The Hotrod Honeys vs. The Hell Marys
A collection of articles that tell the whole story…
“Faster! Faster! Kill!, Kill!, Kill! Faster! Faster! Kill, Kill, Kill!”
Fans of the Hotrod Honeys chant for their heroines as the team’s vanguard, two skaters waving checkered flags (I’m not a skater but, what Ev’s! They mentioned me!!!), take to the track. The rest of the Honeys circle up and stack their hands like any team before a match. “Kill, kill, kill!” they shout as they break and join the flag bearers. They circle the track, looking like Pink Ladies who told the T-Birds to take a hike and then took up with the Sex Pistols instead: Think pink and black, tattoos, strategic rips in clothing, and fluorescent streaks in hair. Then they move to the center, to their bench, where Hydra is doing support duty. (Melicious, a Honey, is sidelined by an injury, but she’s here, wearing pink and black in support of her team.)
A few feet away, the Hell Marys, in their punk-plaid schoolgirl outfits, are talking strategy. The referees take their positions. “Don’t spill your beer,” the announcer commands. “Stay behind the blue line. If you’re lucky enough to get a Rollergirl in your lap, you can’t pinch or poke her … at least not until the after-party!”
Five from each team crouch at the starting line – a pivot, three blockers, and a jammer, in that order – and they’re off. The jammers, wearing starred helmets, skate furiously, trying to fight their way past the blockers and the pivots. The first jammer who makes it past the pack is named lead jammer; she’ll be the only one to score points during this round (officially known as a jam). She scores by lapping her competitors, one point for each girl she passes.
It’s Cat Tastrophe for the Honeys versus Buckshot Betty for the Marys. Cat Tastrophe’s hit … blocked … she goes down … but she jumps up and takes the lead. She laps one, two, three, four of the Marys and then knocks her way past the fifth, the pivot, the team’s last line of defense. As she takes off ahead of the pack, her trademark eyeliner – flared beneath her eyes, like whiskers – is still crisp and clear, and there’s nary a twist in her thigh-high stockings.
Between jams, someone in the audience violates the unwritten rule and spills a beer. “Publicly shame this guy!” says Julio E. Glasses, and the crowd obliges, brushing one forefinger against the other in the universal sign language for “Bubba, you got caught.” A shout goes up: “Shame, shame, shame!”
Sparkle Plenty takes the lead next and then Rice Rocket for the Honeys. “She defies the laws of physics!” exults Glasses as Rice Rocket puts her hands to her hips to call off the jam, adding a pirouette flourish. (Ahead of time, Melicious had described Rice Rocket, who joined the league a few years ago and went from newbie to superstar in a season. She doesn’t drink or smoke, and she comes from a traditional Chinese family, but on the track, she’s a killer. She got ejected from the game once. She flipped off the audience, and the crowd was so entranced, they shouted until the refs let her back on the track. “Off the track, she’d never, never flip anyone off,” Melicious crowed. “Shows how some of the quiet girls at tryouts end up with big personalities. The persona takes over.”)
Alas, tonight neither Rice Rocket nor her Honey teammates nor the Marys will get satisfaction. A brutal Texas thunderstorm rolls in. Lights go out. After about half an hour in the dark, the game’s called incomplete. “Let’s settle this at practice!” some skaters call, but the rivalry won’t be decided till the next month’s league championship.
Driving home through an eight-foot-visibility downpour in a city whose streets are no strangers to flash flooding and with lightning striking so close it sends shock waves through the car – it’s like maneuvering past blockers, swerving to avoid a pivot, racing to outrun the thunder that’s coming up behind. The two nine-year-old girls with me are thrilled. At home, after midnight, they pull out their old baseball jerseys and obliterate the logos with Sharpies. “Faster! Faster! Kill, kill, kill!“ they write, on the front and the back. One says, with the conviction of a third grader who surfs, rides horseback, and hits the trails on a dirt bike, “I’m going to be one of those when I grow up.” She puts on her bike helmet, draws a tattoo on her stomach, and strikes a pose.
The Texas Rollergirls held their championship bout last Sunday at the raucous Playland Skate Center and it more than lived up to the hype. The Hell Marys and the Hotrod Honeys battled for first-place honors while the Hustlers and the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers sought to avoid a last-place finish. The last time the Hell Marys and the Hotrods faced-off the lights went out at Playland and the bout had to be called. For more on that bout, click here. While the weather outside of the skate center Sunday night was no threat, there was plenty of thunder and lightning to be found inside.
The Hotrod Honeys were my pick to win it all going into Sunday’s bout and appeared to have the largest and loudest group of fans in attendance. The HRHs looked hot all season long (in more ways than one) but the Hell Marys have quietly put together a solid season after four consecutive fourth-place finishes. This was definitely the most anticipated bout of the season (as it should be).
The Hell Marys struck first and took an early 7-0 lead behind the solid skating skills of Lady X and Bloody Mary. While this bout was always close and competitive, the Hell Marys would go on to win their first league championship with a score of 79-70. But the Hotrods never cried uncle. With the amazingly fast and lithe Rice Rocket, the power-blocking might of superhottie Miso Fresh, and standout play from Cat Tastrophe, Lucille Brawl, and Vicious van GoGo the Honeys managed to bring the score within six points (72-66) with three minutes remaining.
Alas, the clock was not to be on their side as Sparkle Plenty, Buckshot Betty, and the rest of the Hell Marys held on to their slim lead and were deservingly crowned the Texas Rollergirls 2007 season champions.
