Razor Girls, for the win!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My team won! I didn’t think it would feel this good, or that I could possibly be this proud. After all, it’s “just a game”, and I didn’t even play! But when the whistle blew indicating the end of the bout and the score was in our favor; none of that mattered…

Last night (Jun 11th, 2011) was kind of a big deal. It was the 2nd home game of the season, 3rd game of the season in total, but most importantly; it was the first time this year that our two home teams went head to head. This was a long time coming…the last time Scarlet Swarm and Razor Girls duked it out was in September of 2010. At that point our league was only about 5 months old, the game was basically a “test drive” for what was to come the following year in our first official season, and in the end, Scarlet Swarm was victorious. In a small exhibition bout the month before, Scarlet Swarm also won.


In the several months that followed, our entire league worked and trained really hard. Both of our teams made tons of progress, and the League itself

grew stronger and stronger every day. Not only physically but as a whole. Everything we learned; both on and off the track, was through a trial and error basis. We turned into an extremely close-knit family, developing strong bonds between the skaters, ref’s and coaches. We picked up some sponsors, had some great media coverage, hosted some pretty rockin’ events and fundraisers, and we celebrated our one year anniversary. Eventually the thing we worked so hard for was finally here: our first official season!

We started it off with a double-header in Moncton, against their league, Muddy River Rollers. This is when I first realized how difficult being a derby girl on Maternity Leave would prove to be. It was SO HARD to watch that bout, thinking about how hard I (personally) worked in order to be up there with my team; but instead I was watching from the side lines. And that sucked. Ya, I know it’s my own doing and I know it will be more than worth it in the end when I get my adorable bundle of joy and cuteness, but it still sucked! Anyway, my sob story aside and making a long story short; Fog City played hard, but Muddy River took both games. Two weeks later, we took them on again in another double header; this time on our home turf. Although Razor Girls and Scarlet Swarm both played even harder this time and the score was significantly closer, Moncton once again took the title of champions.

Now, Razor Girls have continuously prided ourselves in being good sports, taking our losses in stride and keeping all of our feelings “on the track”, as they say in the derby world. However, a team can only lose so many times before they have had enough. Although we were rocking our “Underdogs” status with pride, we knew we deserved to win, and we knew if we gave it our all and played as hard as we could possibly play, that win would come eventually, fair and square.

Most of the bout was extremely close and it could have been anyone’s game at any given time. The score was constantly neck and neck, and more than once it remained at an exact tie for more than one jam. I found this to be very nerve racking, especially considering that my particular NSO (non skating official) job was score keeper; which didn’t really allow me to pay very close attention to the game since I had to keep a very close eye on my jammer ref at all times, and also because as an NSO; you are not really allowed to show any biased opinion and have to remain neutral at all times. So I kept all of my feelings hidden, but on the inside I was screaming, had major butterflies and a lump the size of a tennis ball in my throat, and at certain times I was visibly shaking no matter how hard I tried to hide it. Having Rogers Cablethere to record the whole thing for television made the night even more edge-of-your-seat exciting!

Going into half time, Scarlet Swarm had a 10 point advantage on us. The atmosphere in our locker room was a lot more positive than it has been in the past. Ten points is no big deal; you can get that back in one good jam! Points aside though, the girls knew they were giving it their all and putting up the best fight they could; so win or lose, we would be victorious anyway. After all…the old saying goes; “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

The second half was obviously even more exciting. Not just for the teams and our coaches, but for the crowd too. You could see people literally on the edge of their seats, biting their nails and holding their breath. 102 (RG) to 76 (SS) was the score going into the last jam. We had Tacky Tammy; Scarlet Swarm had Fancy Nancy. Two of the leagues “star jammers” going head to head. Obviously at this point, we basically knew we had the game in the bag but Roller Derby is full of surprises and unlike a lot of sports; you can gain a LOT of points in a VERY short amount of time…so until the final whistles blow, you never really know for sure. Alas, even though Tacky Tammy ended up in the penalty box half way through this last jam (love you T.T!) ; the final score was 109 Razor Girls to 80 Scarlet Swarm!

My eyes immediately filled up with tears, my clip board flew to the ground and I raced across the track to hug my big group of  (really smelly) ladies who I love so much. I never expected to feel the way I did, but watching my team win that game was only comparable to when I saw my first born take her first steps. The joy and the pride was overwhelming.

Weather or not this is the beginning of a winning streak, or we don’t win again for a very long time; I’m so glad we got to experience that feeling. I have never played sports before so I never really knew what it would feel like, but in the words of Alien She, “winning feels different than losing” and its definitely not a bad feeling!

As great as it was to see us win, I would have been happy whatever the outcome. Scarlet Swarm played just as hard and when it all comes down to it, you have to put the rivalries aside and remember that we are all one BIG family who has come a very long way, and everyone should be proud of their accomplishments. We are all in this together, even when we have to play against each other.

Fog City Rollers are just plain awesome. Sometimes I forget that this started as a silly idea that Suzie SkinHer and I had while we were watching movies in her old apartment on a night that now seems like a million years ago. So much has changed, I’ve met so many amazing people. I can’t even imagine what’s in store for us next! I guess only time will tell, and I am more motivated than ever!

Once I have this baby, I’m ready to get back in there full force and give it my everything. I love this sport, everything about it, and everybody I have met through it. I can not describe the awesome feeling it gives me; but I can suggest that if you don’t play Roller Derby or have never been to a Roller Derby bout…get out there and CHECK IT OUT, because it will change your life forever.

What’s next for Fog City? Scarlet Swarm takes on Fredericton’s Daisy Cutters in ROLLER DERBY – Scarlet Swarm vs. The Daisy Cutters on June 25th at the Lord Beaverbrook.

– Darla Derringer #22
Razor Girl