Thursday, May 31

The Final Countdown (aka Season 7 Championships)

Hey rockers! Can you believe Season 7 is almost over?! It's been quite a ride, full of cheers and tears and all that good stuff in between.  Since Season 6 ended we've bid farewell to some lovely ladies (Itzo EZ, Guts N Bolts, Bella Massacre, Slaughtra, and Squid Vicious) and welcomed new talent to the Jungle (Braidy Punch, Va Va BOOM, Frank N Hurter, Scouts OnHer, Mel Mangles, Scarlene, and Yoga Nabi Sari). We got to see our beloved Guns N Rollers annihilate the Heartless Heathers in the season opener.  We watched, amazed, as GNR put up an epic fight against the Breck Neck Betties and the High Rollers.  We witnessed a season plagued by penalty trouble, but rich with triumphant moments and a helluva lot of fun.  We wrap up Season 7 this Saturday, June 2nd, much like we began, versus the Heartless Heathers at Memorial Coliseum. 

Keys to the Game

#1: Can you guess what my #1 is?  That's right: stay out of the box! GNR can do wonderful things when they've got a full contingent of blockers.  They can trap, they can form impenetrable walls, they can control the pace of the pack.  But as soon as the penalties start to pile up and they're down a blocker or two the magic is gone, and they are led by their opponent like spandex-clad sheep to the slaughter.

#2: Keep calm and rock on! Did you know that GNR beat the Betties in scrimmage yesterday?! I was there! I totally saw it happen! GNR kept their cool and played with precision and agility, and did an amazing job of controlling the Betties.  There were some great moments at scrimmage last night that I wish you all could have seen.  Supa Sixpack managed to knock over SoulFearic ACID while jamming against her- and she did it legally! Oh my god it was awesome. Havana Goodtime was like a whirling dervish in the pack, hitting a Bettie in the back of the pack and in the next instant flying up front to hit someone else.  Untamed Shrew unleashed the power of the 'toma to wreak havoc as a blocker.  It was a great scrimmage.  And a big reason was that everyone was nice and calm, focusing on what they needed to do and actually doing it.  There was no pressure, no cheering, no distractions, just smart skating and skilled execution. GNR, you play so well when you calm the f*** down.  So take a cue from Foreigner, and be as cold as ice.  Break it up. Tooth and nail.  Say you will. Yes, those are all songs by Foreigner. And yes, I've been listening to quite a bit of Foreigner lately.

#3: Don't let up! Unless you're at least 100 points on top, resist the urge to put in those throwaway line-ups.  Keep putting in your best skaters until the last four whistles blow, or at least until the game reaches there's-no-way-in-hell-this-will-be-anything-but-a-blow-out status.  Then maybe you can let off the gas a little. But until then, stick with your power line-ups. Do not experiment. Call an audible if you have to, if someone is just having an off night.  Don't try to force performance if it's just not there. But for the most part, stick with what's working, and change what needs changing.

#4: Have fun! Remember why we all fell in love with GNR? They may not win the most games, but they look like they're having the most fun out on the track. So GNR, keep that butt-rocking good humor and skate your hearts out! Go out in a blaze of glory.  Ok, that was Bon Jovi, not Foreigner.  But you get the idea.

So come to Memorial Coliseum this Saturday, June 2nd, to see your favorite ladies in animal print close out the season in style.  Rock on! \m/ \m/

Wednesday, May 16

Semi-finals recap: GNR vs BNB

Hello rockers.  Your humble blogger comes to you with despondent horns thrown.  Our beloved Guns N Rollers lost the rematch against the Break Neck Betties last week, missing out on the chance to battle the #1 High Rollers for the Season 7 Championships.  They will instead meet the #4-ranked Heartless Heathers on the track- in all likelyhood ending the season in the same #3 spot they were at after the Season 7 Opener.

At the risk of sounding like a broked record, penalty trouble killed GNR's chances at victory yet again.  GNR skaters were in the box for minutes that sometimes spanned three consecutive jams (in one case, even four jams).  Line-ups were constantly a skater or more short due to penalties, which left gaping holes on the track for the Betties to take full advantage.

It wasn't all GNR's fault.  The Betties are, well, the Betties.  There's a reason why they won the Season 6 Championships.  They are really really freaking good.  They have lightening quick jammers like SoulFearic ACID.  They have sneaky jammers like D Konstructor.  And they have solid, hard-hitting blockers like Scylla Devourer and Scrappy Go Lucky.  All in all, they are a formidable opponent.  The only way to beat them is to throw them off their game.  This is not impossible.  GNR did it a little over a month ago, in those glorious first minutes of the bout.  But they couldn't keep up with the well-oiled machine that is the Break Neck Betties. 

In addition to the penalty trouble, which I've discussed ad nauseum, here are a few things I noticed:

GNR got tired.  Really quickly.  Jammers had to work so hard to get through the pack that they had nothing left to go the distance and keep fighting for points.  Blockers got fatigued and stopped paying attention to finishing their hits.  Multiple times I saw a blocker hit a Betties jammer but not make sure she actually pushed her all the way out of bounds.  Result: the Betties jammer simply passed her and skated on.  I saw in-play positional blocking abandoned for no good reason.  Pack awareness suffered under decreased stamina.  In a word, GNR looked slow.

