in 8 jams
Flora and Ether graced the bench most frequently with 5 and 4 visits respectively.
Ave Marias: Guns N’ Bruises
Devil’s Rejects: Violet Riot
Special thanks to Dan Camera for his photography. Check out all his photos here.
If you haven’t experienced Derby, then I implore you to check out the June 19th double header at the CT Sports Center. Connecticut’s own Stepford Sabotage will be taking on the Suburban Brawl, and The Gothem Girls will be taking on the Texicutioners. With Gothem ranked #1 in the nation, and the Texecutioners ranked #4, it’s bound to be an extremely exciting night.
Great job to all the players and participants on Saturday, it is such a joy to watch you skate.
On Easter weekend the girls of Connecticut donned their helmets and pads yet again in a contest of endurance, speed, and aggression. This month the mix-match of teams put the Iron Maidens against the Pop Tarts. The Iron Maidens came out for their introductions dressed in full metal regalia. Special props to Violet Riot for her fantastic hair. The Iron Maidens were made up of the following players:
Miz Con SepJen
Em Dash (Gotham)
Crown Joules (Boston)
and Rocky (Boston)
The Pop Tarts came out in their pink tutus and bright colors to the peppy rhythms of Cyndi Lauper. Their team included the following:
C. Mya Rage
Haley Contagious (Boston)
Killery Clinton (Boston)
and Zoomz Byda Boomz (Boston)
Just looking at rosters alone, the teams looked pretty evenly matched. The Iron Maidens had a strong selection of pack skaters and visiting skaters Em Dash and Rocky had body types that screamed jammer. Meanwhile the Pop Tarts had a wonderful selection of pack leaders as well as a strong jamming base with Pearl, Doom, and Rage.
Interestingly, as the bout got started the control of the jams shifted dramatically towards the Iron Maidens. Pearl gave the Pop Tarts a beautiful start against Violet with a quick 4 points. But the lead was short lived. Pam Terror, who seems to have brought her game to a new level, followed Pearl with a Grand Slam and the Iron Maidens didn’t turn back.
Early on, the hits came on strong. In the fourth jam, Revengela scored 5 points for her team after Milla was brutally knocked to the ground. In the mayhem, I didn’t notice whose shoulder inflicted that crushing blow, but rest assured it was effective.
Next up at the jamming line was Gotham girl: Em Dash. Em Dash has the height and form of a jammer and right when she took off, it was clear that she was here to do business. Her sprint was opposed by Pearl who kept Em Dash to an honest 4 points, but it was clear there was more than one strong jamming contender on the Iron Maidens team. The Iron Maidens continued their onslaught with 6 unanswered jams, distancing themselves from the struggling Pop Tarts. Halfway through the first period the score stood 41 to 11. The Pop Tarts had some serious ground to cover. But cover they did!
Especially noteworthy was a 7 point jam from Pearl. The jam put Pearl (with pivot Ether) against Violet Riot (supported by pivot Crown Joules). Pearl broke through the pack after a successful block by Ether. As Pearl looped around to enter the pack a second time, Milla screamed out from nowhere and opened a gap for Pearl. It’s these well orchestrated cooperative moments when it’s easy to understand the glory that is Roller Derby.
Killery Clinton followed for the Pop Tarts, and though it was a low scoring jam, Killery executed a glorious evasion of Miz ConSepJen’s ruthless shoulder. Shortly thereafter Doom took in 4 points, and Pearl 5 more. The first half ended with a prime opportunity for Rage. With two of the Iron Maidens out on penalty, Rage screamed around the track first once, and then again getting 9 points and pulling the Pop Tarts back within striking distance.
Score at the half? Iron Maidens 48, Pop Tarts 41.
It should be mentioned that these bouts always have a DJ. This particular bout had DJ Ebomb spinning, and he was doing a great job of sticking to the theme. Heavy metal tunes were played back to back with 80′s pop hits by the likes of Debbie Gibson. It was hilarious. The music always adds a lot to the Derby experience. Way to go DJ Ebomb!
The second half got underway with Em Dash starting against fellow Boston Derby Dame, Haley Contagious. Em Dash was in prime form yet again, and took 7 points for the Maidens. Three jams later Em Dash went at it again, this time pulling in 11 points for her team. Her success was due in part to the strong blocking of her teammates. At no time was that more apparent than when Miz so solidly hit Killery Clinton that Killery lay stunned momentarily on the sidelines… pausing to find her breath… before getting up and resuming her jam.
Sitting on the sidelines is somewhat risky. At one point Ether Bunny came crashing into the girl sitting next to me. Ether scrambled out of the fan’s lap, caught her eye, smiled and said “Hi!!” before skating off and returning to the pack. This small interaction does well to show that these women, despite their brutal hits and seemingly aggressive nature, really have a great time on the track and are typically in high spirits regardless of which of their friends is knocking them to their knees.
The Iron Maidens continued their attack. The strong jamming of Em Dash, Pam, and Rocky when coupled with Miz, Anita, and Parker’s ability to hold back the Pop Tart jammers, made the team a tough competitor. The Pop Tarts were by no means out of their league. In fact, both teams had almost the exact same number of lead jams. The Iron Maidens had just been slightly more effective at turning those opportunities into points.
