Tournament time! Team East Angrier were drawn against the two longest standing leagues in the tournament – London Rollergirls and Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls. Lucky us! After the swirly gold special effects wore off, we did start to doubt that She-Ra’s good advice and our gold spandex were going to get us out of it alive. We may be powered by unicorns, but we were shitting ourselves.
However, taking the philosophical view, when we saw derby for the first time we weren’t thinking ‘let’s do this so we can win and get prizes!’ We were just thinking LET’S DO THIS. As X-Ray pointed out, LRG are the reason we got into derby; we started skating hoping one day we’d be good enough to play them. So all we needed to do was take the ‘be good enough to’ out of that sentence, and our dreams had come true.
And anyway, 12 teams of skaters would be coming to London to make history. History! So we put aside our (very real) fears of being snapped like twigs, and embraced the momentousness of the occasion. And the excuse to make badges. Or, in Bettie and Cherry’s case, the excuse to make a SCARY GOLDEN ZENTAI MONKEY. It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the making art.
Aside from the making art, it’s a bit blurry. We did a bit of hitting, we took a lot of hits, we went down, we got up, we had a laugh, did some shouting, Munchin delivered the transition whips, and we even scored some points. It’s true: we played LRG and we scored some points! It wasn’t like in our nightmares at all. The crowd were amazing, Voodoo make a kick ass unicorn flag, our crew waved it, Bane-ana was our mascot (we are now a bit in love with him), and we wore our seriously tasteful gold leggings. We loved it. We loved being part of it. And we sold all our shirts. Does it get better than this?
And the final score?
Not really. LRG exceeded the scoreboard’s capacity to display points. Le sigh. Voodoo says she’s going to get 11 tattooed on her ass.
If you missed out on Roll Britannia, go kick yourself. Or better still, get a rollergirl to kick you in the shins with her big old skates on. Failing that, watch the trailer by Baron Von Strange and just weep quietly. If you look carefully you may see some shots of us falling down. Score!
So yep, at the time it was a bit terrifying, but now it’s just awesome. Want to be having the time of your life? UK derby is the place to be right now. Y’all are going to look back on this some day and it’ll be like that weepy scene at the end of A League of Their Own where the old ladies are in the baseball hall of fame. Your knees may be busted and your legs may be partially made of metal, but your grandkids will be impressed.
Thank you to LRG and Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls for being so great on the track – and props to SVRG for having great defense, and the most respectable LRG points differential of the entire tournament. As usual, massive thanks to the LRG crew, this time for making European derby history and bringing Sunday’s games to a worldwide audience – and for inviting me to help boutcast LRG vs BBDD for DNN.
And, inevitably, congratulations to London Brawling for becoming Europe’s official roller derby champions! You are indeed awesome, but we may have to insist you go calling to some more, uh, faraway towns. Europe can’t handle it. But in the glass-half-full sense, pitted against you, we all score roughly the same. We are one derby nation, equal under LRG.
Team East Angrier would also like to thank our sponsor and landlord, Dave, for sponsoring our tasteful kit. We love you Dave. And we also love Pat the Butcher for making us bags of spangly panties.
All the ace photos here were taken by Andy Stubbs, Teshi Tailor, Neal Humphris, and Daz. Cheers guys!