The Chicago Outfit's Hardest Hits of 2014

The Syndicate prepares to do some damage at playoffs in Ontario by Shocka Conduit

Happy New Year, Extended Family!

For the Outfit, 2014 was a year of challenge, adaptation, and growth.  Though the WFTDA-Chartered Syndicate ended the season with a 10-9 record overall, the team and the league moved dramatically forward strategically and athletically in five months’ time.

The Chicago Outfit Syndicate’s 2014 season can best be summarized in two very different bouts against one team.  The Syndicate ended their with a decisive 50 point win over the same team, the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls, at WFTDA Division 2 playoffs.   Just five months before, the same team delivered the Syn a devastating 226 point loss in an away game.

The 2014 story of the Outfit is one of drive and adaptability, which propelled the Syndicate into a run at WFTDA Division 2 International Playoffs in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario in late October.  The Syn lost narrowly to DC in the first round, but made quick work of  Grand Rapids (again, avenging their early season loss) and Demolition City in the consolation rounds, ending the tournament in 7th place.  The Syn closed out the season with a little more sweet revenge, beating DC at home just a week after the D2 tournament, showcasing the team’s potential for 2015.

Rarely is a team able to adapt and grow as quickly as the 2014 Syndicate.   The team’s development can be attributed to determination, the return of heavy hitters (and fan favorites) Lady K and Suzie Crotchrot, talented transfers Ice Hurt and Lethal Dose, and the corps of brutally efficient veterans Lola Blow, Hero Shima, The Joan Ranger, Matza Ball Breaker, Kim Mortal, Pain Gwen, Lindiana Jones, La Femme Nikita (aka Final Frontier) and Shebiscuit, among others.

A smiling Lola Blow laps another pack

Up and coming 2nd, 3rd and 4th year skaters Sneer and Loathing, PhDiabla, Samanatha Judge, Scream Printer, Agony Andy, Jenergizer Bunny, and rookie skater Pit Bull Princess each made their mark, rounding out the Syndicate (and Shade Brigade’s) defensive capabilities.

If we were to ignore the Shady Ladies of the Shade Brigade, or the baseball-bat wielding gals of the Shakedown we would do so at our own peril .  The talents of Rapp Scallion, Pippi Long Smackings, Undead Miss Red, Mimi Furst, Casey Mace ‘Em, Beatrix ITCH, Badger to the Bone, transfers Elektra Phi and many, many more propelled the Shade Brigade to victories and close shaves against tough opponents.

The Shade Brigade’s first bout was a huge 152 point win over the GRap Attack! through a combination of tight defense, excruciatingly slow walls and quick jamming. The Shakedown’s first game, narrow loss to the SIRG Rolling Blackouts, apparently gave them a taste for blood – in their second bout against the Southland Slashers, the team posted a huge 181 point win.

May’s Spring Roll in Fort Wayne saw a leaner, meaner Syndicate - the tournament was a definitive test of the Outfit’s mid-season mettle – and they rose to the challenge with a sweep of their competition.   Solid victories over Cincinnati and Connecticut built momentum, and an upset win over Canada’s Tri-City Roller Girls avenged a loss at 2013’s Spring Roll, cementing the Outfit’s reputation as a team able to face down challenges and roll out victorious.

The Syndicate’s mid-season saw the team put up a spirited fight against the Division 1 No Coast Derby Girls, post huge wins over Ohio teams Burning River and NEO, and bounce back from a couple of humbling losses to Wisconsin teams the Mad Rollin’ Dolls and Brew City Bruisers.

The Shade Brigade saw a narrow loss to the No Coast Road Warriors in their mid-season – coming back from a half-time deficit to a 4 point, last jam heartbreaker that saw Pippi Longsmackings, Rapp Scallion and Elektra Phi turn in incredible jamming performances, supported by the tight defense of Undead Miss Red, Ni Kita, and the Shade’s blocker corps.

Another one point loss, this time to Southern Illinois’s A Team, showed the Shade was not slouching – Ohio teams Burning River Hazmat Crew fell to the Shade’s wrath.  The Shake went on to crush their opposition for the remainder of the 2014 season – with one stutter against Madison’s Team Unicorn.

The highlight of the Outfit’s off-season was the opportunity for four Syndicate skaters – Lola Blow, Suzie Crotchrot, Lady K and Ice Hurt, to represent Team Illinois in the first ever State Wars Roller Derby tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida.  The Outfit’s very own Lola Blow co-captained the team along with the Windy City Rollers’  Varla Vendetta.

Finally – we can’t do any of this without YOU!  We’d like to thank our NSOs, refs, friends, family, and fans for a great 2014.   We’d like to wish all of you a happy New Year – And we can’t wait to see you 2015!

Photo by 9 Muses Photography

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