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2010 West Region Playoffs Recaps

  • Surprising 6 seed Bay Area held determined 4 seed Rose City just out of striking range for almost their whole bout, and secured the invite to the WFTDA Championships with their second upset of the weekend, winning 133-102. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • Rat City's Anya Heels had an epic blocking game in yet another last-jam thriller, as Rat City barely held off a Denver comeback in the 5th place game to defeat them for the first time in league history, 136-127. Rat City's finish backed up their 5th place seeding, while 3 seed Denver finished in 6th place overall. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • Rat City celebrates after Primp Daddy sets a new WFTDA tournament single-jam scoring record with a 39-0 over Sacred City. Rat City went on to also break the record for largest margin of victory with a 367-32 win. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • Rose City survived a huge second-half comeback from Rat City -- Rat City made up almost all of a 64 point deficit, but Rose City escaped with a 122-104 win. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • 6 seed Bay Area stunned 3 seed Denver in a major 132-128 upset, denying last year's 3rd place team a second trip to the WFTDA championship. Photo: Gil Leora.
  • Rocky Mountain didn't have a lot of trouble with 7 seed Jet City in the last quarterfinal match, pounding their way to a 211-72 win. Photo: LeVar Hurtin'.
  • Jet City came back from separate 51- and 30-point deficits to win a last-jam nailbiter over Sacred, 125-111. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • After a nearly perfectly even first half, 9 seed Tucson established a big second-half lead to knock off 8 seed Duke City 134-120. Photo: Axle Adams.
  • Denver put up 12 double-digit jams on their way to a consolation-round rout of Duke City, 288-54. Photo: Axle Adams.

Sunday Bouts | Saturday Bouts | Friday Bouts

Sunday

Final: 2W Rocky Mountain 127, 1W Oly 86 -- The clash between the top seeds in the West Region turned out to be everything it was billed to be, as both long-undefeated Oly and Rocky Mountain played a very fast, very intelligent game with plenty of lead changes. In the end, though, Rocky Mountain proved the better team, and their ace DeRanged landed two huge jams in the last ten minutes that made RMRG the West Region champions.

After a scoreless first jam, Atomatrix got Oly on the board first with a 2-0 over Urrk'n Jerk'n as Booty Blockya, but DeRanged answered with an 8-0 over Harmony Killerbruise for a 8-2 Rocky lead next. Atomatrix could only get 2-0 of her own on the following jam, and after 5 minutes, Rocky was narrowly up 8-4.

The first powerjam went to Oly at the 23 minute mark when DeRanged pulled a 4th minor on a track cut -- that left the track open for a very hard-cutting Tannibal Lector to take 10-0 and call the jam with DeRanged still in the box. Atomatrix followed up but had a hard time on her opening pass before getting lead -- but made an odd decision to call the jam with DeRanged still on her opening pass, which meant Rocky got out of the second powerjam with a 0-0.

At the 20 minute mark, Heffer took lead over DeRanged, but with De right behind her, had to also call at 0-0. With packs extremely fast and both teams' blockers doing an excellent job of recycling on opposing jammers, there was very little scoring for three jams until an RMRG pack of Psycho Babble, Ecko and Flame and Fury totally had Oly jammer Harmony Killerbruise on lockdown; DeRanged lapped her three times on the way to an 15-0 jam that put Rocky in front at the 15:53 mark, 23-18.

Rocky's powerjam defense got put to the test after Whipity Pow was boxed on a major track cut -- Heffer capitalized on a chaotic 9-0 that gave Oly the lead again at 27-23. Heffer was back to extend the lead to 31-23 a few jams later by taking advantage of a late jam call from Urrk'n Jerkin, but Rocky took it all the way back by once again victimizing Oly's jammer Harmony Killerbruise, allowing DeRanged to lap twice for a 10-0 and another lead change at Rocky 33, Oly 31.

Oly took the lead back on the next jam, only to have Rocky tie it up with a 3-0 from Urrk'n Jerkin that featured a gorgeous jump dodge. With 4 minutes left in the first half, it was 36-36.

Oly edged out in front 39-36 on the following jam but Rocky Mountain once again got a lucky break when Atomatrix got lead over Amanda Jamitinya but again apparently failed to realize the opposing jammer was still stuck in the pack -- Atom called with Oly at a track advantage but no points yet. Rocky made Oly pay for it in the final two jams of the half -- DeRanged picked up 3-0 to once again tie at 39 and the half ended with Rocky Mountain on top 45-39 following a 6-0 Urrk'n Jerkin jam.

Although Oly got the first points of the second half with a 3-0 to Atomatrix, the rest of the opening ten minutes were all Rocky Mountain. Penalties started raining down early in the half, leading to a jam that momentarily had just one blocker for each team out on the floor -- but since Oly's jammer Atomatrix was boxed in that one, it worked to Rocky Mountain's advantage. With about 20 minutes to play, Rocky had grown their lead to 77-44. Even when Oly's Heffer got a much needed lead jammer status for Oly, Rocky killed their advantage when opposing jammer Amanda Jamitinya managed to slow Heffer enough to leave her re-engaged by the Rocky pack to force a 0-0.

Following that, though, Oly finally got a solid jam win with 17 minutes left to play when Rocky jammer Frida Beater was boxed on a fourth minor -- and the box already had two RMRG blockers there waiting for her. Heffer, jamming her second turn in a row, turned that into a 14-3 jam that made the score 80-59 Rocky Mountain. That started an Oly rally, and they finally got within 10 again at 80-70 with 12:22 to play.

A 4-0 from Amanda Jamitinya ended a three-jam drought for Rocky Mountain there, but that wasn't the end of the Oly comeback. Oly caught a break when the Rocky box filled again with Heffer on the floor, and the result was another 15-0 Oly powerjam -- and Oly's first lead since late in the first half, 85-84, with 9:12 to play.

Action stopped for a little while on a referee timeout following that lead change, and after it was resolved, both Heffer and DeRanged started the next jam from the penalty box - but DeRanged was released almost immediately. That powerjam was huge for Rocky, as DeRanged motored for 18 points to re-establish Rocky's advantage at 102-85 with 7:15 to play.

Two 0-0 jams burned more time off the clock, and then Heffer had to settle for a 1-0 over Urrk'n Jerkin when Urrk'n used some amazing footwork to battle her way out and get in scoring position before Heffer could get much. That left the score at 102-86 with just about 4 minutes to play, and then the game-deciding jam came when both DeRanged and Atomatrix were boxed almost simultaneously during their respective opening passes. When they were freed, Atomatrix majored her way back into the box -- but DeRanged turned on the jets for an auditorium-exploding 25-0.

With the score 127-86 and only about 90 seconds left to play, the outcome was assured -- and almost as if the score itself knew it, the last two jams went 0-0, making Rocky Mountain the 2010 queens of the West and handing Oly their first WFTDA sanctioned loss ever.

Archived DNN Textcast

3rd Place: 6W Bay Area 133, 4W Rose City 102 -- Rose City was never out of this game, but in a way, it was decided on the first jam of the game when a huge powerjam win for BAD ended up being the majority of BAD's final margin of victory. Bay Area utilized very effective powerjam work on both offense and defense to hold Rose City at arm's length for the whole bout, and at the end, Bay Area picked up their second trip to the WFTDA championship tournament while sending Rose City to their fourth straight disappointing end in the Western Region tournament.

Bay Area took a quick 20 point lead in this bout when they were gifted a first-jam powerjam courtesy of Soulfearic Acid -- Bay Area jammer Burlybot turned that into a 24-4 win that got the Bay Area fan section very rowdy. After that big frame for Bay Area, though, things were pretty back and forth over the first 10 minutes to a new score of 39-22. At that point, Bay Area went on a run of 4 lead jammer calls -- although they didn't pick up any big jams like the first one, they slowly pushed their lead from narrow to comfortable with a 19-0 run to make it 58-22 Bay Area with just about ten minutes to play.

Following that there was a spot of jammer musical chairs when both Rose City's Sully Skullkicker and Bay Area's Chantilly Mace pulled majors; Rose City apparently wanted a review that Sully's back-block major had occurred on an opponent already illegally blocking ahead of the engagement zone, but wouldn't get satisfaction.

The score stood at 60-26 with 8 minutes to play following that, and although Rose City had powerjam opportunities on both following jams, Bay Area effectively sped the pack up to get out of that sequence, only giving up 11 points total. As the clock reached the 5 minute point in the half, Bay Area's lead was 60-37.

On that next jam, Bay Area did a much more effective job when they had the powerjam advantage. Friskie Meow, Velveteen Savage and Lusty Malice effectively isolated the Rose blockers and eventually forced all but Mel Mangles to the box on out-of-play violations. That jam went 23-0 for Burlybot, and although Burly ended the jam in the box on a back block, Bay Area had a big advantage on the scoreboard and a lot of emotional momentum at 83-37 and 2:14 in the half. Two jams later, Bay Area was taking a 39 point advantage into the half at Bay Area 89, Rose City 50.

With both the Bay Area and Rose City fans getting increasingly vocal and the hitting becoming more intense than it had been all weekend, the tension began to rise considerably in the second half. Bay Area started the second half with another excellent demonstration of powerjam defense, starting with their jammer boxed but pulling a controlled runaway that limited the damage to 8-0. That still kicked off a bit of a rally for Rose when Soulfearic Acid followed up with a 5-0 to make the score 89-63 after two jams.

At the 19 minute mark, Bay Area broke 100 points, going up 104-68 with a lot of help from some more effective penalty killing, and although Rose got three lead jam calls and wins in a row going into the last 10 minutes, Bay Area still held a 116-88 lead at the 9:56 mark. Rose City got a much needed powerjam here which saw Cadillac pass the star to Rhea DeRange after scoring 5 -- but Rhea was boxed after only adding 3 more. Still, though, that got Rose City within 20 at 116-96 with 7:28 left to play.

Burlybot finally staunched the Rose City momentum with an agile spinning move to avoid being decked on a block, pick up lead jammer and go 9-0 over the still boxed Rhea. That made it 129-96 Bay Area with 5 minutes left.

Both Sully Skullkicker and Scratcher in the Eye picked up lead jammer and 3-0 jams for Rose to follow, but the deficit was still 27 points at 129-102 after a Rose City timeout with 3:01 to play. BAD made it even harder for Rose when Astronaughty snuck out of a very slow pack for a lead jammer and 4-0. After that call, Bay led 133-102 with only 1:40 left on the clock.

When Chantilly Mace got lead on that jam with Scratcher in the Eye right behind her, she smartly went right to jammer defense, killing the rest of the period clock away from the pack. With the large BAD cheering section helping Mace out by counting down the final seconds, she called it off as soon as time expired for a 0-0 and an explosive celebration from the black-and-gold fans -- final score Bay Area 133, Rose City 102.

Archived DNN Textcast

5th place: 5W Rat City 136, 3W Denver 127 -- For the fourth time in a row, Denver had a very cold start in a tournament game, but it took them much longer this time to recover. A huge early run for Rat City gave them just barely enough cushion to survive in a narrow, last-jam win.

Like they'd done in their previous match against Sacred, Rat City put out the bruising Anya Heels as their first jammer against Denver's smaller Heather Juska. Anya powered her way to lead, but collected a major back block almost as soon as she started her scoring pass -- and Denver jumped all over that early powerjam for a 29-4 first frame.

Rat City seemed unrattled by the early deficit, winning the next five jams to stay close at 30-22 -- including a 4-1 win for Rat that saw a blocking Anya Heels getting revenge for that opening jam by smashing jammer Heather Juska to the floor three times in her opening pass. It was the only the first of many jams that saw Anya owning the opposing jammers. With 21:42 left in the first half, Denver called their first timeout to think it over.

That timeout didn't blunt Rat City's momentum at all, though. They kept coming and took the lead at 37-31 with just over 18 minutes to play on a 9-0 for Ann R. Kissed. That lead eventually grew to 55-31 as the vaunted Denver defense simply couldn't find a way to play together -- Rat City was on a 51-2 run following the anomalous opening jam.

It wasn't until the midpoint of the half that Denver got a jam win, helped along considerably by Rat City jammer Primp Daddy joining an over-full Rat City penalty box. Heather Juska's 15-0 made the score Rat City 55, Denver 46 with 12 minutes to play.

That broke the Denver scoring logjam just in time. Though they couldn't equal Rat City's big run, they managed to establish lead jammer status more consistently and nick away at the lead, finally tying it at 64 on a Julie Adams 4-0 with 3:48 left in the first half. Rat City did step up defensively here, with Juliet Bravo and Anya Heels continuing to stand out while still assisting their own jammers through. At the half, Rat City's lead was 19 points, 83-64.

