Windy City Rollers home teams the Manic Attackers and the Double Crossers both won Saturday and will face each other next month for the Ivy King Cup.
The Manic Attackers, who finished the regular season with an 0-3 record, beat last years home season champions The Fury 186-180. The Double Crossers, who were winless the previous three seasons, beat the Hell's Belles 271-242.
The Manics and the Double Crossers will play for the Ivy King Cup, awarded annually to the home season champion, on May 17.
The Hell's Belles moved into sole possession of first place Saturday when they beat the Double Crossers in the second bout of the 2014 Windy City Rollers home season.
The Double Crossers kept it close through most of the first half, but the Belles picked up steam heading into intermission. Both teams started off the second half slowly, but soon, the Belles started to pull away. Hard blocking by the Belles and strong jamming from Bloody Elle and player of the game Killjoy gave the Belles a 225-119 win.
The Double Crossers jumped out to an early lead thanks to a series of quick, low-scoring jams. But Fury jammer Poppy Spock took lead jammer in jam 12 and passed the star to pivot KonichiWOW, who put The Fury up 54-50 with 13:35 left in the first half.
B.ay A.rea jumped out to a 32-0 lead early in the first half before the All-Stars scored their first points. All-Stars jammers had a tough time dealing with B.ay A.rea blockers, though Jackie Daniels and Sandrine Rangeon kept the All-Stars from falling too far behind.
Athena DeCrime swears she's not a crier. Perhaps not, but that didn't stop the tears from flowing Saturday night.
Athena DeCrime, one of the original members of the Windy City Rollers, played the last home bout of a 9-year career with the league Saturday night and helped lead WCR's A-team, the All-Stars, to a 240-127 victory over the Detroit Derby Girls. The victory, she said, was made even more special by the fact that not only was Saturday the last bout of the regular season, but it was also WCR Alumni Night and many former WCR skaters were in the crowd.
The Windy City RollersAll-Stars narrowly beat the Minnesota RollerGirls Sunday to secure a spot in November's Women's Flat Track Derby Association championships and a shot at the coveted Hydra trophy.
According to Derby News Network, the All-Stars beat Minnesota 160-154 to take 3rd place in the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs in Asheville, N.C. The All-Stars beat Madison's Dairyland Dolls in the first round of playoff action Friday, but lost to the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls 150-133 on Saturday to send them into the 3rd place game against Minnesota.
In the playoff championship game Sunday, Rocky Mountain lost to last year's Hydra winner, Gotham Girls Roller Derby, 216-99.
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars beat Madison's Dairyland Dolls Friday and advanced to the second round of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Division One playoffs.
According to WFTDA's website, the All-Stars beat Madison 374-87 and will take on the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls at 3 p.m. today. The winner of today's bout will face the winner of the bout between the Minnesota RollerGirls and Gotham Girls Roller Derby for first place, while the losing teams will face each other for third place.
The top three teams in the playoff go on to the WFTDA championships in November.
The state of North Carolina and smoking go hand in hand. Tobacco has been a large part of the state's economy for decades and it is home to one of the largest tobacco companies in the United States.
North Carolina was even called a "cigarette state" by singer/songwriter Robbie Fulks.
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars hope to do some smoking in Asheville, N.C. this weekend, but not of tobacco. Instead, the All-Stars hope to smoke the competition on the flat track as they compete in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Division One playoffs. If they finish as one of the top three teams, they'll earn the chance to compete for the Hydra trophy at the WFTDA championships in November.
According to WCR spokeswoman Dinah Party, the All-Stars beat Minnesota's A-team 234-164, while the Second Wind beat Minnesota's B-team 226-144.
Saturday's bout was the last for the All-Stars before they head to Asheville, N.C. Sept. 20-22 to compete in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Division 1 playoffs. If they place in the top 3 in Asheville, the All-Stars will get to compete for the Hydra trophy, awarded annually to the winner of the WFTDA championships.
In the beginning, said Frank Evan Smith, who skates for the Bruise Brothers under the name Frank Broosevelt, it was a small group of guys who loved roller derby. But without enough skaters to even scrimmage, it was slow going at first.
"We knew it would be a while before it developed into anything serious," Smith said. "You just kind of keep showing up each week."
When the league formed in late 2011, Smith said, it barely seemed real. But that changed in the spring of 2012 when the league started charging skaters dues and planning their first bouts.
Ivy King became one of the original stars of roller derby in the mid-1930s. Today, her presence is still felt throughout the derby world and specifically by the Windy City Rollers.
Tomorrow, WCR home teams The Fury and the Manic Attackers will face off to determine who will be the 2013 home season champion. As has been the case since The Fury won the first home season championship in 2005, the winner will be awarded a trophy bearing the name of the derby legend -- the Ivy King Cup.
Their names may not be familiar, but if you've been to a Windy City Rollers home season bout, you've surely seen them. They can often be spotted high-fiving little kids and posing for pictures with fans. If not doing either of those, they're likely starting a dance party somewhere.
They are the mascots of the Windy City Rollers home teams. Fonzo McKnuckles is a giant white gorilla who, according to his Facebook page, was hatched from an egg on Feb. 13, 2011 and now wears an orange cape for The Fury, who are 3-0 going into tomorrow's Ivy King Cup playoffs. Manic Man, in a blue and green body suit, represents the Manic Attackers, while Bull Diablo wears red and black for the Hell's Belles and Shinobi Bloody wears a black ninja outfit for the Double Crossers.
The presence of a representative of a foreign government at a Windy City Rollers bout is a rare thing. Perhaps equally rare is the presence of representatives of two foreign governments at a Rollers bout.
But such was the case at the UIC Pavilion Saturday.
If you'd asked her a year ago, Julie Smith might have told you she had no intention of trying out for the Windy City Rollers.
A year ago, Smith, who now skates for the Rollers' B-team, the Second Wind (as well as their home team, The Fury) under the moniker Jule B Sorry, was just involved with Derby Lite, a fitness program designed to give women the conditioning and skating skills of roller derby without the impact.
"I had no intention of trying out for the Windy City Rollers when I was with Derby Lite," said Smith. But after quickly advancing through the three levels of Derby Lite, Smith said it was not enough. "There was a need for more."
After beating the Hell's Belles, 255-184 Friday, The Fury remain the only undefeated Windy City Rollers home team.
The Fury jumped out to a big early lead in the second jam of Friday's bout. In the first jam, Ska Face took lead jammer for The Fury, scoring a quick four point before calling it off. In jam 2, Billie Mean King of The Fury took lead jammer and scored 24 against the Belles' Unicoroner.
When Bob Regan auditioned to be the announcer for the Windy City Rollers, he knew nothing about roller derby.
It was 2005, he said. He had just moved to Chicago after having spent a season performing as the mascot for the Cleveland Indians ("It's both fun and horrible at the same time," he said.). And then he found the Windy City Rollers.
"They popped up on MySpace," he said. "That's how long ago it was."
Little did Regan, who eventually took the derby name Bryant Mumble, know that the chance encounter in cyberspace would lead to an announcing gig that lasted 9 years and is still going strong.
When Tammy Matthews straps on her skates Saturday, exactly 51 weeks will have passed since she had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
Matthews, who skates for the Hell's Belles of the Windy City Rollers as Hermione Danger, tore her ACL in a scrimmage in December of 2011 and had surgery to repair it Feb. 16, 2012. She's one of a few WCR skaters making their return to action Saturday as the Rollers' home squads face off.
Tomorrow's bout against the Double Crossers marks the first full-length bout Matthews has skated in since October of 2011, though she skated in two half-bouts in the Rollers' mini-tournament Jan. 26.
In June, the Manics, now captained by the hard-hitting Bork Bork Bork and Ruth Enasia, beat the Fury to win the Ivy King Cup and become the 2012 home season champions. But on Saturday, the Fury, in a bout that was not decided until the final jam, beat the Manics 79-69.
Saturday's tournament was round-robin style, and bouts were only 30 minutes with no intermission, instead of the usual length of two 30-minute periods.
From the outside, you might think the two-story brick building (the location of which the Rollers would not divulge on the record) was once a factory or school, but is now little more than a shell. If not for the roller derby memorabilia lining the walls and derby gear scattered about, the exposed duct work, corrugated ceilings and concrete floors that shake when a skater falls would not indicate that some of the city's best skaters practice there.
But it's in that spartan facility (a.k.a. the Batcave) that the four WCR home teams -- the Fury, the Manic Attackers, the Double Crossers and the Hell's Belles -- were recently preparing for the season-opening round robin tournament tomorrow. The tournament is the first step in the annual quest for the Ivy King Cup, awarded to the best of the four home teams.
