Sunday, September 21, 2008
Back to the Track!!
Tonight B, her husband, S, and I went to see the Windy City Rollers All-Star team play at Cicero Stadium for the last time - next season they will be at the UIC Pavilion. While this will be in many ways good for the league, we wondered how it would affect the overall ambiance of the game. Will ticket prices go up? Will concessions go up? Will there be lots of annoying college students?
We'll still go, regardless, but there's something lovely about the plastic cups of Miller Light and the $3.00 EZ Cheez nachos, the low-budgetness of it all.
We saw our buddies Donna D. Apocalypse and Karma Geddon -- they both were excited to see us again ("Hello Birthday Girl!"). Tonight's game was against Kansas City, and the expectation was that it would be very close, with low scores, as KC is ranked #1 and WCR #7.
Well, it turns out that KC underestimated our girls, and did not put their first-string team out tonight. In a game that amazed everyone, WCR beat KC by over a hundred points.
When the teams first came out, the KC girls looked like The Opposition. Big. Beefy. Lots of black dramatic eye makeup. Jessica Rabid looked like a werebunny, whiskers and all.
"They're kind of scaring me," B said.
"They remind me of the Bad Guys in Speed Racer episodes," I replied.
On the track, it was clear that this lineup from KC relied much more on brute force than on speed and agility: they were very aggressive on the track, racking up many penalties, sending them to the penalty box, aka "sin bin" over and over. But the WCR team is just an amazingly tight team, and they freaking flew. The game was fast, really fast, and for a team like KC that relies on good blocking, they had a hard time at the pace set.
And so WCR did two things tonight: 1. they ended their tenure at Cicero Stadium having lost-- over three years -- no home games, and 2. they broke KC's undefeated status this season.
Cicero Stadium holds 300 people, it was sold out, and let's just say the energy was high, Houston. Towards the end, when things for KC were looking grim, they just amped up the aggression. It was tremendous to see the skill with which people blocked and checked and recovered.
S. loved it. He was yelling with the rest of us. By the end of the night he was making suggestions of friends of his he wants to bring to the next one.
This is a video clip of a block made during a WCR game. This is not a home game, and I haven't seen the main players involved in the play that's highlighted, but the video gives a good idea of how fast and furious this game is played, and how elegant these athletes are.
Back on the bus, Donna D. was encouraging us to see the regional matches in Milwaukee in November. "The skating and the playing are just amazing," she said. "The Gotham team is an incredible team to watch. You will see some of the best roller derby available."
B and I are already making road-trip plans.