Through the first 10 minutes of the half Rat City managed to keep that lead at about 20 points, but at the 19 minute point, it was once again a powerjam when Denver was able to get in the lead for the only time in the half on a big 20-0 for Amanda Sharpless. Denver was up 99-96 there, but Rat City took it right back on a 5-0 from Ann R. Kissed marked by an apocalyptic hit on Denver jammer Julie Adams by the ubiquitous Anya Heels. With 17 to play, it was 101-99 Rat City.

Two quick scoreless jams followed before Rat City came out on the right side of a full-length jam while Anya Heels yet again rained chaos on Denver's offense with four jammer take outs in the same jam. It went 14-0 to Carmen Getsome, leaving the score 115-99. Denver had an opportunity when Carmen ended that jam on a major track cut, but opposing jammer Heather Juska got a back-block major before doing anything with the powerjam, and Carmen increased the Rat City lead to 119-99 with eleven minutes to play.

By the time there was 6:30 left to play, Denver had only managed to shave 4 points off that lead and trailed 122-106. They called their second timeout out at that point and Rat City in a problematic penalty box situation, as they had two blockers in and Anya Heels queued up to go when a space opened. But Carmen Getsome forced Heather Juska out of bounds on the way to the pack to make her ineligible for lead, and successfully killed most of the penalty box problem on a 0-0. A bang-bang call off from Julie Adams on the following jam also ended in a jam tie at 2-2.

With about 4 minutes left to play, both Sharpless and Carmen Getsome became ineligible for lead jammer, and the full-length jam saw Carmen Getsome hit the box on a track cut. Once again, Denver did their best on powerjam, turning it into a 16-5 and making the new score 129-125 with only 1:54 on the clock.

The fact that there was less time on the period clock than on the jam clock ended up being Denver's downfall in the final jam. Heather Juska started unopposed for Denver and picked up lead, but only scored 2 points before committing a fatal track cut. Carmen Getsome burst out of the box and took one insurance scoring pass for 5 points, then patiently waited behind the pack until Juska was freed. With not enough time left in the jam to make up the difference and no way to stop the period clock, there was no path to victory left for Denver, and the final jam ended 7-2, giving Rat City the win in a thrilling 136-127 final.

Archived DNN Textcast

7th place: 7W Jet City 149, 9W Tucson 95-- The last time these two teams met in June, Jet City romped to victory in a 215-86 final. They had to work harder for the win this time, as a Tucson team who had had to face Oly and Rat City earlier in the weekend had a strong first half but couldn't replicate that performance in the second.

This game was both low-scoring and very close in the first ten minutes, as jammers often entered their scoring passes at the same time, causing the lead jammer to call with just one or two points. With 18:58 left to play in the first half, Tucson was holding a tiny lead at 18-16, but Tucson got an opportunity here when Jet City jammer Missus Unshine was boxed on her initial pass on a major forearm. With only Angelica Della Morte and Molly Python in a light Jet City pack, it turned into a 15-0 for Tucson, a 33-16 lead for Tucson, and a timeout for Jet City.

Jammer penalty trouble continued when Precious N. Metal was boxed for Jet City, but extremely good defense from Retro Bution and Nasty Nikki Nightstick eventually forced Tucson jammer Myna N Possession into a major track cut, and Jet City ended up winning the jam on a full-length 5-3.

Jet City kept narrowing the lead and had a chance to take it over with about 8 minutes to play, but Jet City's jammer Ivana Hercha took just a little bit too long to notice her bench beseeching her to call with 9-0, giving Sami Automatic just enough time to turn it into a 9-4. That still narrowed the lead to just 1 point at Tucson 40, Jet City 39.

Finally, with 4:11 left in the half, Jet City got their biggest jam of the game with a 14-0 for Precious N. Metal over Myna N Possession that saw both jammers enter and leave the box. That made a new score of 53-46 favoring Jet City, and they'd add a little bit to go into halftime at Jet City 66, Tucson 56.

Jet City did a good job of extending that lead and got some relief performance on the jam line from Angelica Della Morte. A 12-0 powerjam from Ivana Hercha was the biggest score in that opening run -- that jam moved the Jet City margin to 30 points at 91-61.

It would stay right about on the edge of comeback territory for Tucson until there were 10 minutes to play. Ivana Hercha and Bess B. Ware dropped back-to-back 15-0 powerjams to put the game out of reasonable reach, moving the margin from 109-82 to 139-82 with six minutes left to play. A few jams later, it was all over at 149-95.

Jet City ends up finishing exactly as their seeding suggested in 7th; Tucson managed to improve on their 9th place tournament seed by finishing in 8th.

Archived DNN Textcast

9th place: 10W Sacred City 198, 8W Duke City 72 -- After being on the wrong side of a record-setting rout to Rat City on Saturday, Sacred City came out with something to prove in their last bout of the tournament -- and this time, brought their A skaters with them. A tight three-jammer rotation of Daddy's Girl, Cash Money and Four Closer didn't have too much trouble evading Duke City blockers, and a big Sacred win consigned Duke City to a winless weekend.

Duke City got almost all of their points in the half on the very first jam. With Brutalitaur jamming for Duke, Sacred City jammer Daddy's Girl was boxed and the Sacred City pack just kept missing on Brutalitaur, staking Duke to a 24-0 lead after just a couple of minutes.

After that, though, the action was all Sacred City. They dropped 36 unanswered points on Duke over the course of the next ten minutes, with Shadow Soldier a particular force in the pack against Duke jammers. Duke was able to pick up 6 more on another powerjam with about 18 minutes, but after that 36-31 score, Duke City only picked up 2 more points in the half -- meanwhile, Sacred waltzed to an even 100 for a halftime score of Sacred City 100, Duke City 33.

The second half saw a bit of tempers flaring late when Elvira Mental leveled Sacred jammer Daddy's Girl on a very hard hit to force DG to call the jam -- but Sacred's Shadow Soldier followed up with an after-the-whistle hit that got her sent to the box. Meanwhile, the Duke City bench seemed to get a bit confused about blocker platoons, starting short two times -- once by fielding a pivot while a pivot was already in the box, and once by apparent indecision on which blocker to field. It didn't help a Duke City team that was already overmatched in the jammer department, and Sacred City increased their lead to win by 126 points.

Sacred City finished the weekend 1-2 and improves their seeding by one; Duke City slides two spots by going winless and ends in last place.

Archived DNN Textcast

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wish I was there, this is the next best thing

Thanks, DNN, you have made my work day an awesome one with your coverage. Bouts have been great so far, think I'll sit at the desk until after the BAD/Denver bout, do some 'overtime'... heh heh heh...

Typo in Rose-Rat write-up

Wow, great bouts so far!

> with the score 112-110 for Rose

should be 112-100

Thanks

Fixed. Lots of typing today.

Same paragraph ... doesn't add up

Started at 112-100 as we've established ...

> More heads-up powerjam play from Rat City meant Rat still won the jam at 6-4, leaving the score Rose City 116, Rat City 104 with 2:03 on the clock following a Rat City timeout.

Was it really a 6-4 jam or was the score at that point 118-104?

It really really is fixed now

The jam was 4-4. My bad. Official stats are here.

Hi Def

not sure if this is just a flaw, but I've gotten popup ads for the hidef on my video even though that's what i purchased and half of the rat/rose video froze up even though the audio continued.

Westerns Video

Hey Holly Gohardly,

I'd like to learn more about what you experienced during the rat/rose video. Please email me at joe@blazestreaming.com. There is a lot of technology between Sacramento and your computer...

The video will be available on demand at the same website, so you can check it out afterwards.

You should not be experiencing the annoying google ads. We do run lower third titles that include league, wftda, and DNN sponsors.

Thank you,

Joe

Cheese and ever lovin' crackers

Are you really writing those recaps that fast Justice?

Yes ma'am

Most of the writing is happening during the bout itself, though, so they still take about an hour each.

Always Support Your Sponsors

Just don't block the DNN banner while you do it, 'k? Photographers work really hard to sneak those into the background on shots. :)

winning--the most devious strategy of them all

juuuuuust kidding.

srsly though, that was a crazy good game. well played, BADG. good fight, Denver.

What is that BAD skater doing in that picture?

What an incredible shot but I am so curious as to what led to such an interesting shot and more importantly what happened after that "pose"? I'm so perplexed right now :)

Oh and thank you DNN and all of our wonderful sponsers for really bringing it!

xoxo Perky Set

Yeah Burly's a figure skater

Burlybot was trying to get around Jessica Rivas (last blocker) and Rivas hits Burly, that sent Burly spinning around Rivas with one skate over her head. Burly recovered, didn't fall, and called off the jam, 4-0 BAD. Get the DVD, it's amazing.

Awesome!

Thanks for the recap! Very impressive move!

Figure skating with hitting. New Sport?

Yes the hit sent her flying but she held on as the next few unseen photos show.

By the way I have been told its a called a Flying Camel by Pushy Galore who was also a figure skater.

It gets a 9.0 from the judges

Any Bay Area-Denver video?

Wow, just read the recap. After last year's finals (where Denver's slow pack strategy seemed to confound Windy), I'd love to see the final jam that left Denver short of the nationals this year. Sorry if that seems mean, but there it is:-)

Monica Carson

Monica Carson, AKA Lynn$ane, had one of the sickest (unofficial) offensive stat lines I've ever seen:

94 Points For
0 Points Against
17 Grand Slams
5 Jams

That's 18.80 Points per Jam... and Point Diff (+/-)
That's 3.40 Grand Slams per Jam!

I am sorry Val

But Jackie Daniels is no longer superstar of the universe. Deranged is! Rocky Mountain you earned it tonight and kick ass in Chicago.

RM-Oly: One of the best bouts I've ever seen.

I have to say, seeing DeRanged skate out after calling the 25-point jam, hands on her head, completely overwhelmed by the crowd and the moment, is an image I won't soon forget from these playoffs.

"Very fast, very intelligent" is exactly how I'd describe both teams' play, and I hope the stunning upset doesn't obscure the brilliant play on both sides. The style and pace of the bout is exactly what I'd like to see more of in Roller Derby, and considering these are (probably) the lesson from the bout isthat skilled and fast skating wins.

RMRG chocked full of goodness

chjones wrote:

I have to say, seeing DeRanged skate out after calling the 25-point jam, hands on her head, completely overwhelmed by the crowd and the moment, is an image I won't soon forget from these playoffs.

"Very fast, very intelligent" is exactly how I'd describe both teams' play, and I hope the stunning upset doesn't obscure the brilliant play on both sides. The style and pace of the bout is exactly what I'd like to see more of in Roller Derby, and considering these are (probably) the lesson from the bout isthat skilled and fast skating wins.

Agreed. I got a little tingly watching that jam.
I'm just blown away by the entire RMRG roster. Psycho Babble is like an Einstein in the pack. She must have eyes in the back AND on the sides of her head. She was always in the right place at the right time and UNMOVEABLE off the line. Urrkn Jerkin by Booty Blockya Supercalifragilistic or whatever her name is a strong addition to their team. And then all the regular amazing vets on their roster...

UGH...it was hard NOT to cheer for RMRG.
I have (had?) Gotham picked to win it all this year but the Fight Club gives me doubts. Either way I'm sticking with a red/black team to take it all. (Don't hit me, Philly).

Who's next?

So we were discussing this in the Charm City viewing party... now that Oly has lost, who is the current winning streak leader? I don't mean who had the longest winning streak, but who is still winning and on the longest streak. It looks like Gotham is currently on a 10-game winning streak. Are there any teams currently on a better sanctioned run?

Next seems to be

Gotham- 10 games
Rocky/No Coast - 6 games
Windy City/Atlanta - 4 games

I would expect a couple of those streaks to end at SC this weekend.

such pretty

smiles! those rocky girls have such beautiful smiles. i wouldn't even be mad if i lost to them because they have the most warming smiles....hi babble!

asleep under my desk but WORTH IT

I have had 4 hours sleep because the Oly/Rocky game finished at 3.45am UK time, but it OMGTOTALLYWORTHIT because that was one of the best games I've ever seen. I am sure I didn't breathe for the last ten minutes. Amazers.

I've skated with and against

I've skated with and against some very agile ladies who hop and juke and duck like its nobody's business in my six seasons. With that said, I've never seen anyone WORK. IT. like UJasBB in that one jam last night. You know which jam I'm talking about.

