By Thomas Gerbasi
A year ago, there was little indication that the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league’s first great rivalry was about to be reignited. With the 2018 home team season about to begin, the Queens of Pain was expected to be the same juggernaut it always was, while predictions for the Bronx Gridlock put them somewhere around the middle of pack if all the planets aligned.
That wasn’t a knock on the talent level of the cabbies, just a reality given the waves of bad luck the squad had to deal with over the last few years.
But in the space of 60 minutes at John Jay College last St. Patrick’s Day, all expectations changed for the Gridlock thanks to a 185-136 win over the defending champion Brooklyn Bombshells.
Two wins later, the Bronx Gridlock owned the Golden Skate trophy once more, and in the course of that 2018 championship season, two bouts with Queens made sure that the great rivalry was back on again.
Of course, despite the 1-1 tally between the two last year, it was August’s championship bout win by the Bronx that mattered and the one that will be on the minds of the skaters in black when the 2019 season kicks off this Saturday at John Jay in NYC.
And with Queens returning all their veterans, there will be no one coming into this game blind to the importance of getting the season off to a winning start. And if there’s one thing this squad knows, it’s winning, and that’s a trait ingrained in the team’s psyche by the hallowed GGRD trio of Suzy Hotrod, Hyper Lynx and Ana Bollocks. These are skaters who were there in those early glory years, and now they’re the standard all skaters are aiming for.
But the champs are as strong as they’ve ever been, with the leadership handled by Fast and Luce, Caf Fiend and Cherry Napalm, and the scoring in the capable skates of Kate Sera Sera.
So in other words, it’s a new year, a new season and a fresh start for all GGRD home teams. But on Saturday night, the intensity the Bronx and Queens bring to the track will be unchanged, reaffirming that only in Gotham can a season opener be a championship game preview.
Tickets for Saturday’s game available here.