The final score?
Iron Maidens 95, Pop Tarts 61
Iron Maidens: Em Dash
Pop Tarts: Ether Bunny
The MVP selections for this bout were extremely well deserved. Em Dash was decidedly the high scorer for the game and Ether Bunny (who acted as Pop Tart pivot for 14 of the 38 jams) was a strong and consistent defender.
Em Dash: 46 points in 12 jams, 7 lead.
Rocky: 24 points in 9 jams, 6 lead
Pam Terror: 20 points in 6 jams, 2 lead
Pearl Jammer: 36 points in 11 jams, 9 lead (whoa)
C. Mya Rage: 10 points in 7 jams, 1 lead
Once again, we had a pretty clean night. Rocky and Revengela were the closest to penalty Queens having visited the box three times each.
The girls will be hitting the track again locally on May 9th. If you’re a Derby fan, you should also make note of the June 6th bout in Holyoke against Pioneer Valley. It’s a double header featuring the Death Quads vs. Dirty Dozen and the Sabotage vs. Western Mass Destruction! That will likely be a very fun bout to watch.
Great job to all the skaters, refs, and participants. If you’d like to learn more about derby or learn more about the Connecticut league, check out the CT roller girl website here.
When the daughters of the American derby revolution amass together, diverse crowds of adults and children gather and cheer as one. Such was the case on Saturday March 14th when the Connecticut Roller Girls mixed up their ranks into two unique teams. The St. Patrick’s cereal themed bout put the Lucky Charms versus the Cap’n Crunchers.
As our group gathered we looked at the rosters for each team and made our predictions.
The Lucky Charms
C. Mya Rage
Paula G. Imnaughty
Mona Mour (visiting from the Boston Derby Dames)
The Cap’n Crunch
Miz Con SepJen
Ivonna Shankabitch (visiting from the Boston Derby Dames)
Vicious Stylz (visiting from Providence Roller Derby)
I anticipated a win for Lucky Charms. Cap’n Crunch had an extremely strong Jamming team but the Charms seemed to have an equally powerful collection of pivots and blockers. Put Parker, Revengela, and Paula into the pack with Cherry or Ether as their pivot and no skater is safe. What I wasn’t anticipating was the powerful duo of Milla and Looch for the Crunchers.
With gold sequenced booty shorts and green shirts, the Lucky Charms came to the line. Doomcake would start as their jammer. Meanwhile the Cap’n Crunchers rolled up in blue tops with large gold buttons in the style of their cereal mascot. For the Charms, Pearl Jammer wore the star on her helmet.
As the bout started the cowbells rang and the crowd cheered. Pearl and Doom took off. Flora Goodthyme started the bout right with a nice clean hit on Doomcake. Doom dropped back just enough for Pearl to whip through and pull four points for her team. What followed was somewhat unexpected. Both teams started cycling through jammers.
For the Charms, Doom was followed by Pam, Black Cherry, Rage, Revengela and Mona. Meanwhile the Crunchers saw 8 different jammers before any girl put on the star for the second time. Pearl, Elle, Milla, Anita, Flora, Ivonna, and Miz all skated as jammer. The teams seemed to be conserving the strength of their jammers by rotating positions regularly early in the game. The result was a low scoring, highly defensive first half of the first period. The Lucky Charms were consistently getting lead jammer status (6 of the first 7 jams), but the Crunchers’ defense was keeping them honest. The score broke free when Pearl and Doom retook their positions as jammers. The whistles blew. Looch was acting as the pivot for the Crunchers, Parker as the pivot for the Charms. Doomcake got in front quickly, but with great skill Looch kept just in front of her. The short delay was enough for Pearl to break free and take lead jammer status. Pearl capitalized on her opportunity and pulled in an impressive 9 points before the jam concluded.
Cap’n Crunch continued their cycling of jammers and put Vicious in next against Black Cherry. The defense for the Crunchers held Cherry back, but Vicious took a nasty beating. First Pam and Paula G. Imnaughty came at her on a turn. One after another they slammed their shoulders into Vicious, knocking her down and off the track. She got back up only to feel the wrath of Black cherry and Pam. Again she was dropped to her knees. She got up once more and on the next pass Black Cherry plowed into her yet again. From the stands it seemed like Vicious’s skates left the floor on her way down. Let no one say these girls don’t put it all on the line.
Miz exacted revenge for her teammate in the next few jams. She knocked down Mona first, and then just seconds later landed a blow on Pam Terror. The Charms just couldn’t find their rhythm – testimony to the impressive work of the Crunchers’ pack.
The first half ended with a score of 10 for the Lucky Charms and 31 for the Cap’n Crunchers.
During intermission we were entertained by a small Irish band that kept the feeling light in this week of St. Patty’s day.
The last jam of the first half had ended with a trip to the penalty box for Elle. But Elle wasted no time. Entering the jam late she sprinted through the pack and grabbed lead jammer status. Interestingly, penalty box jammers seem to pull lead jamming status somewhat regularly. I’ll have to take a closer look at the data for the next few bouts, but it would seem that the opposing pack may not have a defensive mindset at the start of such jams. The result is a definitive chance for a late entering jammer to sweep through the pack unopposed. It’s certainly not worth the scoreless time in the penalty box, but it’s an interesting phenomenon nonetheless.
