Monday, April 13, 2009

Naptown v Green Country Bout Recap or Naptown Turns the Corner!

Sweet, sweet victory! After an impressive showing against a very tuff Archies team Race City gets it done and dominates, quite literally, from the first Jam (13-0!!). Everything that gave me optimism in the last bout came to fruition this bout and our Homegirls really were overdue for some victorious celebrating. It was great to see all the fans so pumped up too. Injuries have healed for the most part, our Jammers are back and the NRG pack of Blockers has come together as one machine-like unit. The Amazin Blazin Ace was flying around the track racking up points as usual. There was one point where she came around turn 2 and fell to one knee, slid, and popped back up to get Lead Jammer status! Unreal. Have we ever seen more Lead Jammer jams than we did this bout? It was nice to see Slammy and Fin scoring points too. I told Fin that I just LOVE watching her skate when she breaks free of the power-skating form! Hands held karate chop-like with total focus and strength...its a beautiful thing. How great to see the Angel of Naptown out on the track so much too. She saw more action than during any bout this season as both Jammer and Blocker. Shadi seemed content with mostly Blocking duties, and may be best in that role until she heals up a bit. I must also say that the Chosen One was on fire this bout too! Grand slams!!

Coach Rick was as animated as I've seen him. Several times he rushed to the line, shouting at the Refs and showing passion. I LIKE it! Gone is that stoicism that Coach Rick had shown in the past. I mean, that may work for Tony Dungy or Tom Landry but this is f'n Roller Derby! The bout strategy and tactics were the best I've seen this season and the NRG Rollergirls changed it up often enuff to keep the Greenies scrambling and confused.

Speaking of the Greenies, I have to say that they looked lost about midway thru the first half. I figured that a 12 hour journey from Tulsa would be ruff and a roster of only 12 skaters made things even ruffer. Rosie the Wrecker just didnt look right all night. At first I thought that maybe she was feeling ill or something. There was several times when I loked over towards the bench and she looked really down and disheartened. It just wasnt like her at all. I felt for her to be honest. She just seemed to run out of gas and was obviously frustrated by the Nap Blockers and the deep hole that her team had dug very early in the game. I was very surprised that GCRG didnt go to Syko Path as Jammer more often, she seemed their best option from what I saw and brought a lot more energy at Jammer than anyone else on their team. When Rosie went 4-5 straight Jams it just got ridiculous. I dont care if she wanted to stay out there or not somebody needed to step up and make her get some much needed rest! I would have put Syko out there as Jammer way more than they did. A few times they put a Blocker out to Jam but kept Syko at Pivot. WTF??!! Thats crazy. Personally, I think that GC needs to make Syko a full-time Jammer and find someone else as Pivot. I know Jammer talent when I see it and Syko is a Jammer dammit.

Some bullet points:

* Talked to Rosie for a while at the Afterparty and she said that she wanted to keep Jamming even tho she was obviously fatigued. When I asked her about Syko she said that they needed her more at Pivot. I know that Pivot is important but I still believe that she needed way more Jams than she got. It didnt help that Whiskey Birmingham was injured and wasnt able to make trip out. Also found out that Whiskey is retiring at the end of the season. Thats gonna hurt. Two skaters bailed out at the last minute and that definately had an impact too. The Greenies bus was broke down and they had to scramble to get rental vans to make the hell-drive from Tulsa. The night out at the Blue Crew restaurant kinda was sucky too. Service and food was apparently sub-par. I asked Rosie about their venue and crowd size. She told me that their facility is fine with plenty of room for fans but they average between 300-600 fans for home bouts. She told me that the Indy crowd was intimidating and impressive but the fans were nice to them. We talked about their upcoming bout against Dixie and Memphis. We talked about in-state rivals the VicDolls (OKC). I really liked Rosie...she was very cool to talk to. She said that the Naptown skaters were really cool and great hosts. Unlike some other teams they have played...and no, I'm not gonna name names!

* Dill and Brownie were fantastic this bout. They are always rock solid, but this time they were REALLY impressive. The banter, the jokes, the rules explanations, the keen observations, the chemistry, the experience together...they just get better and better. For my money theres only one announcing team that can hang with those guys...Dumptruck and Bob Noxious. Excellent effort guys!!!

* DJ Sarah Vain, we are SOOO gonna miss you girl! You are the best and have left some very big shoes to fill. Good luck to you Sarah! BTW...I loved hearing "Neat Neat Neat" by the Damned. Very cool. I was rocking out the whole bout.

* I had another fascinating talk with IR Dastardly. Very insightful and illuminating as always. I would just love to hang out and talk Derby with that dude for like an hour or two. I'll buy the brews man!

* If ya didnt notice, the seats were expanded. More wooden seats were brought in and the stadium seats were pushed waaaay back. Dont think that NRG was all too thrilled with that plan since they took out some wooden chairs but were unable to push the stadium seats UP. They are heavy man! There's a lot cooking when it comes to obtaining more room for fans but I'm gonna keep all that under my hat for now. Next year may see some big changes...thats all I'll say. Too many fans are getting ticked that they cant get in and bouts are selling out way quick and a solution must be found. Hey, its a good problem to have and every team in WFTDA PRAYS for that "problem" I can tell ya.

