Monday, June 28, 2010

Maine bout recap

Finally, my recap from the Maine bout on June 12, 2010.

I rode out to Portland with Rambo and Porkslap on Friday night and had an enjoyable time that evening and on Saturday during the day.  Rambo and I headed to the Portland Expo Center around 3pm.  Most everyone was there already and I met a few of the Maine Roller Derby girls - The Calamity Janes.  Their co-captain, Allagasher, was super friendly!  The Expo Center is a really nice facility and they had nice locker rooms for us.  Here I am being short as usual:

The game started at 6pm (earlier than we're used to, but maybe since their dang bars close at 1am and there was an after party to attend?)

It seemed like Maine's style of play was strong walls (sometimes 4 girls all up in the front) and a fast pack as needed.  Their jammers weren't as mean as some I've seen.  There wasn't really any hitting right off the jammer line.  The blockers were another story.  As soon as the whistle blew, they were ready to blow us up.  A-Block, with her big mouth and even bigger derby booty (stated as a compliment - for real!) made me laugh when she threw her butt/hips at me when we were lined up to start the jam and exclaimed "I'm an ******* !" and threw her head back and laughed.  They played all in good fun but they played a serious game.

Be sure to check out my post about my first time jamming here:

It was also awesome to play an actual WFTDA team.  Playing such solid players was a good experience.  They took us to town at with a score of 157 - 85.  Congratulations to MVPs to Shockratease for HoT MVP and Spry Icicle for MRD!  Yeah!

Thanks again to Maine for being a great host!  Also, thanks for the crazy time at the afterparty... can you say light up dance floor?  AMAZING.

Check out some other recaps of the game here:

Maine's recap: (I got a mention for my 4 points!)

POP NINJAS podcast: (listen to a podcast of the bout.  Sweet!  The beginning also has a great interview with Punchy O'Guts from MRD, where she debunks a lot of the Pop Ninja's misconceptions of roller derby.)

See some pictures: (including one of yours truly!)
Photo by ballofpopcultur

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fresh Meat Graduates

A couple weeks ago we had four more girls pass their minimum skating requirements.  It's nice having new skaters in the pack, especially when we scrimmage!  I also like not being the biggest n00b out on the track.  But no joke, our new girls are awesome.

May I present to you the skaters formerly known as Boca
Burger, Anchovy, and Spaghetti & Meatballs.  Notably
absent is Leela Pot Pie - but congrats to her, too! 

Do you wanna be a Hellion?  Send an email to hellionsrecruitment |at| gmail |dot| com.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trivia Night @ Badass Burrito

Meet us for a TRIVIA NIGHT at Badass Burrito in Troy this Tuesday, June 22 from 6pm - 9pm.  The Hellions will also be guest bartending!

Winners will go home dressed in Hellions swag and stuffed full of grub from Badass Burrito.

Have you ever eaten at Badass?  We had them cater one of our work functions and it was so delicious.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

4 Things I Learned my First Time Jamming

At the bout this weekend in Maine, I assumed I wouldn't be put in to jam.  I mean, maybe I should've at least considered the possibility because I've been jamming a lot at practice.  But as far as I knew, I'd be playing the front inside blocker position.  Easy enough, but important.  Guard the line.  Watch for the jammer.  Work with the pivot.  Got it.  

Halfway into the second period, Beefcake told me I was on deck to jam next.  Kitty smiled at me and told me I could do it.  I grabbed the jammer panty and made to sure wave it at Eloda Sarcasm who was sitting behind our bench.  Then it was time.

1.  Don't be scared.  Don't be scared.  Don't be scared.  Don't be scared.   (oo00ooOOoo000mmmm)  I want to be a team player, and I want to do what coaching tells me to do; I trust them.  Beefcake thought it was a good idea, so I went for it.  I didn't even want to think about being scared.

2.  You can do it in scrimmage, you can do it in a bout.  I stepped up to the jammer line.  I had done this before.  The girl next to me was doing a "runners start" (almost down on one knee, touching the floor.)  She was ready to go, and I knew she didn't plan to hit me off the line.  Phew, no nonsense.  Except from me.  I love jumping/bouncing on my top stops when I'm lined up to jam.  I feel so energetic and I need to let it out somehow.  Was it appropriate, though?  Would I look silly?  I decided I didn't care and started my engine.

3.  Trust your blockers.  One thing Beefcake told me before going out to jam was that he had a solid group of girls blocking for me.  I wish I could remember who exactly was out there, but most importantly Sally Mae Hurtyou was out there.  Somehow, I made through the pack as lead jammer.  Holy crap.  Maine was playing a fast game, so I had to concentrate on catching up.  Next mission: how to get through?  But then I saw Sally, who was about 10 feet behind the pack.  I called her name, grabbed her hips, and ducked down.  She started plowing through the pack.  We got by a few girls and I hopped around on the inside line past the last person in the front.  4 points!!

