Saturday, November 14, 2009

WFTDA Nationals Day 2 - Quick Picks!

Well...looks like the favorites did all that was necessary to win yesterday and frankly only one bout was ever in question...Beans v Madolls. Friday was about utter dominance from teams that have been red hot since Regionals a few months back. And of course I had to be a wise guy and pick at least one upset just to make things interesting and the Mile Highs made sure that I paid for my transgression. They were unquestioningly better than the Warriors yesterday, thats for damn sure. At any rate, with my sucky work schedule looming I'm gonna hafta hit n run again so lets get to it:

(FTS Rankings)

1. #10 the Beans v #5 the Original Muthas

As impressive as Bean City's win was yesterday in a serious battle with the Madolls its gonna be an uphill struggle today as they go up against those O.M.'s from TX. I just cant pick against TX in this bout because in the end the Muthas just seem too poised...too much on a be stopped in their tracks by Boston. Nope. Cant see it. The Originals win in a bout that should be interesting early. But in the 2nd half TX will pull away and continue their quest to regain the Throne of Derby.

2. #19 the Rockstars v #4 the Cheesesteaks

Hmmmmm. Its time for the 'ole heart vs head scenario. As you probably know my heart is with Frida and the Rockstars but I REALLY like this Philly team who have become one of my favorite Derby teams over the last 2 years. And howzabout that Killer Rocks team that dominated H-Town from the outset Friday?? There are so many skaters in this bout that are among my personal faves so this is a tuff pick for me. When you consider the fact that...hey...I'm full on rooting for those Rocky girls wellll....this is difficult. But heres the thing...Liberty will be the strongest team that the Rocks have faced this season. Hell, maybe the tuffest team that they have EVER faced. This will be a serious test for them and then theres the fact that the Cheesesteaks are gonna have a home track advantage with fans aplenty screaming and cheering them on. The smart money will, of course, be on Philly here. How could it NOT be?? But you have to also consider the unreal journey that the Killer Rocks have been on since Regionals...yes, they are on a mission from the Derby Goddess herself and sure seem to have her blessing! This is gonna be real interesting. Heart...the Rocks. Head...Liberty City. So put yer money on Philly but just dont be upset if those amazing Rollergirls from Rocky pull off the upset of the Tournament. For the brave among you...sneak in a lil upset pick here. For me. GO ROCKSTARS

3. #3 Mile Highs v #2 the Crushers

This should be a fairly competitive closely contested bout but ya have to realise that WCR is coming in fresh and rested and ready to crush. Last nite the Milers proved once again why they are among the elite in Derby with everything working for them against KC. But this Crushers team is a far cry from KC. Yeah...Windy will emerge victorious here. Sorry Denver.

4. #6 Holy Oly v #1 the Mighty Gothic Queens of Utter Destruction and Mayhem

This may be a better bout than the Goth faithful may realise. At least thats my opinion. Oly has had a remarkable season and would certainly shock the Derby World with a victory here...but uuuuhhh...aint gonna happen. And there were times in the Regionals when Oly's lack of big prime time bout experience showed. And then theres the question of bench depth. Oly has a nice bench but not Goth nice. I said yesterday that the Mighty Goths wouldnt lose Friday or Saturday and I realise thats no big stretch but the Goths are gonna be BIG TIME today. They are on a serious mission people and no Holy Oly is gonna stand in their way. This may get ugly in the 2nd half as the Goths simply wear down Oly. Pick the Gothic Queens. Dont be silly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WFTDA Nationals Day 1 - Quick Picks

Finally the Nationals are here and I have scant time to write as much as I would like but I am gonna make some "quick picks" for Day One's WFTDA bouts. After all, I know some of you need to win some games and take that happy trip to the payout window. And so without further ado...the picks:

(FTS Rankings used)

1. #10 the Beans v #13 the Madolls

Considering how surprisingly well that the Madolls have played this year it wouldnt be a shock to see an upset here. But my cashish is on the skaters of Bean City. They just seem to be a notch above Madison and I'm going with the favorite here.