That jam reminded me of the first :20 of a video my crossfit box posted a monthish back which is an old highlight reel of Noel Devine (now a front runner for the 2011 Heisman).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6CqA7hEzw8

Srsly, it was crazy. I want everyone to play roller derby like that.

MC Hammer on crack!

anna wrecksya wrote:

I've skated with and against some very agile ladies who hop and juke and duck like its nobody's business in my six seasons. With that said, I've never seen anyone WORK. IT. like UJasBB in that one jam last night. You know which jam I'm talking about.

That jam reminded me of the first :20 of a video my crossfit box posted a monthish back which is an old highlight reel of Noel Devine (now a front runner for the 2011 Heisman).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6CqA7hEzw8

Srsly, it was crazy. I want everyone to play roller derby like that.

I think it's the 1st sign of the Apocalypse when I agree with Anna but WOW!!!

I have never seen that kind of footwork like that before. " Like MC Hammer on crack" !!

Amazing bouts all around!!!! Great coverage by DNN & support staff...

well

Rev Al Mighty wrote:

I think it's the 1st sign of the Apocalypse when I agree with Anna but WOW!!!

I have never seen that kind of footwork like that before. " Like MC Hammer on crack" !!

Amazing bouts all around!!!! Great coverage by DNN & support staff...

we agree on all of the important things.

Oly and Rocky Mtn

I may have been one of the few people in the building that was rooting for Oly... I felt pretty alone. Any way, I'd like to comment on the usage of Oly's bench... or should I say the lack of use? Did anyone notice that maybe 9 of their 14 players played? There were players on the Oly squad that didn't touch the floor unless it was pre game warm up.
I think the game could have been different if more players saw action... especially towards the end when fatigue contributed to sloppy play and many many penalties.

That is a little doubtful. If

That is a little doubtful. If they didn't run them, it means they didn't have confidence in those players at this competitive level. They gambled that they were better off with the skaters whose abilities were more clearly known.

All those skaters

Yeah, as an Oly fan too - you were not alone. I imagine it was hard to hear me in the crowd ;-)

I would love to have a peak into the Coaches mind to see how he made those decisions.

I think they saw Some jammers hit that Rocky Mtn defense and not get through first. When you are running 1 or 2 point jams, it must be very tough to decide which jammers to put in. Getting lead jammer is crucial so I think they stuck to their strongest jammers.

Same logic I would guess with blockers as well.

Watching Gotham on DNN, they used a small pool of jammers as well.

Did not take notes of which teams fielded a greater diversity of players, Gotham, Rocky, or Oly, but all three definately had several players that got a lot of play time.

Wonder if there is someone with the stats out there to compare the games....

Same as Always

Nothing is unusual about this. There are lots of teams that have what you can call bench players on their roster. Rocky is famous for skating only 12 or less, and I've seen Gotham skate only eleven. Oly did the same thing last year and won it all. The same skaters over and over again, Atomatrix would often skate 3 jams in a row and it seemed that Tannibal and Sassy were in almost every jam.

In fact, it seems to me, skating all 14 is rare. I've seen Rose, Philly and Rat do it. And a team I know a little about, Bay Area, in 2008 skated 12 most of the time. It was only in 2009 that Bay Area started a slogan "We roll deep", that at the time was just a goal, and only now is a reality.

Last year's Oly

Southbay wrote:

Oly did the same thing last year and won it all.

The lesson that should have been learned was that Oly can't simply do what they did last year and win. To me it looked like Oly simply tried to outskate Rocky and that wasn't enough. It was good enough in 2009, but it's not good enough any more.

I've said this elsewhere,

I've said this elsewhere, but...

I think the Rocky/Oly game took derby to a whole new level we hadn't seen before.

With the availability of the DVDs and everyone at the top having some sort of video analysis program in some form, The Big Show will be taken to a whole new level yet.

Gotham/Philly was no where near that competitive level, but the games aren't taking place today. There's a month still to really amp up the competition.

It was clear that Atomatrix

It was clear that Atomatrix forgot that derby is a team sport, pivoting for one jam then jamming 3 in a row to go down about 30 points before the end of the half. The X factor that Oly didn't account for was Amanda Jamitinya, she effectively shut down Sassy and Tannable. Rocky did appear to have a deeper bench, which allowed players like Amanda and Psycho Babble to rest up and play 120% while on the rink vs. a tired Oly A line who's only rest came from sitting in the sin bin. The concept of frequent line changes is nothing new. You figure hockey trainers calculated scientifically that optimum ice time for skaters is 20 seconds to maintain burst/peak performance. It's obvious when a skater is low on NOS, they just can't accelerate worth a damn, and start to make stupid mistakes that puts them in the sin bin. Derby doesn't have the luxury to swap out players on the fly, but a consistent rotation would help the A line rest and play at peak every time they are on the rink. I find it funny that some skaters have such huge egos that they think playing 5 jams in a row is better for the team then letting a less experienced player get in the game every 3rd jam there about. Not only does it give your top skaters more rest for peak performance when needed, but it also allows your bench to develop skills they need for the big games at the end of the season.

Thanks For opening My Eyes Oly and Rocky Mtn

I don't disagree that all fourteen can't always play. But there was a point where they became un effective and most of that (in my opinion) was fatigue. I don't care how good you are, fatigue is the enemy of rational thought, and that slogan held true for Oly.
It resulted in a lack of cohesion, team play, and as I said earlier, many many fouls and trips to the box.
What I can say is this. Their game was other level Derby. Period. Rocky Mtn and Oly were by far the most talented group of folks I've seen on skates and that includes my trip to Nationals in Portland.
They were levels (plural) higher than any other teams, or games I saw. There were lapses in strategy, and team play, but the speed at which they play the game, and the levels of intensity, competition, aggression was other worldly.
I'd never seen Oly or Rocky Mtn before yesterday... but given the chance I wouldn't miss another game.
Seeing them play makes me want to go to Philly so I can see it all... again.

blackface

I'm hoping this isn't verboten, especially since amanda jamitinya's blackface stunt has made it into the comments section over on Jezebel: http://jezebel.com/comment/30204451/

I'm personally still a bit in disbelief, and I'm wondering if anyone else has any thoughts on it?

my 2cents

While I completely agree that it was a silly thing for AJ to do I don't believe it was done with any sort of malicious intent. If that link is right, then AJ wiped it off at half time because someone finally was able to tell her "dude, do you know what you're doing?"

The first thing I noticed when RMRG came out on the track for Regionals was that Ecko was sporting some serious whiteface makeup. This was a completely new thing to see from her. Then the next game had AJ come out with a blackface. In the end one can only imagine that they were in the locker room getting ready and at the last second did something without thinking it through.

I'm sure RMRG will get back to the person that wrote a complaint to them with an explanation.

Roller derby's brand is impacted by these mini-scandals

They might want to post an explanation to the Jezebel site, too, because that's an excruciatingly public forum, much moreso than DNN. It could turn ugly there. (Well, here, too, but we're used to it - heh!)

Regardless of whether whoever posted it to Jezebel is overreacting, it shows that increased public scrutiny is the price of increased public exposure for the sport.

I wish I could be more constructive, but I don't know if this is really something that can be addressed in the future with a code of conduct or a ban on makeup or anything like that. Players just have to be encouraged to be more proactive in thinking about their league, as well as the entire sport, as brands that they help to create. That kind of responsibility is certainly no fun when all they want to worry about is their own personal brands and how they're going to kick ass in one particular bout. But they can't be asking how to get derby into the sports pages or the Olympics when they're doing things that garner bad publicity, even if that publicity is overblown or based on false assumptions.

Can't wait for the excuses

I love it. Last year the junior leagues were shown by their big sisters that an acceptable way to let off steam in a sport is by punching someone in the head from behind, as long as they're wearing a helmet. This year they learn how racist minstrel-style makeup can apparently be part of a fun costume that keeps roller derby edgy and "punk".

I can't wait for the excuses. How about variations on "it was just a joke" or "it wasn't what you think it was, it just looked like it" or my schoolyard favorite, "sorry you're so easily offended"? Maybe some ad hominem, shots fired at the messenger?

There's no denying it was perceived as blackface though. From the textcast:

6:09 S. Pankin (Rocky): Okay, Rocky has taken the track. AJ in blackface. joined by Pepa, Cruel and Psycho with DeRanged taking the star. Then taken off the track cz we gotta introduce them. HAHAHA - they just want to play, I'm with them! Let's skip the intros!

6:11 S. Pankin (Rocky): Amanda Jamitinya, recent-ish transfer from Duke, is indeed skating in blackface tonight, possibly a dig on Ecko, who is in whiteface with DeRanged and Psychobabble.

6:25 [Comment From Roger Assaultrey: ] Is Amanda Jamitinya in blackface?

6:26 S. Pankin (Rocky): Yes, dammit, AJ is in blackface. GET OVER IT AND WATCH THIS DERBY, PLEASE

Is that really what you believe?

You believe that inappropriate moments by individuals are some sort of organized movement to show kids that these things are okay? That, somehow, WFTDA is showcasing these actions as acceptable?

Really?

I'm not going to argue that either were appropriate; they weren't. But your diatribe isn't even close to an appropriate response. I'm pretty sure the punch last year was met with appropriate action: the player was expelled from the rest of the tournament. What more is it that you want?

Are you next going to argue that WFTDA is teaching illegal moves because a player committed a penalty? Or are you just looking to complain that something is AN OUTRAGE, I TELL YOU?

I mean... really?

Stop giving people something to complain about

That's kind of a weird way to twist my words, so I'll rephrase: Rather than exercising poor judgement like this, then being reactive only when there's a backlash, players need to realize they're on an increasingly public stage and be more proactive. They need to realize what kind of example every little thing they do sets for everyone in the sport, including the junior leagues, not just the adults who'll turn a blind eye (as seen in the textcast) or who are in on the joke.

The poor judgement needs to be curbed before the offensive actions are even taken, even if that means sacrificing a tiny bit of personal expression, keeping derby edgy, inside jokes, or whatever. It can be as simple as being someone on the same team or league being the one to step up and say "uh, that's not cool, and I'm not going to skate with you (or allow you to skate) if you're going to be like that."

It's disappointing that so many leagues have come so far in this regard, yet there is still a culture on both individual and team/league levels that encourages grown adults to only take responsibility for things after the fact, and only when someone outside of those groups raises a stink about whatever it was. It shouldn't have to get to the point where WFTDA officials are meting out punishments or there's bad publicity among the fans or out in the real-world media outlets. It should start with individual skaters and coaches holding themselves and each other accountable to the entire sport, junior leagues included, proactively.

people who look for things to

people who look for things to complain about will always find something to focus on

Let me clarify...

mb5311 wrote:

They need to realize what kind of example every little thing they do sets for everyone in the sport, including the junior leagues, not just the adults who'll turn a blind eye (as seen in the textcast) or who are in on the joke.

If it seems like I turned a blind eye in the textcast, I want to apologize. I noticed, I reported - but I know AJ and I know for a fact that she's not a racist, so I admit that I dismissed it mentally for the much more immediate thoughts i was having about the incredible skating I was seeing. I don't mean that to be any kind of dismissal of racism in general! My focus was on the derby because I was not there for social commentary, but to report on the action. So that's what I did. I don't think anyone intends for DNN textcasters to be the equivalent of the talking heads on cable TV, judging, offering opinions designed to stir up controversy and divisiveness for ratings - leastways, not during a textcast when fingers are flying just trying to report on who is there and what they're doing. In fact, its in the directions a few of us collaborated on: "Report the facts, not your opinions of them." Its hard enough getting the minimum info and adding a little bit of descriptive commentary - there's no time during the textcast for discussion of the sociopolitical ramifications of player makeup and clothing choices. Since I was 100% sure that AJ didn't think of the history of "blackface" when she was putting on makeup, her choice seemed, to me, at the time - about as important as that of DeRanged, Ecko & Psycho's choice to wear white makeup on their faces.

But I don't mean to make excuses and I didn't then, either. I just wanted the focus to be on the amazing derby. There's plenty time now to dissect the social connotations of it all.

Sorry if I made it seem otherwise.

