Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frisky Business

On November 2, Risky B’siness, the newest team of the NJRD (New Jersey Roller Derby), closed out the league season with a lightly attended home bout in Morristown against the Red Bank Roller Vixens. It was Risky’s second bout ever, and the first on its home rink. Both teams are still in the process of building their expertise and strength – in fact I don’t yet have a full roster to match names with the numbers on the Risky B’usiness side.

Nonetheless, the Morristown team demonstrated an edge from the start. This was not for want of talent or aggression on the Red Bank side. The Vixens have a depth of effective jammers, including #88 Hip Czech, #100 Infra Red, #M80 Fire Crack-her, and #2121 Buffy Dee Slayer. Their blockers can hit hard (#007 Pushy Galore among them) and can recover well from hard hits (notable #777). The Risky Bs had a matching field of jammers, however, with #5 showing exceptional stamina, going down from hits and yet getting up to force or scoot her way effectively through the pack. So, too, #949 Dreadlock-Ness Monster and #508 Ruff’n Muff’n. The edge came in blocking. Risky B’s defense was not tougher so much as it was well strategized. Training plainly paid off with Morristown frequently creating no pack situations that forced Red Bank to let the jammer through. It was not a big advantage, but enough of one on which to build a lead. It showed up the most on power jams (when the opposing jammer is in the penalty box) which Morristown exploited more successfully.

Risky B’siness picked up an early lead, but the score remained close through most of the first half. Thanks largely to fortuitous power jams, the lead over the Vixens expanded in the minutes before halftime. The second half began with the score at 102-41 in favor of Morristown. The Vixens pushed hard to catch up with #100 Infra Red making notable use of power jams. They racked up points, but so did Risky B’siness. The final whistle blew with a final score of 250-103 in favor of Morristown.

The teams were more evenly matched than the score might make them seem, and very few changes on either side could have made all the difference. Perhaps in a 2014 rematch they will.

Risky – Iggy Pop and Ryuichi Sakamoto

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