- I Love You, Brewcity! (but I love The Outfit Better)

On September 19, 2009 I was a derby infant who was trying to learn how to skate and having a blast attending the WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament ("Brawl of America") in Minneapolis. I still wasn't clear on all of the rules of the sport, and whenever a skater performed a turn around toe stop my mind boggled at their skill, but I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to devote the next 5-10 years of my life toward. I fell in love with roller derby - mostly because of High D. Voltage and the Brewcity Bruisers.

It was the second day of the tournament and the Brewcity Bruisers were playing against Burning River. It turned out to be a slugfest. A well matched and hard hitting bout, but Brewcity was trailing slightly behind for the majority of the game, with victory just out of their grasp. It was an uphill battle the entire time. Then, right at the end of the 2nd half Carrie A. Hacksaw got the score closer than it had been in a while. With the final jam coming up all I could think was, "Brewcity is going to lose, but damn these ladies have so much fight in them!" Then, the whistle for the final jam was blown and High D. Voltage skated with tenacity and a drive that just couldn't be matched and with just a few seconds left in the game she tied the score. She started crying tears of joy and skated to her team's bench - ending in in a big slide into what seemed like the most ecstatic group I had ever seen.

During overtime they won the game. I don't really remember that part. Derby News Network says they won by 10 pts, 126-116, but that wasn't what made me love Brewcity and it wasn't what cemented my love of roller derby. It was that moment when High D. tied the game and started crying and slid into her bench. I was crying too while sitting there watching - and I'm tearing up right now writing this, because moments like that are what team sports are all about.

On the next night, Brewcity found a way to be everyone's heroes one more time.  After the bars were closed and downtown Minneapolis was shuttered at an unbelievably early hour, everyone was sadly starting to realize that there was no beer to be had.  A huge group of derby folk were standing around outside of the Hyatt sadly realizing that they were going to have to go to bed sober and then go back to their non-derby lives.  All of a sudden the Brewcity Bruisers strolled out of their hotel rooms carrying several cases of PBR to be shared with everyone loitering in front of the hotel. They were the life of the party and the belles of the ball that weekend.  I stood there drinking cheap beer until 5 am when I had to go catch my flight back to Chicago.  I was so thrilled to be starting on this roller derby adventure.

This weekend the Chicago Outfit Syndicate take on the Brewcity Bruisers right here in Chicago.  I want to see Servin Justice matched up against Smashley Destructo.  I want to see Rejected Soul jam against Lola Blow.  Most of all I want to see High D. Voltage skate at the Windy City Fieldhouse.  This game is going to be so much fun and I can't wait to see it with the decent amount of experience and game knowledge I have now.

Also, I still don't have High D. Voltage's autograph.