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Eastern Regional Preview: The Top Seeds

DNN coverage of the 2008 WFTDA Tournaments is made possible through the generous support of Broken Cherry custom apparel and design services.

MADISON, WI -- The Eastern Regional format is the exact same as that of last week's Westerns -- the top four seeds have a first-round bye, which means that they only need to win their first bout to advance to the final four and claim an automatic spot in Nationals, November 14-16 in Portland.

Thus far this cycle, there's already been one team that didn't benefit from its bye -- last year's WFTDA champs, the Kansas City Roller Warriors, came into the Western Regional as the top seed but were dismissed by 9th seed Duke City in a tremendous upset. All other bye teams advanced to Nationals.

The #1 and #2 teams play their opening bouts on Friday evening against teams that will have already played a bout at either 8am or 9:45am, while the #3 and #4 teams will play on Saturday morning and hence face slightly more well-rested opponents at a less natural time.

#1 Gotham

Very few teams in roller derby can claim the respect that this crew from the Big Apple commands. Since the start of last year's Eastern Regionals in August of 2007, they've strung together a 10-1 record, with that only loss being a narrow 15-pointer at the 2007 Nationals to the eventual champion Kansas City Roller Warriors. Even more worryingly for anybody who gets in their way, the ten wins of that streak have been by an average of 92 points -- including two shellackings of highly respected top-ten teams in Texas (125-65 in June) and Philly (113-48 in April). It's hard to talk about Gotham without using the word "steamroll" somewhere in the conversation.

Adding to Gotham's menacing persona is one of the most feared and respected blockers in the nation in Beyonslay, who immediately became a hero to non-jammers across the nation when she laid possibly the most famous block in the history of flat-track roller derby on Texas' Rice Rocket during their defeat of Texas. Smaller but also deadly effective are Gotham pivots Kandy Kakes and Sweet Sherry Pie, whose tenacious play at the front of the pack often allows Gotham packs to re-engage jammers who thought they were just a step from freedom.

If there's any chink in GGRD's armor, it may be that their famously tight four-jammer rotation may be missing one of its wheels for this tournament. Crowd favorite Beatrix "Bunny" Slaughter suffered a collarbone injury in an August home bout -- she's rostered for this tournament, but may not skate. That leaves the core Gotham jammer rotation as flashy speed demons Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders and the sturdy, eminently reliable Cheapskate (formerly of the banked-track Lonestar Rollergirls), though Brigitte Barhot, Fisti Cuffs, Anne Phetamean and Sweet Sherry Pie, among others, are all more than capable of taking the jam star at the tournament level of play.

The top-seeded New York posse will face off against either Minnesota or tournament hosts Madison on Friday night at 6:15pm.

Ana Bollocks 00 // Anne Phetamean 7 // Ariel Assault 23 // Beatrix Slaughter 42 // Beyonslay Top 40 // Bluebonnet Plague 5 // Bonnie Thunders 340 // Brigitte Barhot Swingin' 60s // Cheap Skate 2 cents // Donna Matrix 2 // Fisti Cuffs 241 // Ginger Snap 80 // Hard Anya i4i // Hyper Lynx 404 // Kandy Kakes Perfect 10 // Raggedy Animal 67 // Scarlett Rage 75 // Surly Temple 99 // Suzy Hotrod 55 // Sweet Sherry Pie 201

#2 Carolina

While not the oldest league in flat-track, Carolina is by one measure the most experienced -- they've played more WFTDA-regulation all-star bouts than any other team with 27, having amassed a 19-8 record in that time. They've had notable ups and down since last year's Nationals tournament, where they were the only one of 4 Eastern seeds to advance beyond the first round. They'd be bumped out by the eventual champs Kansas City, but got soon afterwards got revenge in one of the most thrilling bouts of the last year, where they knocked KC off by a single point at home.

In 2008, they've had a couple of high-profile wins against top teams from the East, including two of the other top bye seeds in this tournament -- they took down 4th seed Philly 107-86 in August and 3rd seed Windy City 76-60 in June. Their only loss of the year was an entirely unexpected one, when they were narrowly upended by lowly-ranked Cincinnati in July, 74-69 -- with Carolina ranked 3rd and Cincinnati ranked 26th at the time, it currently stands as the biggest ranking upset in WFTDA history. (As it happened, though, the bout occurred just barely after the quarterly ranking period had closed, and it did not affect either team's seeding for this tournament.)