But the rematch of the 2007 Championship was a much closer affair, both on the track and on the board. The champion Hell Marys come into the season with almost exactly the same roster as last year, while a streamlined Hotrod Honeys (complete with four rookies) still have last year’s MVP, Rice Rocket. An early minor penalty kept her from scoring on the opening jam, and for a while it seemed like the Mary’s jammer trio of Sparkle Plenty, Bloody Mary, and Lady X were going to make this a repeat of their last matchup. But the Honeys aren’t a one-woman team: and with Cat Tastrophe and Vicious Van Go Go scoring points, Lucille Brawl skating smart, and Morphine‘s effortless but effective blocking, they proved their depth. And, of course, Rice Rocket saw gaps in the pack that were invisible to everyone else.
But it wasn’t all high sportswomanship. A tough tackle outside of the lane ended up with Rice Rocket out in the crowd, Sparkle Plenty out of the game, and a brief fight on the bench that almost spilled into the crowd. After a time out to restore order, the Honeys held a razor-thin lead, which the Marys turned into a tie until the last jam. That was when Rice Rocket went toe-to-toe with Lady X, took lead jammer, and then called the jam, the period, and the bout with a 66-64 vindication.
Recap by Phil Arnold, Austin, Texas, Roller Derby Is Sport
The fifth time was the charm as the Hotrod Honeys utilized a huge scoring run in the second half to defeat the defending champion Hell Marys, and win the Texas Rollergirls championship game, 79-23 in Austin. In the Grudge Match, the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers used a few explosive jams and solid defense to defeat the Hustlers 58-26.
The Hotrod Honeys opened up the game by shutting out the Hell Marys for the first three jams of the game, which moved them out to a 6-0 lead. 2006 MVP Sparkle Plenty would counter with a five-point jam to narrow the lead to 6-5. Lucille Brawl would come back with a 7-0 jam in the fifth jam of the game and the Honeys lead would be back out to an eight-point lead. Rice Rocket would add a pack pass for four points to bring the lead up to a 17-5 lead. But the Hell Marys would step up on defense and shut down the team in black and pink, outscoring the Hotrods 10-1 making the score 18-15 at the end of the 11th jam.
Perhaps the Hotrod fans were expecting the inevitable rally of the defending champions, but the challengers would answer the test. Rice Rocket would come out jamming in the last jam of the first half, and the Hell Marys’ jammer Flame & Rage would be sent to the penalty box it would be the chance for the Hotrod Honeys to have a huge jam to close out the half. Rice Rocket would make one pass, and then another pass, but after she scored her ninth point, she would also be sent to the penalty box with a fourth minor penalty. When she made it to the penalty box the jam was stopped because of no jammer on the track. As the clock ran out the head referee Quicksilver kept the skaters on the track to figure out who would begin the first jam of the second half. The Hotrod Honeys had one of their biggest leads of the night as they went in up 27-15.
The second half would begin with three Hotrod Honeys going against four Hell Marys in the initial jam of the final period. 2006 MVP Sparkle Plenty would jam against Morphine, in what looked like possible mismatch. But Morphine would break out of the pack with lead jammer status, and would work her way through the pack getting a full pack pass for four points, while Sparkle Plenty could only manage a point. The lead was up to 12 points and the Hotrod Honeys would never look back.
In the third jam of the half Cat Tastrophe would score five points. Rice Rocket would add five more points in the fourth jam, and Lucille Brawl would chip in fire more points in the six jam. During that time, the Honeys defense would shutout the team in plaid for those three jams, and the four-time runner up team would have a 30-point lead.
The fact of the matter is that the Hotrod Honey team blocking began to dominate on the track, and was threatening to run away with the game. Another nine-point jam by Rice Rocket and then a five-point jam by her in the next to last jam of the night had given the team in black and pink a 52-point lead, and the sell out crowd knew it was witnessing the first ever championship for the Hotrod Honeys. Vicious Van Gogo would finish the final jam off with four points for the Honeys, and champions had completed an amazing 52-8 run in the second half to win the championship, 79-23. The fans would crowd the entirety of the track to greet their favorite new champions in a victory lap or two.
The team blocking for the Hotrods was the key throughout the game. Rebellika skating in her last game of her career probably produced the best blocking game of the night. She had spent over a year recovering from a serious shoulder injury suffered in Madison, Wisconsin in June of 2007. She would return in July for her first game back, and in the championship game she would not be denied the championship. She would match up against all-star blocker Derringer, and she would help neutralize the blocker generally considered the most feared blocker in the league.
While Rebellika was skating the game of her life, the other Hotrod honeys were forming walls up at the front of the pack to keep the opposing jammer in the pack, and forming a wall at the back of the pack to keep the Hell Marys jammer out of the pack. Blockers like Morphine, Vicious Van Gogo, Shank, Dagger Deb, and Janie Gotta Gun all contributed jammer takeouts, effective blocks, or clearing blocks for their jammers.
RadioActive worked well with any of her teammates to form walls front or back and probably had her best game ever. How good was their blocking? Well, defensively the Hotrod Honeys shut out the Hell Marys ten of last 12 jams in the second half giving up only three points in that run. Top scorers for the Hotrod Honeys were Rice Rocket with 33 points, Lucille Brawl had 20 points, and Cat Tastrophe chipped in with 18 points. All individual scoring is unofficial.
Leading scorers for the Hell Marys were Sparkle Plenty with 12 points and Bloody Mary with 11 points. The team in plaid definitely missed all-star jammer Lady X who was unable to skate because of an injury. Top blockers for last year’s champs included Muffin Tumble, Ryder Down, Derringer, and Bea Attitude.
Not ALL of the opinions expressed by the authors of these articles are necessarily MY opinion but, hey…I didn’t write them.
FASTER! FASTER! KILL! KILL! KILL!
FASTER! FASTER! KILL! KILL! KILL!