Hello, I must be going…

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In which the W. C. leaves Neverland to finally become a real boy and learn the true meaning of X-mas.
I started this blog a year ago with the intent of creating a forum where I could interact and converse with people about the sport that I love: Roller Derby. (I’ve talked a little bit about that in other posts, like this one.)  At its height, I had 250 people reading the blog and about 1,000 at least looking at it on Facebook (and that’s pretty awesome for a social media troglodyte like myself). But after an entire season of covering TXRD, giving pre and post bout analysis, and even covering random other TXRD events, I have racked up a grand total of five comments on my blog. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are not hurt. I didn’t cry uncontrollably while rocking back and forth in the corner of my room or anything. (Why would you even say that. That’s hurtful, is what that is. Idontwattotalkaboutitanymore.) But despite all the cool things about the blog that I love, it seems to have failed at the exact purpose that I built it for.
I love roller derby. I love talking about strategy and game plan. I love speculating wildly about why players are doing well, or having a bad game. Why someone isn’t getting played more or why someone else retired at the peak of their career (I’m looking at you Indy). I wanted to share my enthusiasm with others, but more than that I wanted to get that Monday-morning-bench-managing that you get at the water cooler with any other major sport (like professional bocce ball (100% real. Look it up.)).
And while the response to the blog has been overwhelmingly positive, a man can’t live on likes alone. It’s great that you liked what I wrote. It’s super-fantastic-awesome that you liked it and I genuinely appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart. But people liked what Edgar Allen Poe wrote and he died penniless.
The other factor that adds into this equation (like Einstein’s famous theorem (yes, the W.C. just put himself on the same level as Einstein (OK, maybe just in the same coffee shop that Einstein happens to walk into.))) is time. It takes a lot of time to put together a bout analysis. After researching the teams (And let’s get real for a second here TXRD…your website could be better. It’s like the girl who shows up to the party already drunk and didn’t bring any wine or cheese, even though the invitation specifically stated to bring one or the other, because we’re all on a budget here and if everyone chips in, we all get to have a good time. All a girl asks for is updated rosters and a season schedule.). Anyway, after researching the teams, recording notes at the bout, putting those notes into some kind of coherent order in the form of a blog, creating the banner art, and getting the thing actually posted…it takes four to six hours just to get one post online. And while I would happily perform like a street musician for just a few coins in his empty cap, you can’t buy a sandwich if all anyone does is walk by and give a “thumbs up”.
So Skates and Scars will retire. The W.C. will go back to being just an enthusiastic fan. He’ll still be at every bout (and most special events) cheering on his favorite team (as a matter of record it’s the Cherry Bombs (Sorry Dusty…Also, Sorry Boss*)) and paying way too much for pizza. And he’ll wonder out loud about why things happened the way they did during the bouts, and be content that the bouts were there for him to wonder about in the first place.
This post probably broke approximately three people’s hearts, and for that I apologize.
*Did the W.C. ever tell that story where he had a dream that the Putas Shanghaied him and were going to give him a “Puta tattoo”? The dream did not specify what a “Puta tattoo” was, so feel free to speculate wildly about what horrors that may entail. Horrors or awesomeness. It can honestly go either way when the Putas are involved. Also, spellcheck keeps trying to correct Putas to Pitas and I’m like, “No, spellcheck. You don’t seem to understand how pitas actually work. I can see why you’re confused, but trust me on this one. I got it.”
P.S.: The W.C. thanks each and every one of you who ever took the time to peruse his disjointed ramblings. I’ll miss you. But I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

An open letter to roller derby.

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The W.C. is probably going to wax philosophical on this one, so maybe get a snack, people.

I’m going to talk for a minute about writing this blog and what it has come to mean to me. The journey has been…unexpected.  It won’t be particularly insightful, but it is personal, so it’s up to you if you want to keep reading. (Not like, “You should probably get tested” personal. More like Bridget Jones Diary personal.)

I started this blog not really knowing what to expect. In my tiny little crusted over heart of hearts I dared to hope that somebody would like it, but I honestly didn’t expect anything spectacular. I wanted to write it because I wanted to be more connected to the roller derby community that flutters about TXRD like a tattooed cloud of butterflies with laser eyes and razor wings. And since I’m a dude and skating was out of the question, my next best option was writing about it. So I sat down at my little keyboard and clattered out my first bout write up.

“Well,” I said to myself. “I guess I should see if they like it.” So I sent off an email to the TXRD internet gatekeeper and waited. Immediately after that I was talking myself down from any kind of expectations. They probably wouldn’t even respond. They probably get all kinds of ridiculous emails from fans, and mine would just fade into the background of white-noise-from-crazy-people that permeates the internet superhighway.

But then I got an email.

Gasp! Dare I hope that they liked it? This could become a whole thing! I could get to be the official press-guy (or whatever) of TXRD. This could be awesome. I could be in! My trembling little digits stretched out to the “open” button, hope and anticipation lay just beyond my inbox.

And they rejected me.

Sort of. Basically, they liked what I wrote (by all indications a lot, thanks Cooter) but because I wasn’t in the league, they couldn’t publish any of my writing. (…so just make me a league member, right guys?…) But I get it. And just getting a response at all was a nice nugget of validation (thanks again Cooter).

Disappointed, but not discouraged, I figured, “Well, you were going to write these anyway. Just put them up on a blog and see if anyone else wants to read them.” So I put it all out there for anyone to read and waited to see if anybody even noticed that I was there.  Immediately I was talking myself down from any kind of expectations. They probably wouldn’t even respond. They probably get all kinds of ridiculousOHMYGLOB somebody actually read the blog! They read it, and they liked it, and my crusty little heart grew three sizes that day. (For those of you keeping track (and I don’t know why you would) that puts it at about a 00, so don’t get too exited.)

