When tasked with writing articles, journalists are taught to begin with an interesting anecdote to hook and reel in the reader’s attention. For Saturday night’s bout at the Lane Events Center, it’s hard to decide which of the many fine hooks to use. The doubleheader, featuring the Emerald City Roller Girls’ all-star Skatesaphrenics taking on Portland’s High Rollers and a co-ed bout, will introduce a variety of new aspect of roller derby to the Eugene crowd.
Wigglestorm versus Glitter Bomb All-Stars
The first bout will be the first time co-ed derby has taken center stage in Eugene. Take 12 parts Lane County Concussion, the local men’s team, 12 parts Skatesaphrenics’ B-Team, and add a dash of A-Team; and you get co-ed teams Wigglestorm and Glitter Bomb All-Stars.
There are many interesting facets to this bout. Father (YB Normal for Wigglestorm) is pitted against son (X for Glitter Bomb All-Stars). 73-year-old Merby Dick of the Glitter Bomb All-Stars is the oldest recorded men’s roller derby player to ever take the track. Merby is also only one of two skaters to play in every Lane County Concussion bout. And, KVAL.com featured Pac’n Man this week as the first transgender skater for Lane County.
“I'm looking forward to competing against my coach on the Andromedolls, James Brains. I hope to stop him in his tracks when he jams,” Glitter Bomb All-Star captain Juju Doll said. “It will be a fun match up, and I think the fans will enjoy a different side of roller derby.”
Wigglestorm captain Pirate Booty, who also skates for the Andromedolls, agrees, “I think the guys are more reserved on the track when they are playing with women. They hit each other much harder than they hit us. The fans will get a taste of the hard-hitting man action Saturday, and they really ought to check out a men’s bout sometime.”
Shred Eye, also on Wigglestorm and President of the Lane County Concussion, added, “Men belong in roller derby right next to the women. Give us a chance, and we will show you that both styles of play can be tons of fun to watch.”
It wasn’t always easy for the men and women to work together. “To prepare for the bout, we worked with the B-Team to get them over their squeamishness of our sweatiness,” Glitter Bomb co-captain Draggin Balls said.
Pirate Booty tipped us off that Wigglestorm is actually using the sweat to their advantage: “Have you ever watched Along Came Polly? There’s a scene on a basketball court involving sweat. That is our secret weapon.” Fittingly, this comes on the heels of a national story detailing sweat among Eugene roller derby players.
Juju Doll offered up a different secret weapon: “I cannot divulge my secret weapon, but if Wigglestorm ends up with a little glitter in their eyes and we get a power-jam, I'll be happy.”
Skaters to Watch:
Wigglestorm: Coop de Grâce (A-Team and Church of Sk8in skater, Lane County coach) and Shenk (Lane County Concussion skater)
Glitter Bomb All-Stars: PowWow (B-Team and Church of Sk8in skater) and Da Gooch (Lane County Concussion skater)
Prediction: Glitter Bomb All-Stars win a very close bout.
Skatesaphrenics versus High Rollers
The headlining bout Saturday night features the Skatesaphrenics, Eugene’s best women’s skaters, against Rose City’s High Rollers, a team that typically only competes against other Portland teams. The Skatesaphrenics are coming off of a decent showing at the Wild West Showdown in Bremerton, Wash. two weeks ago where they won one of their three bouts. The High Rollers are 2-0 in Rose City Home Season play.
The High Rollers feature a very special former Emerald City Roller Girl: “I am really looking forward to playing against former ‘Phrenics teammate Krazy Kurlz. She's one of my favorite roller girls,” Skatesaphrenic Catino (aka Slapcat when skating with the Andromedolls) said.
“I am looking forward to skating against all of the Skatesaphrenics, especially the newest members,” Krazy Kurlz, who also skated for Church of Sk8in, said in response. “I'm curious to see what new dynamic the new coaches and skaters bring to the team. I'm sure the ‘Phrenics are feeling good after winning at Wild West Showdown.”
Fellow High Roller Minstrel Psycho echoed Kurlz’s sentiment: “We love all the Emerald City girls. They have our hearts: it's a green thing,” Psycho said in reference to the shared team colors.
Skatesaphrenics’ blasting blocker Rocka Rolla, who also skates for Church of Sk8in, worked hard to prepare for the High Rollers. “I cross train three to five days a week depending on the week’s practice schedule,” Rocka said. “I am currently doing cross fit, Bikram yoga, spin classes, and weight training as part of my routine. I am also checking out as much bout footage as I can so I am familiar with their starts and strategies.”
Skatesaphrenics’ star jammer Betty Aim Fire is looking forward to this bout for a different reason. “This is the Skatesaphrenics’ first home bout of the season,” Betty Aim Fire said. Betty currently does not skate for any of the home teams: “That means this is my first time this season getting to be cheered on by the awesome Eugene fans!”
Psycho also wanted to give a shout out to the fans: “As always, without the fans, roller derby would not be the fastest growing sport in the world. So, to the fans: thank you, thank you, thank you! We train hard to bring all we got to the fans. We won't let you down.
“Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy, Sir! Go Gang Green!”
Skaters to Watch:
High Rollers: Napoleon Blownapart and Heidi Go Seek
Skatesaphrenics: Ogden (aka Scariel when skating with the Andromedolls) and Neel (aka Frankie Facebreaker when skating with the Flat Track Furies)
Prediction: Based on their performances against the Breakneck Betties this season, whom the Skatesaphrenics lost to and the High Rollers beat, I predict the High Rollers will win this.
Saturday’s bout has a lot of fun stuff going on in the periphery. The Emerald City Roller Girls are hosting an Instragram fan photo contest. Visit the Facebook event for more info. The Slug Queen will be in attendance. And, as always, you can rub elbows with the skaters and will have the opportunity to win all sorts of free schwag. A portion of the proceeds from the bout will go to Womenspace to help victims of domestic violence.
Tickets are still available. Your options from cheapest to most expensive:
1. Cheap Ticket Night! This Friday, March 15th from 4pm to 7pm at Emerald City Skates (23 E. 11th Ave.) get your tickets straight from a roller girl for $10.
2. Stop in to the Redoux Parlour (780 Blair), Ninkasi (272 Van Buren), or Emerald City Skates during regular business hours for $12 tickets.
3. Visit Brown Paper Tickets.
4. Buy tickets at the door for $15 ($5 for kids 6-10, free for kids 5 and under).
Can’t make it? Well, I suppose it would be okay if you tune into the live video stream on DNN. Doors open at 5, and the action starts at 6.