The crew that will be representing this year is slightly different than the one who went to Nationals last year -- Denise Lightning, their primary point-scorer for much of 2007, is gone to Arizona, but they've regained firebrand Roxy Rockett, who spent most of 2007 playing for Philly. Also, longtime veteran Penelope Bruz, who sat out the 2007 tournaments with an injury, suits up for high-profile play for the first time in a cycle.

Carolina gets the winner from Friday morning's Boston / Grand Raggidy; they'll play that bout to close out Friday night action at 7:45pm on Friday.

Betty Rumble 11 // Bianca O'Blivion 83 // Billy the Kid ACE // Daisy Rage 66 // DVS 131 // Elka Meano 454 // Holly Wanna Crackya 999 // Kelly Clocks'em 212 // Kitty Crowbar 110 // Lucy Lastkiss 5 // MC Fyte 12 // Militia 10 // Minnie Mauser 763 // Ms. Anthrope the Mordant 17 // Penelope Bruz 36 // Princess America 1492 // Roxy Rockett 77 // Shirley Temper 56 // Trudy Struction 22 // Zella Lugosi 73

#3 Windy City

Last year, Windy City was the Cinderella team from the East, going from a wretched performance at the 2006 Dust Devil tournament to a multiple-upset romp through the 2007 Eastern Regionals that unexpectedly landed them in the championship bout against Gotham. Nobody saw them coming that year, but all eyes are on them this year.

Windy City is arguably the hottest team in roller derby right now, having been absolutely on fire all summer. Three of their last four wins have been by over 100 points, and all against tournament-level teams -- Tucson, Minnesota and -- most shockingly -- 2007 WFTDA champions Kansas City. Their solid 39 point victory over #12 Rocky Mountain -- a remarkable feat for almost any other team -- seemed almost tame in comparison.

The Chicago group hasn't been quite invincible throughout the summer, though. They lost back-to-back thrillers at June's East Coast Extravaganza tournament, going down to Philly 92-76 and to Carolina by the exact same point margin, 76-60. Notably, they were missing two of their most effective blockers there in Megan Formor and Malice With Chains -- with the whole crew intact for this bout, and Madison only a short drive away from Chicago, Windy City promises to be a very difficult crew to overcome.

Windy City will get Friday off  -- their first bout will be on Saturday morning at 9:45am against the winner of Friday morning's Charm City vs. Cincinnati matchup.

Athena DeCrime 30 // Belle Diablo 666 // Beth Amphetamine 98 // Blossom Bruiso 5 // Dee Monica 1114 // Donna Party 1847 // Eva Dead 0 // Goldie Shocks! 16 // Hoosier Mama 219 // Karmageddon 42 // Kola Loka 911 // Malice With Chains 6 // Megan Formor 1980 // Nina Millimeter 9 // Phannie of the Opera 8 // Shocka Conduit 15 // Tori Adore 19 // Varla Vendetta 25 // Ying O' Fire 777 // Yvette YourMaker 999 

#4 Philly

In the 2007 edition of the Eastern Regionals, Philly had a bit of unfortunate seeding luck when their first-round bye proved to be of no benefit whatsoever, as it forced them to play eventual tourney champs Gotham in their first bout. One 139-81 rout later, Philly's hopes of going to Nationals were immediately down the drain, and they turned their eyes to '08.

They took on a very strong schedule of challenges after the 2007 tournament season, and it paid off for them when they rose just high enough in the rankings to snatch the last bye seed from the previous East #4, Detroit. Every Philly bout since last year's tournament has been against a team that qualified for this year's tournaments, and they've taken down some of the best -- Bay Area (last November), Windy City (this June) and Rose City (this July). They also gave highly-regarded Carolina a run for their money in August, falling just a little short at 107-86.

Philly features arguably one of the best all-around skaters in derby in Teflon Donna, who is a serious threat to opposing teams no matter which position she's playing on the track, and a speedy, hard-to-hit star jammer in Mo Pain. Very punishing hits come from sturdy Robin Drugstores and Nina Knockout, while Philly crowd favorites Annie Christ and Ivana Rock always seem to find a way to use their relatively small frames to put opponents on the floor.

