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/