You’d have to go back to the Foxz’ first-ever interleague bout — when the Foxz’ Rollergirl Regiment took on Beloit’s Stateline Derby Divas in March 2009 – to find an interleague opponent with whom the Foxz have a longer history than the Rockford Rage. With four meetings between the teams now in ((what passes for the)) record books, the Foxz-Rage rivalry has been percolating — and occasionally bubbling over in a mad froth — since an inaugural April 2009 tilt between the Rage and the Foxz’ Pushy Posse, won handily by the visitors from Illinois. The initial meetings between the teams were one-sided affairs, with Rockford crushing the Foxz ((sometimes both figuratively and literally)) both at home at Player’s Choice, and on the road in Rockford ((historians among you might recall that the first-ever Foxz Scream Puffz bout was on the road at Rockford; the Foxz lost not only the bout, but, via injuries sustained during the course of the game, also lost Bad Luck Charm for the entire season)). The tide turned in Fox Cityz’ favor in 2010, with the Foxz edging out the Rage, 135-121, at the first BrewHaHa tournament in Milwaukee. Since that pivotal third meeting, both teams were accepted as full members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, but neither have put much of a dent in the rankings of the WFTDA’s North Central region, with the Foxz officially ranked outside the top 20, and the Rage not ranked at all. Framed in that context, this most recent Rage-Foxz skirmish could technically be viewed as a battle for not-last place in the division – which is, of course, as good an excuse as any for the Fox Cityz Foxz Scream Puffz and the Rockford Rage to throw down, and, needless to say, throw down they did!
The Rage got off to a quick start, with Barbie Got Back nabbing lead jammer status and riding it out for a quick 4-0 against Foxz star jammer Dizzy Dame. In an early surprise, the Foxz sent inexperienced jammer Norma Leigh Sweet out to start the second jam; Norma got off to a good start, obtaining lead jammer status over the Rage’s Pow Bella, but was unable to get adequate separation over her opposite number, calling the jam before either team could score. The Foxz got on the board in the third jam, with a big 9-0 run courtesy of Dizzy Dame – in a bit of a head- scratcher, Rage jammer Meeso Thorny was actually lead jammer, but failed to call the jam until Dizzy had completed a grand slam and a second scoring pass. With the Foxz up 9-4, Norma Leigh Sweet couldn’t replicate the success of her first trip to the jammer line, allowing the Rage’s Barbie Got Back to grab lead jammer status and four points for the Rage; after four jams, we had a one-point game, Foxz up 9-8. A jammer-by-committee lineup for the Foxz – consisting of Monkey Shines, Boun C. Ballz, Punk ‘N’ Spice, Dizzy Dame and Norma Leigh Sweet – took lead jammer status for the next five jams, with a major back blocking penalty on Rage jammer Pow Bella allowing Dizzy Dame to explode for a huge 14-point outing, establishing a 27-16 lead after nine jams. The Foxz gave almost all the lead back on the very next jam, however, when Norma Leigh Sweet got lead jammer status but, in a costly rookie error, failed to call it off until she had been double-grand-slammed by Barbie Got Back, trimming the Foxz lead back to a single point. Pow Bella grabbed lead jammer status for Rockford next, but was sent to the box on another major track cut after scoring just two points, allowing Boun C. Ballz to rack up another 14-point jam for the Foxz, which extended their lead back to double digits at 41-28. Pow Bella started the twelfth jam in the box, but Punk ‘N’ Spice could only tack on one more point to the Foxz lead before Pow Bella returned to play and forced her to call it off. When a major back blocking penalty sent Dizzy Dame to the penalty box in the next jam, Rockford made their move, scoring 18 points over the course of the next two jams while Dizzy languished, retaking the lead at 54-51. Monkey Shines fared little better in the fifteenth jam, yielding lead jammer and a 9-0 advantage to the Rage’s Barbie Got Back, and, suddenly, the Foxz were looking at a double-digit deficit, trailing 63-51. Dizzy stopped the bleeding somewhat with three points in the next jam, but Barbie Got Back struck back with four points of her own directly thereafter, and Rockford had their largest lead of the game, 67-54. Norma Leigh Sweet gave the team a little momentum going into the half, when a major track cutting penalty on Rage jammer Short Fuse allowed Norma to pick up a period-ending grand slam, and, at halftime, the Rockford lead stood at eight points: 67-59.
Dizzy Dame grabbed lead jammer status coming out of the break, but couldn’t get separation on Barbie Got Back, quickly ending the jam in a scoreless tie. In a ruinous strategic decision for the Rage, Barbie remained on the track as jammer, even though she had just picked up a third minor on a track cut in the previous jam. Lo and behold, Barbie Got Back then picked up her fourth minor on another track cut, resulting in a penalty box trip which allowed Norma Leigh Sweet to go off for a massive, game-changing, triple-grand slam performance which put the Foxz back on top, 74-67. Compounding matters for the Rage, in the next jam, jammer Pow Bella took a seat in the penalty box on a major track cut, allowing Dizzy Dame to tack another ten points onto the Foxz’ suddenly snowballing lead. Both the Foxz and the Rage sent little-used jammers – Killer DoomKitty and Labia GaGa – to the line in the next jam, but, for the third jam in a row, Rockford’s jammer was forced to take a seat in the penalty box – this time on a major back block, which allowed Killer to push the Fox Cityz lead out to 86-67 – a 37-0 run to start the half for the Foxz. After an 11-0 sixth by Dizzy Dame established a 110-71 Fox Cityz lead, the Foxz hit a bit of a dry spell, going scoreless over the next six jams while the never-say-die Rage shaved 25 points off the lead, closing to within 110-96 after twelve jams. Once again, however, the visitors were undone by a jammer penalty – a major back block on Barbie Got Back allowed Monkey Shines to end the Scream Puffz scoring draught, reestablishing decorum at 118-96. Labia GaGa put a scare into the Foxz with a 10-point sixteenth jam, which brought the Rage to within sixteen points, 122-106, but Boun C. Ballz took lead in the next jam to quash any thoughts of rebellion, ending the jam at 125-108. A – what else? – jammer penalty on Rockford in the game’s closing minute allowed Monkey Shines to rack up thirteen unanswered Foxz points to seal the deal at 138-108 in favor of the home team.
Rockford’s Barbie Got Back led all scorers with 63; Dizzy Dame paced the Foxz with 48. Other notable scorers included Pow Bella of Rockford, with 23, while Norma Leigh Sweet and Monkey Shines each kicked in 22 points for the Foxz.