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Roller Derby Mon Feb 02 2009

Talk Derby to Me: WCR 2009 Season Opener

Hell's BellesGoodbye, hard bench seating. Goodbye, wall projections and zero air conditioning.

On January 31, the Windy City Rollers kicked off their 2009 season opening bout at their new venue at the UIC Pavilion. And oh, what a starter it was. First, the Pavilion is a whole 'nother beast from their previous location, the Stadium in Cicero. For years, the location served the upstart league well, but as the WCR grew, so did their fanbase. Games were selling out, and often spectators had to deal with standing-room only. The Pavilion, in contrast, is far more professional and, well, shinier. As a former WCR skater, I initially missed the pieced-together DIYness of the old days. Those thoughts were beat into submission, however, as I found vendors selling boozy smoothies and sat back to enjoy the game.

The first game slotted the Manic Attackers versus the Double Crossers. The Manics, who were previously on a two-year losing streak, got off to a strong lead right away, led by jammers Beth Amphetamine, Wreck N Shrew, and Ruth Enasia. In fact, this year's Manics are far leaner and tighter than they have been in years. Despite efforts by Double Crossers Riley Coyote and Julia Rosenwinkle (previously Lucy Furr), the first half closed at 22-60 Manics.

The second game pitted The Fury against last year's Ivy Cup league champions, the Hell's Belles. The Fury took a quick lead, but as time went on (and more skaters packed the penalty box), the Belles tied the score. The crowd enjoyed some thrilling sprints between Fury jammer Yvette YourMaker and Belle jammer Athena DeCrime, but the Belles gained the lead as the Fury lost players to the box. Their first half closed at 38-62 Hell's Belles.

The second half was no less exciting for both teams: Despite Manic Attacker Wreck N Shrew giving up a possible lead jammer status because she did a cartwheel at the starting line, the Double Crossers never could quite catch up. In the end, the shenanigans didn't matter: Manics won 120-51.

The Fury, meanwhile, fought hard to get back into the game, but thanks to Belles jammer Shocka Conduit, they never made it. The Hells Belles won 119-77.

Check out the next WCR bout on Feb. 20. Check here for more information.

[Photo credit: Sarah Best]

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