Archive for May, 2011

Hellbomber Marion Razorwound

Q:What prompted you to get into derby? 
I knew nothing about derby, but the concept of derby appeared intriguing to me.  Therefore, I decided to check out the wRECk (recreational) derby league.  The funny thing is that I had never seen a game and didn’t know the rules, I just jumped in and fell in love with it.  I skated with wRECk from January 2009 until March 2010, when I joined BRRG.

Q:You’ve been surprising a lot of fans this year, jamming so much, and being successful as a relatively new jammer.  How does that feel?
I feel accomplished.  I have worked really hard, and it is nice to see the results of my hard work, but I could not have done it without my team.

Q:What is the hardest part about jamming?
The hardest part of jamming is having to power through it even if you’re exhausted. Endurance is key, I have to work out a lot outside of derby practice.

Q:What is your day job?
Mean Simmon’s agent. (Mean’s fanpage link here.)

Razor and the Iconic Mean Simmons

Q:What’s it like to be the mom to the jr. derby ref rockstar, Mean Simmons?
Humbling. I will never be as cool as Mean Simmons.  Hold on, Mean needs a mineral water.

Q:If Razor had a theme song, what would it be?
You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd.

Q:How has derby changed you?
My confidence has increased exponentially.  Derby is an empowering sport, and I am lucky to be a part of it.

Q:What has been your most humbling moment in derby, so far?
Slipping out on turn two (a lot) in the first home game. Doh!

Q:Which opponent leaves you shaking in your skate boots?
Morbid Cherub.  Oh wait, she’s on my team. Whew.

Q:What is your favorite practice drill or workout, and why? 
I like hitting drills.  Nothing turns a bad day around like a hitting drill.

Q:Do you have a derby mentor?
I have several.  Here’s a hint… they are all Hellbombers.

Q:What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
Skating against other teams in the region with the HazMat Crew and the All-Stars.

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you. 
My skater name was derived from Karen Allen’s character Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Q: Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions? 
I don’t have a routine or any bout day superstitions.  I am a mom so I don’t really have much of a routine ever.  I answer to my son, Mean Simmons and my daughter, Syd Vicious.

Meet BRRG: Bad Mooney Rising of the Hard Knockers

Posted: May 20, 2011 by burningriverrollergirls in home teams, Interviews, The Hard Knockers

Bad Mooney Rising-Hard Knocker Rookie

Bad Mooney Rising

Q:What prompted you to get into derby?
About last year at this time I noticed some Facebook posts from an old friend about roller derby. She had recently joined the Sandusky league and she just seemed so excited about it. I had actually never even heard of roller derby before, not even from back in the ’70s. I was intrigued and looked into it on the Internet. I found BRRG and got signed up on the recruitment list. They referred me to Northern Ohio wRECk Roller Derby. I went to a couple nights of wRECk before Fresh Meat in August, and the rest is history!

Q:What is your day job?
Okay, you may want to sit down for this; I am a chemist. And before you ask, no, I can’t whip up any illegal concoctions for you. I am a technical service chemist currently working with polymer additives.

Q:The Knockers have been really sticking to the slow derby strategy this year. Is there any part of that strategy that you find difficult to play?
I have always found it easier to hit and move through the pack when playing at pack speed. The slow derby seems to bring you back to basic non-pack drills–you need really good footwork and patience. Also, being a rookie, it just adds another element to many that need to be worked on and learned.

Q:There’s a lot of controversy about the slow derby movement. Some fans love the strategy, while others want more action. What do you think?
I personally like the faster pace and action, but I appreciate the different skills that slow derby requires. Also, I love the strategy of slow derby.

Q:What’s the toughest thing about being a rookie jammer?
The pressures of letting my team and myself down. I think I thrive under pressure and in game day situations, but expectations seem to be higher for jammers, and it’s hard not to worry about that. Although, once I am out on the track, that all disappears. It’s just the anticipation that kills me.

Q:What has been your most humbling moment in derby, so far?
I would have to say seeing my friend and fellow skater Skully Smasher break her leg. It was just pure craziness to see that one split second move or decision on the track can cause so much physical damage to your body. I really felt for her and was so amazed by her strength and courage!

Hard Knockers huddle up

Q:Which opponent leaves you shaking in your skate boots?
I can’t tell you that! Well I can say that during Fresh Meat the two vets that had me shaking the most were P.F. Scarrie & Take-Out. They are now my teammates, and they still leave me shaking!

Q:What is your favorite practice drill or workout, and why?
I love LA Freeway! It’s a non-stop jam with skaters coming on and off of the track. I remember the first time we did it in practice and I had a blast. I think that is one of the reasons I still like it so much today because I associate having fun with the drill. Sometimes in practices we get caught up in necessary strategy work or line drills, but it’s always important to be reminded what brought me to this sport. Having fun.

