Science! Team Legit v. LADD Ri-ettes, 3/27/2010 @ the Doll Factory
Let’s see… Pie to the fourteenth, divided by Avocadro’s number, carry the hypotenuse… Oh, hello, readers! You interrupted DF as he was doing some serious number-crunching in advance of tonight’s derby contest. You see, readers, DF is a man of knowledge and learning, not some lily-livered, lunchpail-toting lummox who doesn’t even know the difference between Alfred Einstein and … some other good scientists. And he’s now going to take a purely empirical, hard-headed approach to this eve’s bout between LADD all-star outfit the Ri-Ettes and West Coast flat-track elite ensemble Team Legit.
DF at the Doll Factory, anticipating game onset. His excitement level is at 7.8 heartbeats per second, as this promises to be a particularly intense matchup (and also likely because he’s had six five-hour energys in the last hour). The Ri-ettes have loads of talent and more banked-track experience, but Legit’s got the fleetest and hardest-hitting of all the WFDTA skaters on their side, and recent matchups suggest that the best flat-track skaters aren’t too fazed by making the transition to skating on the slant. Let’s see, if you calculate the amount of adrenaline in the air (discounted by the fog of Axe Body Spray in which DF always travels), divide by the net volume of the Doll Factory, and interpolate thusly, you get a match that’s 99% likely to be awesome as shit (+/- 1% error rate). It’s on.
DF, clad in white lab coat, pushes his nerd glasses up the bridge of his nose, readies his clipboard and pen, and prepares to meticulously observe the kickass proceedings that follow. The action starts and from the get-go, it oustrips even DF’s powers of note-taking. Observations … coming too swiftly to write down. Jams … fast and furious. Point totals … spiraling out of control. Krause and Adams for Legit, and Lace ‘n’ Arsenic and Laguna Beyatch for the Ri-ettes each throw down explosive jam after jam, and when it’s all over, the quarter stands salient as the highest-scoring in all of DF’s derby experience, leaving him as wild-eyed and crazy-haired as the maddest of mad scientists. 45-32 (!), Ri-ettes in the lead.
Did you know? Team Legit skates under some hilarious pseudonyms, even by the normally wacky standards of roller derby. Check it out, there’s Julie Adams, clearly making a sly reference to the sixth cousin of U.S. President John Quincy Adams. And over there it’s Lacey Evans, who’s wickedly name-checking the sister-in-law of 1980s swimming sensation Janet Evans. And whoa, get a load of Laura Mann, whose name is a tart historical riposte to the federal Mann Act of 1910, which prohibited human trafficking. Outstanding! What will these crazy gals think of next!?!?! [DF: those are their government names. –Ed.] [Ed.: I don’t believe you. –DF]
DF’s analysis of the second quarter discerns two clear trend-lines. First, blocking is on the ascendancy. Krissy Krash finally finds the groove for the Ri-ettes, throwing down some characteristically bone-crunching blocks, but she’s matched by the ferocity of Legit’s Tiana McGuire, who’s intimidating as hell even without her trademark face-paint. Second, the Legite ones begin, slowly but surely, to grab the upper hand from their hostesseses. They stake out a narrow advantage thanks to Cecilia Hanley’s fleet skillz in the seventh jam of the quarter, and retake the lead when Krause laps the pack twice for eight points in the half’s last jam. The LA crowd reluctantly applauds the feat as Team Legit has turned the tables on the Ri-ettes, pushing out ahead, 71-69.
Empirically speaking, the first half ruled. Action oscillated in equal ratios between the two sides, keeping suspense levels high. Speaking of high, DF needs to monitor his blood-alcohol content to make sure it remains at peak levels to eliminate risks associated with dreaded sobriety (e.g., dehydration, headache, decrease in inflated self-regard). Also on the intellectual halftime agenda: measure the effects of nitrate-laden smoked meats on DF’s gastrointestinal system, seeking to measure the infinitesimally short span between ingestion of the fifth hot dog and the onset of necessity to spend some quality time in the porta-johns. I must attend to the world of knowledge, readers—I’ll return to derby-related observations in the second half.