The start of the second half pushed the Crunchers further ahead. Elle, Pearl, and Milla collectively amassed 33 points in the first 7 jams after the intermission bringing the score to 64 – 16. But that was the end of the points for the girls in blue. The rally for the Lucky Charms began with two consecutive slams on Anita. Parker Poison took the first shot, and Black Cherry the second. Black Cherry’s hunger for blows was not subsided however, and she took it out on Ivonna in the next jam with another huge hit.
The Charms began their rally. Pam and Rage alternated jammer status deep into the second half. They were far behind and needed to cover a lot of ground, but it wasn’t an impossible task. With Ether and Cherry alternating as pivot, Rage and Pam got to work. Rage took advantage of Cherry’s hit on Ivonna and scored 8 for her team. Pam took three, Rage another 5, and Pam 5 more. But the seconds were ticking away. Despite their last push, the final score favored the Cap’n Crunchers 64 to 39.
Mike D’s top five hits of the night!
5. Late in the second half, Doomcake barreled through Violet Riot, giving Pam an opportunity for a grand slam.
4. Black Cherry drops her shoulder and, moments later, drops Anita
3. Pam and Paula’s double team of Vicious in the first half
2. Black Cherry sends Vicious into orbit
1. Luciana Pulverotti’s beautiful blocking of Doomcake in the first half, providing a 9 point opportunity for Pearl
The bout was awesome. I have developed a great respect for the defensive side of roller derby. It’s so exciting to see the strategies and the communication between skaters out in the pack. I would imagine that performing both defensively and offensively is no easy task, on wheels no less! Great job to all the players, it’s a joy to watch you skate.
Pearl Jammer: 30 points and a perfect record. 6 jams, 6 leads.
Elleanor Bruisevelt: 19 points. 5 jams, 4 lead
C. Mya Rage: 19 points. 6 jams, 5 lead
Pam Terror: 12 points. 8 jams, 5 lead
17 Lucky Charms
16 Cap’N Crunchers
Interestingly, lead jammer status was almost perfectly split between the teams. In fact, the Charms had one more than the Crunchers. This wasn’t a bout of getting up front, it was a bout that was about capitalization of opportunity.
No one skater visited the box an uncommon number of times in this bout.
Lucky Charms: Black Cherry
Cap’N Crunchers: Luciana Pulverotti
The next bout will be on April 11th. For more information check out the roller girl website here.
On Saturday March 14th, there was a charity roller derby bout hosted at the CT Sportscenter to honor and raise funds for the Children’s Hospital in Hartford. We had the added treat of a pre-bout mens match that put the St. Patricks against the Snakes. The teams were formed from five different new england derby teams:
Connecticut Death Quads (CTDQ)
New York Shock Exchange (NYSE)
Pioneer Valley Roller Derby (PVRD)
Central Mass Roller Derby (CMRD)
Quadfathers, Utica, New York (Quadfathers)
The St. Patricks
Sega Menaces (CMRD)
The Rev (PVRD)
Rollin Redshirt (PVRD)
Jurasskick Park (PVRD)
Davy Jones (PBRD)
Johnny Holeshot (CTDQ)
Pastor of Muppets (CTDQ)
Dr. Spankenstein (PVRD)
Bazooka Joe (PVRD)
Brutus Priest (PVRD)
Zakk Sabbath (CTDQ)
Cirkle Jerk (CTDQ)
Instead of a full bout, this one was split into two 15 minute halves. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen men’s derby. The jams have a different feel from when the women skate. What impressed me most was the progression of those men on the Connecticut Death Quads. CT’s Johnny Holeshot started jamming for the St. Patricks, Dr. Spankenstein started for the Snakes. The last time I saw Johnny Holeshot skate he had some strength to him, but had not quite reached hero level derby skills. But sure enough, right from the onset he displayed great speed and was able to quickly snag lead jammer status from his opponent. Next up at the line was Jurasskick Park and Rinkworm. Rinkworm came out again and again for the Snakes. He was fast and quick and acted as jammer for 9 of the 22 jams (40%).
As the bout progressed a few key players showed their skating prowess. Firstly, I feel I should mention #71 The Rev (PVRD). He regularly acted as pivot for the St. Patricks and was a strong force of both offense and defense inside the pack. I was repeatedly impressed with his whips and the crushing blows he unleashed on his opponents. Jurasskick Park did not disappoint as St. Patrick’s jammer. His speed is commendable, not only while weaving between opponents, but also after falling. I’ve never seen someone get up as quickly as Jurasskick Park when knocked to the ground. He consistently would rise from a spill before even so many as two skaters had passed. Kudos to Cirkle Jerk and Zakk Sabbath as well. Apparently this was Zakk’s first bout, but that didn’t stop him from taking advantage of a great block by Cirkle Jerk deep into the first half and scoring a grand slam for the Snakes. The halftime score was 30 to 7 in favor of the St. Patricks.
