USA vs. Australia. Photo: Jason Santti
Every year since 2004, RollerCon has been the destination for skaters all across America. Comparable to Comic Con but with 200-percent more drunken hookups, the four-day convention is packed with events from 9 a.m. to midnight, not including the late-night karaoke and nonstop party throughout the halls of the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
This is my first year at RollerCon, but in the two years I've been involved with Wasatch Roller Derby, I've sat back and watched from home while dozens of friends posted Facebook pictures, and conquered on the challenge track. Today, my dear Swagger Lee and I caught the real life glory of the American dream team.
RollerCon greats like Lulu Lockjaw and Miss E.Vil took the track, alongside Utah's own Ali3 Kitten and Skull Candi. Their opponents, the Australian team of Budgie Smugglers (no, seriously) came prepared for the fight with a cheering section three rows deep. "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!" rang across the room and even drowned out the announcers.
Within the first few jams, Team USA snatched the lead by destroying almost everyone in the pack. Ali3 Kitten took a whole two-minute jam to rack up 20 points, all while the Aussie jammer had yet to make a scoring run. Thanks to track cut penalties and a hard defense, Team USA managed to keep Australia at a goose-egg score for most of the first half.
Finally, Susy Pow leapt through the pack at the first jammer whistle, begging a roar from every Australian in the room. She coasted around the track and pushed through once more, gaining five points before Lulu Lockjaw slammed her to the ground. At the half, the score stood at an incredible 161-17.
With their lead established, Team USA started slipping on their defense and at one point, landed two blockers and their jammer in the penalty box. Miss E.Vil, a powerhouse I have long feared, took the jammer panty in the second half. For what she lacks in agility, Miss E. makes up for in sheer might and terror. Blockers bounced off of her and fell in her wake, but when she slammed into Susy Pow in her run through the pack, all of Miss E's momentum went straight to Susy, pushing her past Team USA's truck-and-trailer chain of blockers.
However, all of Australia's efforts couldn't catch up to USA's lead. After two power jams in the Aussies' favor, the final score was called 291-74.
With three more days and countless more bouts to go, RollerCon has kicked off big and already torn up the sport court. Tomorrow, more bouts, more bruises, and no sleep until August.
Photos by Jason Santti.