1/17/11-The Fox Cityz Foxz 2011 season opener went swimmingly — despite the unenviable position of directly competing with a Green Bay Packers playoff game – featuring upsets, hijinx, and flat track action galore.
Rollergirl Regiment 88, Pushy Posse 63
The league’s first champions – the Rollergirl Regiment — began the new season devoid of the services of the Foxz’ leading scorer of 2010, Cherry Grenade, sidelined indefinitely due to injury. The league’s only team to never post a winning season – the Pushy Posse – started the new campaign from the opposite side of the spectrum, having acquired veteran jammer Tootzy RollHer from the Paper Dolls. The Regiment took lead jammer status for the first two jams, propelling themselves to a modest 7-4 lead in the process, but the Posse used a clockwork jammer rotation of Blazin’ Butterfly, Skeater Beater, and Tootzy RollHer to grab lead jammer for the next three jams, knotting the score at 14-all after five. Secretary of Skate broke the Posse’s grip on lead jammer, nudging the Redge back into the lead at 16-14 after six, but when Redge jammer Lotta Issues wound up in the box on a track cutting major, Blazin’ Butterfly cut loose with the first big offensive jam of the game, a 10-0, three-pass jam that put the Posse up 24-16 midway thru the first period. The teams battled thru a number of mainly single-pass jams for the duration of the half, with penalty trouble allowing Secretary of Skate and Skeater Beater to run up offsetting 10-0 jams late in the period. At the break, the Posse held a 43-34 edge over the Regiment, which, being a palindrome, was surely cause for drinking on the part of the spectators.
The Posse looked to be in good shape to start the second period, nabbing lead jammer status each of the first four jams and building a 53-40 lead. Unfortunately for the Posse, that would be the last time in the game that they’d sniff the glorious Finger Of Power that signifies lead jammer status. A blocking-with-the-head major on Blazin’ Butterfly allowed Lotta Issues to start the Redge comeback with a 10-0 fifth, cutting the Posse’s lead to three points at 53-50. After a 7-7 sixth, the Redge took the lead after diminutive Regiment blocker S.P.Rocket drew a major back block penalty on Posse jammer Toozy RollHer, allowing Mexi Kanyoo Azz to skate her way to a game-turning 15-0 jam which gave the Redge the lead for good at 72-60 midway thru the second period. The Regiment then took control of the game, owning the lead jammer position and completely shutting down the Posse, who wouldn’t score again until the game’s final jam. The final score of Regiment 88, Posse 63, fails to reflect how competitive this bout actually was. Skeater Beater lead all scorers with 30 points in a losing effort, whilst Lotta Issues paced the Regiment with 28.
8Queen Wheelers 109, Paper Dolls 49
The Paper Dolls hadn’t lost to – and, in point of fact, hadn’t even come CLOSE to losing to — a fellow Foxz league team since the semifinals of the league’s inaugural season, an April 2008 dispatching at the hands of the league’s eventual first champions, the Rollergirl Regiment. Putting this in historical context, since the Paper Dolls’ last loss ((not counting a drubbing at the hands of the visiting Brewcity Battlestars in 2009)), the 8Queen Wheelers have played for a championship, switched venues, gone on a one-year hiatus, come back into the league, and played for another championship. The Paper Dolls completely dominated the league for the last two seasons, but 2011 finds them without the services of numerous team mainstays, who either left via retirement ((Anya B. Hinds, Libby Doe, and the Foxz’ all-time leading scorer, Tartelette)) or by re-entering the draft ((Tootzy RollHer, Killer DoomKitty)). In short, the Dolls were probably about due for a loss, but few fans in the building were prepared for the degree of thoroughness with which they were dismantled by the suddenly-resurgent 8Queen Wheelers.
Things started in typical Paper Dolls fashion for the first three jams – short, precise, single-pass jams which staked the Dolls to an early 10-3 lead. In the fourth jam, however, things got kinda weird: Paper Dolls speed demon Slick Nikki was sent to the box for a major back block, allowing former teammate Killer DoomKitty – a defensive specialist who jammed infrequently ((though with some degree of success)) for the Dolls in past seasons – to ring up a shocking 9-0 jam, giving the Wheelers a 12-10 lead after four. With Nikki starting off the fifth in the sin bin, Boun C Ballz added two more quick points for the Wheelers, then Dizzy Dame knocked out a 9-3 fifth over Bad Luck Charm ((making her first foray back to the squared oval since a 2009 travel team injury sustained at the hands of the Rockford Rage)) and Boun C. Ballz muscled out a 5-0 seventh over Lolly PopYa, and suddenly, at the midway point of the first period, the Wheelers had staked themselves to a tidy 28-13 lead. The Dolls grabbed lead jammer status the next two jams, enabling them to cut the Wheelers’ lead down to 11, but the Wheelers took lead jammer for the last four jams of the half, staking themselves to a twenty point halftime lead, 47-27.
The Dolls – whose jammer corps was once so deep as to be an almost comical embarrassment of riches – began the second half clearly trying to sort out their third jammer spot on the fly. With Bad Luck Charm just returning from a long layoff, Tartelette and Tootzy gone, and Killer DoomKitty ((of all the noive!)) on the other team, the Dolls tried to augment their one-two punch of Lolly PopYa and Slick Nikki by committee, sending Vixin de SlamHer, Sixx Toe Foo, Bad Luck Charm, Woman O’ War and the Devil’s Reject out to the jammer line, with negligible success. The Wheelers’ defense didn’t seem to care whom the Dolls were jamming against them; they shut down all comers with equal aplomb and vigor. Dizzy Dame bashed out a 10-0 romp to start the period, extending the Wheelers’ lead to 30, followed by a pair of surgical 4-0 strikes by Ballz and Dizzy again, and the Dolls were down 65-27 after three jams. Sixx Toe Foo got the only multi-scoring-pass jam of the half for the Dolls, but couldn’t shave more than three points off the Wheelers’ lead. The Dolls dominated lead jammer status for the middle of the period — nabbing lead jammer for six straight jams – but the tough Wheelers’ defense only gave five points back to the Dolls over this stretch maintaining a 30 point Wheeler lead at 78-48 after eleven jams.
The metaphorical roof caved metaphorically in for the Dolls in the thirteenth, when Lolly PopYa was boxed for a major elbows call, joining two teammates in the Fox Trap. With the Dolls down to a two-skater pack, Boun C. Ballz reeled off a stunning 15-0 triple grand slam to put the game out of reach at 93-48. Worse yet for the Dolls, the Wheelers’ stout defense had wreaked so much havoc with the Dolls’ depleted pack that they had multiple skaters waiting for a seat to open up in the penalty box – the very definition of “foul trouble.” Dizzy, Ballz and Wilma Fingerdo leveraged this chaos to throw another sixteen points up on the board for the Wheelers; Slick Nikki scored the sole Paper Doll point of the last six jams. When the dust had settled, the upstart 8Queen Wheelers – skating without their injured co-captain, the Derrieress, and only nine rostered skaters – had throttled the defending champions by sixty points, 109-49. Boun C. Ballz led all scorers with 50 points; Lolly PopYa led the way for the Dolls with 21. Oh yeah, Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Bring on the Bears!