Something else I realized (ok, I came to this conclusion a while ago, but I am voicing it again with renewed vigor): GNR is in dire need of another jammer.  Scald Eagle is amazing.  Supa Sixpack is tenacious.  Untamed Shrew is inspiring.  But Shrew has been blocking instead of jamming (with the exception of the semi-final).  And Sixpack doesn't always get the help she needs from her blockers.  I started writing this post before last Thursday's draft, and was hoping to see GNR pick up a ready-made jammer like Mutch Mayhem or Feliz Brutality, who look to be exactly what GNR needs.  Alas, it was not in the cards.  I'm excited to see what GNR's draft picks (Scarlene and Yoga Nabi Sari) will contribute to the team.  But I have a feeling I'm going to be continuing to wish for a solid jammer for GNR's rotation.

Going into the Championships against the Heathers, what can I say?  GNR will probably beat them just like they did in the Season Opener.  It will be a nice way to book-end the season.  It's been an interesting ride, but I can't say I'm disappointed.  This season inspired GNR fans to hope, which is certainly more than anyone could say last season.  And I, for one, remain loyal to my favorite bad-ass ladies in black spandex.  I'll be at the Memorial Coliseum on June 2nd at 6pm, cheering GNR on like I always have.  I hope you'll be there too, rockers!  GNR deserves our horn-throwing, butt-rocking support!!

In Other News...

Welcome to the Jungle, Scarlene and Yoga Nabi Sari!!  Also, I swear I'm working on that video blog of the GNR Party forever ago.  There's a lot of pictures and footage to compile, and I'm not so much with the fancy iVideo stuff...  Soon, I promise!!

Rock on!! \m/ \m/

Monday, April 30

It's Time For the Semis!!

Hold on to your butts, rockers!  Are you ready for a rematch?  This weekend is the Season 7 Semi-Finals, and Saturday night sees our radical Guns N Rollers pitted once more against the lipstick-wearing Break Neck Betties.  These two teams are ranked 3rd and 2nd respectively and will be battling for a shot in the Championship game against the winner of Friday night's bout (either the High Rollers or the Heartless Heathers).  As you may recall, last month the Betties dealt GNR a crushing blow in the form of a 172-107 routing.  With the exception of a few awe-inspiring first minutes, the Betties held the upper hand the entire game.  But let's not open up that wound.  Let's look ahead to what's in store for us loyal GNR fans this weekend...

Mel Mangles is back!  Oh my god, you guys!  After retiring from GNR to skate exclusively for the Wheels of Justice, Mangles is back in black and ready to kick some ass!  \m/ \m/  I am so excited to see her back on the track for our butt-rocking ladies in spandex.  Adding her to the list of formidable GNR blockers like Havana Good Time and Frank N Hurter means that sneaky little Betties jammers like D Konstructor and SoulFearic ACID will have a slightly harder time getting through the pack.  This also means that GNR jammers will have a little more help on offense and may manage to rack up some serious points.  This will be an absolute necessity if GNR has any hopes of neutralizing those Betties jammers.  Supa Sixpack will need to put some major points up, and Scald Eagle will probably be pulling double-duty as a jammer and a blocker.  Now that Squid Vicious has left Rose City for the untamed excitement of Utah, GNR has a gaping hole in their jammer rotation.  Who will step up and fill it?  As much as I love to watch Untamed Shrew out on the track blocking (she really is quite effective), I am crossing my fingers that we will see her reprise her role as the amazing jammer from earlier in the season.  I'll also be watching for Harajuke A Girl and Juvie Hall to continue their proud tradition of solid positional blocking.

All the pieces are there, people.  The key will be for GNR to stay calm and not fall apart in the face of chaos.  Don't get flustered and commit stupid penalties!  For god's sake, stay out of the box!  And if you can, GNR, please please try to crush the spirits of those Betties jammers.  DK may be an unflappable machine, but we have all seen the photographic evidence that Acid is at least capable of being flustered. ;)

Come to the hangar at Oaks Park this Saturday, May 5th at 6pm to see the Guns N Rollers take on the Break Neck Betties.  I have a feeling it's gonna be a nail-biter!

In Other News...

The Guns N Rollers fundraising party on April 20th was a wild success!  Guests and GNR alike piled into the Blitz party bus for some cruising and boozing, stopping first at Nectar in Sellwood (a GNR sponsor) to sample the GNR-inspired flavor High Voltage Chocolate.  Holy crap, GNR has their own flavor!  And boy was that stuff spicy! After burning our mouths out with deliciousness we climbed back on board the party bus and headed downtown to Ground Kontrol.  At the door Va Va BOOM gave us each a little pink bag of quarters and unleashed us on the video games.  Addams Family Pinball!  Mortal Kombat!  4-Person PacMan!  While drinking!  We all wandered around and indulged our nostalgia, stopping at the fancy-pants tables reserved exclusively for GNR to hang when our quarters ran out.  There we sat, snapping pictures, playing quarters, and laughing our butt-rocking butts off until it was time to climb aboard the party bus once more.  This time we were headed back to Blitz Ladd, where GNR was being eagerly awaited by their adoring fans.  As the live karaoke band set up on stage, guests ordered food and more drinks and started to settle in for a night of rowdiness and shenanigans. 

