It was more than chilly Saturday evening as Miami's Vice City Rollers warmed up on the flat track at Suniland Hockey Rink. It was downright freezing! Well, by Miami standards.
About 55 degrees, the air felt a little brisk. That didn't stop a bunch of fans, friends, and family from filling the bleachers and a few rows of foldable chairs to cheer on the Rollers against the Sintral Florida Derby Demons.
Unfortunately for Vice City, the love wasn't enough to win, but it was enough to warm the Rollers and give us all a reason to have some fun.
The crowd began showing up around 6 p.m., passing the time catching up with buddies, looking at local craft tables, and munching on some award-winning grub from truck food Ms. Cheezius. Local brewers Beer Snob Ales were also hanging out, giving free samples of tasty varieties for donations.
After about an hour of hellos and milling about, announcer Will Da Thrill began running down the basics of flat-track roller derby for the audience. The girls made their way around some practice laps -- Miami decked out in black and red, the Sintral Demons sporting white and blue.
Photo by Veronica Gonzalez
At 7:13, the ladies lined up and the first whistle screeched through the cold. The first jam of the first half had begun.
Right away, the Sintral ladies took a lead. Their jammers seemed unstoppably swift, but the Vice City Rollers were giving them all the booty and shoulder they could muster. Maybe they were giving a little too much sometimes, because the Miami girls seemed to find their way to the penalty box quite often, and that meant easier grand slams for the visiting team.
But don't think the Vice City Rollers weren't giving it all they had. Their jammers Pinky Gomez and Tallygator pushed their way through the pack and took a few points here and there. The Rollers can certainly be aggressive. We wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of those wheels.
Photo by Veronica Gonzalez
Each jam lasts for two minutes or can be called short by the lead jammer. The first 30-minute half went for about 16 jams and was called off with a halftime score of 24 to 86 with Sintral in the lead. But Miami wasn't feeling down in the dumps.
"It's one of those games where you never know," said Vice City Roller Divine Trash. "Anything can happen in the second half."
Roller girl Sugar Slap promised they'd be in there playing a hard game and focused on putting some more points on the board, and that's definitely what they did as the next period began about 20 minutes later. The Vice City Rollers took the lead a few jams in a row, but the Sintral Demons were still making laps.
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In the end, the game was a battle, and Sintral came out on top 54 to 230. MVP awards were given to the best jammer and blocker on both teams. For Sintral, it was Kama Sutra as MVP jammer and Take You Out for the blockers. Miami's De La Ruthless took MVP blocker, and Pinky Gomez earned her top jammer golden tape necklace.
And like we said, even though Miami didn't score the most points, nothing seemed to wear down the Rollers, who stood smiling and hugging each other and their opponents. At the end of the day, it's a game, and there's one with their name on it around the corner.