The Austin Chronicle

The Night the Lights Went Out at the Roller Derby

By Mark Fagan, June 7, 2007, 1:30pm, The Score

Last Sunday, like the first Sunday of every month during their season, the Texas Rollergirls flat-track Roller Derby league hosted a bout at their headquarters, Playland Skate Center. The Hustlers faced off against the Assassination City Derby's Special Ops team from Dallas with the Hotrod Honeys battling the Hell Marys. While the Roller Derby was proceeding as planned inside the dry confines of Playland, the weather outside was less than ideal. During the first bout of the second half, Mother Nature won out and the electricity went out at the skate center. After taking a minute or two for my eyes to adjust to the emergency lighting, I could adequately take in the scene inside Playland which somewhat resembled a high school lock-in. And I mean that in a good way – plus, I've never been to a lock-in, I'm only assuming there are scantily clad women on roller skates and cold beer at most lock-ins. After 15 minutes or so, the bout was called off and may or may not be rescheduled, but I certainly had a great time anyway, and it was a Roller Derby to remember. If only I hadn't missed the rollergirl streaking around the course during the blackout. Curses.

For a report on the bout ...

During the first half of the Hustlers/Special Ops bout, the ladies from Big D managed to keep things relatively close for a bit with the Hustlers pulling out to a 54-30 lead at halftime due to a late-first-half run. Choko Ono was a standout for the Dallas squad who fared as well or better than any of the other out-of-city all-star teams that have dared take on a Texas Rollergirls' squad on their home turf. I didn't catch the score before the lights went out in the second half, but it's safe to say the Hustlers would have come out on top at the conclusion of this bout.

The Hell Marys/Hotrod Honeys matchup featured an extremely high level of Roller Derby action and was one of the closest and most hard-fought bouts of the year. Bloody Mary and her Hell Marys were making the Hotrod Honeys sweat blood for every point with Derringer completely flattening the Hotrods Cat Tastrophe which looked from my vantage point to possibly have been the result of a not-so-legally-applied elbow. While the Honeys had secured a narrow 27-23 lead at the half, this bout between two undefeated teams was far from being determined, and I'd definitely like to see how it would have played out in the second half.

Clap!Clap! supplied the musical entertainment during halftime, and entertaining they were. With a sound that can best be described as post-punk disco, this eightpiece ensemble's jams had the crowd grooving and clapping along to songs off their newly released You Love This CD. Most of the crowd did.

Update: The Texas Rollergirls just posted on their website that "the Hustlers were awarded a 67-50 point victory over Assassination City's Special Opps and the Hotrod Honeys-Hell Marys game will be recorded as 'incomplete.'" Looks like there's some unfinished business between the Hell Marys and the Hotrods.

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