People, this season be cray. Cray cray. (That’s some sort of slang for “crazy,” or so my Facebook and Twitter feeds tell me.) In February, the Brewcity Bruisers set an attendance record by bringing in over 3200 fans to the US Cellular Arena, and March’s bout may have matched, or even surpassed that! One thing is certain—the fans have been loud and rowdy, and that is awesome. Bob Noxious and I were especially charmed by the, let’s say, well-hydrated folks loudly yelling unprintable invectives at the Crazy 8s—the team they were cheering for! We admire your pluck, animated ninja fans! And we mean that unironically! (Seriously, the audience was next level on March 10th—engaged, excited, and loud as hell. We raise our beers to you, Milwaukee!)
And there was a lot to make noise for, as all three bouts (Shevils/Rolettes, 8s/Maidens, and the MicroBruiser junior derby scrimmage!) were intense nail-biters that had the Cell rocking like Motley Crue was in the building and Tommy Lee was about to drum upside down or something. Full seats were paid for, but only the edges were necessary!
Bout 1: Shevil Knevils 55, Rushin’ Rollettes 54
In the storied 6-year history of the Shevils/Rollettes rivalry, contests between the two teams were decided by one point on three separate occasions. So why not go for four, right? The stakes were high: two winless teams looking to get off the schnide and not have to face what would be, after tonight, the league’s sole remaining undefeated team in next month’s semifinals. The two teams traded a pair of 4-0 jams to start off what developed into a low-scoring slugfest. The Shevils managed to shut out six Rollette jammers, including Mother Tucker, High D Voltage, and Irish Vixen, while chipping their way to an early 18-4 lead. However, Grace Killy was sent to the penalty box with a major track cut while wearing the Shevils’ star, enabling Rhoda Ruin to erase the lead in one 16-point power jam. Just like that, it was 20-16 Rollettes and it was on. However, the Rollettes piled on the minor penalties and dealt with Shevil jammers that were outmaneuvering them through the pack. A 9-0 Moby Nipps run (to say nothing of the fact that Shevil jammers took lead status nearly 70% of the first half) helped cement a 35-24 Shevil lead as both teams cleared the track for the Beerleader halftime show.
For the first half of the second period, the Rollettes matched the Shevils point-for-point, which, of course, is no way to erase a lead. The Shevils seemed content to let their camo-and-red counterparts keep pace with them, as every second that ticked away inched them closer to their first win. What the Shevils didn’t plan on, though, was standout second-year jammer Bloody Cupcake getting skunked by T-Lo to the tune of a sudden 14-0 jam that put the Rollettes back in the lead! Suddenly the Rollette fans immediately behind Bob and me erupted with excitement, as there were a mere three minutes to go in the bout! The Shevils said “nuts to this” and pulled out all the stops by unleashing Red No. 5, Skittle, who almost with cavalier ease cruised to 6 quick points while the Rollettes’ Mini Menace was abused by the Shevil blockers. Suddenly the Shevils had a one point lead going into the final jam, during which T. Wrecks and Moby Nips skated to a 3-3 standstill and a 55-54 Shevils victory. Ridonkulous.
Bout 2: Maiden Milwaukee 83, Crazy 8s 66
As one might expect from a pair of undefeated teams that have excelled at blocking and pack control, this was a hard-hitting slobberknocker right out of the gate, and penalties ended up telling the tale. When Crosshair took a trip to the sin bin for the Maidens thanks to a low block, the opening allowed the 8s’ Scooter to pile on 13 quick power jam points, leading to an early 22-2 ninja lead. However, the 8s gave the jammer advantage right back on the next jam as Lady Pulverizer had lots of issues, collecting a minor track cutting penalty and getting harangued behind several pink and black blockers. Meanwhile, Maiden rookie jammer Kimberrr took her first step toward officially becoming a rookie sensation, lapping Lady P twice in a 14-point jam that slashed the lead back to a more manageable 22-16. The penalty fun kept coming, as at one point both team’s jammers swapped major penalties like they were baseball cards—first Scooter back blocked, then Betty Clobber was sent to the box for a back block of her own, springing Scooter (two jammers can’t occupy penalty boxes at once, so when the second jammer commits a penalty, the first jammer is released and the second jammer serves the amount of time the first one did. Got it? There’s a test), who then promptly committed a second back block, which let Clobber back out…to cut the track and set Scooter free, who then cut the track herself. Would a Keystone Cops joke here make me look really old?
Anyway, the 8s went into the locker room at the half with a 39-28 lead, and seemed to perhaps be on the way to another steamrolling second half. HOWEVER! As Zo-Tay donned the 8s star for jam 5 of the second half, she committed two minor track cuts, sending her to the thinking chair as a result of four minor penalties (four minors = 1 major). Suddenly, the penalty-killing skills the Crazy 8s displayed all season were nowhere to be seen as Kimberrr turned the 8s into her personal rainforest, slashing and burning her way toward a huge 22-point jam and the Maidens’ first lead at 56-47 (dear Kimberrr: every day is Earth Day. Have a heart).
At that point, the 8s seemed shaken out of their usual game plan. They managed to stay mostly point-for-point with the Maidens, but eventually yet another penalty cost the ninjas the bout, as Sin N’ Innocence cut the track and took a seat as the Romaniac dropped a 14-point exclamation on what, despite the Maidens’ 2-0 2012 record, felt like a major upset. Are the Maidens on their way to a worst-to-first season like the 8s of last year?
We’ll find out more next month! April means semifinals, and the now top-seeded Maidens will entertain the Rushin’ Rollettes as the Crazy 8s clash with the Shevil Knevils. The winners meet in the championship bout in May!