I stepped into the Austin Convention Center, Saturday, June 9, and inhaled the sticky, boozy aroma. With only two matches left on the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls's 2006-2007 calendar, I could taste the estrogen-laced sweat gliding beneath fishnet pantyhose. How does a rollergirl cope with the demands of the amateur-sport arena?
As I pondered these matters of strife and stealth, my attention was directed toward the center of the banked track, where the opposing teams prepared for this playoff match. As the Hellcats and last year's Calvello Cup Champions, the Putas del Fuego, shuffled about and stretched, I was bemused by the Hellcats' mascot, a grown man on all fours with a full-body leopard tattoo, wearing fluffy, pink cat ears and a chain around his neck attached to a leash. He kept attacking the referees and was eventually escorted off the track by his lovely lady master. The Hellcats' manager, a tall skeezy sort dressed all in black with the exception of a hot-pink neck tie and a hot-pink handkerchief (the Hellcats' uniforms are hot pink), paced madly about. He seemed to be the only one in the auditorium feeling the heat of the playoffs; then again, he seemed to have drank from the same milk bowl as the mascot.
Regardless of the off-the-track activities, Saturday's game delivered in terms of high-speed action and exciting play. The first quarter began with a shot; both teams performed high-scoring jams and played a little on the dirty side. Early on, the Hellcats' Fanny Smack was charged with a major penalty for tripping.
The intensity and voracity continued on through the next quarter, with the Putas' Chola shooting fire from the bottom of her skates as she lapped the skirts off her opponents, jam after jam. Rollergirls accrued minor penalties left and right, to the delight of spectators in Spank Alley. While birthday-girl Chola continued to impress, other Putas demonstrated striking plays: Death Valley blocked fiercely and effectively and scored – with the help of her speedy, graceful skating – as a lead jammer, and Doña Suerte similarly peformed well, yet she had a tendency to receive minor penalties. Close in score to the Putas throughout the entire game, the Hellcats delivered in terms of feisty play. Dixie Sanchez and Knottie Knoxville scored high, while Fanny Smack and Annie Afterparty knocked opponents down with their blocking skills.
Chola seemed to be leading the Putas to inevitable victory; thus the heat rose considerably when, during the second jam of the fourth quarter, there was a slight wipeout, which was exciting for the fans but cost Chola time in the penalty box. During the very next jam, the Hellcats scored a full four points against the Putas' zero. As "Eye of the Tiger" blared through the speakers, the Putas called a time-out, with four minutes remaining on the clock and only a small difference in points between the two teams. Meanwhile, over at the Hellcats' corner, the manager appeared to be calming down after his major freakout when his girls went down at the hands of a Puta. It was something to watch his eyes popping out madly, his pink highlighter swirling across his pink clipboard.
When the game continued, Chola resumed her position on the track and led the Putas del Fuego to victory over the Hellcats, 31 to 26.
The Putas will be returning Saturday, June 23, to play the Holy Rollers in the 2007 Calvello Cup Championship. It is a bout not to be missed. Just ask the dude who was standing next to me, wearing a T-shirt that read, "Who hates pussy? Nobody!" Exactly.
Visit www.txrd.com for more information on the Lonestar Rollergirls and to donate money to replace their broken scoreboard. Doors to the final bout open at 6pm; tickets are $15 at the door or $13 presale.
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