The response to the blog has been overwhelmingly positive. Surprisingly positive. So many skaters have been supportive and encouraging: Lyka Boss, Train Wreck Trina, Milla Juke-a-bitch, Prissy Galore, Break n Bake, the lovely and talented Kramer (I assume he’s lovely, all I ever see is a reflection off his shiny dome), and so many others that I can’t possibly name them all. And to each one of them, and to everyone who took the time to read the ramblings of some random guy on the internet: thank you. Thank you for making it seem that the silly things we do matter. Thank you for including me in your playground game of hop-scotch, even if it’s just to let me draw the numbers in the boxes. It meant more to me that I realized it would to be connected to something so special, and to be accepted (sort of) as one of the group.

You see, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was reaching out. For a variety of reasons (that I won’t go into here) I was at something of a low point. Without realizing it I was reaching out to the sea of humanity, via a mutual love of roller derby, and hoping for a response that would pull back the veil and let everyone see my face again. And the great thing was, you were all there to greet me.

Any questions? Oh, there seriously are questions. Okay, shoot.

Are you going to keep doing this next season?

Maybe. I dunno yet. It’s an awful lot of work. I guess it kind of depend on if TXRD asked me to. Everyone wants to feel wanted. You know? Maybe TXRD will make me an honorary member or something. That would be cool….*cough*hint.

How much time do you spend on these blog entries?

About four or five hours for the actual writing. I’m not a professional writer or anything like that, so I have no idea if that’s good, or if I’m seriously putting in too much effort on these things.

How come  you don’t tell anyone who you are in real life?

There’s a couple of parts to that: 1) I have my fair share of crazy ex-girlfriends (and other assorted crazy family members for that matter) that I seriously don’t need internet stalking me. 2) Mrs. the W.C. was aiming to get into the TXRD league and I didn’t want anything that came out of my smart-assed mouth to adversely affect the way people look at her. I do have some measure of humanity in me. Somewhere. In the back corner, maybe.

Has anyone figured out who you really are?

Yes. One person did. Train Wreck Trina figured it out. I guess that’s why the call her “Dr. Train Wreck”.

Are you going to tell people who you are now?

Pft! Nah. I’m like, committed to the persona now, and shit. I mean, I’m not hiding. I’m just not broadcasting it. If that makes sense.

If you love derby so much, why not join the men’s league?

No…Derby’s something special for the ladies. Men don’t have to do everything that women can do. Some things are special just for girls.

If you love derby so much, why don’t you ref?

Like I said before, Mrs. the W.C. was trying to get into the league that would cause a conflict of interest. Plus, then I wouldn’t get to do the post-bout analysis’s. Analasisees. Analasiseses. I don’t know what the plural of analysis is.

If you love derby so much why don’t you announce or something?

Because no one asked me to. Plus, I swear, like a LOT. Not sure I could check that when the mikes are hot. Might as well call my announcing the “F-bomb hour”.

How much money do you make off this blog?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…Ha ha ha ha ha ha…oh…Wait, you were serious? Why? Do you want to give me some money? Because I’ll totally take any money you’re currently not overly attached to.

What do you think about when you go to bed at night?

Mostly I try not to worry about vanishing in my sleep.

Well, that’s it. Once again, I thank you for reading. If you like it, tell your friends. I could use more clicks and likes and thumbs and candy. Definitely candy. Unless candy means something different on the internet, like nips or something. In which case I could also use those. For research purposes.

thewc

Did he just lead a labor revolt in a textile factory?

 

Maybe I’ll see you around the ring some time. That’s all from the W.C.!

Bombs Away!

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A post-bout analysis of the 2016 TXRD Roller Derby Championship of the Cherry Bombs vs. the Hellcats.

It has all come down to this. The final two teams will fight for the glory of hoisting above their sweat soaked brows that most celebrated of sports achievements: the Calvello Cup. Symbol of victory. Validation that all those sacrifices were worth it. The Hellcats have made a mad dash for the top since their first game this season. They’re a team that came in with a plan: fix it. They brought in former ref Neil B4 Zod as coach, and under his tutelage they left all opponents in the dust. They have but one final challenge for all glory to go to the Kittens. And that challenge is the Cherry Bombs. The Bombs path to the top was not as straight of a shot as the Hellcats, but they tackled the challenge with the kind of tenacity that you would expect from these firecrackers. They may be the underdogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re underrated, and anyone looking to stand victorious at the center of the Thunderdome will have to go through their bomb-field first.

The championship kicked off with Jammit Janet of the Hellcats picking up five points in the first jam against the Cherry Bomb’s Bendy Davis. The next couple of jams would be a bit of a slow start, and only eventually did Rocky Casbah bring in one point on a jam to put the Bombs on the scoreboard. Scrappy would soon add to the Cherry Bombs total with a four point jam against Janet, and Bendy would eek out another point jamming against Hellcat Break N’ Bake. The Cherry Bombs defense would look good early as Rocky Casbah and Bully Jean teamed up like a dynamic-duo of punishment to clear the way for Joleit Jane to score two points. But the jam was just a bit dirty and on a re-skate Mo-Lest-her would shake off the Bombs defense to the tune of six points for the Hellcats. Rocky would get a little roughed up early in the game, but I’m pretty sure that lady is part Wolverine because she was healed up and back on the track before the end of the quarter. Train Wreck Trina would close out the first quarter with a two point jam for the Bombs and the period would end with a low tied score of 12 – 12.

