March 6, 2014

The Showdown

The first week in March is designated each year for the Wild West Showdown, a round-robin style tournament that features a ton of hungry leagues looking to rise in rankings, and "showdown" is the perfect word to describe it.  We all show up, angry that the TSA confiscated our skate tools, wet (because in Bremerton, WA apparently 'sun' is an abstract concept), and freaking out because someone forgot something essential like a WFTDA patch or their uniform.  Somehow, someway, we all manage to make it to a very large steel building that smells like hot dogs and derby pads and we get ready to bout like we've never bouted before.

Now the WWS has always been bittersweet for Foco; it giveth and it taketh away.  We always manage to win a sweet one, lose one that we totally should have won, and lose one by not as much as we were predicted to lose by which good for rankings but feels just yucky.  We started out our three-bout in three days schedule by watching Coach's favorite movie of all time that he quotes on the daily, Remember The Titans (and then we were super grateful that coach doesn't make us do up-downs in 90 degree weather).  Our first bout was against the Slaughterhouse Derby Girls, our local rival that we have a standing competitive score with.  Don't ask me why we traveled 700 miles to play a team that lives 40 minutes away, but the Wild West Showdown gods had decided that this was where we would make our stand against Slaughterhouse.  It was neck and neck for a while, until a few power jams got the best of us, and by halftime we were 75 (Foco) and 109 (SDG).  We weren't far behind, but we knew we had to take back the bout.  This was our win and we knew it.  We had been busting our little behinds for months; doing cross-training, running new strategy, and practicing worst-case scenarios so we could take home that sweet NoCo Trophy.  With hard work and some great strategy implementation we took that bout with 205 points with SDG at 161.  It felt awesome.  Both teams played with amazing talent, and heart, and SDG remains one of our most favorite teams to play. And because we won, coach had to wear Hammer Pants!

Our second bout was against Sicktown, a tough team that Flat Track Stats gave us an 11% chance of winning.  We knew we would have to fight hard, but we trusted in ourselves and in our teammates.  At half-time we were far behind.  They're pack was very good at recycling to keep our jammers at bay, and they did a very good job at thwarting our offense.  The referees were trying their best, bur unfortunately their calls made no sense, and it's really hard to fix penalties when you don't understand why you're getting them.  Coach brought us to a corner and gave us a pep-talk!  We talked about what we needed to change and how we needed to play in order to win.  In the second half, we really played some great derby.  Our packs were tight, our hits were well-timed and hard, and we were putting points up on the board.  We lost the bout, but only by 18 points.  It was a devastating loss because we felt like we should have won, and that we lost the the referees.  Sicktown was definitely a formidable opponent and hopefully we can get a rematch in the future.

Our last bout was with Port Scandalous, which we had a 1% chance of winning against.  Spoiler alert!  We didn't win.  As a team, we felt like we played incredibly for the first 45 minutes of the bout, but we felt like we fell apart in the last 15 minutes.  At our team meeting afterwards the conversation turned from the bout we had just played to how we've grown as a team.  Last year we felt like a team of individuals and this year we feel more like an actual team that supports and encourages each other.  This meeting, after the loss, was actually my favorite part of the whole trip.  We realized how much we all appreciate each other.  We admitted secrets, insecurities, and had some great laughs.  Altogether, I would say that Wild West was a success, with the exception that half of us got the derby flu on the way home and now we're all sick in bed.  Alas, the things we suffer through for this sport.


The Original Skankster

No comments:

Post a Comment