Monday, February 16, 2009

NRG Warning Belles v NEO

Saturday was a very surreal experience for me. I received a call from my biker buddy Shel who told me that one of our friends had died from a sudden massive stroke. Two years ago he had won a court case against a former employer and was awarded a HUGE sum of cash. He went out and bought every toy he had ever wanted. He grew up in our "old neighborhood" and was one of the gang. As a result, because of some lengthy phone conversations, I missed the D and B pre-bout gathering.All of this on top of my Dads battle against cancer that has been tougher than we thought it was going to be. He has missed chemo a few times now due to a low white blood cell count. Cancer is a bitch. I must admit that in light of all the other weird things that had happened the last few weeks ( I know that you know what I mean) I was considering blowing off the Belles v NEO bout. To be frank...I wasnt sure that I was in the frame of mind to absorb any more negative energy. I felt drained. I was really down.

Then, as I was considering bailing out, I just got dressed and headed out the door. I was on full auto-pilot as I headed out to the fairgrounds. And I didnt have a ticket either. I expected that I would be participating in the Derby TV show and would be able to get in when Dill and the gang headed in after the pre-bout deal. But the TV show didnt happen due to some vague reason (the University wasnt participating as expected, student manpower, etc, etc.). So I made a call to a buddy who hooked me up (thanx man-you know who you are!). I arrived at the Fairgrounds and the said friend came out and gave me the ticket. Still feeling very removed from my body I wandered in VERY early and there was already a crowd forming. And here is what I experienced:

* When I went in I was greeted by a fan nicknamed "Bear", an OTR trucker who had never gotten the chance to go to a bout before. He walked over to me and said, "Are you Biker Dave?". And so we talked about Derby. Then Amby saw me and came over and gave me a big hug and said she wanted me to join her at the front of the line. I always feel kinda self-conscious about that going to the front of the line kinda stuff, but went anyway. No one seemed to really care. She had brought her son and he was "holding" our place. As we waited a fan passed out and the paramedics scooped her up and took her in to get checked out. She was coming out of her fainting spell as they carried her in and she seemed somewhat dazed and embarrased. She was fine.

* When we were allowed in Amby took off to get primo seats in turn 1 and I walked over to NEO's merch table and scoped out an awesome tee that was designed to look like the cover to Kiss's "Destroyer" album. They had only ONE XL and I said, "I've GOT to have that!" and bought it immediately. Apparently I had missed 4 Leaf Cleaver waving at me, which she reminded me of later (sorry 4 Leaf! I would never knowingly not acknowledge you!). I saw Brutha Tom K and stashed my heavy ass leather jacket behind his merch table. I always love talking to Tom, he's a great guy. I wandered over to turn 1 and ran into Smackie O. We had a very nice conversation and must say that she is such a blessing to NRG! You are too cool Smackie...thanx for the good vibes.

* Had several interesting conversations with some fans I hooked up with Lux. Got hugs from a few of the Siren Rollergirls and I was beginning to pull out of my fairly depressed state. Talked to Wally Wabash, Mr Flake and some more of the "regulars". I met Entropy which was nice. Saw Willy J Madden who could cheer anyone up (he IS a stand-up comedian ya know). Before long it was time for the bout to start and I was feeling that Derby energy welling up from within and my mood was shifting to excitable.

* As I fully expected Blue jammed brilliantly considering that this was only her second bout. I am really excited about that Rollergirl! I had named her Blue "Meanie" but screw that...from here on out I will refer to her as "the Natural". I like to think that I have a pretty damn good eye for Jammer talent and I am here to tell ya that "the Natural" is going to be a freaking excellent Jammer for the Sirens before long (sorry I.R.). She just has that rare IT factor. Really. When I consider the relatively short length of time that she has been skating I'm very impressed. She is on her way. Believe that!

* I had never even seen Noxious Donna skate but I had gotten some advanced reports that she was pretty damn good and she didnt disappoint at all. One of the things that made an impression on me is her self-confidence and swagger. I LOVE that in a Jammer and she's going to be another very interesting young talent to keep an eye on. Swagger is only worth a damn if ya back it up and she did.

* Is Ana Slays Ya/"Rockstar" gonna be w/the Belles permanently? Or was this just a way to get some more rink experience under her belt? I really believe that she made one helluva Pivot. Set the pace well, blocked where she needed to and helped to open up holes for her Jammer. I would have never thought of putting her at Pivot but it waa a stroke of genius by I.R.!! VERY nice work Rockstar! I think that I like her better at Pivot than Jammer at this point.

* Can I say that Psych-em-out Sandy took a real leap this bout? I guess I just did. I felt that this was her best bout performance. She laid some NEO skaters OUT! She opened up gaps for her Jammers and played with spirit and FIRE. I was truly impressed at her progress this time out...are you reading this Sandy?? Stick it out Rollerhead! We love you...

* It was nice to finally see Elle Conquistador out on the track! I was wondering if this skater even existed!! I spoke to her briefly and we laffed over the fact that her picture was a black silhouette in the bout program...the lady of mystery.

