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/