Textcasts aren't really discussion time

They aren't. DNN provides the textcasts so that we can have another avenue for the play-by-play action on the track, a bit of commentary, sponsor plugs and a sprinkle or two of viewers comments as the situation allows. I know I make a lot of comments in the DNN textcast that I think add something but it is up to the team doing it as to my comments getting posted into the textcast or not. Sometimes they are & sometimes they aren't. However, I always have the Justin.tv or Ustream feed open as it provides a venue for direct viewer comments about the bout in progress, derby in general and (usually) a bunch of other stuff. When AJ's makeup was noticed on the Ustream chat it was discussed by people from all over the derby world. Small teams, big leagues, US, Canada, England, Australia, flat, banked,etc. We talked about it for a bit and then got back to watching an amazing Western Finals. This isn't something that could have been done on the DNN textcast.

So remember: DNN textcasts are mainly for play-by-play and selected viewer comments. Justin.tv (or Ustream depending on the feed) is for viewer comments and such.

/hope I got that all right

Understood

That I can get behind. That's just not quite how the first post came across to me.

An Open Letter from RMRG

The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are a league of diverse, strong women, who have nothing but love and respect for one another and everyone else in the derby world. That message was unintentionally knocked off track during the WFTDA Western Regional Championship game when a quick makeup attempt before the bout sent a much louder message to many who saw it, and we want you to know that we have heard those complaints and concerns and absolutely understand where they are coming from. Player Amanda "AJ" Jamitinya did not intend to project racism at all when she skated onto the track with a face blacked out, and RMRG would never, ever endorse that. As soon as it registered, steps were taken to remove the makeup.

But we recognize that AJ's intent could not be inferred, particularly in this case when the historical meaning of the imagery has long been writ in stone. RMRG and AJ very much regret the hurt and offense caused and hope that anyone offended might be able to find forgiveness in their hearts. It will not be repeated.

See you in Chicago.

Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

Of course it wasn't intentional

I really don't believe the RMRG or any of its players would deliberately send a racist message or endorse such a sentiment. In fact that would be just really weird. However, it's kinda hard to believe that someone could don that kind of makeup and not only not recognize it as something that would seriously raise some eyebrows, but also have their whole team there on the track with them, and have no one among them say "What? Uhh, No."

DangerousLeigh wrote:

It will not be repeated

I'm very glad to hear that. Thanks for posting.

OMG!!! I didn't even think of

OMG!!! I didn't even think of the black face paint as even slightly racist. It's simply war paint similar to Demanda Riot's face paint that mimics the Misfits.

http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/55757/misfits-3-1-skull.gif

in addition to

While I missed the chance to grab a photo I was standing by them as they posed together laughing right before the game. I think clearly it was planned and and in good spirit.

That's all I thought

That's all I thought of it. Black girl in white war paint, white girl in black war paint. It's possible that both of these girls are racists who were mocking the color of each others' skin. But I kinda doubt it.

Also, this topic could obviously get heated, so all y'all just remember to debate like civilized humans and follow the DNN Code of Conduct. I don't want to have to lock this thread and then get yelled at for "censorship".

Sure...

That makeup looked NOTHING like the Crimson Ghost and EVERYTHING like blackface.

What a great way to promote an overwhelmingly white sport to a more diverse audience.

I feel dumb

The Cheet wrote:

OMG!!! I didn't even think of the black face paint as even slightly racist. It's simply war paint similar to Demanda Riot's face paint that mimics the Misfits.

http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/55757/misfits-3-1-skull.gif

My thoughts on AJ's face paint was that she was doing a reverse skullface in contrast to her team mates, not minstrel blackface. Silly me, not seeing unintended racism!

Tara Armov
LA Derby Dolls

I'm right there with you

Watching the bout from the stands, I actually thought it was cool that AJ and Ecko mirrored each other. And as a black girl, I didn't ever think racism when I saw it. In fact, it didn't occur to me until tonight, reading everyone's posts that some would. Please be careful taking offense on behalf of someone, as you have no idea what they really think. Would there have ever been a single comment if the makeup was reversed and Ecko was the one with black face paint? I mean, come on! This conversation is just plain dumb.

Close scores, upsets belie a wider field of talent than before

The close scores and upsets in this tournament add weight to the gut feeling I've had for a while now: every year, we've got more teams playing at a very high level, and these top-tier teams are very competitive, almost equally so. Who's the champion and who's the underdog is less and less of a sure thing. This is borne out not just by the surprises in the tournament but also by the inevitable disagreements between the WFTDA rankings, Flat Track Stats, Derbytron, and DNN Power Rankings. Only the top 3 in this tournament (Rocky Mountain, Oly, and Bay Area) get to go to Nationals, but I wouldn't hesitate to send the next 3—Rose City, Rat City, and Denver—if there were room in the brackets. I have a similar feeling about the other divisions, although the East still feels relatively top-heavy. But I'd at least send Cincinnati, Brew City, Boston, Montreal and Steel City if I could. There'd be at least a couple upsets when they play higher-ranked teams, I'm sure of it.

So I'm really encouraged about the state of derby. A few years ago it was very clear that only a handful of leagues had travel teams playing at the highest level. Now it's a much wider field, and the second and third tiers really aren't that far behind. I'm keeping my eye on a couple of those Utah leagues for next season...

I guess that's what happens...

...when your comfortable with a group of people and don't assume that these conclusions will be the first that people jump to. Really, people. I didn't think ANYTHING of it, whatsoever. White/black face paint is a theme that represents prominent skaters from 2 of 3 top teams in the tournament. I got the joke- but apparently these skaters, like many people in our overly litigious, PC movement embattled society better tone everything down and approach the world through a filter of being careful not to offend anyone.

Except that images have history that go beyond the immediate

Caveat: I did not see this take place, so I am not speaking from the perspective of a firsthand witness. I'm just speaking as myself here. Y'know, a person with an art degree and some chops regarding symbols, signs, and signifiers.

Yes. Many people in our "overly litigious, PC movement embattled society" have fought tooth and nail to make sure that people are aware that dehuminizing caricatures born out of American slavery to codefy an entire group of people as shiftless, stupid, and genetically deficient are not acceptable.

Do I think the person in question had the entire 230-odd-year history of race in our country at the forefront of her mind that day? Probably not. Do I think we ought to collectively let this go without discussion? No. This goes beyond our community, and not everyone in OUR community is OK with this, either.

yes to discussion

I agree with your statement, Quebeaum. Regardless of intent, blackface carries a lot of dehumanizing and demeaning racial baggage with it. This is something that we all, as Americans and humans, should be conscious of and sensitive to. I'm just speculating, but it seems like Ecko and Amanda Jamitinya wanted to make a lighthearted(?) comment about the visibility of being the only person of color on an otherwise all white team. It's likely that Ecko has been referred to as "the black skater" more than once. By wearing their respective white and black face paint, Amanda Jamitinya could, in a sense, take on the token roll of "the black skater" for a game. The stunt also speaks to the assumptions and expectations people have about what a derby skater looks like. There has been a lot of discussion about body type, dress (fishnets etc), and socioeconomic status of roller derby skaters, but rarely is anything said about the omnipresent assumption of whiteness. As with the familiar "but I have black friends" excuse, Amanda Jamitinya probably thought less than she might have about the possible negative reactions to and interpretations of the makeup because Ecko was participating in the scenario. Was it insensitive? Yeah. Was it offensive? Depends who you ask. Was it racist? Possibly, though I lean toward no.

I also want to add that, although I wish it could have come up in a different way, I'm glad that the derby community is finally talking about race. As someone else already mentioned, roller derby has overwhelmingly white participants and fans. There is a lot to talk about there, not only in terms of why minorities are under-represented in our sport, but also what effects such racial homogeny might be having within our community.

Wait, this was AJ?

I confess I did not watch much of the games last weekend, so I only get to experience the scandal. But a moment of perspective here... we're worried that a skater wearing blackface will tarnish the reputation of derby, and that skater's name is "A man to jam it in you"?

I've never met AJ, nor do I judge her name choice because I chuckled the first few times I heard it. But is the derby community so desensitized to things that would be scandalous in the mainstream that what scandalizes the derby community is just turning the knob from 8 to 11?

Puritanical we are not, but...

There seems to be a clear distinction, for most people, between risqué and racist.

Maybe not most people...

This conversation wouldn't be happening if most people saw a difference.

Don't you mean the opposite?

A lot of people seem to be upset about this blackface thing. Few or no people seem to have a problem with Amanda's name. It looks to me like people have a firm grasp of the difference between racism (important) and a smutty joke (not very important). This conversation is happening because, even in our more permissive derby culture where sex can be joked about, most derby folks still believe that racism and blackface are not ok.

The RMRG team, or at least the individuals who painted their faces, likely had a moment of limited perspective and failed to realize the gravity of their actions. Regardless, as Rosie said below, a statement needs to be issued by RMRG or the specific skaters involved to clarify what happened and why.

12/2 = 6

Sure, the former puts derby stories in the lifestyle section of the newspapers and the latter in the News of the Weird.

My point is that it's difficult to know what the derby community considers offensive because it's perfectly okay with behaviors that would be offensive to the mainstream.

On the media

I suppose we should be thankful that there isn't consistent coverage by the mainstream media of our sport. If there was, they would have a hey day with this. Who knows though, a bigger outlet could still pick it up and run with it.

On that note, whether the skater and her team intended for the blackface to be taken as such, it was perceived by many to be exactly that. People are upset and want communication on this. This issue has gone beyond back and forth comments on a message board, and needs to be addressed in a public manner by the team and/or the parent organization.

Blackface Is Not Funny

rosietherioter wrote:

I suppose we should be thankful that there isn't consistent coverage by the mainstream media of our sport. If there was, they would have a hey day with this. Who knows though, a bigger outlet could still pick it up and run with it.

On that note, whether the skater and her team intended for the blackface to be taken as such, it was perceived by many to be exactly that. People are upset and want communication on this. This issue has gone beyond back and forth comments on a message board, and needs to be addressed in a public manner by the team and/or the parent organization.

Agreed. 100%

Racial Sensitivity

The roller derby community as a whole is so intrinsically NOT RACIST that I have trouble with this being the knee-jerk assumption. I grew up in South Mississippi. I often wonder about the firmness of belief in those who see racism in every shadow, in the leaves of every tree. I would never assume this was the goal- and perhaps, had it never been likened to black-face out loud- again, very tongue-in-cheek- would it have occurred to others? I am sorry these well-meaning people are caught in such controversy in the face of so much greatness.

Lastly- "blackface" is solely characterized by, not only having black stuff on your face, but also by exaggeratedly enlarged pale-to-white lips. Just having black make-up on your skin is not. Compare images of "blackface" to people who just- well have a black face.

Jamming it in

Apron wrote:

we're worried that a skater wearing blackface will tarnish the reputation of derby, and that skater's name is "A man to jam it in you"?

Good point.

I guess no one else will say it, so I will. AJ's name isn't funny, it's dumb—dumb in the same way that 95% of derby names are dumb. It's the same belabored joke we've heard a million times. I didn't chuckle once when I first heard it, so I totally judge it. As a woman's name on an all-female team, it has an ironic aspect to it, so I guess maybe it's a little bit clever, but it's not witty, nor is it an alter-ego or an earned nickname. It's just raunchy, in that 'The Aristocrats' way, for the sake of being raunchy. I'm usually not offended by names because I do get the joke, as do most fans. My "outrage" is just more about derby's cultural clichés. But I think that's a topic for another thread. (Actually it was... two or three times...heh)

It's a Dog Whistle

I laughed because I knew the reference. It's from a line lesbians use to mock straight and narrow men who think that the best cure for lesbianism is "A (real) man to jam it in ya."

Not saying it's fair to mock straight men. It's just really, really easy.

Glad this topic is winding down

Agreed, and I knew the reference, too. I just don't think it's funny as a derby name, not in 2010. Anyway, I know I'm in the minority on what I find funny or appropriate or good for the sport's reputation. But I do know how hard it is to convince parents off-put by this kind of stuff that they should enroll their daughters in junior derby. It's a really tough sell, enough to make me go from having a "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks" attitude to actively resenting the defensiveness of those who uphold those aspects of the culture.

BLAME CARSON B DEMENTED

mb5311 wrote:

Agreed, and I knew the reference, too. I just don't think it's funny as a derby name, not in 2010. Anyway, I know I'm in the minority on what I find funny or appropriate or good for the sport's reputation. But I do know how hard it is to convince parents off-put by this kind of stuff that they should enroll their daughters in junior derby. It's a really tough sell, enough to make me go from having a "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks" attitude to actively resenting the defensiveness of those who uphold those aspects of the culture.