* At half time I ended up talking to Mizz Understood for about 15 minutes and that skater really delivered some healing energy to my weary soul. MU put my mind at ease and made me feel GREAT. probably dont even read this blog but I hope that ya hear thru the inevitable grapevine that I really, really needed that conversation. For real...thanx MU!! You f'n rule.

* I hafta say that I was pretty impressed with 'lil Teeny Houdini. If she can learn to get down nice and low like the Chosen One than she will be very, very good as a Jammer for NEO. How in the hell wouldja lay a legal hit on that Teeny if she got reeeaaal low??? Ya couldnt! She was cool. When I finally met up with her at the Afterparty she was kinda shy, and I was lucky to get a pic with her. I like Teeny!!

* It became fairly apparent early on in the second half that there was no way that NEO was gonna dig their way outta the hole that they had dug in the first half. I was struck by how CONFIDENT the Belles looked out on the floor. The chemistry was very strong and as I've said before...if you have a strong team chemistry you will go far. Beyond your talent, skill-level or bout experience. And when you add in the fact that the Belles HAVE some talent and skills you have a potent mix. It will be interesting to see how they fair against ROCK next month on the road...

* It was also nice to see Valerie Hurtinelli skating for the Belles. While not quite the mythic figure that Elle had become ,I was starting to wonder if I would ever see this Rollergirl skate!! Good job out there Val!

* Bear told me that he wanted to go to the Afterparty but he needed to find a ride and I said, "Ride over with me dude!". And so he did. He patiently waited for me to take my pix, rap to skaters and take for f'n ever to finish up my post-bout ritual. We got out to the classic Saab turbo and ripped over to Birdy's for some festivity. Some MUCH needed festivity as far as I was concerned. Bear bought me a beer so hey he must be a true Derby fan! Ha! I hooked up with NEO skaters Chrissie B Hynde, Twin Pistol, Pepper Insult (nice bruise!! Heehee!) and Suicide Blonde. They were, of course, blown away by Naptowns crowd. We have heard this before havent we?? Yeah...we know we KICK ASS. Anyway, after getting Twin to blush by remarking how many guys in the crowd "oohed and aaahed" over her I found out that NEO's tee-shirt deal kinda sucked so I'm gonna hook those girls up w/a much better tee-shirt deal thru a guy I work with who has a side business screen printing for Racing teams. A MUCH better deal. Gotta get Suicide hooked up! BTW...I thought that those NEO skaters were awesome...very friendly and full of heart. They will do well, they just really need more fan support to feed their will and ambition. Fan support is something that NRG hasnt had to stress over too much. Naptown is a fan-magnet.

* I found this bout to be a healing salve for a depressed and anxious soul. I needed to be with my Derby people more than I can express here but believe me when I say that it couldnt have come at a more critical time. When I finally left at 2AM I was feeling a little drained...but a GOOD drained. An optimism somehow found its way into my heart when I needed it. Yeah...the Derby Goddess sent me Her 'lil believers to see that somehow, some way I left that bout in a far better condition that the one I was in earlier that day. Thank you Derby Goddess!! Praise to you!



  1. I thought you seemed out of it when I saw you early on man. Glad to hear the derby vibe helped :).

    - Josiah

  2. I was sorry to hear about the loss of your friend from Dill the next morning at Strange Brew. You should know that your friends from derby will always be here for you, especially me. You know where to find me if you ever need an ear, man.

    Now let's hugitout! :-)

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend and the tough battle that your dad is having. As you summed up nicely, cancer is a bitch. Glad to see you at the bout, if only briefly. I am making the next after-party come hell or high water.

  4. BTW, this is Hurt Vonnegut, a.k.a. Dylan Donnie-Duke Dali Lama, a.k.a., apparently Rosewater. I have too many frakking pseudonyms.

  5. I really hate to hear about your friend and I know what it is like to have a father that is sick. Not much that can be said , but I am sorry about your friend and your Dad. I know it was difficult to push past that and come out to the bout but I am glad you did and I am glad it helped a little.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, BD. That's really rough. I am glad that you made it out to the bout. And I'm glad we got our hugs on at the after party.

  7. Sorry to hear about the tough weekend. Glad derby could brighten it up a bit. Next time I'll have to get over to say hi. I noticed you guys waaaay over across the track. :)


  8. Dude, let's not forget about the amazing coaching job Diane Beatin' did too! Five days after knee surgery no less!

    -"Brutha Tom K."

  9. Dave.... Bud... you never said a word....
    though I did see a haunted look in your eyes
    when 1st saw sorry for your loss...
    and dad in my strong dude....

    and remember bud the NRG community
    is a WAY special thing....much love and caring
    shows through all the time, let them help

    can I ask a favor? I was low on funding at kickstart..... if I sent you money order could you get an original black NRG shirt and stuff?

    thanks again for everything, ride and talk was very much appreciated..