2010 Championships Preview: Team Profiles


Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Gotham (#1 WFTDA East, #2 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. winner of Texas / Bay Area, Saturday 9:30am

2010 WFTDA record: 10-0

2010 biggest win: 314-14 over Providence, September 24 (East Region quarterfinals)

2010 biggest loss: No losses in 2010

2010 closest bout: 133-104 win over Philly, September 26 (East Region championship bout)

2010 background: Not only has Gotham not lost a game this year, they’ve never been in any real trouble, putting up an average margin of victory of a whopping 132 points. Even their closest game, the 29-point win over Philly, had a somewhat misleading final as Gotham was cruising with a 90 point lead with ten minutes left to play and was able to absorb a penalty avalanche. Although they haven’t dominated from the first whistle in every game — Boston, Charm City, Bay Area and Philly all managed to keep it close for the first 15 to 20 minutes — it’s consistently just been a matter of time until the score gets out of hand in Gotham games this year.

Tournament history: Gotham has won 3 out of 4 East Region titles and appeared in each of the WFTDA finals tournaments since the Regionals system was put in place in 2007. They went out in the first round in 2007 in a loss to Kansas City, won the championship in 2008 with a 134-66 victory over Windy City, and lost in the quarterfinals of the 2009 tournament to Oly. It’s worth noting that both times that Gotham lost during the finals tournament, the team that defeated them went on to win the championship. Overall, Gotham has a sparkling 15-3 record in WFTDA postseason play (4-2 in finals-tournament play).

Lowdown: Gotham continues to make their name and build their intimidation factor on smart, precise play — it is very rare to see them suffer from major penalty trouble or get caught in a 20ft trap. If there’s any weakness to their current lineup, it’s that they haven’t found a third A jammer to rotate with Bonnie Thunders and Suzy Hotrod — Hyper Lynx, Swede Hurt, Papierschnitt, OMG WTF and Fisti Cuffs range from developing to backup jammers and are usually put in as a relief. On the rare occasions that Bonnie or Suzy are having trouble (the Texas game last year, or the Boston game this year at ECE), it can hamper Gotham’s game.

Oly is the only team in this tournament than can lay claim to a better overall winning percentage than Gotham, but Gotham has built up their percentage over a longer amount of time — going back to November 2007, Gotham has gone 29-2 for a winning percentage of 93%.

Players to watch: Suzy Hotrod (playing in her final games as a Gotham Girl) and Bonnie Thunders both bring preternatural footwork, speed and juking ability to one of the the best one-two jammer punches in the sport; both are usually deployed heavily as jammers in the opening frames before taking blocking turns once their team has established a point cushion. Fisti Cuffs excels at locking up opposing jammers one-on-one near the back of the pack while Kandy Kakes does the same in front.

Road to the championship: If Gotham gets Bay Area in their first game on Saturday, it’s both good and bad news for them — good because Gotham absolutely dominated Bay Area in the second half of their meeting in August, winning the last 30 minutes 124-12 to win the game 187-58, but bad because Bay Area has shown themselves to be improving and adapting very quickly over the course of this year. Gotham had trouble with Texas in June of 2009 before winning a tight 84-76 game, but the 2010 Texas team doesn’t appear to be quite as strong as last year’s — BAD looks to be the more dangerous potential opponent.

Assuming Gotham gets through their first game, they’re almost certain to face Rocky Mountain in Saturday’s first semifinal at 5:30pm. RMRG and Gotham last played in late 2007, with Gotham claiming a 113-48 win, but both teams looked extremely different then. The winner of that game will likely find Oly or Philly waiting for them in the championship.

Roster: 00 Ana Bollocks // 2 Donna Matrix // i4i Hard Anya // 10 Kandy Kakes // 12 Carmen Monoxide // 31 Hela Skelter // 42 Beatrix Slaughter // 46 Swede Hurt // 55 Suzy Hotrod // 61 Steel Magnolia // 80 Ginger Snap // 100 B. Zerk // 104 Haulin Cass // 201 Sweet Sherry Pie // 241 Fisti Cuffs // 340 Bonnie Thunders // 404 Hyper Lynx // 500 Papierschnitt // 753 OMG WTF // 8212 Em Dash

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Philly (#2 WFTDA East, #4 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs Madison, Friday 5:30pm

2010 WFTDA record: 11-4

2010 biggest win: 220-34 over Carolina, September 24 (East Region quarterfinals)

2010 biggest loss: 147-81 to Oly, February 27 (Wild West Showdown)

2010 closest bout: 118-116 loss to Rose City, February 28 (Wild West Showdown)

2010 background: Although Philly opened up their year with three straight losses against tough West Coast competition in Rose City, Rat City and Oly at the Wild West Showdown in February, they followed it up with a very impressive 11 game winning streak that included defeats of two regional champions (Windy City and Kansas City) along with a win over tough Denver (119-106) and a shellacking of Bay Area, 203-99. Gotham stopped their streak in the final bout of the East Region playoffs, but the 29 point deficit was considerably closer than anybody else came to Gotham this year.

Tournament history: Philly missed the 2007 Nationals due to being defeated by Gotham at Easterns, but they’ve reached the finals each year since. In 2008 they finished third overall, and they also have one East Region title to their name from winning the region in 2009. Overall in postseason play, Philly is 10-5; in finals-tournament action they’re 2-2.

