This Saturday’s games were incredible. The first bout at 6pm was San Diego’s Hard Corps matched against Montreal’s All-Stars. The second bout at 7pm (which I skated in) was San Diego Derby Doll All-Stars against Sac City Rollers.
From the start, I thought that both of San Diego’s teams were going to take a win. Some of the reasons are as follows:
Montreal was only able to bring out 11 of their players
Both Montreal and Sac City were wearing the brightest colors ever imaginable (neon green and bright orange respectively). Bright colors equals easier to see.
The hype was low. Although there was not much video footage to base a feeling off of, neither of their teams hit the radar as being super hard or one to watch for.
I really didn’t get to watch much of the first game, but from what I did see, Montreal was playing a very tight game. Closing holes if there were any, holding back players with strategic timing and Hard Corps just couldn’t seem to get it together quick enough. By the time they realized what was happening in any given play, it was really too late to react. The score ended up being 101 to 68. Sadly, a blow out.
After watching this happen, I started to rethink the Sac City game. I did not want to underestimate them and have another blowout to recover from. I did not want to go there. I wanted to win.
As we were warming up, I started sizing up their players. Who was skating with a decent stride. Who was working together. What were they doing to warm up – varying speed, stretching, discussing strategy. To each their own, but you can learn a bit about players when you just take a few moments to watch them skate. I noticed that many of the skaters from Sac City were agile on their feet and had a good stride. None of them were particularly large in size, no big walls.
The first couple of jams took me by surprise, we shut them down consistently until the score was about 20 to 0. It felt good. We were holding the front, keeping them where we wanted them. about halfway through the first half, we were starting to tire and it was beginning to show. They started to take over the front of the pack more, but we still were in the lead. At halftime we were leading, but only by 11 points (still within reach).
We took a few breaths, gathered our thoughts and went back in to play. The second half was good. The energy remained high and both teams were scoring evenly. Although at this point, we felt we had control… but Sac City was always close behind. In the end the score was 58 to 42, still pretty close.
Some of my favorite moments of the games were:
When Ruthless knocked out one of the outside pack refs and skated off with him on the floor.
Steely was lead jammer and had lapped the pack and waited til the other jammer was nearing the back of the pack before calling it off to waste some time since we were ahead. Note to other jammers, when you see this happening to you speed the hell up, don’t slow down. You are only wasting time.
The after party at Padre Gold, the American Legion bar down the road was a riot. The night was full of chanting Canadians, shots of Jager or tequila, karaoke fools and an insane arm wrestling derby girls. You really should think about being there next time.