Sunday, May 30, 2010

CRG vs. Gem City and the North Star Supernovas

It was a warm night in the Cincinnati Gardens on Saturday – made all that much more so by a heated bout between geographical neighbors and another by neighbors in the DNN power rankings. I didn’t hear the attendance number, but it must have been over 2000. In the first bout of the evening, the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ Silent Lambs took on the Gem City Roller Girls from Dayton in a 40 minute match. In the second bout, CRG’s Black Sheep took on the North Star Roller Girls from Minneapolis. Congratulations to CRG for coming away with two wins!

Silent Lambs vs Gem City-15The first bout between the Silent Lambs and Gem City pitted some old teammates against each other because of transfers between the Cincinnati and Dayton teams. That seemed to add a little extra tension to the bout and it translated into a lot of hard blocking in the pack. That kept the score relatively low. Notables in the blocking department were Ruff’n the Passer (her first bout coming off maternity leave) and Celia Graves (shown at right blocking Gem City Jammer Racey Rocker) for the Silent Lambs and Juwana Hurt for Gem City – but everyone in both packs was getting a workout and giving it their all. The first photo below shows Wheezy flying to the inside after taking a hit from Juwana Hurt. There was a lot of jammer rotation for the Lambs that included Pistol Whippin’ Wendy, Wheezy, Bombtrack, Hop Devil, Miss Print (second photo below), and Bex Pistol (third photo below). CRG played smart during the match – varying the pack speed, catching babies, etc. The blocking, speedy and experienced jammers, and smart play were all factors that kept the Silent Lambs in control from the start. Gem City’s Racey Rocker must have posted most of the Gem City points, but it wasn’t enough. At the half the Lambs were up 45 to 24 and after 40 minutes they won easily with a score of 112 to 53. Congrats to the Silent Lambs on another big win that was achieved by using many different skaters in a variety of different packs.

Silent Lambs vs Gem City-28

Silent Lambs vs Gem City-32

Silent Lambs vs Gem City-13

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-5In the second bout, the Black Sheep (DNN rank 19) took on the North Star Supernovas (DNN rank 24) in a WFTDA bout. CRG started out slow and the score was low and within a few points after the first few jams. That changed when Hannah Ouchocinco (skating in her first home bout following her finger injury) posted a 20 point jam to create a gap that North Star could never close. From that point on, CRG controlled the bout with hard work and smart play that was interesting to watch. It was obvious that both teams knew each other the way they were pairing jammers on the line and assigning blockers to double team where necessary to slow or stop jammers in the pack. Although the pack speed varied according to strategy, it was a pretty fast pack for most of the bout. However, with K. Lethal and Hannah back in the jammer rotation so Nuk’em could focus on blocking, the Supernovas had their hands full. The photo above and right shows Sadistic Sadie zipping around the track to score on her birthday.

By the half the Black Sheep were ahead with a score of 67 to 21. The second half was very similar to the first. It was the Black Sheep in control most of the time. That’s not to say that the Supernovas gave in by any means. They continued dishing out some hard blocks and use double teaming to make Cincinnati’s jammers work hard. But work they did to keep up about the same scoring pace as they did in the first half of the bout. The first photo below shows Hannah going around turn 4 with the Supernova skaters Roller Vixen in front and Katarina Hit behind. The second photo below shows Sk8 Crime holding the inside line to slow down Supernova jammer Medusa enough so Sk8r-Kinney could come in to give a hard block. In the end, the Black Sheep won handily with a score of 119 to 50. Congrats on a solid victory!

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-12

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-26

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-80 The bout production was very good as usual. Some friends who brought kids for their first bout of this season were impressed with the improvements compared to past years. The kids loved the chance to meet the skaters and get autographs after the bout. It’s nice that the CRG skaters take time to talk with the young kids – and the older kids like me too. After the bout we talked a bit with the Librarian. She was notably absent from the Silent Lambs lineup due to a knee injury. She was hobbling around with a sturdy brace on her knee, but she always has time to say hi and give a shush pose. Thanks, Librarian!