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars lost to the Denver Roller Dolls 212-130 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the WFTDA championships.
According to Derby News Network, Denver took the lead early and never gave it up. It took nearly five minutes for the All-Stars to score, allowing Denver to go up 19-0 early in the bout.
The All-Stars were down 131-77 at the start of the second half. For a short time, it looked as though they might be on the verge of a comeback, but penalties and strong defense from Denver allowed Denver to pull away and get the 82-point win.
Getting Midori Ohtake to talk about herself is no easy task.
Ask her a personal question and she responds with only short sentences. She speaks quietly, a slight smile always on her face, her hands barely moving.
Getting Midori Ohtake to talk about roller derby is easy. The slight smile expands into a full, toothy grin. Her eyes -- dark and framed by plastic-rimmed librarian glasses -- light up. Words flow almost effortlessly, a few even escaping her mouth as she chews a giant slice of pizza topped with black olives, garlic and roasted red peppers.
If the name Midori Ohtake doesn't sound familiar to you, you're not alone. She is better known as KonichiWOW, number 303 on the Windy City Rollers All-Stars. You may also know her as the jammer who was skating during the final jam of September's WFTDA North-Central region tournament and outscored her counterpart on the Minnesota RollerGirls 11-8 to win the tournament for the All-Stars.
These days, there's only one thing on Jennifer Cozad's mind.
That thing is the Hydra Trophy. Known in the roller derby world simply as the Hydra, it is what Cozad, known to her Windy City Rollers All-Stars teammates as Phoebe Fi Fo Fum, and skaters all over the world aim for every fall. It's awarded each year to the winner of the WFTDA championship tournament.
Cozad, in her first season with the All-Stars (and her second with Windy City), will be playing on the national stage for the first time in a couple weeks and said that while she's definitely nervous, she's ready.
"I have complete confidence in my team," she said. "We train for the Hydra all season."
Killa Nois, who didn't give her real name, was skating in her first bout with the Rollers' B-team, the Second Wind, Saturday. A jammer who transferred from the Angel City Derby Girls of Los Angeles, Killa Nois (who took home MVP honors) could not be stopped as the Second Wind powered past the Paper Valley Roller Girls 153-110.
Killa Nois drew first blood, scoring seven very quick points in the first jam of the night.
According to Derby News Network, Minnesota led for all but one jam in the first half while the Rollers led for all but one jam in the second. The Rollers led 154-145 when Minnesota called their last timeout with 1:58 left in the bout. WCR's KonichiWOW took the final jam 11-8 for a Rollers win.
The Rollers will battle for the WFTDA championship in Atlanta Nov. 2-4.
According to Derby News Network, the Rollers, who were the top seed in the region, defeated the 5th-seeded Ohio Roller Girls 187-135 Saturday afternoon. The win, according to DNN, qualifies the Rollers for the WFTDA Championships in Atlanta in early November.
The Rollers will play Minnesota, who defeated the Naptown Roller Girls of Indianapolis in their semi-final match, for the title at 5pm. The Rollers and Minnesota last played in June and tied 155-155.
The winner of that bout will go on to face the winner of the 3 p.m. bout between the Naptown Roller Girls of Indianapolis and the Minnesota Rollergirls for the North-Central regional championship tomorrow at 5 p.m.
The North-Central champ will play for the WFTDA championship tournament Nov. 2-4 in Atlanta.
Fury jammer Kola Loka (center) leaps through a Hell's Belles blockade at the May 13 playoff bout. (Photo by Steve Stearns)
It's been a year of surprises and tumult and for the Windy City Rollers' four teams: The Hell's Belles broke The Fury's 14-game winning streak, and the Double Crossers celebrated their first win in, well, forever, though they forfeited their win. After much roller-skating ado, it's come down to the two top teams -- The Fury and the Manic Attackers -- duking it out on the track in the Windy City Rollers' Ivy Cup Championship on Sat., June 2.
The Manics have been unbeatable this season with ramped-up blocking skills building defensive brick walls that stymie opposing jammers.
The Fury have had an uneven year, but remember that 14-game winning streak? Yeah, they didn't earn that by being slouches. The gals in the white and orange will definitely give the Manics a run (or skate) for their money.
This is it, folks -- the derby game you want to be at. The 2012 championship will take place at 6 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine)
Tickets start at $20 in advance. Find yours online or at the door.
There's nothing like revenge to get the blood going, amirite?
After getting knocked out of the position for first place, the Windy City Rollers team the Fury is gnashing their teeth for a chance to wallop their biggest rivals this season, the Manic Attackers, at the upcoming bout this Saturday, April 21. This is the last game before the playoffs on Sun., May 13 for the Ivy King Cup Championship. Expect both teams to be skating hard and hitting even harder.
The evening's other game pits the Hell's Belles against the Double Crossers. While the Belles aren't in the lead, they do have the distinction of breaking the Fury's two-year winning streak at an infamous bout last February. Oh, the Belles didn't just beat the Fury -- they slayed them, ending the game 140-79.
The first game kicks off at 6 p.m., and it all goes down at the UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine). Tickets start at $20; get yours online or at the door.
Warmer weather means Windy City Roller All-Star season kicks into gear! The Windy City Rollers' travel team elite, the All-Stars, will be bouting in their first home game of the season against the Naptown Tornado Sirens from Indianapolis on Saturday, March 31.
This time last year, the two teams faced off in what turned into an upset as the All-Stars miraculously pulled ahead in the last five minutes to win the bout 128-117. I think it's safe to assume Naptown will be looking for revenge, so this bout should be a good one. The first game, featuring the leagues' B teams, starts at 6 p.m., and the main event starts at 7:30. It all goes down at the UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine); tickets start at $20, but use promo code WRECK12 at Ticketmaster.com for $5 off general admission. Get yours online or at the door.
On Saturday, the Windy City Rollers' 2012 home season kicked off with an upset. Could it be indicative of the rest of the season?
The Hell's Belles surprised everyone--perhaps even themselves--as they broke The Fury's 14-game winning streak. Strong blocking by the Belles helped MVP jammer Zombea Arthur as she made a mad dash for points, earning 68 in all, helping win the game at a solid 140-79.
The Manic Attackers took on the Double Crossers in the second (and slower) game of the evening. Unfortunately, it wasn't too much of a match, as the Crossers' suffer from a sparse, rookie-filled roster. Manic blockers Bork Bork Bork, Ada Hatelace, and AliSin Chains made way for jammers Zoe Trocious, Thievin' Tyler, and Rose Feratu to score point after point. Finally, the Crossers had had enough, and the game closed in the Manics' favor, 151-62.
Fury jammer Janicide Joplin (in the orange starred helmet) zips through the pack.
Zoe Trocious (in blue) sneaks past an unsuspecting Double Crosser.
Itchin' for some homestyle derby? The Windy City Rollers are hosting their opening bout of the 2012 season on Saturday, Feb. 11, pitching the Hell's Belles vs. The Fury, and Manic Attackers vs. Double Crossers.
The league posted short promo clips for the upcoming bout, including this cute Looney Tunes-inspired (yet oddly French) battle twixt the Double Crossers' Joanie Utah and Manic Attackers' Bork Bork Bork.
The bout will be held at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine), and the first game kicks off at 6pm. Tickets start at $20; get yours online or at the door.
The wise and powerful Octophant, Phineas X. Jones, has seen fit to bestow upon us a series of gorgeous designs for every corner of the Chicago sports world. Feast your eyes on our new icons for the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, Sox, Fire and derby demons.
Windy City's Zoetrocious (center) jams against the L.A. Derby Dolls in the Chicago Invitational.
While the Windy City Rollers and their colleagues in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association charge for tickets to see their events, the reality is that none of the competitors actually makes any money.
The ticket sales and sponsorships go toward funding the operations of the teams, but derby folks compete for the love of the sport, not for money. However, last weekend's Chicago Invitational brought not only banked track derby to town, but also cash money for the teams that fared the best in the two-day tournament at the Odeum Expo Center.
When WCR hosted last year's Uproar on the Lake Shore championships, they had the misfortune of being seeded to play the eventual winner of the tournament, the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, in their first match. It seemed like their odds of advancing might be better this year -- but first they'd have to beat the Kansas City Roller Warriors, who beat WCR in a bout earlier this year.
It was a competitive match on Saturday, Nov. 12, but Kansas City got out to an early lead and managed to hold on until about midway into the second period. Windy City took over, and they looked to be on a roll with a score of 82-65 with 11 minutes left, but alas, the Rollers stalled. Kansas City rallied to win with a final score of 112-95.