Lowdown: Philly hasn’t changed much since last year; though they did add Rat City transfer Miss Fortune to their roster this year, she’s been sidelined by injury for most of the season and hasn’t seen much playing time. Philly continues to play an up-tempo game that mostly eschews slow-pack tactics, although their win over Denver this year demonstrated that they’re not hamstrung by facing it. They also play a slightly more physical game than most, willing to go for the big hits when they’re available.

Players to watch: Philly doesn’t have jammers with a lot of flash but they do have a very deep, effective and varied stable. Strong jammers like Teflon Donna and Shenita Stretcher can block their own way through while Mo Pain and Persephone go mostly to speed, with Elle Viento occupying the middle ground; most teams have significant trouble handling at least one of those looks, which accounts for that 11 game winning streak. The pack contains longtime vets like Castro (previously known as Violet Temper), Ivana Rock and Dara Licks; relatively new addition Heavy Flo is likely to be responsible for a few memorably bone-jarring hits this weekend.

Road to the championship: If results from earlier this year hold, Philly should reach the semifinal on Saturday night against Oly. Though Philly and Madison haven’t met in the last two years, they had a shared opponent in Denver this year; Philly pulled out a narrow 13-point win while Madison was soundly defeated by 117 points. Past Madison, Philly would take on Kansas City on Saturday afternoon, who they beat head-to-head in a 149-55 match just a few months ago in August.

Oly and Philly played in February at Wild West Showdown — a game that was close for the first 45 minutes until Oly ran away with it in the final 15 to win by 66 points. With that result now ten months old, though, it’s tough to say how much, if anything, that means for a rematch. Philly only got one game last year when they hosted the Nationals tournament and lost to Rocky Mountain, so if Philly does manage to score a semifinal upset on Oly, it’ll make for a serious grudge match in the championship whether their opponent is Gotham or Rocky Mountain.

Roster: 06 Castro // 8 Mo Pain // 11 Ivana Rock // 15 Persephone // 22 Elle Viento // 29 Copper Top // 47 Eurothrash // 0049 Mercedes Bends // 60 Summer Assault // 67 Dara Licks // 77 Dotti Horror // 83 Sunshine Skate // 85 Teflon Donna // 91 Alessa Evil // 99 Miss Fortune // 305 Shenita Stretcher // 527 Heavy Flo // 668 Olivia Face // 933 Ginger Vitis // 1972 Gloria Grindem

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Charm City (#3 WFTDA East, #9 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. Minnesota, Friday 3:45pm

2010 WFTDA record: 6-7 (7-7 including a non-WFTDA win over San Diego)

2010 biggest win: 409-22 over River City, March 14

2010 biggest loss: Tie: 214-77 to Rocky Mountain, June 5, and 223-86 to Gotham, September 25 (East Region semifinals)

2010 closest bout: 154-146 win over Texas, June 27

2010 background: Charm City’s losing record on the year belies their abilities as a team; they had arguably the toughest strength of schedule of any team this year. After opening up with two relatively easy challenges against Montreal and River City, they went on to play on 7 of the 12 teams that qualified for Nationals last year, along with Rat City and Rose City. That translated into the longest losing stretch of their history with an 0-5 run from April to June, but wins over Texas, Kansas City and Boston gave them momentum and confidence that they rode to their third place finish at the East Region tournament.

Tournament history: This is Charm City’s first trip to a finals tournament. They first qualified for Eastern Regionals in 2008, where they were eliminated from advancement by Windy City in the quarterfinals; in 2009, they reached the third place game but were stopped by Boston. They got revenge this year by defeating Boston in that same game. Overall their postseason record is 5-4.

Lowdown: Charm City is definitely the most avid East Coast practitioner of the slow-pack tactics popularized by Duke City and Denver that have been dubbed “Western style,” using it to particularly good effect against Kansas City, Texas and San Diego this year. Speed control and hard hits at low speeds are a staple of the Charm game, and they even managed to keep Gotham looking a little confused for the first 20 minutes of their game at Easterns with it. Charm City has been dogged by penalty trouble to their most effective blockers for years, though, and many of their losses come as a near-direct result of filling the penalty box and losing shorthanded cohesion. When they can stay on the right side of the penalty equation, as they did against Boston at the East Playoffs, wins usually follow.

Players to watch: Joy Collision has been the ace on the Charm City squad since its very first games, but the last two years have seen co-captain Just Carol blossom from promising new face to the linchpin of their offense. Mid-season addition I.M. Pain gave Charm City a hugely important new factor on the jam line, and the tenacious scrambling of Holden Grudges, a transfer from Harrisburg, has improved leaps and bounds this year. With longtime vets Flo Shizzle (in her last games as a skater) and Lady Quebeaum also available to take the star, Charm City boasts the best jammer rotation they’ve had yet. In the pack, Holly Go Hardly, Dolly Rocket and Rosie the Rioter are the keys of the defense, ably supported by quietly effective play from Reckless Ndangerment and Deathany.

Road to the championship: Minnesota clearly demonstrated at their tournament that they’re an upset threat; Charm City and Minnesota met in late 2007 in a game that Charm City barely won, but that was an eon ago in derby time. Still, though, Charm City looks to be the favorite in the matchup. Should they get past Minnesota, things do not look promising for their continued advancement hopes. They’d have to pull off back-to-back huge upsets, as their next opponent would be DNN’s unofficial #1 in the nation Rocky Mountain (who beat Charm by 137 points in June) and that’d be followed by DNN’s unofficial #2 in the nation Gotham (who beat Charm by the exact same amount in September). If Charm finds a way to land those wins, it’s safe to say that all bets are off for their performance in the championship bout.