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-82I also had the opportunity to meet Hop Devil, one of the CRG rookies and a jammer for the Silent Lambs. She also posed for a photo with me. Finally, Dianne and I posed with Buckhead Betty and Nuk’em in this photo below taken by the Kman. Thanks to both of them!

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-89

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-84In a Rabid Derby Fan blog first, Dianne got a photo of me with one of the CRG zebras, Captain Gorgeous. You can see a more traditional photo of me and Capt. G here. All the photos I posted from the Lambs’ bout are in a Flickr set here and all the photos from the Sheep bout are in a set here.

If you haven’t been to a CRG bout, what's the matter with you!?! You better mark June 19th on your calendar as that is their last home bout of the 2010 season. After that you can follow them on the road for several bouts around the country before the North Central Regional tournament in September. Check out the CRG website for more information about their schedule as well as lots of info on upcoming matchups, events, and blog posts by skaters. The recent post by Bombtrack that gives a rookie’s perspective was very interesting. Check it out and see you at the last home bout!

Black Sheep vs Supernovas-1

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mother May I?

Last night we went to watch the 2010 home opener bout of the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls that was held at the Florence Fundome. The place was packed with fans and friends that came to watch the BBRG double header event dubbed “Mother May I?” In the first bout the BBRG Blue Lightnin’ team took on the Vette City Vixens and in the second bout the Black Thunder team took on the Quad Skate Terrors. Congratulations to the BBRG skaters on two wins for their home opener!

BBRG Mother May I?-40The first bout was a see-saw battle the whole way. Both teams were struggling to pull together a consistent, coordinated blocking effort. There were some good individual efforts, but the teams weren’t able to bottle-up the opposing jammers consistently. Both teams were getting their share of lead jammer status based primarily on speed. As a result, there were quite a few lead changes during the bout that kept the fans of both teams on edge. BBRG jammers included Beka Rekanize (shown at right), Scary Garcia, Kris P. Cream, and Honey Bunny. At the half, BBRG was up by two points.

During the second half of the first bout the scoring pace kept up, but with several minutes left in the bout BBRG was down by around 20 or so points. With a never-say-die attitude, the BBRG skaters buckled down and had a couple good jams that left them closer, but still behind the Vixens going into the last jam. The first photo below shows Kris P. Cream getting a whip to help her get around the turn and score. In the last jam the Vette City jammer was sent to the penalty box and the outcome of the bout was on BBRG jammer Honey Bunny and her teammates. BBRG slowed the pack and Honey Bunny kept up her speed to post a couple grand slams that in the end put BBRG ahead by one point when the whistle blew. The second photo below shows Honey Bunny wearing the jammer star in an earlier jam. What an exciting finish to the bout! BBRG won with a score of 164 to 163.

BBRG Mother May I?-58

BBRG Mother May I?-63

BBRG Mother May I?-106In the second bout of the evening the BBRG Black Thunder skaters took control of the bout from the start and held the lead over the Quad Skate Terror skaters (that included some BBRG Blue Lightnin’ skaters) for the entire time. It’s no secret from past posts that I’m a QST fan, but this wasn’t the iron fisted QST team we’ve seen in the past. They were struggling against the BBRG squad. The Black Thunder jammers included Pinup Pussycat (first photo below), EMolition (at right being blocked by a QST skater), Petal to the Metal (second photo below), Shelter Skelter, and Aine Ass. They were able to consistently get through the QST blockers to score and the BBRG blockers were able to slow the QST jammers and on occasion double team them to block their progress. There was a lot more blocking in this bout, but because the score gap was so wide it didn’t have the nail-biter appeal of the first bout. At the half BBRG was ahead with a score of 95 to 30 and at the end of the bout the Black Thunder won easily with a score of 167 to 64. Congrats to BBRG on the win and kudos for QST for skating hard the entire bout!

