Saturday, July 5, 2008

An Honor

My roller derby team played our final game of the season on June 28th. I was asked by one of our board members to write something up for the team blog. I was hesitant at first, but I didn't want to let her down. The fact that she trusted me with this task, which in my eyes is a big deal, made me feel honored and scared. I am sure when she gets it she may edit or ad to it, which would not bother me in the least. So with out further ado, here is my view on the last game of the 2007/2008 Derby Diva Season:

The events as they are listed below are from one skaters point of view and may not be an accurate summary of the days events.

The Divas Take on the North Star Roller Girls.

June 28th 2008, Beloit Wisconsin.

The day started out like any normal summer day in the Midwest. The sun was bright, there was very little humidity with a light breeze. It was a picture perfect day. All across the Stateline area women were spending a few moments with family and friends. Other women however, had violence on the brain. As the storm clouds darkened the horizon bringing short down pours these women counted down the minutes till they strapped on their wheels.

Five o'clock rolls around, skaters, refs and volunteers converge on the Skating Station. Tonight there are no bleacher's needed, no kids to shoo off, the rink belongs only to the Derby Community. In no time the chairs are set, the track is up.

Six o'clock the doors open, friends and family start to trickle in. The North Star girls start their warm up. The Divas suit up. Pads are donned, skates are laced up and tied. Wait, there is an envelope in with someone's derby gear. One of our founding members opens her skate bag and finds a card...."Awe" we say, "That is so sweet, you have a good man." everyone's attention is on the card when Annsanity says "What's this?" as she picks up a small pink wrapped package. "Where did this come from?" Boom Boom has a questioning look on her face as she unwraps a small box. Slowly the lid is opened and her eyes become as big as saucers, she slams the box closed with a gasp and runs across the rink to properly thank Mr. Martini. What is all the fuss? several girls who didn't see the action ask. Mr. Martini had hid a HUGE ring in her skate bag.

Okay, time to focus. It's seven o'clock, Whitney Houston makes a rare public appearance to sing our National Anthem. Bob Noxious from Madison's Mad Rollin' Dolls and Cracked Pepper of the North Star Roller Girls join our own announcer Sac Scratch to introduce the skaters for tonights battle.

The stage is set, the first line up of girls are on the starting line. The whistle blows, and the final Bout of our Inaugural season is on the way.

From here on out everything to me was a blur. I remember trying to get my jammers through an impenetrable wall of green jerseys. We skated like a team, but our strategy just wasn't working against the blocking skills of the North Stars. After the first twenty minutes we had to change the game plan. Pack speed was to become our ally, we needed to control her to get our girls through.

At the end of the second period we had gained more points, but we still had a way to go. We had a lot of hard hits, the fan's in the suicide seats were getting their money's worth. We had skaters sliding under the score and time keepers table. We had a jammer break her plate, tempers were rising, but the camaraderie of sisters was still there. Split the pack, let them get 20 feet away, was still the game plan. The chest area is a legal place to hit Maiden Korea. (Who by the way skated almost the entire bout backwards!) These words became our mantras.

The third period begins, the second jam in, one of our girls goes down. Head referee Machete Holiday, on loan from the Brew City Bruisers, tells everyone to take a knee. Our EMT on duty, Ron James, is called out to where Velvet Vendetta is curled up on the track clutching her knee. The rink falls silent in respect as everyone waits to see if she will get up. Unfortunately she doesn't. Velvet is lifted up and carried off the track to applause. She skated, and she skated hard. Line them up and here we go again. The last period continues, the hits are as hard as ever, and the pack is fast. As the last seconds tick by I still don't know what the score is. The last whistle blows and North Star is declared the winning team.

A great bunch of girls take the track one last time as a team for the night to make their victory lap. Everyone is smiling a flood of "great game"s, "you were awesome"s, and "thank you"s can be heard as we shake hands in the tradition of every little league game.

Then the North Star Roller Girls show us and our fans the true meaning of Sports-woman-ship. They tell us to take a victory lap.

Even though the score board said one thing at that moment every girl who had the nerve to strap on a pair of skates in the past year as a Diva was a winner!

After the game was played and the rink cleaned, we all headed out to Mick and Tony's. Tony as always had plenty of food for a crowd of hungry Derby Girls. We partied, drank, broke out the whipped cream for body shots and a few brave souls from both teams played sand volleyball in a down pour. Several of our team mates, referees and volunteers went home that night looking like sugar cookies.

At the end of the night I still did not know what the final score was, and to me it doesn't matter. I was apart of a hard hitting, fast skating game. Even now when I think back on this game the last thing I even think about is the numbers on the board. I remember the respect and sportsmanship. I remember women coming together as strangers, only to part as sisters. I remember the smiles and the hugs and the tears that we had done it.

We are Derby Girls, this bout was what we had worked so hard to achieve.

Viva La Divas!!!

North Star Roller Girls: 124
Stateline Roller Derby Divas: 33


aka DD Hunter
Kill it, Grill it, Repeat.

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