Photo: Chris Bojanower
At a neighborhood recreation center the ladies of O Town’s 25th Street Brawlers and the men of Uinta Madness skated against each other. Uinta Madness controlled the bout from the very beginning. The difference in size and strength of the teams was apparent and I found myself screaming in support of the women’s team by the end of the bout. Uinta Madness had lead jammer status in more than half of the jams in the first period, but that didn’t mean the Brawler’s weren’t working hard. The ladies on the track were doing their best to block the other team while also keeping the score about even until the tenth jam. At this point, #1313 from Uinta Madness scored 25 points in a power jam. After this, Uinta’s confidence increased and this allowed them to slowly widen the gap between the scores. The Brawler’s definitely knew what they needed to do to stop Uinta, but didn’t have the power to do so. Uinta’s jammers were very strong and fast and could get through the Brawler blockers easily, even though the ladies were conscious of where they needed to be to prevent passage. The jammers from the Brawlers were petite, agile women that took a lot of really hard hits throughout the entire game trying to get around Uinta’s blockers. Several times the lead scorer of the Brawler’s, Carnage Kitten #13, was hit going around a corner from the inside and thrown into either the stands or the electronic equipment to the side of the track by someone at least 125 lbs heavier and a foot taller. The Brawler’s were getting hit so hard and often that even if they did get lead jam status, keeping the jam going wasn’t typically in their best interest because they were in pain and the Uinta jammers were just as fast and always on their heels.
The second period started and the Brawler’s picked up their game. In the first jam, Uinta’s jammer received a penalty and this opened up an opportunity for the Brawlers to score some points. The pack came to a stop and the audience became silent waiting to see how Carnage Kitten would sneak through. Somehow, she flew by every blocker on that team and ended up doing it again a couple more times to score 14 points for the Brawlers. Uinta Madness didn’t deal with this well, and did not play very sportsman like the rest of the bout. This was mostly exhibited by the lack of pack formation on their part. Whenever a Brawler jammer was pushed out of bounds, she would patiently wait for the pack to pass to get back on the track. Several times the Uinta players that pushed them out also stopped when this happened. This resulted in the Brawler jammers getting back onto the track later and behind people she had already passed. Uinta also broke pack formation at the front several times. The Brawler jammers would pass the Uinta blockers at the front of the pack, then instead of letting them pass like normal, the Uinta blockers would speed up and chase the Brawler jammers down and hit them from a questionable side angle. Eventually the referees started to give Uinta penalties, but not as many as they deserved in my opinion. I’ve never seen this behavior at any other bouts. The desperation to prevent the Brawlers from scoring was unnecessary as Uinta’s lead was very large at this point. Overall, the Brawler’s preformed well and lost while Uinta played poorly and won. Great job, ladies!