Roster: 1 Radar Love // T2 Allie B. Back // 6 Dolly Rocket // 7 PENALTYna // 8 Dosa Badazz // 10 Mistress May Eye // 12 ThoroughBled // 26 Just Carol // 34 Lady Quebeaum // 63 Holden Grudges // 86 Zamboni Toni // 100 Rosie The Rioter // 116 Reckless Ndangerment // 247 Flo Shizzle // 415 Holly GoHardly // 666 Deathany // 747 Joy Collision // 1618 I.M. Pain

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Windy City (#1 WFTDA North Central, #10 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. winner of Oly / Nashville, 2:45pm Saturday

2010 WFTDA record: 7-5

2010 biggest win: 159-59 over North Star, May 16

2010 biggest loss: 220-61 to Oly, October 17

2010 closest bout: 121-115 win over Boston, July 31

2010 background: In the 2009 regular season and through their Regionals, Windy City was within 1 point of an undefeated record, but things have been tougher this year. Longtime rivals Gotham dealt them what was, at the time, Windy City’s biggest loss of their history in a high-profile 191-50 game at the East Coast Extravaganza in June. Two months later, Rocky Mountain came to Chicago and handed Windy the only rout they’d ever taken at home, 151-56 (by way of comparison, the previous largest defeat for Windy at home was the aforementioned 1 point game in 2009). They had to fight very hard to repel a surprisingly strong challenge from Cincinnati at the North Central tournament and protect their unbeaten-in-the-region record, but when they went out of region to test themselves against Rose City and Oly in October, it got rough again — a 134-89 loss to Rose followed by the largest loss in Windy City history to Oly at 220-61.

Tournament history: The WCR girls have consistently done quite well in tournament play. In 2007 and 2008, when they were part of the Eastern Region, they finished second to Gotham in the region; when they were moved to the newly created North Central in 2009, they won it outright in both 2009 and 2010. Windy City, Gotham and Texas are the only three teams to have reached each of the national WFTDA championship tournaments. WCR was eliminated in their first games in 2007 and 2009, but finished second to Gotham in 2008. Overall, they have an impressive 13-5 record in postseason play, though it’s a humbler 2-3 in national tournament play.

Lowdown: Windy City has mostly been a team built on speed, and like fellow regional champions Kansas City, has had a little trouble adjusting against slow-pack teams. Denver famously upset them last year at Nationals on slow-pack play, and Rocky Mountain had a lot of success doing it to them this year in August. However, their first and possibly last challenge looks set to be Oly, a team that has already shown they have no problem succeeding in an up-tempo game.

Players to watch: This is a roster packed full of talent even after the departure of Megan Formor and Malice in Chains after the 2009 campaign; 2010 transfer Jackie Daniels is one of the most solid all-around players in the game and gives major help to Windy City in both defensive and offensive roles. Small but powerful jammers Shocka Conduit and Varla Vendetta fill out the primary jammer attack with support from frenetic Beth Amphetamine and leggy Ruth Enasia, and there’s no shortage of hard hitters in the pack, particularly Ying O’Fire, Go-Go Hatchet, Amy Nonamey and Hoosier Mama. Another hard hitter, Nina Faile (previously Nina Millimeter), remains out on injury.

Road to the championship: Windy City probably would have preferred a different draw in the bracket here. Barring a first-round miracle from Nashville, the random draw will almost certainly see Windy playing Oly in their first matchup — the same Oly team that just sent them to a 159-point loss three weeks ago. They’ll have home-field advantage and the help of those scouting notes this time, but they’re still very much facing an uphill battle to not get knocked out of their own tournament early. If Windy City can find a way to stun Oly, though, they’d have a lot of reason for confidence in a likely semifinal matchup against Philly — WCR and Philly played a thriller at the East Coast Extravaganza this year, and though Philly pulled it out 110-89, the game was very much in question throughout. Another Windy City upset there would lead to a championship bout almost certain to be against Rocky Mountain or Gotham. In a scenario where WCR has already gotten past Oly, that challenge looks a lot less intimidating than it does right now.

Roster: 0i Ska Face // 07 Jackie Daniels // 5 Blossom Bruiso // 15 Shocka Conduit // 17 Go-Go Hatchet // 24 Wreck N Shrew // 25 Varla Vendetta // 30 Athena DeCrime // 42 Karmageddon // 50 Di Richmond // 52 Sargentina // 57 Amy Nonamey // 70 Georgia on Yer Behind // 74 Deb Autry // 81 Ruth Enasia // 90 Norma Lee Wright // 98 Beth Amphetamine // 219 Hoosier Mama // 777 Ying O’ Fire // 911 Kola Loka

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Minnesota (#2 WFTDA North Central, #14 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. Charm City, 3:45 Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 7-2

2010 biggest win: 202-57 over Sacred City, August 21

2010 biggest loss: 132-83 to Windy City, September 12 (NC Region Playoffs)

2010 closest bout: 98-96 win over Tampa Bay, June 26 (East Coast Extravaganza)

2010 background: It wouldn’t be quite right to say a team that has been around as long as Minnesota came out of nowhere this year, but very little in their 2010 results previous to the NC tournament suggested they’d be able to penetrate the top three in their region. Squeak-by single-digit victories over Providence and Tampa Bay in June were followed by a 40 point loss to Dallas in late July — those teams would all end up finishing between 6th and 8th in their respective regions. But the loss to Dallas apparently galvanized MNRG, as they stunned Detroit by 19 and Madison by 12 in back-to-back games at NC regionals. The magic wouldn’t last against Windy City, who convincingly stopped them in the final, but Minnesota’s run made them the lowest seed to reach Championships this year (they entered their tournament as the 7 of 10 seeds).