You're all wrong. AJ aka Laura didn't give a shit what her name was so her team captain at the time, (this was around 2006, I'm sorry AJ didn't think to change her name by 2010) Carson B Demented, made it up. It's a misquote of the Simpsons episode where Bart prank calls Moe's Tavern and asks for "Amanda Hugnkiss"
Sheesh! TALK about projecting meaning where none was intended!!!

AJ is a wonderful girl who frequently lacks the ability to see the world in the same way most people do. I've worked in a homeless shelter, mental institution for unmedicated schizophrenics, and center frequented by alzheimer patients, and I'm still yet to meet anyone who lives on the same planet she does.

Speaking of nothing, I'm going to ask the question I've been wondering since I've observed a disproportionate level of outrage coming from one city: would you be as angry about the scandalous and unreprimanded goings on of one team if you had not suffered a unfortunate suspension of a key player from yours? Just wondering. Crucifying a crazy girl with lack of foresight won't change any of the wrongs ya'll suffered.

anyhoo. This sure has been a fabulous tourney season. I can't wait to see if the remaining tournamants can hold a candle to the on and off track drama we've all observed.

Speaking of drama overshadowing skill, holy shit, RMRG! you beat Oly!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of drama...

Speaking of drama overshadowing things, great job putting on westerns Sacred!

Lourdy Be!

mb5311 wrote:
Apron wrote:

we're worried that a skater wearing blackface will tarnish the reputation of derby, and that skater's name is "A man to jam it in you"?

Good point.

I guess no one else will say it, so I will. AJ's name isn't funny, it's dumb—dumb in the same way that 95% of derby names are dumb. It's the same belabored joke we've heard a million times. I didn't chuckle once when I first heard it, so I totally judge it. As a woman's name on an all-female team, it has an ironic aspect to it, so I guess maybe it's a little bit clever, but it's not witty, nor is it an alter-ego or an earned nickname. It's just raunchy, in that 'The Aristocrats' way, for the sake of being raunchy. I'm usually not offended by names because I do get the joke, as do most fans. My "outrage" is just more about derby's cultural clichés. But I think that's a topic for another thread. (Actually it was... two or three times...heh)

Good lourd, is there ANYTHING that AJ can get correct in your world?

One of the wonderful aspects of modern derby is that there's wiggle room when it comes to society's outlook on women, sports, empowerment, humor, and what's acceptable to wear out to a bar after a game. I think derby names definitely fall into that category as well. I've heard some names that I would never have chosen for myself, but I'm not going to jump all over anyone with such a name just because I don't agree with their choice of game makeup.

Tara Armov
LA Derby Dolls

So hard to quit the drams

Tara Armov wrote:

One of the wonderful aspects of modern derby is that there's wiggle room when it comes to society's outlook on women, sports, empowerment, humor, and what's acceptable to wear out to a bar after a game. I think derby names definitely fall into that category as well. I've heard some names that I would never have chosen for myself, but I'm not going to jump all over anyone with such a name just because I don't agree with their choice of game makeup.

I honestly don't care if any skater is racist, sexist, bigoted, or has malice thriving in their heart. I don't care if they choose to skate with the most sexually (sorry) Shocking name possible. And I really don't care about what they think and do in the privacy of their own homes.

But I also know how freaking hard it is to have mainstream culture take the sport seriously with all of that going on. That "wiggle room" you're talking about comes at a price. Like not having your skate name printed in a newspaper because it's so offensive to the editor. Or to have to look that doe-eyed seven year old girl in the eye and be embarrassed to give her an autograph for fear she'll look it up on Urban Dictionary.

In some way, I find it truly awesome that none of the RMRGs saw AJ's facepaint as racist. It gives me hope that, eventually, historically racist behavior will be consigned to history and acts which appear to be racist will be as innocent as their intent. But none of us actually live in that world. We get to visit it, but it's not the same place we punch a clock or tune into on our TVs. That dreadful Real World we so hate to go back to is shocked by sexually suggestive skate names and caucasians painting their faces black.

I really don't think it's fair to expect derby to change. The microcosm is too important to try and mess with that. I just wish and yearn that when derby has to interface with the real world that it understands there's more to gain by respecting the real world's expectations. Even if, when the cameras and the reporters look away, we do canoes at afterparties while we place bets on the square inches of fabric necessary to make Dumptruck street legal.

(speaking for myself and, maybe, my two cats if they had an opinion)
- Apron

*sigh*

Apron wrote:

But I also know how freaking hard it is to have mainstream culture take the sport seriously with all of that going on. That "wiggle room" you're talking about comes at a price. Like not having your skate name printed in a newspaper because it's so offensive to the editor. Or to have to look that doe-eyed seven year old girl in the eye and be embarrassed to give her an autograph for fear she'll look it up on Urban Dictionary.

In some way, I find it truly awesome that none of the RMRGs saw AJ's facepaint as racist. It gives me hope that, eventually, historically racist behavior will be consigned to history and acts which appear to be racist will be as innocent as their intent. But none of us actually live in that world. We get to visit it, but it's not the same place we punch a clock or tune into on our TVs. That dreadful Real World we so hate to go back to is shocked by sexually suggestive skate names and caucasians painting their faces black.

I really don't think it's fair to expect derby to change. The microcosm is too important to try and mess with that. I just wish and yearn that when derby has to interface with the real world that it understands there's more to gain by respecting the real world's expectations. Even if, when the cameras and the reporters look away, we do canoes at afterparties while we place bets on the square inches of fabric necessary to make Dumptruck street legal.

(speaking for myself and, maybe, my two cats if they had an opinion)
- Apron

Aaaaand, we're now back to having derby taken "seriously". This is an offshoot that's totally off-topic from this thread, so consider everyone hijacked, I guess.

I don't WANT to be fully accepted by the mainstream. That's why I got into derby to begin with. IT'S NOT MAINSTREAM. In my world, mainstream = BORING. If I wanted to be boring, I have plenty of opportunity to do so.

I'm Tara Armov because she's a heck of a lot more interesting than the animator I am during the day. Tara Armov gets to skate in padded booty shorts and bodycheck other skaters while swooping around in a circle for 60 minutes. That takes dedication, training, money, and a slight dollop of insanity. It doesn't require dead-straight evisceration by mainstream big company sportscasters, articles in the "Style" section, or acceptance by mainstream society.

Yeah, I know, that style of "punk rock" is quickly dying in the higher echelons of modern derby. I'm kinda sorry to see it go, because that spark is what gave this sport its most interesting aspects to me. I loved watching Rocky Mountain skate this past weekend because not only did they NOT look like little robots cloned from the same source down to having the same boot covers, but dammit, they looked like they were having the time of their lives. And seeing that made me SO happy for them, and made me love my tiny little corner in the derby universe that much more.

So I'm a relic. And I'm kinda-sorta OK with that. Well, I'm not, but it's something I'll deal with. I'll never appear on any sports page, and I'm DEFINITELY OK with it. What I get from derby will never be fulfilled through the media anyway.

Tara Armov
LA Derby Dolls
and apparently a big sap

sometimes derby is not about skating.

Tara Armov wrote:

I don't WANT to be fully accepted by the mainstream. That's why I got into derby to begin with. IT'S NOT MAINSTREAM. In my world, mainstream = BORING. If I wanted to be boring, I have plenty of opportunity to do so.

Yeah, I know, that style of "punk rock" is quickly dying in the higher echelons of modern derby. I'm kinda sorry to see it go, because that spark is what gave this sport its most interesting aspects to me. I loved watching Rocky Mountain skate this past weekend because not only did they NOT look like little robots cloned from the same source down to having the same boot covers, but dammit, they looked like they were having the time of their lives. And seeing that made me SO happy for them, and made me love my tiny little corner in the derby universe that much more.

OMFG I LOVE YOU TARA ARMOV!!!!!

xoxo
-Moxxxie

Tara! I completely agree! I

Tara! I completely agree! I don't spend nights agonizing over not being taken seriuosly or not receiving coverage in the sports section. I've never even read the sports section!

and going off on a tangent,

and going off on a tangent, instead of trying to mimic the main stream we can take a page out of extreme sports like skateboarding, bmx, and snowboarding, etc which have all reached the mainstream, but have also had a hand in shaping it, there was some give and pull, but they are all extremely popular and completely different than traditional sports and they're not in the sports pages probably entertainment. Does that make them any less athletes?

It ain't broke ...

Way back when I was still learning how to stand up on skates and was not even close to being a ref (so really ... last year) ... friends took me to see a Charm City bout. Watching that bout solidified derby as a sport to me. The sport is there. Derby works. I'm not sure a lot has to be done to it, other than keep it growing. The sport you all put out on the track is there and is amazing. Don't know if that really furthers this discussion along. But Charm City is partly responsible for me being a fan of Derby and really taking it seriously enough to learn how to skate and become a ref. So I don't think the sport has to change and go mainstream.

-Wheel

Amen

I couldn't agree more. I've seen "mainstream" roller derby and frankly, its not for me. When the Denver Roller Dolls started skating under their real names and moved to their widely publicized new venue it really lost something for me. Spending $20 for a ticket and another $10 to park, then going inside and sitting in a crown of 2,500 quiet people who don't know what to cheer for or when, and having scenes from Madagascar 2 come on the jumbotron after EVERY single jam telling the kids to "get up and dance" isn't my idea of a great time. Nothing against DRD (it broke my heart when they missed a shot at the Championships last weekend) but if that's mainstream derby, I'm not sure I'm long for the sport.

I thank my lucky stars I live in a town with two leagues:)

Changes are coming...

and that's fine. The sport may become more mainstream, and "legitimate" via the media, but that will be fair and square due to the momentum it's gained. There will be tension between the grass-roots and expansion camps, just as there always has been for every human endeavour. We'll just have to straddle the line and occasionally hold our noses to enjoy the game for what it is. What's that, your favourite indie band got a record contract and recorded an album that everyone loves? SELL-OUTS!

Don't misinterpret, I, too am thanking lucky stars that I got involved anywhere near the ground floor and I intend to keep it fun, silly and inclusive until they take the funny names and fishnets away! After that, too, until they take me away!

not every jam

>having scenes from Madagascar 2 come on the jumbotron after EVERY single jam telling the kids to "get up and dance" isn't my idea of a great time.

We like to throw in an old Chris Farley/Patrick Swayze clip now and then :)

Venues

Interesting. Every venue has pros & cons, but I'm sure not gonna bail on the world's greatest sport just because the local leagues (both of them) are still finding their way in terms of bout production and coping with the challenges of their respective venues. Things are so much better than they used to be, and I'm there mainly to see what's happening on the track. To me, $20 is a good deal for a guaranteed good view of high-level skating.

Three years ago I went to a Gotham bout at Hunter College, where there's nothing but the action on the track taking up your whole field of vision, no matter where you sit. All 1200-or-so spectators get a great view, and the most distant seats are maybe 50 feet from the track. I was floored. That league doesn't even need to really do anything extra, aside from playing great derby, to cultivate an attentive, knowledgeable and fired-up fan base. And fired-up they were, no goading necessary. What's more, the crowd was a good 85% "mainstream" fashion-wise, and there were a fair number of giddy tweens there. It wasn't particularly "punk" or anything, just really solid, exciting gameplay that you couldn't take your eyes off of.

RMRG, like the DRD, definitely has the skating, but their venues aren't conducive to getting that critical mass of people fired up. The smaller space helps a bit, but I've seen some rather, uh, (putting it mildly) awkward crowd-working attempts there, and visibility is only good if you're in the first two rows or standing right behind people who are sitting, and hope you never have to take a potty break. A typical Bladium-hosted bout for me involves standing for 2 hours and mainly watching the backs of other spectator's heads, 3 to 5 people deep, only seeing one-third of the track at one time, tops. The Fillmore (which both leagues used) is a little better, but only if I'm in a mood to have drinks spilled on me, people stepping on & knocking into me (thank god I'm not any smaller than I am), and wondering if my car's being broken into. I don't blame any league for that, but it's not making derby "fun" for me. Being in a somewhat more fired-up, slightly less mainstream crowd doesn't quite make up for it, nor does hearing the announcer refer to skaters by their derby names. What does make up for it is the fact that what those ladies are doing on the track (in both leagues) is anything but boring, and that's where all of the fun, for me, and my enthusiasm for the sport comes from.

