Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hell on Wheels and CRG's Southern Discomfort

Measuring For The CutIt was a roller derby weekend for us. On Friday night Dianne and I went to see the documentary “Hell on Wheels” at the Know Theatre in Cincinnati. The film chronicles the revival of roller derby in Texas at the start of the century. There was some footage of derby bouts, but most of the film was spent following the skaters and covering the league politics that happened behind the scenes. It was interesting how the model of skater owned leagues evolved from the initial model where a few people tried to control decisions. Since the teams use a pay-to-play approach, control of a league by a small group reminded me of the taxation without representation issue. And yes, there was a revolution that led to skater owned leagues emerging all over the country and world today. If you’re interested in roller derby, you’ll enjoy the film.

The Librarian's DonationSaturday night Dianne and I went to the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ “Southern Discomfort” event at the Cincinnati Gardens. It was a steamy night in the Gardens that was made even hotter by a nail biting bout between the Black Sheep and the Carolina Rollergirls (who were ranked #3) that Cincinnati won with a score of 74 to 69! Congratulations to the Black Sheep for the big win!

Before the skating started, several people including CRG skaters Panterrorize and The Librarian got their hair cut for a hair donation to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. The hair donations are used to make wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The first picture on the right shows Panterrorize with her girls who were getting their hair measured and tied up to the proper length for the donation. The next photo shows The Librarian holding her freshly cut hair. It was nice so many folks made the donations.

UntitledThe CRG Silent Lambs apparently couldn’t find another team that was willing or available to skate against them, so they split into two small squads (the Demon Barbers and the Beauty School Dropouts) that played off the hair donation theme. It was a short scrimmage, but it looked like some of the skaters were making good use of the opportunity to get out some aggression and make some hits on their teammates. The photo at right shows Skates With Fists ahead of Maim E. Van Gore’n (was she visiting or has she transferred?) during a jam. The photo below shows Bex Pistol giving a block to Skates With Fists. Don't you love the bloody barber aprons on Skates and Miss Print?

Bex Block

Crossing OverThe main event of the evening was the bout between the CRG Black Sheep and the highly ranked Carolina Rollergirls. I have to say going in I thought this was going to be another interesting, but painful bout to watch since Carolina was ranked #3 – similar to the match between Cincinnati and Philly earlier this year. But after the first few jams, Cincinnati held the lead and looked very strong. They were shutting down the Carolina jammers in the early jams. Even when Carolina started to score, Cincinnati’s speedy skating, coordinated blocking, and strategic stopping of jams gave them a few point advantage on each jam. At the half, Cincinnati was ahead with a score of 47 to 24! In my post from the Philly bout, I mentioned the contrast between the CRG blockers that seemed to focus on defense and the Philly blockers that had the ability to shift from defensive blocking to helping their jammer. Cincinnati must have learned and practiced that blocking coordination because they were using that tactic effectively to keep ahead of Carolina. Pushing CandySpecial kudos to tail blockers Panterrorize (more aerodynamic after her hair cut) and Ruff’n the Passer who were shifting from defense to escort duty to aid their jammers through the pack. The photo at right illustrates that effort as Panterrorize pushes CandyKICKass to give her a boost of speed to get through the Carolina blockers. When the tail blockers moved up that must have been a clue to the other blockers to help the jammer if not tied up with holding back the Carolina jammer. The coordination was really fun to watch. Combine that with some tough CRG pivots in front and Carolina had their work cut out for them. The tough blocking went both ways though and everyone in the pack got a workout in that heat.

After a male flat track derby demo at the half, Cincinnati got off to a rough start in the second half. There were a string of penalties, including some track cuts by the jammers, that really slowed Cincinnati down. It’s hard to shift blocking from offense to defense when you’re not at full strength. Jammers in the box obviously slow you down and as a result it was anyone’s game with about 8 minutes to go. A Determined SadieSadie got a major penalty for back blocking or hands/forearms in the third to last jam that sent her to the box. It was across the track from me, but it appeared she was pushed into hitting someone from behind. In any case, that gave Carolina the chance to get within a couple points. However, Sadie came out of the box and in the next to last jam got lead jammer status, scored some points to seal the victory, and called off the jam before Carolina could score. The entire crowd was standing and cheering during that jam. The last jam was academic just to run out the clock. Congratulations to the CRG Black Sheep on the big win!

Jammers

Mae and MeWhat an amazing finish to the last home bout of the season! After the match I had the chance to meet blocker Mae C. Stars and Dianne took a photo of us. I didn’t take too many photos because I was caught up in the excitement of the match. You can see some other photos in my Flickr pool here. Although their home events are done, there is another CRG match locally when they take on the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls at Sportsville in Florence, Kentucky. It may be interesting to see CRG skaters take on some of their former teammates that are very familiar with their style. Stay tuned to Miss Print’s blog and the CRG Flock page for additional events. Thanks to the CRG group for another exciting year in the Gardens and congratulations on the Carolina victory!

3 comments:

Ruff'n said...

Maim E. is now a member of the Cincinnati Roller Girls. The three of us that came from Dayton finally convinced her to come. We are so excited to have her.

Thanks for all your support this season. The crowd was awesome last night. I couldn't even hear the whistle blow on the last couple of jams, it was electrifying.

Ruff'n the Passer

~Carla~ said...

You do such a kick ass job recappin' the night (so if I drank too much, you remind me - but not last night) and you take some kick ass photos. :)

Great work!! :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks Earl! In that top photo, that's Tina Meyers from Pinnokio's Salon on Hamilton. She kindly donated her services at the bout, and will be giving real haircuts to the donors for free afterwards. Look forward to seeing you in KY!
-Bex Pistol