My New Favorite Thing

Okay, so I just came home from my new favorite thing...watching the Windy City Rollers roller derby season opener! In my none too humble opinion, roller derby is the only women's sport worth watching.

For those of you who are not familiar with the sport, here's a little breakdown of how it works. There are 3 basic positions: pivot, blocker and jammer. Two teams play at a time, and there are 5 players on the team: one pivot, three blockers and one jammer. The jammer's job is to skate past all four players on the opposite team, beginning a jam (the period in which points are scored). The first jammer to pass all four players becomes the lead jammer and is able to determine the length of the jam. Each portion of play is 2 minutes long, or until the lead jammer stops play. Depending on how many players the jammer skates past, up to 5 points can be awarded per jam.

This, however, is not easy. The blockers job is to, well, block the opposing jammers and prevent them from passing their players. The pivot also blocks the jammers, but they skate at the front of the defensive pack, serving as the last line of defense against the jammers. There are two main defensive moves, the wall and the take-out. The wall involves the blockers skating close together to prevent the jammer from passing them. The take-out is exactly what it sounds like--the blocker shoves the jammer out of bounds. The blockers also have an offensive move called a whip, where they take their team's jammer by the arm and whip them forward, giving them an extra burst of speed to pass the other team's blockers.

The game consists of two halves (30 minutes long), but, get this: there are two clocks. One clock counts down the amount of time left in the half and the other, the jam clock, counts down the time left in the jam. Since jams don't always last the full 2 minutes, there may be times where the teams assemble to begin a new jam but there are fewer than 2 minutes left on the clock. No worries; the jam clock takes precedence.

The Windy City Rollers are made up of 4 teams: Hell's Belles, The Fury, The Double Crossers and Manic Attackers. Since tonight was our first game, we picked Manic Attackers to root for. Why? Two reasons: their record showed they had never won a game and their captain's name is Beth Amphetamine. Obviously, this is not her real name. The players adopt bad-ass nicknames, like Beth's, or like Ruth Enasia, Belle Diablo, May R. Daley, Karmageddon, Eva Dead, or Psyche O'Sis. And, with us cheering for them, the Manic Attackers won...actually, they crushed the Double Crossers! The only downside to being a Manic Attacker fan is that they wear a turquoise leotard called the Manic Tard.

So, yeah, my new favorite thing is roller derby. Next match: February 20!