Roller derby fans, this is what we’ve all waited for.
Months and months and months of wishing, hoping, and finger-crossing have paid off. This Saturday night, your hometown Kansas City Roller Warriors will kick off the 2023-24 season… and finally, they’re doing it back at home at Memorial Hall.
And even with only three house teams (at present), they’re still putting on a double-header, as they always have.
First up is a Thanksgiving-themed mash-up called the Gobblepoclaypse Mashup and features The Week-Old Leftovers facing off against The Fresh Feast Fighters. As of press time, we don’t have the rosters for these two ad hoc teams, but given who KCRW is fielding this season, it’s guaranteed to be the perfect comeback for this phenomenal league.
Then, to wrap up the evening and officially kick the season into high gear, the 18th & Vines take on the Strawberry Hellions in Game 1 of the new season.
Doors open to the public at Memorial Hall at 5:00 p.m., and the first bout starts at 6:00 sharp. Embrace the Grape will have a cash bar, and Blended Vibes will take care of the menu. Adult admission is $15, certainly the best sports value in the city, and kiddos 5 and under are admitted free.
Join us trackside this Saturday night as the Kansas City Roller Warriors come home for good and kick off a new season. We’re so excited to be back at Memorial Hall, and you should be too. There’s no better venue in the city for this brand of derby action!
There’s a lot going on here. You don’t need very many fingers to count the number of times the Deadly Sirens have started the season at 2-0. It’s even less common that they’ve sat atop the league alone.
The Sirens, talented as they’ve always been, have not had much luck in the win-loss column through most of the 20-teens, and not to beat a dead horse, but they remain, to this day, the only Fountain City Roller Derby team to have never taken home the house championship.
Let me tell you—this could be the year that changes. Let’s take a look at a bit of history.
The Sirens Throughout the Years
In 2011, the first year for the current house teams, the Deadly Sirens spent most of the season looking like the team to beat. They handily defeated everyone in their path for the first four games of the season and began the year at 4-0.
Then, they lost their top-scoring jammer, a phenom named Helen Killer who was averaging over 35 points a game when she vanished. And that is exactly what happened—as far as the public could tell, Ms. Killer disappeared into thin air and was never seen again.
Since then, we’ve heard several versions of what happened and why she left the league, but none of that is important. People leave roller derby for a variety of personal and professional reasons all the time. All things being equal, one reason is as valid as another.
But her absence was certainly felt—that year and in years to come. Remember the part about how she was averaging over 35 points a game? The Sirens only lost that year’s championship game to the Lethals by 14 points, which tells you everything you need to know about what an asset she was. No team is one player, of course, but high-octane jammers like Helen Killer can and do make an immediate difference, both with their presence and their absence. The Sirens losing the championship game that year was the last thing anyone expected just a few weeks prior.
In the years that followed, the Sirens struggled. As the league moved from River Roll to Hale Arena to B&D Skate Center, the Ladies in Teal seemed to find themselves at the bottom of the heap more often than not, once even forfeiting the final period of a game in accordance with MADE’s mercy rule. For several years in a row, they were only able to notch one or maybe two wins per season (at most) and still usually lost the annual grudge match to whatever team happened to be in the cellar with them at the time. In all, it was a rough time to be a Sirens fan.
Things really started to turn around for the Sirens in 2018 when they fought their way back to Fountain City’s championship game for the first time in seven years. And although they dropped that game (and the trophy) to the Sheilas, they turned around and made a repeat appearance the following year, once again losing out to the Sheilas but putting the derby community on notice that they were not to be trifled with.
COVID hit, the world ended, and we lost the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Somehow, though, the Deadly Sirens barely missed a beat. They missed the championship game in 2022, but now, just one year later, they find themselves halfway through the new season and sitting as comfortably on top as they can with the other half still in front of them.
A Look Ahead
Thus far, the Sirens have outscored their opponents 132-76 overall and even held the terrifying Shotgun Sheilas to only 35 points in last month’s game. (Helen Killer used to score that many points by herself.)
It’s a bit early to start making predictions, but it’s not at all unreasonable to say that the Deadly Sirens have a very, very good chance of making Fountain City Roller Derby history at this year’s championship game. There seems to be little doubt they’ll go to the big dance, given their performance thus far, but I’d go so far as to say they’re in a good position to make 2023 the Year of the Siren and bring home their first house championship in league history.
All we can do is watch. And cheer. And cross our fingers. Whoever your favorite team(s) may be, join us trackside for Fountain City’s next nailbiting event on March 25 as the Sirens take on the only team they haven’t faced this season, the Lovely Lethals.
Between that and the game between the Royal Pains and the Shotgun Sheilas, we’re all in for quite a night of flat track action at Olahrama (formerly B&D Skate Center). Check out the event page on Facebook for all the information, and start placing your bets, because the next event on April 29 will be the championship game.