The second half proceeded much like the first. For those of us watching, I think the best jam saw Johnny Holeshot up against Rinkworm. Johnny kicked it off with great speed. As they barreled through the pack, Johnny grabbed his teammate Jurasskick Park and pulled himself forward with such aggression that Jurasskick was pulled to the ground directly into the path of Rinkworm. Rinkworm tumbled and Johnny took lead jammer status. It was awesome! Interestingly, by the end of the game the lead jamming was nearly split. 12 leads for the St. Patricks and 10 leads for the Snakes. Despite this, the end score was 65 for the St. Patricks and 28 for the Snakes.
Great job guys!
Jurasskick Park: 24 points in 5 jams (3 lead)
Johnny HoleShot: 13 points in 6 jams (2 lead)
RinkWorm: 13 points in 9 jams (4 lead)
Davy Jones: 13 points in 5 jams (3 lead)
(stay tuned for the RollerGirl recap)
In the immortal words of superfan Darcy Moschenross “there was some good hittin’ tonight.” And indeed there was. It was the second of the internal bouts this season at the Connecticut Sports Center in Woodbridge and the mixed teams were extremely well crafted. The bout pitted the Mobsters against the Cops.
The crime-ridden Bella Donnas had a formidable team that included the likes of Black Cherry, Pam Terror, Eleanor Bruisevelt, Revengela, Paula G. Imnaughty, Anita Guinness, Luciana Pulverotti, Miz ConSepJen, as well as visiting players Dreadnought, Rhoda Perdition, and Killary Clinton. Girl Fawkes (injured with a torn ACL from the Pittsburgh bout) and Tina Colada helped manage the team from the sideline.
But the Hot Fuzz were not intimidated. Their team consisted of an imposing bunch with Parker Poison, Liberty Violence, Doomcake, C. Mya Rage, Ether Bunny, Flora Goodthyme, Milla LowLife, Pearl Jammer, and visiting players Lil’ Paine, Slamarella, and Xena Paradox. The Cops were supported by manager’s Vixen Von Bruizen and Dina Sore Jr.
Before the bout began we looked through the rosters. With Pearl, Doom, Milla, and Rage the Hot Fuzz had some strong jammers in their midst. But could they out-skate the hard hitting defense of the Bella Donna’s? If history has taught us anything, it’s that the likes of Miz, Paula, Looch, and Revengela show no mercy. Our early prediction? A close bout.
The bout began with Black Cherry at the line beside Doomcake. The whistles blew and their skates came to life. Black Cherry started strong working off of a decisive block by Elle which dropped Doomcake behind the pack. Cherry pulled in 6 for the mobsters. Shortly thereafter, Elle came up against Rage and added 8 points. Pearl, known for her unnatural agility on wheels, snagged lead jamming status for the Fuzz, but it was not meant to be. She had only scored a single point when she was abruptly flattened by Pam Terror’s unforgiving shoulder.
The points kept adding up for the Bella Donna’s. Their team saw a huge surge in points as the first half came to a close. Over the last 6 jams of the first half Elle, Cherry, and Revengela collectively amassed 33 points to the meager 10 for the Fuzz. The half closed at 50 points for the mobsters and only 22 for the Fuzz.
Jammer Black Cherry escapes a close call
How could this be?! The teams had seemed so well matched. Outside of an 8 point jam by Doom and a 5 point sprint by Rage the girls in blue had seen little success. Both teams were successful in getting in front, in fact lead jamming status was nearly perfectly split between the teams for the first half, but the mobsters were successful in capitalizing on their opportunities.
The second half started with the teams at a strategic impasse. First, Pam tried to keep up the momentum for the mobsters against Doomcake. But the two roller girls were too closely matched. Doom snagged lead jammer status… but only just barely and had to call off the jam early lest her team lose precious time and energy with unproductive jams.
Doom sneaks ahead of Pam at the start of the second half
The next jam it was Elle’s turn to snag jammer status away from Pearl only to find herself ending the jam before any points could be earned. Lil’ Paine went next and once again found herself having to end the jam without points.
Milla LowLife finally brought it home for the cops. She was jamming against hard-hitting Revengela but the Cop pack had Milla’s back. As Milla raced by her teammates, Doom held Revengela back (figuratively, not literally. Holding is against the rules.) Milla was facing some tough opposition at the front, but her teammate Ether Bunny executed a brilliant whip hurling Milla forward and just barely… just barely out of reach of the tidal wave of mobster defense crashing at her heels.
Milla (#40 oz.) races to give her team some needed motivation
Milla took in five points for the Cops. And at that pivotal point the Hot Fuzz was back in the game. Pearl followed Milla and took three points. Lil’ Pain tied Pam with 3′s, and then Pearl’s skates came alive. She skated furiously through an gap Parker Poison opened for her and lapped the pack twice for 10. Milla came in and promptly added 9 more to the score.
The 38 point gap had narrowed to a mere 9 points. Pearl came to the line against Rhoda Perdition. Pearl rushed to the front of the pack and quickly drew into the imposing shadows of Elle and Miz. In a whirl of skates and speed, Pearl nimbly swerved around the opposing blockers, took lead status, and narrowed the mobsters lead to four. Lil’ Paine followed and, as the minutes ticked away, she brought the game to a tie.
stunned reactions from the crowd!