Philly will also not be playing on Friday -- their first bout opens up the Saturday action at 8am, as they take on the winner of Detroit / Providence.

Annie Christ 7 // 100cc Antidote // Dara Licks 67 // Dotti Horror 77 // Eurothrash XIV // Felony Griffith 44 // Gefilite Fists 18 // Ginger Vitis 93.3 // Ivana Rock 11 // Mandawar 33 // Mo Pain 8 // Nina Knockout XXX // Olivia Face 668 // Persephone 15 // Robin Drugstores 714 // Tara Newone 76 // Teflon Donna 85 // Violet Temper 06 // Wendy Whiplash 1369

Comments

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My money's on Gotham

...aside from Boston engineering a sweeping upset of the whole order of the universe, which is totally conceivable. I'd be ok with taking 2nd though.

You know, as jaw-dropping at Slay's takeout of Rice Rocket was at ECE, Rice Rocket deserves mad credit for how blindingly fast she got up. The pack was less than half a track length away and she was already re-entering. That said, DO IT AGAIN, SLAY!

PS: You gotta watch how often you call skaters "sturdy," Justice. You're too skinny to mess with us sturdy girls. ;)

--
#49
Boston Derby Dames

Curse of the derby journalist

re: sturdy, you'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't be) at how many descriptive adjectives often used to compliment strong male athletes sound a little ... rude ... when applied to strong female athletes. My thesaurus has probably saved me from getting many a beer thrown in my face at afterparties :)

JFM

alternatives?

This comment thread would be an excellent place for our readers to suggest other adjectives we can press into service for such purposes.

Er, keeping our Site Code of Conduct in mind, of course.

cheap skate

The thing about calling her sturdy, well, that would be true, because she is difficult to knock down (in my experience anyway). But sturdy tends to imply larger for women. While she's pretty tall, I wouldn't call Cheapskate "large" in any other dimension other than height. thus the whole dilemma on what word to use.

too bad "un-knockdownable" isn't really proper English.

Maybe something that implies "hard to move" or solid-on-her-skates. Or talented-in the balance department while getting slammed from many directions. But I am drawing a blank on the right word to use.

www.phillyrollergirls.com

"sturdy" synonyms

vixenvangogo wrote:

too bad "un-knockdownable" isn't really proper English.

a quick reference to thesaurus.com reveals many applicable synonyms for "sturdy" when describing advantageous derby-stature:

athletic, brawny, courageous, determined, durable, firm, hale, hardy, healthy, lusty, muscular, obdurate, obstinate, pertinacious, powerful, pyknic, resolute, roborant, robust, rugged, solid, sound, stable, stalwart, steady, stiff, stout, strapping, strong, stubborn, substantial, tough, unyielding, vigorous, yeomanly*

*i've never even heard of this one before, but i'm pretty sure i wouldnt want it applied to me - all the others, i'm cool with...

Boston is pretty solid...

I'm actually predicting a WCR takedown of Gotham -- unless Boston takes down WCR earlier on -- in which case, I think I might just be with what Ruby Khan is engineering here.

My $$$'s on Gotham 2....

Ruby Khan wrote:

...aside from Boston engineering a sweeping upset of the whole order of the universe, which is totally conceivable. I'd be ok with taking 2nd though.

You know, as jaw-dropping at Slay's takeout of Rice Rocket was at ECE, Rice Rocket deserves mad credit for how blindingly fast she got up. The pack was less than half a track length away and she was already re-entering. That said, DO IT AGAIN, SLAY!

PS: You gotta watch how often you call skaters "sturdy," Justice. You're too skinny to mess with us sturdy girls. ;)

--
#49
Boston Derby Dames

I'm thinking this thourney will be as good as Survivor Series 97.

The Original GGRDOnald
will experience the GOOD kind of history here in the ATX!

words to describe blockers

As long as you add "ess" it is feminine and okay. For example: giantess, lioness.
Steatopygous and calliopygous are acceptable, esp for one with highly effective hip checks.
Once an announcer of ours described a blocker by saying, "Her arms are like legs and her legs are like people!" but I don't know if the blocker was flattered or insulted.

however the old Jim Croce

however the old Jim Croce quote, "built like a refrigerator with a head" is to be avoided.

noted.

noted.

Hey, lay off...