2. #20 H- Town v #21 the Killer Rocks

Its interesting to consider that going into this bout HOU is ranked by WFTDA at #17 and the Rockstars are at #7. Regardless of the rankings gulf theres NO WAY that the Rockstars go down in their first bout outta the gate. No way. And yes I'm playing favorites...cuz you know thats how I roll. GO KILLER ROCKS!!

3. #5 Mile Highs v #9 Warriors

For my money it seems that the KC skaters have overachieved somewhat this year but having said that I just have a feeling about them. I HAVE to pick an underdog somewhere and although I may get stung I'm gonna pick those Warriors here. Please dont hate on me have an excellent team and you could easily prove me wrong but I have to play this hunch tho...cuz picking all favorites is lame.

4, #8 Deeeetroit v #1 the Goths

Uh huh...suuuuure. Like I'm gonna pick against the Mighty Gothic Destruction Machine of Derby. Not gonna happen people. Not Friday...and not Saturday either. Heads up Rollerheads...that narrow defeat a few months back to the Liberty City squad has the Mighty Gothic Queens in a damn serious mood. And they are READY to defend their Derby Crown this weekend. Very very ready.

Its gonna be a great Tournament and I wish that there were some way that I could have been there in Cheesesteak City. I would have damn sure bought shots of Jaeger all around for those Rocky Mtn Rollergirls...proud of them! Go get 'em Frida!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Naptown v Hearts Bout Recap! <3

Woah!! What a way to break in the Pepsi Coliseum!! A crowd of nearly 3500 Derby fans filled the Pepsi Coliseum last Saturday night as the Naptown skaters faced the Hearts of Bloomington and it was an incredible night for the Nap faithful as both the Belles and the Sirens came totally focused and willful. From the outset it seemed that both squads just had Bloomingtons number and were both offensively and defensively on top of their game. Even tho at times it seemed that the Hearts were overwhelmed they will gain valuable experience from these 2 bouts. Indy's experience was quite evident in both bouts but especially so in the Sirens v Flatliners game. You know that I adore KaKa but she just had nowhere to go ALL NIGHT. And containing her was an on fire defense that saw Sin, Touretta, Sweet, Ima, 4 Leaf and CK killing it ALL NIGHT long. And I'm talking NO let up whatsoever. What an incredible night of Derby we witnessed.

Look...I'll go over the bouts in a bit but lets start at the beginning 'kay? The unseasonably warm weather drove home the point that even tho I would be comin from north Indy all the way to Mooresville in the cold at night there was no damn way I wasnt gonna RIDE. And so I did. Had a gorgeous cruise to Broad Ripple for the Prebout Hangout w/the gang. Caught up w Dill, Tom K, Lux n Lori, Amby, CR, Johnny and other Rollerheads and that was a fine way to start my day. I have to admit that I was scanning the TV constantly lookin for early Breeders Cup results and sippin some Blue Moons 8). At any rate I then took a lil ride downtown before headin to the Coliseum. Saw some of the gang then headed in and was struck by the fact that...oh yeah...NRG is doing SportCourt this season! The surface drew a mix of responses from both NRG and BHRG skaters but all in all a majority were positive. You wanna know how much that nice surface costs tho?? $20,000 or so!! Holy freaking shit they're proud of that SportCourt!! Quiiiiite a bit of money there...sheeeesh. Is it faster?? Yes! Is it slower? Yes! is it easier to fall on? Yes! Is it tuffer to fall on? Yes! And so on and so on...just seemed like such a subjective thing w/the skaters really. Sure as hell LOOKS nice...nice and professional. Love it.

What an excellent turnout for the season opener too. A great crowd showed with a smattering of Hearts fans in the seats cheering on their Rollergirls. I said it before but I'll say it again...I really like the Hearts. There is some real talent to be seen on this team and with more experience and learning to play for each other they will be an interesting team to watch over the next couple of seasons. More team chemistry and pack communication will hopefully be gained and I have to just come out and say it...the Hearts need a full time Coach and Bench Mgr. They just DO. Like all the up n coming teams. KaKa is needed as the star Jammer with nothing to distract her from her point scoring mission, know what I mean?? KaKa is fantastic and with better team blocking and speed control she will be able to fly.