BBRG Mother May I?-99

BBRG Mother May I?-64

BBRG Mother May I?-149I didn’t hear final attendance figures, but it seemed to me that the crowd was about twice the size of the crowds at BBRG bouts I attended last year. The crowd really taxed the capacity of the Florence Fundome – a good thing for BBRG. It was standing room only and the floor suicide seating was packed for the first bout. After the bout I got to meet and talk with Honey Bunny and Dianne got a picture of us. Besides the photos shown in this post, you can see all the other photos I took during the bout in a Flickr set here. The next BBRG home bout is on June 26th when they take on the Fort Wayne Derby Girls. Check out the BBRG website for more information about tickets, times, and other events around town where you can meet the skaters.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CRG vs. The Chicago Outfit

Last night was a rough night for the Chicago Outfit as their two teams, the Shade Brigade and the Syndicate, took on the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ Silent Lambs and Black Sheep at the Cincinnati Gardens. The Outfit is a relatively new team organized in 2007 that became a WFTDA apprentice team last September. The Outfit was no match for CRG. As expected, CRG came away with two big wins in front of their home crowd.

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-20In the first bout the Silent Lambs took on the Shade Brigade. The Lambs were in control of the bout from the start. The CRG pack was able to contain the Shade Brigade jammers and by the 20 minute half the Lambs were ahead with a score of 53 to 8. The photo at right shows Bex Pistol, one of the Silent Lamb jammers, in the open and looking ahead to the pack. The scoring picked up on both sides during the second half but the Lambs continued to outpace the Shade Brigade scoring by about double! The photo below shows The Librarian and Maime putting the squeeze on a Shade Brigade jammer to stop her from scoring. The final score was Lambs 140 and Shade Brigade 45. An excellent showing and quite a few of the CRG rookies got to see action. Congrats to the Lambs on another solid win!

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-15

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-75The second bout, a full hour, unfortunately was a repeat of the first bout for The Outfit. The Black Sheep were in control from the start and the solid CRG blocking and smart play slowed the Syndicate scoring. The Syndicate skaters Lola Blow and Sweet Mary Pain led the Syndicate jammers, but there wasn’t enough depth yet in their team to keep up the scoring. The CRG blocking was just too tough for the Syndicate to handle. There were occasions where Syndicate blockers double teamed the CRG jammers to slow them down a bit, but they couldn’t keep that up and the Black Sheep jammers were scoring easily. The depth of the CRG team was illustrated by having Trauma and Dr. McDerby step in to the jammer rotation. The photo at right shows Trauma wearing the star, smiling as she skates past the Trauma Center cheering section. At the end of the first period, the Black Sheep had opened up a sizeable lead and the bout ended with CRG winning 141 to 86. The first photo below shows Sadie rounding the turn at full speed. The second photo shows Nuk'em going shoulder to shoulder with Lola Blow.

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-26

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-64

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-93Once again the Queen City Rainbow Band was there to play during the bout and the Wooly Bully was having a ball. During the bout I was up in the stands talking with some friends and I have to say the sound is much better in the stands. Caesar and The Tank are much easier to hear up there and they really do a great job explaining the action for folks new to derby bouts. After the bout Dianne got photos of me with Bombtrack (at right) and Captain Painway (below right) – both skaters for the Silent Lambs. Thanks to both of them for taking time for a photo. Check out the usual blogs and photo sources for other opinions on the bout. With the attendance explosion, there are a lot of things to read and photos to peruse. You can see the rest of my photos in my Flickr pool here.

CRG vs. Chicago Outfit-95The next bout should be a bit more exciting as the North Star Roller Girls from Minneapolis make the trip to the Gardens on May 28th. In the latest DNN Power rankings, CRG is #19 and NSRG is #24. CRG will face a bit more competition from that match up, but I'm confident they'll come out on top. Catch the derby fever and cheer on CRG at the next bout!