I've had it up to here (umm... like my neck or something) with you badmouthing refrigerators, Dahmer. If you don't believe me, do a Google search for "sexy refrigerator" - 1.5 million links don't lie.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sexy+refrigerator&aq=f

Big Words Rule

But there's only one 'o' in callipygous.

callipygous

but 2 o's make a round derby butt. like so: OO
therefore, callipygous with 1 o is incorrect.

Oh, To Be Outwitted

You win this time, Dahmer.

Slay Ride

Holy hell that was an inspiration to blockers everywhere! I shed a tear the first time a saw it. I'm so sooper dooper excited for all the crazy derby action this weekend. Good luck to everyone who's playing especially my amazing, beautiful, tookus-kicking, exceptionally good looking, radtastic, and phenomenal Charm City Roller Girls. And remember to bring Mibbs lots of presents since it's her bday on Friday.

P.S. Justice, you can call me sturdy anytime.

Nurse Wretched
#0.5mg STAT
Charm City Roller Girls
Fresh meat

I'd like to see...

I'd like to see Charm City lay an ass-whoopin' on Philly (but am not sure if that is possible), tournament structure permitting.

Gotham and Windy City will both be advancing to Nationals.

I predict that Carolina will get taken out by an under-dog...(Dertroit, maybe?)

I love Cincinnati, but I think they're going to be able to run away from this gauntlet in the top four.

My marginally informed projections -- Actually, looking at the schedule, I don't know if any of these pairings will actually happen.

But...

Will somebody PLEASE beat Gotham, for God'd sake??!!??

Bat Wing
Ref - Northwest Arkansas Roller Girls
Derby Boy - Midwest Monsters & NWA Southern Scallywags
http://www.myspace.com/refbatwing

Charm & Philly

Batwing wrote:

I'd like to see Charm City lay an ass-whoopin' on Philly (but am not sure if that is possible), tournament structure permitting.

That matchup will happen if:
1: Charm advances to Round 2 and loses to Windy
AND
2: If Philly loses to their Round 2 opponent (either Detroit or Providence)

OR

1: Charm advances to Round 2, beats Windy and beats their Semifinal opponent (Carolina, Boston or Grand Rapids)
AND
2: Philly beats their Round 2 opponent, beats their Semifinal opponent (Gotham, Madison, or MNRG)
(This would be the Championship game)

OR

1: Charm advances to Round 2, beats Windy and loses to their Semifinal opponent (Carolina, Boston or Grand Rapids)
AND
2: Philly beats their Round 2 opponent and loses to their Semifinal opponent (Gotham, Madison, or MNRG)
(This would be the 3rd place game)

ALSO: I put together this spreadsheet with the consolation games and the brackets. Hurt posted this in comments earlier, but in case it gets buried, I'm reposting. It's not particularly pretty, but I think it gives a decent overview of potential matchups and how the consolation games are structured.

xo,
Loco "finally getting the tournament structure" Chanel
Windy City Rollers

Nice logic!

However, I think the second scenario (Charm VS. Philly for the Championship) is pretty unlikely...

But you never know with these tournaments. Anything can happen.

e.g.
A low-ranked, first-year WFTDA team like the Arch Rival Roller Girls (St. Louis) showed up at Fall Brawl last month and beat Ohio, Cincy and Raggidy in the same day!
What gives??

Sometimes a team just comes together and makes it work... and sometimes it just all falls apart. You never know.

I'd really like to see some close games and some upsets this weekend! :)

*ALSO: DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THERE IS GOING TO BE A USTREAM VIDEO FEED??*

Bat Wing
Ref - Northwest Arkansas Roller Girls
Derby Boy - Midwest Monsters & NWA Southern Scallywags
http://www.myspace.com/refbatwing

USTREAM feed

It's on, baby, it's on. It'll be live here:

http://www.derbynewsnetwork.com/leadjammer

On the spreadsheet, game 5

On the spreadsheet, game 5 is listed as L1 vs L4. On the tournament website, game 5 is listed as L2 vs L3.

Edited in the attached.

I don't understand why I can edit this comment and not the other, but this links to the spreadsheet with the correct games-- I switched the folks playing in game 5/6.

Let me know if folks can download this if they want. I'll try to change the link in the other comment if I can.

If I can get computer access over the weekend, I'll update this.