As much as I love Colorado, you gotta admit, our most rabid derby fans aren't even a quarter as fired up as those of Gotham, Windy City, Madison, Texas, Rat City, etc. You can't blame real names, jumbotrons, and dancing children for that. It's not the audience demographics and mainstream-ness. It does have to do with the venue, but it's not the size of the venue alone, it's the way that size is managed. Like, the Bladium needs more & better bleachers. The 1stBank Center needs to steer people toward the closer seats and adjust the lighting to keep the track the center of attention (sometimes they seem to understand, then they forget). The announcers and DJ and refs and other production staff need to keep things moving. They're trying, and they're getting better, but they still haven't got the right balance. I'm not giving up on them, though, not anytime soon.

(btw...parking near the 1stBank Center is free on the streets that aren't blocked off, and the intraleague bouts tend to have a more festive atmosphere and plenty of derby names)

Venues dos

I'm not sure why you'd think the Fillmore isn't conducive to getting the crowd fired up. I think it's perfect for that and I've seen the crowd lose their shit every bout. Big enough for a decent crowd and small enough so that people aren't spread out and disengaged. Its a rock venue that was originally a roller rink, how can you get any better than that? I've been to bouts all over the country and I'd rather watch a bout in that kind of setting than some of the venues I've been to which have all of the atmosphere of a shopping mall. But whatever, opinions and all...

And while the sport has outgrown Bladium you have to give that venue props for being literally the only place in town that would even talk to an upstart roller derby league in '04. Everyone else basically said no without even a courtesy meeting. RMRG won't be bouting there next year but I'd guess Rocky is pretty appreciative of the fact that Bladium gave them a shot when everyone else basically laughed derby off as some bullshit novelty act.

Fillmore vibe

Oh yeah, I definitely give the Bladium props. I remember what it was like back then!

As for The Fillmore, it does have the intimacy and visibility that are big pluses, for sure. The crowd does get fired up, but it also still has the drawbacks I mentioned. It's not just a rock venue, it's a bar, which affect's people's priorities and the kind of fired-up vibe you get. It's more of a scene-y, drinking-to-get-sillydrunk-and-gawk-at-gals kind of fired up, not so much the hometown-sports-fan-so-excited-to-see-local-athletes-tearing-it-up kind of fired up. IMHO we've got more than enough of the former, not enough of the latter. Not like Gotham.

I personally can weather the Fillmore if I start out in a good mood, but I know two women (not very tall and getting knocked around) who otherwise love derby but found the environment quite uncomfortable. Like I said, I don't blame the leagues for that, and I'm glad it's available as a venue for the kind of going-out audience that maybe wouldn't consider the other venues to be an appealing destination. It's just not the place for everyone. But I do understand that neither is (insert every other venue here). At least we have options! I get the impression many one-league towns are also stuck in the "no one but the one remaining rink in town will even talk to us, and they're bleeding us dry" boat.

Skater Names

mb5311 wrote:

AJ's name isn't funny, it's dumb

Fortunately, humans automatically consider the source when an opinion is given.
When the source of an opinion on skater names uses an internet persona of "mb5311," the opinion is quickly dismissed as fodder.
Just sayin'

ad homimem tu quoque. Google it.

Unfortunately, many humans automatically resort to ad hominem when they want to dismiss a contrary opinion. It's the "oh yeah well you're a hypocrite" dodge, designed to put someone on the defensive instead of sticking to the issue at hand. But the argument, if it even was one, was already over—one person expressed how "a man to jam it in you" is kind of funny yet tarnishes derby's reputation just as much as blackface, and another (me) agreed but expressed that such names aren't even that funny, when considered in the context of the stale clichés so omnipresent in derby culture. Being mainly opinions, it's not really an argument anyone can lose, so accepting or dismissing either of us based on how creative/funny our forum-posting aliases are seems like an exercise in missing the point. If you want to contribute, express a point of view.

EXACTLY. Thanks for posting

EXACTLY. Thanks for posting this.

West Coast Regionals as Training Camp

After watching the Sacred City/Jet City game on Day One, I was very impressed by Sacred City's jammers #44 Four Closer and #53 Daddy's Girl, and was looking forward to how they would do on Day Two against Rat City. But Sacred City chose to bench their best jammers and only use Four Closer as a blocker, and instead sent some of their "B" team skaters to get some experience against a superior team.

This made for a totally lopsided and boring match. Not to take anything away from Rat City, who had a great tourney, but the 3 records they set will probably stand for a long long time, and only because of the total mismatch that isn't normally going to happen in a tournament when you have only the best teams facing off against each other.

I feel that this was a poor decision by Sacred City in that a) it created an unfair advantage for Rat City, even though they probably would have won anyway and b) it robbed the fans of what would have been a much more interesting, exciting and ENTERTAINING match.

It's totally different if the superior team chooses to bench a star player as Rocky Mountain did with Deranged in an early match against a lesser team to save her for a more difficult match the next day. If anything, such a move makes the first game a little more competitive.

But I don't think a team facing a higher ranked team should bench their best players and use a tournament bout as a training camp for their lesser experienced skaters. It makes for boring derby, gives the higher ranked team an unfair advantage, and goes against the competitive spirit. Also, if Sacred City is trying to increase their Sacramento audience, I don't think having potential new fans watching them get totally shredded is a good way to do that, especially when the game could have been much more exciting if they had used their best skaters.

Beyond that, I do thank Sacred City for hosting the bouts and the place was one of the best venues for derby I've even been to.

Any thoughts?

my thoughts

you're entitled to your opinion and certainly there are others who share it. rat city was looking forward to playing sacred's team from friday, and there we plenty on that roster who would have loved to play that game. as assistant bench coach that weekend, and supporter of the roster change decision, i think it's great that everyone got the chance to play.

look at the conversation going on about teams playing a shallow bench above. we took 20 and played all 20. not many other teams, if any, can say the same. we were realistic about the rat city game and opted for play time and training for everyone. a lot of people were really stoked to get to play one of the best teams in the nation and will come out better players next year for it. you just can't teach the lessons some of those skaters learned in that bout.

the important part is that sacred came out of the tournament seeded higher than we went in. that was our whole goal this weekend and it was accomplished. our team is proud and all 20 are excited they had the opportunity to play.

Blowouts are part of the game, for now

GeneGenetheDerbyMachine wrote:

I don't think a team facing a higher ranked team should bench their best players and use a tournament bout as a training camp for their lesser experienced skaters. It makes for boring derby, gives the higher ranked team an unfair advantage, and goes against the competitive spirit.

I really have mixed feelings about this, as do the skaters I know. There's been some chatter on Jerry Seltzer's blog and elsewhere about blowouts and skill level disparities being bad for the sport and for the fans, and suggestions that a class-division system is needed.

But with so few opportunities in a season for a travel team to play against anyone, let alone high-ranked opponents, getting in a "learning experience" is often really valuable. Not everyone who gets trounced is going to invent a revolutionary new strategy and come back like Duke City did as underdogs against Denver in '08, but that doesn't matter. What's important is that I've never heard any players on the losing teams saying "we shouldn't have done that; we should never play teams that much better than us."

So if the teams themselves are all in favor of playing the losing side in a blowout, that's their prerogative. I don't think anything will be done about it unless someone gets hurt, or travel teams find a way to get in a lot more sanctioned games in a season. As fans we just have to deal with it.

Not about Blow-outs

My comments were not about blow-outs. It was about a team purposely benching their superior players against a higher ranked team just so their less skilled players can gain experience. If Sacred City had played their "A" team against Rat and were still getting blown out by the end of the first half, then I would have had no problem with them putting in the "B" players for the remainder of the game for experience. On the other hand, if by the end of the first half, the score was still close and they had a real chance of winning with their "A" jammers, I can't imagine they would bench them for the second half and abandon all hope of a major upset.

I just feel a team good enough to make it to a championship level bout should do everything they can to win every game, regardless of who they're playing and not just automatically assume they don't have a chance, and use that opportunity as a glorified training camp. To be honest, I thought #44 and #53 were top notch jammers, and they could have benefited much more by jamming against more skillful blockers then they're used to. It could have been an exciting competitive match instead of a total blow-out. Take that as a compliment, Sacred City!

I would have been ok with it

I would have been ok with it if Rat City slowed down the scoring, then did a mock fight near half time. And then during half time one of the skaters can grab the microphone and complain that another skater butt hurt her feelings. When the second half starts up everyone does a bench clearing mock fight with fake blood and all the cool stuff . Honestly, I'm glad teams like Denver and Rat really try hard to run up the score and crush their opponents. If you don't want the record breaking embarrassment on national webcast, then try practicing some more.

Everything has a cost.

One of the things that first drew me to this sport was the freedom of expression that seemed to be present. Amazing women of all race,shape ,size and background creating an altered persona that allowed them to be a different (or maybe just a stereotype of the) person than they had to be during thier PC life. I saw women who would have never worn fishnets & miniskirts in public being celebrated by thier peers for thier boduies beauty when doing so. I see colorful names that would offend many being chanted by crowds. I see names that make fun of the steroetypes surrounding a players ethnicity or sexuality and we all laugh at it.I see an empowerment of all involved to be & say what they want with little judegement & much celebration.

The cost for all thses freedoms, is that you may be offended. Whether the intention is to offend or not, get over it. Just because someone wears a what looks to be black face to a bout does not make them a racist. I don't know this skateron a personal level, but I would assume that was not the intention. I would assume she was, like all of us expressing her induviduality. maybe she was supposed to be "black death"??? I don't know. I find that we, as a community of amazing people, must realize that we may be offended at times. Deal with it! Some are asking this player make a statement as to what her intentions were. I hope she does not. It's none of our bussiness! I'll protect her induviduality just as I would my own. Whatever her reasons are her own & she owes no explanation for her attire as long as it is in the WFTDA guidelines for a bout.

As far as race in roller derby & the fact that there are not more black players?? I cant tell you but, I can say that I have never seen more love, resepect & overall acceptance in any other community in my life.

Derby Love,
The Reverend Al Mighty

The other side of the cost of those freedoms

is that if you do something people deem offensive, intended or otherwise, be prepared to hear about it and be ready to defend it if folks call you on it. Or, be totally prepared to ignore it. But people are going to likewise express themselves in response.

Black Face Is Not A Joke

Rev Al Mighty wrote:

One of the things that first drew me to this sport was the freedom of expression that seemed to be present. Amazing women of all race,shape ,size and background creating an altered persona that allowed them to be a different (or maybe just a stereotype of the) person than they had to be during thier PC life. I saw women who would have never worn fishnets & miniskirts in public being celebrated by thier peers for thier boduies beauty when doing so. I see colorful names that would offend many being chanted by crowds. I see names that make fun of the steroetypes surrounding a players ethnicity or sexuality and we all laugh at it.I see an empowerment of all involved to be & say what they want with little judegement & much celebration.

The cost for all thses freedoms, is that you may be offended. Whether the intention is to offend or not, get over it. Just because someone wears a what looks to be black face to a bout does not make them a racist. I don't know this skateron a personal level, but I would assume that was not the intention. I would assume she was, like all of us expressing her induviduality. maybe she was supposed to be "black death"??? I don't know. I find that we, as a community of amazing people, must realize that we may be offended at times. Deal with it! Some are asking this player make a statement as to what her intentions were. I hope she does not. It's none of our bussiness! I'll protect her induviduality just as I would my own. Whatever her reasons are her own & she owes no explanation for her attire as long as it is in the WFTDA guidelines for a bout.

As far as race in roller derby & the fact that there are not more black players?? I cant tell you but, I can say that I have never seen more love, resepect & overall acceptance in any other community in my life.

Derby Love,
The Reverend Al Mighty

Could not disagree more.

Black face--regardless of the personal intentions of the individual--is by definition a racist act. It recognizably signifies difference and inferiority based on race in our society.

Racisim is not always intentional, and a racist act does not need to be committed with malice to cause considerable damage to our community. I am not questioning AJ's personal belief system at all. I am, however, questioning her judgment at that particular moment in publicly displaying black face during an important derby event.

On a stage with 7000+ viewers, representing the best teams in that region, representing the WFTDA, and representing derby specifically, coming on the heels of a white supremicist derby scandal, one of the top skaters representing one of the top teams in our sport, made a public display of racism. Again, it does not matter in this context whether or not that was her intention. It is a problem.

I have a very difficult time believing that RMRG or Amanda Jamitinya had any intention of making a malicious racist statement. Someone clearly thought better of it during halftime, and I was relieved beyond words to see the black faced removed when RMRG came out for the second half.

But, this discussion really isn't about one skater or one league. This is not about whether or not I was offended. This is about whether or not I choose to be silent when I see a racist act committed. I choose to speak. Just because the 90s made "PC" a dirty word, does not mean that free expression trumps responsibility to your community.