On the Hearts side of things I have to say I was a bit surprised that I didnt see Felanie Charges. Wher was Felanie? At any rate I thought that Zero did the most she could all night with what was given her. And not much was given. And Oh yeah...ya knew I was waiting for the Assassins intros so I could see how the announcers would introduce Anita Fingerbang 8). For the record she was intro'd as A.F. Bang (haha). Cool name it! I wanna see Anita Fingerbang tee shirts EVERYWHERE next season 'kay? Seriously...a virtual SEA of Anita Fingerbang collectibles need to be produced...can ya see the $$$? Can ya Bloomington??! Hell yes. Betty Wreckognize had a nice nite too. I saw her crushing hits several times during the game.

And on the Belles side of things I was totally shocked when Strawberry Jam skated out!! Are you freaking kiddin' me?? SJ!!! THAT was great! Seriously cool. And maybe I've been outta the loop this summer but...Old Broad?? On the BELLES?!? WTF? That was another shocker for me. It was cool to get to see all the new skaters in action for the first time too...Freddie,Smashley, Trauma,Dazy, Fonda and may I say ,the very impressive Maiden America. The "Iron" Maiden was kickin total ass all nite people. And I told her so at the Afterparty too. Keep yer eye on this Jammer Napfans because she could be a point scoring star. The entire Belles roster did an amazing job all bout long and they have much to be proud of. Di and Jen did a great job coaching too. In addition to the Iron Maiden, Racer had another solid nite Jamming. Even tho the Belles lost several key skaters to the Sirens you sure as hell couldnt tell...they were impressive.

And so on to the Flatliners we go. Look...Im just a guy okay?? And so I have to say...Hell-No Kitty is a knockout. *smirk* Just sayin'. And we all love the Cult of Rollergirl Kitties! All hail the once and future Queen Kitty Liquorbottom!! On a sidenote I actually heard from Kitty Killjoy about a month ago...and it made my day. LOVE the kitties!! The Hearts have a lot of personality and style and even tho, to be honest, they werent ever really a threat to the Sirens, they were fun to watch just the same. Terror had some moments but both her and KaKa had a frustrating nite up against that NRG pack. Like I said earlier...the Bloomington skaters need a full time Head Coach and Bench Mgr. Really helps when what you're doing isnt working and you need to adjust on the fly or at least at the half.

And then there's those Serious Sirens...who came, saw and conquered from the very first jam. I have no superlatives left for Ace...she was UN...FREAKING...BELIEVABLE. It is an utter joy to watch her skate...makes my Derby lovin heart just POUND. Damn...she's unreal...just a star. Thank you for coming back Ace...I know you heard those chants and cheers every time you took the floor. Feels great doesnt it? Hell yeah. And when she went in at the end of the bout to play Pivot(!!) she was just as impressive. And when "the Natural" got her chances to jam she made the most of them as always. Blue is such a talent. And howzabout that Cap'n Katya? Fire and zeal all nite from her of course. Slammy had a solid nite and how awesome was it seeing the Superhero Shadi out there Jamming again?? Shadi! Shadi! Shadi! She's as much a fan favorite as any Siren for sure. Love her! The entire Sirens squad killed it. Coach J is back people and she aint taking any prisoners!! A glorious night for the Zaptown Girls and that raucous crowd was just eating it up. I know I was.

The new venue worked brilliantly. We still have adequate suicide seats and plenty of excellent seating for the ever growing crowd of Napfans. It was perfect...just perfect. And I cant even tell you how many hugs I got from skaters and fellow fans. We have a very special Derby community here in Indy and it got to the point where it was like some kind of family reunion. And oh yeah...before I beautiful is it that bad ass Touretta came back for another season?! Touretta just rules. As we all know.

The afterparty was a great time and I have to say that the Hearts and the Naps got along really well and genuinely seemed to enjoy each others company. Which was cool. B'ton has their own flavor and will be interesting to watch as they grow as a team and begin bouting serious WFTDA teams. Its a process. Had fun chatting with Zero, Unicoroner, Rocket and the Illustrious KaKa. Keep yer chin up KaKa...your rollergirls are gonna grow from this experience, just like Naptown did in their losses.

