By Thomas Gerbasi
A third-place game never sounded so good. In other sports, seeing who comes in third is almost an anticlimax, a chance for the athletes to compete once more while making things tidy when compiling the final leaderboards or standings.
In Gotham Girls Roller Derby, yes, it’s a chance for the athletes to take to the home team track once more in 2017, but it’s also an opportunity to tie up some loose ends and / or settle some scores while laying the groundwork for 2018.
And maybe, just maybe, some of that wouldn’t be the case if not for the Bronx Gridlock’s stirring 138-119 win over the Manhattan Mayhemon July 15 at Coney Island’s Abe Stark Arena.
The victory was the Gridlock’s first since May 2014, which was newsworthy enough. But it also kept the defending GGRD champions winless for 2017, a development which has been shocking for Mayhem, as well as Gotham fans.
So now we’ve got some intrigue, don’t we? The GGRD home teams always give a supreme effort on the track, and the back and forth nature of the games is proof. But when the Bronx and Manhattan take the track Saturday at John Jay College, a lot more is on the line than just third-place in 2017.
It’s a chance for Mayhem, a team that had to introduce four skaters into the rotation this season, to end the year on a high note. As for the Gridlock, that high note was hit last month, so on Saturday, they have the opportunity to prove that the win wasn’t a fluke while picking up a two-game winning streak and setting the stage for a promising 2018 campaign.
Third-place? That’s just a bonus.