By Jim Almy
The latest chapter in the sibling rivalry between the Rat City Rollergirls in Seattle and the Rose City Rollers League in Portland takes place this Saturday, March 29, when the RCRG Sockit Wenches hosts RCR representative Guns ‘N’ Rollers at the Rat’s Nest.
It will be a rematch of a bout played last December in Portland where, Sockit Wenches Coach Rani Khan said, “They stuck it to us.”
Things could be just as dicey this time around. The Sockit Wenches are devastated with injuries and really struggling according to their coach. “Some regulars won’t be able to play and others are on the fence,” she said.
Guns ‘N’ Rollers will bring their usual compliment of mean nasties, though outstanding jammer Scald Eagle is not making the trip.
Just to get a sense of the brutality these Rollers represent (so non-Portland, I mean, really) RCR’s All-Star team, Wheels of Justice, toyed with an LA Derby Dolls team last week, holding them to 12 points for most of the bout. Photographer Paparazzi covered the match and reported that a quartet of Wheels of Justice jammers simply worked the L.A. Ri-ettes over, not allowing opposing jammers out while effectively disrupting the L.A. walls. “WOJ broke 200, then 300 before L.A. broke 20,” Paparazzi said. Two jammers, Scald Eagle and Mutch Mayhem, each scored more than 100 points, he said.
Like the RCRG, Rose City is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year. GNR team member Yoga Nabi Sari said that their group was one of the founding leagues for modern roller derby. Their all-star travel team is presently ranked fourth in the world.
The four home teams that comprise the heart of their league play and practice at Oaks Park in Portland. In addition to those four teams and the all-star team there is a B travel team, a draft pool, a large and active recreational team, a junior derby league for ages 12-17 with their own home and travel teams and two junior junior (7-12) teams.
“Portland loves derby!” Yoga Nabi Sari said. “Attendance is growing every year.” Derby has become popular enough that the hit television series based on the city’s odd quirks and inhabitants, Portlandia, recently filmed some of their scrimmages. Just a matter of time before Carrie or Fred put on skates and, YNS adds, she wants to be their best friend, teach them to skate, and be in an episode.
Coach Rani Khan said that she expects a good, fun battle and is excitedly looking forward to it.
“They are a great team,” she said. “They must be, they train by watching our videos.”
The bout will be a double header that begins with a match between the Seattle Derby Brats’ Galaxy Girls and the Throttle Rockets, a team warming up for the April 12 League Championship bout against Derby Liberation Front at KeyArena. The Galaxy Girls are coached by Betty Ford Galaxy, a former Throttle Rocket, and Devilynne Syde, who currently plays for the Sockit Wenches. The GG also get some coaching from Throttle Rockets jammers Luna Negra and Missle America. Should be interesting to see their coaching brought home against them.
The first bout begins at 6:30 in the Rat’s Nest, 19022 Aurora Ave. N in Shoreline. TICKETS