And so I eagerly await the upcoming rematch with the Burns. It wont be like last time, I can assure you of that. Those Burns have been battle tested and are a vastly superior team to what we saw last time. Its gonna be epic. And yes...the long, somewhat chilly ride home did give me a head cold and a scratchy throat. Well worth it! Great job awesome way to begin the season.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Naptown v Hearts Bout Preview!

At long last the Nap skaters will take on the Bleeding Heartland team from Bloomington. For those of you not aware of the past history of these teams they used to be one. The league was called Crossroads Roller Derby and was set up to draw from both Indy and Bloomington. Due to a variety of reasons the league split into Naptown and Bleeding Heartland. Naptown was first out of the gate and took Indy by storm. They quickly rose and joined WFTDA. The Hearts on the other hand took a while to get off the ground and slowly built their league on a steady diet of intraleague bouting. The Hearts have only recently joined WFTDA and have a record of 1-1. Having been down to B'ton sveral times to catch some BHRG bout action I would have to say that its quite a change of Derby culture. Considering that only a half hour trip separates the 2 leagues there is a marked difference in the crowd and the flavor of Derby being played. More than anything I think the fact that the Hearts play each other all the time and Race City is set up strictly for travel team play is the difference. Neither is necessarily better than the other and much debate has been had discussing the pros and cons of each style of league. Ultimately I am of the opinion that for the sake of team health and chemistry that the "One Team One League" style of Naptown is the way to go, but there are also some good things that come from having a league of 2 or more teams.

At any rate...this may be the bout of the season. Lets be frank...both of these teams REALLY REALLY want to emerge victorious from this epic bout. I am so pumped up for this one and you should be too because its gonna be as intense as last years legendary F Dubb bout. And then there's all the changes that have happened. A change of venue and Coaching staff will add a new and different dimension to Naps squad. Theres all the retirements of last year (come back Jane!!!!) and the new roster of Rollergirls. I was ecstatic to hear that the Amazin Blazin ACE is gonna return for another season too. She remains Race City's great superstar and killer Jammer and is so critical to NRG's attempt to rise back up in the WFTDA rankings. But theres a wealth of young talent being groomed on the Belles squad and some of those skaters will prove to be invaluable additions to the Sirens roster.

Naptown is currently ranked by FTS at #40 with an overall record of 6-6. BHRG won a game against Hard Knox 97-75 but it was closer than the score would suggest. Their first official WFTDA bout was a butt kicking by the way more established G Rag. They ended up losing by 205 points. Ouch. But as is often the case that aforementioned butt kicking has served the Hearts well and they grew from the experience to be sure. The biggest star on the Hearts squad is without any doubt Jammer KaKa Caliente. She is absolutely amazing and I guarentee that when shes jamming you wont be able to take yer eyes off of her. Well...unless she's up against our ACE! I really like BHRG's team. They have some real potential and with Jammers like KaKa, Unicoroner (back from injury?), Bad Mudda Trucka (backfrom injury?) and Felanie Charges theres much to be optimistic about. The crowds have really grown for Bloomington and now that they're officially WFTDA the future is bright indeed for those Rollergirls in IU-ville.

I just have to believe that in the end Zaptowns vast experience against well established, experienced teams will prove the difference. If NRG can contain KaKa then they will be difficult for the Hearts to beat. It will be very interesting to see what transpires in this heated bout tho. What will all the changes since last year mean for the NRG girls? Who will be the top Jammers (besides Ace of course)? Will the new Pepsi Coliseum venue bring in more fans? Will there be a loss of the intimacy of the Toyota Pavilion? What new strategies will the Coaches employ? Will Kamikaze Chicken make an appearance? Will every Napfan shout in unison "Right you are Dill!"?? Will Anita Fingerbang be allowed to have her name on her jersey? Yeah..its gonna be very interesting. And perhaps the first bout of an annual grudge match the likes of Nap v Cincy or Nap v F Dubb. Do not miss this bout people!!!

Flatliners Roster (A Team)

Code Blue Assassins (B Team)