The Masonic Temple, Detroit
Going into the last jam of the night the score was The Pistorlwhippers 82 and the D Funk Allstars 83-- a 1 point bout with it all on the line. Jamming for the Pistolwhippers was jammer extraordinaire Sarah Hiple. Just before the start of that last jam, Honey Suckit -- a fab Pistolwhipper jammer in her own right -- skated over and gave Sarah a little hug. You could feel the energy in the room, in a season where there were so many bouts where one team was dominating and it was unlikely that the other team was going to make a come back, this was high drama, and when that whistle went the pack started, and the second whistle released the jammers and--- well let's back up.
The Detroit Derby Girls have been rolling since their opening brawl in 2005, and over the course of the last four years they have kicked out the jams Detroit style-- DIY, build it and all that jazz. I attended my bout in early 2008, and have been hooked ever since. I attended most of the rest of the bouts that season, and I think I missed only 2 this season. Hands down the derby is the first sport that I have been excited about, followed and attended in my life. It's sports for punk rockers, it's family friendly -- but not dumbed down for families. There is honest sportsmanship and athleticism on the track. It's an inclusive event and game. Many of the women on the track are in their 30s when most athletes are ending their careers, and there are women of all shapes and sizes. Bigger women and smaller women all bring something to the track and honestly it's often the women who are somewhere in the middle that carry the game.
Last night's bout was going to be a hard slog from the first jam, when Del Bomber of the Pistolwhippers knocked D Funk jammer Boo-D-Livers down, causing Boo to call off the jam with no points scored by either team. You could feel the tension between the teams and they played and fell and got up and did it all over again. It seemed that D Funk had a goal to shut down the Pistwhippers scoring machine Sarah Hiple and this seemed to leave them not making sure that their jammer was scoring and soon in the first half the Pistolwhippers had pulled ahead in points going into half time with 65 points to the D Funk 26, it felt like this might be another blow out, and people were already talking about it being over.
Half time at the Detroit Derby is a mixed bag, sometimes there is some sort of act, I have seen belly dancers and aerialists, but most of the time the Motor City Rah-Rah's dance, and then get out hula hoops for the kids to come out onto the floor and run, jump and hula hoop. This is another aspect of the derby that I like, half time is open for people to get up and move, for kids to burn off some energy and for mom and dad (or grand ma and grand pa to stretch). The last two bouts the Rah-Rah's have been dancing to a cover of Iggy & the Stooges classic Search and Destroy by the artist Peaches , it's a electro sex kittenish cover that has grown on me. There is often a local band that plays why the kids do the hula hoop thing, lately it's been local Rockabilly group The Streamliners, but I have also seen .The Twistin'Tarantulas and the all Mommie Punk group Candy Band.
At the end of the first half the D Funk Allstars had rallied and picked up 8 points on the last jam of the half, bring them to 26 while preventing The Pistolwhippers from picking up any more points. The question was could they keep it up, and could they come back from 39 points down? When the second half started it was clear that D Funk was ready, willing and intent on catching up. It was amazingly fierce as Sista Slitchya scored 15 points in a early jam, and then kept up the pressure as she and Boo D Livers scored and scored and tied the game up, and kept it neck and neck until the last moment, and the last jam.
(D Funk Allstars)
The last jam, edge of your seat, there was a roar in the Drill Hall, where the bouts are held, and down came the hammer. The Jam flew by with Sarah Hiple scoring 4 points, and the Pistolwhippers preventing D Funk from scoring at all for a final score of 86 to 83. It was a fitting end to the season, exciting, fun, and it left me chomping at the bit for next year.