Sunday, August 23, 2015

Double-headed Derby

The Morristown based NJRD (New Jersey Roller Derby) has had a winning season, but last night was up against the toughest opponent in years. The NJRD All Stars in the first home bout since April faced NYC’s Bad Apples. The Bad Apples have a depth of capable jammers and, more importantly, exceptionally effective blocking. Bad Apples’ blockers, individually and in coordination, were superb at holding back opposing jammers, breaking up opposing blockers, guiding their own jammers through the pack, and generally making the NJRD work hard for every point. The Bad Apples demonstrated their formidability in the first few jams as #13 Byers Remorse, #77 Brazilian Nut, and #215 ChopStick Murphy (despite a hard takedown by #21 Pixie Bust) all racked up points for a solid lead. Ten minutes into the bout the Bad Apples led 40-3. During the bout the NJRD had its moments, countering Bad Apples blocking while #12 Shannanigunz, #10 MissUSA-hole, Brindiesel, and others broke out and scored points. NJRD’s #44 Maulin Rouge picked up 15 points during one power jam. The NJRD repeatedly used a star pass, normally an uncommon maneuver, in order to bypass the Bad Apples blockers. The Bad Apples, however, countered with impressive jams of their own including a 29 point jam by #31 Hela Skelter. Final Score was 296-73 in favor off the Bad Apples. MVPs were Maulin Rouge (jammer) and Jackie Kenne-die (blocker) for NJRD, and Byers Remorse (jammer) and Swede Hurt (blocker) for the Bad Apples.

The next bout of the night was the local JBRD (Jersey Boys Roller Derby) vs. the Connecticut Death Quads. As there is no shortage of men’s contact sports, I don’t really follow men’s roller derby, but if I’m already rink-side for a women’s bout I’ll stay for it. The guys are fully aware this is a prevalent sentiment, to the point that #616 Emperor Miro of the JBRD twice thanked the audience for staying. I’m glad I did, as the two teams played a hard fought bout – so hard fought that a player from each team required ENT attention at separate moments. JBRD was first on the board with #9999 Robert Brawlson adding 9 points in the first jam. #26 for Connecticut scored 5 on the next. #735 Connecticut into a one-point lead but it would be that last time the Death Quads were out in front. The JBRD outskated its opponents by just enough to build up an insurmountable lead by the final quarter. The Final Score was 296-108 in favor of the home JBRD team.

 Guns N' Roses - Bad Apples

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