Yesterday’s Rolling Along the River tourney was a day of learning and playing, of light snacks and heavy hits. After 16 hours of derby, merby and ferby (that’s f-ing-awesome derby) I’ve learned three things about myself: 1. If I’m hungry enough, I’ll steal McNuggets 2. I’m not above crying when a hoss of a man skates over my hands 3. I’m incapable of looking cool while wearing a mouthgaurd, but then, so is everyone else. If you weren’t there, you should probably start weeping silently right now, because there’s no way that I could recreate the eyeball-melting, tongue-exploding, nosehair-curling derby action with this simple medium. I can, however, tell you all that I remember, which isn’t much; I think I had my bandana cinched too tightly.
The first round of Women’s derby went a little something like this:
Rushmore had a bye, as the team they were scheduled to play was not able to make it to the tournament. Fargo-Moorhead played the first bout of the morning against fledgling team, Norfolk Bruizin’ Bettys. In an important learning experience, Fargo beat the feathers off Norfolk 156-15. Next up for the ladies was Mississippi Valley Mayhem taking on my favorite team, the Sioux City Roller Dames. T-Vicious, who was also Dames’ MVP for the day, showed us all that she has lost her milk teeth when she KABLAMMMED Mississippi Valley’s jammer with a perfect and clean hit, preventing a grand slam. Dames came out on top with a score of 118-48. Next up was Babe City Rollers vs. Harbor City Roller Dames. I have to be honest. I was off having a snack during this bout and missed almost all of it, but I can tell you that various events transpired, actions were taken and responses were made and at the buzzer, the score was 79-40, Babe City. Thus ended round 1 of the double elimination women’s tournament.
Meanwhile, there were all these dudes in tight pants hanging around and someone told me they were there to play roller derby. The men played a round-robin style tournament, each team playing all of the others. Let me first point out a few nuanced differences between merby and women’s derby. Testicles are a factor, particularly when falling, but also when choosing one’s derby name. Some of my favorites include: Egor Toboneya, Craven Moorehead, One Nate Stand and Johnny Pocket Rocket. Also, men’s derby usually keeps a faster pace with more jumping and less booty blocking (for obvious reasons).
First up, Race City Rebels took on Rock City Riot. Quadzilla, of Rock City, besides making all the 8-wheeled ladies swoon, made some baffling moves on the track, spinning and jumping like Michelle Kwan and hitting like [insert good offensive lineman here]. Rock City edged out Race City 77-67. Next, Twin City Terrors took on short-stacked Milwaukee Blitzdkrieg. Though they usually save their whoring for off the track, a few of Sioux City’s own man-refs whored on with Milwaukee. Terrors were impervious to the blitz and won handily 117-29.
Back in the women’s world of cooking, cleaning and beating the tar out of each other, Fargo took on Rushmore in round 2 of the winner’s bracket, winning 101-6. Sioux City faced Babe City in round 2 and came away with our second win of the day, outscoring Babe City 107-77. Sioux City and Fargo advanced to the semifinals, earning ourselves a nice, long nap break.
The one-loss bracket moved into round 2 with Harbor City taking on Rushmore in a real butt-clencher of a bout. Harbor city took a slim lead in the last two minutes, then with Harbor City’s jammer in the box, Rushmore came back to win it in the final jam. Babe City defeated Mississippi Valley 71-19 and advanced to the next round to take on Rushmore.
Round three of the winner’s bracket pitted Fargo against Sioux City in a bout so exciting that I think I peed in my boutfit just a little. SC and Fargo swapped the lead throughout the 30-minutes of play. Fargo Jammer, Shock Therapy was only exacerbating our melancholia, while SC blocker/jammer, Dubbs was handing out can-openers like Halloween candy. With only seconds left on the clock, the last jam started with the score 40-36, Fargo. PBR took lead jammer, made one pass for a grand slam then called it off, bringing the score to 40-41, Sioux City.
After their first 3 bouts, Babe City had lost several players to injury and work schedules, leaving them with only 5 players able to bout. They didn’t take on any outside players, so the mens teams that were scheduled to play the next bout suited up, expecting Babe City to forfeit. But these babes didn’t quit. They played Rushmore with only one line, never leaving the track, swapping helmet panties on the fly. At first, everyone was cheering for their moxy and character, but then we were cheering because they were actually winning. I felt like I was watching an inspirational montage in a movie about an underdog roller derby team. Babe City took the bout 107-58.
Back in the testosterone-fueled world of merby, Race City took on the TC Terrors. After their first narrow loss to Rock City, Race City made another impressive-but-not-winning showing against the Twin Cities team, losing 51-72. Next up, Rock City took on Milwaukee, beating them by more than 100 points with a final score of 125-21. In the match-up between Race City and Milwaukee, Race City came out ahead 155-23…okay, way ahead.
The men’s championship pitted Rock City against the TC Terrors. I was torn apart, not knowing who to cheer. On the one hand, you’ve got Quadzilla doing headstands and whirling around skaters like stripper poles and on the other you have my new derby crush; I won’t say who it is, but I will tell you that he likes to tend rabbits and pet puppies, but sometimes he just pets too hard. These guys played an incredibly exciting bout, with TC coming out on top 115-42. But I say, when you have that many men rolling around in tight shorts, everybody wins.
Babe city, after their heroic win in the third round of the one-loss bracket, was not up for the semifinal game against Fargo. They forfeited, advancing Fargo to the Final bout against Sioux City. The first Fargo-SC bout had been so close, that we all knew not to go counting our baby crocodiles before they hatched. It was nearing 11:00 when we took the track, so none of us were quite as fresh and spry as we had been 14 hours earlier. Our fatigue manifested itself in the form of penalties; it’s just SO hard not to cut the track and trip people when you’re sleepy. Both teams spent plenty of time in the box, but Fargo definitely out-naughtied SC, giving us the advantage. At the buzzer, the score was 72-45, Sioux City. This end was not nearly as climactic as our earlier bout against Fargo, but we were glad to have to opportunity to play this awesome team again.
We’d like to thank everyone who came all the way out to little ol’ Sioux City and spent the weekend playing, watching, reffing, NSO-ing, volunteering, cheering and smelling us. We can’t wait to do it again next year!