I will never ever shut up when someone commits a racist act that may reflect on me or on my community. I will loudly point it out so that you will have to think about it and pay attention to it, so that maybe it will happen less often. Yes, you have the freedom to express racism. I have the freedom to express my disdain for your expression, as well.

Black face is not funny or cute and I hope a community that strives to champion empowerment and diversity would care enough about those things to speak up when those things are threatened.

WOW!!!

Hello derby world.
So... where to begin? Here are my thougths on this "racial" situation. First off, for those of you that think Amanda or I are possibly racist, let me clarify that we are NOT. The war paint had no hidden messages, no thoughts about me being the only black skater on my team. In fact, originally Amanda was going to wear red paint, but I told her "just wear opposite of me". Even with that said, I wasn't thinking I would be the black skater wearing white and she would be the white skater wearing white. We just thought it looked cool. I have no problem being the "coined" black skater on the team. It was not a race swap for Amanda and I. I guess living in 2010 we just thought we could have fun and neglected to consider the possibility of being looked at as racist. We are sorry if we offended, or should I say, that we offended people. But be assured, race was not a thought when we decided to wear the paint!!!!!! Now you can run and tell that;-) SMILE!!!

RE:WOW!!!

I watched the bout and to be honest, the whole "racist black face" thing never even occurred to me till I saw all these posts. I saw it as it was intended, didn't read anything into it. Certainly in hindsight is was not the wisest move, but I don't think ill of anyone's innocent intentions.

BTW, congratulations to RMRG. Some of the Oly skaters may have gotten a little overly confident and clearly some of their skaters showed signs of being tired. But Gotham came back even stronger after their first loss in two years and I expect/hope Oly will do the same. Can't wait to see a Gotham/Oly or Gotham/Rocky or Rocky/Oly match in Chicago. Probably because of the seedings won't get to see all 3, but hopefully at least two.

WOW!!! Is correct....

People should be congratulating you and AJ and the rest of the Rocky Mountain skaters on an AWESOMELY played game. Instead, people want to take the focus OFF great F'n derby and RMRG's sweep of WFTDA's 2010 Western Regionals tournament. Here's to you and the ladies taking Nationals!

Thanks, Ecko, for addressing

Thanks, Ecko, for addressing this so clearly and explaining what happened. Knowing AJ, as well as your and your teammates' facepaint history, I figured it happened like that. It's a bummer that this is taking the attention away from RMRG's amazing win, and beautiful pack work during that Oly bout. Holy crap, I was so impressed!

xoxo Nottie A. Sawiant
Bellingham Roller Betties

reading the above comment is

reading the above comment is why i never get offended on someone else's behalf...assuming you know how someone feels or should feel according to your thoughts and opinions is about as offensive an action i can think of

Everyone's problem

I don't think the people that were upset about this were offended on anyone else's behalf. Racism is not just an issue for minorities to deal with. It is, or should be, everyone's concern.

14 (or so) in the clip

Back to derby yo.

The Rocky vs. Oly bout certainly showed the importance of using all the bullets in the clip as opposed to a few hollow points in the tournament situation. The punishing high octane nature of that bout wasn't conducive to Oly relying on a small cadre of supremely talented and conditioned hollow points to carry them to victory and Rocky wisely used all of their bullets to inflict maximum high velocity damage.

We have little doubt that Oly in the next few weeks will work on insuring that all of their bullets are capable of inflicting maximum damage to the opposition.

Why didn't Oly use their timeouts?

Playing RMRG, Oly could have easily gotten at least 2, maybe 3 more jams in if they'd began stopping the clock much earlier in the period. It seemed like a wasted opportunity, but still, they are going to Nationals and I'm not!

dammit

I am sorry i said even that much about the scandal part of the game, because the derby part of the game was unreal, incredible, unbelievable.

But while I am here, I do want to comment about Cheet's words:
"It was clear that Atomatrix forgot that derby is a team sport... Derby doesn't have the luxury to swap out players on the fly... I find it funny that some skaters have such huge egos that they think playing 5 jams in a row is better for the team then letting a less experienced player get in the game every 3rd jam there about. "

First: is Atom the captain or bench coach? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. Either way, insulting her for playing every jam is pretty crappy. Her and Tannibal are ROCK STARS for performing so well while playing so much! And most likely it was her bench coach or team captain that decided they were needed that frequently. Half my team begs to play as much as possible, but our bench coach is the one that decides, not us. Its rarely the players that get to make that call. We practice hard so we can play, but once the game starts, we do what we're told.

And we can change players on the fly - between jams. That's why we have short jams instead of seemingly endless ones like old derby did.

I also want to take issue with the people that said no one was cheering for Oly. It may have seemed that way, but you have to understand. Rocky was there from DAY ONE and they have worked so hard for so long. Most of us have seen them go from last or thereabouts at our first tournament (Dust Devil) to FIRST over a team that seemed unbeatable just a year ago! That's like a disney story. Its not that we don't love Oly. Oly taught us what sheer skating skill, athleticism and drive could accomplish even without much experience. I know they made me want to train harder - I quit smoking and have doubled my workouts because of skaters like Tannibal who make it clear that the old rock n roll, smoke cigs at halftime derby of 2005 was just not going to cut it if I want to compete today. But - Rocky is a bit of a cinderella story and you have to understand, as much as I admire Oly, I can't help but feel like we all won a little when they won. Rocky is 75% regular girls who started skating when they joined derby. I don't underestimate for a minute how much DeRanged, Psycho and Urrk'n have contributed to their success. But having She Who's experience and Pepa's awesome pivoting and all their 1st and 2nd season vets in there as the glue that held it all together - that's just as critical to their success, and that's FUCKING INSPIRING.

But I still love Oly, too.

Here Here!!

Great comments about Rocky and Oly. I'm so tired of the Oly bashing, you put things in great perspective.

it was bound to happen

When you're on a winning streak like Oly was, people are going to want to see you lose. Not because of who they are (and you certainly can't rip on their skating!), but because it gets boring to see the same team win over and over and over. It's nice to see some new faces in that #1 spot!

Can't wait for CHAMPERS!!!

-Moxxxie

Tired of that team being so good...stomp, stomp, stomp lol

Miss Moxxxie wrote:

When you're on a winning streak like Oly was, people are going to want to see you lose. Not because of who they are (and you certainly can't rip on their skating!), but because it gets boring to see the same team win over and over and over. It's nice to see some new faces in that #1 spot!

Can't wait for CHAMPERS!!!

-Moxxxie

Tragic .... and what we have become.

The Perfect Game in baseball (boring *yawn*) but completely an amazing feat. Crashes in Nascar, devastating, but everyone waits for it. Sports teams building dynasties, everyone hates it (yankees, Lakers, and now the Heat) but omg they are badass.

But 14 women playing as TEAM for a win, and not to be undefeated or blowout the opposition, but just win. Its an outcome, an outcome of a single game and when all the women accomplish their intended goals for that game, the outcome is a win. And so they did it for 23 games straight, not boring, just a 96% winning average. Congratulations to RMRG for being the better team that day. But yes I can't wait for Championships.

Some other not boring teams who win a bunch (I am sure their regions get tired of them being in the #1 spot too, lol):

Gotham 83%
Texas 70%
Philly 73%
Windy 74%

;-) See you in Chicago!

Rink Hogs

I can't think of a better term than rink hog, but every team has them. Sure, it's a mean thing to say, but if your gonna hog the rink, you better back it up and win. Otherwise, sit down and let the rest of the team skate. As far as the "coach" goes, he was there for the free ticket and to hang out with his wife who is the real coach. I can't blame him, in the end its the skaters responsibility to know their own limits. Besides, being called a rink hog is not as bad as being called a "blackface" racist on national webcast.

6:11 S. Pankin (Rocky): Amanda Jamitinya, recent-ish transfer from Duke, is indeed skating in blackface tonight, possibly a dig on Ecko, who is in whiteface with DeRanged and Psychobabble.

Why would someone dig on their own teammate? Way to cause unneeded controversy Pankin!

Although I have never met you...

...I'm certain that your eyes are brown.

Oops, I guess I offended the

Oops, I guess I offended the coach for falling asleep during the bout.

Aw...

ivanna_s_pankin wrote:

I also want to take issue with the people that said no one was cheering for Oly. It may have seemed that way, but you have to understand. Rocky was there from DAY ONE and they have worked so hard for so long. Most of us have seen them go from last or thereabouts at our first tournament (Dust Devil) to FIRST over a team that seemed unbeatable just a year ago! That's like a disney story. Its not that we don't love Oly. Oly taught us what sheer skating skill, athleticism and drive could accomplish even without much experience. I know they made me want to train harder - I quit smoking and have doubled my workouts because of skaters like Tannibal who make it clear that the old rock n roll, smoke cigs at halftime derby of 2005 was just not going to cut it if I want to compete today. But - Rocky is a bit of a cinderella story and you have to understand, as much as I admire Oly, I can't help but feel like we all won a little when they won. Rocky is 75% regular girls who started skating when they joined derby. I don't underestimate for a minute how much DeRanged, Psycho and Urrk'n have contributed to their success. But having She Who's experience and Pepa's awesome pivoting and all their 1st and 2nd season vets in there as the glue that held it all together - that's just as critical to their success, and that's FUCKING INSPIRING.

But I still love Oly, too.

This made me cry with joy. Thank you!

ivanna for president

ivanna_s_pankin wrote:

I also want to take issue with the people that said no one was cheering for Oly. It may have seemed that way, but you have to understand. Rocky was there from DAY ONE and they have worked so hard for so long. Most of us have seen them go from last or thereabouts at our first tournament (Dust Devil) to FIRST over a team that seemed unbeatable just a year ago! That's like a disney story. Its not that we don't love Oly. Oly taught us what sheer skating skill, athleticism and drive could accomplish even without much experience. I know they made me want to train harder - I quit smoking and have doubled my workouts because of skaters like Tannibal who make it clear that the old rock n roll, smoke cigs at halftime derby of 2005 was just not going to cut it if I want to compete today. But - Rocky is a bit of a cinderella story and you have to understand, as much as I admire Oly, I can't help but feel like we all won a little when they won. Rocky is 75% regular girls who started skating when they joined derby. I don't underestimate for a minute how much DeRanged, Psycho and Urrk'n have contributed to their success. But having She Who's experience and Pepa's awesome pivoting and all their 1st and 2nd season vets in there as the glue that held it all together - that's just as critical to their success, and that's FUCKING INSPIRING.

But I still love Oly, too.

THIS. One million times over.

Oly is the reason why my teammates will suffer through my off-skates workouts, or drag ass during an open skate on a non-practice day. They've made us realize that desire isn't enough.

But Rocky (and Gotham, and I am sure so many other teams) make us realize that one day our sorry asses could make it to the big show. I would be lying if I told you I was not inspired knowing that the likes of Suzy Hotrod did not skate before she played derby.

For what it's worth: yeah we yelled ourselves hoarse for Rocky, but we definitely celebrated the genius skill of Oly.

Minnesota understands that completely, lemme telll you.

Nobody in NC hates Windy City, but nearly everyone watching MNRG's game against them at Thunda seemed to be cheering for us. Windy City brought a big fanbase, but MNRG won a lot of people over during the weekend. Leading up to the NC #1/2 game, our merch booth sold more MNRG shirts to folks wearing Dairyland Dolls gear than anyone else.

Any time a team has a huge win streak (in this case, Windy City has NEVER lost in sanctioned play to a fellow NC team), people are going to want to see them taken down. Even though our great friend and former teammate Harmony Killerbruise now skates for Oly, we're still excited to see RMRG take the win against a team that people thought was unbeatable (much like folks thought that MNRG was the exact opposite).

Speaking of Color Commentary

I replaced that phrase with "descriptive commentary" in my post because it seemed like something people could take wrong. Sigh. That's the danger of a whole lot of white people talking about racism, maybe.

It reminds me of why I hated boys in SF. They were all so well-trained to act like feminists, but to a man they all seemed like knuckle-dragging cavemen when you dig beneath the words they spouted.