Mel Mangles, purveyor of jello shots, mingled with the crowd.  Raffle girls wandered through the masses.  Inebriated guests started piling into the free photo booth to document their... shall we say... revelry?  Everyone looks fantastic and good times were had by all.  Untamed Shrew had the crowd eating out of her hand with a rousing rendition of Sweet Child of Mine, and many brave souls took the stage to sing their hearts out with a live band behind them.  A sweet snowboard was raffled off along with other awesome prizes.  When I left just after midnight the crowd had thinned but the party was still rockin'.  As promised, I dutifully took video recordings whenever possible, and will be posting said footage on this very blog just as soon as I figure out how to do so!  Look forward to skater interviews, footage from the party bus and Ground Kontrol, and even Shrew rocking the mic!  It was an epic night of rock and roll with your favorite ladies in black.  If you missed it, you missed out!!

See you on Saturday!  Rock on! \m/ \m/

Tuesday, April 17

Come Party With GNR!!!

This just in, rockers! You may have heard stories of legendary Guns N Rollers parties, but now you can be a part of the mischief! This Friday GNR is throwing their annual fundraising blowout and you do NOT want to miss it! Reserve your seat on the exclusive party bus and GO ON TOUR WITH GNR!!! Yes, this is for real. Or if party buses aren't really your bag, meet GNR at Blitz-Ladd at 9pm for special drinks, games, and live karaoke. Either way, it's gonna be mental. Come join your favorite ladies in black (and yours truly, who will be trying valiantly to record a video blog while drinking) for the party of the year!!! See below for details.

Rock on!!! \m/ \m/

Get exclusive access to GNR’s giant party tour bus, only 10 people get to go!

On Friday night, April 20th, at 6:30pm.

- Enjoy free beer while you meet and party with GNR skaters!

- Stop in Sellwood and be the first to try free samples of Nectar’s brand new GNR flavor frozen yogurt!

- Challenge a GNR skater to a duel downtown at Ground Kontrol classic arcade, your game is on us!

- Roll up to the public party at Blitz-Ladd with GNR in style!

All this for a $40 contribution to Guns and Rollers. Keep GNR flush in Aqua Net and animal print (ok, really in uniforms and equipment) for one more year.

GNR’s exclusive pre-party tour bus leaves Blitz-Ladd at 6:30pm on Friday, April 20th. The public party gets rolling at 9:00pm and we'll rock into the early morning. The Karaoke Kings, a live karaoke band, will start playing at 9pm, so bring your rock anthem voices. Blitz-Ladd has free shuffleboard, ping pong, and darts. GNR will host a free photo booth, raffles (including a snowboard!) and special GNR drinks.

Only 10 people will get to join our pre-party tour bus of awesome, that’s right, we’re only selling 10 tickets!! So get yours now, we can’t wait to go on tour with you!

Wednesday, April 11

Guns N Rollers vs Break Neck Betties

Well rockers. Allow me to throw a pair of less-than-enthusiastic horns your way (\m/ \m/). You are no doubt still hurting from the Guns N Rollers' disappointing loss to the Break Neck Betties last week. I will admit- I procrastinated the crap out of writing this post. I really didn't want to write it. After such an exciting lead-in and an exhilarating start to the bout, I was left stunned and saddened by the defeat. It was a painful few hours for loyal GNR fans.

First, a brief recap. The bout began with a fierce showing of defense by both teams. Solid walls, great blocking, just some really killer derby. My eyes were as big as vinyl records as I stared in awe of GNR. They looked so damn good. The Betties drew first blood when SoulFearic ACID finally broke through the pack and put 4pts on the board. GNR's awesome defense held strong for the next 5 jams, which gave Scald Eagle a chance to rocket GNR ahead with a 20pt jam. Supa Sixpack put up 4pts to Acid's 3pts, and Squid Vicious added to GNR's lead with a 9pt jam. Fans were going nuts. The whole crowd was going nuts. We were witnessing such legendary derby. And then the penalties started. GNR proceeded to play all but 5 jams of the rest of the bout without a full contingent of blockers. The Betties started racking up points, and GNR was powerless to staunch the flow. Dekonstructor jammed back-to-back for a total of 24pts to tie the score in the 7th/8th jams, and the Betties never looked back. The first half ended with GNR down 41-90. Long scoreless streaks for GNR, coupled with continuing penalty trouble and consistent jamming by Acid, DK, and Joyride, sounded the death knell for any hopes of a GNR comeback. A 25pt jam by Acid put the point spread into triple digits, and the crowd started calling for the Betties to quit being douchebags and start playing their rookies (the crowd's words, not mine!). But the Betties persisted in racking up as many points as possible, jamming Acid, DK, and Joyride over and over again. Eagle managed a couple of miracle jams while FrankNHurter, Havana Goodtime, and Untamed Shrew showed their blocking chops by holding the Betties jammers scoreless. Finally answering the crowd's yells of "Play your rookies! Blow-outs are boring!" the Betties jammed Northern Lights Out and Winnie the Pow for the last few jams, during which Eagle put up 30pts. The final whistle blew and the torture was over- the Betties beat GNR 172-102.

So what happened? Penalty trouble killed GNR, like it always does. It's as simple as that. And yet it's decidedly more complex when you break it down further. It's not just a matter of less GNR blockers equals a defensive/offensive disadvantage. That's obvious. The other result of constant penalty trouble is the inevitable panic that ensues. GNR gets flustered and confused, which ultimately leads to their downfall, especially against an unflappable team like the Betties. Suddenly, line-ups get sent out without adjusting to the prior jam, like someone isn't paying attention to what just happened on the track. Last-minute changes are called when the blockers are already on the track, which throws the whole jam into chaos. This sort of panicked line-up change has even led to a top skater being pulled, leaving a less-effective blocker on the track. I've seen this happen in bouts and at scrimmage. It's a frustrating pattern.