Four of the nations top teams will play for a chance to win a $10,000 first prize. That buys a whole lotta PBR, y'all. Friday night's bouts pit NYC's Gotham Roller Girls vs. Denver's Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, and the WCR All-Stars vs. the LA Derby Dolls. Saturday night, the losers of Friday's two games will play each other for the $1,000 3rd place prize, followed by the bout for first place.
The tournament takes place at the Odeum Center (1033 N Villa Ave) in Villa Park. Both evenings, the bout will start at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 for bleacher seats; get yours online or at the door.
As the WCR All-Stars rank number 1 in the North Central regional division, they'll play their first game on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the winner of the bout between the Kansas City Roller Warriors and Portland's Rose City Rollers.
Take a look-see here for a schedule of games as well as a tournament bracket. To watch the the action, check out Derby News Network's awesome live streaming of the bouts.
This go-round, the All-Stars take on the Tampa Bay Derby Darlins on Saturday, Oct. 22. At 6 p.m., the WCR Second Wind (WCR's B team) plays the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls from Bloomington, Ind. The All-Star game begins at 7:30, and it all takes place at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). Tickets start at $20. Get yours online or at the door.
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars have divided and conquered the Monumental Mayhem regional championship games held this weekend in Indianapolis. After two grueling days of bouting, they defended their status of the undefeated champs in the North Central region, beating the Minnesota Roller Girls 123-100 in the final game. Their win propels the All-Stars to the 2011 WFTDA championship held Nov. 11-13 in Colorado.
Whoa, man, if you like roller derby, this Saturday is your night. Both hometown leagues, the Windy City Rollers and the Chicago Outfit are bouting on the same evening--and, unfortunately, at the same time. That's right, derby fans, you must make a Sophie's Choice decision between the two games.
Chicago's own Windy City Rollers All-Stars are on a winning streak this season, having rolled over Pittsburgh's Steel City 147-117 at their July 30 home game. Hopefully our gals can keep it up at their August 27 bout against the San Diego Derby Dolls at the UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine). San Diego are known for being the first hybrid league in the nation, skating banked- as well as flat-track derby. But none of those fancy banked shenanigans will take place at their bout on Saturday night--no siree, this is flat-track country!
WCR's Second Wind, the league's B team who are hot off last month's awesome win against the Gotham Wall Street Traitors (166-77), will open the evening at 6 p.m. with a game against the Ohio Rollergirls. The All-Stars game begins at 7:30. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale online or at the door.
Roller derby is growing by leaps and bounds nationwide, but it's also rolling across the globe. The Windy City Rollers' own super-jammer Varla Vendetta (Jaime Ramsay) has been listed on the Team USA roster, a group of 28 of the top skaters in the country. The gals will go on to compete in the Roller Derby World Cup, held in Toronto in early December.
The All-Stars (in black) work to block Houston's jammer (in pink star helmet). / Photo: Gil Leora
A month after closing their 2011 home season, the Windy City Rollers are back at it -- but this time, they're taking on derby leagues nationwide. So far WCR's travel team, the All-Stars, have enjoyed a slammin' season, winning all four previous games against the likes of Charm City, Montreal, Boston, and Houston. Currently the All-Stars are ranked number 1 in the North Central division and number 10 in the nation.
On Saturday, July 30, the All-Stars are bringing the action back with their first home interleague bout of the season, this time against Pittsburgh's Steel City Derby Demons, who currently rank 6th in the Eastern division and 17th nationally. The All-Stars' B team, the Second Wind, will be bouting against Gotham Girls Roller Derby's Wall St. Traitors.
Lastly, and basically because I like his moniker, Bobby Narco, aka "The Pavarotti of Derby," will be singing the national anthem. Narco's a loaner from the Ithaca League of Women Rollers, and he has performed "The Star Spangled Banner" and occasionally "O! Canada" in nine different states for various roller derby bouts and tournaments.
You heard it here, folks. Derby's getting downright fancy.
The bout takes place at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the first game starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door.
The Fury celebrate their win over the Manic Attackers / Photo: Gil Leora
The Windy City Rollers are feelin' the Fury. After a battle royale against the Manic Attackers at Saturday night's Ivy King Cup championship bout at the UIC Pavilion, the team took home the coveted award. The win concluded a spectacular season for the Fury. It also marked their fourth time as league champs (previously winning in '05, '06, and '10).
From the game's get-go, the Fury grabbed the lead and refused to let go, seizing lead jammer status and maintaining a very fast pack. That's not, however, to say it was an easy fight. After the first few jams, the score inched along as the Manics held their contenders at bay. There were some amazingly tight races between the Manics' Beth Amphetamine and the Fury's Kola Loka, as both skaters strove to get to the pack first.
While the Manics offense was tight -- star blocker Bork Bork Bork was the team's reliable Zamboni, clearing a path for the jammer -- their defense lacked consistency. Oftentimes they were seen stacking the back of the pack and leaving the front to the Fury, much to the chagrin of the Manic jammers, who would come to a screeching halt as soon as they hit the wall of blockers. By halftime the score was in the Fury's favor 64-39. Despite some amazing 14-point gains by the Manics, in the end they were no match for heavy blocking from the Fury's Sargentina and power jams by Ska Face and Kola. Once again, the league's streetwise skaters took the championship, 121-77.
After a grueling season, the Windy City Rollers are ready to kick it Thunderdome style. At the Ivy King Cup Championship this Saturday, June 18, two teams enter; only one team leaves (or rather, leaves with the coveted cup). This year, it's down to The Fury and the Manic Attackers, two teams who are maintaining their reps as hard-to-beat skaters.
At last month's May 21 bout, we saw The Fury beat Hell's Belles by 36, while the Manic Attackers gave the Double Crossers a sound spanking, beating them by 200. The Fury has enjoyed a particularly victorious season, currently standing 6-0. The Manics, however, have been maintaining more of an even keel, finishing out the regular season at 4-2.
With both teams largely with veteran skaters at the helm, there weren't a lot of surprises as far as stats. The Fury's star jammers include Kola Loka, who has scored 326 points this season, followed by Ska Face (213), and Jackie Daniels (111). Leading Fury blockers include Ol' Drrrty Go-Go, Sargentina, and Tori Adore.
Meanwhile, the Fury better watch out for Manic jammers Zoe Trocious, who has scored 240 points so far this season, followed by Beth Amphetamine (146), and Ruth Enasia (116). Providing both offense and defense are star Manic blockers Bork Bork Bork, Tamikazi, and AliSin Chains.
I'm not going to attempt extending this Mad Max metaphor any further (that way, everyone can be Tina Turner), so suffice to say it'd be in your best interest to attend the championship on Saturday at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave). The bout kicks off at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Grab yours online or at the door.
A Manic Attacker brings a little Easter cheer to the April 23 bout / Photo: Steve Stearns
Last Saturday, the four Windy City Rollers teams duked it out in the UIC Pavilion for the second time that month. The first game of the evening saw the Fury continue their onslaught on the 2011 season with yet another win, this time against the Manic Attackers. The Manics, who've also enjoyed a good season, were fresh from their nail-biter April 9 bout against the Hell's Belles. The Fury maintained a grip on the packs, often with a 20-point spread, until the Manics' Zoe Trocious tightened the gap in the second half with a fantastic jam. Still, it was the Fury's game as they shut down the Manics 131-90.
In the second bout, the Hell's Belles led in their game against the Double Crossers from the get-go and never surrendered. Per usual, Belles skaters Shocka Conduit and Deb Autry proved indispensable. Despite some strong jamming by Indy Cent and Julia Rosenwinkle, with blocking assists from Georgia on Yer Behind and Karmageddon, the Double Crossers had to admit defeat, ending with a Belles win 171-89.
The next game is Saturday, May 21, at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). It will be the final bout before the championships on June 18.
Get ready for Easter with a rousing game of roller derby! The Windy City Rollers will be presenting their second bout this month on Saturday, April 23 at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave). This go-round will see the winners of the last bout, The Fury and the Manic Attackers, battle one another. In the second game, the Double Crossers will take on the Hell's Belles. The bout begins at 6 p.m. and tickets start at $20. You can get yours online or at the door.
The Fury's Ska Face (left) and the Double Crossers' Indy Cent race to become lead jammer / Photo: Steve Stearns
If you weren't at Saturday's Windy City Rollers bout, you missed a helluva game. The second half of the night saw the Hell's Belles against the Manic Attackers in what became a total nail-biter. The two teams are fairly evenly matched this season -- this game mattered, and it showed as both teams attacked the floor from the first whistle. It was a rougher, tougher game, and the the teams strove to keep a fast pack, making it that much harder for the jammers to catch up and break through. The Manics used whips to their advantage; despite a last-minute grand slam by Belle jammer Zombea Arthur, the Manics slid ahead of the Belles at the half.
