UPDATE - Thanks to the commentors that pointed out mis-named the opposing team in the Your Mom bout. It was of course the Sioux City Kornstalkers and not the Twin City Terrors. After the bout I was talking to my friend Angie and said something like "I saw male roller derby a couple years ago when they Twin City Terrors did an exhibition bout during the intermission at an MIR bout a couple years ago." I have a short recap here. And then with the upcoming bout with TC Terrors being announced over the PA sytem shortly there after, somehow the opposing team that I saw that night became the Twin City Terrors in my mind within the next couple days before writing this post. I apologize to the Twin City Terrors and everyone else for the confusion.
The Des Moines Derby Dames (D3) kicked off the new season of roller derby on Saturday. With AHL hockey no longer in Des Moines, roller derby and Bucs hockey are my sports of choice but for some reason I haven't been able to get in to the Bucs this year. It had seemed like a long time since the last derby bout and I was really looking forward to this bout. The competition, the crowd, the cheering, the freak watching...everything sounded good.
I knew it was going to be a big crowd. D3 has always drawn a good sized crowd, even their first bouts last year had a really good turnout, but for this first match they teamed up with a lot of things to guarantee a big crowd. The new and Iowa's only men's roller derby team played before the D3 bout, and the Derby Bratz the age 7-17 team was set to provide half-time entertainment. That's triple the derby for the money. In addition, they also had a featured Groupon offer with two-for-one tickets (and over 800 people purchased, I believe). The bout took place at the State Fair Grounds in the new Jacobsen Exhibition Center. I had never been in the JEC, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Angie and I pulled in and the parking lot was packed, there were cars all over the place...the lot was full, the streets were full, and people were starting to park in the various grass embankments. Even worse there was a huge line of people waiting to get in. For the most part, I think lines are a sign of poor management and I hate waiting in them. Angie and I wasted a little bit of time hoping it would dwindle but it only got larger. Luckily, right when we got to the line, D3 sent someone else outside to take the groupon coupons and we were able to get right in. Love when that type of thing works out. FYI - there ended up being over 2500 people at derby Saturday night. It was a huge and very diverse crowd.
Taking our places trackside, we settled in to enjoy some derby. The Des Moines men's team is named Your Mom. I thought this was a horrible name at first. It just sounded dumb. That was until I heard it in action. At the bout, it made me laugh every time the announcer had to say something like "Penalty assessed to Your Mom," or "Ooh, a bit hit by Your Mom." I warmed up to the name quite a bit. I am pretty sure I mentioned it before, but I am just not that in to men's roller derby. The men's leagues are more about power than finesse. This is why I like women's derby - big hits and aggressiveness are definitely part of the women's derby but there is also a much bigger focus on skating agility. Watching Your Mom was OK, but it wasn't really what I was hoping to get out of derby this night. Angie did make a valid point here...pretty much everything you read about roller derby mentions fishnet stockings - where were your fishnets guys? Somebody needs to get comfortable with their masculinity and slap some on. Your Mom did totally kill the competition - when we took our seats the score was 129 to 15. I wasn't sure if that was right at first and maybe they were having scoreboard issues, but soon it became clear that Your Mom was completely shutting down the competition. Your Mom overall just looked much better conditioned and had the endurance to skate hard the entire match, while the
When the Derby Dames took the rink it was all good. I wasn't sure if I would be into it as much as I had in the past. I was just in one of those moods and after then men's I was just 'meh'. The Dames however quickly got me back into the derby mood and reminded me what I liked. Great skating, funny names, awesome jukes, hanging on by the edge of the skate, and of course big hits too. Stella Italiana was as awesome as I remembered, scoring 15 unanswered points on the first jam. Quick, lithe and tiny she is a joy to watch skating through the pack, and continually dominated Quad City's jammers throughout the match. Cosmo Disco seems to have stepped up her game since last year...but feisty as ever. Cosmo scored big points and big hits. She ended the night with a nice bruise and rink rash on her upper thigh (and new holes in her green fishnets). New skater Smallsbury Steak also skated and jammed with lots of heart and drive throughout the entire night. It wasn't all offense though. The blockers and the pivots did a great job of shutting down Quad City's jammers and forced them to take many penalties. A shout out to all the dames...you guys skated great all night. The bout ended D3 187 to QC 67. Good job girls.
Already looking forward to the next match...and for Des Moines other roller derby team (the 2010 undefeated) The Mid Iowa Rollers to start their season next month. I wish you guys would set up matches against each other or at least double header matches. I like you both and enjoy both your bouts but a little intercity rivalry would be awesome. It is silly to ignore the other team. You both have such great things to offer the city, teamed together you would but unstoppable.