So there's that. But there's something else that I am still mystified about. When playing a team like the Betties, who skate with the utmost precision and agility, why were there GNR skaters on the track who couldn't get to where they needed to go in an equally-timely fashion? Don't play the skaters who get hit out and take an eternity to get back to the pack! Don't play the skaters who don't/can't do their job because they are constantly getting picked off and trapped by the opposing team! Don't leave skaters on the bench who do possess the skills to get to the front of the pack without help! If a skater is having an off night (or simply lacks the skills to begin with), stop playing them! In case you couldn't tell from my copious use of italics, I'm a little worked up about this. GNR needs to take a hard, objective look at how their line-ups are being determined.

Ok, the rants are over. Here are some good things that happened. One of GNR's strategies was to neutralize Acid (heh, 'neutralize avid') by sending Eagle out to jam against her every single time. I chuckle to myself when I imagine Acid on the jam line with Eagle. 'You again? Really?' And although it may not have been a jam-for-jam wash in terms of points, Eagle did succeed in matching Acid's 66pts with 67pts of her own. Unfortunately, there were no GNR jammers able to equalize Dekonstructor or Joyride, who put up 67pts and 37pts respectively. But Eagle did a hell of a job jamming, as she always does. I hope she never ever stops jamming for GNR. Especially as long as FrankNHurter and Havana Goodtime are around to block, so Eagle can just jam all day long.

And let's not forgot that brief shining moment at the start of the bout when GNR was in fierce control of the pack. If GNR had skated with that same level-headedness and tenacity the whole time, they very well could have beat the Betties. And in case you haven't heard, GNR will play the Betties again in the semi-finals on May 5th. I'm hoping it will be a very different game.

In other news...

Squid Vicious skated her last bout with GNR on March 31st. We'll miss you, Squiddles!

Mel Mangles is back on GNR! Holy crap! Just in time for semis...

Party with GNR! Your favorite ladies in black are hosting a fundraising blow-out on April 20th. Reserve your spot on the exclusive party bus, or come to Blitz Ladd later for drinks, games, and Karaoke From Hell. If you've never seen Untamed Shrew's rendition of Sin Wagon, you need to be there. What am I saying?! You need to be there anyway! Yours truly will be on board the tour bus, video-blogging. Yep, you heard me... Click below for tickets and info.

Rock on! \m/ \m/

Wednesday, February 29

The Bout That Could Have Been

A somber hello to you, rockers. It's taken a full week to get over the heartbreak of the Guns N Rollers' 84-108 loss to the High Rollers. I may not be fully over it still, in fact. We all wanted this win so badly, and it was absolutely in reach. I watch the bout footage over and over, I read over my notes again and again, and it makes my rebel toes curl that GNR could have taken this one home. Our ladies in black fought hard and they made their loyal fans proud, but the night could have been so much more bitchin'. Let's break it down...


What did I tell you, GNR?! Stay out of the box! 70% of the bout was played down at least one GNR blocker (yes, I did the math). Valuable defensive skills were missing from the track while Frank N Hurter and Havana Goodtime sat in the penalty box. GNR jammers going to the box at key points in the game resulted in the only 9- and 10-pt jams the High Rollers ever got. The night wore on, the skaters became desperate, the play became frenetic, the penalties piled on. Interestingly enough, the High Rollers spent a fair amount of time in the penalty box themselves. In fact, Minstrel Psycho, Hurrican Skatrina, and Layla Smackdown were all on the brink of ejection due to accumulation of penalty minutes. When it comes to total minutes spent in the box, it was the High Rollers that had the most (42min to GNR's 32min). On paper the High Rollers had more trouble with penalties across the board. So why did GNR's penalties hurt so much more? Because even when HR was down a blocker or two they kept together, tightened up, picked up the slack from the missing player, and skated on. When GNR lost a blocker their confidence seemed to leave the track as well. Pack awareness lessened and strategy went right out the window. Any ideas of scoring points were abandoned as it became a game of survival. With a full contingent of blockers GNR did well to contain the HR jammer and get some points for themselves. But as soon as that whistle blew and someone got sent off the track, things sort of fell apart.

An "off" night

You know that feeling when you accidentally put your shirt on backwards? And then you accidentally pour salt into your coffee instead of sugar? And then that refrigerator door that you've opened a million times suddenly eludes you? Things are just slightly off-kilter- you're having an "off" day. Watching GNR play last Saturday I was struck with that feeling multiple times. Dependable blockers who usually give consistent, reliable performances were missing hits and getting knocked off their line. Skaters who usually know exactly where they need to be seemed a little lost at times. Jammers who normally go balls-to-the-wall through the pack were pulling up short behind that wall of green. No one really had an awful night, it just felt like lots of pieces were a tad out of place. This makes it all the more frustrating to think about what could have happened if GNR had been on their game. Even despite the penalties, GNR could have pulled this one off had things just been going their way.

