GOOD GOLLY! HERE’S A UNICORN NAMED MOLLY!
by The Grand Poobah, with assistance from Hells LaBelle. Photos by Bob Dunnell.
Take one quick minute and exhale. Just one quick minute.
Perhaps that’s all one gets, for there’s still plenty of work to do as 2010 progresses.
Don’t think for one minute that just because the intraleague season has concluded that things will slow down here in ARRG Nation. August will see the inaugural two-day ARRGageddon Invitational, while September begins the WFTDA post-season run for the ARRG All-Stars. Sprinkle in more bouts for the St. Lunachix – ARRG’s developmental team – and derby fans will have a busy remainder of the summer and the rest of the calendar year.
This also means that the work doesn’t end here in the ARRG Newscenter. We’ll continue to bring you new content every Monday here at the website. We appreciate all the feedback we have received to our bout previews, recaps and feature columns.
But we do get the opportunity to play a bit this week.
Every year at the conclusion of the season, ARRG has an official awards ceremony that recognizes the achievements of skaters and non-skaters within the league. The awards handed out that night not only highlight athletic performances but also the efforts that come with the operation and execution of the league.
And those official awards will be deservedly handed out to the skaters after total input from the league.
But before these are handed out, your ever-lovin’ bout announcers decided to perpetrate a few acknowledgements on their own.
And after a few moments of reflection, and after a few frosty beverages, the plan was put into place to give out some “unofficial” awards that reflect the ARRG intraleague action from 2KX.
So, for the first time ever, the ARRG Newscenter presents….THE MOLLYS!
First for the unknowing, a little background information. Molly – a pink paper-mache piñata in the form of a unicorn – is the official mascot of the derby-lovin’ fanatics who participate in tailgating prior to ARRG bouts. Since February 2008, she has been a permanent fixture of every ARRG event, including travel bouts.
She wears Mardi Gras beads, poses with pictures with the fans, often sports a bowtie and contains no candy.
She’s also weathered, consistently loses pieces of her body, tends to wander in the area of alcoholic beverages and falls down an awful lot.
In short, she’s perfect.
These “unofficial” awards were created and voted upon by a blue-ribbon panel of ten unbiased “judges” – they represent a group that is unaffiliated with ARRG, its Board of Directors, its sponsors, the WFTDA, the All-American Sports Mall, Miss Hackney’s Pre-K Class at Lil’ Tot Learning Academy in McLeansboro, IL and Mr. Joe Shablotnik, 1058 Habbersham, Fredricktown, MO. (For complete panel representation, please see the disclaimer post-column).
And once again, these are not affiliated with the future awards to be officially presented by ARRG in 2010.
And so, without further ado, the inaugural presentation of “THE MOLLYS.”
OH S@!# PHOTOGRAPHIC MOMENT
February’s bout between the M80′s and the Smashinistas provided plenty of eye-popping moments. But the best illustration of this occurred as Siege went-a-tumbling. One would assume – judging from Bob Dunnell’s photo – that the returning M-80 would be unable to continue. Far from it – for the firecracker, it was just another night on the track. Equally loved by ninjas, punkrockdykes and straight girls, Siege’s return was one of the feelgood moments for derby hardcores in 2010. (And we beer drinkin’, meat eatin’, cigar smokin’ sluggos dig her too!)
BEST SKATER NAME
This category turned out to be a tough one for the panel to agree upon. LaBelle lobbied hard for Pelvis Costello while the Poobah filibustered for Munchausen by Foxy. But in the end, the committee agreed that personal preferences should be placed on the backburner. The panel had to ask itself “If I was a newcomer to an ARRG bout, which name am I going to remember at the end of the evening?” In short, which skater will contain the nomenclature that will stick indefinitely into the memory bank? After serious pondering, the Molly deservedly went to Stunt Devil Mayor Francis Slayer. This is arguably the name that first timers often take notice of immediately. To add, when KTRS’ Charles Jaco immediately takes notice of your moniker in a radio interview, you know you’re onto something. And most importantly, how often do we see a derby name personally endorsed by its influential namesake? In summation, a landslide victory for “her honor.”
Protective gear is imperative for the safety of any ARRG athlete, especially when protecting the noodle. Beyond its regulation design, the helmet provides a wide open canvas for a skater’s creativity. It also provides a message board for the opposition. There were numerous solid entries in this category, ranging from Smarty McFly’s “Back to the Future” motif to Downtown Dallis’ Union Jack. After much deliberation, the panel awards the Molly to the Smashinistas’ Eli Wallop, whose bestickered, bedazzled lid not only characterized the skater, but also encapsulated the veteran’s career journey. Look closely, there’s even a “stache” affixed to it.
MRS. BLACKWELL’S BEST UNIFORM
In all cases, team members wear matching colors. Some individuals within that team -a good example being the Smashinistas – wear identical jerseys. But there are some times when a skater decides to take a bold step in a fashion sense and create a different approach. Such is the case with Stunt Devil South City Shiner, who augmented her appearance late in the season with a bedazzling uniform – an impressive purple leotard with silver accents. Sheer elegance with a hidden message: “I have style, yet I will knock you down if you get in my way.” An outfit designed for 24 hour service? Ya betcha!
BEST USE OF ACCESSORIES
Much like the derby name is an extension of the personality of an ARRG athlete, the non-skating accessories that accompany her further identify that personality. These are most apparent during the skater introductions pre-bout. Deathica Steele’s hatchet immediately comes to mind. But hands down, the panel’s favorite for 2010 wins for originality and execution. The Smashinistas’ Shillelagh Spillbllood wins the Molly by taking Irish pride to a whole new level. Complete with an Irish Flag and an actual shillelagh, Spillblood brings instant attention when taking the track. The panel was gave bonus points for the pint of Guinness that Spillblood featured within her profile picture in the ARRG souvenir program this year.
