GnR opened their 2010 World Domination Tour by trumping the High Rollers, 127-122.
In the first period, GnR tore open the High Rollers, Blood Clottia and Cadillac trading off jams to pile up the points. More than a few times, they each would simply trade positions with the other: they'd finish a jam as jammer, immediately line up again behind the pivot line, then when that jam was over, take the star and line up again on the jammer line. For RCR announcer Speed Bump, they blurred into "a singular amazing skater who changes outfit jam-to-jam" who he's named "Clottillac." (If you're having trouble telling one from the other, here are a few simple hints: if she's got lots of lipstick and not a lot of pants, that's Cadi; if she's wearing a leopard-print unitard, it's Blood.)
Co-captain Cher The Pain also took on a good chunk of the jamming duties. It wasn't that long ago that she was proudly sporting a "Blockers Don't Wear Panties" tee, but she does clearly wear panties at least some of the time now. And Fist O' Fury, who was drafted by GnR late last season, also took a few turns at the jammer line, and I hope we'll see more of her there this season.
While Blood's and Cadi's jam-monstrous skills were strong Saturday night, GnR's blocking has become fierce. GnR—SmackYa Sideways, co-captain Mercyful Kate, Miss Mel Mangles, and Napalm Beth in particular—hit hard and hit often.
With the two-fisted combination of GnR jammers scoring many points and GnR blockers denying many points to the High Rollers, the score at the end of the half was something like GnR: this this, HR: this this.
In the second period, I expected the GnR to continue with their first-half strategy of hitting and scoring. Most Revered Coaches Col. Mullet and Lt. Pain instead switched their strategy to "let the High Rollers score a lot of points." I'm not an expert in derby tactics by any means, but this change in approach did surprise me. Still, GnR did come out with a win, so I can't fault the GnR for this decision.
Alongside the "let the High Rollers score a lot of points" move, the GnR also chose to rest one or two skaters each jam in the penalty box. Here too I must raise the horns to the superior—and victorious—wisdom of the GnR and their coaches.
I was pleased to see that the GnR continued the "hitting" portion of their first-half approach. In fact, the GnR were hitting so much that Cadillac apparently got bored with hitting just the High Rollers, and late in the second period she tried to knock down the hangar itself, throwing herself into one of its supporting "ribs." While this hit was less successful than earlier hits to Honey Hellfire or Sully Skullkicker, I have to admire her enthusiasm. I can't imagine the Betties supporting that sort of hard-rocking, devil-may-care attitude.
As the High Rollers closed the gap in the scores, the GnR finished the bout with especially smart play from the few skaters they chose to keep in the jam. Careful blocking—even with just a single skater on the track—forced the High Rollers to take more time to score and kept the GnR ahead until time ran out.
While the GnR earned a hard-won victory on the track, many of them forfeited the after-party. I'll give Cadillac a pass in deference to her heroic assault on the hangar. And if the rumors are true of Suki Hana being in a delicate condition (i.e., abundant, in the family way, anticipating a blessed event, parturient, expecting, with child, preggers, knocked up, etc.), then I can understand her not throwing back cocktails late into the night. (I should point out, however, that simply skating with the gayest team in the league is, in itself, not a reliable form of contraception. See also, Guts & Bolts.)
November Pain has a new arrival herself? Ok, maybe that's a reasonable excuse (even if it's a puppy). Blood Clottia, on the other hand, was sick sick sick and she managed to show up!
But Mullet? Absent. Hard Knox? Absent. Punchkin and Axl Blows? Absent and absent. Napalm Beth? Fist O' Fury? Evilia D. Stroiu? Absent. Absent. Absent.
We must not allow an after-party gap!
And it seems to me to be poor manners, in either a roller derby or a rock-and-roll way, to casually bang around some chicks and then not buy them a drink after.