* Once again I scammed one of the few mens XL tees from the visiting teams merch table. Are Derby teams EVER gonna get a clue and print up more mens XL and XXL shirts??? Its money in the bank girls!! Sheeeesh. The shirt I got was hilarious: the front says "Rollergirls are easy..." and the back says "To piss off!". Awesome!! A word of advice to fellow male Derby NOT wait to get visiting teams tee shirts.If you wander over at half-time or Derby Goddess forbid, the END of the bout, you'll be left out. All I ask is that you get outta MY way so I can get mine first! 8) Heehee. I really NEED more Derby tee's at this point. Actually... I DO need more Derby tees. LOTS more. PILES more. Truck fulls. You had better have noticed that ultra-cool Gotham Girls WFTDA Champs shirt I was sporting too. Too freaking cool.

* Got a chance to talk to Blue "the Natural" Messiah. Her injury is healing ahead of schedule and she's already back to skating. Good luck trying to keep her in full-on rest mode Coach Dastardly and Coach Di!! AINT gonna happen!! I love Blue...she's great. Such a warrior and a sweetheart.

* You KNOW that I wasnt gonna lay low on the news that Mizz U's retirement is imminent.She has officially skated her last bout with our Homegirls. NRG just wont be the same with out her fire. We are all so used to seeing her deliver hard, bone rattling hits and tripping to the penalty box ;). She is a one of a kind Rollergirl and it seems like shes been with us forever. I took a pic of her famous electric blue helmet that the Refs just love to pick out of a crowd and then went over to her and whined, "Dont leave!!". MU-you will be so missed. WE LOVE YOU GIRL! I was glad to hear that yer gonna still be at the bouts. MU has kids that wanna be in sports and its kinda tuff to get the time for that to happen when yer practicing 3-4x a week ya know?? Best of luck to you in all you do Mizz U!

* Do you realise that with this victory that Nap moved up to #34 in the FTS rankings? Yep. And if they can win out against ultra-rivals #35 F Dubb, #56 Dixie and #50 Ohio they will be 4-2 for the season in official WFTDA bouts this season. With a couple of breaks NRG could still crack the top 30 this year. The F Dubb bout will be tuff as usual but its definately a win-able bout. FW has their own injury problems right now too so its gonna be very interesting. DO NOT miss this bout!! I am here to tell ya that its gonna be a serious battle and you will be very sorry if ya dont see it! I wont go into the disparaging remarks made by the FW announcers towards Race City during the FW v Nash bout a few weeks ago but it is ON. The Ohio bout is win-able also. Ohio just seems to run in place for some reason and are still the team that they've been for a better-but no worse. As for Dixie, they havent seen much action yet this year so its hard to say what they'll bring in their home bout against Nap next weekend. Watch that Wicked One and CU Afterclass NRG! Bama Bruiser has taken over as Coach (and still skates too). Bama rules...she is legend.

* Best-dressed awards go out to Diane Beatin, Kitiara and Psych Rollergirls were dressed to KILL!

Well, after a pretty ruff stretch Naptown seems to be back on track and have no doubt learned much from their defeats this season. What is so encouraging to me is the sheer fire and determination that I've seen out of these skaters the past 2 bouts. The look in their eyes, the focus, the will, the never-let-up mentality, and yes, I'm gonna say it...the CHEMISTRY. Its back. Skaters picking each other up and playing as one cohesive, tactful unit. Its a beautiful thing people and its very hard to force. It just happens. Every Rollergirl taking responsibilty for their role and and playing with energy. The pack speed slowing down and speeding up as the situation dictates. The Blockers shutting down the oppositions Jammers and opening holes and gaps for our Jammers...its happening. When I had a chat with Coaches Rick and Fiestylicious I could see their excitement for what this team is capable of. I, for one, cant WAIT to see what happens this year at the Fall Brawl. Yeah, I know that its a ways off-but thats the way I think.

Oh, and I have to interject this: Did ya see that the awesome #3 Philly team beat the #6 Carols last week?? Mmmm hmmm. I love those Liberty City girls. 8) Ha!


  1. Yes Syko Path! She was a great pivot! She was trying to be everywhere at once though, and cover to much of the track, which tended to make her give up the inside line a lot.
    I do think if they had jammed her and short circuit more, they might have racked up some more points. Like I said on my blog, Rosie was a great jammer, but we knew her moves. Once we learned her pattern, we could block her really well.
    Great freaking team to play though, and they left it on the track at the after party!

  2. Ohio has been winning more often and also has had some close loses with really good teams. I think they've gelled since you checked on 'em last.

    Fort Wayne is going to be a GREAT bout of skill for both the Sirens and belles! I can't wait to hear about it since I have to miss that one too.