The Hellcats would hit it hard to start the second quarter with Break N’ Bake scoring four points while Knottie Knoxville kept Rocky Casbah in check. But then, like a ninja out of the darkness came…Ninja Please (okay, all the jokes can’t be A material, people) for the Bombs and she stole four points and vanished into…well, the bench at the center of the ring. (I’m just saying, it’s not very mysterious, Ninja. Work on it.) But a ninja’s work is never done and she jumped right back into the fray to help Train Wreck bottle up Hellcat Hannthrax and allow Bendy Davis to earn a tidy five points. Alas, Ninja was a bit overenthusiastic and found herself in the penalty box with Hellcat Glitterotica. Seizing the opportunity, Hannthrax jumped out in front and made up three points for the Kitties. The blocking would continue to shine as Rolla Parks and Milla Juke-a-bitch held up Jammit Janet, and the Hellcats kept Joliet Jane blocked up at the back of the pack, but Janet kept at it and was eventually able to get out in front for four points. Glitterotica’s enthusiastic play style would earn her another trip to the penalty box and Rocky Casbah would seize the opportunity to get herself five points. Milla and Bully would would continue the solid defensive performance for the Bombs that would help Train Wreck jam for six points, and Bendy Davis would cap off the second quarter with a nine point jam for the Bombs. With the Bombs play coming together like a Voltron Lion, the second half would close with the Cherry Bombs pulling ahead at 39 – 22.

The start of the third quarter would have Rolla Parks in the box for playing a little too rough with Jammit Janet. Followed by a somewhat confusing jam that was called off before Nina Please and Break N’ Bake could make any points happen. Soon after, Break N’ Bake would square off against Rocky Casbah, but have to call off the jam defensively with Rocky chasing her down like a three year old girl at a princess party. Tired of the other girls getting all the glory, Heathen would bulldoze out to get five points for the Hellcats. Train Wreck would then take a long jam to score nine points for the Bombs, making a special point of scoring the last point off of Glitterotica who, until then, had played “runaway kitty” to keep Train Wreck at bay. Next Break N’ Bake would go up against Scrappy in a tough jam, but manage to eek out one point for the Hellcats. The Cherry Bombs would soon face a setback as Ninja Please would get flagged four her third major infraction get ejected from the game. (Once again, just use those ninja skills and no one will even know you’re there!) On the re-skate from that penalty, Scrappy would earn back Bakers point plus one more for good measure. Baker would continue to fight hard for the Hellcats and on a tough jam is able to get out in front, but she wasn’t clean, so when Rocky eventually made it out of the pack, she called off the jam to keep Baker from scoring any points for her efforts. The defenses would stay strong at the end of the quarter with Soviet Crusha, Mo-Lest-her and Glitterotica keeping Train Wreck in check, and Rolla Parks sitting on Heathen for a scoreless jam. By the close of the quarter, the Bombs had grown their lead to 52 – 27.

The final quarter would have a slow start until Jammit Janet scored two points against Rocky. Break N’ Bake would call off another jam for the Hellcat’s, this time against Rolla Parks. Then Rocky Casbah would liven things up by jumping the apex with the same look on her face that you get when you give a toddler a double espresso, and added another point to the Cherry Bombs lead. Soon after, Glitterotica would send Joliet Jane into the rail with a hard hit that the referees would take exception to. This would be Glitterotica’s third major and she would follow Ninja in the walk of shame out of the ring. The Hellcats would try to step up their defenses late in the bout as Baker tried to hold back Train Wreck, but Train Wreck went off the rails (Did you see what I did there?) for another Cherry Bomb score. Heathen manages to break out of the pack early against Scrappy, but the Cherry Bombs run away like reason at a Trump rally (That’s right. The W.C. just got political, yo.) to hold her to one point and allow Scrappy get one point of her own. The Bombs would runaway again to keep Janet to a single score, but on a re-skate Bendy Davis would score nine points as Janet looked sluggish. Rocky would end the bout the way she started, with punishment (this time in the form of a face full of rail). In the final jam of the championship, Break N’ Bake would go all out to earn a whopping seven points to Louis Slay’n’s one. But the Bombs were just too far out of reach and the final score would be Cherry Bombs 63, Hellcats 39.

What can be said about the 2016 Calvello Cup Championship? When I started covering TXRD at the start of this season, it was already apparent that the Hellcats had their eye on the prize. Not once did they waver from their newfound convictions to be the best. They trained hard, they played harder, and if things went south they didn’t bitch, but just hit it all the harder the next time. So why didn’t they walk home with the glory this year? From what I saw it was the death of a thousand cuts. Everything that the Hellcats did great this last season, the Cherry Bombs did just a little bit better in this bout. The Cherry Bombs pack work was just a little bit better. Their teamwork just a little bit stronger. Their jammers just a half step faster. Was this a clean bout? Not by a long shot. The lovely and talented Rosy Behind commented that this may be the most major penalties in any bout yet played at TXRD, and she just may be right. But in the end it wasn’t the penalties that cost anyone the game, it was those thousand little things that just stack up too high by the end of the night. It’s going to be a long wait until next years season opener, so all the hard hits, anguished cries, triumphant tears and filthy, filthy profanity of this years Calvello Cup Championship will have to echo through memory to keep us all satisfied until we can come back again. Congratulations to the Hellcats for everything they accomplished this season. Congratulations to the 2016 Calvello Cup Championship winners: the Cherry Bombs, you ladies earned every inch of it!

Let’s end on a downer, shall we? Train Wreck Trina and Glitterotica have both made the claim that this will be their last season. I’m sure they’re not the only ones who’s wheels will no longer rumble across the boards of the Thunderdome’s ring. So to all of you who are passing quietly (Or not so quietly. I’m looking at you, Glitter.), just know that we miss you already. The game is better with you in it.

Thank you to everyone who still reads this blog. Without you I would be just another series of ones and zeros adrift in a sea of data. I truly appreciate it.

Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for letting me do things to his photos that shouldn’t be allowed in polite society.

We’ll see you around the track.

W.C. signing off.

Cat-Boom! Here it comes, people.

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A pre-bout analysis of the 2016 TXRD Roller Derby Championship between the Cherry Bombs and the Hellcats.

The time is finally upon us. This Saturday, the final two teams will face of in the 2016 Championship bout to settle up on which one of them deserves that most coveted of sports awards: the Calvello Cup. (Did I just hear angels sing?) The first team to get there was the Hellcats, rocketing through the season, and going from the zeros of last season to the heroes of this one. They are laser focused and ready for redemption. Their opponents will be the Cherry Bombs, who had a hard fight to get to the championship, but are no less determined to destroy the Kitties and claim the cup for their own. Who will bring home the glory this season? Well, let the W.C. walk you through this real quick-like.

Lets take the Cherry Bombs: a team with a pedigree. This season under the leadership of veteran ass-kickers Train Wreck Trina and Milla Juke-a-bitch; these ladies have steered their ship through some choppy waters with dignity and grace (and also whatever the opposite of dignity and grace are). And the team they lead are just as dangerous a they are with the likes of Ninja Please dusting things up in the pack and newcomer Joliet Jane who has emerged as a surprise threat in the second half of this season. The Bombs biggest asset is their diversity. Every one of their key players is not only a point scoring threat, but a stellar blocker as well. More than once I’ve witnessed Ninja, Milla and others have a massive point scoring jam and turn around and shut down their opponents with textbook blocking on the next one. The biggest pitfall I foresee for the Bombs would be mismanagement, specifically not resting their jammers as much as they should and letting them get tired out. The Bombs are ready to blow it up, though, (Did you see what I did there?) and they’ve got the gasoline to do it.

And then there’s the Hellcats. From dead last to number one in the span of just a single season. Those kitties ain’t pussy-footin’ around anymore. The claws are out and they are sharp! With Neil B4 Zod as their coach and Glitterotica on captain duty, the Hellcats have blitzkrieged their way through opponents this season. Their only loss this season was arguably a strategic one, with the intent to keep as many players healthy as possible for the forthcoming championship.  They’ve got the jamming threats with Jammit Janet and Break-n-bake, and they’ve got the heavy hitters rearing to go with Heathen in the pack and the return of Knottie Knoxville at mid-season. And they have momentum. The Cat-Train-to-Glory has been steaming along all season and the last stop is Championshipville. If anything slows them down, I think it will be psychological. If they get behind and get frustrated, they may just drag themselves down. But they haven’t been down all season, and there’s no indication that they’ll start now.

It all comes down to this, Ladies and Non-Ladies. In the words of the immortal Highlander, “There can be only one”, and it’s going to be a tough scrape to get there. Who’s going to come out on top? This one’s a toss up. A 50/50 shot at glory for each side. The W.C. will be there at the Thunderdome for all four quarters of bruises, blood and hell-on-wheels action! See you there!

Thanks stopping by. It gets so lonely around here.

Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for letting me inappropriately touch his photographs.

Playoffs: Bombin’ the Church

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A post-bout analysis for the Cherry Bombs vs. the Holy Rollers 2016 playoff bout.

Did you ever see that scene from Big Trouble in Little China where they’re in the alley and the Chang Sing are facing off against the Wing Kong, and they’re all staring at each other, all serious and shit, and then they’re all like, “YAAARG!”, and then it’s just like a flurry of angry fists as bodies go flying all over the place? That’s pretty much what it was like as the Cherry Bombs took on the Holy Rollers in the 2016 TXRD playoffs. Plus it’s extra fun because I get to be Jack Burton in this scenario because I’m just sitting back, watching it all unfold before me until people start showing up with light coming out of their mouths. (Wait, did that actually happen or was that just the movie. Damnit, that’s the last time I accept a drink from Rasta Fury before a bout.) The stakes couldn’t be any higher as the winner gets their shot at the championship and the losers go home for the season. Well, did Lo Pan become flesh again, or did Egg Shen banish him with his Six Demon Bag? Read on for the Lo-down. (Did you see what I did there?)

Prissy Galore would kick things off for the Holy Rollers as she grabbed three points in the first jam against Bendy Davis. The Cherry Bombs would be quick to answer as Rocky Casbah ripped through the pack like someone at the Bob Marley Fest rips through a bag of Cheetos for two points. Prissy would be busy early as she squared off against Rolla Parks for the Bombs, taking the jam to the full minute allotted and eventually getting four points out of it. Dyers Eve would shred  her way through a well executed Cherry Bomb blocking scheme to get five points, but Train Wreck Trina would get flagged for a major penalty on the jam and wind up in the penalty box. On the re-skate, Dyers would grab the opportunity like James Hetfield grabs a tuned-down guitar and rode the lightning like a master of puppets when nothing else matters to get justice for all and eight more points for the Holy Rollers. The Cherry Bombs would start to mount a comeback with Bully Jean punishing people in the pack to help Joliet Jane get four points and Bendy Davis zipped through the pack like my uncle Cooter at a Golden Corral on coupon day for four points of her own. But the Rollers weren’t done yet and Prissy would close out the first quarter with five points to put her team up 26-14.

