Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 23rd - Oakland Outlaws vs. Redwood Rollers

Holy. Mackerel. I had a good time last night!

Two weeks ago, I came across a semi-panicked email from Humboldt Roller Derby. They had a double-header planned in 14 days and the visiting team scheduled to play their A team just canceled! I casually mentioned it to my Oakland Outlaw teammates that night and shockingly, they all jumped on board immediately. I can't stress how impressed I am that we rallied fourteen girls to drive five+ hours up to Eureka on a holiday weekend with less than two weeks notice. Those girls are champs!

And I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are *so* glad we made that trip up. The Humboldt league was hospitable and welcoming! All the women and men in the organization were very friendly (even the coach despite any misunderstandings. ha!). The sell-out crowd was loud and enthusiastic. The announcer was on point and outrageous. The whole thing was pleasantly surprising.

Did you know that Humboldt gave each of us a redwood tree to take home and plant? Did you? Did you know we each got four drink tickets for the after party? Did you? Did you know they made cupcakes? Did you know they gave us all framed bout posters? Did you know they gave us chili dogs after the game? DID YOU?! It was awesome.

So, on to the game. Oakland had no idea what to expect. We had never seen the Humboldt girls play before. We had a mixed roster of veteran players and rookies. A few of the girls had never been in a real, live bout before. We were confident that as a unit, we'd all excel together.

First jam in and things are not looking so good. Sissy Jr. flies out of the pack for the Redwood Rollers and puts up four points and calls it before Jane Hammer can get out and score. Uh-oh.
The Outlaws had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the floor. It was similar to the polished concrete floor that we skated on in Stockton. But it was much better than that one! While we weren't slipping all over the place, it was very hard to get speed and feel comfortable crossing over in the turns. When you have to adjust the normal speed of your game, it takes a while to get the timing and strategy back down. Coupled with that was the surprising ferocity of the Humboldt girls hits. While I was jamming, I wasn't grippy enough on the floor to be able to cut away when I saw a hit coming at me. There was no escaping, you just had to take it and struggle to stay upright. As a result, I am very sore and bruised up today.

But Oakland got it together and started picking up the points. At halftime the score was 55 to 27 Oakland. The second period was even more hard-hitting than the first. The penalties started racking up on both sides. Several jams went without a jammer. More than half of the jams in the second went on with one or more blockers in the box for each team. Tensions started to run a bit high. In the end, Oakland took the win with a 115 to 65 score. Everyone seemed happy that the game was over and thrilled that we all had fun with no drama! It's refreshing to finish a game with everyone smiling.

On an embarassing note, I'd like to use this space to apologize for a mini-tantrum I threw. In the last jam I was called out on an elbowing major that I didn't think I deserved (still don't think I deserve it actually). I was incensed! I threw my mouthguard on the ground (like 20 feet!), literally stomped my feet, and cursed more than once. Luckily it was too loud in the venue for anyone to hear me. That is lame behavior. I am known for being loud and volatile and "passionate." I had been working on keeping my emotions in check and had been doing very well. I hadn't had a tantrum since Western Regionals last year! I went 8 months! EIGHT MONTHS! *sigh*

Anyways, thank you to the Humboldt league for being such generous and nice hosts! I'd love to come up again sometime and I highly recommend any other teams in the area take Humboldt on! It was a great experience.


Brick Shields said...

NOOOOOO!!!!! I'm so incredibly sad and depressed I missed the game of the season with my team. Hot Damn I know Humboldt is in my blood, but I guess I'm glad it's all of yours now. Someone please give me their redwood tree if they don't want it.

Anonymous said...

We heart you all even though you trampled us. And don't worry, mini-tantrums come with the derby territory. THANK YOU, so much for coming up. We learned so much from your team and we can't wait to beat you next time!
XOXO, Hex #13

josh said...


josh said...

What I meant to say was...Thanks!!! for making the drive and giving Humb. some love. They have a great vibe going. Sissy Jr. is my sister, so I drive up for all their bouts (live in the bay). Thanks again for the ass-kicking/teaching! See you at the next Outlaws bout.