Q:Do you have a derby mentor?
I have too many derby mentors to name! There have been so many BRRG skaters that have influenced me in so many ways and I am forever grateful. I do have a derby idol, Suzy Hotrod! You see those guns???

Q:What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
Letting go of guilt or stress brought on by the worries of injuring other players. As a rookie I am still learning and making mistakes. If I am involved when another skater goes down, I would feel really guilty and responsible if something were to happen. It’s hard for me to express to someone that I care and especially when there is no “I am sorry” in derby.

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you
My skater number is R6, because I ride a Yamaha R6 motorcylce! Well, I used too. I haven’t been riding much lately because derby has been keeping me so busy, but I plan on getting more time in this summer.

Q:What piece of advice do you have for anyone considering joining up with BRRG?
Just do it!! But, get prepared beforehand by working on endurance, strength and basic skating skills. Be prepared to work your ass off and to have an awesome time!


 

Girl Gone Wilder skates into action against the Hard Knockers in Bout 2

 

Skater Name: Girl Gone Wilder
What your fellow skaters call you? (AKA): Wilder or GG

Q:What prompted you to get into Derby?
I first saw derby when I watched a series on A&E about a league in Austin, Texas. Loved it. Then when I moved to Cleveland in 2006, a friend of mine emailed me about the league here. A group of us started going to bouts. I thought it was amazingly insane. I had a lot of respect for everyone on the track. Definitely never thought I could be one of them. Then at the end of 2009, I went through a rough time personally.  So I decided 2010 would be MY year…my year to try things I never would have before, challenge myself and build new experiences. Derby was one of those things. I bought some skates in May, started going to open skates on my own and joined PFM (Potential Fresh Meat) in August. I didn’t think I’d last a month.
 
Q:If Girl Gone Wilder had a theme song, what would it be?
Not Afraid – Eminem

Q:What’s your favorite thing about bouting?
I love the energy and teamwork on the track. You practice and practice and practice then during the bout it all comes together, for better or worse.

Q:Which opponent leaves you shaking in your skate boots?
Hmm, tough question. It’s crap to say no one and it’s dangerous to name names. So instead I’ll just say to those ladies who line me up and put me down on the track, I love you and I hate you.

Steamers Beatrix Wicked and Girl Gone Wilder ham it up.

Q:What part of doing derby is harder than you might have expected?
Two things. 1) The time commitment is intense. You’re warned a million times before joining, but it still surprised me. On the track and off the track, derby invades your life and calls it home sweet home. 2) The mental and physical beating you take. You have to go through it to learn and improve, period. Thankfully though, you have teammates and leaguemates who have your back throughout the process.

Q:Do you do any off-skates work-outs?
Working out is like therapy for me, so I’m a gym rat. I usually hit the Elliptical for an hour almost every day plus free weights, push ups, lunges and whatnot. If I’m hurting though, I’ll skip a work out. It’s all about balance.

Q:Do you have a derby mentor?
The Killustrator – Her derby skills are obvious, but she also has such a real vibe to her. There’s no BS, no wishy-washiness, no pulled punches. So when she says something positive and encouraging to me, it’s like a Dear Derby Diary moment because I know it’s real and not just lines you feed a rookie. Plus she always looks like she’s having fun on the track.
Gonnolea – She’s like the ideal big sister. She will either give you a hug or a kick in the butt, whichever you need…whether you know you need it or not.
My captains, Rainbow Fright and Mosh Spice – They lead. I follow.

Opponents on the track, friends off the track: Wilder poses with Pin-up New World Orphan

Q:What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
Constantly pushing yourself and believing in yourself. Sometimes you’re tired or stressed or your feet won’t go fast enough. But through the ups and downs, you just have to focus and push through.

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you:
I’m a Texas girl, so I love fried, salty food, preferably smothered in gravy. And along those lines, I hate most vegetables so I’m definitely not a healthy eating role model for kids.

Q:Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions?
I can’t think of anything super awesome or inspiring. I get up early to destress, lounge around and watch some TV. Then I’ll review my bout goals and make some notes. I’ll also make my favorite meal, salt and pepper shrimp with jasmine rice as a pre-bout treat. Last things I do are clean my wheels, check my equipment and get ready to go.

Q:What do you like to do when you’re not doing derby deeds?
I’m not very GGW off the track, pretty low key for the most part.  I like drinking at brunch on a lazy Sunday; going to sporting events; watching unhealthy amounts of TV; taking trips with my boyfriend; hanging out with a group of friends around the BBQ grill; seeing concerts at House of Blues, Grog Shop or Beachland; trying new restaurants because Cleveland is foodie heaven; getting some exercise inside or outside of the gym.