The Hell's Belles picked up their blocking strategy during the second half. As the clock showed only 12 minutes left, the Manic's lead shorted to a 85-70. The Belles were on a roll, but Zombea Arthur, acting as the Belles' jammer, was sent to the box, which allowed Manic jammer Ruth Enasia to ring up a parcel of points. Finally, the back-and-forth was put to rest as the game ended in the Manics' favor, 103-95.
Unfortunately, the game between the Fury against the Double Crossers seemed easily called from the get-go. Only 10 minutes in, the Fury were already gliding by their rivals 31-5. The Fury have enjoyed a 4-0 winning streak this season; their strong jammers and tight blocking skills proved once again to be a winning combo -- especially as Fury jammer Yvette Yermaker's wallop sent Crossers jammer Joanie Utah flying across the floor. The Double Crossers have been handicapped this season by a roster of mostly new skaters. To their credit, they never gave up -- Indy Cent, Dame Over, and Sunshine N Painbows all proved valuable jammers. Despite pulling up their score a considerable amount after the half, victory fell to the Fury 135-87.
It's derby o'clock! Check out the Windy City Rollers this Saturday, April 9, at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave.) as the four home teams duke it out for derby dominance. The first half of this weekend's bout a game between The Fury, who are on a 3-0 winning streak, and the Double Crossers. The second game pits the fairly evenly matched Manic Attackers against Hell's Belles. The bout starts at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $20 in advance; get yours online or at the door.
Only three games into their 2011 home season, and a pattern is developing among the Windy City Rollers' teams. After their 145-101 win against the Hell's Belles on Sat., March 12, the Fury established their place at the top with a 3-0 season thus far. The Double Crossers, however, maintained their position at the bottom of the pack with yet another loss. The Manic Attackers creamed the Crossers, ending the bout in the Manics' favor, 168-39.
Double Crossers' Jammer Dame Over prepares for take-off.
Hell's Belles' Pominatrix (center) attempts to take out Fury Jammer Ol' Drrrty Go-Go (right).
Strap your skates on--it's time for more derby with the Windy City Rollers this this Saturday, March 12, at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). This month's bout pits the Manic Attackers vs Double Crossers and Hell's Belles vs. the Fury. The game begins at 6pm. Tickets start at $20; get yours at the door or through Ticketmaster.
There's nothing to beat away the winter blues like the sweet sounds of roller skates skidding along a sport court floor. And, you know, concession-stand nachos. The second bout of the Windy City Rollers' 2011 season takes place this Sunday, Feb. 13, at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). But take note: It starts at 3 p.m. this time!
This go-round sees the Hell's Belles take on the Double Crossers and the Manic Attackers against the Fury. That last one should be a good game, y'all.
Tickets start at $20; get yours at the door or through Ticketmaster.
Ever wanted to be a part of the Windy City Rollers but are worried about injuries or are, you know, male? This is your chance to participate in local roller derby: The rollers are in need of folks 21+ (female or male) who are willing to donate their time and be a part of the non-skating staff (such as score keepers and penalty box staff).
There will be a meeting for those interested on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Boiler Room (2210 N. California Ave). Contact email@example.com for more info.
It was an exciting opening night Saturday, Jan. 15, for the Windy City Rollers, as the league began their 2011 home season with an interleague double header. The turnout was good at the UIC Pavilion, where fans, family, and fresh meat (new skaters) filled the stands.
Before beginning game play, a moment of silence was held for skater Yvonne Johnson Hammer, who was found dead last December. For this game, her teammates all skated with the name "Hammer" on their uniform.
First on the starting line were the Manic Attackers vs. Hell's Belles. The Manics have enjoyed a strong team for the last few years, while the Belles have faltered in their game play. The bout between them started with the Manics quickly gaining the lead and maintaining it for the rest of the game. Veteran Manic skaters Bork Bork Bork, Mo Vengeance, and Ying O' Fire threw heavy blocks, while Belle Jammers Deb Autry and Shocka Conduit slid through the pack with ease. In the end, however, it was the Manics' game, as they took the bout 137-71.
Last spring, local cartoonist Lucy Knisley posted a wonderfully fun and heartfelt comic about roller derby and gushing fandom. Whatever sport you're into, if you're the type to wear a giant foam finger or a jersey with your favorite player's name on it, you should read it.
Yesterday afternoon, the Windy City Rollers announced that one of their skaters, Yvonne Johnson Hammer, had indeed been found dead earlier that day. The following statement was posted on their website and Facebook page.
Dear Windy City Rollers friends, family and fans:
It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of our league mate, Yvonne Johnson Hammer ("Hammer"). As her death is still being actively investigated, please pass any information you think might be relevant to her disappearance directly to the Chicago Police Department. The Windy City Rollers are unable to provide any further information at this time, but we will be sure to reach out to you on behalf of Yvonne's friends and family in the coming days.
Hammer joined our league in June of 2010 and had not yet had the opportunity to play her first public game as a member of the Double Crossers, so she may not be familiar to some of you. However, her league members will always remember her for her ready smile, her amazing work ethic, and her extraordinary athleticism. We know that you will keep Hammer and her family in your hearts during this difficult time.
Earlier this evening, the Windy City Rollers reported that one of their skaters, Yvonne Johnson Hammer, has been reported missing by her family. She was last seen on Sunday, December 5. According to the WCR Facebook page, "Law enforcement is currently treating her disappearance as a missing persons case. We hope she returns safely to her family, friends and league soon."
Anyone with information regarding Hammer's whereabouts should contact the Chicago Police.
Name: Yvonne Johnson Hammer
Date of Birth: February 1971
Weight: 145 pounds, athletic build
Last seen: Sunday, December 5th at 5 am, vicinity of 104th and Indiana in Chicago.
UPDATE 12/9: Sources today report that Johnson was found dead. Details to follow as we learn more.
When many people think roller derby, they remember derby as it was played in the 1970s: fake fights, banked tracks, and a certain amount of sleaze. Those days are gone with the 2000s edition of derby, including banked tracks. Most derby leagues, the Windy City Rollers and Chicago Outfit included, skate on flat tracks--simply put, they're easier and cheaper to construct and maintain.
But some leagues still roll on banked tracks, including the legendary LA Derby Dolls, who will be taking on the Windy City Rollers in the Red Bull Banked Jam on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the UIC Pavilion (525 South Racine Ave). This should be an interesting bout--WCR isn't used to skating on anything but a flat track, and trust me, it will make a difference.
If girls flying every which way over the sides of the track isn't enough, punk-ska band Less Than Jake will be performing as well. Doors are at 7 p.m., the bout starts at 8. Get your tickets online or at the door.
Despite a weekend full of wide point spreads and the start-and-stops of slow pack skating, the Uproar on the Lakeshore 2010 national roller derby championships, held in Chicago last weekend, ended with a walloping bang.
The afternoon opened with the Gotham Girls and the Philly Roller Girls battling for third and fourth place. Jam after jam, Philly put up a great defense, stacking Blockers at the head of the pack, but Gotham's Jammers, particularly Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders, were incredibly light on their toe stoppers and were able to work their way through. Gotham's agility lead to a quick lead, and after getting an amazing eight Lead Jammers in a row, they put Philly out of their misery 162-49.
Gotham's Suzy Hotrod (Jammer with the star helmet) makes it look easy as she passes by Philly's skaters. (Photo by Joe Schwartz)
Another day, another derby bout. The pressure was on high on Saturday at the UIC Pavilion, as the Uproar on the Lakeshore 2010 national roller derby championships saw teams whittled down to a select few.
The day kicked off with NYC's Gotham Girls walloping the Texas Rollergirls 151-52. Next up were the heated battle between Charm City Roller Girls and the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls. It was an even match until the half, when RMRG quickly pulled ahead and gained a 40-point lead. Plenty of penalties kept Charm in the box for much of the game, which led to their downfall. In the end, RMRG won the bout 165-103.
The first day of Uproar didn't really cause any, well, uproars. Largely Friday afternoon at the UIC Pavillion was a day of wide point spreads -- bout after bout, the winning teams stomped all over their rivals. The exception was the first bout between Texas Rollergirls and the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, which kept it a fairly close 72-59.
But that was the anomaly. Far more common was 100-point differences, as seen in the follow-up Charm City Roller Girls vs. Minnesota RollerGirls bout. Time after time, Charm City maintained a grip on the lead jammer status, ending with Charm's Holden Grudges' grand slam, leading her team to victory 249-118.