Scrappy would start the second quarter with two hard-earned points, followed by Rocky making it look easy as she flew through the pack for five more points for the Bombs. Penalties would send Ghettostar Balactica and Prissy Galore to the penalty box for the Rollers, which would give Rocky the chance to add eight more points for the Bombs on the re-skate. Bible ThumpHer would jump out in front for four points in her first jam of the night after missing the first quarter. (I assume she got tied up with some snake handling or laying on of hands. It’s okay, ThumpHer. We’ve all been there.) Not long after, ThumpHer would go head to head with Joliet Jane and the two would trade spots at lead jammer in an intense exchange that would ultimately have Jane pulling out in front and calling off the jam defensively. Train Wreck would fight hard in a jam against Hermione Danger for three points that would come with help in the form of Ghettostar Balactica losing a skate halfway through the jam and being forced to the center of the ring to get things sorted. The Cherry Bombs would consistently dominate the pack with Jolet, Rocky and Bully all blocking well. This blocking would help Scrappy to close out the half by adding five points to a growing Cherry Bombs lead. The half would end with a scuffle between Ghettostar Balactica and Rolla Parks, and a score in the Bombs favor of 33-43.

Rocky Casbah would keep the points a comin’ with a run for six to start the second half. Ninja Please for the Bombs and Boi Division for the Rollers would end up in the penalty box on that jam, and on the re-skate Rocky would add four more points, along with a shot to the face from Dyers Eve that would leave her shaking the cobwebs out. On the next jam, Hermione Danger would jump the apex and get out in front, only to call the jam off defensively, even though Bendy Davis was held up in the pack like her namesake got held up in the Texas Senate. (Sorry Bendy…and Wendy…and Texas as a whole.) Soon after, Scrappy would go up against Prissy, and while Scrappy was well in the lead, the refs failed to see her calling off the jam in time to stop Prissy from making off with two points for the Rollers. (A travesty of officiating? Only history will tell.) Late in the third, Joliet Jane would get four points for the Bombs and run the clock down on opposing jammer ThumpHer, but Prissy Galore would answer with five points on a subsequent jam. Rocky would finish the third quarter strong with a three point jam, and the Bombs would sit on a comfortable lead going into the final quarter at 43-62.

ThumpHer would start the fourth quarter with a quick two points and Prissy would follow it up with a slick inside pass to add five more points for the Rollers. The Bombs would earn back two of those points on the next jam which would feature Elle B. Bach of the Rollers dusting it up with opponents Lois Slayin and Ninja Please, earning her an unsportswoman like conduct call. (Let’s be real, though. Can we truly expect a robot from the future to understand all the subtle nuances of human interactions? Her programing can’t handle all that computing while still maintaining a detailed file on human anatomy in order to be a more efficient killer. Everybody knows that.) With the Rollers on their heels, Danger would call off another jam defensively against Scrappy. ThumpHer and Prissy would once again fight back with scoring runs of their own, but Ghettostar would end up in the penalty box again, allowing a spent-looking Joliet to earn two points for the Bombs. (To be fair to Jane, four fried chickens and a Coke will weigh you down a little at the end of the day.) The Bombs would have their turn with Rolla Parks in the penalty box, but they made lemonade out of lemons and Bendy turned the jam into four points. Late in the bout, Dyers would get four points and Prissy would close out by adding one more point to the Rollers total, but the Bombs would not be denied, and they took the victory home with a score of 62 for the Holy Rollers, 70 for the Cherry Bombs.

The bout started well for the Holy Rollers. Prissy Galore and Dyers Eve would put up points often and early and it looked as though they had caught the Cherry Bombs flat footed as they ended the first quarter with a decent lead. But the breaks would start to go against them for the rest of the bout as the Bombs found their footing and hit their stride with a deep roster of jammers and well executed pack work. The Rollers have definite threats at the jammer position, and Prissy and ThumpHer are guaranteed to put up double digit points any time they take to the track. But you can’t make cookies just with chocolate chips, and even though they mounted a valiant comeback late in the bout, it ultimately did the Rollers in. The Cherry Bombs look like a well oiled machine at this point, and you would expect nothing less from the team that is now headed to the championship. The strong leadership of Train Wreck and Milla Juke-a-bitch have steered them towards victory so far, and you can bet they’ll keep it coming for the finale.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments. Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for the use of his photos.

Come back next time for more derby from the W.C.!

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? PLAYOFFS B*tches!

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A pre-bout analysis for the Holy Rollers vs. the Cherry Bombs

The playoffs are upon us! Two teams enter the stage, having left a legacy of vanquished foes in their wake, they square off against each other for the decisive battle to determine who gets the chance to fight for that most coveted of sports awards: the Calvello Cup. On one side we have those princesses of punk-rock, those marauders in maroon shorts: the Cherry Bombs. And facing off against them are the bad girls from Sacred Heart, the belles in blue plaid: the Holy Rollers. They’ll face each other this Saturday to find out which one has the eye-of-the-tiger and which one just has tired-eyes. Which one has the best shot? Well, lets examine that quandary for a moment.

First up we have the Holy Rollers. It’s been a bumpy ride in the church-mobile, but they have climbed the mountain and now can see the promised land. (I assume their promised land is full of booze and black jack and those ball pits they have at Chuck E. Cheese’s that they don’t let adults get into.(Come on, Chuck E. These kids can’t even appreciate the unfettered joy of a ball pit after three tequila slammers, and I’m pretty sure that kid in the corner is just peeing in the ball pit!)) (On a side note, does anybody else think I overuse parentheses? I feel like I may have gone one parentheses too far.)…(). “And lo, the seal was broken. And there was a great noise. And from this emerged the four bringers of doom. And they were so called Danger, Prissy, ThumpHer and Boi.” These four harbingers of destruction are the Rollers biggest strength at the moment. They are a points producing factory and they’re about to put in some overtime. Any strategy the Cherry Bombs might have should definitely put those four as the priority. And with the likes of Elle B Bach and Vanna Fook clogging things up in the pack, they’ll have things covered.

