1. Always watch the Philadelphia game. Philly may not be my favorite team (this year it's Rose City), but they always are trying something new in the game. This weekend was no exception. In their game against Texas, Philly tried something new for scrum starts. Texas would line up on the jammer line, and Philly would take the pivot line, kneel down and face Texas; when the whistle blew, Philly would run back to the Texas wall, turn around in unison and wall up in front of them. I didn't think it was incredibly effective, because both teams were getting awarded lead jammer status, but hats off to them for trying something new.
2. Smart bench coaches can win games. During the Boston AZRD game, it came down to the last jam; Lil' Paine of Boston got lead, but Atom Matrix broke the pack too. Because Lil' Payne listened to her bench coach, she burned the clock down correctly! You could tell she was tempted to make points instead of just skating outside of the pack, but her bench coach did not want to chance her going to the box. Trust your bench coaches! Sometimes they know better than you do!
|Boston vs AZRD|
4. Penalties will bite you in the ass. Over and over, I saw teams destroyed by penalties; it happened in the Montreal/ Charm City bout, and in the Philly/ Texas bout. People were in and out of the box so much, I thought they were going to get dizzy. You may be a badass on your team, but if you constantly get booted from games because of penalties, are you really helping your team? We all need to work on our penalties, stop talking about it and get it done.
5. You need to have the trifecta of great footwork, awesome transitions and amazing endurance. Watching the games from the weekend, all I could think was "Damn, derby has really evolved into a game of stopping and starting on a dime." Sprinting, and then stopping. Practice it! Also, you may have the best footwork ever, but if you can't keep skating because you're tired, then you aren't a jammer or blocker your team can count on. As awesome as the "Pegasist"was, it can't replace the trifecta.
6. Amazing derby is completely mind numbing. Unfortunately, after watching three great games in a row, I actually forgot to eat dinner. By eleven o'clock I was feeling pretty sick and I couldn't figure out why until I realized I hadn't eaten anything substantial since twelve o'clock. Oops! At least I was drinking water and staying hydrated.
7. Sometimes you need a break from derby. I started Saturday at 9 that morning, played in two challenge bouts, watched the Quad Squad whoop the Boston B team in a third bout, and then decided I needed some pool time. It was nice to splash around and talk to people about "normal" stuff for a couple of hours before heading into a marathon of watching derby. Our league takes a couple of small breaks every season from derby, and I think it's a healthy practice to follow. Every once in a while it's ok to say no to derby, and yes to everything else.
|Plus, it's fun!|
8. Montreal has dedicated fans. There was neon everywhere! I think it's really great that Montreal has become the perennial fan favorite of the extravaganza. Also, Plastic Patrick announced one of my challenge bouts, and may I just say I was impressed by the fashionista!
|Montreal has super fans...and not all of them wear neon.|
9. It's hard not to buy all of the gear! I really needed to save my cash this weekend, and I did it! There were so many great vendors there and I was so tempted! Unfortunately I have this issue with gear in general, so it is an ongoing fight for me. I start thinking about new wheels, and then I find myself looking at plates, toe stops and everything else under then sun.
So there they are, the lessons learned and relearned at ECDX this year. If you didn't go this year, you really need to try and get there next year! Maybe we can caravan!