2010 Championships Preview: Team Profiles
Gotham (#1 WFTDA East, #2 DNN nationally )
First Bout: vs. winner of Texas / Bay Area, Saturday 9:30am
2010 WFTDA record: 10-0
2010 biggest win: 314-14 over Providence, September 24 (East Region quarterfinals)
2010 biggest loss: No losses in 2010
2010 closest bout: 133-104 win over Philly, September 26 (East Region championship bout)
2010 background: Not only has Gotham not lost a game this year, they've never been in any real trouble, putting up an average margin of victory of a whopping 132 points. Even their closest game, the 29-point win over Philly, had a somewhat misleading final as Gotham was cruising with a 90 point lead with ten minutes left to play and was able to absorb a penalty avalanche. Although they haven't dominated from the first whistle in every game -- Boston, Charm City, Bay Area and Philly all managed to keep it close for the first 15 to 20 minutes -- it's consistently just been a matter of time until the score gets out of hand in Gotham games this year.
Tournament history: Gotham has won 3 out of 4 East Region titles and appeared in each of the WFTDA finals tournaments since the Regionals system was put in place in 2007. They went out in the first round in 2007 in a loss to Kansas City, won the championship in 2008 with a 134-66 victory over Windy City, and lost in the quarterfinals of the 2009 tournament to Oly. It's worth noting that both times that Gotham lost during the finals tournament, the team that defeated them went on to win the championship. Overall, Gotham has a sparkling 15-3 record in WFTDA postseason play (4-2 in finals-tournament play).
Lowdown: Gotham continues to make their name and build their intimidation factor on smart, precise play -- it is very rare to see them suffer from major penalty trouble or get caught in a 20ft trap. If there's any weakness to their current lineup, it's that they haven't found a third A jammer to rotate with Bonnie Thunders and Suzy Hotrod -- Hyper Lynx, Swede Hurt, Papierschnitt, OMG WTF and Fisti Cuffs range from developing to backup jammers and are usually put in as a relief. On the rare occasions that Bonnie or Suzy are having trouble (the Texas game last year, or the Boston game this year at ECE), it can hamper Gotham's game.
Oly is the only team in this tournament than can lay claim to a better overall winning percentage than Gotham, but Gotham has built up their percentage over a longer amount of time -- going back to November 2007, Gotham has gone 29-2 for a winning percentage of 93%.
Players to watch: Suzy Hotrod (playing in her final games as a Gotham Girl) and Bonnie Thunders both bring preternatural footwork, speed and juking ability to one of the the best one-two jammer punches in the sport; both are usually deployed heavily as jammers in the opening frames before taking blocking turns once their team has established a point cushion. Fisti Cuffs excels at locking up opposing jammers one-on-one near the back of the pack while Kandy Kakes does the same in front.
Road to the championship: If Gotham gets Bay Area in their first game on Saturday, it's both good and bad news for them -- good because Gotham absolutely dominated Bay Area in the second half of their meeting in August, winning the last 30 minutes 124-12 to win the game 187-58, but bad because Bay Area has shown themselves to be improving and adapting very quickly over the course of this year. Gotham had trouble with Texas in June of 2009 before winning a tight 84-76 game, but the 2010 Texas team doesn't appear to be quite as strong as last year's -- BAD looks to be the more dangerous potential opponent.
Assuming Gotham gets through their first game, they're almost certain to face Rocky Mountain in Saturday's first semifinal at 5:30pm. RMRG and Gotham last played in late 2007, with Gotham claiming a 113-48 win, but both teams looked extremely different then. The winner of that game will likely find Oly or Philly waiting for them in the championship.
Roster: 00 Ana Bollocks // 2 Donna Matrix // i4i Hard Anya // 10 Kandy Kakes // 12 Carmen Monoxide // 31 Hela Skelter // 42 Beatrix Slaughter // 46 Swede Hurt // 55 Suzy Hotrod // 61 Steel Magnolia // 80 Ginger Snap // 100 B. Zerk // 104 Haulin Cass // 201 Sweet Sherry Pie // 241 Fisti Cuffs // 340 Bonnie Thunders // 404 Hyper Lynx // 500 Papierschnitt // 753 OMG WTF // 8212 Em Dash