Monday, March 14, 2011

Wild West Showdown Part Two: The action begins and Pelvis makes a party foul

After taking a moment to appreciate the archery skills of our neighbors, Lady O and I did our hair, threw on some decent clothes, and made our way to the venue to meet up with Draggin Lady and Mike Chexx, the Rose City announcers with whom we've worked the most, and the two in charge of announcer wranglin' that weekend. My GPS, left overnight in the car, refused to work. We left our hotel with printed out directions and they were fantastic. We arrived within fifteen minutes.

The Fairgrounds were nice. Three tracks had been set up for derby action. Track One and Two were in the main building, and they were for sanctioned play. Track Three, which was in a smaller building a mere 300 feet away, hosted the various challenge bouts. We were excited as hell.

Going away on a tournament weekend and reconnecting with your friends from around the country is a lot like summer camp, or so I'm told. The nearest thing I can compare it to is my own grad school experience. Whenever I arrive on the Bennington Campus, I'm nigh orgasmic at the sight of other writers with whom I share a sense of common passion, interests, and favorite scribes. Being with the mouths of derby, I get the same sense of common passion and interests, but instead of moments of introspection, we're often getting louder than IEDS.

Val Capone explains the proper way to project on a live call starts with a split.
My first bout of the day was calling Sin City v. Slaughter County with the latter's own announcer .00 Buck. Buck was a great host on the mic, and though we had to mad dash for rosters a few minutes beforehand, he was unflappable. It's good to be taut in these situations. We called the game, and at half-time I took a quick photo of myself to say hi to Dread.

Hey, Sexy pants!
If you saw the game, you know that Slaughter County's jammers were fantabulous. With time before the big Denver v. Rose City bout, Lady O and I went over to Track Three to see Quadzilla and the Puget Sound Outcasts play. The man's a skating machine. Hell, his whole crew is impressive, but if I hear one more lazy, pot-bellied dude talk about guys being unable to skate with the same grace and watchable style as the women-folk I'll...still stare at said pot-belly and think the same things I always do. Simply put: Quadzilla is amazing.

Puget Sound has the speed to give you what you need.

When the big game of the evening came, I hustled my way to Track One. Lady O was calling for the people watching on the internets, so the beautiful lady voice that massaged my ears with play-by-play goodness was Randy Pan's. The bout was so amazing, like watching a political debate suddenly turn into a Jerry Springer slapfight. The lead changes, the huge plays, the screaming fans...I was on constant overload. When the score was finalized (Denver 112, Rose City 98), I was thanking every god I could remember for giving me the chance to go to this tourney.

Stop Motion won't help you. This was not a slow game, even in the sense that made you boo all 2009 long.
Lady O did some awesome post-day wrap-up in "The Penalty Box." She was clever enough to make me stifle a laugh and I had to just marvel about the amount of insight she has about West Coast play that I could later steal and appropriate as my own opinion. That's what derby marriage is for.

Lady O's "Biggie vs. Tupac" comparison about derby enthralls the boys.

Back at the hotel, we were unwilling to go to bed right away. We went to the on-premises bar that was now packed with leagues and officials. I bought a drink, went over to say hi to the karaoke DJ, and promptly spilled my drink all over his deck. A panicked run to the bartender got us the necessary towels. Mortified, I sat down to lay low until we left the bar.


However, the DJ was cool about it, ribbing me only a few times, and it didn't stop Lady O and I from singing anyway. If you were there and tipped him, thank you.

Before we called it a night, we met Power Jammers fans from UTAH, The Junction City Roller Dolls! As they are from the state of the Big Salt Lake, their alcohol is not as strong as ours. Imagine Bruce Banner is a UTAH beer. It's 3%, if that. Now, bring these skaters to a place where that beer gets angry and turns into the banned Four Loko. This = a cost-efficient way for them to get the type of screamy-laughy drunk they may not have had elsewhere.


The ladies were nice, full of energy, and didn't show any sign of slowing down or paying for their mind-blowing intake. As the weekend went on, they were indeed the front-runners of the marathon of partying that so many joined in on as the weekend wore on.

Happy and exhausted, we went to bed without any significant hoarseness and prepared for the second day.



  1. Never underestimate the powering party of Utahns when they have the chance to leave Utah. Trust me.

  2. I think I meant "partying power." Although I guess it works either way ...