The good stuff

Okay, I'm done being a bummer. The fact is, GNR gave the #1-ranked High Rollers a run for their money. They managed to shut down the High Rollers' attempts to form back walls (which is kind of their thing) multiple times. GNR took the lead early, and they even got it back briefly towards the end of the first half. When they were down they chipped away at that point spread bit by bit and they never gave up. I sat at the edge of my seat the whole game, knowing that a well-timed 20-pt power jam could give GNR the edge to become the league's #1 team. Sadly, that break never came. But GNR kept the High Rollers on their toes all night long. The most HR was able to score in a single jam was 10 points. And with HR jammers like Sully Skullkicker, that's really saying something. I am so so proud of GNR for giving their loyal fans an exciting, close game. No more hour-long feeling of dread and nausea. No more 'oh geez, GNR is gonna get their asses handed to them'. I think I can safely say that those days are behind us. I put on my pink fishnets and my GNR shirt that night knowing that my favorite team had a real chance to win. And that is an awesome feeling.

You know what else is an awesome feeling? Working hard to improve an aspect of your skating and seeing that perseverance pay off. I'm talking about you, Supa Sixpack! No longer will I be screaming (in my head) "keep your arms down! Don't back-block! Don't back-block!" After being plagued by minors you made the effort to change your ways, and it showed by way of hardly any penalties the whole bout. Good on ya! And if I may, I'd like to single out a few more skaters: Roller Eclipse and Va Va BOOM. These ladies are excellent blockers and yet were alarmingly under-utilized in Saturday's bout. Eclipse has shown great pack awareness and is highly effective at positional blocking. And well, Va hits like a friggin' Mack truck. Both of these skaters are so quiet on the track that they often escape notice, but I definitely noticed both of them sitting on the bench way more that they should have. More jams for Eclipse and Va next time, please. Seriously. And speaking of awesome blocking: Untamed Shrew. I love her as a jammer, but boy is she an amazing blocker too! Talk about a double-threat! Shrew, you continue to amaze and inspire me.

When it comes down to it, the Guns N Rollers as a team continues to amaze me. It's a little early to be talking about championships, but I have a feeling we just saw a preview of our Season 7 Champs match-up. By June GNR will have had plenty of time to capitalize on all the hard work they've put in and to work out some of the lingering kinks. Although their strategies against the High Rollers only worked sporadically, it was so awesome to see them with a game plan. I cannot wait to see how the rest of the season shapes up. It's gonna be mental.

In case I don't have time to post a play-by-play before I leave for my exotic tropical adventure on Saturday (it's okay, be jealous), here are some numbers for you:

27: points scored by Supa Sixpack, GNR's high scorer

18: the number of times GNR earned lead jammer (over HR's 17!)

2.77: the average points per jam allowed by GNR blockers (2.77 is nothing, you guys). Well done!

The Guns N Rollers play their next bout on March 31st against the Break Neck Betties. Rock on! \m/ \m/

Wednesday, February 15

Going for the Green

Greetings, rockers! Are you ready to cheer your beloved Guns N Rollers on to another victory? You'll get your chance this Saturday, when your ladies in black take on the #1-ranked High Rollers at 6:00pm in the hangar. Oh, the anticipation...

GNR is fresh off their impressive win against the Heartless Heathers in the Season 7 Opener and are looking to add another win to their record. They've been working hard and talking a lot of strategy, which will be an important element to defeating the High Rollers. The High Rollers play a smart game, controlling the pack and setting up solid walls to stymie the opposing jammer. Slippery HR jammers like Napoleon Blownapart need very little help getting through the pack, which means the High Rollers blockers can afford to ease up on offense and focus solely on defense. HR blockers are a formidable force when there are two or more of them, but they sometimes struggle when isolated. The key to GNR's success will be to control the pack and to keep HR from forming those mighty walls of green. It's a difficult task to keep a High Rollers jammer from racking up points, but GNR will be able to give HR a run for their money as long as they can help get their jammers through the pack.

This will be a tough battle, but I am beyond thrilled to be able to say that GNR has a real shot at beating the High Rollers. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the Havana Goodtime/Frank N Hurter blocking duo. I can't wait to watch GNR's own slippery jammer Squid Vicious sneak her way through the pack. I have a feeling Scald Eagle will be pulling double-duty as both a jammer and a blocker. I forsee a high-scoring, super-intense, possibly chaotic bout. I fully intend to lose my voice (and probably my mind).

Roster Report (well, rumors, really)...

The High Rollers may be down a couple of key skaters, including Napalm Beth and Hurricane Skatrina. It is also rumored that Napoleon Blownapart will be a game-time decision due to some knee issues. And while I hate to see amazing skaters felled by injury, I don't mind the implications for GNR.

In Other News...

New travel-teamers Supa Sixpack, Juvie Hall, and Braidy Punch made the trip down I-5 last weekend to skate with the Axles of Annihilation at the Big O Tournament in Eugene. Yours truly went to cheer them on, of course. Despite taking a shot to the face early in the game, Sixpack was a lithe, muscle-y little menace on the track, jamming a ton in her first bout on the travel team. Braidy was her usual deadly self, making smart platys on the track and knowing exactly where she needed to be at all times. And Juvie Hall! Seriously, you guys. This girl is a fantastic positional blocker. If you're able to peel your eyes away from the phenom that is Scald Eagle, look for Juvie. You'll be glad you did. Congrats on your win, ladies!

And finally...

The hangar has new port-a-potties! Ok, this has nothing to do with GNR, but I am damn excited about the shiny new facilities parked outside the hangar. How fancy are they? The first time I saw them I thought it was a food cart. That's how fancy.

