THE BLACK AND BLUEBERRIES, TEAM DISCOVERY CHANNEL, THE ROCK COAST ROLLERS, AND THE MAINIACS | SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 | THE PORTLAND EXPO | BOUT RECAP BY JIMMY ROLLSOME
Roller derby returned to the Portland Expo on Saturday September 7, 2013, with four teams vying to be the first Maine Madness Champion. Three of Maine’s roller derby leagues were represented in the tournament with the skaters of Maine Roller Derby, the Rock Coast Rollers, and Bangor Roller Derby converging on the site to bring the fans an exciting evening of derby action. Maine Roller Derby split into two teams (the Black and Blueberries and Team Discovery Channel) to the Rock Coast Rollers’ one team, while the Mainiacs, which featured skaters from Bangor Derby, the Rock Coast Rollers, and MRD, were billed as “the unholy love child of three Maine leagues”. The rules of the round robin were modified to fit all of the action: stuffing all of the competition in three thirty-minute single-elimination bouts, no half times, only one time out per team and restricting the skaters to three allowed penalties per bout (the fourth resulting in a foul out). The fast-paced format provided more than enough thrills for the crowd in attendance.
The first bout of the evening pitted the Rock Coast Rollers against the Mainiacs. The Mainiacs skated like a seasoned team, despite their mixed roster, and dominated the game. Penalties against their jammers proved costly for the Rock Coast Rollers, as the Mainiacs skated four 20 point power jams during the bout with Crazy Buchanan in jam 5, Cereal Suicide in jam 10, and Bea Nimble in jams 11 and 22. Bea Nimble led all scorers with 62 points. The Mainiacs’ defense was a force holding Rock Coast scoreless in jams 1-3 and 9-19. RCR was stifled by the Mainiacs’ blockers, who were effective at corralling the opposing jammer on the initial pass while their jammer picked up lead status, and then transitioning to active offense to break up any opposing walls and creating scoring opportunities. When RCR did pick up lead status, they were pressured to called off the jam by the Mainiacs’ jammers if they were not already contending with the likes of Shades of Gay and Microphone Assassin attempting to knock them into the third row seats. Miss Microburst led RCR with 11 points and Scarina scored her 10 points on the power jam after Cereal Suicide went to the box for a track cut. RCR showed that they had no quit in them and fought until the very last whistle. It is notable is that the only foul out of the night was the Mainiacs’ VegeMighty Slammwitch, with three minutes left in the bout. The first bout ended with Mainiacs victorious over the Rock Coast Rollers 142-26 and moving on to the Maine Madness Championship finals.
The second bout of the evening featured a grudge match between the Black and Blueberries and Team Discovery Channel. Each team was hungry to represent MRD in the finals against the Mainiacs. Defense and smart jamming were the keys to success in this bout, as the Black and Blueberries steady play led them to victory. Lil’ Punisher and Cherry Clobber anchored the B&B blockers, who never allowed more than 5 points in a single jam by Team Discovery Channel the entire bout and held TDC scoreless for jams 10-15. Grim D. Mise led all scorers with 66 for the B&Bs, while Spry Icicle led TDC with 13. The B&Bs broke away with two huge jams early in which Grim D. Mise scored 18 points in jam 4 and 25 in jam 8 without power jam advantage. TDC’s jammer, Kirsten Damned, was held scoreless by the B&B blockers in both jams.Team Discovery Channel were not going to make life easy for the B&Bs, as the jammers kept the pressure on forcing many early calls and the blockers were quick to punish anyone who came near. Recent MRD addition Phoenix Down rocked Kissy Kicks wearing the star in jam 5 and Grim D. Mise in jam 16. Both teams’ jammers showed discipline, as there were only six power jams in the entire bout with four going to the B&Bs and two to TDC. The two power jams for TDC did not come until the end of the bout in jams 17 and 19 and neither went the full minute. The “hit it and quit it” offensive strategy of the B&Bs coupled with a few big jams proved too much for TDC, and the MRD Black and Blueberries advanced to the finals with a 110-32 victory.
The stage was set for the championship bout of Maine Madness with the Black and Blueberries and the Mainiacs staring each other down, but only one could be crowned champion. The bout began in close competition with neither side able to gain a clear edge. Highlights include the Mainiacs’ Cereal Suicide picking up lead jammer over Grim D. Mise in jams 2 and 4. In jam 2, Cereal Suicide scored 2 quick points while calling the jam and holding Grim to a single point. In jam 4, the Mainiacs’ blockers, including Crazy Buchanan, Wrexzilla, and VegeMighty Slamwitch, held back Grim while Cereal took lead jammer and 4 quick points. The Mainiacs would get within 4 points by the end of the jam 7, as Zeldangerous went to the box for a low block allowing Cereal Suicide a four-point power jam before being forced to call it off after being knocked out of bounds by Tri-scare-atops. The score at this point was 18-14 for the B&Bs. Jam 8 proved to be the turning point of the bout. The Mainiac jammer Bea Nimble was sent to the box for a track cut, springing B&B jammer Zeldangerous. Zelda roared out of the box to pick up lead status and score 5 points, then strategically call it off with plenty of time left in the power jam. The extra seconds allowed Grim D. Mise to score 17 points in jam 9 with teammates Lil’ Punisher, Tri-scare-atops, Princess Layher Out, and Emvincible controlling the pack, and the jam included an apex jump by Grim that roused the crowd and set the score at 40-14. The Black and Blueberries blockers would dominate from there, holding the Mainiacs to only three points in the jams 8 through 23 (the three points scored by Bea Nimble in jam 17). Power jams were also a factor with Zeldangerous scoring 28 points in jam 13 (the jam ran the full two minutes with the Mainiacs running into penalty trouble), Kissy Kicks scoring 19 points in jam 19, and Nutritional Beast scoring 15 in jam 22. The relentless B&B blockers snagged and wore down the opposing jammer, as well as holding their walls together and breaking down the opposition’s walls with timely active offense (such as jam 19 with Princess Layher Out, Cherry Clobber, Tri-scare-atops, and Zeldangerous clearing the way for Kissy Kicks). The Mainiacs fought and never quit for a moment, but in the end they had been overwhelmed by the Black and Blueberries both offensively and defensively and the bout ended with a final score of 137-17.
The Black and Blueberries reign as the first Maine Madness Champions. Overall it was a great event with every team and every skater displaying awesome spirit and sportsmanship.
Rock Coast Roller: Miss Microburst (11)
The Mainiacs: Bea Nimble (62)
Black and Blueberries: Grim D. Mise (66)
Team Discovery Channel: Spry Icicle (13)
Black and Blueberries: Grim D. Mise (49)
The Mainiacs: Cereal Suicide (10)
Most Valuable Jammers in the final bout
Black and Blueberries: Nutritional Beast
The Mainiacs: Cereal Suicide
Most Valuable Blockers in the final bout
Black and Blueberries: Tri-scare-atops
The Mainiacs: Nefarious Fox