Here's a more compelling reason to discuss the topic of racism than AJ stepping in it with her makeup choice (to me). I was talking to Mercy of Pacific Rollerderby (formerly Dallas) at the afterparty. She's a 6 foot tall black woman with a shaved head, plays for Vagine Regime, noticeable, a great (and pivotal) player on her team and a forceful personality. She was telling me that several people had come up to her during Westerns to congratulate her on a game well-played - and that she realized they thought she was Belle of BAD. Also a black woman, but not as tall, looks totally different to me and plays with a completely different style. While she was telling me this, another black woman walked up. This woman was also tall, but had really long hair and while Mercy looks like a jock a little bit, this girl was in glittery hotpants and makeup and - well, just looked nothing like Mercy at all outside of also being a tall black woman. Her name was something like something MILFsomething (her back was to me but I was in another conversation and now can't remember). Anyway, I did hear her as she walked up to Mercy and said something like, "Oh, you're Mercy! Everyone here apparently thinks I'm you!"

Mercy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/globalglenn/2210959369/
Belle Right Hooks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shooterstrychnine/3825359568/
sorry, no photo of the other girl, but maybe she'll see this and comment

Which sparked a conversation at my table where LA Derby Dolls were telling me people had done the same with Tai Kwon Ho and any number of Asian skaters that looked absolutely nothing like her, including women that were 60 lbs heavier and a foot taller.

I am a white woman, am the same height and weight as Trish the Dish and we're usually in the same packs. I wonder why no one gets us mixed up. Must be the braids.

I think...

I think that was MILFshake from FoCo but I could be wrong.
I thought I saw her at the after party anyway.

http://www.focogirlsgonederby.com/players/chocolateMilfshake/profile.html

HELLARAD knows!

ivanna_s_pankin wrote:

Which sparked a conversation at my table where LA Derby Dolls were telling me people had done the same with Tai Kwon Ho and any number of Asian skaters that looked absolutely nothing like her, including women that were 60 lbs heavier and a foot taller.

Tae Kwon Ho wrote an article in the last issue of HELLARAD (#6) entitled "Hey Whitey!" which addresses exactly this topic. Methinks it might be just the time to post this article to the site?

xo
-Moxxxie

www.wearehellarad.com

ok, funny thing

I think that people can not tell what we look like in our uniforms and helmet enough to identify us on the street. The reverse is certainly true, as even my own mom can't tell who I am on the track - she was so glad when I got a pink helmet so she could spot me easily.

Actually, after the first ECDX, I got back to Chicago to an email from one of my very best friends that had a link in it to a youtube video from the weekend. My friend said "check it out! Here's this awesome video of you!" I opened the link, and there was indeed roller derby in the video and a Nina - same spelling but different phonetics. It was a jam that included PRG's Nina Knockout, who is clearly not me, does not skate for WCR, and does not resemble me in race, stature, or skating style. I did appreciate that my friend thought it was me though because she laid a beat down on someone in that video.

Clark Kent has the same problem

I was going to say, I usually have trouble telling who's who at the afterparty or just after the bout moreso than I do on the track. Granted, I tend to spend a lot of time focusing on uniform color, uniform number (and penalty infraction) in what I do while you all are on the track. So maybe that's part of why I find it easier to recognize derby skaters when they're in their natural habitat ... derby skating.

And afterwards, the afterparties tend to be held in loud, dark places with sometimes tightly packed crowds. So that has a lot to do with it.

But for a lot of skaters derby is a chance to take on a whole new persona. And the Clark Kent thing can happen after the action. Returning to the secret identity and all.

-Wheel Smith

This happened to me at Besterns!

Someone came up to me and started talking to me thinking I was another skater (I was actually mistaken for a girl who skates for a league not far from me!). I'll be honest, I've commented a number of times on the lack of non-white skaters in derby. But sometimes I have trouble recognizing white skaters when they aren't in uniform, so when there is such a smaller percentage of black skaters I can totally understand when we get mistaken for someone else.

Disappointed by Derby Drama!

I just wanted to say that I'm so disappointed that a fantastic Tournament such as what I had the fortune of witnessing on the lovely DNN (Thank you, have been watching with notepad in hand!) has been marred by crappy Derby Drama!

Across the pond (Where I am) "Black face" isn't a major issue, it simply wouldn't register as a racist act...but if you were offended by it rather than making a big deal out of it in public, was there was no way you could have pointed it out, had the situation dealt with (like it was) and then left it well alone? Why the big PUBLIC deal afterwards?! Drama for Drama sake! Totally unnecessary! Especially seems as everyone that has made a big deal out of it has said "I didn't think it was intentional"! If you knew it wasn't intentional then why are you offended? Point it out, get it sort and leave it! If it really has peeved you then contact the team afterwards expressing your distaste!

And to say that her team mates should have said they wouldn't skate with her is just...well, STUPID!!! Like her team mate said, it was her idea! Plus this has all been explained in the http://jezebel.com/comment/30204451/ ...it was meant to be a "Ying and Yang" between team mates!

Anyway...well done to all the teams involved! I have watching you all the way from sunny Birmingham UK in awe of your skating, pack, blocking, tactical and jamming skills, taking notes to take back to practice :) Well done Rocky Mountain on your success and bring on the nationals!

Mucho Derby Love!

Um

Bitter.Sweet.3 wrote:

Across the pond (Where I am) "Black face" isn't a major issue, it simply wouldn't register as a racist act...

I don't agree. People might not react to someone wearing blackface so strongly, but make no mistake, it would offend people in the UK.

League of Gentlemen

No, I don't think so...images like Papa Lazarou of the League of Gentlemen were aired on the BBC from1999 - 2002 with none or very little uproar. If you are unaware this is how Wiki describes his character "The most evil of all the visitors is Papa Lazarou, a circus ringmaster with a blackface, who calls everybody "Dave" and steals wives."

heh

Would you like to buy some pegs...?

yep, Chocolate MILFshake!

Yes, that's definitely her. Thanks Darth!

When Ted Danson was dating Whoopi Goldberg...

...he "honored" her by sporting blackface to a friar's club event. The black community was outraged despite the couple's assertions that no offense was meant or taken between them.

the problem was, it wasn't just between them. it was at an event meant to honor (despite the traditionally saucy style of the Friar's) an individual - whoopi. instead, the stunt completely upstaged the honoree and offended and hurt many.

just something to think about. a joke between teammates, lovers or friends won't always go over well with the GP.

Moving on....

so could we like move on to another topic? Like Nationals?

No

But I'd be happy to move on to talking about Champs.

Or even South Central Regionals, if you don't like my snark.

Power Rankings

Or Power Rankings. When are those things coming out anyway?

Power Rankings

I don't know, but I'm outraged already!

Warpaint and Rainbows

Come on, if you owned that

Come on, if you owned that shirt & tie, and you had to pick out what to wear to a bout, tell me you wouldn't at least consider it!

nationals

TheRev wrote:

so could we like move on to another topic? Like Nationals?

that already happened, westerns is the new nationals, remember :P

Bestrns was great but......

Holly Gohardly wrote:
TheRev wrote:

so could we like move on to another topic? Like Nationals?

that already happened, westerns is the new nationals, remember :P

The East shall ride this year!!

Things that were awesome about Westerns

I had to be all stoic and uncheering at Westerns, but there were so many amazing things (and one I could live without)!

+Juska, who totally brought it.
+Urkin for who(m?) a photo might need to go on my fridge
+Hefa for mooning her team while signing the ITRF
+The B.A.D. back wall
+Tuscon's cleverness

meh
-mean spirited fandom, for which I will never open your mag

I'm so happy that I could attend, how exciting!

Put Your Helmet On!

stoic and uncheering

Sarah Hipel wrote:

I had to be all stoic and uncheering at Westerns

Tragic!

"+The B.A.D. back

"+The B.A.D. back wall"

*squeeee!!*

"-mean spirited fandom, for which I will never open your mag"

Aw, c'mon. Join the dark side. Your funnybone likes to be punched in the $#*% from time to time. Doooo eeeet, Sarah, open the mag!

Did we decide on top skaters

Did we decide on top skaters for Bestern?

Rule #1 you are not allowed to vote sober.

My votes:

Top Jammers:
1. Burlybot -BAD
2. Heffer - Oly
3. PyschoBabble - RMRG

Top Blockers:
1. Amanda Jam-it-in-ya - RMRG
2. Demanda Riot -BAD
3. Sassy - Oly

And Kobe hogs balls just like Atomatrix hawgs the rink. There I said it. Let the real trash talking commence.

wrong sister?

I don't remember Psycho jamming much over the weekend, however her sister DeRanged was the one who outscored Oly by herself in the championship game. That said, PB was outstanding in the pack. I don't know that I could narrow down the list to just 2 or 3. I think I would put the Rocky pack as the top blocker. Their team blocking borderlined as being a piece of competitive art.

Also, if you're that upset with a 23 game win streak which included a regional/national championships and having to endure watching one of the top jammers in the sport spend too much time on the track I'm sure some other team would gladly accept her services. I'll gladly give a reference if she needs a job in this area.

And how about Urrk'n

For this highlight reel alone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2yiBPw1xPQ

I'll shut up about westerns now. S Central is on!

Absolutely Amazing...

Now if I can just learn to skate like that...

Wrong sister?

Maybe Deranged had more total points as jammer, but Psycho did win key jams against Atomatrix when it counted. One time in particular, I saw Atomatrix knock Pyscho to the ground at the start. Pyscho just picked herself up and smoked Atomatrix out of the pack. It's plays like that, which turn the game around. Other skaters on the bench start to believe that hey, Oly isn't invincible we can do this.

"Also, if you're that upset with a 23 game win streak which included a regional/national championships and having to endure watching one of the top jammers in the sport spend too much time on the track I'm sure some other team would gladly accept her services. I'll gladly give a reference if she needs a job in this area."

Honestly, I was an Oly fan before the bout, and I still am for the most part. Rocky won me over this last bout. If it's Oly vs. Gotham, I'm cheering for Oly. But, if it's any west coast team against Oly, I'm cheering for the other team. I guess I just like the underdog. The question is should Atomatrix be considered the Michael Jordan of derby? Sure, she is fast, but there are a lot of fast skaters out there who are only getting faster day by day. Beyond that, does Atomatrix add anything more to the team to deserve pivoting then jamming multiple jams in a row? I would say no, and that is true for anyone playing derby.

Team needs

The Cheet wrote:

The question is should Atomatrix be considered the Michael Jordan of derby? Sure, she is fast, but there are a lot of fast skaters out there who are only getting faster day by day. Beyond that, does Atomatrix add anything more to the team to deserve pivoting then jamming multiple jams in a row? I would say no, and that is true for anyone playing derby.

I'm guessing that Sassy was getting a much needed break in what I think was the latter part of a punishing and fast paced bout--she may not have had as much experience pivoting, but I believe they needed her speed and agility to attempt to manage Rocky's speedy packs and didn't trust any of the other blockers to bring the necessary athleticism to the table (with the exception of Tanny who was probably too busy blocking and probably needed some extra rest too).

I don't believe there were any selfish motives on her part.

She didn't know

I hesitate to post anything non-skating related on a roller derby forum, but this time, I feel compelled to do so. I have read the posts on AJ's use of black face. I think it's safe to say that she did not know that her choice of makeup could be construed as racist, and she had no intentions of offending anyone.

And that is precisely my point. She. Didn't. Know.

She didn't know because she didn't have to know. In fact, she probably never had the opportunity to learn. Had it not been for this incident, she could have lived the rest of her life not knowing the history of minstrels (both Blacks and Whites in black face) and Black actors presenting an exaggerated, stereotypical image of African-Americans. These and other images were used to justify slavery as a moral and necessary institution. If black people were unintelligent, savage, and childlike (as they were portrayed in popular images), then of course a beneficent White master should provide them a safe place to live and work. Why would White people want to include this horrible portion of their history in their education? It makes sense that we turn away from analyzing the specific ways that White people kept Black people physically and psychologically oppressed. But, as a roller derby skater now understands, black face paint, with exaggerated white lips and eyes were one such method.

I hope very much that this skater (and anyone else involved) does not close herself off to the learning experience that this event could be for her. I hope she is curious about the history of black face makeup in America, and that she uses that curiosity to find out more. Full disclosure here: until very recently *I* didn't know either. I knew black face was offensive, but I recently learned just how and in what ways it is offensive. I am fortunate enough to be enrolled in higher education, in an institution that values multicultural awareness. I acknowledge my privilege, and posting messages like this one on the internet is one way I choose to use that privilege to draw attention to important issues.

Some resources she could look into include the film "Ethnic Notions" (clip available here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHMo64KSApQ). These two sites also discuss the history of black face and its uses:
http://black-face.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface

For better or worse, we are going to have to start having these conversations before outside media has them for us. I am glad that we can have them in a respectful and productive manner.