The following Philly Roller Girls vs. Mad Rollin' Dolls (Madison, Wis.) game was an even harsher trouncing. Philly kicked off the bout with a strong lead, gaining 32 points within the first five minutes. It was a sloppy, slapstick game, and Mad clearly looked as if they had given up by halftime; the bout ended with Philly taking it 213-53.
Finally, last year's national champs, Olympia's Oly Rollers, took on the Nashville Rollergirls. Slow packs were commonly seen, much to the consternation of the audience. I saw at least one pro-fast pack sign in the audience. This game was different, as Oly dared Nashville to keep up with them. Oly rolled out hard, gained the upper skate (as it were), and finally put Nashville out of their misery at 214-53.
Today's bouts feature some of the nations' best teams, so I anticipate lots of upsets, hard hits, and hopefully an underdog or two.
If you can't join the action at the UIC Pavilion, you can listen in online at the Derby News Network's awesome live coverage.
'Tis that time of year once again, when roller derby fans from across the nation will pack up their t-shirts, banners, and beer koozies that proclaim their love of the sport and a particular team. These derby faithful will hop in cars and vans, board airplanes, and hightail it to Chicago, this year's host to the Uproar on the Lakeshore, the 2010 WFTDA national roller derby championships, which take place Friday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 7. Beer and nachos in hand, the fans will gasp, cheer, and yell as they watch 12 teams duke it out for the honor of being named the best derby team in the nation. (See this past post for a list of the competing teams and the championship roster.)
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Windy City All-Stars. (Photo by Gil Leora)
Given the tense rivalry between many of the teams and some controversies in game play, there will more than likely be plenty of opportunities for fans to freak out. At the 2009 championships, the Windy All-Stars faced challenges when they countered the controversial "slow pack" or "Western" style of playing embraced by the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and Denver Roller Dolls.
Hold onto your hats, folks: Hundreds of roller derby girls are poised to descend on Chicago.
Uproar on the Lakeshore, the 2010 WFTDA national roller derby championships, is held this year in our fair city from Friday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 7 at the UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine). Twelve teams from across the country will be contending for the title of 2010 WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association) champion: the Texas Rollergirls, B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, Minnesota Rollergirls, Charm City Roller Girls, Philly Roller Girls, Mad Rollin' Dolls, Oly Rollers, Nashville Rollergirls, Gotham Girls Roller Derby, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Kansas City Roller Warrios, and the Windy City Rollers.
The schedule has been posted, and you can also download the bracket here. Gapers Block will continue to provide coverage through the event, so be sure to check back in.
Tickets are $31 daily or $78 for an all-weekend pass. Trackside (aka "Suicide")/VIP seating is $123 for an all-weekend pass (no daily VIP tix). Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.
On August 25, 2007, Tahirah Johnson, aka Tequila Mockingbird, a star Jammer for the Windy City Rollers team The Fury, took what at first seemed to be a run-of-the-mill tumble during a bout. But when she couldn't get up again, it was horribly apparent to everyone that something had gone very wrong. Johnson had sustained an injury to her C4 vertebrae, rendering her unable to move below the shoulders.
What's more, at the time Johnson was self-employed as a project attorney and didn't have health insurance. While she concentrated on her recovery, fans and derby girls across the nation pitched in to help Johnson financially.
Having just past the third anniversary of the accident, I followed up with Johnson, who now lives in Oklahoma City. She's still wheelchair-bound, but thanks to therapy and rigorous workouts she is able to walk several hundred feet on a platform walker with a little assistance. As always, Johnson is gracious, optimistic, driven, and still a Windy City Roller at heart.
This just in: The Windy City All-Stars, who are currently competing at the Thunda on the Tundra regional tournament held in Green Bay, just won their bout against the Cincinnati Rollergirls 172-147. This win assures them a chance to compete in the 5th annual WFTDA Championship, Uproar on the Lakeshore, scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in Chicago.
Oh, it is on. It was announced today that local derby team, the Windy City Rollers All-Stars, is now the first-seeded team in the upcoming Thunda on the Tundra North Central Regional Tournament, which will be held Sept. 10-12 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. On Friday, Sept. 10, at 3:15 p.m., Windy City will play the winner of the opening bout between St. Louis and Indianapolis. The league who takes the tournament will be rolling on to compete in the 5th annual WFTDA Championship, Uproar on the Lakeshore, scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in Chicago.
Right now there are 24 WFTDA member leagues in the North Central Region (up from 19 leagues last year), including leagues in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.
If you can't haul it up to Green Bay but still want to support the All-Stars, join the viewing party hosted by the WCR on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.), where fans will gather to watch the final two games of Thunda on the Tundra. Doors open an hour early at 4:45 p.m. to watch the battle for third place at 5. The final game to determine 1st and 2nd place begins at 7.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, the Outfit took on Indianapolis' Naptown Tornado Sirens. Alas, the Sirens pulled ahead in what turned out to be a close game, beating the Outfit 94-89.
On Saturday, August 21, it was the Windy City Rollers All-Stars in a home game against Denver's Rocky Mountain Roller Girls' travel team, 5280 Fight Club. The Rocky Mountain gals immediately snagged a strong lead and didn't let up the rest of the game, walloping the All-Stars 151-56.
Fun fact: The first-ever roller derby game was played here at the Chicago Coliseum in August 13th, 1935. This Friday (yes, August 13), join the Windy City Rollers as they host the sport's 75th anniversary at Shambles (2050 W. Division St.), starting at 8 p.m. Tickets to the next WCR All-Star game against the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls will be given away, derby footage will play all evening, and expect a night of drinks, dancing, and derby trivia. Of course, you have to be 21+ to attend.
It was a nail biter of a bout last Saturday, July 31, as the WCR All-Stars took on the Cincinnati Silent Lambs and Boston Massacre in an exciting double-header at the UIC Pavilion. The first game featured the Windy City Rollers' Second Wind team, who started out strong against Cincinnati and never let up. The first half closed with Windy City in the lead at 91-33, the Silent Lambs having gained some ground after Rose Feratu's smashing 14-point jam. After a whole lotta box time for both teams, the game ended in WCR's favor 184-96.
The second game of the evening saw an intense match between the WCR All-Stars and the Boston Massacre. Both teams are fairly evenly matched; although at first Boston had a difficult time scoring points, their strong defense gave the All-Stars a run for their money. Again, it was a game in which everyone spent time in the box, which led to some challenging situations for both teams' Jammers. By the last 10 minutes, the scores were uncomfortably close. Finally, WCR's Shocka Conduit took the last jam, and as lead Jammer she immediately called it off before Boston had a chance to score. The crowd went bananas over the WCR win 121-115.
There's been a bit of a derby drought lately, but the WCR All-Stars are picking up the pace in their bout against the Boston Massacre on Saturday, July 31 at the UIC Pavillion (525 S Racine). The All-Stars (the Windy City Rollers' travel team) are in the middle of their season. They currently hold the No. 1 place in the region, but have fallen to No. 11 in the nation, edged out by--wait for it--Boston. This head-to-head showdown should be a good match.
Doors open at 5 p.m. The Windy City Rollers Second Wind (the WCR's B team) plays vs. TBA at 6, and the All-Stars bout begins at 7:30. Tickets start at $20, and you can get yours here or at the box office.
Well, it's been a hell of a season for the Windy City Rollers.
The league faced a lot of challenges, as many teams experienced a number of roster changes and a whole lotta injuries, which led to some big game upsets. Then again, this year's batch of Rollers came back from the last season leaner and meaner than ever before⎯the league as a whole upped the ante, practicing harder, smarter, and more often, and it definitely shows.
After duking it out for months, the Fury and the Double Crossers are the top two WCR teams heading to the Ivy King Cup championship on June 5.
On Saturday, May 22, Windy City Rollers fans saw a preview of the upcoming Ivy King Cup Championship, as contenders The Fury played against the Double Crossers at the UIC Pavilion. The Fury secured a lead and never let go, finishing the bout 95-69. The two teams have been tightly matched the entire season; check in on Saturday, June 5, to see which one will become the championship winner.
The evening also saw the Manic Attackers in a close game with Hell's Belles ending with a Manic win 108-93.
The Windy City Rollers bout last Saturday, May 1 at the UIC Pavilion was notable--not merely for the high-paced, tight games, but because the winning teams will go on to compete in the Ivy King Cup Championship game on June 5th.
In the first game, Hell's Belles were giving The Fury a run for their money when finally Fury jammer Kola Loka took the lead and pushed her team to victory over the Belles, 125-110. In the second game, Double Crossers continued their spree as they triumphed over last year's Ivy King Cup defending champion Manic Attackers, 121-91.
