Last Sunday, The Tampa Bay Derby Darlins’ Rookie Rumble turned out to be doubly difficult to cover, filled as it was,with new(er) names (please see the Derby Darlins’ season opening exhibition bout, Cat Fight, for more on that), new faces, and, more importantly, no number cheatsheet (i.e. the program!)
Also new was the first half’s “angle,” but don’t expect to see this one again. With all the seating options available, I naturally chose the one behind the ref docking area. You know, the spot where the refs stand and wait to rejoin the pack. (If you ever need 95,000+ photos of the back of Greaser Up’s leg, shoot me a line.)
Reporter issues aside, Rookie Rumble continued the Derby Darlins’ record of excellently balanced exhibition bouts. Fielding two teams: the Pink Revolvers (in white) and the Silver Bullets (in black), the Derby Darlins’ newest skaters were given the chance to taste the spotlight while giving their friends, loved ones, and internet reporters a free bout.
The Pink Revolvers opened the bout with a risky and attention-grabbing move, pitting titular rookie That Girl against seasoned veteran Stella Knockout. At least it seemed risky until you saw That Girl tear through the track. Taking the lead moments before becoming embroiled in the Silver Bullets’ pack. Still learning the ropes, That Girl didn’t have the wherewithal to call off the jam immediately after Stella passed her (3-0). Buster Ash would then score four more for the Bullets before the Pink Revolvers had a chance to retaliate (7-0).
Retaliation was quickly forthcoming, as the Pink Revolvers cinched the lead on the back of some fantastic blocking. First, blocker Mara Blade and That Girl working together to slow a jamming Aqua Brat down (7-2), followed by a huge Pink Mamba power jam. Losing both Aqua Brat and Brawl Marx to the penalty box, all the Silver Bullets were able to do was watch as the Revolvers slowed the pack to a crawl (7-16).
It was soon obvious that the Pink Revolvers defense had more on their minds than playing traffic cops. As Mara Blade and Stone Wall built a… er, wall, around Buster Ash. Not even Stella Knockout’s biggest hits were sufficient to dismantle it (14-24). Throw a couple of successful Aqua Brat/Brawl Marx jams into the mix, and you’d have the Silver Bullets regaining the lead right before halftime (27-26).
Everyone knows bouts don’t end at halftime, so you’d best make your way over to Part II before your boss, who, by the way, is peeking over your shoulder right now, beats you to it!