It’s CRG vs. CRG on Saturday, September 1, 2012, when Cincinnati battles the Carolina Rollergirls at a double-header in Raleigh. Cincinnati announcer-turned-writer Tank has a preview of the teams’ first face-off in four years.
What’s happening, Cincinnati Rollergirls fans? Tank here and I am back with another pregame preview. Currently Cincinnati is struggling with back-to-back losses on the road to North Central rival the Chicago Outfit and the Boston Derby Dames; the team now has a 5-6 season record. While Cincinnati has never been known for a high-octane offense, the defense continues to try and rediscover their identity from the 2009 and 2010 seasons. The WFTDA North Central Regional Playoffs loom on the horizon, but a familiar nemesis, the Carolina Rollergirls – who are currently ranked 8th in the East and have a 7-3 record – stands between now and then.
Cincinnati and Carolina have crossed paths in the past both on and off the track. The first time they locked horns was on July 19, 2008 in the Cincinnati Gardens. At the time Carolina, ranked No. 3 in the nation, was one of the most experienced teams in the WFTDA, having taken part in the original Dust Devil (the first major flat track roller derby tournament) and played the best teams the WFTDA had to offer at the time.
The young upstart Black Sheep, ranked 26th, won that game, 74-69, still considered one of the biggest upsets in WFTDA history. Cincinnati tried to set up a rematch a few years ago at East Coast Derby Extravaganza, but due to contract negotiation problems, the game never happened, and subsequently Cincinnati declined their invite to ECDX. They have not been back since.
So what will happen on Saturday night when these two lock horns for the first time in more than four years in Raleigh? Will old scars be reopened as fresh wounds? Or has enough time passed and skaters retired for this feud to simmer? My opinion? Rollergirls’ brains are wired like elephants: They never forget. (Well, they forget a few things, like washing their knee pads or what happens after 1 a.m. at the after-party, but I digress.) These two teams are going to go at each other and it should be a lot of fun to watch. Both teams hold recent victories over the Chicago Outfit (and in Cincinnati’s case a recent defeat as well).
Things are starting to look up for Cincinnati on multiple fronts. The team performed fairly well in Boston, minus a few key big jams and jammer penalties. The pack work, though, seems to be improving. On top of this, CRG’s 2011 MVP, Nuk’em, is back from her tib/fib fracture. That’s right, after what has seemed like an eternity, Cincinnati’s hardest hitter is back on the track and looking for someone in a red jersey to send four rows deep into the stands.
The addition of Nuk’em also may help to strengthen the CRG jammer corps, as the No. 3 slot has seen a rotating cast of Karma Krash, Penn Tupanga and candyKICKass! With K. Lethal and Wheezy holding down the No. 1 and No. 2 slots, we may see Nuk’em and Candy splitting time in the No. 3 spot, allowing Karma and Panga to get back to where they are most effective in the pack. Of course, I could be wrong, all of them could be kept in the jammer rotation, which would give CRG their deepest jammer bench in years, possibly ever.
CRG’s Violent Lambs (6-2) are also making the trip to Raleigh, where they’ll battle the Carolina Bootleggers (1-1) for the first time. The Lambs roster runs the gamut from veteran skaters such Cherry Choke, The Librarian and Pistol Whippin’ Wendy to up-and-coming rookies, including Cincy Psych-O, I, Caramba! and Ruthless Chris.
2012 has been a rough season so far for CRG, but depending on what happens with this game, that status could be upgraded to rebuilding. The Black Sheep team that played in Boston showed promise and both the Lambs and the Ewes (Cincinnati’s C team) have a lot of talented athletes who I predict will be challenging many of the aging veterans for their spots next year. In short, this could be the game in which Cincinnati gets its swagger back like Jay-Z on “All I Need.”
Cincinnati Black Sheep: Buckhead Betty 33 // Candy Kickass 32 // June with a Cleaver 21 // Jungle Lacy 83 // K. Lethal 18 // Karma Krash 3 // Kitten Kicker 30 // Mirderher 44 // Nuk’em 86 // Penn Tupanga 77 // Ruff’n the Passer 29 // Sailor Scary 4 // Sk8r-Kinney 11 // Wheezy 43
Carolina All-Stars: Caddy Compton 187 // Daisy Rage 66 // DVS 131 // Erna Beatin 365 // Ginger Clobbers 299 // Hot Mess Express 506 // Jesse King 110 // Jojo Gadget 313 // MC Fyte 12 // Ms Anthrope the Mordant 17 // Reckless 704 // Roxy Rockett 77 // Sue Yu 1893 // Thrashley 6 // Alternates: Mora Manipulator 273 // Sheeza Freak 75
Cincinnati Violent Lambs: Cherry Choke 0 // Cincy Psych-O 99 // Flannery O’Slaughter 17 // Garden of Beatin’ 16 // Godzillary 80 // Hot Slice 71 // I, Caramba! 23 // The Librarian 73 // Pistol Whippin’ Wendy 38 // Poppy Chulo 27 // Railroad 6 // Roxx Solid 74 // Ruthless Chris 5 // Sista Shovechild 2
Carolina Bootleggers: Aurora Thunder 7 // Ava Gore 42 // Elektra Q tion 121 // Erna Beatin 365 // Eva Lye 13 // Fritts O’Frenic 28 // Hot Mess Express 506 // Kali 51 // Katie Clysmic 26 // Mora Manipulator 273 // Razzbury Beretta M9 // Roxxy Slide 1.618 // Sheeza Freak 75 // Sue Yu 1893 // Alternates: Dot Bomber 301 // Shae D Character 14