ECE Preview: #1 Gotham vs #9 Windy City
Given their performances over the last few years, that’s a given, but since 2009, when the WFTDA expanded into four divisions from two, Windy City has turned into a true juggernaut as they’ve dominated the North Central region, where they’re currently the top-ranked team. This season has seen All-Star team victories over North Star (159-59) and Madison (115-104), and they’ve been firing on all cylinders despite having to work in some new faces into the rotation.
“Probably similar to what Gotham has set up; we had to set up a training machine,” explains Beth. “There are some players on Gotham that have been around from the beginning, but they’ve also had new players on their All-Stars and you would never know. And it’s the same thing with Windy City. We try to have a pretty seamless training program where you move through the team levels until you get to the All-Stars, and it’s a league-wide effort.”
“We have some very talented jammers,” she continues. “Varla Vendetta is a legend around the country as a pivot and jammer. You should also look out for Jackie Daniels, who just transferred to us from Grand Raggidy this year and who is a famous player in her own right. And then we’ve got a whole bunch of vets – Shocka Conduit, me, and Hoosier Mama – who have been around for a very, very long time. So we’ve got a lot of experience on this team, we’ve got a lot of very, very fast talented girls and it’s going to be fun.”
But then there’s Gotham, with an imposing lineup that can strike fear into any team and that can hurt you from anywhere on the track. Whether it’s jammers Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hotrod, or Em Dash racing through the pack, Beyonsláy sending opposing jammers into the VIP seats, or Fisti Cuffs, Ana Bollocks, Kandy Kakes, and Ginger Snap holding down the fort in the middle, Gotham is number one in the country for a reason, and after opening up their 2010 schedule with a 201-75 defeat of Charm City in April, they don’t look like they’re slowing down. In fact, with some new blood on board in the forms of transfer Swede Hurt, rookie B-Zerk, Montreal import OMG WTF, and returning all-star Carmen Monoxide, the team just keeps getting stronger.
“We have new skaters on the team, and it’s always challenging to integrate new people, but we still have our really big core of girls that have been skating together for a long time,” said Thunders. “Everybody has made some really great improvements on the team and integrated pretty well. We had some big holes to fill when we lost Polly Gone and Barbara Ambush last year, and everybody stepped up their game. You’ll see Carmen Monoxide as a regular on our roster now, so she’s really stepped up, and Swede will playing this weekend as well. Then we’ve got lots of other skaters that aren’t on the roster, but are new to the team, and they’re pushing really hard to creep up there. I think it’s really good for the old-timers, and it keeps us working hard because we know there’s somebody who wants to steal our spot.”