OHRG Gets RESPECT at WFTDA Champs, Defeats Rat City
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OHRG Gets RESPECT at WFTDA Champs, Defeats Rat City

Much like Jacob Rodney Cohen’s more popular persona, Rodney Dangerfield, the Ohio Roller Girls didn’t get much respect this season.  They didn’t play anyone strong, they said.  They’ll never make it out of playoffs, they said.  They don’t deserve to play at Champs, they said.  There’s no way they’ll win a game in Milwaukee, they said.  Well, Ohio did play teams.  They played anyone who wanted to play.  They played 50 bouts in the last two seasons!  FIFTY!  They went into the Ft. Wayne Division 1 Playoffs as the 6th seed, practically written off before they even took the track.  Ohio then overcame a big first half deficit and knocked off the #3 Arch Rival Roller Girls.  Their run would surely come to an end the following day as they were scheduled to play #2 Montreal, the team most thought would be the first international team to qualify for Champs, right?  As heard from Lee Corso every Saturday morning on College Gameday, “Not so fast, my friend.”  Ohio controlled the bout against Montreal and cemented their appearance at Champs.  The WFTDA currently has 212 member leagues… 12 made it to Champs, including the Ohio Roller Girls.  As they continued to be doubted, Ohio would have to defeat Rat City at Champs to get the respect they deserved; and that’s exactly what they did.

OHIO EXTERMINATES RAT CITY 230-212

Phoenix Bunz scores 130 points

Ohio, the lowest ranked team in the WFTDA to make Champs, showed their moxie right from the start of the bout as they quickly amassed a 22-0 lead over Rat City.  The scoring started on the bout’s second jam, a 4-0 by The Smacktivist.  Three more by Phoenix Bunz and a 15-0 power jam by The Smacktivist took Ohio to their 22 point advantage four minutes into the contest.  A back block to Pippi RipYourStockings on the following jam allowed Rat City’s Sintripetal Force to put the first 14 Rat City points on the board.  Starting unopposed on jam number seven, Salem Playoff MVP Luna Negra quickly picked up a forearm penalty.  The penalty box jammer switch allowed Pippi RipYourStockings to obtain lead and score five points.  She then passed the star to the pivot, Phoenix Bunz, who continued scoring for 29 additional points.  The 34 point power jam took Ohio’s lead to 56-14 with 19:30 remaining in the first period.

The next jam saw Ohio’s The Smacktivist sent to the box for a forearm that was upheld following an Ohio review.  Jalapeno Business was only able to score nine points during the power jam, and cut the Rat City deficit to 56-23.  Much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, paid to lead rats away from the city with his magic flute, the music emanating from the DJ booth at the US Cellular Arena led Rat City’s jammer, Jukestapose, to the penalty box twice during the following jam, the first being a track cut caused by Bratislava Bruiser.  The Smacktivist, once released from the penalty box, posted 15 points before the jam clock expired.  Starting unopposed, Phoenix Bunz, then ripped off 14 more of her game-high 130 points to extend Ohio’s lead to 85-27 with 15:00 remaining.

A 16-4 run by Rat City over the next two jams cut Ohio’s lead to 89-43.  Ohio then switched up their jammer rotation, and put the incredibly small but incredibly mighty Bigg Rigg on the jammer line.  Rigg, who hadn’t jammed for the OHRG in their previous three bouts, hadn’t worn the star since Ohio’s final home bout against Carolina when she went 2-2 for 41 points.  Proving that it’s not always the biggest tool in the shed that does the most damage, Bigg Rigg would score a 15-0 power jam following a Luna Negra track cut caused by Outa My Wayman.  Rigg, arguably the difference maker of the contest, would eventually jam three more times for Ohio, obtained lead jammer every time, and tallied 23 points for her efforts.  Rigg’s power jam took Ohio over the century mark, 104-43.

Points were scored by both squads over the next three jams before a Kitty Liquorbottom track cut allowed Luna Negra to score 19 points and cut Ohio’s lead to 117-79 with 4:00 remaining.  A Jalapeno Business forearm turned the tables back to Ohio, and Phoenix Bunz scored 15 before calling the jam to start the next unopposed.  A Rat City review overturned Jalapeno Business’ penalty, and allowed them to field Carmen Getsome on the following jam.  The final 4:00 of the period saw Rat City outscore Ohio 17-10, but Ohio held strong headed into halftime, 142-96.

Primarily a pack player, Rat City created a spark for themselves as they inserted Carmen Getsome into the jammer rotation on a regular basis.  Carmen posted 29 points over the first four jams of the half, and carried Rat City on a 51-9 run over the half’s first 6:15.  Ohio’s halftime lead of 46 points had been cut to only four points.  A jammer do-is-do in the penalty box between The Smacktivist and Carmen Getsome resulted in a 15-10 jam for Rat City, and the first lead change, 162-161.  With Carmen still boxed, Phoenix Bunz secured a 9-0 jam, and reclaimed the lead for Ohio, 170-162, with 19:15 left.  The following jam saw The Smacktivist outscored by Jalapeno Business, 3-0, but contact after the whistle sent The Smacktivist to the box.  Unopposed, it was again Carmen Getsome who scored 8 points and gave Rat City a 173-170 lead.  A 4-0 by Luna Negra on the following jam gave Rat City a 7 point advantage at the half’s midway point.

