The No. 32-ranked Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep have one more battle before the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs: No. 33 Nashville. Tank has a preview of this August 17 away double-header, which also features the Violent Lambs vs. Nashville’s Brawl Stars.

Falling off the wagon: We’ve all done it. For some, it’s promising to go to the gym every day after work only to succumb to hitting a happy hour four days into your new fitness regimen. For others, it’s going on a raw food diet, only to find yourself ordering a pizza at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night.
After riding a nine-game winning streak, the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ Black Sheep have recently fallen off the winning wagon and are 0-2 in their last two WFTDA sanctioned games. What does this mean? Is it time to panic? Is it just a hiccup? Have they relapsed back into their bad habits from their dismal 2012 campaign? Or is this just a stumbling block as they continue to work their way back up the mountain? This weekend in Nashville hopefully will give us some answers instead of more questions.
Currently the Black Sheep are 9-3 on the season, including a three-point loss early in the season against Bleeding Heartland that they soundly avenged at home. After that loss, they went on a nine-game winning streak that was unceremoniously snapped in a 176-point blowout loss to the Detroit Derby Girls All Stars on June 16.
The next game was a 22-point loss to the Mad Rollin’ Dolls in Madison, Wisconsin. When the Sheep were able to keep all of their players on the floor or had the numbers advantage in the pack they were dominant, but multiple penalties – particularly jammer penalties – took their toll on the team. Madison wisely took advantage of this, went for the throat, and won. You can make the argument that the penalty calls were uneven in this game, but the fact remains you have to play the cards you are dealt and not put yourself in bad situations where tight calls can be made.
There were also times when CRG players completely lost their cool and were rightfully called on penalties. The costly jammer penalties make me wonder who is going to step up to and force her way into a third jammer spot. Lambs standout jammer Ruthless Chris made the 14-skater roster for the Sheep again Nashville, and a solid performance there could land her the job.
The two-jammer rotation is a strategy that is a razor’s edge to walk. When it’s done effectively the way Gotham runs it with Bonnie Thunders and Suzy Hotrod, it’s incredibly effective, but if jammer penalties start to add up – and worst-case scenario, one of your jammers fouls out or is ejected – then your team is essentially dead in the water. In short, if the Sheep play with their brains they win games, but when they play with their hearts, that is when things tend to go south. While emotion is sometimes good in spurts, it very, very rarely wins games.
Speaking of going south, this weekend both the Sheep and the Violent Lambs travel to Nashville to take on both their A and B teams. Their All-Stars are 4-2 on the season and are also coming off a recent close loss to Columbia at home. After starting the season on the receiving end of a ruthless 436 to 30 loss to old South Central rival Atlanta, they gutted out two big wins over D.C. and the Chicago Outfit. They also hold wins over Tallahassee and Gainesville. Both Cincinnati and Nashville hold victories this season over Tallahassee (Cincinnati beat them by 154 points where as Nashville won by 98 points).
After shifting through this quantitative data, this looks like it should be a tight game, especially with Nashville having home track advantage. Cincinnati’s bench management/coaching will be a key factor in this game, especially if emotions run high like they did in Madison.
The roster for this game is extremely interesting. In the past, to call the Sheep’s roster stagnant would be an understatement; it was routine as Tuesday taco night and Sunday morning missionary sex. La Bruja looks to have cemented herself on the Sheep roster which is something a rookie hasn’t done since I started volunteering for the team in 2008. As I stated earlier, Ruthless Chris will also be playing in this game. And finally, after living in NYC and abroad in Europe, “the jammer from the slammer,” Sk8 Crime, returns to the Sheep (blocking, not jamming). In the past, once you were on the Sheep, it seemed as though you were on the team for life, and I applaud the coaches for shaking things up this year and bringing new players into the mix. They have truly stuck to their promise of fielding the best team available.
The 6-3 Violent Lambs are playing as well Saturday night. This roster is actually more interesting then the Sheep. As usual, it’s filled with a mix of vets and younger players, but even more so then usual. Susie Shinspintski was awarded MVP blocker for the C Team, the Flock Ewes, last weekend in Knoxville, and Tru D. Vicious took home MVP jammer honors for the Ewes. I really like what I am seeing out of Tru D., and like good Scotch, she is only going to get better with age. Recent Black-n-Bluegrass transfer Mama Crass will be skating as well as Sprint Julep, who has skated with Texas’s rec league and the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky. Sprinkle on top of that the familiar faces of Cherry Choke, Hot Slice, Juwana Hurt, Mirderher, and Poppy Chulo and you got yourself one helluva of 112-wheeled casserole.
This is a big game, as it’s the last one before the Sheep go to Fort Wayne on September 6 to take part in the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs, where they will lock horns in the third game this season with Bleeding Heartland. A win for the Sheep on Saturday night would be a big confidence booster and will put them back on the wagon – the winning wagon.
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Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Nashville Music City All-Stars

Cincinnati Black Sheep: Buckhead Betty 33 // CandyKICKass 32 // Hannah Barbaric 85 // June with a Cleaver // K. Lethal 18 // La Bruja 66 // Nuk’em 86 // Penn Tupanga 77 // Ruthless Chris 5 // Ruff’n the Passer 29 // Sadistic Sadie 76 // Sailor Scary 92 // Sk8 Crime 69 // Wheezy 43
Music City All-Stars: 10 Union Jack-U-Up // 101 Ammo Aimee // 13 LeeAnn Crimes // 137 Big Banger // 1969 Hippy-Ki-Yay // 220V Electra Cal // 226 Tear O’Bite // 308 Britches N’ Hose // 318 Four-Leaf Roller // 48V Phantom Power // 5FT3 Lady Fury // 77 Dani Doom // 8GB Zip Drive // DV8 Stella Live

Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Nashville Music City Brawl Stars

Cincinnati Violent Lambs: Cherry Choke 0 // Cincy Psych-O 99 // Hot Slice 71 // I, Caramba! 23 // Juwana Hurt 4 // Mama Crass 26 // Mirderher 44 // Poppy Chulo 27 // Railroad 6 // Roxx Solid 74 // Sista Shovechild 2 // Sprint Julep // Susie Shinsplintski 51 // Tru D. Vicious 19
Music City Brawl Stars: 000H Morvant Damme // 0TC Ann. T Histamine // 101 Ammo Aimee // 137 Big Banger // 19 Lexee Lawless // 350 Suzy Ho’maker // 38 E. Lemonator // 48V Phantom Power // 6VI6 Demoness // 71 Ginger Juke // 757 Morgan Grinder // 867 Evil Mendes // 9 Chelsea Dagger // 912 Gnarley Quinn