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Published on November 10th, 2011 | by Malice Munro


Vienna Oi!Star Rollergirls Diary, Pt. 3: WE WON!

By Sarah Chamberlain

In a recent humor article for effing amazing blog (which you should be reading whenever you’re not reading your derby blogs) The Hairpin, about how to interpret movie reviews, Emily Weiss and Katie Heaney interpreted the phrase “…power of the human spirit” to mean “someone goes from poor to rich/sports team wins a thing.”

If we’re going with Weiss and Heaney’s latter definition, the events that went down on October 16th at the Sport and Fun Halle in Dusika, Vienna, Austria, was a testament to the power of the human spirit. Because our underdog sports team definitely won a thing. The Vienna Oi!Star Rollergirls beat the Munich Rolling Rebels in the first-ever full-length roller derby scrimmage on Austrian soil, 109-46.

It was both teams’ first scrimmage, and the energy was running high, even though we could only schedule the scrimmage for 10 o’clock on a Sunday morning. It certainly didn’t stop me from making the best boutfit I could out of the no-nonsense athleticwear I brought with me to Austria, or from painting my face with pink warpaint across my eyes and thick eyeliner (I wore sunglasses the whole subway ride there). Or from feeling the nervous energy that always courses through me pre-bout. I don’t know if I should stretch because I read that thing that stretching isn’t so good. I should warm up. Okay, but now I should stop warming up because I don’t want to get tired. Now I’m cold. Does anyone have a granola bar? Can I eat it? WHY ARE WE NOT STARTING? The usual.

My less-experienced Vienna teammates totally outclassed me this entire scrimmage (photo evidence of me being very reasonably confused in the penalty box supports this statement). They were confident and put-together, even though when we did our pre-bout chant I could literally see some tee shirts fluttering under the influence of the throbbing hearts millimeters below.

Our nerves weren’t without reason. The Munich Rolling Rebels brought their hardest-hitting A-game, with a roster including Barockcity regular and Team Germany skater Spacy Tracy, who got lead jammer right off the bat in the first jam, slipping around me to the inside just seconds before our jammer could make it out. Unfortunately, in roller derby, just seconds can mean the difference between a win and a loss. And as happy we were to welcome the Rebels to Vienna…we wanted to send them home hurting. Since I am totally level-headed and calm at all times, and not at all the person who turns into a total competitive dick in stuff like board games and scavenger hunts, I didn’t lose my cool at all after the first jam, when I felt I singlehandedly cost us lead jammer. I was like, “It’s cool, guys.” (It totally wasn’t cool, but…you know. Also, did you know refs become way more frustrating when there’s a language barrier? Keep that in mind, World Cup players. That’s my wisdom. For you.)

Since we didn’t have a scoreboard, and instead just had to trust our NSOs to tell us the score during timeouts and halftime (many of whom were learning the art by immersion for the first time that day), that first jam left us nervous, and playing like we were behind. Imagine our surprise when we were ahead 40 points by the end of the first half! Lesson learned: underestimating yourself can be dangerous, but it can also be a powerful tool.

Regardless of knowing otherwise, we continued to play like we were behind throughout the second half, which allowed us to widen the point spread and eventually take the win. Munich accepted their loss gracefully, giving us each the gift of custom-labeled Munich Rolling Rebels beer (amazing). Both teams gave out awards for Best Jammer (for Vienna: Zandy Zunder), Best Blocker (Hansa Blast), MVP (Anktion), and a German expression that translated to “Coolest Bitch on the Track” but actually involved a term meaning a female pig (Suelateral Damage took that title), while the refs gave out the title of Penalty Queen, which went to Zandy Zunder, who had 4 major penalties to her name. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. I mean, I was sure I’d get Penalty Queen!

We got kicked out of the Hall at noon, and I had a ton of work to do before a three-year anniversary Skype date with my boyfriend in California. I stopped off at my transfer to buy a bottle of pink champagne. The cashier gave me a funny look, and I realized I neglected my sunglasses and my crazy warpaint was still on (the secret to making it last is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, by the way).

Whatever, dude. Judge me all you want. My roller derby team can beat up your football team.

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Malice Munro

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