Sunday, June 20, 2010

CRG's Last 2010 Home Bout

Saturday was a great day in Cincinnati for a couple reasons. Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory declared Saturday Cincinnati Rollergirls Day! It also was a CRG bout day – the last home bout of the season for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. It was a typical double header with the CRG Silent Lambs taking on the Demolition City Roller Derby team from Evansville, Indiana in a 40 minute bout and the CRG Black Sheep taking on the Brew City Bruisers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a WFTDA bout. There were over 2800 fans in attendance at the Gardens, braving the heat and humidity to cheer on the CRG skaters.

Unlike all the previous CRG home bouts where I was a fan on the floor, I had a job this time. I tried my hand helping to text cast the bout for DNN along with candyKICKass, Moriarty’s Moll, and Mr. Fuchsia (a.k.a. the Kman). Candy has been doing the CRG text casts most of the season and she gave guidance to the rest of us first timers (thanks for your help!). You can read the archive of the text boutcast here as well as see the video. I had a little bit of a rocky start with some connectivity issues, but got in to the swing of things after a bit. We divided up commenting responsibilities during the evening. In both bouts I was providing comments on the pack skaters of the opposing teams. That focus really put the blinders on as far as the overall action was concerned, but it did give me a different perspective on the bout and a new appreciation for the work in the pack.

In the first bout of the evening the Silent Lambs took on the Dynamite Dolls from Demolition City. DCRD just obtained WFTDA status last week – congratulations! The teams seemed to be feeling each other out the first few jams. The defense was tough on both sides and the score was relatively low and close. After a few jams, CRG was up 22 to 16 and they held that margin through the first half where they ended up in the lead with a score of 34 to 28. There were two keys to Demolition City’s defense. Much of the time the DCRD skaters stayed together in a tight group that could often double team the CRG jammer or occasionally trap a CRG pack skater behind them to control the pack. Even a great skater has trouble advancing when being double or triple teamed. The other key was some great individual DCRD skater efforts. Probably the most impressive was Bangs McCoy, who somewhat reminded me of Blu with her stature and ability to single handedly use a wide stance and cuts to hold up an opposing jammer. In the second half things were the same until about mid way through the period. The Lambs had some penalty troubles and with the Lambs jammer in the box DCRD slowed the pack and racked up a 20 point jam to put them ahead 54 to 48. A few jams later, even with only three pack skaters at the start of the jam, they coordinated their defense and held back Bex Pistol as the DCRD jammer Lillith of the Valley put up a grand slam to jump further ahead. The DCRD pack coordination of defense was disturbed in some instances by CRG blockers (Celia Graves and Kitten Kicker had some nice hits to help), but not enough of the time. DCRD ended up on top at the final whistle with a score of 79 to 52. However, take away those couple of high point DCRD jams and the game was a toss up. The Lambs should be proud of their effort!

The second bout showcased the CRG Black Sheep (DNN rank #19) and the Brew City Bruisers (DNN rank #25) in what could be a preview to one of the final matchups at the North Central regional tournament. The Black Sheep controlled the match and held the lead the entire way. In this bout the Brew City Bruiser pack effectiveness was almost the exact opposite of DCRD in the first bout. While there are several talented Brew City blockers (notably Rejected Seoul, Killy, Moby Nipps and Cookie Ciano) that exhibited some wonderful individual efforts throughout the bout, they weren’t able to consistently coordinate their pack. They weren’t able to hang together like the DCRD pack and double team the Black Sheep jammers. The main reason for that was the disruption caused by constant attacks from the CRG pack skaters. While ALL the CRG blockers contributed to this constant barrage of Brew City pack disruption, I have to say that June with a Cleaver, Buckhead Betty, Ruff’n the Passer, and Nuk’em were especially effective at blocking to keep Brew City off balance. Without a consistent, collective blocking effort, Brew City couldn't put together a defense to slow or stop the Black Sheep scoring. All the skaters were getting a tough workout as the pack was generally skating pretty quickly. That made it rough for the jammers. The Black Sheep jammers were speedy and posted quite a few points each jam to lead by 46 at the half. Brew City wasn’t able to adjust much in the second half. The bout finished with a score of CRG 139 and Brew City 71. Congrats to the Black Sheep for posting another win!

Sadly, this was the last event of the home season for CRG. It was another great production in a fantastic venue (although some ac wouldn’t hurt). Thanks to all the CRG skaters for making this another fun season for us fans – the best yet as far as excitement and production value goes. It is thrilling to see the CRG fan base grow exponentially and feel the crowd getting into the sport. I didn’t get any photos this bout since I was text casting, but the CRG photomonkeys were both there and will undoubtedly have their usual fantastic photos on Flickr.

The Cincinnati Rollergirls still have quite a few away games ahead of them. Watch their website and catch some boutcasts on DNN if you can’t make the trips. Good luck to the Black Sheep on their road through the North Central Tournament!