Q:You always look like you’re thinking when you’re skating–what’s going on in Wilder’s head when you’re out on the track?
Hahaha. Other skaters have said that to me. I’m usually thinking about what I’m supposed to be doing or thinking about what I need to do next or I’m just reviewing my goals quickly in my head. Sometimes it just boils down to “YEAAAAAA!” or “%$&*@$*&!!”

Veruca Salty goes up against Bomber, Marion Razorwound

The third bout of the season pitted teams with similar strategies against each other, creating a multiplier effect resulting in a slower strategic game with the Hellbombers against the Hard Knockers, and a fast-paced game with Cleveland Steamers versus the Rolling Pin-Ups.

This season, the Hard Knockers have been playing to their strength as a team of hard hitters by employing the slow jam start where a team’s blockers wait just infront of the jam line allowing them to dominate the back and start the jam with the opposing jammer hitting their wall. As in the last game where the Knockers beat the Cleveland Steamers, this can be effective if the other team doesn’t adapt quickly enough.

The Hellbombers chose to combat this by also playing the slow game at the start of the jam. This resulted in jams starting much like a game of chess, full of strategy, but, not much action. But, this jostling for pack domination was short lived as each team’s agile jammers often were able to find a hole they could burst through.

Sparkles escapes the pack

The Knockers were able to gain a small lead at the beginning with the lead alternating in the first ten jams, but several jams in a row with Hellbomber jammers Sparkles, Eduskator, and Professor Booty immediately bursting through the slow wall gave their team a lead they managed to hold for the rest of the game. Once through, the Hellbombers knew to keep the pack fast so the Knockers couldn’t re-establish their strong walls.

The Hard Knockers were able to hold the score down, so the spread stayed around 60 for the second half. But, just couldn’t rally enough to avoid giving the Hellbombers another win.

BuddhaLicious determined to take the lead

The next game with two quick teams, the Cleveland Steamers and Rolling Pin-Ups, also resulted in a multiplier effect of strategy giving a remarkably fast paced game. This was also a smartly played game. It was often the case that each jammer got through close to the other, so that the lead jammer could only pick off a few points before being forced to call off the jam.

The Steamers held lead in most of the first half. But, the second half started shaky for the Steamers as they started to rack up more penalties, letting Pin-Ups catch up. The Steamers were able to hold it until the last jam of the night when Pin-Ups had a one point lead at 73-72 with 53 seconds left on the game clock.

Rainbow Fright working hard to save the day

Steamer jammer Rainbow Fright got lead on Pin-Up jammer Punkd Pixie and the Steamer blockers were able to hold Pixie enough to give Rainbow a half track lead. But, Pixie was able to break through and the Pin-Ups kept the pack fast to get away from Rainbow so that they could hold their lead with just seconds left. With Pixie right behind, Rainbow finally caught up to the pack. She whipped off fellow blocker CupQuake who then stayed back to keep Pixie at bay while Rainbow continued into the fray where she was able to pass a few opposing blockers and quickly called it. Hoping she got enough points and that Pixie didn’t get any, Rainbow watched the score board with the rest of the Wolstein center to see the Pin-Ups didn’t score but the Cleveland Steamers received two points and a one point victory of 74-73.

Hidden Ajennda

Skater Name: Hidden Ajennda
AKA: Ajennda, Jennda

Q:Would you say that you’ve gotten anything unexpected out of derby?
Right now I have some unexpectedly sore muscles from a recent All-Stars practice (thanks RE!). Seriously, I really didn’t expect to find such an awesome and diverse group of women to spend my spare time with. People that push me day in and day out to be a better skater and athlete.

Q:Do you have a derby mentor?
At this point, I’d have to say Eva Lucien. I have a lot of respect for her both as a skater and a person. She’s taught me a lot, and I’m proud to call her my teammate and friend.

Q:Were there any “ah ha!” moments for you in your first season?
Not really. First season I just tried to be where people told me to be, or needed me to be. Any ah-ha moments I’ve had recently just reinforce the depth of the game, and how much I still need to learn –it’s pretty humbling, actually.

Q:The All-Stars are heading back to BrewHaha in Milwaukee again soon. What do you think is going to be different about this year?
I think the Killustrator and I will take down Professor Booty and Eva as the reigning Chicken-fight champs. Have you seen Killy’s muscles lately – odds are definitely in our favor!

Q:Do you have any goals as you prepare for the tournament?
More than anything, I want to be effective and helpful wherever the team needs me; I want to contribute to the success of our team.

Q:Is there another league that you would love to play one day?
I don’t think it’s a big secret I have a crush on Detroit.

Q:What bit of advice do you have for girls out there that are on the fence about joining derby?
Get on our recruiting list, talk to some derby girls, and come to some of the BRRG events. When the time is right, you’ll know it.

Q:What do you do for fun when you’re not doing derby?
There’s not much time for anything outside of derby, but when I get the chance, I like to be active and spend time with my friends.