2011 WFTDA Championships: Team Profiles
Rocky Mountain (#2 WFTDA West, #3 DNN nationally)
First Bout: Friday 3:45pm vs Nashville
2011 WFTDA record: 7-2
2011 biggest win: 278-45 over Sacred City (September, West Playoffs)
2011 biggest loss: 117-75 to Oly (June)
2011 closest bout: Rocky Mountain 117, Rat City 107 (September, West Playoffs)
Tournament history: After a couple of years of middling regional tournament performance in 2007 and 2008, Rocky Mountain took their program to the next level with the 2009 addition of three transfers from Pikes Peak: sisters DeRanged and Psycho Babble, along with Ecko. They finished 2nd in the West to Oly that year and 4th in the nation at Nationals; they'd win the West outright in 2010 on their way to claiming the 2010 championship over Oly. This year, though, it was Oly besting them in the West's championship game. They're 14-7 in postseason play, 5-2 in the Championships.
Lowdown: Like Oly, RMRG has mostly eschewed the currently popular slow start for more orthodox derby; it almost cost them significantly against Rat City, who played a stall game to extremes against them at West Playoffs and nearly managed to turn it into a backdoor victory, falling just 10 points short at 117-107. Most of the Oly / Rocky classics of 2010 and 2011 have been high-speed battles featuring traditional pivot-line starts and a lot of 2-on-1 and 1-on-1 action rather than the clumps of humanity that Gotham and Rose City build - if the expected Rocky / Gotham rematch comes to pass on Saturday, the match of those specific styles ought to be a highlight of the weekend.
Players to watch: In the past couple of years, DeRanged has built a reputation as an incredibly difficult skater to stop, marrying extreme speed and agility to serious strength that gives her a wide variety of options both as a blocker and jammer; as a true double threat, she usually plays approximately equally in a game as blocker and jammer. Urrk'n Jerk'n As Booty Blockya can also do both but excels in the jammer role and led Rocky's scoring in the West Playoffs losing effort against Oly. Frida Beater doesn't have the size advantage of those two, but the longtime vet was the last-jam heroine in last year's WFTDA championship game with a last-jam, no-time-on-the-clock 9-0 to give her team the 1 point win.
The RMRG pack is deep as well, keyed by Assaultin' Pepa, Amanda Jamitinya and Psycho Babble; newer face Bob Loblaw has been integrated into the rotation this year.
Road to the championship: Rocky Mountain is a prohibitive favorite in their opening match against Nashville on Friday - if they get past that one as expected, all eyes will be on their Saturday-morning clash with Gotham. Last year, narrow DNN favorite Rocky Mountain jumped out to a big early lead on Gotham, and Gotham wasn't able to make up the difference in time. This time Gotham comes in as DNN's unofficial #1, looking to be the first team other than Oly to defeat RMRG in sanctioned action since Denver did it in the third-place game of the 2009 Nationals.
If RMRG does get the win on Gotham, they'd face Texas, Charm or Minnesota in the semifinal. Charm managed to beat a severely shorthanded Rocky Mountain team in friendly action in June, but a full-strength matchup seems likely to go differently. Texas and Rocky have faced off in the championship tournament before, in a 2009 semifinal (Texas won, in a game that was remembered more for an infamous late-game punch than the outcome); Rocky won a regular-season rematch by 99 points in 2010. Minnesota and Rocky Mountain have never faced each other in sanctioned action.
Roster: 00 Urrk'n Jerk'n as Booty Blockya // 1.75L Queen Elizabitch // 3 Catholic Cruel Girl // 8 Winona Fighter // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 9er Uber Alice // 10 RoboFlow // 21 Psycho Babble // 27 DeRanged // 31 Fiona Grapple // 37 Bob Loblaw // 40 Red Die // 52 Whipity Pow // 86 Assaultin' Pepa // 88 She Who Cannot Be Named // 99 May Q Pay // 202 Frida Beater // 1972 Ecko // 1990 Betty White Knuckles // 7423 Triple Shot Misto