As derby fans know by now, the Kansas City Roller Warriors kicked off their 2013 season this past Saturday night at Municipal Auditorium with what is almost certainly the best home opener we’ve seen since we began following the Greatest Sport in the World lo, those many seasons ago.
The Black Eye Susans and the Dreadnought Dorothys took the track in the first game of the evening in a bit of a rout that saw the Susans come out on top 283-115. Insanity ensued between games when the audience was essentially invited out into the infield for an impromptu performance of the Harlem Shake, and afterwards, the 2012 Champion Victory Vixens and the 2012 third place team, the Knockouts, slugged out a stunner that saw the Knockouts take the win by only 16 points, 146-130.
Naturally, we took pictures.
Click for the full photo album.
Thus the season begins with both the Susans and KOs with 1-0 records at the same time for the first time since God only knows when. Both of these teams have come a very long way in the last couple of years, and from what we saw Saturday night, 2013 promises to be a very exciting season, with so many of the house teams apparently so well-matched. The Rink of Fire championship is definitely up for grabs this year. We can’t wait to see who takes it home.
Many thanks, as usual, to the entire Kansas City Roller Warriors organization for putting on one hell of a show Saturday night. We’re already looking forward to April 6th.
You read that right — the ninth season of the Kansas City Roller Warriors commences this Saturday night at Municipal Auditorium!
Click for details.
Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and the first bout begins at 6:00. This weekend’s bouts feature the Dreadnought Dorothys taking on the Black Eye Susans in the first game of the evening, followed by the Knockouts vs. the Victory Vixens in game two.
You can purchase tickets to this weekend’s bout night at KCRW‘s Shopify store, and you can also purchase your Rumble Bundle there, for those so inclined.
KC Derby Digest will be on hand, of course, to provide photographic evidence of this incredible new season, one that I’m told holds a great many surprises in store for the fans they hold so dear. We look forward to seeing these amazing ladies in action once again. See you Saturday night!
Derby fans, the season has officially begun, and we here at KC Derby Digest couldn’t be happier about it, for cryin’ out loud. This past Saturday night, Dead Girl Derby kicked off Season 4 at Hale Arena and nearly brought the house down with three memorable, fist-pounding games that began with a throwback of Black Plague vs. Gang Green; the Shotgun Sheilas scored their first win of the season over the formidable Lovely Lethals 113-67; and the Royal Pains took out the Deadly Sirens in a ball-breaker, 55-45.
As always, KC Derby Digest was there to document the insanity, and we have, for your perusal, 200 photos of the madness that gripped the newly-christened Hale Arena in what we hope is the beginning of a very long and fruitful partnership. Congratulations to all Dead Girls for giving the fans exactly what they showed up to see. If Love Hurts: To Hale With It was any indication, 2013 could wind up being the best season yet for this incredible league.
The debate begins anew every year, derby fans, and since 2011, KC Derby Digest has been on hand to settle the debates and offer the final word once and for all. You know what we’re talking about — the annual KCRW Fan Awards.
Voting, as you know, closed some time ago, and the official voting results can be found on the KCRWFacebook page. But we would be remiss if we didn’t offer our own unique, fan-based perspective on the subject, as we are merely derby fans ourselves, after all. Here now are our picks for the 2012 KCRW Fan Awards. Please accept our take on the season with the appropriate reverence and silent respect it so deserves. (I don’t even know what that means.)
All photos courtesy of Phil Peterson, dammit.
Best Jammer 2012
One of the best things about the Kansas City Roller Warriors being such a national-caliber team is that there’s no shortage of ass-kickety goodness, and Track Rat certainly leads the pack this year. (See what I did there?) Any fan who’s ever attended a KCRW bout knows what I’m talking about. She’s always been one of the most explosive, scrappy, reliable jammers on the Vixens’ roster, and she’s a staple of the all-star squad, which makes her invaluable to the national picture. But most importantly, she’s easily one of the most dynamic personalities on the track, and that goes a long way in terms of entertainment value for the fans, which is what we really care about. Simply put, Track Rat is the complete package on the jammer end of things — just ask her. Bam!