Need to 'publish' it

I think you need to choose to publish that spreadsheet to make it public ... your link just takes me to a screen telling me I'm not allowed to look at it :(

JFM

Let's try now...

This link works.
I promise.

Also-- I will try to update this during the weekend.

Beat Gotham?!?!

Batwing wrote:

Will somebody PLEASE beat Gotham, for God'd sake??!!??

Keep praying...

GO GET 'EM GOTHAM!!!!

The bigger they are...

I just love big upsets; they embody the spirit, challenge and triumph of derby! (I am just a barrel of romantic sentiment, I know.)

Ummm....
But I also like it when my favorite team wins, so I can totally relate to your position, Megahurtz:)

But you've got to admit: It would be totally funny/crazy/awesome(?) if, for instance, bottom-seed sub-in, Providence, dominated the entire tournament. I don't think anyone's got their money on that one though. (NOT that anyone here gambles, especially not refs! -- I have to say this or DayGlo will put me in my cage, again).

I am sure Gotham will advance to Nationals, and many folks seem to think that they've got the biggest shot at sewing it up for the title. Definitely a reason for worry for all four of the Western Division teams.

I am honestly most curious to see how Windy City is going to fair outside of their magical slaughterhouse of derby (Cicero Stadium) this weekend. I just can't see them losing to Philly or Carolina again after the way they decimated KC, Tuscon, and Minnesota this summer... but again, that WAS all on their home turf at Cicero, and their losses to Carolina and Philly this year were on the road, at that tournament in Philly. Some teams just don't travel well.
But it is noted above that their roster was short two key players at that tournament.

Anyway... old stats are old news. Best of luck to everyone this weekend!

Bat Wing
Ref - Northwest Arkansas Roller Girls
Derby Boy - Midwest Monsters & NWA Southern Scallywags
http://www.myspace.com/refbatwing

Bat Wing - To answer your

Bat Wing - To answer your question about whether we had our full roster at ECE, you need only look a bit up on this page at Justice's preview!

-Ada Hatelace
Windy City Rollers

ahh, apparently you edited

ahh, apparently you edited to answer your own question while i was posting my answer. oh the internets!

Oh, yeah. Thanks

Missed that detail on the first read-through. Did fix. And yeah, I can see how not having Megan Formor in the mix could be a significant handicap as she is such a huge component of their defense.

Bat Wing
Ref - Northwest Arkansas Roller Girls
Derby Boy - Midwest Monsters & NWA Southern Scallywags
http://www.myspace.com/refbatwing

better luck next time!

Batwing wrote:

I'd like to see Charm City lay an ass-whoopin' on Philly (but am not sure if that is possible), tournament structure permitting.

Gotham and Windy City will both be advancing to Nationals.

I predict that Carolina will get taken out by an under-dog...(Dertroit, maybe?)

I love Cincinnati, but I think they're going to be able to run away from this gauntlet in the top four.

My marginally informed projections -- Actually, looking at the schedule, I don't know if any of these pairings will actually happen.

But...

Will somebody PLEASE beat Gotham, for God'd sake??!!??

You better call your mama, Bat Wing cuz THE STRIPES HAVE SPOKUN!!!!!

The Original GGRDonald Scully
TRUSTNO1

Maybe The Stripes Should Keep Their Opinions To Themselves

In my humble opinion.

;)

Murder

Can We Download the Spreadsheet?

A simple question, but I want to be able to follow along over the weekend. I'm apparently dunderheaded enough to be unable to download or even C&P the spreadsheet into excel.

Sturdiness

I, for one, am proud to be called sturdy. Thanks Justice. For real, it's just nice to be mentioned regardless of adjectives.

Drugs aka Robin Drugstores

p.s.We will make it to Nationals this year.

Hail.

Brickhouse

n: Brickhouse. adj: Brickhousian?

You know that's what it feels like when Drugs or Knockout are upon you.

TheCycrone!#63
Philly RollerGirls

Another Name for Cheapskate

I know another name to call her other than Sturdy....Fatty Fatty Fat Fat Wachoski!! That was her skate name when she skated for the Milk Maids in Austin and it's still my favorite skate name ever. Rumor has it a waitress at a restaurant actually recognized her as Fatty Fatty lol!!!!!

Beefy

I think it's time for stealthy but solid blockers to claim this adjective. I'm off to make some shorts ;)