Roller Derby in 2011 is astounding because it is simply great sport. I just finished watching the London roller girls (the London Brawling ‘natch) defeat Montreal’s New skids on the block 137-135.
If you like football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cricket, rugby, race car driving, gymnastics, or the olympics, then you should watch the last period of this bout. The competitive frenzy will affect almost anyone.
Competition in roller derby is accelerating weekly. Internet broadcasts allow previously regional strategy developments to get shared, and the players in London have obviously been studying Derby News Network (DNN). They showed incredible hustle and an excellent ability to play the fast/slow modern derby. It was one of the best bouts I’ve seen all year and these two teams were fighting for the fifth and sixth position rankings! They struggled, fought and scrapped — trading body blows and sending jammers wheeling through the pack often on one roller skate (and at least twice by jumping over competition). I can’t imagine the physical strain — and this was each teams third bout of the tournament.
London arrived ranked tenth, then beat the then-ranked number seven Carolina team on friday. They then lost to number two Philly on saturday. And here on Sunday they suit up and give blood on the track for the fifth place. It was fun as hell to watch.
And kudos to Montreal. I noticed Montreal early in the season when the traveled to the traditional stronghold of badass derby — the pacific northwest and won some games. Unheard of for a random team to show up and shock champs. But Montreal seem to be well-suited to the struggle, and play a friendly game despite their extraterrestrial neon outfits.
Montreal lost to Carolina on friday, beat Dutchland handily and then sunday faced London.
Now the champs. Charm city is wrecking Pittsburgh for 3rd. And then Philly (Heavy Flo Yo!) against Gotham. Good luck Philly, yer gonna need it.