Best Blocker 2012
There are few skaters in few leagues whose accomplishments can stack up to the Dorothy-turned-Knockout we know as Bruz Her. Official statistics are hard to come by, but educated observers have indicated that upwards of 80% of all WFTDA jammers would rather retire to the bathroom with a bottle of Xanax and a handle of Jim Beam than begin even a single jam opposite this KCRW legend. Watch her steely, calculated performance out on the track sometime and all will become clear: even surrounded by the intimidating talents of Evolution, Tuff Noogies, Annie Maul, and many others, Bruz Her is a name whose reputation often precedes her with fans and opposing skaters alike.
Best Skater Name
Mary Lou Wretched
Selecting a derby name is tricky business, much more complicated than we realized when we first began this little endeavor known as KC Derby Digest a year ago. Dealing with Two Evils is the least of most players’ worries — you then have the ongoing (and unforgiving) court of public opinion, and believe me, we’ve seen some derby names in the past few years that made us wonder what exactly was in that pipe — and how long they must have smoked it to come up with what they did.
Well… that didn’t happen with Mary Lou Wretched. She took one of the most prominent American Olympic names of the 1980s and morphed it into what has to be the most remarkable and referentially clever skate name in all of Kansas City roller derby. She recently told KC Derby Digest, “… Mary Lou Retton was one of my heroes. I always loved the fact that she was a charming, all-American girl and fearless athlete. So when my best friend suggested ‘Mary Lou Wretched,’ I knew it was perfect for me.” Perfect indeed.
Skater You’d Like to Have Land in your Lap
For the second year running, Extremely Frank gets the nod and runs away with our hearts. The vote by our Bored of Directors — yes, they really are — was unanimous: there is no one in the league who masters the art of Looking Good on the Track like Frank. The versatile three-year Black Eye Susans veteran often lives up to her moniker as well, beguiling both mind and spirit with an uncompromising candor that is at once jarring and astonishingly sexy. Said Extremely Frank at our first meeting, “You’re KC Carr? Your site sucks and your photos are worse.” I may have passed out at that point. Also, I made that up.
Skater You Consider the Crowd-Pleaser
In our many travels, our many derby road trips, and our journeys across the country to venues near and far, we have scarcely encountered a skater, talent, and personality who captures the imaginations of young fans and old the way Red Ripper does. Ask your kids, ask your wife — fully 50% of the fans we informally surveyed named this Vixens veteran as their favorite skater in all of KCRW, and it’s really not hard to see why. Her longevity with the league — she’s just now retiring after eight years of equal opportunity ass-kicking — speaks well of her dedication to the sport, her teammates, and her fans of (quite literally) all ages. The kids love her, the guys drool over her, and the girls… the girls wanna be her.
We realize we haven’t settled a damn thing here, so want to hear from you, derby fans! Who’d you vote for in this year’s KCRW Fan Awards poll? Which skater would you like to have land in your lap? Leave your picks in the comments section below, dammit!
Any derby fan in Kansas City worth his/her salt knows by now that the Victory Vixens won the Rink of Fire championship Saturday night at Municipal Auditorium. In honor of their first-ever trophy, we are celebrating Vixens Week over on our Facebook page. Come on over and join us!
This photo set a world record for red eye removal.
We’ll be posting all week long with fun facts about (and photos of) your favorite Vixens, and you can play along by sharing your Vixens memories and photos of your own, if you’re so inclined.
Congratulations again to the Victory Vixens on their championship win! We couldn’t be more proud of our ladies in red, white, and blue.
One of the most common questions I’ve gotten this season so far has been, quite simply, “How do you decide who your ‘featured skaters’ are each month?” Readers (and writers) of KC Derby Digest can, month after month, name half a dozen ladies in each league deserving of such recognition, and it’s been brought to my attention that the process needs a bit of demystifying.
Well, you’re in luck. Not only is the “process” quite minimal, it’s also very flexible and leaves nearly everyone in the league eligible, not just the superstars. True, we’ve had some very high-profile Track Rats and Dir-T Dianas featured this season, but we’ve also introduced a couple of very promising new rookies named Cuppa Crazy and Buffy Slammers who were no less deserving.
Having said all this, here are the rules of eligibility for KC Derby Digest‘s featured skater of the month, followed by a quick look at how we go about selecting them.
1. She should be an active, full-time skater in good standing with the league.
For our purposes, an “active” skater is anyone who’s not out on injury or medical leave of any kind. “Full-time” is really a misnomer, because there’s no such thing as a part-time derby girl; this just means any player who isn’t All-Star-only. This season, Kansas City has no All-Star-only skaters.