The cops had found success in their relentless jammers and the strong support from the Hot Fuzz pack. Pearl put the mobsters in their place with two more points and as the minutes dipped to seconds Doom closed the jail cell for good with a ten point jam. Black Cherry almost broke her team out in the final jam with a proud 8 points, but when the buzzer sounded, victory sided with the Fuzz.
Pearl 25 points in 10 jams. Lead 6/10
Doom 21 points in 9 jams. Lead 4/10
Cherry 32 points in 9 jams. Lead 5/9
Eleanor 25 points in 7 jams. Lead 3/7
It was a low penalty game. The most trips any player took to the box was 3. There was no true Queen of the penalty box in this bout.
Cops: Milla LowLife
Mobsters: Miz ConSepJen
A great job to all the players and staff who really put it on the line to make these events a success. Saturday night’s bout was truly everything a fan could hope for. Well done!! A special welcome to Anita Guinness and Liberty Violence who debuted on Saturday. Great job! We’re all looking forward to more hard hitting from you.
If any readers would like to participate in the action, or just come to check out the Charity bout on March 14th, you can find more information at the Roller Girl website: CTRollerDerby.com
Special thanks to Darcy for the photographs.
It was a dark night for Connecticut Roller Derby in Pittsburgh on Saturday, January 24th. Eleven of CT’s finest jumped on a bus for a nine hour ride to Western Pennsylvania for a bout against Pittsburgh’s Steel Hurtin’. I happened to be working in Ohio that weekend, so I took a drive into Pennsylvania for the night to support my favorite Roller Girls. Unfortunately, things looked grim for CT’s Stepford Sabotage right from the start. Ether Bunny (along with CT ref Major N’fraction) got food poisoning on the trip out. The team was down to 10 players.
The game was played at BladeRunners in Harmerville, PA. The arena is typically used for hockey, but for the night a hard floor was set down. The crowd was anxious to get started and stood to their feet as the announcers introduced the crowd to Buddy Nutt. Buddy Nutt plays the saw and treated us to a fantastic version of the National Anthem.
Our girls were playing in the second half of the night following a bout between Pittsburgh’s B team (B Unit) and a derby team from Akron, OH (Northeast Ohio Rock’n'Roller Girls). Pearl Jammer started the show as jammer against The Crippler. Right away our team had a violent introduction to Steel Hurtin’s captain: Athena. Athena was a dominant force on Pittsburgh’s team. She worked as a blocker in Pittsburgh’s pack and might be best likened to a bull-dozer. She had a devastating ability to knock jammers out and then brake hard to force the fallen jammer back towards the rear of the pack. Pearl’s untimely introduction to Athena resulted in a quick triple grandslam from Pittsburgh. It was the first lapping of the Sabotage, and sadly not the last. Pittsburgh was rotating their jammers between The Crippler, Hurricane Heather, and Cheeseburger whose helmet was adorably painted exactly like a cheeseburger. All three girls skated hard and were well supported by the beefy Pittsburgh pack.
Meanwhile Sabotage was weakened further by the fall of Girl Fawkes who got hit hard and hurt her knee early in the first half. The team was down to 9 players and the points kept adding up for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s blockers were brutal. They were doing an impressive job of keeping Sabotage’s jammers in check. Three quarters into the first half, the score was 72 to 3.
Eleanor Bruisevelt rolled up to the jammer starter line.
I give Eleanor a huge amount of credit for her work in this bout. From a fan’s perspective, she seems to be an extremely optimistic player. Even as Sabotage faced an increasingly challenging derby environment, Eleanor came to the jamming starting line with a smile on her face. After coming back from a track cutting penalty, Elle snuck through the pack and got the first lead jamming status for Sabotage in nearly 10 jams. Coming off of Elle’s momentum, Pearl came up and pulled four points away from Cheeseburger. C. Mya Rage came next and grabbed two points away from The Crippler. Pearl came up once more and had a beautiful jam against Hurricane Heather and put 4 more points on the board. The Connecticut section of the crowd was going nuts. With a score of 88 to 15, CT didn’t have much hope for a victory, but the string of successes that started with Elle’s drive did a great job showing Pittsburgh that our team had some life.
After the intermission, the girls came back in. Pearl was jamming again and did a commendable job pulling two points against Hurricane Heather’s 8 point drive. The blockers for both teams were brutal.
Perhaps now would be a good time to take a short pause in the action to applaud the work of Miz ConSepJen. Stepford’s blockers were both outnumbered and outweighed by their Pittsburgh opponents, but that didn’t stop Miz from quickly gaining a reputation amongst the Pittsburgh crowd for her ability to hit hard and brutally take down the Steel jammers. As the first few jams proceeded, Miz came out to completely and utterly flatten Cheeseburger. The hit was devastating and effectively removed Pittsburgh from contending in this jam. Miz’s fantastic blocking coupled with Pearl’s speed brought in ten points for our the Sabotage. It was the highest point jam for CT.
Just three jams later the whistles were blown to stop play mid-jam as Milla LowLife lay prone on the track. Another CT girl had fallen. Sabotage was down to 8 girls. With 5 women on the track at any time, it was clear that Sabotage was stretched and stressed.
