CHICAGO, IL — â€œI feel overmatched,â€ Tommy Lee Jonesâ€™ character says in â€œNo Country for Old Men.â€ Also fighting an unstoppable and unforgiving force, the Windy City Rollers’ â€œBâ€ team knew the feeling Saturday night. The Second Wind warmed up the UIC Pavilion crowd by hosting the Burning River Roller Girls prior to the main event between the Windy City All-Stars and Charm City. The Second Wind, formed just earlier this summer and playing its first home game ever, played hard but came up short in a 80-38 loss to Clevelandâ€™s A travel team, seeded tenth in the upcoming North Central Regional Tournament.
Second Wind jammers were sent to the box within the first 20 seconds of both the second and third jams, and barely five minutes into the bout Burning River was up 24-0. Some 10 minutes into the half, Second Wind seemed to come together. Amy Nonamey delivered two strong hits at the front of the pack to spring the teamâ€™s first lead jammer in jam 6, and Eva Dead got the crowd into the game moments later, taking lead jammer by rounding turn four with her right skate hugging the inside line and her left skate dangling over it.
Second Wind blockers Sargentina, Nonamey, Loco Chanel, and Di Richmond tightened up near the end of the first half, and Second Wind won lead jammer status on the last four jams of the half. But a quick and agile Burning River defense, led by Skank Williams, CoCo Sparx, and Professor Booty held Second Wind scoreless for the last eight minutes, and the half ended 43-8 for the visitors, with the Second Wind only having scored on two of the half’s jams. Stroker Ace, Erin Gargiulo and Eva Lucien jammed most often for Burning River and scored the majority of their points. The Killustrator made the most of her limited jamming opportunities, and like a Kola-Loka-in-the-rough, opened her own hole more than once with a wicked head deke.
Deb Autry, a WCR rookie who surprised Chicago crowds early in the home season with impressive jams for the Hell’s Belles, showed flashes of athleticism and derby smarts against stiff competition, and veteran Fury player Red Zeppelin flexed some muscle in the pack. Dee Monica registered two grand slams in the second half, sprung loose by Sargentina and Mo Vengeance. Eva Dead, a nationally prominent speed skater and long-time member of the Windy City All-Stars, sat out the Charm City game and jammed for Second Wind. Dead is deadly effective when using her fluid style to take advantage of precision blocking. On this night, however, although she did have a nine-point jam late in the second half, Burning River blockers threw up a wall she could rarely penetrate.
While Burning River won decisively and the outcome was never in question, there is no doubt that the game was a valuable learning experience for Second Wind, who seemed to visibly improve as the game unfolded and was outscored by a much smaller margin of 37-30 in the second half.