Will the Deadly Sirens be there? We say yes.
Will they take home the trophy? We don’t know… but at this point, a “no” doesn’t seem like a very safe bet.
This Sunday night at Skate City West, the Kansas City Roller Warriors are finally back to a regular schedule in what they’re calling their Mini Home Team Season.
And as D’Nouncer Duane put it on draft night, “It is the dawn of a new era.” Because, my fellow derby fans and enthusiasts, you are witnessing just that.
If you haven’t heard the news, the Kansas City Roller Warriors are making history by not only redrafting all the teams but also creating new house teams altogether.
You read that right. Our hometown teams, the Dreadnought Dorothys, the Victory Vixens, the Black Eye Susans, and the Knockouts have seen their last games. That could be the biggest news in the history of the league, apart from when the teams were first formed to begin with. As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not sure how to feel about it, but first, let’s take a look at what’s ahead.
The 2023 Season
When the pandemic hit, the first things to shut down were sports and recreation leagues. No one knew what to expect; some even speculated we’d be back in action in only a few weeks. That… isn’t quite what happened, and in the meantime, a lot of people put a lot of thought into what’s important and what they wanted to do moving forward.
As you may remember, the 2019-20 season promised big things—chief among them more than a half-dozen returning veterans from years past that old school fans like myself could only dream of seeing on the flat track again.
But the pandemic changed a lot of things. Some players who may have been on the fence about continuing to skate perhaps saw an opportunity for a clean break. Others decided to mix it up a little more and joined Fountain City Roller Derby since that league began playing quite a bit earlier than KCRW did. Any way you cut it, the Roller Warriors found themselves with far fewer available players than before the world ended, which explains not only the delay in restarting house team competition but also the decision to rebrand with three new house teams.
Our new Kansas City Roller Warriors house teams are named after well-known Kansas City locales, and they are the Strawberry Hellions, the 18th & Vines, and the Midtown Misfits.
We couldn’t be more thrilled with the thought and creative design that went into these new teams, their names, and their mascots. Big picture, the whole thing frankly couldn’t be more perfect. When Dead Girl Derby changed its name to Fountain City Roller Derby at the end of the 2014 season, they did so to better tie the league to its beloved hometown. It was a brilliant move.
And although saying goodbye to the four house teams we’ve loved and cheered on for more than a decade isn’t easy, we’re equally excited about how these new house team names will reflect where they’re from and represent Kansas City at least as well as their predecessors did.
Some Final Thoughts
The Glitter Mafia will live on in our hearts. “Black Eye or Die” will forever be a trackside battle cry in Kansas City. The Vixens made us love the red, white, and blue in a way we never thought possible. The Dorothys’ six-year championship streak may never be duplicated.
The memories we’ve shared with this league since we discovered it in late 2009 are practically endless. We watched in awe every season as the Dreadnought Dorothys steamrolled team after team, taking home trophy after trophy, seemingly impervious to the skill and tenacity of the teams with whom they shared the track.
We celebrated with the Victory Vixens in 2012 as they became the first non-Dorothys Rink of Fire champions in league history.
We held our breath as the Black Eye Susans captured their first Rink of Fire title the following year in one hell of a nailbiter that featured the very first overtime jam we’d ever seen.
And the Knockouts completed the set as they won their first Rink of Fire championship the year after that, something that would’ve been practically unthinkable just a few short seasons earlier.
We mourned alongside our Roller Warrior friends in 2016 at the untimely passing of the legendary Coach Ice, who (among many other things) helped lead our All Star team to the national title in 2007.
We cheered again for the red, white, and blue in 2015 and 2016 as the Vixens became the first team since the Dorothys to win back-to-back championships.
In 2017, the 3-3 Susans defeated the 6-0 Dorothys in one of the most shocking upsets in Rink of Fire history up to that point.
Not to be outdone, the 2019 Vixens topped even that as they entered the Rink of Fire with a dismal 2-4 record and soundly defeated the 6-0 Knockouts in an outcome no one could have seen coming, no matter what they tell you.
For all the years, all the cheers, all the tears, and everything else we shared with these four house teams: Thank you.
Thank you for the endless talent, dedication, patience, and commitment it took to keep this incredible labor of love afloat all these years, and thank you, as always, for the opportunity you’ve afforded us to join you in promoting and enjoying the Greatest Sport in the World… in the greatest city in the world for it.
We will miss the Ruby Reds, the stars and stripes, the Ladies in Teal, and the Black & Yellow, certainly—but we also look forward to a future in which a new generation of Roller Warriors action takes the track and makes new memories for a new generation of roller derby fans… right alongside the old ones.
Onward and upward, Roller Warriors. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got for us next.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more exciting in the world of Kansas City roller derby, the Cowtown Butchers bring you their newest coed team, KC Derby Crush!
