Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Destruction Derby

with 3 comments

Yesterday I went to watch the Charm City Rollergirls with some people from the lab, for the first bout of the season.

For everyone who doesn’t live in Baltimore, the CCRGs is the local rollerderby league, Charm City being one of Bmore’s nicknames. The local league consists of six teams who face off against each other during the local season, and join forces for interleague games (against other cities’ allstar teams).  As is evident from the poster, yesterday saw the Mobtown Mods taking on Speed Regime, and the Night Terrors challenging defending champions, the Junkyard Dolls.

The basics of rollerderby are simple, though the gameplay is surprisingly tactical. The bout takes place on a flat skating ring, and consists of two 30 minute periods, each divided into any number of jams. In each jam, a maximum of five players from each team skate around the ring in the counterclockwise direction. One player on each team is a jammer, whose role is to pass opposing players while skating around the ring. The jammers start behind the main pack of players, and each time they pass an opponent after clearing the pack once, their team gets a point. Points are not given if they are out of bounds while passing, fall down or commit a foul. Meanwhile, the remaining players attempt push or knock down opposing players to allow their own jammer to get through, while simultaneously trying to stop and/or smash the opposing jammer. Each jam lasts two minutes, or until the leading jammer ends it by clapping her hips.

You’ll note the consistent use of ‘her’ to describe the players; most rollerderby is all-female, and there’s a heavy punk atmosphere around it. The players assume various aliases that are typically wordplays, e.g. Ali Kaida or Mya Bloody Valentine, and the whole thing just has a great vibe. The second match of the day was absolutely fantastic, very close and cranked way up to 11. I’ll see if I can find a way to upload some video footage. In the end my team (Night Terrors) eked out a win, despite a very impressive performance by Doll jammers Flo Shizzle and (I think) Killer Kitten.

All in all, an action-packed night, and a good one so far. But a lot more action was yet to come.

After the rollerderby everyone headed back to our place for a rendez-vous before heading on to Fell’s Point for some drinks. I was riding with four others, giving directions as we tried to find parking. We were driving on Bank, did a full stop at the sign before pulling onto Washington, and yet halfway through the intersection we see a bright light approaching rapidly from the right. I remember registering that we were about to be in a crash, and either putting my head down or arms up (can’t remember), and then the silvery car slammed into us at around 35 mph. A few seconds of smashing into things later, and we’re at a stop.

“Is everybody ok?”

We were. I busted up my nose a bit, and the girl in the front passenger seat got some nasty bruises on her right side, but nobody was seriously hurt. Our driver has skillfully avoided a lightpost and a parked car, and we ended up in a pile of snow (so the snowstorm was a blessing after all; if not for the snow we would have hit the corner of a building. The couple in the other car weren’t hurt either, though as the picture below shows, their car was in a pretty bad state.

Ours is the red car. Front passenger door completely smashed, but their Nissan got it worse.

Not too long afterwards the firetruck came and disconnected the battery for safety. The police took a lot longer, and when we called 911 we got an “all operators busy”. Not too comforting for the future. But they got there in the end, took our details and towed away the cars. Fortunately we were close to home, so everyone went to our place, where we calmed down with pizza and chocolate. At around three Pete drove the others home.

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Written by Martin

2010/02/21 at 19:22

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. FUCK!!!!!!
    Glad you are ok

    dada

    2010/02/21 at 19:34

  2. Thanks. My flatmate is a doctor, so we should be able to spot any delayed effect like a concussion (though I’ve had enough of those to know how it feels).

    solarhaphaeriom

    2010/02/21 at 19:37

  3. You were in a car crash?!! 😦 Glad you are okay. Take care.

    Sarah

    2010/02/22 at 06:43


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