11 September 2011

Bout Recap: Grade A Fancy vs CNY All Stars

August 13th saw us filling up the gas tank and heading out to Rome, NY to see our Green Mountain Derby Dames take on Central New York's All Stars. As a bonus, we also got to see our local lads, the Burlington Bomb Quads, skate against the Quadfathers. Men's derby isn't really our thing (not enough fishnets), but it was pretty cool to see the Dames' coach, Pope John Maul, strap on skates and get out on the track.

The venue (JFK Arena on W. Embargo Street, *snerk*) was pretty nice, aside from the netting hanging between the bleachers and the rink, surely put there for the sole purpose of irritating photographers like me. (Nothing to do with catching stray pucks/gloves/teeth during hockey matches, oh no.) We were very impressed with CNY's VIP section, furnished with comfy couches, and with their modular track boundary, which helped keep folks sitting on the suicide line safe.

There are some people who, no matter what their title or position, end up being in charge of whatever they're participating in, by sheer force of character. The Dames' Ref Doomsday is, we've discovered, one of those people. Even though he wasn't head ref at this bout, he was clearly head ref as far as the other refs were concerned. He's also a stickler for the rules -- a lead jammer tried to call a jam, but she didn't actually touch her hands to her hips, so Doomsday didn't blow the whistle. He's hardcore like that.

We also liked what seems to be a budding trend in referee fashion: the kilt! The Constable, visiting ref from Alaska (probably the only person who traveled farther to attend this bout than we did), was decked out in a striking sport kilt, black with white pleats. See? Pretty spiffy. And for those of you wondering what a ref wears under his kilt: bike shorts. This is a family-friendly sport, after all.

After all of this chatter about refs and couches and such, we... don't actually have much to say about the bout itself. Our beloved Dames lost 75-160, largely because of blocking: CNY did it, and the Dames didn't. The Dames blockers have a tendency to get so focused on the opposing blockers that they let the opposing jammer sail right on through without so much as a hip check, and the Dames jammers don't get a lot of support when they come up against a solid defense. That said, our jammers did slip past CNY's blockers often enough to score a respectable number of points, and we cheered for them as loudly as we could.

Our MVPs for the bout came down to a tie for the Dames between Nancy Nightmare and Sonic Euthanizer, and a clear favorite for CNY, Gutshot. We were uncharacteristically split on our favorite names of the bout: Flocci favored Mean Squeak, while Johnny liked Bitter Swede.

We rolled into the driveway around 2am, exhausted and stiff, but glad we'd made the trip. Even when they lose a bout, our Dames are a joy to watch, and we'll follow them anywhere.