And then there are the Cherry Bombs. Sitting pretty at the number two spot, the Bombs have got a definite swagger coming into this bout, and that swagger is well deserved. Their roster is chock full of veteran threats like Train Wreck Trina and Ninja Please, as well as dangerous newcomers like Joleit Jane who’s been getting better with each bout (And, ironically since they’re facing the Holy Rollers, I hear she’s on a mission from god). Their players aren’t one dimensional, either. More than once I’ve watched Ninja jam her guts out only to follow it up with impressive pack work, solid blocking, and a touch of style to boot. If they bring half the gusto that they usually bring, the Rollers will have their work cut out for them.

So which one of these pain-machines-on-wheels will be the better team? It’s a pretty even split from where the W.C. sits. The Rollers have targeted threats with their jammers, but the Bombs have a diverse skill set. You’ll just have to grab a seat at the Thunderdome and see how this one plays out. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a sphincter clincher (Oh, “Sphincterella” new derby name! Dibs!).

Thanks for reading another one of my senseless ramblings. Leave me a comment if you disagree with me, I dare you.

Or do it if you agree with me, that’s cool too.

Or not. I’m not the boss of you.

Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for the misuse of his photos.

Hellfire!

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A post-bout analasis of the Hellcats vs. las Putas del Fuego

Jimeny Christmas, is the roller derby regular season already over? You bet your sweet bippy it is! And what were you doing while these belles of the banked track were skating their guts out, bleeding and breaking their bodies to try to achieve that most coveted of sports accolades: the Calvello Cup? Oh, you were sitting at home watching reruns of the Real Housewives of Orange County while simultaneously Facebook stalking your husbands high school girlfriend. (It’s okay, she ended up in rehab. Your husband definitely traded up when he eventually married you after you “accidentally” forgot your birth control that one time. You’re the real hero.) Well, guess what, Missy, you haven’t lived until you’ve cheered on another woman while she rails a girl and then beats her senseless while giving the crowd the finger in fishnets and face paint. Hmm, that sounds intriguing, you say? Well let the W.C. fill you in on what you missed last Saturday when the Hellcats took on las Putas del Fuego.

The bout started off (to the surprise of no one) with Lyka Boss of las Putas getting four points of the first jam of the evening. The Hellcats would have a rough start to the evening with early penalties sending their new jammer-de-supériorité, Break n Bake, to the penalty box, but this wouldn’t stop veteran Glitterotica from jumping the apex at turn one and bringing in one point in a jam against Puta Knockout. The Putas would continue to score easily in the first, but the Hellcats would keep the pressure as the Kitties Jammit Janet ran down Smitey Mouse to steal the jam from her and scored two points to Mouses’ one. (Cat and Mouse! Get it? Just like when my cat runs down a mouse, except this time I didn’t end up with the decapitated corpse of Mouse at the foot of my bed. That’s not how roller derby is played. Not even in Texas. Your thinking of Death Race. Which is not a real thing. You know what, just go back to your Housewives show, you can’t handle sophisticated entertainment.) Late in the first, Bake n Break would make amends for her earlier transgressions when she scored a tidy five points in one jam. The first quarter would come to a close with las Putas in the lead 21 – 11.

Lyka Boss would continue her dominance in the second quarter as she fought her way around the track for 3 points in a jam against Hannthrax. Puta Rasta Fury would jump the apex, but loses her footing and fell backward. All would not be lost, though, as she quickly got to her feet again, only to be met by the sparkling elbow-of-fury from Gitterotica that would put her back down again, allowing Break n Bake to pull out in front and take home two points. (On a side note: “Sparkling Elbow of Fury” is the name of my funk band.) Glitters overly aggressive defense would earn her a trip to the penalty box, and while she was forcibly cooling her heels, Rasta would press her advantage to the tune of five more points for las Putas. Not long after, Jammit Janet would take a hard hit into the rails that would leave her shaking the cobwebs out and looking a little sluggish as she went point-for-point with Knockout for three each. (I’m fairly certain I saw actual stars swirling around her helmet.) Boss would continue to churn out the points, but the Hellcats would make her earn it on a long jam against Hannthrax who would score three points against a las Putas runaway defense to Boss’s one. The Hellcats would continue to inch their way back as Hannthrax earned another two points to Knockouts one, and Janet would steal another jam from Mouse who could only politely voice her objection to Janet’s receding posterior. (For those of you who don’t know her, Mouse is a paradigm of sophistication.) But when the chips are down, las Putas know who to call, and sent Boss back in to get six more points against Hellcat Hired Gun Whiskey Smash. At the end of the half las Putas would still be in the lead at 32 – 22.

To kick off the second half, las Putas would field Lyka Boss again, but Jammit Janet decided to take a hug break, got her hands around Boss and took her to the ground to stop another scoring run. The shenanigans would land both jammers in the penalty box and put Glitterotica and Mouse at the jammer spots as replacements. Mouse would capitalize on the opportunity and earn four points for las Putas. Hannthrax would, once again go up against Knockout and outscored her with five points to her two. The pressure would continue to come from the Hellcats as Boss is forced to call of a jam with Jammit Janet nipping at her heels. But Knockout would bounce back for las Putas with six points on a jam against Baker, who was never able to reset in the pack. Boss would continue to tear things up with another two points against Baker (and by “tear things up” I mean she was pooping points all over the track. Strangely enough, not something you get a penalty for, (also just like my cat except there’s no risk of me stepping in a pile of points in the middle of the night and getting them all squashed between my toes)). The third quarter would end with Knockout and Hannthrax going neck and neck with four points each on a jam. The Putas would have a comfortable lead going into the final quarter at 65 – 33.