BEST NUMERICAL INDENTIFICATION
The jersey number that a skater wears sometimes makes a correlation to her derby name. Great examples of this include Grave Danger’s 6FU, Suri O’Killer’s 10 & Counting and The Forecloser’s Ch13. The winner of the Molly in this category exceeded the basics. When asked personally about her derby name, the Stunt Devils’ Smarty McFly makes no hesitation about her love of the “Back to the Future” franchise. The fact that she proudly displays the jersey number “1.21 Gigawatts” – the amount of voltage needed to operate the flux capacitor of the DeLorean DMC-12 – illuminates that passion. Dr. Emmet Brown would be happy – and so are we.
“MIEUX PARLER FRANCAIS”
Translated, this means “best French speak.” A controversial category, for this focuses on derbyspeak….uncensored derbyspeak. The kind of derbyspeak that makes kids turn to their parents and say, “What does that mean?” The Molly goes to the M80s’ Ana Warpath, whose quick verbal strikes made many take notice. But let’s be honest. Warpath’s silver tongue doesn’t mean that she can’t control herself – it’s just that she’s that passionate during bout proper – and that’s always a good thing. Her retirement at the end of the 2010 season guarantees one thing, the cheering section at the All-American is about to get even more colorful.
WATCH OUT AWARD
On the surface, this award could be mistaken for “Rookie of the Year.” However, the panel felt that this recognition should go out to a skater who had not been officially drafted by an ARRG team in 2010. A majority of these athletes were featured in the Arch Rival Rookie/St. Chux Derby Chix bout in June. But this decision was not just based upon that bout alone. Voting members also considered the effort at practices, which sometimes gives a better inclination of potential ability. After careful deliberation, the panel hands out the Molly to Stitches. Stitches was not an official member of an ARRG franchise in 2010 – safe money says that won’t be the case next season.
BEST LIP SERVICE
This Molly recognizes the moment that most skaters arguably dread the most…the post-bout interview at the All-American. Keep in mind that the ARRG athletes have just concluded a 60-minute scrap. Now they have to wax philosophical about it! The bout announcers appreciate all who cooperate in this monthly ritual, even at times when a skater would just rather relax and unwind. After careful consideration, the Molly in this category goes to the Smashinistas’ Punches Pileup, who as a whole blossomed this year as a skater. On the microphone, she was smooth as silk. And if the popular skater ever decides to one day retire from the track (and we know that won’t be anytime soon!), one knows that a microphone won’t be too far in the distance.
MOMENT OF HEART AWARD
In 2010, one moment that clearly defined the heart and passion that these skaters possess was crystallized with the unfortunate injury to M-80 blocker Suri O’ Killer, whose tumble in bout four resulted in a hush-hush moment at the All-American. Suri, after careful examination by the EMTs, was carted out on a stretcher from the track. In the process, ARRG Nation responded with a standing “O,” not just out of respect, but also out of pure love for the fallen skater. Suri responded to the adulation with blown kisses, an acknowledging wave and a reassuring smile that conveyed the message that “I’ll be back before you know it.”
And to her credit, the recovery has come along nicely, as the accompanying cane was quickly discarded and the skater was back to her feet in no time. Although it’s premature to speculate how soon she’ll be back to competitive action, it’s good to know that the worst was avoided. But most of you know this already, for she’s still a fixture at every home bout, even donning an apron to serve as “special guest waitress” for VIPs at the league championship.
MOST IMPOSING ENTOURAGE
There’s a skater’s dad sitting in the front row with a camera. The same skater’s mom has a penchant for making great confections. Her true love professes his derby passion for her on his t-shirt at every bout. Various family members fill out the large contingent of Stunt Devil fans when she plays. Her co-workers are amazed at her abilities. Her fans include a pair of luchadores. The winner of the Molly in this category and her following personify the true spirit of derby fandom. The group that follows Miss Lippy is large in numbers and spirit. Without Lippy, attendance drops dramatically. And yes, you read that right…luchadores.
BEST NON-SKATING MOMENT OF 2010
In bout six between the Smashinistas and the Stunt Devils, what once was a frustrating moment turned into arguably the best definition of what ARRG is all about. An electrical malfunction had simultaneously shut down the scoreboard clock and the PA system, which resulted in suspended play. With no quick fix in sight, ARRG decided to do what any fun lovin’ group would do in a similar situation – it improvised.
Complete with referee stunts, a “RomoWorm” and other assorted hijinx, ARRG filled a 10-minute suspension to the delight of the All-American crowd….or at it least it seemed that the crowd was delighted. No one left, no one booed, no one got testy. And it proved once again why ARRG audiences are some of the best in St. Louis athletics.
Congratulations to our deserving winners of the inaugural Mollys…and to all of ARRG for making it happen!
Disclaimer: The voting committee for the “Mollys” consists of a ten-member panel of select employees from the ARRG Newscenter. They include: The Grand Poobah, ARRG Correspondent – Hells LaBelle, ARRG Correspondent – Tex Remmey, Managing Editor – Knobby Rocker, Discontinuity Editor – Franklin Gothic, Font Acquisition and Sans Serif Wrangling – Pandora Proofing, Spelcheker – Billy Natchez, Sanitation Supervisor – The Reverend Diamond Mike Esquire, Your Favorite and Mine – Fabian Sparkle, Hyperlinking – Arch Kennedy, WZTV Chief Meteorologist.
The Grand Poobah and Hells LaBelle are bout announcers for the 2010 season of the Arch Rival Roller Girls. Check back in this section on Mondays for the latest in ARRG news, information…and broken piñatas.