Day Two at the Dust Devil

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TUCSON – The second day of the Dust Devil Tournament saw the beginning of what you might
call the tournament "proper". Day one had all 20 teams bouting for
seeding positions into the tournament bracket, and today the 12 survivors started
battling it out.

Every bout on this day was a do-or-die match-up. There was little room for
mistakes, and those that fell behind tended to stay there and pack up their
skates when the final buzzer sounded. As the announcers were fond of repeating,
you lose, you go home.

The day saw eight 60 minute bouts. The top four seeds from Friday got to sleep
in while the other eight teams had to battle each other for the honor of rolling
twice in one day against a team with fresh legs. While none of the survivors
showed noticable fatigue, it was still a big advantage for the top seeds. All
four of them won and only one of the evening bouts was very close. The rest
ended with margins of 30 points or more.

Here is a run-down of the Saturday bouts, with highlights if I happened to
scribble anything down between pumping my fists in the air, yelling at refs,
and dozing off betwixt bouts, overwhelmed by serious derby gluttony.

107 Carolina (8th seed)
077 B.A.D. Girls (9th seed)

I missed most of this 8am bout because I overslept and had to wait for a cab.
If anyone has a recap, send it in!

208
Rat City (5th seed)
064 Sin City (12th seed)

As you can see, this match was a bit of a blowout. Rat City actually managed
to roll over the scoreboard, which was only designed to go up to 199. Props
to the Sin City girls for even getting this far, though. They are only 6 months
old and do not even have a league per-se. They only have this one team and they
bout each other monthly, along with some inter-league challenges with other
cities. Some of the girls were even rookies, skating for the first time in this
tournament.

Rat City turned out to be a formidible squad, as you will see below.

119 Kansas City Roller Warriors (6th seed)
071 Providence (11th seed)

Kansas City was another unexpected powerhouse in this tournament, and Providence,
though they were eliminated in this bout, showed themselves to be a very scrappy
squad that many of us had never seen before. DaSilva Bullet, in particular,
turned in some excellent jams, skating backwards in the middle of the pack at
one point to avoid a takedown.

I’ve already given the refs a lot of crap, but I would be remiss if I didn’t
mention another awful mistake in this bout. In the middle of the second period,
Kansas City was allowed to skate the better part of a jam with 6 girls on the
floor. The same thing happened on Friday for an entire jam between Tucson and
Rocky Mountain. The only difference was that this time the Providence pivot
skated off the track and got in the ref’s face until he understood the problem.

142 Madison (7th seed)
070 Gotham City (10th seed)

There were few surprises in this bout, with the Dairyland Dolls besting the
Gotham Girls, just as they did in an Aug. 2005 bout. The margin was a little
wider this time, mostly due to two massive jams by Dolly Pardon Me (14pts) and
Mouse (12pts).

177 Texas (1st seed)
065 Carolina (8th seed)

There was no giving up or rolling over in this bout, but Texas is just phenomenal.
The speed and skill of the Austin squad is something to behold. Carolina proved
to be an excellent squad, too, however. They nearly beat 3rd seed Minnesota
on Friday and no team in this tournament would dare brush them off as an easy
win.

The crowd freaks out as AZRD
and Rat City fight down to the wire

95 Arizona (4th seed)
93 Rat City (5th seed)

This bout was the barn-burner of the entire tournament. The score was nearly
tied throughout the entire 60 minutes and these two teams beat the hell out
of each other. I would easily pay $50 to watch this bout again. It was so exciting
that the only scribble in my notebook was "Holy Fuck." By the end,
every soul in Bladeworld was crowded around the track and screaming bloody murder.

This bout goes to show just how scrappy and good the Rat City Rollergirls really
are. They had already skated against Sin City at 10am that morning, but they
showed no sign of fatigue against the rested AZRD. The Tent City Terrors had
to kick and scream for every point, and they came out with a margin about as
wide as Denise Lightning’s ass.

120 Minnesota (3rd seed)
079 Kansas City (6th seed)

This bout saw the continuation of a very unfortunate phenomenon that plagued
the Dust Devil Tournament: the unfair labeling of Minnesota as dirty fighters.
On Friday, one of the MN blockers leveled a helmet shot to a Carolina girl and
the crowd didn’t like it one bit. It was certainly a foul, and she was penalized
for it, but it was no worse than many other fouls in the tournament. For some
reason, though, the reputation stuck, and the crowd was brutal to MN for the
rest of the weekend. I say knock it off, people. MN fights hard just like everyone
else and they deserve every win.

The bout itself was more exciting than the score indicates. Snot Rocket from
KC wowed the nation with a performance that can only be called amazing – a 17
point jam, the highest scoring jam in the tournament and the highest many of
us had ever seen. To pull that off in two minutes against the tough MN pack
was a major achievement.

The other incident of note for this bout was a frightening major injury to
KC’s Dirty Britches. Britches fell hard on her head and had to be taken to the
hospital by ambulance. Thankfully, reports came back over the evening that she
was going to be ok.

82 Tucson
52 Madison

In this hard-fought bout, the fresh Saddletramps took on the Dairyland Dolls,
who had skated earlier in the day against Gotham City. With several hours rest,
though, the Dolls were ready to hit the floor again. Unfortunately, Tucson was
just too hot. At the end of the first period, the score was close: 23 – 26 in
favor of Tucson. Something changed in the second period, however. Madison only
scored 8 points in the entire period while Tuscon racked up 32. For the first
time in the tournament, we saw the massive speed and versatility of the Saddletramps.
Madison has nothing to be ashamed of getting beat by this team.

In a light-hearted moment, and a great way to end a long day of derby, blockers
from Madison and Tucson decided to hold hands and swing their arms like schoolgirls
when the refs sent them on a stroll around the rink. Both jammers relaxed in
the penalty box.

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