The next bout, on Saturday, May 22, will pit the Hell's Belles vs. Manic Attackers, and in a preview of the championship, The Fury vs. the Double Crossers. Check here for more info and online tickets.
Manic Jammer Zoe Trocious speeds past Fury Jammer Jackie Daniels.
The Windy City Rollers' April 10 bout was exciting as The Fury took on last year's Ivy King Cup champs, the Manic Attackers. Unfortunately for the Manics, The Fury was ready for the competition, taking the game 110-85. In the second game pitting the Hell's Belles vs. the Double Crossers (XX), the Crossers came back from their previous defeat by The Fury to dominate over the Belles 158-75.
Double Crosser jammer Indy Cent (far left) passes through the pack.
WCR official Sheik Yerbouti, in what may be the best nom de referee ever.
Hot on the heels after their last bout on March 27, the Windy City Rollers are at it again on Saturday, April 10 at the UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine). The March game ended with Manic Attackers bringing back their game and rolling over the Hell's Belles 121-59. The second game saw the Fury walloping Double Crossers 128-51.
This time, check out the action as The Fury skates against the Manic Attackers and Double Crossers go head-to-head with Hell's Belles. The first game starts at 6 p.m. Get your tickets here or at the door.
Lace up your boots--it's time to head to the Windy City Rollers' next derby bout on Saturday, March 27. This go-round pits the Hell's Belles vs. Manic Attackers starting at 6 p.m. The next game (beginning at about 7:30 p.m.) features the winners from the last bout, Double Crossers vs. The Fury. The event takes place at the UIC Pavilion (525 South Racine), and you can get your tickets here or at the door.
In the last Derby Dame column, I clued you in on roller derby positions and gear. This week, I'll show you how the game is played, what all the whistles mean, and the legal ways derby girls can bash into one another.
How the Game Is Played
All right, now we're down to the nitty-gritty. First, each game is broken up into two 30-minute halves. Each half is broken into any number of jams, each of which can last up to 2 minutes. The jam ends when either the "Lead Jammer" puts her hands on her hips, signifying the end of the jam, or the two-minute period is up.
And They're Off!
The jam begins when the referee blows one short whistle, which signals the Blockers to start skating. Then two short whistles are blown, setting off the Jammers. The Jammers fight to pass everyone on the opposing team, and the first to do so is designated Lead Jammer. Starting with the second pass, the Jammers score one point for each rival player they legally pass, plus those in the penalty box. They can also receive a "lap point" for completely lapping the opposing Jammer. A pass of all opposing Blockers plus the opposing Jammer is called a "grand slam." A Jammer does not earn points if her skate goes out of bounds or if she fouls a rival player.
The Jammer for the WCR's The Fury skates ahead of the Manic Attacker Jammer.
Photo courtesy of Gil Leora
So, you're ready for your first roller derby bout--you've bought the tickets, taken the party bus, and are sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with your favorite Windy City Roller team's name. But hold up--ain't no beer koozie gonna clue you into what's happening on the track. There's a lot more to roller derby than just tough ladies skating in tight circles. Read further for a quick primer in roller derby game play.
What They're Wearing:
According to WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association, a national organization to which the Windy City Rollers belong), all skaters must wear knee, wrist, and elbow guards; a helmet; and a mouth guard. And, of course, quad roller skates. Hot pants or skirts aren't regulation, but it's certainly du rigueur.
The Gals on the Track:
During any given play (aka "jam"), there can be up to five girls from each team on the track. Generally, there is the Jammer, the Pivot, and three Blockers. This line-up may change during a jam, due to skaters being injured or sitting in the penalty box, or for strategic purposes.
The first game of the Windy City Rollers' bout on Sunday, Feb. 21, paired two previously unbeaten teams, the Manic Attackers and the Double Crossers. The Crossers opened strong with a slow pack, giving the Manic jammers a rough time. The teams remained within five points of each other for much of the game, but soon into the second half, the Manics were in the lead 63/46. Even so, Double Crossers jammers Julia Rosenwinkle and Donna Party closed up the gap within minutes, and the game ended in their favor 103-84.
The second game pitted The Fury against the Hell's Belles, and from the get-go, The Fury took the advantage, scoring 33 points within the first six minutes. Belles jammer Shocka Conduit put up a good fight, but was no match for Fury jammers Kola Loka and Jackie Daniels, a recent acquisition from the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls in Grand Rapids, MI. In the end, The Fury kept a lid on it, closing the game at 162-65.
That's right, derby fans: The Windy City Rollers have their second bout of the season on Sunday, Feb. 21 at the UIC Pavilion (525 South Racine). The first bout saw the Manic Attackers holding their ground as last season's champs in a tight fight against The Fury, while the Double Crossers swept Hell's Belles, easy-peasy. This go-round pits the Manic Attackers vs. the Double Crossers and Hell's Belles vs. The Fury.
Doors open at 5 p.m., with game play starting at 6 p.m. Get your tickets here or at the door.
The first bout of the Windy City Rollers 2010 season kicked off to a track-blazin' start. There was plenty of pregame jitters in the air, particularly because all four teams are recovering from quite a few roster changes.
And blaze the track they did. The Hell's Belles felt the burn after the Double Crossers trounced them 171-48. Meanwhile, last year's Ivy King Cup champions, the Manic Attackers, continued their streak against The Fury with a win 101-83.
A record 3,900 spectators showed up for this opening bout, and the UIC Pavilion's upper deck was opened to accommodate everyone. Chicago roller derby has come a long way, baby.
The next bout will be Sunday, Feb. 21. Get your tickets here or at the door.
What, you can't roller skate and artfully slam others at the same time? Here's your chance to show 'em: The Windy City Rollers are hosting an arm-wrestling tournament at Reggie's Music Joint (2105 S. State) on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sign up begins at 7 for those interested in getting a beat-down from a derby girl. While you're at it, enjoy cocktails and the sweet sounds of Crazy Rocket Fuel, an all-girl rockabilly band out of Milwaukee. The winner of the competition receives $100, and the runner-up gets $40 in Reggie's Bucks, which ain't half bad.
The Rollers boast a strong fan base which has only increased since their move to the UIC Pavilion and it's a pretty good bet they'll be out in force for the "Uproad by the Lakeshore" on November 12-14, 2010. The host city for the WFTDA finals is determined by an application process and league member voting.
To show their appreciation to their fans, the Rollers will hold a nationwide contest to design the logo for the "Uproar". The winner will receive $100 and a pair of VIP tickets to the tournament. Details will come later.
Read more about the Windy City Rollers on their website.
The Windy City Rollers' away team, the WCR All-Stars, have enjoyed a fantastic 2009 season thus far. After walloping Portland on Oct. 17 113-73, the gals are moving on to the ultimate test: the WFTDA National Tournament.
This year's "Declaration of Derby" tournament takes place Nov. 13-15 in Philadelphia. Last year, the WCR All-Stars placed second in the nation. This year they have their eyes on the prize as they bout against some of the best leagues in the country. WCR will play the winner of the bout between the Kansas City Roller Warriors and Denver's Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. Their first game will be at 1:30pm EST on Saturday, Nov. 14.
The WCR All-Stars have been enjoying a stellar season thus far: After defeating the Charm City Roller Girls 117-98 in August, and placing first in the WFTDA regional tournament in St. Paul, the gals are officially taking no prisoners.
Catch them at full speed during their next home bout against Portland's Rose City Rollers on Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). Take a look-see here for more information and tickets.
Ever wanted to see butt-kickin' roller babes (plus one movie star playing a roller babe) sing at Wrigley Field? Here's your chance: It's been announced that Drew Barrymore, one of the stars of the upcoming roller derby movie Whip It, will be singing the seventh-inning stretch at the Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers game on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Accompanying her will be two players from Chicago's own Windy City Rollers, Athena DeCrime and Val Capone (who also works as a vendor at Wrigley).
The Windy City Rollers' travel team, the WCR All-Stars have snagged a spot in this year's North Central Regional Brawl of America tournament, to be held Sept. 18-20 in St. Paul, Minn.
After shutting out Baltimore's Charm City Roller Girls during their August 29 bout (117-98), the All-Stars have a 6-1 record for the year. At the regional tournament, WCR will compete against nine other roller derby leagues. The winner will advance to the fourth annual WFTDA National Championship, set for Nov. 13-15 in Philadelphia.
