Sunday, May 18, 2014

Double Derby

Few of us share a box with Schrödinger’s cat and fewer of us particularly want to do so, so we sometimes must accept exclusionary conditions. When the schedules of the two Morristown-based women’s roller derby leagues conflict, my decision for one or the other is usually a simple one: go to the home game. Last night the away game of Morristown’s NJRD (New Jersey Roller Derby) against the GSR (Garden State Rollergirls) wasn’t so very far away, however, and it was a GSR double-header. Also, a number of the GSR skaters are familiar faces who formerly skated for Morristown. So at the cost of missing the home bout of the JDB (Jerzey Derby Brigade) in Morristown, I steered onto I-280 and accelerated toward North Arlington NJ.

First up were the GSR Ironbound Maidens vs. the Providence Roller Derby R.I. Riveters. The team’s proved well matched despite a distinct difference in blocking styles. The Riveters were more strategic, regularly forming three-walls and falling back to break the pack. The Maidens’ blockers were more individually (or sometimes doubly) aggressive against opposing jammers, with special mention to #10 Beaver even though this landed her in the penalty box a few times. The Maidens took an early lead with #625 Screaming Meme and #16 Yak Attack smartly adding points and calling the jams. At 10 minutes into the bout a superb multi-pass jam by Riveter #32 Shotz of Petrone closed the gap to one point, 26-25. At 20 minutes, #40 Milla Lowlife put the Riveters into the lead for the first time, 41-49. At half-time the score was 61-93 with Rhode Island in the lead.

In the second half, the Maidens eroded the Riveters advantage a few points per jam. A jam by Screaming Meme recovered the lead for the Maidens. Shotz took it back for the Riveters. For the final ten minutes, with both teams visibly tiring, Rhode Island successfully expanded its edge despite tough blocking by Maiden skaters. The R.I. Riveters took the win with a final score of 123 -161 – all in all an exciting bout between two fundamentally equivalent teams.

The second bout of the evening pitted the GSR Brick City Bruisers against the NJRD Risky B’s. The Risky B’s are the new team of the NJRD. Despite an impressive win last November against Red Bank (another team still building its strength), the Risky B’s are still very much in the process of acquiring experience and expertise. This time they were up against a strong opponent in the Bruisers. The opening jams were competitive with #5 Chase Windu and #556 Tiger Munition showing force and agility for Risky B’s. Soon, the Bruisers power began to show with #992 Ginger Ail and #394 Voldeloxx (both formerly of Morristown’s JDB) racking up points for a lead the Bruisers never would relinquish. #992 Anita Chainsaw and #206 Wendy Skulls also were effective for the Bruisers whether jamming or blocking. By halftime the score stood 167-30 in favor or the Bruisers. In the second half the Risky B’s redoubled their effort with some effect: #20 Ferocia Rose showed an ability to recover from a knockdown and still successful jam, at one point racking up points in a multiple pass, while #949 Dreadlock Ness Monster forced her way through Bruiser 4-walls. It wasn’t enough to overcome the Bruisers' experience advantage, but it was enough to break the 100 point mark, which is more than I’ve seen many teams do against less strong opponents. Voldeloxx added the final points of the bout for the Bruisers. Final score was 253-105 in favor of Brick City Bruisers.

The Risky B’s are still in a building phase, but they do show talent and promise. Special mention to Ferocia Rose who was Risky B’s MVP in her first ever bout.

I don’t suppose any teams will adopt these uniforms (about 2 minutes into the clip)

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