The Cincinnati Rollergirls return to the Cincinnati Gardens on Saturday, March 29 for a double-header against Gem City and New Hampshire and their annual Heroes Night, featuring discounted admission for members of the military, veterans and first responders. Tank has a preview.
Do you ever go back and look at pictures of yourself from junior high or your freshman year of high school? I try not to, but every once in a while, I do. It’s so strange to look at this pudgy man-child with a bad haircut who’s covered in zits and wearing jean shorts. Puberty is such an awkward time in any person’s life as your body is literally mutating, hair is sprouting all over the place like weeds on an abandoned building, none of your clothes fit right and suddenly you have to wear deodorant because without it you’re that smelly kid with the pit stains no one wants to eat lunch with. I am thankful that my parents never bought a camcorder so I never have to watch myself and all the awkward, stupid things that I undoubtedly said that I thought was so important and profound at the time (hell, I’ll probably say the same thing about this article in 10 years).
I know what you’re thinking: “Tank, I came here to read about roller derby, not about why you thought JNCOs were cool and what it was like to have your body turn into a Chia Pet.” But stick with me, dear readers; I am going somewhere with this. Currently we are watching the Cincinnati Rollergirls go through their own version of puberty, and while at times it’s awkward, once this league figures out who they are, they are going to be a very special person…I mean team. 2014 is definitely a time of growing pains for CRG, as the Lambs have two wins on the season and the 0-4 Black Sheep are still trying to find their first victory. Although both teams are struggling to find their way into the win column, the progress both squads are making is better then expected.
Two weeks ago both the Lambs and the Sheep traveled to Indianapolis, and while I would like to tell you that two big upsets happened, things went as predicted and Naptown skated away with two wins, 238-116 over the Black Sheep and 236-75 over the Violent Lambs. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some highlights for CRG. Skunna Hurt continues to shine in her first season in the league, having transferred from the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls when she turned 18. She was dominant in the Lambs pack and also effective as a jammer, which is important as Cincinnati continues to look for point scorers. Tru D. Vicious continues to impress me as well with her athleticism and continuing evolution as a jammer. As for the Sheep, they lost by less then expected, causing their Flat Track Stats ranking to actually go up; Wheezy looked great in her first game back; Anne Bones had some nice jamming moments, which should give her some well-earned confidence coming into this next game; and Nuk’em continues to play her most intelligent and effective season yet.
This Saturday night, CRG’s annual Heroes Night, the Lambs will take on a familiar regional rival, Datyon’s Gem City Rollergirls, who are fresh off a 216-164 win over another area opponent, Northern Kentucky’s Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls. Then the Black Sheep will battle New Hampshire Roller Derby, currently ranked 36 in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association to Cincinnati’s 38.
New Hampshire has years of experience playing against East Coast teams such as Dominion, Maine, River City, and Suburbia. This will be NHRD’s first game of the season, so it will be interesting to see if they have any rust on their skates, since they haven’t played a game since Sept. 15, 2013 and a 14-hour plus road trip is not the way I would want to start my season. At the same time, they are ranked considerably higher then Cincinnati in the unofficial Flat Track Stats ranking system – 36 vs. 85 – so Cincinnati is really going to need to capitalize on their home track advantage.
Saturday will be Wheezy’s first home game of the season, and we will also see the return of multi-year veteran, Hannah Barbaric. This double-header will continue Cincinnati’s ongoing evaluation of trying to figure out who belongs where on both the Lambs and Sheep rosters. The CRG coaches have stuck with their plan of “everyone jams,” so expect to see a lot of different heads wearing the star on Saturday night. Also look for Cincinnati to continue their dedication to wall defense, as the packs are still developing to figure out who works best together.
Finally, CRG needs to continue to work on keeping their penalties low and their jammer out of the box, even though this game will be played under the new WFTDA rule set in which all minute penalties are now only 30 seconds. This has helped to diminish the nuclear bomb-esque power jams that could see a team rack up anywhere from 20 to 40 points in a minute.
While I would love to see both Cincinnati teams win on Saturday, if they don’t, I won’t be saying “Are You There God, It’s Me, Tank” quite yet. Instead, I hope this is the game where CRG discovers that they are becoming the team they know they could be and that they are wizards. Well, they aren’t literally wizards, but I wanted to fit a Harry Potter reference in with all of my talk about adolescence. In the end, this league is growing up fast and will be winning games sooner then later (and not wearing JNCO jean shorts while they do it).
For tickets and more information, click here.
Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Gem City Rollergirls Purple Reign
Violent Lambs: Annie Tomical 91 // Chainsaw 80 // Cherry Choke 0 // Cincy Psych-O 99 // Hot Slice 71 // I, Caramba! 23 // Imma Tattooher 81 // Jennocide 14 // Mama Crass 26 // Poppy Chulo 27 // Railroad 6 // // Skunna Hurt 69 // Susie Shinsplinski 51 // Tru D Vicious 19 // Alternates: Obie Haive 31 // Roxx Solid 74
Purple Reign: Tara Hole-Inu 101 // Dirty Take Out 247 // Reckless Ratchet 3 // Willy Nilly 00 // Outer Spacey 09 // Doity Die 1209 // Pickled Punk 77 // Cozza Frenzy 23 // Diva Vin Detta 222 // Mortal Wombat 20 // Rox Yuon Yr’ASS 13 // Racey Rocker ALL4 // Big Red Bloodshed 104 // Kurlie Knox 937 // Alternates: Demolition Curvy 88 // Grand Fin Allie 12
Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. NH Roller Derby Skate Free or Die All-Stars
Black Sheep: Anne Bones 77 // Big Ugly 72 // candyKICKass 32 // Hannah Barbaric 85 // Jungle Lacy 83 // Kitten Kicker 30 // La Bruja 66 // Mirderher 44 // Nuk’em 86 // Ruthless Chris 5 // Sailor Scary 92 // Sista Shovechild 2 // Sprint Julep 9 // Wheezy 43 // Alternate: Cherry Choke 0
Skate Free or Die All-Stars: Liv N. Fear 1212 // Game Ovaries PM5 // Rage of Aquarius 1967 // Cee N. Spots 1990 // Crueliette Lewis 207 // Pammy Decker 21 // Chika Chika Bam Bam 26 // Chicana Bruzya 3333 // N. Raging Grace 341 // Bash 36 // mcKILLA Queen 6 // Swirko 60 // Emma Donnelly 9 // Prissassin MI6 // Alternate: Clawed Monet 1874