Photo Credit: John M. Blood
It happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, but the Classic City Rollergirls always wear green and black. They didn’t mess with that formula during the 2018 season opener Saturday night at Athens Arena, and, dressed for success, they massacred the visiting Boone, NC-based Appalachian Roller Derby, 197-139.
Offensively, both squads struggled early in the bout, before Classic City’s Dani Doom broke the ice, picking up two tough points and snapping a 0-0 scoreless tie in the third jam of the night. Less than four minutes later, the Appalachian Roller Derby found themselves ahead 12-2. For years, when there’s a lead change during Classic City home bouts, of-age fans who are so inclined have been encouraged to toast their compatriots and partake in a lead-change social. Tradition. After productive back-to-back jams from Louis Strongarm and the aforementioned Doom, CCRG took the lead 13-12. The crowd roared, then chugged in unison. The home team never relinquished the lead again, and there wasn’t another opportunity to play the drinking game, much to the chagrin of fans and bartenders.
The pleasure cruise to victory over a higher-ranked foe didn’t come without a bit of drama for our hometown team. With less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Louis Strongarm, struggling to break through Appalachian’s relentless defense, passed the jammer helmet star to her pivot, Dr. Evil. Moments later, Strongarm took a ferocious forearm blow to the nose that left her sprawled out on the floor in turn two. A little woozy, she left the track under her own ability, but did not return to action for the remainder of the bout.
CCRG’s longstanding practice of donating a portion of ticket proceeds to fellow area nonprofit organizations, and showcasing them during home bouts, continues this season. Saturday night, the Boybutante AIDS Foundation—whose mission is to provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS and educational programs targeted at prevention, and the elimination of discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals—delivered an epic drag performance at halftime featuring queens Kellie Devine, Jacqueline Daniels and Yasmine Alexander. Super Bowl LIII will be in Atlanta. Take notice, NFL. There should be drag queens all over the field at halftime. You’re welcome.