One of the things that makes sports so special are rivalry games. These games aren’t just another date on the calendar. They are the first date fans look for every year when the new season schedule comes out. They are the games that make fans scream “ROLL TIDE!” or “WAR EAGLE!” in the streets of Alabama at each other. They are the games that make you the last person to get served a pint when you wear a Yankees hat into a Boston bar. They are the reason I bought an Ohio flag for my house to counteract my neighbor’s Team Up North flag that casts gloom upon our neighborhood. And when it comes to roller derby rivalries, there are few that are as intense and storied as the Cincinnati Rollergirls vs. the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls.
The rivalry originally stems from over a decade ago, when both CRG and BBRG were in their infancy. Both leagues saw players leave their teams for greener pastures of the other side of the Ohio River. And just like any romantic breakup or separation from a company, usually some hurt feelings, baggage and bruised egos came with those skaters to their new league.
Over time, the bad blood between the two leagues has faded, but there are still some differences between them. Each team has developed their own unique identity and fan base, which will be on display this Saturday night, when the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ Violent Lambs will meet the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls Blackouts on BBRG’s home turf at Hits Indoor Baseball in Covington, Kentucky.
This will be the sixth meeting of the teams in the Crosstown Knockdown. So far, CRG has managed to win every one of these games, but this year, they are fielding a roster that is filled with rookies (including Noah Pologies, The Slayer and Crystal Whip) and young skaters (including former juniors Ada Burnlace and Mae Murder). Plus, a lot of players that normally wouldn’t step foot near the jammer line will be rocking the star Saturday night. The BBRG roster, on the other hand, is filled with veteran talent, some of whom have played in every Crosstown Knockdown game.
This is going to be a game where Cincinnati is going to need their experienced players to step up. Original Cincinnati Rollergirl Cherry Choke is one of the key cogs in making this machine work for CRG, as her ability to analyze real-time situations and bark orders to less experienced teammates will be crucial in this game. Garden of Beatin,’ who recently transferred back to CRG from Ohio Roller Derby, will also be putting her excellent communication and blocking skills to work in this game. ¡I, Caramba! has played the best roller derby of her life in 2017, and this is a game where she can show off how deep her skill set has become. Mama Crass skated for BBRG before she made the switch to CRG, so I know she’ll be ready for this game.
With Black-n-Bluegrass having the home field advantage and a more experienced roster, could this be the year that they finally chalk up their first win in this annual rivalry? There is only one way to find out, and that is by being trackside this Saturday night at Hits.
Hits is located at 3785 Lake Park Drive, Covington, KY 41017. The Crosstown Knockdown is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., following two games between Cincinnati and BBRG’s junior teams at 4 and 6 p.m. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.
Crosstown Knockdown Rosters
CRG Violent Lambs: 0 Cherry Choke // 13 Little Bull // 15 Mae Murder // 16 Garden of Beatin’ // 18 Scrappy Sue // 21 Ada Burnlace // 22 Cincy Psych-o // 23 I, Caramba! // 26 Mama Crass // 34 Jillian Dollaz // 42 Ragdoll Ruby // 49 Gnarly Manson // 626 Noah Pologies // 8 Doom // Alternates: 713 The Slayer // 154 Crystal Whip
BBRG Blackouts: Heavy Chevy // Pretty n Pink // Neva Shakeababy // O’Doyle Rulz // Billie Bitchslap // Damnit Janet // Psyk Ward // Willy Wonkher // Mickey Mouth // Silverose // Briggs n Smack’em // Pinup Pussycat // Kung Fu Hussy // Mae Fever // Alternates: Brick Huss // Mellkat