Tournament history: Up until this year, tournament season had not been kind to Minnesota, who were 2-5 in regional play till then and had picked up their only victories against winless teams in 2008 and 2009. They improved to 5-6 with this year’s showing, though. This weekend marks Minnesota’s first appearance in a WFTDA championship tournament.

Lowdown: What’s particularly impressive about Minnesota’s turnaround is that they haven’t really altered their lineup that much — Juke Box is a major pickup transfer from Madison, but they also lost mainstay Harmony Killerbruise to Oly after 2009. What seems to be clicking for Minnesota right now is a sudden increase in skill, not a sudden increase in talent. In their games against both Detroit and Madison at Regionals, they made use of explosive second-half comebacks to win games that appeared to be on the verge of lost, so it’ll take a pretty big lead for first-round opponent Charm City to feel safe.

Players to watch: The aforementioned Juke Box was a huge part of both MNRG rallies at their region; Susie Smashbox has stepped up as well to fill part of the offensive duties that Harmony used to shoulder.

Road to the championship: Like everybody else on their side of the bracket, Minnesota has a shot at winning their opening game but will have real trouble in the semifinal — they’d get Rocky Mountain if they were able to get past Charm City. Rocky dropped a 137-point defeat on Charm when those two teams met in June, so unless Minnesota puts a very unexpected rout on Charm City in the opener, Rocky Mountain will be the overwhelming favorite no matter which one they face.

Roster: H8U Tiki Torture // 9 Killaman Jaro // F16 Citizen Pain // A18 Juke Box // 18 Anita Spankston // 21 Tara Skatesov // 23 Jax Kvass // 25 Honeydew Felon // 28 Scarmen Hellectra // 37 Hanna Belle Lector // 55 Venus Thightrap // 69 Vuedoo Prodigy // 82 Angelfire // 91 Suzie Smashbox // 109 Psycho Novia // 187 L’exi Cuter // 318 Abbey Mischief // 333 Coochie Coup // 808 Killahertz // 1837 Diamond Rough

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Madison (#3 WFTDA North Central, #15 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs Philly, 5:30pm Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 3-8

2010 biggest win: 180-80 over Houston, July 24

2010 biggest loss: 206-41 to Gotham, July 18

2010 closest bout: 115-104 loss to Windy City, May 23 (Midwest Brewhaha)

2010 background: Madison comes into this tournament with the worst-looking record, but, like fellow 3 seed Charm City, that record was developed in the midst of a very tough schedule this year that gave them enough high-level experience to reach their region’s top three. That led to them opening their season with a 6 game losing streak, but unlike Charm, Madison hasn’t been able to score any wins over teams that will be appearing here this weekend. They only defeated Houston during the regular season, along with North Star and Cincinnati in the NC playoffs. Their best showing was a 11 point loss to Windy City that was the closest game WCR had ever played against a regional rival.

Tournament history: Overall Madison is 6-5 in postseason play, though they lost their only game in championship-tournament play in the first round of last year’s Nationals when they were eliminated in a 104-96 thriller of an opening game against Boston. They finished 2nd at last year’s North Central regionals and 3rd in this year.

Lowdown: Although Madison has acquitted themselves well this year against a number of different highly-ranked teams, they’ve been consistently unable to turn impressive performances into actual wins. They will need to take all the possible momentum from their Cincinnati win into Chicago if they’re going to have a chance to overcome Philly.

Players to watch: Vicious Van GoGo, who moved up from Austin this year, has proven to be a considerable asset to this team. With the exception of her and the loss of last year’s heroine Juke Box to Minnesota, the Madison team remains greatly unchanged, built around a very experienced core that includes Mouse, Darling Nikki, Wildberry Punch, Chop Suzzy and Dolly Pardon Me.

Road to the championship: Madison has their work cut out for them when they face Philly in their opener. They played a close 106-93 game against them in at ECE 2008, but a great deal has happened since then and right now a Madison defeat of Philly would register as a major upset. If they could get back Philly, they would then be up against Kansas City — who, oddly enough, defeated them at ECE 2009. The next step would probably be the hardest as they’d have to shock Oly, who already handily defeated them this year in a 170-119 game.

