Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some ...

... But the Heart is Where It's At

Photo courtesy Steve Yates, Kansas City Star
Editor's Note: Thanks to Haute Fuzz for today's guest post!

I'm glad that I get the privilege of sitting here, writing this blog up because I wouldn't be able to tell it in any other way. My voice is scratchy and sore from Sunday's affairs.

I had the opportunity to go to Dead Girl Derby's second game of the season, Shamrock Showdown, at River Roll Skate Center on Sunday. The Lovely Lethals and my old team, the Royal Pains, were the home teams against the Shotgun Sheilas and the Deadly Sirens. However, they both lost the battle with the away teams.

I would like to tell you every detail of those two games, including the scores, but I cannot. There was so much that went on in each game that it was a blur (but that could also be from the afterparty, too, haha). What I can tell you is the highlights of each game.

Let's start with the Lethals and Sheilas. I had friends with me who have never been to a game before, so I spent most of the first game explaining everything that was going on. But I did catch a few things that I was impressed with. Immediately when the skaters were announced for the evening, I was in a bit of shock when Fire Wyer did not do her lap. As much as I was supporting the Sheilas and wanted them to win, which they did, I knew that the win would be most likely in the Lethals' favor. With Fire gone, it became a game to see how the Lethals would strategically play the game and skate in her absence. They fought it out and laid themselves and the Sheilas on the floor, but it just wasn't their night. First off, with Fire gone, the Lethals had to replace those skates with others from the team. The coaches did an amazing job doing so. Daisey Rockett, Slim KarSmashian, Sunny Dee, and Medusome Carnage are the top players that I feel need praising, Daisey especially. This lady has come out of the woodwork. Last year, Daisey played mostly blocker, but I know how much she pushed herself and was determined to be better than what she was, and she proved it out there. She took that position and made it hers. Slim has become much faster as well, and when she could get the lead she went with it. Medusome impressed me out of the fresh meat and as jammer. This tall, lanky girl was able to take the hits, get up on her feet, and continue without any delay. Sunny Dee did an amazing job, too. They found the holes, and if not would push their way through. They fought back, hitting as hard as they could and if they fell, they got back up again. However, it wasn't enough to keep the Sheilas from winning.

It was the Sheilas' night and I'm proud. They really tested the Lethals and used their strengths to win. Deputy Dropya and Pippi Strongblocking showed us how fast and unstoppable they both are as jammers, but they were not the only ones. I became a fan of fresh meat Hittie Kittie. She showed strength, endurance, and speed as jammer. I see her as a threat. I remember seeing Ally Cap-One knock Kittie to the floor at the end of the game. I was worried that Hittie might have hurt herself and lost one of her nine lives, but she got back up. Dir-T Diana and HighD Flys proved their skating abilities once more this season, being ready to go out as jammer if needed. Dir-T was throwing the hits just as much as HighD was. The blockers did an amazing job of always being there for their teammates and walling it up. That is one thing that Sheilas have always used to their favor and it works every time. Last night, they even had a single wall when a jam began and they were able to pull out the lead jammer on it.

Both these teams were strong in watching each other and the other team. It's not all about the win. Sometimes even the champions have to lose to gain perspective. There is always room for improvement in any game.

As the second game started between the Pains and Sirens, I thought I was going to be cheering for both. I let my bruised heart stay true, though, and I ended up rooting for my team the Pains. (I did scream a little for the Sirens just because those ladies are good.) The Pains were down four players for the night and I believe that the Sirens were only down by one. I knew that this game was going to be a battle for jammer status and points. It was. The Pains used Mel Breakdown, 10acious V, Kody Kaos, and Azz Catch-Em as their primary jammers; the Sirens used Stabby-Doo, Striking Dervish, Raia Effing Sunshine, and Poison Evie. The Sirens came out for the win at the end of the battle.

The Pains have so many fresh meat jammers and pivots, while the Sirens have only one fresh meat  jammer who really isn't fresh at all, as Raia had played for Capital City Crushers in Topeka. Those purple ladies do know how to skate and how to fight, but it just wasn't enough. Tenacious V is becoming a very strong jammer. I am so impressed with her that I have to name her first in this great big list of jammers. She was strong in getting out of the pack quickly. Having Izzy NoNo on you, you're going to fall, but that woman got back up and would be sneaky in the pack. She would go for the outside a lot, but then she would surprise them by going on the inside. I enjoyed watching 10acious skate on one foot to stay in bounds. I enjoyed watching her weave through the pack and use her team to gain momentum. Mel Breakdown was very attentive to her surroundings. Even though this is her first year skating on a team and playing jammer, I see her as a veteran. She skates like one, and really I don't have anything bad at all to say about this lady. She uses the whole track, crossing over continuously when she jams. I loved when Mel would call of the jam, too. She hoped she was not making showboat faces, and she didn't. (Editor's note: Whew!) She just showed her fierceness and how proud she was of the points she got. Kody Kaos played well. I saw an improvement in her from the last game and she did a very fine job. Azz Catch-Em jammed very well. She has come a long way from last year and it makes me proud. I also loved the fact that she almost landed in my lap. She is quick and small to get down low.

The Pains blockers did well. I saw a lot of booty blocks, snow plows, and blocks from the shoulders. I also saw the blockers ready to give whips or hip assists. Unfortunately for the Pains, the Sirens were there to hit and make the Pains fall, causing major pile-ups. Dixie was always ready to land a hit, though. That girl has some aggression. Goddess Smack pushed the Sirens' jammer out during jams, allowing her jammer through. Jackie Ow and Dixie made excellent walls. Callie Ente as pivot would sit on the other pivot.

One thing I did notice is that I don't understand why jammers don't hit each other more. Or if a skater is lead jammer and knows that the other jammer is coming up, she needs to keep her behind either by sitting on her, maneuvering so she doesn't pass, or just call off the jam. I screamed for the girls to hit, to skate hard and fast.

The "blue ladies of the sea" were definitely working as a team. They also kept the defense and offense at very high level throughout the game. I think the biggest reason the Sirens won this game was because they helped their jammer constantly to get through the pack and the jammer was quick enough to stay ahead. If they lost lead jammer status, it was because the Pains found a hole the Sirens didn't and made it through first. This game was cat-and-mouse between the jammers. I was very impressed with Raia. I saw her play in the last game and I really didn't think she was that fast. But she glides like she is on ice on the rink. It's such a smooth run that it doesn't seem fast, but it is. She also knows how to weave and get down low in the pack. Killa in Manila, Striking Dervish, and Stabby-Doo all patiently waited for the key opportunity to get lead jammer, which worked in their advantage. ShaTerr'a Thunder took the position of jammer once against 10acious V and it worked. She ran on her skates to catch up and she did. Izzy NoNo is my favorite blocker. She was always there laying the Pains on the floor, or in my case, in my lap on Corner 1. The blockers of the Sirens continuously made walls and stayed together.

I am proud of all the teams, especially my Pains. I know how difficult it is out there, and multitasking is hard. But I think if you instead focus on one thing per jam, it will all come together at the end. The Pains are at 0-2, but it's not over. I know they've got this. I know they have the determination and even though they lost by points, I saw such an amazing game played by them. I'm looking forward to Game 3, Rocky Horror Derby Show on April 15. My heart still bleeds purple and I hope they know how much I love them. I hope every player knows how much respect I have for each of them in this league, because they all give something different. Go, Dead Girls!

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