CHICAGO, IL — The Windy City Rollers’ season wound up with an old-fashioned barn burner of a championship bout that kept the sell-out crowd on the edge of the bleachers until the final buzzer. At the start of the game, many in the crowd expected the Hell’s Belles to administer one of their trademark bare-assed spankings, but the Double-Crossers reached back and produced their best game this season. They kept the Belles and the rest of the stadium on tenterhooks until the closing seconds, but in the end the Belles remained undefeated and laid claim to the 2008 Ivy Cup.
From the outset, it was clear that the Crossers had carefully considered the Varla dilemma. Judging by the evidence, their solution involved knocking her off the track as often as possible. Every time she tried to take off, a Crossers blocker would ride her like a carousel pony in the belief that she could wreak little havoc with her wheels spinning in the air. The Double Crossers, Donna Party in particular, have mastered the derby equivalent of a full-court press, harassing the jammer right from the starting line and all the way down the stretch.
While Nina Millimeter and Blossom Bruiso, the two metal fists of the Crossers defense, succeeded in negating the Varla factor, 4-year vet Athena deCrime managed to evade their assault and put up quite a few points for the Belles. In fact, the Belles held the Crossers scoreless after the sixth jam of the first half; however, the Crossers opened the second half with seventeen unanswered points, with Peg Legs perhaps making her most impressive showing of the season, and they climbed right back into the running.
The Belles suffered further from confusion on the bench and from the officiating corps. Dayglo Dago and her clipboard were clearly missed, though Killy Kapowski, back in red and on the floor instead of in the DJ booth, was valiant in the fray. At one point, a jam began without a Belles jammer on the line, a blunder that was negated when Mona Lott accidentally (?) drew a false start penalty. The referees made a few contributions to the chaos, including one instance where both Athena and Nina were declared lead jammer for about a minute.
But credit the top echelon Belles blockers, Megan Formor, Belle Diablo, Harmadillo, Mona Lott and May R. Daley, who consistently broke up the clogs in the passing lanes and holding off the Crossers incursions.
In the end, the nonpareil talent pool of the Hell’s Belles withstood a nailbiting late game rally from the Crossers. Had the game been five minutes longer, who knows whether or not the trophy would have changed hands. The Belles were saved by the buzzer and the team in red finally and deservedly embraced the elusive, Ivy King Cup. This was the Hell’s Belles’ season, one that will be remembered by Windy City Rollers fans for years to come.
The home season is over, but Windy City wastes no time in revving up their all-star team (ranked #7 in the nation) for the fall tournament season. This Saturday, June 14, they’ll go up against #17 Madison in a rematch of the stunning Eastern Regionals upset that catapulted WCR into the 2007 Nationals, and one week after that they’ll be in action at Philly’s East Coast Extravaganza weekend event, battling tourney hosts Philly (ranked #9) and regional rivals Carolina (ranked #3.)