Roster: 1or2 Sugalumps // 2 Dutch Oven // 3 Twisted Halo // 4 Mouse // 11 Thunder Kitten // 13 Ace S Wild // 14 Darling Nikki // 16 Jenny Knoxville // 18FT Allie Gator // 22 Tango de Muerte // 27 Wildberry Punch // 33 Charlie Hustle // 77 STank Girl // 6T9 Lil Miss Behavin // 99 Jewels of Denile // 311 Chop Suzzy // 925 Dolly Pardon Me // 1212 Aleta the Hun // 1618 Goldie Mean // 1853 Vicious Van GoGo

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Kansas City (#1 WFTDA South Central, #11 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. winner of Philly / Madison, 1pm Saturday

2010 WFTDA record: 8-4

2010 biggest win: 353-25 over Northwest Arkansas, June 12

2010 biggest loss: 149-55 to Philly, August 14

2010 closest bout: 125-114 win over Omaha, May 22

2010 background: Of the teams that made it to Chicago, probably only Bay Area has seen a bigger turnaround in their fortunes over the course of this year. KCRW barely beat Omaha this year to kick off their year (Omaha ended up finishing 9th in their North Central tournament), and then lost to Atlanta to lose the #2 slot they’d held in the South Central since its 2009 inception. For the rest of the season, they alternated wins and losses and only got one win over a DNN top-25 team in a 40 point game over Cincinnati — however, they played their best games at the end of the South Central tournament, beating Atlanta and outlasting Texas to win the tournament and take the top seed.

Tournament history: Kansas City has seen both the highest and lowest emotional points in postseason play. They took a stirring victory in the first WFTDA Nationals in 2007, stringing together 3 straight upsets over Gotham, Carolina and Rat City, but were then shocked in their first game at 2008 Western Regionals by Duke City and did not proceed to that year’s Nationals. They went on to place second to Texas at 2009 Westerns and go one-and-out at that year’s Nationals. This year, they once again got to be on the pleasant side of a huge upset when they took down Texas in the final of the South Central playoffs. KCRW holds an all-time post-season record of 12-5 (3-1 in national tournament play.)

Lowdown: After getting thwarted multiple times by slow-pack tactics over the last couple of years, Kansas City has visibly been working on those skills and deployed them very effectively against multiple opponents this year. Their win over Texas, in particular, came down to a single huge powerjam in which effective traps sprung Kelley Young for a 29-0 run. KCRW is also noticeably very effective in shorthanded situations — even when reduced to two blockers on the track, they are very good at not allowing their blockers to get separated or lose control of the front.

Players to watch: Captain and primary blocker Bruz-Her had a spectacular performance in their regional playoffs, playing in almost every jam and constantly leveling opponents; she’s joined in big hitting from Annie Maul and Eclipse. Kelley Young and Track Rat both have blazing speed and very good footwork that gets them through holes that often look too small for freedom, and quickly developing backup jammer Case Closed had a very good run of her own in Lincoln.

Road to the championship: Though Kansas City has been looking very good recently, they’ve still got a very difficult path to a second title. Their first-round bye will probably put them up against Philly on Saturday, a team which beat them by nearly 100 points in August. If they were to get past Philly, they’d still be stuck going up against Oly or Windy City in the semis. Though it’s been two years since the last KCRW / WCR meeting, Windy City is responsible for giving KCRW their most lopsided loss ever, a 155-39 rout in 2008. Oly and Kansas City have never met, but given what Oly did to Windy City in their meeting just three weeks ago, it certainly doesn’t seem that Oly would be any easier of a challenge.

Roster: D13 Dementia // 0 Eclipse // 4 Kelley Young // 8 Extremely Frank // 11 Jessika Rabid // 20 Dominant Jean // 22 Ruth Canal // 26 Bella Fire // 30 Hall Balls // 34 Case Closed // 42 Red Ripper // 44 Damsel of D’Tension // 69 Track Rat // 84 Tuff Noogies // 111 Annie Maul // 244 Bruz-Her // 816 Jade Lightning // 911 Patti Wackin // 999 Bad Omen // 2012 Evolution

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Texas (#2 WFTDA South Central, #12 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs Bay Area, 2pm Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 6-7

2010 biggest win: 330-8 over Assassination City, February 20 (Governor’s Cup)

2010 biggest loss: 163-64 to Rocky Mountain, May 9

2010 closest bout: Tie: 128-120 loss to Rat City, June 6, and 154-146 loss to Charm City, June 27

2010 background: Texas has historically been at or near the top of the sport since the beginning, but this year has been tougher for them after the loss of some big names like Bullet Tooth Tracy, Rice Rocket and Desi Cration. In addition to having a losing record for the first time, they fell out of the DNN unofficial top 10 for the first time ever following their loss to Kansas City in the South Central finals. All of their sanctioned wins have come over teams not currently in the DNN top 25 — though a lot of the losses were narrow ones to highly ranked teams (Charm City, Rat City, Kansas City and Denver were all decided by a jam’s worth of points).

Tournament history: Texas won the first national tournament when they took the Dust Devil in 2006, but have fallen just short of the prize since the Regionals structure was put in place. They do have the distinction of being the only team to finish in the top 4 each year, though — 3rd place in 2007, 4th place in 2008, and 2nd place in 2009. They hold two regional titles — West in 2008 and South Central in 2009 — and overall they’re 12-6 in postseason play and have played more national-tournament games than any other team with a record of 5-4.

Lowdown: This year, Texas seems to have only two gears — utterly dominating or barely losing (only Oly and Rocky Mountain were able to deliver decisive victories on them). They’re not shy about using unconventional tactics to catch opponents by surprise, as they found multiple innovative ways to force immediate no-pack situations at the beginning of jams at the South Central tournament to get some quick lead jammer status. Mostly, though, they tend to play a power and speed game, but can get into serious trouble when they’re shorthanded on the track, which was fatal to them in the Kansas City game.

