Trailing at intermission in the biggest bout of the year, skaters for the Derby Liberation Front listened carefully to the locker-room advice...
Trailing at intermission in the biggest bout of the year, skaters for the Derby Liberation Front listened carefully to the locker-room advice of their captain, Lorna Boom.
“You guys are doing awesome,” said Boom. “Just go back out there and give 150 percent. We’ll have months to heal after this is over.”
The advice must have registered. Boom (aka Alyssa Hoppe) marshaled her olive-green-clad comrades to a runaway victory in the inaugural championships of the Rat City Rollergirls at Magnuson Park Saturday night.
A sell-out crowd of nearly 2,000 spilled from the bleachers to the floor of a former Navy aircraft hangar to see the Derby Liberation Front erase a six-point halftime deficit to defeat the arch-rival Throttle Rockets, 52-32.
Blazing lights, pounding rock music and cheap beer helped set the tone for the season finale of the all-female revival of classic roller-derby action, part of a trend sweeping the country.
“I’ve been following them since day one and I’ve been really impressed,” said Doug Lorig, 33, of White Center, who arrived an hour before the contest and was barely able to find a seat. “Their skating is smoother, the competition is fierce and there’s a real sense of showmanship.”
Lorig’s girlfriend, Rettig to Rumble (aka Brandy Rettig) skates for Grave Danger, which defeated the Sockit Wenches 46-24 in Saturday’s preliminary bout. In that match, Rettig and an opposing player, Drew Blood (aka Britta Lyle) got into a scuffle and were sentenced to work off their frustrations with a pillow fight on the track.
Oof! Splat! Glug! Game by the numbers
Seconds elapsed before the first skater fell: 10
Skaters charged with fighting: 2
Minutes Rettig to Rumble takes to paint one side of her face to look like a skull: 20
Derby Liberation Front’s victory margin: 20
Points scored by Derby Liberation Front’s Burnett Down (Mary McIntyre): 28
Price of a 16-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon during bout: $4
Price of a 16-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon after bout: $2
Portable toilets outside the beer garden: 13
Keeping order were referees skating under names such as General Anesthesia, Seymoure Carnage and Barry M. Later. Through the evening, a half-dozen skaters drew one-minute stays in the penalty area (small wading pools) for excessive pushing, illegal blocking and other violations.
The sport’s basic rules have changed little since its heyday in the 1950s. Two teams skate around an oval track, each with a designated jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
With their first full season behind them, the Rollergirls (www.ratcityrollergirls.com) will hold tryouts next month for a second season to begin in March, and will send a traveling team to a tournament in Tucson in February, said Dixie Dragstrip (aka Katie Merrell) a co-founder of the league.
But for now, victory belongs to the Derby Liberation Front.
“We wanted it and we worked really hard to make it happen,” Lorna Boom said after hoisting the trophy. “But basically we’re out here for fun. Our girls never get hung up on the score, until, of course, we’re ahead.”
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org