The bout continued much as it had with Pittsburgh consistently dominating the track. Sadly, the end score of 149 to 32 doesn’t seem to act as a testimony to the hard work of our Connecticut girls. I had a great time watching the girls skate. At least for me, no defeat will ever dampen the excitement of Roller Derby. The next internal bout is on February 21st in Woodbridge. For more information check out their website here.
Kudos to the all the players and participants who took the trek westward.
On Saturday night all sorts of derby lovers gathered at the Connecticut Sports Center to check out 2009′s first internal CT Roller Derby bout. This year’s format was a bit different from the past. Instead of three teams battling for the highly sought-after title of league champion, the organizers took the 20 (or so) players and divided them into mixed teams for extreme face-offs!
At first I was a bit hesitant of this format. I’m an avid Iron Angels fan, Darcy’s all about the Bone Crushers, and Irene always cheered for the Widowmakers. What would happen to our favorite teams? Hesitation trumped by curiosity, we made our way to the arena on Saturday with our largest group of derby lovers yet. There were at least 15 of us.
This match up saw the Disco Dolls up against the Violent Femmes.
Beaver Kneivel (Boston derby dames)
Miz Con SepJen
Rhoda Perdition (from Providence)
The Violent Femmes
C. Mya Rage
Paula G. Imnaughty
Xena Paradox (Boston derby dames)
One fun side effect of the mixed teams was that we could now see some fantastic jamming match-ups. Pam Terror jamming against Pearl Jammer? What a treat!
As we established ourselves on the side line, Matt (a derby virgin) stated with excitement “Mark me down as ready. This looks awesome.” After a quick demonstration of the ins and outs of the game, the girls took their positions at the starting line, the whistles blared, and the girls got to work.
Eleanor Bruisevelt started the bout jamming against Pearl Jammer. Pearl, who seemed to struggle at the end of last season, showed the crowd that she was back in full force. She came out extremely fast and pulled a quick five points for the Femmes. Doomcake came up next against Pam Terror followed by Black Cherry vs. Flora. What a fantastic series of challenges!
The Violent Femmes didn’t look back. Milla inflicted a crushing blow on the Disco Dolls with 13 points in the fourth jam. This jam was followed by 7 points for powerhouse Pearl. The Femmes wasted no time securing a dominating lead on the scoreboard.
The speed and professionalism of both teams’ jammers were made possible by the pack. The blockers were strongly supporting their teams on Saturday. At one point, Miz Con SepJen, touted as a “one woman wrecking crew,” came in from a penalty and promptly slammed into the opposing team’s jammer. The jammer crashed to the ground and the crowd burst into cheers. Later, the Dolls in their golden booty shorts, worked with elegant cooperation defending against jammer Parker Poison. Ether Bunny, Rhoda Perdition, Miz, and Beaver Kneivel, nimbly exchanged the position in front of Parker, slowing her relentless drive.
The cooperation within the teams was truly staggering. Halfway through the first period, the Femmes found their jammer out on a penalty. What an opportunity for the Disco Dolls!! Flora Goodthyme quickly picked up her pace as the jammer for the Dolls. If she could sneak through the pack a few times, sheâ€™d put the Dolls back within striking distance. But the Femmes were ready. The Dolls were outnumbered in the pack, so when the Femmes increased the speed of the pack the Doll blockers had no choice but to keep up (a scattered pack results in penalties for the outlying roller girls). With the pack at near full speed, Flora was unable to catch up to score points!! The time ran out on the clock and the Femmes maintained their lead. Brilliant work by the Femmes!
We had a special treat during the intermission as one of the old emcees, â€˜David Coppafeel,â€™ came back to entertain the crowds with his band: Last One Standing. They performed a whole bunch of songs including crowd favorites: Zombie by The Cranberries, Alien Ant Farmâ€™s Cover of Smooth Criminal, and AC/DCâ€™s You shook me all night long. They had some unique instrumentation and were well received by the masses.
During intermission our group headed over to the concession stands. My friend Schuyler adds his words regarding the delicious options for snacks.
Like all other fans attending each Connecticut Roller Derby bout, Iâ€™m excited for the fast action, the hard hits, and the great roller girls. However, even if the bouts were converted to tasteful games of lawn bowling, I would still go for the cupcakes. While others choose to support our local teams by buying shirts, stickers, beer, and raffle tickets, the cupcakes (made by the roller girls themselves) easily give you the most bang for your Roller Derby buck. The action on the track is only rivaled by the action in my mouth when Iâ€™m eating a vegan Oreo or Sâ€™mores cupcake. The latter, topped with a piece of graham cracker, is a particular favorite, and has made the cupcake table an obligatory stop before I find my seat.
Saturday’s bout between The Violent Femmes and The Disco Dolls featured a new dessert that may present a challenge to the cupcakeâ€™s supremacy. Roller girl Anita Guinness baked delicious vegan pumpkin-oatmeal-raisin cookies. Just as Pearl Jammer quickly weaves through the pack before the opposing blockers even knows she is there, I found myself having finished three packs (six cookies) before I realized that, sadly, I had finished all of the cookies I had bought. Until next monthâ€™s bout, there would be no more. Yet just as I can rest assured that one month from now Miz Con SepJen will be busting heads straight into the penalty box, I also know that there will be more fine Roller Derby desserts for us all.