But while the All-Stars are just getting their season started, Baltimore's Charm City Roller Girls have one of the busiest schedules in the national league--they'll have 15 bouts (for 2009) already under their belt by the time they hit Chicago. Could Charm City give our gals a run (or skate) for their money? Check it out on Saturday, Aug. 29 at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine Ave) at 7p.m. Before that, the new "B" team--The Second Wind-- will play Cleveland's Burning River All-Stars in a preliminary bout starting at 5:40pm. Tickets are $20 GA and $40 VIP (track-side) seats. Check here for more details.
The Chicago Cubs aren't the only local sports commodity that are involved in a possible sale. The cultish Windy City Rollers are reportedly in negotiations to be sold to William Kelly, a local sports personality who is the host and executive producer of two shows, one airing on Comcast SportsNet and the other on Me-TV. With those connections, should the deal go through, might the Rollers have a regular TV outfit? More info can be found in the press release below:
(CHICAGO) - While the Ricketts family's $900 million winning bid to buy the Chicago Cubs has hit a temporary snag, another sports franchise is in the process of being sold. Broadcast personality and producer, William Kelly, is in negotiations to buy the nationally ranked Windy City Rollers, Chicago's all female roller derby league.
"Negotiations are very positive and continuing with Mr. Kelly," said Ruth Enasia, a media rep for the Windy City Rollers league. "We hope to have an announcement shortly."
Haven't had enough roller derby yet? The Windy City Rollers All-Stars travel team took second in the nation last year, and they're revved up for their 2009 season. The following dates have been announced. All the games take place on a Saturday, except for the tournaments.
What a year it's been for the Windy City Rollers! First a new home at the glossy UIC Pavilion, and then and a exciting, upset-filled season. After a ridiculously (and surprisingly) good year, the Manic Attackers took home the 2009 Ivy King Cup Championship on June 20, beating last year's champs, the Hell's Belles. Despite the Belles snagging a 28-point lead by the end of the first half, the close-fought game ended with Manics hauling ass and winning 137-115 -- with the lead claimed within the last few jams. It was the first championship win for the Manics, and it'll be interesting to see whether they maintain their winning streak next season.
Although the league's season is finished, WCR's travel team, the Windy City All-Stars, are just getting started. Check back later for info and schedules.
The internet magazine Cafe, geared toward the "contemporary Latino lifestyle", gives the up-close-and-personal profile treatment to Elizabeth Gomez, who might be better known by her hard-hitting handle of "Juanna Rumble", which she uses as a member of the Windy City Rollers. When she's not trading elbows and hip-checks with the likes of the Manic Attackers or Hell's Belle's, Gomez is busy raising two girls. Do the two seemingly disparate responsiblities have anything in common? "I've learned that being a mom is about the same things as training for derby, " says Gomez, "focus, dedication, determination, support and having a lot, and I mean ALOT, of fun with the people who mean most in your life. I've learned that if I have no limits on what I can accomplish then neither do my daughters. Lastly, I am so busy between a full time job and derby that I really respect and appreciate the time that I'm with my girls."
You can probably be sure that Gomez' two daughers will be rooting for mom to take someone out this Saturday when the Windy City Rollers host the 2009 Ivy King Cup Championship at the UIC Paviltion, 6 p.m. While the lineups for the matches hasn't been set yet, it's pretty certain the event will be a sellout.
The May 2 bout ended with Hell's Belles beating the Double Crossers 140-60, and the Manic Attackers pummeling The Fury 150-74. This year, the championship bout pits what used to be the league's constant underdogs, the Manic Attackers, against the '08 champions, Hell's Belles. This is gonna be a good one, folks. Be there on Saturday, June 20 at the UIC Pavilion (525 S. Racine). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the bout will kick off at 6.
If that's not enough for you, skaters from the Double Crossers and The Fury will be randomly sorted into black and white teams that will play each other in the opening bout. And you can get in on the action: WCR is holding an eBay auction for fans to bid to guest captain the white or black team for this consolation bout. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to aid Tahirah "Tequila Mockingbird" Johnson, a former Windy City Roller skater who suffered a spinal cord injury in August 2007.
Get your tickets here, at the door, or from any Windy City Roller.
The month started with slam as the Windy City Rollers played their fifth bout of the season on May 2. Hell's Belles walloped the Double Crossers 140-60, while Manic Attackers once again took down The Fury 150-74.
The next bout is a big 'un, determining which teams will go on to play in the Ivy King Cup Championship on June 20. If you haven't checked out Chicago's flat-track roller derby scene, this is the time to do it. The bout on Saturday, May 30 pits The Hell's Belles against the Manic Attackers, while The Fury will play the Double Crossers. The action starts at 6 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine. Get your tickets at the door, or better yet, check them out here.
There may not be a casino in Chicago (yet), but there is definitely some gambling going on. The city is now on the hook for $500 million to host the Olympics, part of the state's $750 million guarantee.
The Cubs want a new spring training facility in Mesa, or else they're walking. And Cubs fans want to end 100 years of misery or...they'll be back next year.
They may have been so-so as a team last season, but as humanitarians, the Bears might belong in the Super Bowl.
Two coaches from the Chicago Force are probably glad the temperatures are going to be a bit warmer this weekend. They're getting their heads shaved for charity tomorrow. Meanwhile, the women'd pro full contact football team released their 2009 schedule.
The Windy City Rollers' home teams throw elbows in their next match this Saturday night at the UIC Pavillion.
Meanwhile, if you're up for a road trip, Chicago's other roller derby queens, The Outfit, have a bout-on-wheels near Grand Rapid, MIchigan.
Free tonight? Then head on down to the Union Park Lounge for a benefit for the Windy City Rollers. The event kicks off at 8 p.m., there'll be karaoke, a silent auction, a raffle, and drink specials. Oh, and hot derby girls who will be ever-so-appreciative of your support. Philanthropy never sounded better and boozier.
Goodbye, 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.
First, there was Barack Obama in the White House. Now there's Pat Quinn in the State House. Politically speaking, White Sox Nation just keeps getting bigger.
Speaking of the Sox, as SoxFest kicks off this weekend, Ozzie Guillen says the team will try "small ball"... again. And will Joe Crede join former Sox teammate Juan Uribe in Frisco? His potential replacement, Josh Fields, is wasting no time just in case he does.
But don't forget to show some love to the city's other roller derby queens, The Outfit, as they host a benefit party tonight.
You'd think getting punched in the face and crotch, sometimes at the same time, would be high on the pain scale for a UFC star. But for one Hammond, Ind., there's something more painful: being a Cubs fan.
Have you been cruisin' for a bruisin', but prefer to watch someone take the pummeling? Well, lucky you, the Windy City Rollers are kicking off their fifth season with a bout on Saturday, January 31. This date will mark their first regular-season event at their new venue, the UIC Pavilion.
Last year was a great one for WCR -- the Hell's Belles were the 2008 Ivy King Cup champions, and the Windy City Rollers All-Stars, the league's away team, climbed to the number two spot in the nation. The January date will pit the Manic Attackers against the Double Crossers and the Hell's Belles against The Fury -- in all, a booze 'n bruise good time.
What better way to deflower your new calendar than by writing in the date for the opening game for the Windy City Rollers 2009 season? Birthdays and anniversaries? Bah! Roller derby is where it's at!
On that note, the first bout will be on Saturday, January 31 at their new location, the UIC Pavilion. Double Crossers will play The Fury, while Manic Attackers will vie against the 2008 Ivy King Cup champions, Hell's Belles.
Well, hell. After slamming their way to the finals, the Windy City Rollers All-Stars met their match yesterday in the Northwest Knockdown national roller derby championship bout against NYC's Gotham Girls. Still, it was an exciting game ending 134-66 Gotham, placing them as the top roller derby league in the United States, followed by Windy City, and the Philly Roller Girls in third. Congratulations to all the teams that participated!
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars are advancing to the championship bouts! The gals won their game in an overtime thriller 110-97 at tonight's bout against the Texas Rollergirls. It was a ridiculously tight game, but jammer Kola Loka pulled through with a final grand slam (five points) and her super-fast nine-second laps.
The All-Stars will go head-to-head tomorrow night at 6 p.m. against NYC's Gotham Girls, who just beat the Philly Roller Girls 52-189. Gotham's currently seated #1 in the Eastern Region, so expect another nailbiter. Whoever wins this bout will be the top WFTDA roller derby team in the nation.
Check back for more updates, and tune into the Derby News Network for live podcasts and video.
Windy City has done it again: Their first game at the Northwest Knockdown national roller derby championship went extremely well, winning 157-63 versus the Rat City Rollergirls.
This leads them to bout the Texas Rollergirls tonight at 8 p.m. CST. The Texas RG are #1 in the Western Region, so this game should be tough and fast-paced. Check back for more, or hop to the Derby News Network for live video and podcast coverage.