The Hellcats would get backed into a corner at the start of the fourth with Glitterotica and Knottie Knoxville in the penalty box, but Baker would show off why she’s the hottest draft pick since Rocky Casbah and get out in front and earn two points on the jam. Janet would continue to keep pressure on las Putas, staying on Eduskater’s tail and earning two points to her one. Boss would once again beat Hannthrax out of the pack and get five points, but Glitterotica would take exception to this and let Boss know with the subtle language, (nay, art) of fisticuffs. Knockout and Whiskey would stay neck-and-neck for three points each, but Glitterotica would have one final argument to elucidate to Boss and tackled her again. At this point, tackling fever would grip the Hellcats as Heathen took down Knockout after she stole the jam and called it off defensively. Whiskey would go up against Eduskater, with Eduskater earning three points and Whiskey one, but while the jammers battle unfolds, Glitterotica managed to earn her third major penalty of the bout and took the walk-of-shame into ejection land for the remainder of the evening. Eduskater and Whiskey would go at it again, this time with Eduskater getting a whopping seven points to Whiskeys two. And the bout would close with Heathen earning back those seven points for the Hellcats against Ramona deFlowers. But all of the Hellcats efforts would not be enough to close the gap and las Putas would take the evening with a score of 87 – 56.

In the end this bout was academic for both teams: the Hellcats have already secured their place in the championship this season, and las Putas are already out of the playoffs. The Hellcats played with their usual precision, but were clearly playing it safe, avoiding injury and trying to save their energy for that big banked blowout next month, which is probably the smartest play they could have made. Las Putas definitely wanted to go out on a high note, and that’s exactly what they went for, playing Lyka Boss (easily their best player, and maybe even best in the league at this juncture (spoiler alert: that’s why she’s the boss)) literally every other jam, and flying into the fray like a hungry redneck with a Golden Corral coupon book. The tension is mounting as the championship draws closer. The next bout will put the final piece into place as far as which team gets their shot at glory this season. You can bet your sweet bippy that the W.C. will be there to watch it all unfold.

Thanks for reading even though this post was later than usual. Hey sometimes life has to be dealt with first, it’s not like I’m making any money in this. The W.C. is all noble and shit. He does it for the love of the game. And cookies. Actually there’s not much I wouldn’t do for the offer of cookies. My friendship can be bought with cookies.

Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for permitting the use of his photos.

Drop me a line sometime. I made puddin.

…Wait, what?

…Guh…What day…What do you mean “after labor day”?

Why does my mouth taste like Red Hots and asphalt?

Why are you yelling at me in Spanish?

Oh man…somebody just tell me where I am. Also where are my pants?

What do you mean “Chihuahua?”

What do you mean “pants-hat”?

Uh…that’s the last time I go shot-for-shot with las Putas.

I have to get back to Texas, I have a bout to write-up. I also have to find out what “El Guapo” means and how it got tattooed across the small of my back…

Things are going to be a little late this week.

Rollers and Rhinestones

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A post-bout analysis of the Rhinestone Cowgirls vs. the Holy Rollers.

A cowgirl and a nun walk into a bar…What’s a nun doing in a bar, you ask? Well, when it’s  the Sisters from the Sacred Heart School for Girls, you can bet it’s gonna be putting the bruise onto some filthy heathens. And who might those heathens be? Well, saddled up to the bar sit the Rhinestone Cowgirls, TXRD’s resident ropers-in-wranglers. They’ve had a tough season on the range and they’re in no mood for a sermon. The piano goes silent and the room clears out as the Rhinestone Cowgirls face off against the Holy Rollers. The Rollers fight to keep their playoff hopes alive and the Cowgirls want to finish the season on a high note and a win under their belt. This barroom brawl is about to spill out onto the streets and one thing’s for certain: the next 32 minutes are going to be messy.

The bout would kick off well for the Rhinestone Cowgirls with Sassy Squasher and Bad Apple putting up the first five points of the bout between the two of them. But the Holy Rollers didn’t come to spectate and Bible ThumpHer  answered with four points of her own on a jam against Mad Maxican. Soon after, Prissy Galore would square off against Sassy and stack on another seven points for the Rollers, and ThumpHer would steal a jam from Apple and take another two points back to the Rollers tithing plate. (And by tithing I mean the money they extort from the neighborhood kids to buy brass knuckles and blackjacks.) What do you do when your teammates hog all the glory? If you’re Hermione Danger you tip-toe like a ballerina around a wall of Cowgirl blockers, just staying in-bounds. But Cowgirl Catty Whompass was not content to watch Danger run away with the jam and tackled her as she emerged on the straight away. Danger shook off her assailant and was still able to earn an impressive six points on her jam. Gnarly Carly would set out to try and make up the difference for the Cowgirls, but Prissy Galore would steal the jam from her along with two points for the Rollers. Despite loosing lead status, however, Carly would outscore Prissy on that same jam with three points. The finish of the first quarter would have the Rollers up 27-11.

To start the second quarter, the Cowgirls would keep ThumpHer in check with the effective blocking trio of Bikini Killer, Cold Warr and Ablazin Grace. But even though she was bottled up, ThumpHer still managed to get one point. Danger would would take to the track again with her usual gusto, but with Mad Maxican hot on her heels, she would call of a jam after squeezing out just one point. Prissy Galore would continue her impressive scoring runs, but Catty Whompass (still sore, no doubt, about her dust-up with Danger)would soon tire of this and put a hard lick on Prissy to stop another of her scoring runs. Danger would once again call off a promising jam as Gnarly Carly kept the pressure on for the Cowgirls. But soon it would be the Cowgirls turn to be on the receiving end Sassy Squasher raced neck-and-neck with ThumpHer, pressing her advantage and only barely calling the jam off in time to thwart the Rollers. The Cowgirls would finish the second quarter strong with Mad grabbing six points, Carly sneaking through the pack like a cat burglar for four, and Sassy Squasher nabbing five to close out the half. But the Rollers still held tightly to the lead with 44 to the Cowgirls 25.