Ahem. Now it is time to engage in detailed study of the third quarter. The early action is even more physical than the first half, as blocker hit jammers and each other and the track with immeasurable foot-tons of force. Skaters crash, fouls are called, penalties are awarded, power jams occur. Lu Chen repeatedly scoots through the pack like a … well, rice rocket (seriously, that’s her derby name). Long Island Lolita deliciously taunts her opposing jammer for a cautious call-off. Lace ‘n’ Arsenic continues to both block and jam with equivalently eloquent efficacy. Yet despite all the chaos, the bout remains poised in an equilibrium as delicate as any planetary system. The teams are as inseparable as two noxious gas ions. Matters are deadlocked with one jam to go, and then Julie Adams racks six for Team L to give her side a slender 94-88 lead going into the final break.
DF’s First Law of Derby states that by the end of any given bout, probability is certain that he will be pants-shittingly drunk. Perhaps even more relevant, DF’s Second Law of Derby states that even a match as finely poised as this one must result in a winning team. This leads to a question even more vexing than the solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem: Who will triumph?
The Ri-ettes announce themselves at the onset of the quarter, with Lace ‘n’ Arsenic and V. Lee racking a total of nineteen points in the first two jams for a 107-94 lead. When Lacey Evans scores ten a few jams later, Team Legit is back in the lead. But then the momentum changes faster than a volatile quartzite compound under high-intensity radiation, as Lolita and Krash rip off a pair of rough-and-tumble jams to put the Ri-ettes ahead by a nose.
And just when the furious back-and-forthing was putting DF desperately in need of a benzodiazepine derivative (e.g., diazepam) to calm down, Laguna Beyatch, skating what may be the best match of her career thus far, steps up. Laguna rocks a ten-pointer to finally create some breathing space for the Ri-ettes, 129-114. But there’s plenty of velocity divided by distance (i.e., time) left in this one, homies, and Legit edges ever closer as the final whistle approaches. With one jam left, LA leads by only two points, and it’s all to play for. Lace ‘n’ Arsenic faces off against Caitlin Krause, and the jammers plunge into a blocker-pack miasma of violence more chaotic than the primordial ooze from which we all came forth, and when the jam’s over … DF has no idea who won. But to be fair, no one seems to know, as suspense hangs over the crowd awaiting official determination of the final tally. And then the official announcement comes, and even the stodgiest nerds among us (e.g., self) cast aside scholarly decorum, and shout huzzahs and hosannas and hallelujahs, for the Ri-ettes are victorious.
133-127. Men of learning such as DF love the determinacy and hard-edged clarity of numbers, and the Ri-ettes clearly love these digits that the refs finally post on the scoreboard to reflect their well-earned triumph. Indeed, the ferocity and the skillz demonstrated by both sides made this a bout for the ages. DF pauses for a moment to reflect on the place of this contest in the pantheon of Great Derby Matches He Has seen. Let’s see… The blocking efficiency was slightly greater in the 2007 LADD Champs bout, but the points per jam were about equivalent when compared to the final of the 2008 Battle on the Bank, though if you take a regression of … ah, screw it. This may be methodologically unsound, but DF knows guts and glory when he sees ‘em, and he hereby determinately and empirically and deductively declares the Ri-ettes/Legit bout a triumph on both scores. You can’t argue with me, people. It’s science.
N.B.: As a a devoted empiricist, DF welcomes comments and criticisms (although, for the record, “suck it, guy” is not really helpful). Please send any critiques of aforementioned methodology to df at losanjealous dot com. DF also maintains at least a theoretical presence on the online abandoned amusement park that is myspace, and (far more saliently) a rambling and incoherent Twitter page.
Photos & credits
1. DF’s sister-in-fracture Legacy jockeys for position at the rail vs. Laura Mann.
2. Lolita manages to make even falling look good. Background: Armov seeks to take a trademark bite out of Julie Adams.
3. Clash of titans: Krissy Krash goes toe-to-toe with Tiana McGuire.
4. Lacey Evans blurs past the camera.
5. Eire Vengance and Betty Bombshell confabulate pre-jam as Legacy and Lu Chen await the whistle.
6. Fans batter banked track awaiting final-jam action.
7. Foes reconcile happily post-game on the field of battle.
All photos (C) 2010 by Grampa. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.