by Phil Wrede
Sunday, February 9th was a triple-header day of derby action at the Fillmore courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls as all four Rocky Mountain home teams took to the track after the Rollerpunks warmed up the crowd.
In Red or Black, Roller Punks Rock!
First up was a 30 minute mini-bout from the RMRG Rollerpunks, the 13-17 junior affiliate of the league. Concerted blocking from both the Red and the Black teams made for some hard-fought jams in the beginning, and jammers were frequently neck-and-neck when they broke out of the pack. Red took a 15-4 lead over Black in the first few minutes.
It wasn’t until about 8 minutes into the bout when we saw our first sustained bursts of offense, with the teams both pushing their scores up to 31-13 (Red-Black). A few minutes later saw a succession of power jams, first for Black (generating 18 points), then Red (15) – all of a sudden, the score leapt to 46-31.
Red was able to stretch their score into the 80s by the bout’s halfway point, and completely stymied the Black jammers a couple of times – notably holding Black’s jammer at a standstill as A Cute M.I. looped around the track for 15 points before calling the jam. As the second half wore on, penalties took their toll on Red’s blockers, depleting their numbers; for a while, it looked like Black was going to be able to chip away at Red’s lead.
The Black team put up a valiant effort, showing some strong defense, but they were never able to match up to Red’s offense. In the final jam, the game clock ran out with time left on the jam clock, and the Red jammer – who was in the lead – got benched for a penalty before calling it off. Black’s jammer Cream Bomb was able to score 25 points before time expired, but Black came up short in the end, as Red won 135-88.
Daisies Bring Doom to Red Ridin’s Hood
The first of the day’s two home team bouts at the Fillmore was a showdown between the Red Ridin’ Hoods and the Dooms Daisies. The bout opened up with the Daisies establishing control, claiming lead on the first 7 jams and pulling out ahead with a score of 27-0. It took over 7 minutes for the Hoods to score their first 4 points; ShredHer Wheats was jamming.
A Daisies power jam immediately thereafter piled up more points, but the Hoods were about to start biting back. A potent defensive stand by the Hoods held the Daisies scoreless for over 5 minutes as jammers She Who Cannot Be Named, Major Lil’ Payne, and Gator Dunn closed the gap to 50-41 with 11 minutes left in the first half.
Then, the Daisies found their offensive rhythm again; Frak Attak broke the scoring drought with about 9:30 remaining. In one particularly heated jam, Daisy jammer Sweet Mary Pain, having determinedly jockeyed for position with her counterpart from the Hoods, Pippi Skullknockings, managed to find a way to cycle Pippi back into the pack and behind Daisy blockers, opening up a 63-43 score gap. The half ended with the score 85 Doom Daisies, 54 Red Ridin’ Hoods.
The second half kicked off with ShredHer the first to claim lead jammer status, and things started looking up for the Hoods from there, as they held the Daisies to only 2 points over the half’s first 5 minutes. They could only score 13 points during that same period, though, and after Cherry Manilow’s jam made the score 97-66, it looked like the two halves of the bout were going to be mirror images of each other.
At least, it looked that way until Pippi Skullknockings came back onto the track. She took lead jammer, and when a penalty put the Daisies’ jammer out of play, Pippi scored 5 grand slams in a row – 25 points – with 16:45 left in the half. The scoreboard read 97-95; the Hoods were within 2 points!
The Hoods took the lead when She Who made the score 101-103, and the lead whipped back and forth between the two teams. Daisies regained the lead 116-103 with a power jam of their own, but the Hoods pulled ahead 119-120. The lead switched 3 more times – Daisies, Hoods, Daisies again, 132-128 – before the last jam.
She Who lined up for the Hoods against Über Alice for the Daisies (both women wound up with their team’s respective MVP Jammer award at the end of the game). She Who took the lead, but got sent to the box due to a track cut penalty, and Alice took full advantage of the final power jam opportunity, scoring 24 points and sealing the bout for the Dooms Daisies 156-128. The Hoods MVP Blocker award went to Major Lil’ Payne, and Rowdy Rothbomb got it for the Daisies.
Win: Pummel or Kill
Sunday’s final home team bout was between the United States Pummeling Service (USPS), and the Sugar Kill Gang (SKG). This bout was, to put it bluntly, absolutely dominated by power jams.
SKG’s Fiona Grapple scored the first point of the game, and on the second jam, USPS’ Quarantina committed a penalty, offering Rocky Horror and SKG the first of many power jams we’d see on the day, which ended with the score 1-13 (USPS-SKG). A short while later, Ho J. Simpson was able to open up another power jam, scoring 18 points and making the score 6-34. Two jams after that, Slamma Shorty scored 15 points of her own, widening the gap even further to 8-53. The USPS’ Rad Die answered back with 25 points of her own (33-53) in a jam that ran the full 2 minutes, but more jammer penalties and some exacting defense enabled Rocky, Fiona, and the Sugar Kill Gang to make the score 46-110 before anyone could say for sure what had happened.
It took USPS the entire first half to get their offense going, but some stellar blocking kept them in the game; they were able to hold SKG to *only* those 110 points to their 65 – the last 15 of which were earned by Alpha Q. Up in the half’s last jam before time expired.
Alpha jammed for the USPS again at the start of the second half, and though another jammer penalty took her off the track for much of that first jam, she was able to get back on and answer the 10 points TraGek scored during her power jam with 14 more. Score: 79-120.
A jammer penalty on SKG enabled the USPS to close to within 16 points (106-122), and one more offered Alpha her best opportunity yet; she scored 35 and took the lead for her team, 141-122, with 21:39 to go.
SKG refused to go gently; Fiona Grapple scored 29 points on her own power jam to make it 149-151. The pace of the bout – heck, the pace of the skaters as they raced around the track – just kept increasing. USPS’ Megalops saw her own power jam and took the lead back for her team, 162-151.
SKG’s jammer remained on the bench as the next one began; Alpha widened the gap 171-151. SKG scored 2 more points, but were held scoreless for almost 10 long minutes as the clock continued to tick down.
The USPS defense locked down Jules Burne; Rad Die scored 24 points with the opposing jammer on the track, and the score was 206-153. While SKG put on a clinic after that, holding USPS scoreless in the last minutes of the bout and getting power jams on each of the last two jams – it wouldn’t be enough. With a minute left on the jam clock, and no time left in the half, Fiona Grapple pulled SKG to 221-194, but time ticked away, and USPS took the victory, 221-204. MVP Blocker awards went to Koko Rolla Diva on the SKG, and Love Hertz for the USPS, and MVP Jammer to Rocky Horror (SKG) and Megalops (USPS).
Check out the 2014 Home Team Standings HERE