Sunday, May 20, 2007

Red, Black and Blue -- Cincinnati Rollergirls

On Saturday evening, Dianne and I went to the Cincinnati Rollergirls' opening event for the 2007 season: Red, Black, and Blue. It was their first event held at the Cincinnati Gardens. Overall, this event was a quantum leap improvement over their bouts from last year! Their skills have improved a lot -- that made it fun to watch. In addition, they've made many changes that make the event more fun for fans.

The two CRG teams, the Dames of Destruction and the Full Metal Corsets, skated against each other. With Panterrorize and Sadistic Sadie skating for the Dames and several members of the Corsets not skating (notably Collier Mama), I thought it might be a lopsided match. I was wrong. It was a close match the whole way. High scoring too with lots of action. The skaters have really improved a lot!! I've heard that from me before. But they must have worked hard during the off season!

I was struck by how well the pack was structured and how the pack teamwork improved compared to last year. The pivots really were keeping the pack together and the referees were good about not allowing blocks away from the pack. The tight pack made it harder for the jammers to get through, but it was a lot of fun to watch. The pack was doing much better at planning blocks on jammers as well as on opposing blockers to clear the way for a jammer. Foxy and Juwana Hurt for the Corsets and Panterrorize and Arche Enemy for the Dames stood out for me as good blockers. There were also a lot of whips to help the jammers keep up their speed. It was exciting to watch.

Sk8 Crime and Sadistic SadieThe jammers have improved as well. Sadistic Sadie is clearly a strong skater and great jammer, but there are more players now that are challenging her. The photo on the right shows jammers Sadie (in blue) and Sk8Crime (in camo) facing off in one jam. Miss Print had some great jams for the Corsets -- there were at least two where she scored and the Dames jammer had zero. Unlike last year where she might get hung up in the pack, Miss Print was persistent and able to battle through the pack even when blocked. I thought the best new jammer was Tabatha for the Corsets. She is a fast skater that is a great addition to the Corset team. The Corset captains EMolition and Sk8Crime also were good jammers that helped the team stay neck and neck with the Dames. Hopefully with a healthy squad they'll beat the Dames next time.

Finally, it was nice to have relatively few penalties and no brawls. Just good, clean action. It didn't appear anyone was hurt...well, I mean major injury. I'm sure there are a lot of sore skaters today from the hard blocks and falls. But most all of the blocking seemed legal and there weren't any malicious take downs.

On the venue and conduct of the event, the group put a lot of thought into improving the event for the fans. The Gardens is a good choice for their events. Parking is easy and the seats give a good view of the action. Before the start of the bout, the girls gave a demo that briefly explained the pack, the jammers, scoring, and basic blocking. That was a great idea for folks watching for the first time. Other improvements included a nicer event program, light strips making the track boundary easy to see, real time scoring during a jam, and after each jam they had a skater with a whiteboard circle the track to show the individual jam total. That was very nice!

Miss Print and meThe Rollergirls also go out of the way to involve the crowd. The half time tricycle race for the kids was great. The skaters stayed after the bout to meet fans and sign autographs. Dianne took the photo at the right of me with Miss Print. I noticed she still has a Cincinnati Riots sticker on her helmet (her former team). Also got a photo with Sk8 Crime. Click here to see the Flickr set of photos from the match. We didn't stay for the after party upstairs, but that's another example of the Rollergirls making it fun for all. They also did a lot of PR work before the match. I heard a couple skaters, including Sista Sac, on Friday with Gary Burbank on 700 WLW.

If you haven't been to see the Cincinnati Rollergirls, or went once last year, you have to catch them this season. You'll have a great time. Catch them on June 16th for their match against the Garda Belts from the Minnesota Rollergirls.


Private Partz said...

Thank you for being such a loyal fan Earl - we have a special treat for you June 16th - email me for more details:

Christa Zielke said...

Thanks for the support! - Menace

Anonymous said...

hey thanks for coming out to support us. you bet your sweet behind we busted our tails in the off season. we are sure glad it shows! thanks for the name drop as well. Collier Mama

Josh Lane said...

I'm now pumped up to catch a match of the Atlanta Rollergirls. I'm a big fan of the Saketuyas!

Btw, you've been tagged at the HOV.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for supporting us. Its nice to know that our loyal fans notice the inprovements of the skaters. We ALL have worked hard!!! Its so worth it. We love putting on a good show for all of our fans. Thanks again.
Arche Enemy

Earl said...

Thanks to all for stopping by and leaving comments!

Josh -- thanks for the heads up on the tag.

Dianne said...

I think Tabitha's nomme de derby could use some work. It fails to intimidate!

Anonymous said...

Hey Earl, was reading your blog and saw the picture of the Mason Business Center. Former Roller Girl Bex Pistol (out pregnant right now) also works for P&G. The only P&G Rollergirl I know of. When we were picking roller derby names she was thinking of suburban slammer since she lives in Blue Ash and works at Procter.... not the typical rollergirl image.

Lauren Bishop said...

It was great to see you guys again on Saturday! Thanks for the recap and we'll see you next month!

-Miss Print