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.
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Scald Eagle, Rose City (396 votes, 24%)
2. Smarty Pants, Texas (296 votes, 18%)
3. Stella Italiana, Oly / Des Moines (221 votes, 13%)
4. Bob Loblaw, Rocky Mountain (183 votes, 11%)
5. Bork Bork Bork, Windy City (171 votes, 10%)
Scald Eagle was a "natural" rookie in 2011, playing her first derby bouts this year and immediately becoming a fan favorite in Portland with her signature lanky stride and spectacular spins to retain balance through big hits. On many levels, it's likely no coincidence that the addition of Scald Eagle came the same year that Rose City finally snapped their long string of underperformance in their regional playoffs and advanced to their first-ever appearance in the WFTDA championship tournament.
Most Underrated Player (Women's)
Winner: Smack Daddy, Montreal (18 votes)
2. Kamikaze Kitten, London / Lil' Mama, Montreal (17 votes)
3. Vicious Van Go Go, Texas (15 votes)
4. Yvette Yourmaker, Windy City / Medusa, Minnesota / OMG WTF, Gotham (14 votes)
5. Soulfearic Acid, Rose City (13 votes)
Once again, we find that most voters skip the write-in only Most Underrated category; though there were 1874 votes cast overall, only about 30 percent of you (576) placed a vote in this one. Of those, you could say the vote was somewhat split - 226 different skaters got at least one vote! The winner by a 3 percent plurality, though, is double-threat Smack Daddy from Montreal, who made her presence known from Seattle to London and many points in between during another very busy year for the Montreal crew. She capped off it by taking the MVP award as a Team Canada player during their second-place finish at the World Cup.
Most Valuable Blocker (Women's)
Winner: Psycho Babble, Rocky Mountain (529 votes, 32%)
2. Amanda Jamitinya, Rocky Mountain (185 votes, 11%)
3. Dolly Rocket, Charm City (173 votes, 11%)
4. Sassy, Oly (171 votes, 10%)
5. Hockey Honey, Oly (160 votes, 10%)
RMRG firebrand Psycho dominated this category this time for the second year in a row, pulling exactly as many votes as the next three nominees combined. The younger half of the Hayden sisters was a huge force on both the flat and banked track this year, at the center of the championship bouts of the WFTDA West Region Playoffs, the Battle on the Bank and the Chicago Invitational, and her departure with older sister DeRanged for newly formed banked superteam Team Bionic looks likely to significantly shake up the power structure in 2012.
Best Double Threat (Women's)
Winner: Suzy Hotrod, Gotham (475 votes, 27%)
2. Stefanie Mainey, London (237 votes, 13%)
3. Joy Collision, Charm City (212 votes, 12%)
4. Urrk'n Jerk'n as Booty Blockya, Rocky Mountain (159 votes, 9%)
5. Juke Boxx, Minnesota (142 votes, 8%)
Now a 7 year veteran of the flat-track game, Suzy Hotrod continued to become the iconic derby skater, building on last year's appearance in the first modern derby video game by hitting ESPN Magazine in a much-buzzed about photo shoot. For those who have seen her on the track, though, it's her ability to play a complete game that's earned her the Best Double Threat accolade for the second year running, as the same speed, agility and track awareness that made her name as a jammer are what makes her yet another deadly effective pack element in a Gotham defense that put up its second undefeated WFTDA season in the last 4 years.
Most Valuable Jammer (Women's)
Winner: Bonnie Thunders, Gotham (650 votes, 37%)
2. Kelley Young, Kansas City (252 votes, 14%)
3. DeRanged, Rocky Mountain (183 votes, 10%)
4. Atomatrix, Oly (150 votes, 9%)
5. Iron Wench, Montreal (136 votes, 8%)
For the second year in a row, Gotham's ace takes Most Valuable Jammer -- and it's arguable that it's even more deserved this year, as Bonnie's style was essentially the perfect complement to Gotham's infamous scrum start strategy that stymied all comers all year long. There remains nobody better at forcing blockers into a reactive state, and her relentless forward motion regardless of the situation in front of her led to many the collapse of a solid-looking wall -- and many the collapse of a solid-looking team.