login | register
Enter your Derby News Network username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.

you forgot it?!?

ECE Preview: #1 Gotham vs #9 Windy City

  • The Skyline Cup, a new trophy commissioned for the longtime rivalry between Chicago's Windy City Rollers and New York's Gotham Girls Roller Derby.

Four bouts between The Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars and the Windy City Rollers All-Stars.

Four wins for Gotham.

Yet as the fifth meeting between the teams Derby News Network ranks #1 (Gotham) and #9 (Windy City) approaches this Friday evening at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Philadelphia, Gotham isn’t counting on a cakewalk. Instead, team captain Bonnie Thunders recalls a valuable lesson taught to her team in Raleigh, North Carolina last September.

“You have to keep perspective,” she said. “We had a really good example of how that happened when Philly beat us at Easterns last year. We always expect a tough fight from Philly, but we really had dominated them pretty intensely for most of the games that we played in the past, and it was kind of a surprise that we lost to them. So I think that’s always a good reference point to keep going back to, to remember that anything can happen at any time.”

Before Gotham lost to Philadelphia 90-89 in the 2009 Eastern Regional Championship, they had won 18 consecutive bouts, including a 2008 victory over Windy City that netted them a National Championship. As Thunders admits, “at times it’s hard to keep perspective when you just keep winning and winning.”

At the same time, Windy City was looking for the magic formula to climb over the Gotham hurdle. The Midwest standouts dropped bouts to the New Yorkers at the first East Coast Extravaganza in 2007, in the East Regional finals in 2007 and 2008, and then in the WFTDA Nationals. Ask Windy City co-captain Beth Amphetamine the first thing that pops into her head when the name “Gotham Girls Roller Derby” comes up, and she laughs.

“The first thing that comes to mind for me would be a growl,” she said. “They always beat us. We’ve played them four times in big games, and they’ve won every time. But we always look forward to playing them because we really, really want to win the game.”

And if she and her cohorts have their way, this Friday will be the night that they get it done, and make a statement to the rest of the WFTDA that this is their year.  And this year, for the first time, the Gotham/Windy rivalry will be commemorated with the Skyline Cup, a new perpetual trophy jointly commissioned specifically this year by both teams to reward the winner of this big-city rivalry.

“There are a few leagues around the country that have been consistently in the national tournament for the last few years – us, Gotham, Texas, Seattle – and I think all of us share a friendly rivalry with each other,” said Beth. “Gotham has been able to be on top for quite some time, and I’m sure they’ll remain a really competitive team into the future, but we think that we have been as well, and none of the games [against them] have been huge blowouts as far as I can remember. So going into this game we have a lot more confidence, and we have a lot of new players who don’t have that sense of history, which is probably a good thing in this case (Laughs). But we want to maintain Windy City’s reputation as a top contender, regardless of who we’re playing, and we want to make sure we’re respected around the country as a formidable opponent.”


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


what a great write-up. That dude's a swell writer--love the quotes.
Way to go Thomas!

indeed - writing revelation

Indeed -- Mr. Gerbasi has been an absolute revelation - an enormous addition to the derby journalism community this Spring.

He's been a volunteer writer for GGRD for the last month. His credentials are on page three of this article, and you can find more of his great recent derby stuff in the Gotham web site's recent 'News' articles. Follow his combat sports writing at http://twitter.com/tgerbasi

This particular preview was a joint effort coordinated with an independent journalist (Gerbasi) by both WCR and GGRD. What a concept!


Are rosters available for this game?

I am so excited to see the Gotham All-Stars play! It feels like all the action has been out west, and I can't wait to see Gotham do its thing. I only wish I could be in Philly for this, but you can bet I'll be glued to the monitor for this game.

Great write-up!

Thanks Gerbasi for a great write-up.


Maybe it's hard for Gotham to keep perspective because they keep forgetting they lost to Olympia.

no no

Gotham totally remembers that. It's DNN who clearly forgot.

EDIT: It's a joke. It's funny. Get it?




by Beth Amphetamine- “Both Windy City and Gotham play an interesting, very fast and loose kind of style. What I like about the way we both play is that we’re not one of those west region teams that stands still and builds a little wall across the track and is boring for everybody to watch...."

I think it's really lame that you still don't understand the dynamic play of a lot of the West Coast teams and felt the need to drag a dead horse.

Taking Digs is GREAT

Beth Amphetamine is bad ass and can say what ever she wants. You skaters make this an awesome sport... and DNN makes it entertainment!

I know you all love playing and advancing the game... but taking digs on other teams is what makes this FUN!

Trash each other on DNN and hug it out at the after party...

(and the slow style better watch out with Nationals in Chi-town!)

--Scotty Cruz, MNRG

Lame, part 2

Perhaps they find West Coast playing style "boring" because it turned both teams from players to spectators at Nationals last year.


Last time I saw them, Oly didn't play the standstill game, and Gotham gave them a serious run for their money. Your statement is incorrect.

BHWAHAHA, boring?!

Seriously. From stop to start to fast to reverse, the west has excelled in the dynamics of roller derby strategy. And its not just the west that is practicing this. There are plenty of visitors to the West that have come to learn this dynamic type of play. (of course it cost them in the "L" column) Maybe some teams do use one strategy more than others, and I am not just talking about goat, cougars or whateva. The thing is the team that can adapt to any strategy and even defeat it by make it their own will win the championship. And currently only Oly has been able to prove that they are this flexible. (currently 18-0 and National Champs)

So from watching rough, hard-hitting, great teamwork teams like Rose take on Oly and then watch Oly adapt to the style was not boring. (closest games ever x 2)

And watching the most amazing, athletic, crazy skating ability of Rocky and Oly together, with all the stopping and the starting and the racing and the stopped walls with Atomatrix puzzled behind them, was not boring at the least. Also once again Oly was adapting.

So not to bore you with more examples, I can tell you this, ECE will have plenty of stopping and starting and racing, because it works. (from what I heard Philly/Denver was a good example) Now what it really comes down to is can you do it as a team, and keep your blockers or jammers out of the box. So adapt, evolve whateva you want to call it, just do it and you maybe actually playing in the Championship game this year.;)


What he said!


Fast game, slow game, exciting game, boring game.

Why attack an opinion? It's just that - an opinion. I am sure that some people find the fast game boring to watch. It's clear that others find the slow game boring to watch. One can go on and on about the brilliance of this strategy or that strategy, but an opinion on what is or is not exciting is not something that can be argued (although it seems clear that people will continue to try). Stating an opinion and reasons for finding something exciting very rarely will sway others' opinions, especially when writing about something that someone watches, like a sport.

I personally find rhythmic gymnastics quite exciting, but I am unconvinced that anyone else on the planet does. Would anyone like to argue with me about my love of rhythmic gymnastics?

rhythmic gymnastics

I only like it if it's really fast!

all about the ribbon

ribbon and groups that what I think is exciting... just sayin'