Thanks for giving us a feel for Derby Delicacies, Schuyler!
The famed concessions.
During intermission we also had the unique opportunity to be introduced to two incoming roller girls. Girl Fawkes took control of the emceeâ€™s microphone and introduced Anita Guinness (who apparently makes great vegan pumpkin-oatmeal-raisin cookies) and Liberty Violence. These two roller girls had been working with CTRG for a bit and were fast approaching their first true debut on the track.
Intermission ended with Luciana Pulverotti and Miz Con SepJen tossing free t-shirts to the eager fans.
The second half saw the Femmeâ€™s C. Mya Rage up against the Dollâ€™s Rhoda. Right from the onset, the jam favored the Femmes. Black Cherry, acting as pivot for the Femmes, promptly curved into Eleanorâ€™s (Doll Pivot) side. Eleanor, knocked off balance, lost her spot at the front of the pack. This opened the door to an unopposed break by Rage. She sped through the pack, took lead jammer status, and managed two additional laps before losing steam. She put 15 points onto the scoreboard. Fifteen!
Jam after jam, the action didnâ€™t stop. At one point Pam Terror came in from a stay in the penalty box and wasted no time in slamming all 4 feet 11 and a half inches of her fury into Paula G. Imnaughty, knocking Paula to her knees. Four jams later, Pam unexpectedly stole lead jamming status from the commanding Black Cherry who got trapped behind a blockade of Ether Bunny, Flora, and Lemme Atter. It amazes me that such maneuverability is possible on roller skates.
As the time ticked down, we saw one final unique moment of strategy. Jamming for the Femmes, Paula found herself on the receiving end of a strong hit. She was knocked to the ground and her roller skate fell out of place. In an uncommon move (though totally legal), Paula tossed her jammer insignia to Girl Fawkes who thus inherited the position of jammer. Although the jam ended shortly thereafter, it was an exciting moment to see an uncommon rules coming into play.
The bout concluded with the Violent Femmeâ€™s leading the Disco Dolls 111 to 50.
Pearl Jammer: 27 points in 8 jams. Lead jammer in 7/8 jams.
Black Cherry: 23 points in 7 jams. Lead jammer in 4/7 jams.
C. Mya Rage: 19 points in 4 jams. Lead in 2/4 jams.
Milla LowLife: 19 points in 6 jams. Lead in 4/6 jams.
Violet Riot*: 10 points in 6 jams. Lead jammer in 3/6 jams.
Ether Bunny: 9 points in 5 jams. Lead jammer in 2/5 jams.
Flora Goodthyme: 9 points in 6 jams. No lead.
*I realize I didnâ€™t write about Violetâ€™s unique skating style. Violet is very emotive in the way she moves around the track. Sheâ€™s both aggressive and fluid. Itâ€™s always fun to see Violet take position at the jamming starting line.
Flora Goodthyme is crowned the Queen of the penalty box with 16 minors and 1 major.
Xena Paradox comes in a close second with 9 minors.
Disco Dolls: Eleanor Bruisevelt
Violent Femmes: C. Mya Rage
Great job roller girls! Our Derby virgins left on Saturday feeling extremely satisfied in the action, thrills, and cupcakes. The new format of mix-matched teams didn’t sacrifice any of the hard hitting that we ache for. I look forward to the next show down. I’m certain that we will all return for the next bout.
If you’d like to join us at the Connecticut RollerGirls’ next event, check out their website here for times and directions!! Hope to see you there!!
On Saturday night Connecticut’s own Stepford Sabotage faced the Maine Port Authorities in an awesome Roller Derby showdown!! We had a whole bunch of derby virgins with us for this particular bout including Sasha, Vivienne, and Sarah T. It was this season’s first interleague bout hosted at the Connecticut Sports Center. Stepford Sabotage came all decked out in their menacing green uniforms with matching helmets, the Port Authorities were in white tops with dark blue booty shorts. The Port Authorities were coming in with a bit more experience, but Stepford’s lineup was back in business and the Connecticut locals came out to Woodbridge in great numbers to support the girls.
Hitman Hank and the Reverend Al Mighty were the MC’s for the night and they riled up the crowd for the introductions and to show the new spectators how the sport is played. It wasn’t long before the whistles blew and the girls were screaming around the track. Connecticut had a rough start; the first five jams were dominated by the Port Authorities. Syd Rock, Pearl Jammer, and Doomcake struggled to keep up with the Port Authorities’ Olive Spankins and Killer Quick as the two jammers pulled in 17 unanswered points for Maine.
Stepford fought hard to keep up. Pearl was the first to break through the intimidating wall of booty shorted blockers. She only pulled a single point against Maine’s Jones N, but even this minor victory was enough to spur our girls into action. Syd and Pam Terror came out next as jammers, scored nine points, and brought Connecticut within striking distance.