See you all at the hangar on Saturday! Rock on! \m/ \m/

Monday, January 30

Guns N Rollers News

Hey rockers! Time for a GNR News Flash:

Road Trip!

Our very own butt-rocking beauties Untamed Shrew, Roller Eclipse, Juvie Hall, and Scouts Onher hit the road to bolster the roster of the Heartless Heathers for their bout against the Eugene Andromedolls last weekend. It's hard to picture Shrew in blue, but kudos to all for making the jaunt down I-5 to play some derby with their fellow Rose City Rollers. The Heathers and Co. dished out a 168-60 schooling to the Andromedolls.

Travel Team!

Tryouts for the 2012 travel team turned out quite a showing of Guns N Rollers skaters. Seven (that's right, seven) GNR proved they have the right stuff to compete with the big dogs. Congrats to Scald Eagle, Havana Goodtime, newcomer Frank N Hurter, and Squid Vicious for joining the ranks of the elite Wheels of Justice. And double-horns to Braidy Punch, Juvie Hall, and the lovely Supa Sixpack for earning their first trip to the national level with Axles of Annihilation.

Well done, ladies! Rock on. \m/ \m/

Thursday, January 26

Season Opener Recap

Hey rockers! Now that we've all had a chance to let the thrill of the Guns N Rollers' amazing victory over the Heartless Heathers sink in, here is the summarized play-by-play of the action. Rock on! \m/ \m/

First Half

Jam 1: The first jam of the 2012 Season sees GNR's Squid Vicious take the line against the Heartless Heathers' The Blast Unicorn. Squid slips through the pack and earns lead jammer status with Blast not too far behind. Squid manages to clear the pack for 4pts and calls off the jam before Blast can reach the pack (GNR4-HH0).

Jam 2: Scald Eagle faces off against the Heathers; Teqkillya. Eagle earns lead jammer by has Teqkillya hot on her heels; she gets her 2pts from the Heathers' back wall and calls it (GNR6-HH0).

Jam 3: Supa Sixpack dons the jammer cap for GNR against Schemestress, but both take trips to the penalty box, and the jam goes the full 2min. Schemestress puts the Heathers on the board with 2pts and Sixpack picks up 4pts for GNR (GNR10-HH2).

Jam 4: In comes Braidy Punch, who racks up 15pts in a power jam and rockets GNR to a 25-2 lead. And GNR never looks back.

*At this point, I'm going to drop the GNR and HH from the running score. You guys are smart enough to keep track.*

Jam 5-9: A couple of GNR scoreless streaks give the Heathers an opportunity to mount a comeback, but the hard work of GNR's blockers hold the Heathers to scoreless/1-and-done jams, keeping GNR at a commanding lead (31-9).

Jam 10: Supa Sixpack puts 8pts on the board for GNR (39-9), followed by a 10pt jam from Scald Eagle (49-9).

Jam 12: Braidy Punch adds a grand slam to the tally, bringing the score to 54-13 as we take an official timeout.

Jam 14/15: Supa Sixpack gets sent to the penalty box in her jam against Toxic Haste, but comes out firing in the next jam, scoring 14pts for GNR (68-20).

Jam 18: New draft Scouts OnHer takes her first trip to the jam line. She's called out for an Illegal Procedure call, but comes back in and picks up 4pts while Teqkillya picks up 5pts to end the first half (80-25).

Second Half

Jam 19: GNR starts the second half with a scoreless jam by Untamed Shrew, who wisely calls off the jam with The Blast Unicorn hot on her heels (80-25).

Jam 20: GNR blockers clear the way up the middle for Juvie Hall, who earns lead jammer status and puts 2pts up for GNR (82-25).

Jam 22: After a small scoreless streak the Heathers' The Blast Unicorn manages to grab 4pts against Braidy Punch (84-29). A comeback by the Heathers does not seem likely.

Jam 23: Juvie Hall and her lanky stride make another appearance, scoring 4pts for GNR to Schemestress' 6pts (88-35).

Jam 24: Untamed Shrew's famous 25pt jam. GNR blockers hold Heathers jammer Toxic Haste scoreless (and Havana Goodtime lays her out with a massive sternum-buster) while Shrew laps her again and again for five grand slams, putting GNR into double-digits (113-35).

Jam 27-35: GNR continues to rack up points during a 9-jam scoreless streak for the Heathers. Somewhere in there (after Jam 28) the Heathers' French Tickler gets ejected for accumulating too many penalty minutes (155-44).

Jam 36: Teqkillya finally snaps the Heathers' dry spell with a 4pt jam. Squid Vicious makes a final push and manages to reach the pack for 1pt before Teqkillya calls off the jam (156-48).

Jam 39: Untamed Shrew wears the jammer cap against Baccha Nailya. She earns lead jammer status and picks up 4pts while she waits for the game clock to expire. It finally does, and Shrew calls off the jam with 1:13 left on the jam clock. Final score: 164-56 and a win for GNR. And the crowd goes wild.

Top GNR jammers Untamed Shrew: 47pts Scald Eagle: 42pts Braidy Punch: 30pts Supa Sixpack: 26pts

Monday, January 23

Back in Black

In the immortal words of AC/DC:

'Cause I'm back on the track
And I'm leadin' the pack
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I'm just makin' my play
Don't try to push your luck, just get out of my way
'Cause I'm back!

