DNN Best of 2011 Poll: Results
Bout of the Year 2011 (Women's): London 137, Montreal 135 in the 5th place game of the WFTDA East Region Playoffs. Photo: Tyler Shaw.
Best Rivalry 2011: Gotham vs Oly. Photo: Axle Adams.
Most Improved Team 2011: London Rollergirls. Photo: David Andrew Morris.
Best Announcer 2011: Dumptruck. Photo: Joe Rollerfan.
Best Venue 2011: The Doll Factory in Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Stalkerazzi.
Best Regular-Season Event 2011: East Coast Derby Extravaganza, hosted by Philly Rollergirls. Photo: Joe Medolo.
Most Underrated Player 2011 (Men's): Gnat King Kill of the St. Louis GateKeepers. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
Best Blocker 2011 (Men's): Percy Controll, St. Louis GateKeepers. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
Best Double Threat 2011 (Men's): Quadzilla, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts. Photo: Joe Rollerfan.
Jammer of the Year 2011 (Men's): Ladies Knight, New York Shock Exchange. Photo: Manish Gosalia.
Rookie of the Year 2011: Scald Eagle, Rose City. Photo: Joe Rollerfan.
Most Underrated Player 2011 (Women's): Smack Daddy, Montreal. Photo: Axle Adams.
Best Blocker 2011 (Women's): Psycho Babble, Rocky Mountain. Photo: Joe Rollerfan.
Best Double Threat 2011 (Women's): Suzy Hotrod, Gotham. Photo: Joe Medolo.
Jammer of the Year 2011 (Women's): Bonnie Thunders, Gotham. Photo: Joe Rollerfan.
Bout of the Year (Women's)
Winner: London 137, Montreal 135 - WFTDA East 5th Place (574 votes, 35%)
2. Rocky Mountain 156, Gotham 153 - Chicago Invitational (228 votes, 14%)
3. Oly 124, Kansas City 104 - WFTDA Championships Semifinal (185 votes, 11%)
4. Kansas City 146, Rose City 135 - WFTDA Championships Opening Round (155 votes, 9%)
5. Windy City 128, Naptown 117 - WFTDA North Central Semifinal (137 votes, 8%)
Featuring a wild comeback from favored Montreal in the last 18 minutes that almost erased a 68 point London advantage, plus a heart-stopping last jam that began with Montreal down by 6 points and only 3 seconds on the period clock, the drama on the scoreboard would have made this one a solid contender for Bout of the Year even without the particular identities of the two teams. But it was also a historic matchup as the first time two non-US teams had faced each other in the WFTDA playoffs, not to mention its storyline of previously winless, tournament bottom-seed London putting a cherry on top of their 3-1 run of upsets to finish in 5th place in the WFTDA East. The Bout of the Year chatter had started amongst fans before London even finished their post-bout celebration, and proved prescient. Full recap of this classic here.
Winner: Gotham / Oly (358 votes, 22%)
2. Oly / Rocky Mountain (273 votes, 17%)
3. Texas / Kansas City (248 votes, 15%)
4. Chicago Outfit / Arch Rival (172 votes, 10%)
5. Bay Area / Rose City (163 votes, 10%)
Although the two teams have only faced each other twice in their history, this year the Gotham / Oly rivalry was more about two adversaries slowly circling each other from afar as they piled up wins against their respective schedules. By the time the New Yorkers and Olympians finally met on the track in the WFTDA Championship final, Oly had built up a 13-0 record while Gotham was 12-0, marking the first time two undefeated teams had ever met in the last game of the WFTDA season. Gotham's convincing 140-97 win in that game may have lacked the lead changes and lengthy track history of the other nominees, but finally provided the definitive answer that fans had been arguing over since Oly knocked off 2010 champions Rocky Mountain twice earlier this year.
Most Improved Team
Winner: London (656 votes, 41%)
2. Rose City (229 votes, 14%)
3. Naptown (176 votes, 11%)
4. Minnesota (169 votes, 10%)
5. Chicago Outfit (115 votes, 7%)
Not quite a majority, but London easily wins this category with nearly three times as many votes as the second-place team. When the UK team played their first WFTDA-sanctioned game in April 2011, they got out to an ice-cold 79-14 first half against Montreal on their way to a solid loss at 137-57. Their invitation to the WFTDA East Region tournament was a controversial one, as they were sitting on a 0-3 record and their presence edged out the 5-9 tournament co-hosts DC. But that September, London made their case in grand fashion, knocking off #7 seed Carolina, #6 seed Boston and finally - as fate would have it - #5 seed Montreal (see "Bout of the Year").
Winner: Dumptruck (529 votes, 33%)
2. Val Capone (349 votes, 21%)
3. Plastik Patrik (164 votes, 10%)
4. Pelvis Costello (141 votes, 8%)
5. Justice Feelgood Marshall (92 votes, 5%)
For the second year in a row, the unmistakable and irrepressible Dumptruck takes first-place honors in the Best Announcer category. Though it's always his voice you'll notice first -- unless, of course, you happen to see him first -- Dumpy brings a lot more than the immediate to his announcing style, with a quick, informative and highly entertaining delivery that has called many of the sport's most memorable games.
Winner: The Doll Factory, Los Angeles, CA (265 votes, 21%)
2. 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, CO (219 votes, 17%)
3. UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL (197 votes, 15%)
4. Key Arena, Seattle, WA, (145 votes, 11%)
5. Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland OR (131 votes, 10%)
The banked-track LA Derby Dolls get the nod this year by edging out the site of this year's WFTDA championship in Broomfield, CO. Whether you've only seen the Doll Factory online from LADD's live stream, or you've been lucky enough to attend a bout there live, the unique Factory marries the early chaotic punk vibe of modern derby to professional-level production values perhaps more effectively than any venue in the sport.
Best Regular Season Event
Winner: East Coast Derby Extravaganza, Feasterville, PA (521 votes, 34%)
2. World Cup, Toronto, ON, (326 votes, 21%)
3. Rollercon, Las Vegas, NV (299 votes, 19%)
4. Anarchy in the UK, London, UK (196 votes, 12%)
5. Spring Roll, Fort Wayne, IN (124 votes, 8%)
Another two-time winner here, the ECDX had its 5th anniversary in 2011 and shows no sign of slowing down. Its unique timing on the final weekend of the WFTDA second quarter means that there are always games with huge playoff implications, and some of the most memorable events in WFTDA history have played out there, from 2007's almost-but-not-quite deadly ice storm to 2009's infamous power outage during Charm City / Rat City to 2011's beta testing of the long-debated no-minors ruleset.
Oh, and there's an all-weekend pool party. That's kind of a thing too.