Staunch Ohio defense, led by Wayman, Bruiser, Loraine Acid, and Amy Spears, held Jalapeno Business scoreless on the following jam as Pippi RipYourStockings made three scoring passes.  Pippi’s 15 point jam gave the lead back to Ohio, 185-177.  A string of six “hit it and quit it” jams took the bout to the 7:00 mark, with Ohio still ahead 195-184.  Bratislava Bruiser then fouled out after a high block to Jalapeno Business, who was able to shake it off before scoring 5-0, which cut Ohio’s lead to only six points with 5:45 remaining.  A track cut to Kitty Liquorbottom allowed Carmen Getsome to start the next jam alone.  She scored 19-0 and gave Rat City a 208-195 lead with 3:30 left.  The final lead change came on the second to last jam of the bout, as Luna Negra back blocked Amy Spears.  Phoenix Bunz, on the cusp of giving Ohio their first ever victory at Champs, raced around and scored 35 points for Ohio.  Bunz’ huge jam gave Ohio an 18 point lead as both squads headed into the final jam.  Timeouts taken by both teams allowed Phoenix Bunz to rest just enough to take the line for the final outing.  Rat City’s Carmen Getsome was bumped out of bounds and didn’t see a retreating Outa My Wayman before picking up a game ending track cut.  Phoenix Bunz ran out the clock at turn 3 in front of the Ohio faithful seated trackside, and claimed victory for the Ohio Roller Girls 230-212.  The victory put Ohio into the quarterfinals against #1 Gotham Girls Roller Derby.

Jamming for Ohio were: Phoenix Bunz (7-14, 130 pts), The Smacktivist (3-15, 53 pts), Bigg Rigg (4-4, 23 pts), Pippi RipYourStockings (4-6, 22 pts), and Kitty Liquorbottom (1-5, 2 pts).  Ohio obtained lead jammer nineteen times and were on nine power jams.

Jamming for Rat City were:  Carmen Getsome (8-12, 92 pts), Jalapeno Business (7-11, 55 pts), Luna Negra (4-9, 39 pts), Sintripetal Force (2-6, 22 pts), and Jukestapose (2-5, 4 pts).  Rat City obtained lead jammer twenty-three times and were on seven power jams.

Gotham Proves Too Strong, Soundly Defeats Ohio 

Ohio’s Championship victory high only lasted for about twenty hours before they were brought back down by the number one team in the world, Gotham.  Gotham, which operates under the mantra “hive mind,” did exactly that as they all worked together to get the job done against the much undersized and experienced Ohio squad.  Ohio was only given a 1% chance of defeating Gotham going into the bout; and whereas the OHRG were more than happy with their victory over Rat City, Gotham was the clear cut favorite to be crowned champions again and did what they had to do to make sure they fulfilled their goal.  Ohio looked to cap a successful season by allowing every skater on the roster the chance to play against Gotham, and that’s exactly what happened.  All fourteen skaters took the track against the world’s best, with many also jamming for the first time this postseason.  Ohio used twelve jammers throughout the contest, a number so great that the Rinxter bout tracking system could not record the number of jammers used.

Gotham, on the other hand, strictly stuck to their four jammer rotation of Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hotrod, Claire D. Way, and Vicious Van GoGo throughout the entirety of the contest.  Gotham was able to obtain lead jammer in all but two jams, and were called for considerably fewer penalties than their counterparts (the first half alone saw Ohio called for 32 penalties to Gotham’s 12).  The penalties continued to grow for Ohio, as Phoenix Bunz, Ava Tarr, and Amy Spears all fouled out.  The final score does not indicate how hard Ohio played, but in sports, the score matters.  Gotham took the victory 509-64, then defeated Bay Area and Texas to win their third consecutive (and fourth overall) WFTDA Championship title.

Jamming for Ohio were: Bigg Rigg (0-3, 23 pts), Bratislava Bruiser (1-1, 15 pts), Phoenix Bunz (1-5, 9 pts), Paige Bleed (0-5, 9 pts), Pippi RipYourStockings (0-2, 4 pts), Outa My Wayman (0-1, 4 pts), The Smacktivist (0-7, 0 pts), Kitty Liquorbottom (0-6, 0 pts), Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker (0-4, 0 pts), Loraine Acid (0-1, 0 pts), Burnadeath (0-1, 0 pts), and Amy Spears (0-2, 0 pts).  Ohio obtained lead jammer twice and were on five power jams.

Jamming for Gotham were: Bonnie Thunders (12-12, 165 pts), Vicious Van GoGo (6-7, 144 pts), Suzy Hotrod (8-9, 111 pts), and Claire D. Way (7-9, 89 pts).  Gotham obtained lead jammer thirty-three times and were on eight power jams.

Andrew Marron