Holy cow! The Windy City Rollers travel team, the All-Stars, have sped into the Northwest Knockdown national championships, held this weekend in Portland.
The WCR All-Stars have had an incredible year. In their first game at their new location at UIC, the All-Stars whomped the Carolina Rollerdolls 106-60. WCR is currently seeded as #2 in the Eastern Region.
Today at 3 p.m. CST the All-Stars are slotted against the Rat City All-Stars, who finished #3 at the Western Regional tournament. Whoever wins this game plays again at 8 p.m. against the Texas Rollergirls.
Not a big fan of the ultimate fighting myself (Saturday nights in Wrigleyville about 10 years ago... Been there, done that). But for those who are, this is a big weekend in UFC-land, including a weight-in and Q&A open to the fans on Friday at the Chicago Theater. The main event, of course, is Saturday at the Allstate Arena.
If you think you want to give it a shot yourself, there are tryouts on Monday. Note: There will be blood.
Not to be outdone, UFC's bastard cousin, pro wrestling, has a bunch of events lined up in the coming days as well on the local level.
USA Today is as surprised at Kyle Orton as we are.
A Chicago woman is at the center of a controversy on how marathons are timed. The recent Chicago Marathon also has a mini-controversy base on the timing system.
The Minnesota Vikings' Bernard Berrianexpects boos when he returns to this old stomping grounds at Soldier Field this Sunday. C'mon Bears fans, don't let him down.
If his contract doesn't discourage the White Sox from resigning him, Ken Griffey Jr.'s recent knee surgery might.
Evanston remembers one of his favorite sons, former MLB pitcher Kevin Foster.
Speaking of favorite sons, new Wolves head coach Don Granato is happy to be back home as he prepared for the team's home opener Saturday night.
Remember the Cubs' "fan" who tried to auction off his loyalty on eBay? He may have found a buyer and a kindred spirit in the Boston Red Sox.
In the battle of sports radio on Chicago (well, it's actually just a two-horse race), WSCR-AM has taken the lead.
De La Salle's Mike Shaw is being touted by ESPN as the "next big thing" in Chicago high school basketball.
Even if you're not entered in this weekend Urbanathlon, you can still go down and enjoy the party.
The Windy City Rollers are holding tryouts. If you think you have what it takes (and can come up with a clever alias like "Val Capone" or "Lucy Furr"), come to a scrimmage preview on Monday. Incidentially, the WCR All-Stars made it to the national finals in Portland, Oregon.
At one point during last night's roller derby bout, featuring the Windy City Rollers All-Stars vs. the Kansas City Warriors All-Stars travel teams, a friend leaned over to me and pointed at the score. It was only seven minutes in, and already WCR were ahead 25-9. "Uh, I thought Kansas City was supposed to be good," she said.
Well, uh, yes, as the 2007 national flat-track champions, they certainly were supposed to be. But the lead WCR stole right from the beginning only proved to be the theme of the evening, ending the bout at 155-39.
WCR, whose standings are #7 in the nation and #4 regionally, have had an excellent travel team season. Their last bout, in Denver against the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, ended with a WCR victory 97-28.
The Windy City Rollers All-Stars (WCR) have enjoyed a fantastic travel-team season thus far, with a 5-2 record and standings as #3 in the Eastern Regionals and #7 in the nation. This Saturday, Sept. 20, watch them take on the Kansas City Roller Warriors All-Stars (KCRW), the #1 roller derby league in the nation, in what is sure to be a nail-biter of a bout.
The bout is also WCR's Fan Appreciation Night, and all paid ticket-holders will be entered to win tickets to WCR's first game at the UIC Pavilion (on October 25) against the Carolina Rollergirls. It all goes down at 7 p.m. at the Cicero Stadium. Check here for more info.
Thanks to all of the ups and downs, as well as the unpredictable twists of the current Chicago baseball season, well, it's enough to drive one to drink. A popular vodka company apparently knows that and will unveil new billboards to at least give fans an idea of WHAT to drink.
Effen Vodka is set to unveil new billboards on the south and north sides of the city to capitalize on the continuing (fingers crossed) good fortune of both the Cubs and White Sox. The Cubs-themed billboard will make reference to the supposed team curse, while the one located near U.S. Cellular field will simply bolster the South Side pride.
But when it comes to aligning themselves with a local sports team, the Bears would seem to be a natural fit for the Holland-based vodka company. After all, I can't count how many times I've heard someone yell, "Effen Rex Grossman" in the last couple of years.
Itchin' for a good fight? Then roll on down to the Cicero Stadium (1909 S. Laramie in Cicero) this Saturday, Aug. 16, to witness the Windy City Rollers' WCR All-Stars take on the Minnesota Rollergirls in an interleague bout guaranteed to make your head spin. At the very least, enjoy their current location in scenic Cicero before WCR makes the big move to the UIC Pavilion this fall.
It may not make it to the side of a milk carton, but the Chicago Fire fan club Section 8 is missing their banner.
Some people might have an opinion about who they are, but a new book of photos entitled "We Are Cubs Fans" seeks to define the loyalists visually. The obligatory Ronnie Woo Woo photo is included.
Speaking of the Cubs, Sports Illustrated joins the rest of the country in being amazed that they AND the White Sox are both in first place and may make the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 1906.
And speaking of the Sox, Fox Sports calls the acquisition of Carlos Quinten the steal of the century. OK, they call it the steal of the season. It just LOOKS like the steal of the century.
Tickets for the National Pro Fastpitch softball championships go on sale this Saturday at Judson Sports Complex in Elgin, home of the Chicago Bandits. The Bandits are one of the four teams who will be participating.
Now that the Blackhawks are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, new fans might want to read about one of the team's legends featured in a story from the Sports Illustrated vaults.
The Windy City Rollers are going upscale. After three years of wheeling around the track in Cicero, Chicago's hard-hitting women's roller derby team is bringing their act to a more user-friendly venue, the UIC Pavilion. Beginning October 25, the Rollers will entertain fans at the area at 525 S. Racine utilizing a new built-for-roller derby track. More info on the big move can be found on the WCR website.
The Chicago Bandits have a chance to move into first place in the NPF when they continued their four-game series against the league-leading Philadelphia Force tonight. The Bandits beat the Force 3-1 in the series opener on Wednesday.
The 2008 Aberdeen Street Dodgeball Ninjas will host their summer tournament this Saturday at Sheridan Park. If nothing else, it should provide some interesting photos.
The Chicago Cycling Club hosts a "Baseball Nostalgia Tour", which includes stops at 10 present and former ballparks and lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern.
And speaking of baseball, an all-Cubs channel? I thought we already had that...and referred to it as the local news (said the White Sox fan with the inferiority complex).
The Chicago Force take another step toward the Independent Women’s Football League title when they take on the Pittsburgh Passion in a playoff contest this Saturday, 3 p.m. The Force are also getting national exposure thanks to a segement on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric tonight at 5:30 p.m. A related Force segment may also run on The CBS Early Show this Friday morning.
Championship football in Chicago? In June? Yup, when the Chicago Force take on the Detroit Demolition in an Independent Women’s Football League playoff game this Saturday, 3 p.m., at North Park University’s Holmgren Athletic Complex, 3225 W. Foster Ave. Incidentially, two members of the Force also compete in the Chicago Gems Women’s Baseball League…
…who are also involved in a playoff of sorts of its own, as they compete in the Can-Am Spirit of Sportsmanship Tournament in South Bend, Indiana, this Friday-Sunday. In addition to the Gems, women’s baseball teams from Canada and Australia, as well as elsewhere in the U.S., will compete. Meanwhile, action in the CWBL’s own league is on hold and will resume in Bedford Park, Ill. on July 12.
And speaking of Canada, the Chicago Bandits women’s fastpitch softball team (5-7) fell to the Great White North, posting a 1-3 record in their recent four-game series. The Bandits will try to do better against a southern foe, the Venezuelan National Team, in a similar four-game set beginning today (Thurday) at Bandits Stadium at Judson University in Elgin. Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is slated to throw out the first pitch in today’s matchup and all games begin at 7:05 p.m.
Oil up those skates. The Windy City Rollers will hold tryouts this Saturday and Sunday, July 13. You need only attend one tryout. For exact time and location, contact the WCR. Also, the league will host their next All-Star Match-up on July 12 at The Stadium, 1909 S. Laramie in Cicero. This time, they take on the Tuscon Saddle Tramps.
Finally, North Avenue Beach Sports will host a one-day Dodgeball Tournament on July 12 at (where else?) North Avenue Beach. Go out and pound someone in the face with a.. I mean, go out and enjoy some fun, healthy competition. Contact NABS for details.