Ok rockers, let me explain something to you all. This is my third season as a die-hard fan of the Guns N Rollers. They were my favorite team from the moment I stepped into the hangar, and I haven't wavered once. Not during a lackluster Season 5 when nothing went spectacularly wrong, but GNR just couldn't get a win. Not even in Season 6 (last season) when five of GNR's best skaters hung up their GNR jerseys to play exclusively for the Wheels of Justice, leaving a gaping hole that no amount of hard work or Aqua Net seemed to be able to fill. I didn't turn my back on my favorite ladies in black, nor did I denounce them as a team or ever stop supporting them. Ok geez. You know where this is going, so I'll cut it short so I can move on to the important stuff. Blah blah, I never lost faith, blah dee blah blah. And then... GNR freaking won! Not only did they win, they absolutely destroyed the Heartless Heathers by a 108pt spread! Final score: 164-56. Rock. F***ing. On.

There is simply too much awesome from Saturday's bout for me to cover without this post becoming one giant GNR love letter (which I'm sure loyal GNR fans would be fine with, but I have a short attention span). So I picked out what I felt were the most important stories of the night. They are as follows:

New Uniforms

GNR looked super-snazzy in their new threads, which arrived literally the day before the big opener. GNR's uniform has always been "no uniform", mixing it up with band tees and denim, jerseys and whatever-bottoms, occasionally throwing in some coordination. Their lack of uniformity certainly lent itself well to GNR's motley, misfit vibe. But GNR wanted to be taken more seriously this season, and those fancy duds were certainly a good start. Of course, a commanding win over a higher-ranked team would help too. Oh wait. That happened.

GNR Defense

The jammers get all the attention. It makes sense- they score the points. It's easier to count points earned than, say, sternum-busts (if I had to guess, I'd say Havana Goodtime had about a million of those). And jammers do have to be agile, sneaky little things to juke out blockers who are perpetually trying to knock them on their ass. But the unsung heroes are the blockers, who booty-block skaters out of their jammer's way, creating holes while keeping the opposing jammer stuck in the back of the pack. For example, Untamed Shrew (I'll talk more about her later) had a 25pt jam in the second half of the bout. Five grand slams is already a hell of a big deal. But the other amazing story about that jam was that it was not a power jam. Va Va BOOM, Havana Goodtime, and Scald Eagle managed to keep Heartless Heathers jammer Toxic Haste from ever completing her intial pass, while still clearing three Heathers blockers out of the way for Shrew to make five trips through the pack for her 25pt jam. Lots of Heathers jammers were held scoreless thanks to the solid efforts of GNR's blockers. Speaking of which- I am so digging the Havana Goodtime/Frank N Hurter combo. Smart, effective blocking times two. Ain't no one gettin' by those ladies. And now, let's break from the words and look at some defensive numbers:

1.44- the average points per jam scored by the Heathers. I prefer to think of it as "points allowed by GNR blockers", cuz it makes this super-low number much more impressive (and we are talking about defense, after all).

>10 (less than 10)- the points allowed by GNR blockers in a single jam. A fluke 9pt jam happened when the Heathers jammer (my notes say Baccha Nailya, but the stats folks seem to think it was Effy Stone 'Em), came out of the penalty box and snuck through while GNR blockers were otherwise occupied (helping their jammer get unstuck from the back of the pack). Otherwise, it was a lot of 1-and-done jams, with a few random 4-pointers here and there.

25- the number of total jams the GNR blockers kept the Heathers jammer from scoring even one single point. That's out of 39 jams.

9- this one is my favorite. It's the number of jams in a row GNR blockers kept the Heathers scoreless. As in, no points scored. Was it because the Heathers jammers were always in the box? Nope. Was it because the GNR blockers controlled the pack and stymied the Heathers jammers? Absolutely.

GNR Offense

Oh Untamed Shrew. You're so good. Your 25pt jam had the crowd on its collective feet, and your victorious yell as you tore off your jammer cap electrified the very air in the Coliseum. You humbly give credit to your amazing teammates who blocked for you, and rightly so. But you're a derby goddess, through and through. Own it. You scored 47 points, more than the three top Heathers jammers combined. You earned lead jammer status in all of the 8 jams you skated in (I know I told you 7 of 8 but yeah, my notes were wrong...). You're just...just... *shakes head in disbelief*'re just the sh**. And now I'm sensing that you're feeling uncomfortable with all this attention, so I'll move on. Also the sh**: Braidy Punch. Braidy started her adult derby career with a 15pt power jam. She racked up 30 total points for GNR in her 7 trips to the jam line. Scald Eagle continued to soar her way into our hearts (yes, the analogy is corny and trite, I know- sue me) by putting 42 points on the board. And who could forget the stadium-wide Eagle cheer during the first-half official time-out? I haven't seen such unified flapping of arms in a sports arena since the end of Angels In the Outfield (yeah that's right, I dusted off that little gem of a reference and threw it out there).


Oh man, I really don't want to talk about this. But I have to, just for a second. GNR racked up a whopping 31 major penalties and spend a combined total (between all skaters) of 39 in the penalty box. Only 6 of those trips to the box were GNR jammers, which isn't so bad. And I'm not one to complain about a 164-56 final score. But oh my gosh you guys, GNR left a lot of points on the track by having the penalty trouble they did. That being said, it's not unusual in any sport for the officiating crew to get a bee in their bonnet and decide to spend the entire game watching for one specific penalty. That definitely happened on Saturday- a lot of back blocks got missed, but I"ve never seen so many Illegal Procedure penalties called! Who knows, next time they might miss even more egregious back blocks because they'e decided to be on the lookout for oh, I don't know, multi-player blocks. But that's all the more reason to play a tight, clean game, so they can't call you on the random little things you usually wouldn't think about. Stay out of the box, GNR!