4.  4 points is enough.  I called off the jam soon after I broke through the pack and scored my points.  Maine's jammer was still trying to catch up to the pack to make her first scoring pass, so she didn't score at all that jam.  A net gain of 4 points for us!  I had a couple options.  Let her catch the pack and hope my blockers could keep her back, but in reality she might've gotten through so that would've been 4 points for each of us.  Net gain of 0.  Say I wanted to make up for that - I could try to achieve another scoring pass, but would I be able to?  At that point 4 points (Maine) vs 8 points (Hellions) is still just a 4 point net gain.  The game is won in increments of 4.  I did what I needed to do.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Next Home Bout: Saturday, July 24

With our three away bouts behind us, we are rolling into our home season.  Check out the poster for our next bout, coming up in July against the ManchVegas Roller Girls from Manchester, NH!

Hope to see you there!  Afraid you'll forget?  Here's the facebook invitation.

Be there or be a four-sided regular polygon!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dirt on their Skirts

This weekend Mr. T and I drove out to Cooperstown for Roller Derby Day in conjuction with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes.  I thought this would be something fun to do because Mr. T loves baseball and I love roller derby.  However, the game rained out so we got to spend the whole afternoon in the Baseball Hall of Fame. **Roller Derby Day has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 18**

One exhibit I found interesting was the one for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).  Check out this picture of one of the players.
Caption: Lois Florreich shows the hazards of sliding in a skirt.  
Chaperones like Dottie Green administered first aid at the games 
and watched over the women in the field.
WOW!  I had the EXACT same bruise on my thigh just a couple months ago.

Throughout the museum, there were little food-for-thought signs (probably for education field trip groups).  One said:
Into the 1960s, it was a social custom for most women to wear skirts or dresses at work.  On and off the field, the AAGPBL also adopted this practice for its players.  Look around this exhibit.  Do you see uniforms that are different from those worn by ballplayers today?  How difficult would it be to play in these clothes?
I think if you cut the sleeves off and shorten the hem of this bad-girl, it could definitely be worn as a derby uniform!  I will admit though, "dressing derby" doesn't always seem the most practical for playing any sport.  At practice I like to wear regular work-out style clothes.  Dressing up for bouts is fun - but it's also a matter of practicality.

I also checked out the AAGPBL's website.  They are serious about the charm school aspect.  Check out their manual here: AAGPBL Charm School Guide.
My favorite parts:
  • Eyeball excercies "to strengthen your eyes and add to their sparkle and allure";
  • Suggestion to "Arrange your hair neatly in a manner that will best retain its natural style despite vigorous play"; and
  • Discussion on etiquette.   Derby girls are bad ass, but we all know how to behave (deep down, somewhere).
 And here are their Rules of Conduct.  Of note:
  • "Smoking or drinking is not permissible in public places. Liquor drinking will not be permissible under any circumstances."
  • "Baseball uniform skirts shall not be shorter than six inches above the knee-cap."  (this seems pretty generous to me!)
One last part of the exhibit that I found interesting was this fact:
Caption: Concerned that baseball might lose its players to the armed services, chewing gum magnate and Chicago Cubs owner Philip Wrigley created an all-women's league in 1943.  Over it's 12 year history, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League employed more than 600 women as professional ballplayers.
The AAGPBL promoted its players as ladies, provided them with make-up tips and sent them to charm school.  In their signature skirted uniforms, the women endured scraped and bruised legs.  Dressed like ladies, they played like pros.

"Promoted its players as ladies" is probably where roller derby and the AAGPBL start to no longer interesect.  But I suspect modern derby girls share a lot of the same experiences these female ballplayers did.  I bet they were secretly proud of their scrapes and bruises.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Freihofer's Run for Women Recap

I first wrote about my running adventures a couple weeks ago.  At the time, I just finished my first two races of 2010 and was preparing for my first Freihofer's Run for Women.  I wanted this race to be special, because deep down I wanted it to be an inspiring experience - me, just a local roller girl, running in the same race as Olympic athletes.  But would it be?  Is it important to celebrate female athletes?  Do we need our own distinction?
To tell the truth, this race was special.  Before the start of the race, I was lined up under the bridge on Madison Avenue outside of the NYS Museum with 3,500+ other women.  Call me soft, but the National Anthem always gets me worked up.  Everyone stopped chattering and started listening.  Then, I could hear people around me start to gently sing along.  It was a very peaceful way to start the race.
Minutes later it was time to run!  15 minutes into the race, almost halfway through the race for me, a runner next to me mused that the winner was just seconds from finishing.  She couldn't have been more right.  This year's winner finished the race in 15 minutes, 10 seconds - a new course record!  Her pace was 4:53 minutes per mile!  