The jammers were doing a great job getting points, in spite of the impressive work of each team’s blockers and pivots. It first became apparent that the blockers were doing their jobs when Maine’s Punchy O’Guts aggressively slammed Syd Rock as she tried to pass on the outside of a turn. The hit drew grimaces from the crowd. Miz Con SepJen and Milla Low Life, among others, were doing their part in Stepford’s pack to hold off the onslaught. A critical turning point came about halfway through the first period. Black Cherry had been out on penalty as jammer, which gave Olive Spankins a key opportunity to pull in additional points for Maine. She was unsuccessful, however, and instead ended up getting a penalty of her own.
Doomcake started the next round unopposed. She had a few key minutes to try and get lead jammer status and some points before Olive Spankins would return and threaten the jam. Doomcake started strong. As she skated around the track, the crowd cheering her on, she got point after point. When Olive Spankins did finally return from penalty, Revengela made short work of her. She plowed into Olive decidedly knocking her out of play. Revengela’s key move gave Doomcake some extra time to score 9 points for Connecticut.
Doomcake’s victory was followed by a beautiful jam where Pearl Jammer stole 3 points off of lead jammer Killer Quick. Syd continued the drive with four points thanks to some aggressive blocking by Luciana Pulverotti. Connecticut had taken the lead! Unfortunately, the lead was short lived as Killer Quick and Olive Spankins returned with strong jams ending the first half 34 to 49 in favor of the Port Authorities.
During the intermission we were entertained by the Memphis Morticians, a heavy band with a sweet stand up bass and a lead singer with epic mutton chops. After their set, the girls returned to the track.
The second half started with more impressive blocking within the pack. Right from the beginning Mt. Saint Helen, Eleanor Bruisevelt, Luciana Pulverotti, and Revengela made their presence known. Despite the clear difficulty of keeping a hold on the opposing jammers, the girls were doing a good job on defense. At one point we were floored by the delicate defensive exchange between Eleanor and Luciana. Killer Quick was skating hard but Eleanor got in front of her, preventing her from sneaking ahead. Killer Quick was evasive though, and as she zipped around a turn she got a skate around Eleanor and AT THAT VERY MOMENT Luciana swept in and crushed Quick’s advance. As testimony to their determination at holding back Quick, Luce and Eleanor traded off this defense a few more times giving the Stepford Sabotage a chance to stay in the game.
Pam Terror skates as jammer for Stepford
Deep into the second half Syd was skating as jammer. As the girls zipped along the straight, a blocker blindsided Syd and took her down hard. It looked like Syd rolled her ankle – she was down for the count. The EMT’s worked their magic (despite being a little slow in making their way over to our hurt player – show some haste EMTs!**) and Syd was able to get back up within a few minutes. She stayed out for the rest of the bout, but her injury didn’t stop Connecticut from one final rally. The game would definitely be won by Maine, but that didn’t cause Doomcake to slow her attack for the final jam. With just 53 seconds left, Doom worked her way to the front of the pack and achieved lead jammer status. The crowd roared as Doom pumped her fist in the air. She got through the pack once, and then again, concluding the bout with a strong 9 point jam.
Final Score: Stepford 82, Port Authorities 120
Let’s talk Statistics!!
33 Pearl Jammer
28 Syd Rock
60 Olive Spankins
54 Killer Quick
6 Jones N
*note: Olive and Quick had such strong numbers in part because they acted as jammer in nearly every jam
Lead jammer ratios!
Pearl 5 Leads in 12 jams
Syd 6 Leads in 13 jams
Doom 3 Leads in 8 jams
Olive 9 leads in 16 jams
Quick 13 leads in 17 jams
Jones N 4 leads in 7 jams
Miz ConSepJen 4 minor 3 major
The Mom Bomb 8 minor 2 major
Stepford – Girl Fawkes
Port Authorities – Breezey
Great job Roller Girls!! Sarah T, Sasha, and Vivienne instantly became derby fans at Saturday night’s bout. The rest of us were once again entertained beyond our expectations.
Join the fun on January 17th at the Connecticut Sports Center when the Widowmakers take on the Iron Angels. For more information check out the Connecticut roller girls’ website here.
Schuyler, a friend who partook in the roller derby mayhem on Saturday night, sent in this little blurb about his favorite player Doomcake.
While Doomcake’s skills hardly go unnoticed in Connecticut Derby, her jams against Maine this past Saturday were a perfect showcase for why she is the most versatile player in the league. While other jammers got knocked around by the brutal tactics of the Maine Port Authority’s blockers, Doomcake took the crowd’s energy and used it to cut through the pack in seconds. When in the pack herself, she proved a formidable obstacle to Olive Spankins and Killer Quick. Each time Doom took lead jammer status, it appeared that the tide would be turning in favor of the Sabotage, and had she jammed more than she did, it might have. Few rollergirls are able to bust heads as easily as they can elegantly weave through the pack, but it’s Doomcake’s ability to do just this that has made her my favorite rollergirl since the first bout I saw. Given the cheers of “Doooooom” as she pumped her arms, rocketing around the track as lead jammer, I suspect that I’m not the only one.
**Update: Ian Fluenza pointed out that the EMT’s were, in fact, eager to help out Syd but didn’t come over until they were waved over by the head ref, Jeff da Ref.