That’s How They Roll
Ho-Bots and DoomsDames triumph in DCD doubleheader
When 14-year-old Marlo McCarter first saw a derby skater on TV this summer, she was so stoked that she started begging her mom and grandma to take her to see some live bouts.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, she got her wish. Three generations of McCarter women enjoyed rinkside seats for more than four hours of rough-and-tumble, punked-out Duke City Derby. “I want to see if maybe I can get my friends into it,” said Marlo, who’s set to start ninth grade. “Just have them come support the teams and maybe try to get on one.”
Her favorite player?
“I like Stitchez. She’s really fierce and fast.”
67 Stitchez is the derby pseudonym of the DoomsDames’ 20-year-old star jammer and captain, whom Marlo had the unexpected thrill of meeting in person.
“I think she’s going to come to one of our newbie practices and be a derby girl,” 67 Stitchez said after they chatted. “We have loaner equipment and everything.”
Welcome to the wide world of grassroots, do-it-yourself derby.
Here’s what Saturday looked like for DoomsDame blocker Tiger Lili: The 41-year-old massage therapist drove in from Santa Fe (7 to 8 a.m.), helped set up the convention hall and tape down the rope borders of the oval flat-track (8 to 10 a.m.), co-facilitated a basic skills boot camp for 20 interested skaters from around New Mexico (10 a.m. to noon), scrimmaged with the campers (noon to 1 p.m.), and then, returning after a quick lunch/siesta break, resumed setting up (4 to 5:30 p.m.).
“Derby’s all volunteer—everybody just jumps in where they can,” Tiger Lili said, gliding a wet mop across the track’s slick cement surface, which, as it turned out, she wasn’t cleaning. She explained: “People going really fast on the corners can slide out. That’s where you have the biggest centrifugal force pushing you and need the most traction. So we sugar-water the floor to make it a bit tackier.”
At 6 p.m., it was time to rumble: Ho-Bots vs. Derby Intelligence Agency, followed by DoomsDames vs. Whiplashes. The bleachers in the vast hall were half-filled with a mix of derby diehards and the merely curious. Madonna, George Michael and Van Halen blared overhead to fit the evening’s ’80s theme. The eventual winner of the audience costume contest, Jason Rader, rocked the Twisted Sister look with zebra-print leggings, a fishnet T-shirt, blonde wig and blowup guitar. Crafters hawked their handmade jewelry and clothes. A projector scoreboard loomed in one corner, next to the emcee’s table.
The Ho-Bots and DIA kept it close for the first 30-minute half, trading a series of high-scoring flurries. The first bout culminated in crowd-rousing 20-point jams by DIA vet Carson B. Demented and Ho-Bot lightning bolt Brutalitaur. The second half saw the Ho-Bots jump out to a 101-90 lead and score an additional 44 unanswered points. Brutalitaur, a 19-year-old delivery waitress by day, stole the show offensively. Her teammates staved off a late DIA push en route to a commanding 165-131 victory.
“And we just boom - boom - boom owned her and knocked her out.”
DIA blocker Sabrosa
“If we just had another 10 minutes,” DIA blocker Sabrosa lamented afterward. “The third-to-last jam, me and Max the Arctic Blast were in together, and when Brutalitaur was jamming we were like, We’re going to stop her one time this game. And we just boom-boom-boom owned her and knocked her out. And it’s like, Oh, we should’ve done this the whole game.”
Matchup No. 2 got off to a controversial start. In order to field their roster, the shorthanded Taos Whiplashes—the only team based outside Albuquerque—had to borrow players from DIA, including up-and-comer Justin Beaver and hell-on-wheels Elvira Mental (described by Whiplashes manager Conan the Librarian as “a really good hitter who’s so smiley and happy while she’s kicking your ass.”)
Some of the DoomsDames bristled, viewed the subs as ringers and claimed an unfair advantage. Their fears were unfounded, though, since two of the Whiplashes’ four regulars lacked significant bout experience, and the DIA fill-ins were sapped of energy from their exhausting go-round with the Ho-Bots. By game’s end, in front of a thinned-out crowd, the DoomsDames coasted to a 165-56 blowout.
Whiplashes co-captain C. Anemone got ejected for excess penalties.
“Again,” the 28-year-old environmental educator said with a shrug. “It’s the third game in a row. I’m an aggressive player.”
The next phase of Duke City Derby’s 2010 season was supposed to be a local championship for ultimate bragging rights. According to Carson B. Demented, however, no final decisions on the event have been made due to concerns over scheduling and finances.
What's not in doubt is that DCD’s all-star squad, the Muñecas Muertas, will roll into Sacramento, Calif., Oct. 1 through 3, for the West Region Playoffs of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Ranked eighth out of 25 teams in the West Region, the Muñecas are a long shot for advancing to nationals, but 14-year-old Marlo McCarter is keeping her fingers crossed.