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!!