Players to watch: Texas absolutely does not lack for institutional knowledge. Texas picked up a big name about halfway through this season with the transfer of longtime Detroit star Sarah Hipel; like Jackie Daniels from Windy City, Hipel is a stellar all-around player who can be equally effective jamming or blocking. Olivia Shootin’ John and Bloody Mary are also primary scoring threats along with young phenom Luce Bandit, and Belle Starr, Lucille Brawl and Crackerjack represent three of the most experienced veterans in the whole sport.

Road to the championship: The draw for Texas is extremely challenging this year, and they’re probably in more danger than they’ve ever been of going one-and-done for the first time at a national tournament. To keep their streak of reaching Sunday action alive, they’ll have to face the unofficial #5, #2 and #1 teams in the nation on Friday and Saturday. First off, they end up matched up against the tournament’s most dangerous 3 seed in Bay Area. The last time Texas and Bay Area faced off, in September of 2009, Bay Area came within a surprising 6 points in a 83-77 loss, and the teams’ history in 2010 suggests that Bay Area is stronger than they were then and Texas is more vulnerable. Should Texas manage to get past that, they get undefeated-in-2010 Gotham next and then treacherous Rocky Mountain if they get through that.

Roster: 2 Shortcut // 3 Olivia Shootin’ John // 9 Babe Ruthless // 11 Misti Molotov // 18 Shank // 19 Molotov M. Pale // 21 Rita Menweep // 40 Bloody Mary // 33 Luce Bandit // 52 Ruby Wring // 56 Lucille Brawl // 66 Devil Grrl // 76 Curvette // 86 The Killa’ Sal Monella // 90 Acute Angel // 100 Crackerjack // 333 Dilla // 360 The Angie-Christ // 989 Sarah Hipel // 1889 Belle Starr

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Nashville (#3 WFTDA South Central, #18 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. Oly, 7:15pm Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 11-4

2010 biggest win: 159-70 over Tallahassee, July 10

2010 biggest loss: 182-69 to Steel City, August 21

2010 closest bout: 117-86 win over DC, June 26 (East Coast Extravaganza)

2010 background: Nashville’s 11-4 record looks pretty good right now, but over the middle of the summer, they looked like they were flailing a bit with some losses and narrow wins over teams that came nowhere near the top of their respective regions. They edged out Arch Rival (who ended up finishing 10th at their NC tournament), DC (9th in the East) and Fort Wayne (who did not qualify for their regional tournament) by about 35 points each, and were beaten by Providence, North Star and Steel City, dropping them out of DNN’s unofficial top 25 from a mid-year high of #17. But when it mattered, Nashville stepped up very big at tournament time with a spectacularly effective game against Atlanta in the third place game, holding them to just 3 points in the last 17 minutes to qualify for the Championships with a 132-73 win.

Tournament history: This is Nashville’s first appearance in the WFTDA championship tournament. Their first appearance at a regional was last year, where they went 1-2 including a very rough 207-23 loss to Texas in which Nashville was shut out for the first half. This year they equalized their win record by going 2-1, losing again to Texas but beating Dallas and Atlanta.

Lowdown: Although “peaking at the right time” is a pretty hoary sports cliche, it’s hard to deny that that’s exactly what Nashville did this year. Their final game of the SC tournament was a real clinic in point denial, pack control and time management. They only had two lapses on powerjams in 19-0 and 29-0 losses; with those jams removed, they would have held Atlanta to 25 points in the game.

Players to watch: Nashville lost a huge hitter when Sexy Slaydie transferred to Gotham after the 2009 season, but this year the well-named Showstopper has deftly stepped into that role to dole out plenty of wince-inducing damage. Nashville relies primarily on a one-two jammer punch of Ramb0 Samb0 and Maulin’ Monroe, but it was the pack work that carried them to third place; Lady Fury, Union Jack-U-Up and 5 Scar Jeneral lead a smart and tenacious pack for NRG. Nashville is rostering 15 skaters this weekend out of their available 20 slots.

Road to the championship: Unfortunately for Nashville, they’ve pulled the most dangerous first-round duty by getting pitted against last year’s champions Oly, who are currently sitting on an all-time 23-1 record and are probably more dangerous than ever after Rocky Mountain ended their record 22-game winning streak in the final game of the West Region playoffs. A Nashville win here would probably qualify as the biggest championship-tournament upset of all time and make their whole side of the bracket into a tossup. Nashville has never faced any of the teams on their side of the bracket (in fact, Texas is the only team in the whole tournament they’ve played), so if Nashville can find a way past Oly, there’s no predicting how far they could go.

Roster: 5 5 Scar Jeneral // 5FT3 Lady Fury // 10 Union Jack-U-Up // 11 Jennifer Smith // 13 LeeAnn Crimes // 13EE Susan // 15 E-Money // 36DD Maulin Monroe // 308 Britches N’ Hose // 318 Four Leaf Roller // 529 Whip Lashes // 808 Jersey Jackhammer // 1970 Slayla // 5280 Luscious Loosie // C4A Showstopper // M60 Ramb0 Samb0

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Rocky Mountain (#1 WFTDA West, #1 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. winner of Minnesota / Charm City, Saturday 11:15am

2010 WFTDA record: 11-1

2010 biggest win: 305-31 over Bellingham, February 27 (Wild West Showdown)

