Thursday, April 8, 2010

On A Roll

Last weekend was the season opening bout for the Mid Iowa Rollers.  I was excited.  The exhibition match in March was OK, but it had a few drawbacks.  First, the teams were comprised of girls from all over the Midwest...basically whoever could make it.  That was interesting in itself, but meant that there was little teamwork as they hadn't skated together before.  The second drawback was that it was at Skate South.  Skate South is a decent place by itself, but you can't get that elevation to kind of look down on the skaters and appreciate the skating.  It is kind of neat being on the same level, it is a whole different experience but I also think there is something missing.  Also Skate South's parking lot is barely held the cars of the team members let alone the fans.  I ended up parking about half a mile away.

All Mid Iowa Roller home bouts this year will be at Hy-Vee Hall or Vets Auditorium.  That is quite a step up from half at Skate South, half at Buc Arena (I do like Buc Arena though).  I was a little worried because Hy-Vee Hall is a big place and some of the bouts last year it felt like family and friends of the skaters and me.  Not a huge crowd.  It did pick up as the season went on.  I was just worried since it was the first bout of the year.  I was worried that I would be one of 20 fans in this huge empty space.  I did not want to look like that creepy middle age guy who shows up to ogle the young women.  I am that guy...I just didn't want to be too obvious about it.  There was no need to worry, I wouldn't say it was packed but there were a lot of people there this weekend.  Track Side  and Tier Seating comprised about 1200 seats...I would estimate that it was about 2/3 full.  Well done ladies!  It was good crowd too.  Lots of first timers that were catching on to the action pretty quickly.  Great cheering when we got the lead jammer and big hits.  It was a lot of fun. 

Lots of changes and improvements this year. 

New 2010 uniforms - very nice (picture borrowed from MIR website)
First, the new uniforms are perfect.  Powder blue with black and white trim - very sexy and feminine and a great contrast to the physicality.  They also make you look SO much more like a professional team.  The t-shirts at the beginning of season last year and the dark uniforms later in the season were good, but these uniforms are awesome.  Nice choice!  It really outclassed the other team with their tees with sharpie drawn numbers.

For comparison - Last years uniforms (pictures borrowed from MIR website)

The bout has been transformed this year.  Previously, the bouts were similar to hockey with three 20 minute periods, with a 20 minute break between each.  This year the MIR is going with two 30 minute halves with a 20 minute halftime.  I am not sure if this is more in line with other leagues or the reason for the change.  I don't know how I feel about this change...I guess it was nice to see the same amount of action but still leave about half an hour earlier.  I am sure that is nice for people with children.

Now that MIR isn't in a hockey type facility, they have improved the scoreboard...showing bout time, jam timer, and penalties.  Unfortunately, it didn't seem like the runners of the scoreboard were very good at using it...but once they do get the Jam timer and penalty timers figured out it should be a very nice addition.

Lots of smaller changes too.  There was also a band playing before and during halftime.  A color guard for the presentation of the flag and national, just a lot of little things that made the whole thing seem like more of a professional game.  It was nice.

There could still be some improvements - intros could be shorter, printed programs ran out very early, I never want to see a marriage proposal at a sporting event or concert again unless a player or band member is involved, angle of the seat could be greater (I like the 3/4 overhead view), and a few other minor things...but overall it was a great show.

This opening bout was against The Muddy River Nightmares from Clinton, IA.  I have seen the Mudders last year and several of the skaters participated in the March Mixer...they have some talent.  And also number 666 (sorry forgot your name) had one of the best mohawks I have seen in years.  That alone was worth the price of admission...and I am sad that my photo didn't turn out.  Mid Iowa Rollers has the main core of their team from last year.  Anna KillaKova (formerly Anna Killa Amazon), cTal faTAL, Fanny Firestarter, and Sin DeRolla are just a few of the returning roller girls. This should be a very good year for the Mid Iowa Rollers.  MIR started off a little slow on the first couple jams but once they got the lead they ran with it.  Everyone on Mid Iowa was skating hard and fast.  Big hits were made at opportune times, penalties were avoided.  The Mudders didn't have such luck with some penalties costing them pretty severely (if your jammer is in the box when cTal faTAL is jamming for MIR, you are pretty much done).  Great skate work by everyone involved - plus an awesome Apollo Ohno-esque jump by cTal faTAL over fallen opponents.  This is a game you need to check out.  Mid Iowa ended up winning the bout 151-89...but it was an exciting bout all the way through.  A special shout out to Day Trip Her was her first bout and she skated well even though she looked freaking exhausted by the end of a couple long jams.  Well played, keep it up.