“Good standing” refers to her eligibility to skate in that month’s bout. Sometimes skaters are ineligible to play simply because they’ve missed too many practices that month, and that can be difficult for us to know because we’re not always privy to that information from the outside. But we’ll do our best.
None of this, of course, is meant to diminish the contribution of those ladies whose injuries have temporarily kept them off wheels. Edith Myfist, for instance, was injured back in November but continues to design game programs, flyers, logos, and advertisements for Dead Girl Derby and the Blacksnake Rollergirls‘ upcoming events — not to mention KC Derby Digest‘s own logos on our Facebook page.
Logo by Edith My-motherflippin’-fist.
Featured Skaters, though, should be currently playing and actively skating in time for that month’s home game. This means that once KCRW‘s season progresses past the Rink of Fire championship, only All-Star and Plan B players will be considered, because they’re the only ones skating. Any All-Star-only players who weren’t eligible prior to the Rink of Fire will be eligible from that point on.
2. The league should have a full season of regularly-scheduled home games.
Several people wondered why there was no Featured Banked Beauty after their successful home opener on April 21st. Very simply: that was the only game the Beauties had on the horizon at that time, and a featured skater “for the month of April” sounds a little silly if there’s not one for any other month the entire season. She might as well be Skater of the Year in that case, and that’s really not where we’re going with this.
“You came in first out of one — nice!”
You may have noticed that we haven’t named a Featured Butcher for the same reason. We can’t wait to begin featuring players from these phenomenal leagues, too, once their schedules become a bit more fleshed out. In the meantime, we’ll keep on promoting their games and events, same as we always have.
3. A Featured Skater will only be chosen during months in which the league holds a home game.
This is kind of a corollary to #2 above, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s mainly an issue of logistics. We try to piggyback that month’s column on that month’s game, and we also make a point to get a handful of new photos of the Featured Skater before the game begins. Obviously, none of that is possible if they don’t have a home game that month.
KCRW, for some damn reason, didn’t have a home game at all in May, so there wasn’t a Featured Roller Warrior either.
You and me both, buddy.
So far, no league has held more than one home game in a given month, so we’ll keep dodging that bullet for as long as we can.
So now what?
We began the 2012 season with the idea in mind that each team in each league would be represented once; after that, all bets are off. At this point, each of Dead Girl Derby‘s teams has had a Featured Skater at least once, but only three of KCRW‘s four teams have been represented thus far because their fourth game is still a couple of weeks away. Since the Featured Rollers Warriors so far have been a Susan, a Vixen, and a Dorothy, you can safely assume that a deserving Knockout will be next in line.
Once all teams have been represented, no more consideration will be given to team affiliation, except that we probably won’t repeat teams two months in a row. But even that’s not set in stone.
Featured skaters won’t be chosen based on performance, points scored, or other stats. We started off with a few of the more high-profile ladies to get the ball rolling, but from this point forward, no further consideration will be given to a player’s veteran or rookie status.
In other words…
If you’re active and eligible to skate in a league with a full-season home schedule, you may as well accept the possibility that you could be the next Featured Skater on KC Derby Digest. That’s really the long and short of it.
We will contact our intended Feature Skater no later than Thursday prior to Game Day. We will usually contact her via Facebook, and that’s simply because Facebook is a popular, hopefully non-intrusive way of getting in touch with someone we’ve likely never met before.
If the player agrees to be featured on KC Derby Digest — fortunately, no one has declined so far — we will send her the same short list of standard questions we ask all our Featured Skaters. Ideally, she’ll respond with her answers no later than that Sunday. We will try and catch up with her before the bouts begin that Saturday or Sunday night (whichever applies) to say hello and get a few new photos for the feature.
We’ll also make a point to get a few extra photos of her during her bout, and then we’ll post the feature first thing Monday morning… even if her “featured month” is over by then, like it was with Buffy in June.
If you know of a particularly awesome skater deserving of our monthly feature on KC Derby Digest, we’d love to hear from you! E-mail KC Carr at kcderbydigest [at] gmail.com and let us know why you think your favorite lady on eight wheels should be featured next. We take all feedback seriously, but please limit your suggestion to one skater for these purposes.
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