2010 biggest loss: 121-101 to Oly, May 22

2010 closest bout: 121-101 to Oly, May 22

2010 background: Rocky Mountain burst out of the gate this year clearly aiming to improve on their 4th place finish at last year’s WFTDA Nationals, and scored impressive wins all year long, including giving Texas their biggest loss ever with a 163-64 defeat, doing the same to tough Charm City with a 214-77 final, and maintaining their lead over Pacific Northwest rivals Rose City and Rat City with less dominant but still solid victories of about 35 points each. The only thing they weren’t able to do in the regular season was take down 2009 champs Oly, losing a close 121-101 game in Olympia — but it was only a matter of time, and personnel. When they met again in the finals of the 2010 Westerns, the mid-season additions of Amanda Jamitinya (ex-Duke City) and Urrk’n Jerkin As Booty Blockya (ex-Fort Collins) proved to be the last pieces RMRG needed for the victory, and Rocky became the only team to ever defeat Oly in WFTDA sanctioned play, 127-86. They moved in the unofficial #1 spot in the nation with that win.

Tournament history: Rocky Mountain has been qualifying for tournaments since the beginning, but it’s only in the last year that they’ve developed into a potential (and actual) winner. They were eliminated from advancement early in the 2007 and 2008 Western Regionals, but finished 2nd in 2009 and first this year. They also took 4th place at last year’s championship tournament. Overall their postseason record is 7-5, and 1-2 in their single championship-tournament appearance.

Lowdown: Arguably no team in the sport has improved as much as quickly as RMRG, who entered the 2009 Western Regionals as the 8th seed and unofficially #17 in the nation but now find themselves within grasp of a championship title. They’ve proven able to play either up-tempo or slow-pack derby as the situation requires, and smart clock management in their epic bout against Oly in this year’s West final kept them ahead for most of the running time. For a team that has added six major players in the last year and three in the last couple of months, they play with more defensive cohesion than most teams are able to muster in years of stable rosters.

Players to watch: Rocky Mountain has a ridiculous amount of talent packed in their team, with possibly six or seven different skaters who could be the ace on 98 percent of existing teams. Longtime vets Frida Beater and She Who Cannot Be Named formed the jamming core for years, but the addition of transfers DeRanged, PsychoBabble, Urrk’n and Jamitinya, along with 2009 addition Whipity Pow, have given RMRG a potential A-list jammer rotation of half the roster. On the blocking side, standouts Assaultin’ Pepa, Catholic Cruel Girl, Winona Fighter and Ecko are all ably joined by all of the aforementioned jammers, making Rocky arguably the deepest team in the tournament.

Road to the championship: The Fight Club is unlikely to have too much trouble in their opening match, which is probably going to be against Charm City, a team they already routed earlier this year. However, their semifinal matchup will probably be against Gotham in a classic case of irresistible force / immovable object as the top seed from the West meets the top seed from the East. In DNN’s unofficial post-regionals rankings, Gotham was nudged out of their #1 slot down to #2 after the Rocky Mountain / Oly game, but Gotham and Rocky Mountain haven’t met head to head since late 2007. If Rocky proves victorious here, they’ll probably be looking at either a Western-final rematch with Oly, or, possibly, a rematch of the classic overtime match between Rocky and Philly from the 2009 Nationals where Rocky eliminated Philly.

Roster: 00 Urrk’n Jerk’n as Booty Blockya // 3 Catholic Cruel Girl // 8 Winona Fighter // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 9er Uber Alice // 10 RoboFlow // 21 Psycho Babble // 27 DeRanged // 31 Fiona Grapple // 40 Red Die // 52 Whipity Pow // 57 Annia LateHer // 86 Assaultin’ Pepa // 88 She Who Can Not Be Named // 99 May Q Pay // 100 BATass // 202 Frida Beater // 555 Barbie Boop // 811 Flame N Fury // 1972 Ecko

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Oly (#2 WFTDA West, #3 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. Nashville, 7:15 Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 12-1

2010 biggest win: 267-19 over Tucson, October 1 (West Region Playoffs)

2010 biggest loss: 127-86 to Rocky Mountain, October 3 (West Region Playoffs)

2010 closest bout: 121-101 win over Rocky Mountain, May 22

2010 background: Up until the final of the West Region playoffs, Oly spent the year repeatedly doing what they’d done all through 2009: winning and putting just enough space between themselves and their opponent to make it convincing but not dominating. Oly played a fairly strong strength of schedule this year, facing 6 teams that made it to this year’s Championships and defeating all of them (though RMRG, of course, would get revenge in the end).

Tournament history: Oly debuted in WFTDA play last year and swept to victory in both the regional tournament and Nationals. With their march to the final game of this year’s Regionals as well, they hold the best postseason winning percentage in the sport at 8-1 (3-0 in national-championship play).

Lowdown: The Olympia crew has long been a fan of relatively small-ball derby — though they obviously have the speed to put up huge scores, they often prefer to take repeated single-or-double pass jam wins and call instead of going for the hugely lopsided jams wins. Oly did some have some tactical weaknesses exposed in their game against Rocky Mountain, where they lost situational advantages by calling too early or allowed a leading Rocky Mountain to drain precious time off the clock by playing jammer defense at inopportune times. That hadn’t previously been a problem from Oly because usually the score was never close enough to put them in danger of losing — but Rocky Mountain didn’t hand them any similar advantages, contributing to the upset. Notably, Oly’s next game against Windy City represented a much higher point than usual as Oly rolled to a 220-61 rout, raising the possibility that the Rocky loss inspired a change in plans.