The defenses would give a strong showing at the start of the second half with Nicola Virus keeping Mad Maxican in check for the Rollers, and Ablazin Grace and Domme Draper shutting down ThumpHer for the Cowgirls. But what do you do when there’s a big wall of defense smashed up in front of you? If you’re Hermione Danger, you jump the apex of turn one to earn the Rollers three more points. But Bad Apple showed her that Cowgirls never say “die” (Or is that Goonies? Or was Goonies Pirates? *gasp* Or Pirate Cowboys!…I think I have the name of my new derby team.) and one-uped her to bring in four for the Cowgirls. This would start a trend for the Cowgirls and soon Rollers would start flying around like chihuahuas at a punting contest as Gnarly Carly smashed past the defense of Roller Ghettostar Balactica for two points. Dyers Eve would be sent to the penalty box to do a few hail maries, allowing Sassy Squasher to rack up an impressive eight points for the Cowgirls, and Apple would maintain a wide lead on Danger to earn four points. The third quarter would end with the Cowgirls getting a rope around that bull and digging their heels in to close the gap on the Rollers lead of 52-45.

Nicola Virus and Boi Division would start the fourth quarter for the Rollers in the penalty box. What do you do when two of your teammates are out for a jam? If you’re Hermione Danger, you fly through the pack like that bad Thai food through my guts last week, get lead jammer, call off the jam and save the penalty. The Rollers would start to re-assert themselves with Atilla the Nun slowing the Cowgirls momentum with aggresive blocking and ThumpHer capitalizing on Gnarly Carly being in the penalty box to the tune of eight points. Prissy would join in on the fun with seven points of her own, but would soon find herself in the penalty box with Danger forced to jam defensively again. What do you do if defense isn’t your strong suit? If you’re Hermione Danger, you jump the apex again to call off another jam. Mad Maxican would fight back against the Rollers for two points, but the momentum would never swing back in their favor and ThumpHer would put the nail in the coffin with a seven point jam late in the fourth. The bout would come to a close with the Holy Rollers victorious over the Cowgirls,84-50.

The Rhinestone Cowgirls had a strong outing, possibly their best this season, and for a brief moment in the third quarter it seemed the momentum may have shifted in their favor. But the Holy Rollers have the weapons to get themselves out of a pinch and with Hermione Danger tap-dancing her way around the pack and Bible ThumpHer plowing her way through opponents, the Rollers came back. And hard. The absence of Dusty Doublewide on the track has been sorely felt by the Cowgirls this season (and by a dedicated fan base…Dusty, please come back, my life is empty without you! (…Sorry Boss.)). And it can be tough to loose one of the best tools in your toolbox. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Cowgirls, however. They have solid veterans like Mad Maxican and Cold Warr to prop them up, as well as exciting new players to build on like Domme Drapper. It’s a fond farewell to the Cowgirls for this season, but it won’t be long until next year when those six-guns come blazin’ back!

Come back next time for more TXRD from the W.C.! Thanks for visiting my inter web station. Special thanks to  Jeffrey McMillan for letting me manhandle his photographs.

Leave a comment if you have your own opinions on the bout. (I love it when they talk derby to me.) Or if you just want to say “hi”. Y’know, whatever’s cool.

Cowgirls in the Chapel

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A pre-bout analysis for the Rhinestone Cowgirls vs. the Holy Rollers.

A dusty figure emerges from the windy trail and casts a long shadow across the track at the TXRD Thunderdome. Two opponents eye each other in the fading light of the arid plains. Eyes squinting, the Rhinestone Cowgirls size up their opponents. Unflinchingly, the Holy Rollers return the steely gaze. They both know it’s come to this. The final regular season bout for both teams. The Holy Rollers will hit the track in hopes of keeping their playoff chances alive with a solid win. But the Cowgirls have stakes of their own as they try to close out the season with a win under their jewel studded gun belt.  They each move their hands slowly towards their holsters. Soon there will be a flurry of action, and then one team will stand victorious with their opponent cold in the dust.

The Rollers have had an uphill battle this season, but they hold their own future in their hands and a win this week would keep their chances of making it into the playoffs a statistical possibility. They’ve been strong under the leadership team-up of Prissy Galore and Hermione Danger (incidentally, “Danger Galore” is the title of my James Bond/Harry Potter fan fiction). And with a blocking core with the likes of Elle B. Bach and Ghettostar Balactica (also incidentally, “Galactinator” is the title of my Terminator/Battlestar Galactica fan fiction) wreaking havoc on opposing jammers, the Rollers are well positioned to finish the regular season on a high note.

The Cowgirls have had a rough go of it this season but doubtless want to finish strong and take the momentum of a win into the off season. The pieces are there for the Cowgirls: they have veterans Dusty Doublewide and Cold Warr anchoring the team, nimble jammers Mad Maxican and Bad Apple among others, and workhorse pack members like Bikini Killer and Domme Draper. Their only thing they’ve been lacking this season is that spark to bring those instruments together into a symphony. A deadly symphony in fishnets and halter-tops (incidentally, “Fishnets and Halter-Tops” is the name of my western re-imagining of The Rocky Horror Picture Show).

Who takes home the victory this week? Statistics would point towards the Holy Rollers. When they’re not carving swear words into the confession booth, they’re practicing their hip checks on the neighborhood children. But the Rhinestone Cowgirls are just mean enough to pull off the upset. They keep getting hit over the head with empty whiskey bottles, but like the stubborn tough-girls that they are, they get right back up and dare you to do it again.  We’ll just have to head over to the Thunderdome and see who’s faster on the draw.

Special thanks to Jeffrey McMillan for allowing the abuse of his photographs.