To sum up: GNR played awesome, looked awesome, and is awesome. Thet controlled the pack, made smart decisions on the track, and forced the Heathers to play their game, their way. All the blood, sweat, and tears are finally paying off- GNR has arrived on the scene as a real contender in the league.

ALSO! (I told you there was too much awesome to fit in one post) A huge shout-out to Coach Bexter Morgan and new-comer Bleed 'Em And Reap (of Portland Men's Roller Derby) for coaching GNR to their well-deserved, long-overdue victory!

ALSO ALSO! (Seriously, too much awesome) GNR4Life (and all-around classy lady) November Pain had this to say about the bout, which was so well-put and awesome that I have to share it:

"I was on the edge of my seat, and never because it was close, just because I couldn't wait to see more and more pink & black domination!"

Rock on, GNR! Rock on.

***The Guns N Rollers play their next bout at the hangar on Saturday, Feb. 18, against the #1-ranked High Rollers***

Tuesday, January 10

Countdown to Opening Night

Hooooold onto your butts, rockers! The Season 7 Opener at Memorial Coliseum is less than two weeks away! In a mere 12 days your favorite animal print-clad skaters will be taking the track to battle last season's #3 team, the Heartless Heathers. The gang is back in black, and it's gonna be mental. Can you feel it?!

The Guns N Rollers are arguably a completely different team than we saw last season. This is only partly due to the recent retirements/drafts of personnel. The big difference is in skill level and, more importantly, determination. They want to win. They can taste it. In fact, GNR is going into the opener with blood already on their lips. Did you know that every Wednesday night the home teams gather in the hangar to scrimmage against each other? With scorekeepers and refs and everything. Furthermore, did you know that GNR has beaten the High Rollers and the Break Neck Betties at these scrimmages? I'll say it again, cuz I love saying it. The Guns N Rollers beat the High Rollers and the Betties in scrimmage. The High Rollers. And the Betties. Beaten by GNR. Rock. On.

Speaking of new personnel, GNR has made some very wise draft selections in the off-season. If you caught the Rookie Bout last month you saw Va Va BOOM tear it up (she sure doesn't skate like she's new on the tour bus!). And if you've ever seen a Rosebuds bout or even heard of Portland's Junior Roller Derby League, chances are you've heard of Braidy Punch. As in the toughest, awesomest (yeah I know it's not a word, ok?), most hard-core skater ever to age out of the Rosebuds and join the ranks of adult derby. This girl is wicked fast and has already been kicking ass on the track for years. In the most recent draft GNR picked up FranknHurter (previously of the Bay Area Derby Girls) and Scouts OnHer. I haven't had a chance to see either of these ladies skate yet (unless I saw Frank in a B.A.D. bout and don't remember, which is likely). But hell, GNR has been right on the money with their draft decisions so far. Rosters for the opener were just announced and haven't made it to this blogger's hot little hands yet, so I can't tell you exactly who will be rocking the track for GNR. But I'll bet my biggest can of Aqua Net and my vintage AC/DC concert t-shirt that Braidy Punch will be skating her first bout of her adult life at the Coliseum very soon.

And while we're on the subject of personnel, let's talk about GNR's opening opponent, the Heartless Heathers. The Heathers suffered a mass exodus during the off-season, taking their roster down to a scant 14 players. They have since drafted six new skaters and lost one to injury (formidable blocker and total sweetheart Chinadoll Assassin is out with a busted tib/fib). We saw new draftees Behexen and Mortar N Pistol skate well in the Rookie Bout, and one of the newest Heathers, Toxic Haste, is a former Rosebud. Bella Constricter is a transfer from somewhere (NOOOO... there can be only one Bella- GNR4Life Bella Massacre!). Moxie Roxem worked her way from Wreckers to Fresh Meat to the Ice Palace, and I don't know a thing about new draftee Headache. Feel free to fill in the blanks. The Heathers still have some pesky solid talent in skaters like Schemestress, French Tickler, and White Flight, who will be a nuisance for GNR. But I have a feeling this will be the season of rebuilding for the Heathers that GNR experienced last year. Nobody likes a blowout but hey, let's be honest, this bodes well for GNR (and their loyal fans who like to see their team win).

So pull out all your best animal-print spandex and tease that hair 'til it touches the sky! Throw up your horns and let loose your best rebel yell! Cut up that t-shirt and start safety-pinning it back together! The Guns N Rollers can't wait to show you what's in store this season. They're gonna rock your f***ing socks off.

The Season 7 Opener is Saturday, January 21 at 5:45pm, at the Memorial Coliseum. Click here for tickets and info. Rock on! \m/ \m/

Monday, January 2

Draft Results

Ok, I know I'm late to the party on this one. GNR made a couple of brilliant draft selections last week, picking up Scout's OnHer and FrankNHurter. Frank comes to us from the Bay Area Derby Girls, and Scout found her way to the Jungle through the Fresh Meat program. Welcome to the Jungle, ladies! Rock on! \m/ \m/