Players to watch: Like Rocky Mountain, Oly is a fount of ludicrous skating talent. Sassy, often found at the front of the pack, has possibly the most effective one-on-one booty block in the game with an incredible ability to hold opposing jammers just within the engagement zone, and Tannibal Lector excels at trapping players out of bounds with near-instantaneous block-out-and stops (often adding in some fancy footwork to avoid opponents trying free their jammer from the trap). Heffer and Atomatrix, the 2009 DNN Reader Choice for Most Valuable Player, lead the jamming attack with support from 2010 transfers Licker N Split (previously of Rose City) and Harmony Killerbruise (previously of Minnesota). The only apparent change on the Oly lineup from the Westerns 20-skater roster is ex-Rose City skater Chest Nutz replacing Punchin’ Judy.

Road to the championship: While it would certainly not be accurate to say that Oly has an easy road to the final game, they do probably have the path of least resistance. Their first round opponent, Nashville, has never faced a team of Oly’s abilities before, and the most likely following opponents, Windy City and Philly, have both already lost to Oly this year. Any scenario that doesn’t see Oly in this year’s championship game would have to be seen as an upset by any measure. If they do indeed arrive there, they will very likely be either in a rematch of the West final with Rocky Mountain, or in a rematch of one of 2009′s best games at Nationals, where Oly got past Gotham 136-105.

Roster: 03 Atomatrix // 2 Sassy // 2TON Heffer // 2X Scara ta Death // 4X4 Wheel-Her // 5 B Tease N // 8 D-Bomb // 9 Tannibal Lector // 9MM Clitty Clitty Bang! Bang! // 18 Femme Fatale // 22 Riot Girl // 27 Trickk Tracy // 28 Blonde an’ Bitchin // 29 Rettig to Rumble // 38 Deadly Aim // 75 Harmony Killerbruise // 127 Chest-Nutz // 523 Licker*N*Split // 911 Intended Anger // 1964 Mary Stoppins

Jump to team: Gotham | Philly | Charm City | Windy City | Minnesota | Madison | Kansas City | Texas | Nashville | Rocky Mountain | Oly | Bay Area

Bay Area (#3 WFTDA West, #5 DNN nationally )

First Bout: vs. Texas, 2pm Friday

2010 WFTDA record: 7-6 (8-6 including a win over non-WFTDA San Diego)

2010 biggest win: 254-31 over Pacific (Wild West Showdown)

2010 biggest loss: 195-17 to Rocky Mountain (Wild West Showdown)

2010 closest bout: 108-107 win over Rat City (Hometown Throwdown)

2010 background: When Bay Area opened their year by getting badly blown out at February’s Wild West Showdown tournament by teams they’d been expected to compete with (195-17 to Rocky Mountain and 154-27 to Rose City), it seemed like they might be in freefall, but the events of the year slowly proved that those results were outliers. It wasn’t until August, though, that BAD proved they could compete with the top teams in their very tough region in a 1 point win over Rat City and a 4 point loss to Rose City. At the West Region playoffs, they kept stepping it up with two more surprises: a 4 point last-jam win to eliminate favored Denver and a 133-102 win over Rose City in the third place game to advance to Chicago.

Tournament history: Bay Area has reached every regional tournament since their inception in 2007. Although they have a winning record in the postseason at 7-5, a 2nd place finish in the 2008 regional and a 3rd place finish in 2010, BAD is only 0-1 in championship play and will be hoping to improve on that this weekend.

Lowdown: Bay Area is mostly a hit-hard-skate-fast type of team, which managed to overcome the somewhat more tactical style of both Denver and Rose City. They have some extremely nimble jammers who are dexterous enough to free their blockers up to focus on defense — a defense bruising enough to seriously sap opposing jammers’ energy over the course of a game.

Players to watch: It’s nearly impossible not to watch Demanda Riot, one of the most recognizable and intimidating blockers in the game — she’s the definition of a jammer’s nightmare, often supported by Belle “Right” Hooks. Jamming duties are mostly shouldered by Astronaughty, Ivy Prophane and Burlybot. BAD is down a major player for this weekend as Liza Machete will be unable to play due to an injury sustained at Regionals.

Road to the championship: After their two big upsets at their regional, Bay Area has as much emotional momentum as any team in the tournament and is probably looking forward to keeping it going by taking down Texas — the last time they matched up, Bay Area fell just 6 points short on Texas’ home court. Should Bay Area get past Texas, though, they’ll run into the very tough quarterfinals on their side of the bracket and would have to defeat Gotham, who decisively shut them down in an August meeting by dropping a 124-12 second half on them. Beyond Gotham would be Rocky Mountain, who just beat BAD by 98 points in the West Regional — so it’s not looking encouraging for a Bay Area berth in the final.

Roster: 0hh Slaybia Majora // 000 Demanda Riot // 1 Liza Machete // 4 Lusty Malice // 7 Friskie Meow // 16 BooYaYa! // 26 Chantilly Mace // 32 Nock Nock // 73 Frank n Hurter // 101 Astronaughty // 170c Sugar Pusher // 333 Burlybot // 360 Trixie Pixie // 500 Ivy Prophane // 666 Aunti Christ // 777 Jane Hammer // 888 Brawllen Angel // 1491 Windigo Jones // 1618 Velveteen Savage // 1619 Belle Right Hooks

About The Author


Rollin News Author

Share what you think

Add comment

Please Login or Register To Add A Comment