What's important (from a women's perspective) about this race is that is THE winning time.  It doesn't follow a list of names and times of several men (who could have potentially) completed the race before Emily Chebet (the winner) crossed the finish line as the first woman.  She was the first ... period.  No asterics needed.
I started the event in peace and finished the race strong.  I watched the other woman runners finish strong with me and after me.  I saw the photos of the women who finished before me (including my friend Jen).  This was a special race.
My stats:
Place: 2070/3521
Rank in division (female, age 20 - 24): 179/261
Pace: 11:01 min/mile
Net time: 34:12

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Skating on Outdoor Wheels (Inside)

At last Monday's practice, I realized I left my indoor wheels at home.  I had my outdoor wheels on because I was skating outside for Troy Night Out
From my basic understanding, outdoor wheels are typically made from a softer material which makes rolling over rougher surfaces smoother.  They also have more traction so you slide around less.  Lastly, the outdoors wheels I am using have seen better days - they're just pretty worn down in general.
As I was warming up at practice, it felt like I was skating on marshmallows.  I was slow and generally had to work harder to propel myself around the track.  Of course, this was a night where coaching started out with the 25-in-5 drill.  Nooooooooo!  But, for science, I skated my heart out during that drill and just squeaked out 25 laps.  Normally, I can skate 28-30 -- who thought it could make such a difference!
So...good workout on Monday.  I will not be forgetting my indoor wheels again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Troy Night Out Recap

  Here I am telling it like it is (far right).
There was great weather for skating Friday night at Troy Night Out.  We were skating right next to Monument Square - the City put up barriers so we had a whole block (2nd & Broadway) to skate around and give demos.  I was nominated to give a lowdown on the rules and explain how the demo would go down.

We gave demonstrations every 20 or 30 minutes.  "Bouting" on that cobblestone was NOT easy.  I don't love this picture, because it shows the other jammer busting through my defense, but here's the group of us tearing up the cobblestone.

And here we are at the end of the night:

We had a great time!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hello, including Kevin Marshall and the girls from Some Girls Boutique.   
Our number one fan, Space Chalky, took some awesome photos and video!  Here's a link to the video he took:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Roller Derby Events

There is SO much roller derby stuff going on this month, so I figured I'd give y'all the rundown today so you don't miss any of it!
Saturday morning, June 5: Hellions at the Troy Farmer's Market.  9am - 1pm - Troy River Front Park.  I think we're gonna make this a monthly thing!
Saturday evening, June 5: The Albany Allstars take on the New Jersey Corporal Punishers.  7pm, Washington Avenue Armory.
Sunday, June 6: Roller Derby Day at the Cooperstown Hawkeyes stadium.  Doubleday Field. Cooperstown, NY.  Derby girls can sign up in advance to receive a free ticket to the game!  Mr. T (my boyfriend) LOVES baseball.  And I LOVE roller derby!  We are definitely going to try to make it out there for this event!
Saturday, June 12:  Hellions of Troy vs. the Maine Roller Girls - Portland, ME.  Yep, we're taking the 5 hour trip up to Maine to play the game we love!  The bout will be held at the Portland Exposition Building ("the Expo"), 239 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102-2911.  The doors open at 5pm and the bout starts at 6pm.  Take a road trip and cheer us on!
Sunday, June 13:  Hellions will be marching/skating in the Troy Flag Day Parade, which steps off at 1pm in downtown Troy and runs along 4th Street.
Sunday, June 13:  You'll also find some Hellions marching/skating in the Albany Pride Parade, which steps off at noon from Washington Park.  We'll also have a booth set up at the Festival in Washington Park.  Stop by and say hi!
Saturday, June 19: The Albany Allstars play the last game of their season.  7pm, Washington Avenue Armory.
Friday, June 25 - Sunday, June 27: East Coast Extravaganza in Philadelphia!  This is basically a roller derby conference/tournament sponsored by the Philly Roller Girls.  From the website:
Two rinks will feature full-length, regulation bouts between all-star teams of WFTDA member leagues, while one additional rink will host half-hour challenge bouts between travel teams not participating in WFTDA action, as well as home teams and Extravaganza-special teams composed of players from across the derby world. That's three rinks of simultaneous derby action!
You don't have to be a skater to attend, as it's also open to the public.  I actually missed the registration date to skate, but I'll still be there taking in all the action.  At least I still have a shot to win the after parties.