Your next chance to check out the Mid Iowa Rollers in a home match is on May 15th at Hy-Vee Hall in the Bad Girls' Ball.

You can also check out a feature on them on Metro Woman this weekend (Sun Apr 11th @ 9:30am on ABC5, and Mediacom Channel 22 @ 10am Apr 11th and Tues 13th @ 3pm)

If you can't wait that long, you can check out the Des Moines Derby Dames this weekend at the Val Air Ballroom.  Des Moines has two roller derby teams, who knew?  I've known for a while, I just haven't had a chance to check out a DMDD yet...and will miss this weekend's bout too.  Sadness.

I am not sure what the difference is between leagues and teams but I am very happy that we have two options for roller derby.  I plan to check out as many bouts as I am able from both teams.


*Lesli* said...

I sooooo should have been a derby girl. Have you seen Whip It? I enjoyed it. Love me some Juliette Lewis. I have a friend going to see the Dames this weekend. Wish I could go! Oh well, I will have to have my fun at the Ia Cubs game tomorrow night. It's almost the weekend...thank Goodness.

Michael said...

You can still be a derby girl...MIR is always taking recruits, just show up at a Tuesday night practice.

I haven't seen Derby Girl but it is in my Netflix queue...I thought it looked good too. I didn't know Juliette Lewis was in it. Just the other day I was wondering what happened to her...for a while it seemed like she was in EVERY single movie released.

Have fun at the I-Cubs....I love a good ballpark hotdog (although the freaking hot dog cannon guy ALWAYS ignores me)...and a nice hot beef sundae which sounds horribly gross but is delicious.

*Lesli* said... probably haven't seen it because it's not called Derby Girl ;) Juliette Lewis is my would-be celebrity bff.

Michael said...

Ha ha...I relised that right after I hit send. "Did I just call Whip it Derby Girl?" oh well. I knew what I meant...and that's what's important.

Would-be celebrity bffs? I never heard of such a thing.

*Lesli* said...

ha! yesterday i posted a link on my blog to a friends page that posted a thing about who would be your celebrity bff if you could chose one. talk about a run-on sentence....

i've come to the conclusion that you know a lot about many different things. You must pay attention to every detail when you do something because your blog posts are very detailed.

nice work sucky guy :)

Michael said...

Thanks...I try to pay attention, and I like to even if I don't have much to say, I will still tend to type a lot. That is why I don't twitter. I can not be confined to 140 characters! Inconceivable!

I do suck at spelling "realized" from my phone...and yes that misspelling is driving me crazy...and will for days.

*Lesli* said...

yes, i caught your spelling error. i'm a pretty good speller but i use the elipses A LOT.....

I hate twitter but I can't stay off it. I'm a social networking whore.

Michael said...

I'm all about ellipses and parentheses. One time while writing a post, I realized that I had used parenthesis inside paraethesis, inside parenthesis, inside parenthesis...I had to re-write because even I was confused what I was talking about by the end. Course, I am confused all the time so that is nothing new.

*Lesli* said...

that's a lot of parenthses...(do you think anyone else wants us to shut up and stop talking back and forth on your blog post?) HA!

Michael said...

ha ha...No. No one reads my blog! :)

It's better than the Japanese porn spam comments I was getting a few months ago. I had to turn the verification word back on (which I hate) because I was getting 20-30 spam comments every day all of a sudden. Japanese porn sites, "investment tips", and some miracle diet talked about on Oprah...I was spending all my blogging time deleting crap comments.

*Lesli* said...

ha! i had a weird comment from some japanese sight the other day i think. all it said was "is very nice..............." i didn't get it. i'm slow like that.

Bryan said...

Out of curiosity, I used the Google to see if MA had any roller derby leagues and to my suprise, they do. They apparently only play once a month, but I may go check it out. Doesn't look as brutal as when I used to watch it on TV as a kid (those were inclined tracks and probably scripted with double clothesline moves).

Michael said...

I'd recommend at least checking it out...I always have a good time. Yeah, I little different than the Roller Games of our youth. No inclined tracks (mainly due to the fact that they would need to own/rent a permanent location)...also no alligator pits in the middle of the track. You'll probably also miss the guys in their tight lycra.
But has plenty of great skating and good hits. I haven't seen a double clothesline, but I did see a single last year...supposedly it was an accident *wink*

Michael said...

Lesli - finally got caught up on your blog (and will now be following)...anyhow, that random comment from Japan is definitely Jap Porn SPAM site the periods at the end are the link (FYI). Hoepfully the SPAM comments don't get out of control like they did on mine at one point.