Sunday, February 15, 2015

Battle of the Allstars II, what I learned.

This is a story of a rag tag team of misfits who banded together, in spite of hospitalizations, emergency surgery, stomach bugs and unexpected trips out of the country, came to Pennsylvania and surprised a lot of people in the derby community.

We all fit in here.
Footie Pajamas.
Betty Switch's mom hosted the entire team, plus coaches, in her house. I think there were about twelve people sprawled out in the basement, while a few luckier folks got to crash in a bedroom upstairs. Switch's mom was a gracious host, who greeted us every morning with freshly made muffins. Who could hate that? Was it a bonding experience to eat with, sleep and breathe my teammates for 72 hours? Absolutely. I think it helped cement us as a team, especially since we were all from such different parts of NC and didn't have many scrimmages together to prepare for the tournament. You can learn so much about people when you're crammed in a space together; who knew that Tutu La Rue wore footie pajamas! Two investments helped make staying in the basement with so many people comfortable: I had a kick ass air mattress, and I had heavy duty ear plugs.

Venue and host league
They venue was small, but I think it was the right size for the tournament. Everything felt really cozy and intimate; the crowd was very present. We could hear just about every cheer, boo and conversation when we were playing. The floor, sport court, was a little sticky and slow, but for the most part, we adapted. Going in and out of the hockey benches was interesting and reminded me of the time the Carolina Bootleggers played Dutchland at their hockey venue.

I have to give the Bux- Mont Roller Derby Dolls, who hosted the whole shebang, a serious shout out. Our handlers were awesome, and really responsive! We had access to water, snacks, and multiple
Princess ended up with V-Diva's eyelashes on her skate
band-aids. For Team NC, who actually shut down our bout with the PA Allstars due to one of our players bleeding all over the damned track, band-aids were a premium. After the blood on the track, the stomach bug we passed around, the vomiting on the bench, I dubbed our team "Team Bodily Fluids." We really were a mess, and I am surprised that we survived the weekend. Oh yes, just a reminder to all the leagues out there; always have a bleach solution ready to go just in case someone bleeds all over the track.

Team NC came into the tournament in eighth and we left ranked sixth. Because we lost our second game to the PA Allstars, we were knocked into the loser bracket. By Sunday, at eleven, we had played six games. The last game was between us and Michigan, and even though it was so close (seven points) I was a bit relieved that we didn't have to play a seventh game in three days.  Most of our players were throwing up on the bench; I spent a great deal of my off track time leaning over a garbage can, trying not to toss my cookies on the track.

People Watching
It was great to walk in and see some amazing folks there. I ran into Slack Kerowhack, Lady Quebeaum, and Jason Singer, which was super awesome because I rarely get to see any of those people in meat space. Facebook is great, but I love being able to actually have a conversation with someone without typos. I also loved people-watching in general. Oh hai Team New York, how you doin'? No, I didn't stalk anyone, but yes, I watched some people. Because the venue was so small, it was easy to see everyone who was there.

Final Thoughts
If given the opportunity, I would totally play in this tournament again. It was a great experience, and maybe next time Team NC won't be the recipient of the Biblical plagues. I hope this tournament continues to grow and provide more states with the opportunity to send an allstar team. Between this and State Wars last year, I think we're going to see more and more opportunities like this.


  1. I was there to watch the tournament on Saturday. Team NC has played so hard and with such heart. You all did so great having to play back to back. I knew about the blood on the track but didn't know it was one of yours. I didn't hear about the stomach bug. Now I'm even more in awe. It was fantastic to watch Team NC play.