Coed teams are all the rage nowadays for MRDA teams looking to join forces with their female counterparts, and we’re thrilled that the Butchers are on board as well. Best of all, their first game is this weekend against the Sewer City Goonies just to our north in Riverside!
Click for the Facebook event page.
So what Kansas City flat track superstars are involved in this new coed endeavor you’re guaranteed to love? We got in touch with Cobrashark, co-captain of the Crush, and he was nice enough to send us the full lineup for this weekend’s game against Sewer City. Here now is your KC Derby Crush:
Peanut Butter Panic (captain)
Holden U’Backs (transfer from the St. Louis Gatekeepers)
Mary Lou Wretched
Wreckin’ It Right
Doors open at River Roll Skate Center at 6:30, and the games begin at 7:00. Tickets are $10 for everyone ages 11 and up. Kids 10 and under are admitted free. For an additional $10 fee, you can bring a 17x17x17 cooler full of your favorite beer — no glass or hard liquor allowed. Be sure and bring your own chairs, too.
Join KC Derby Crush this Saturday night for their inaugural game against the Sewer City Goonies!
Tomorrow night — Sunday, September 7 — Dead Girl Derby‘s Zombie and Coed leagues will hold their first-ever championship games at B&D Skate Center in Independence.
Click for the Facebook event page.
And there’s a lot going on, so you won’t want to miss this last chance to see your Dead Girls (and Guys) in action — literally. Tomorrow night’s games will be the very last ones under the name Dead Girl Derby. Starting Monday, September 8, the name officially changes to Fountain City Roller Derby, and a brand new era of flat track awesomeness begins.
Doors open at B&D at 5:00 p.m., first whistle is at 5:30. Adults are $10, kids ages 6-12 are $5, and monkeys ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge.
And now, the previews.
Black Plague vs. Gang Green
The Plague has pretty well dominated the Green for most of 2014. Their wins in March and May were decided; we’re told their dominance in scrimmages was likewise; and many believe the Green’s win over the Plague on June 22 was at least partially the result of some major changes in the game-day rosters. Black Plague was missing some of its best blockers due to injuries and various things, and Gang Green snagged a few ladies from DGD’s house teams to fill out their roster that night too, not the least of whom was the fearsome Rebel Yelle of the Shotgun Sheilas, who can be counted on to make a difference no matter where you put her.
Yeah, you’re on your own.
But here’s where this gets really interesting: Coach Arp has informed KC Derby Digest that both the Plague and the Green are down to about six players each for various reasons most likely related to injuries and/or impending medical examinations that come with the territory in a sport like this.
As a result, the other eight-or-so roster spots on both teams will be filled by various veterans from the DGD house teams, which effectively makes this game less Plague vs. Green and more veteran mash-up. All bets are effectively off. While we haven’t seen Gang Green‘s game day roster just yet, we can tell you that if it looks anything like the Plague’s roster, this could be one of the most exciting bouts of the season, and you should under no circumstances miss the opportunity to see such a unique event.
Bottom line, we’re not picking a winner for the Black Plague vs. Gang Green championship bout because frankly, we haven’t seen these two particular teams play before in their current forms. Studying rosters side-by-side is futile. It’s all going to come down to strategy and teamwork, and we can’t wait to see how it goes down.
The Untouchables vs. The Public Enemies
We do love our coed league. Not only is it the only one of its kind in Kansas City, it’s also fascinating to see the chemistry and differing strategies employed by the ladies and gents as they work side-by-side.
But let’s be honest about one thing: the Untouchables really have been untouchable this season, and no one knows this better than the formidable Public Enemies, a team I wouldn’t want to play against on my best day. Truly, the PE’s 0-3 record against the UTs this year isn’t the result of a bad team losing out to a good team. It’s the result of a bad-ass team losing to a monstrously bad-ass team, which is what fans really pay to see anyway.
That, and they look good.
The Untouchables have beaten the Public Enemies in all three games this season by a total score of 213-111, with an average margin of victory of about 31 points per game. They will be skating tomorrow night without the legendary Jamalamadingdong, who is in Sacramento this weekend playing with the Kansas City Roller Warriors in the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs. We at KC Derby Digest steadfastly believe that no team is one player, however, and we’re not aware of any other roster changes taking place between these two teams (we’ll update if we hear of any).
Because of this, we’re predicting an Untouchables win by 25 points. The UTs might miss Donger’s terrifying jamming firepower in the beginning, but they’ll step up and fill the void, because that’s what they do. Look for both of these teams to bring everything they’ve got as they wind down the 2014 season in just under 24 hours.
Join us tomorrow night at B&D Skate Center for the final Zombie/Coed league championship games under the Dead Girl Derby moniker. Roll on, Kansas City!
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