On May 5th, it was the Detroit Pistoffs versus Grand Prix Madonnas in Bout 10 of the 2011-12 season
This was the last bout of the regular season, and the anticipation was high. The Pistoffs only lost one bout this season, and they only lost it by one point. The Grand Prix Madonnas were undefeated, and this was only their second season in the league. These two teams already had a place in the championship game clinched, so this was a preview of things to come. (Post-script edit: The Pistoffs did not have a place in the championship bout clinched. If they had lost this bout by more than 37 points, the D-Funk Allstars would have been slated to play the Grand Prix Madonnas in the upcoming championship bout.)
The 1st jam of the bout, and Combat Cat of the Pistoffs scored 4. The Grand Prix Madonna's walls have been solid and effective all through the season, but they were broken apart by the Pistoff's offensive blocking in the 2nd jam, as Cookie Rumble scored another 4 for the Pistoffs.
The Grand Prix Madonnas didn't put any points on the board until the 5th jam, when Anomaly scored 5. The Madonnas took the lead in 8th jam when they made the first big play of the bout. Rocky Brawlboa gave them 10 unanswered points, putting the score at 15-12.. The Pistoffs would take the lead back in the 11th jam when their captain Kraken Whips scored 9.
In the Madonna's last bout, Racer McChaser scored 90 out of their 135 points. The question among the fans was whether or not the Pistoffs could stop her. Racer is steady on her skates, so she rarely gets knocked down, but Cookie Rumble was able to do that in the 15th jam. Racer was still able to score 9 unanswered points, giving her team the lead again, with a 32-28 score. Cookie Rumble then gave her team 9 unanswered points in the next jam, causing another lead change. The first half would end with the Pistoffs still ahead, 51-40.
Jams 8 through 11 of the second half, the Pistoffs shutout the Madonnas. Over the course of those 4 jams, the Pistoffs were only able to add 12 themselves. Even when the Madonnas' offense was misfiring, their defense could still be effective.
The shutout ended in the 12th jam with an amusing game of musical chairs in the penalty box. It started with jammer Rock Brawlboa of the Madonnas already in the box, still serving out the rest of her full minute that carried over from the last jam (that position can't be changed between jams as it normally would be if the jammer is in the penalty box when a jam ends). Cookie Rumble was jamming for the Pistoffs and was sent to the box quickly for committing a major penalty. In this situation, the jammer already in the box (Rocky) gets to come out immediately, and the jammer now going into the box (Cookie) only has to serve the amount of time that the first jammer has served. Rocky earned herself lead jammer status and scored 4 points for her team before committing another major penalty and going to the box, thereby letting Cookie back out. Cookie was able to score 10 for her team in between all that shuffling, keeping her team ahead 93-66. The penalty box time-keeper never had to work so hard before. The 13th jam again started with Rocky Brawlboa in the box as a jammer, and she got out long enough to score 3 points before being sent back, as Combat Cat scored 5 for the Pistoffs.
Another shut-out was inflicted on the Madonnas in jams 14 through 16. In that time, the Pistoffs scored 8, keeping them in the lead at 106-69. The shut-out ended when Lily I. Monster scored 3 for the Madonnas and called off the jam before Cookie Rumble could score.
The bout ended with a Pistoff victory, 114-76. Elle McFearsome was named MVP of the game for consistent defensive play.
It was discovered after the bout was over that there was a scoring error early in the second half. The scoreboard was readjusted sometime during or just after the fourth jam, with 11 points being deducted from the Pistoffs. Later it was found that the scoreboard operator had been correct all along before they were instructed to readjust, and that refs and stat takers made the miscalculation. The score was readjusted again several minutes after the end of the bout, and the Pistoffs got the 11 points back. It didn't change the outcome of the bout, but the perception of the early second half was changed immensely. What looked to be four lead changes between the 4th and 8th jams never really happened, so the Pistoffs had really been leading all through-out the second half. (All scores reported here through the second half are with those contested 11 points in place) (Also, this discovery may have been expedited by the nosey questioning of a local blogger who will remain anonymous)
Now to answer the question about whether the Pistoffs could stop Racer McChaser. Looking back at the numbers, Racer jammed a total of 10 times this bout. She was held scoreless by the Pistoffs 6 of those times. In 4 out of those 6, Racer was going up against Cookie Rumble. Did Cookie Rumble end up being the Racer Eradicator? Will Cookie be called on to do this again in the championship bout? Will the Grand Prix Madonnas now have to plan on how to keep Cookie out of Racer's way?
A few thoughts from Captain Spanish Ass'assin and Co-captain Mean Josie Green:
Detroit Area Dork: How are you feeling about this bout?:Spanish Ass'assin: I'm feeling really good. All of our girls are playing really well. We had some step it up, really shock the hell out of us. Now we're going to watch boot footage, figure out where we need to improve in preperation of the championship bout.Mean Josie Green: I would agree. I think both teams came into this with a lot at stake, so there was a lot of feeling each other out, because we figured we'd be playing each other in the next round too. So I expect the championship to be more of the same, but probably more intense, with more lead changes and things like that. I think all of our girls feel really good about what they accomplished. I think we played really well as a team.Detroit Area Dork: Through-out the season your walls have been pretty dominant. They weren't as tight this game, how did the Pistoffs break them up?Spanish Ass'assin: The Pistoffs definitely have an amazing offensive game, so it was definitely harder to combat. I don't know if we really did anything different. I don't know if we were off, but I think everyone was excited. It seemed like the first half our walls were really great. It might just be something we gotta work on. Maybe with the excitement and the scrambling we kind of lost focus on that. That will be something we definitely have to work on in practice. Try to recreate the chaos and make sure we keep our walls real tight.Mean Josie Green: I think you have to credit the Pistoffs. They're a great team. They won the championship last year. We knew this was going to be a hard bout coming in, and it was really a close bout the entire time. Truthfully, we really didn't blow-out teams this year. We've been practicing, we've had a lot of lead changes. This was more of the type of game we're used to, and less of the game they're used to. They're used to always holding the lead. With the exception of losing to D-Funk by one point, they've been pretty dominant this year too. I think we're a pretty good match-up between the teams, and I think it's going to be a really scrappy [championship] game.Detroit Area Dork: In the last bout, Racher McChaser had 90 [out of 135] points. Do you think the Pistoffs were really focused on stopping her?Spanish Ass'assin: Absolutely. The stats were sent out, and everybody got to see who the lead jammers were in the entire league, and Racer is right there on top. Everybody always looks to stop Racer, and everybody saw that she was leading the league. They've got really good defense, so I'm sure they were double, triple, and quadruple-teaming her, and doing everything they could to stop her, because they know she was on fire this year.Mean Josie Green: I'm glad Racer is on my team. If I was on an opposing team, she'd be the one to look out for.Detroit Area Dork: What did you learn about the Pistoffs today?Spanish Ass'assin: We learned that we have to work on our multi-tasking. It seems like this year we had that defense down, we thought we could dominate on the defense and the jammers could get through on their own. This time you got awesome defense and awesome offense coming at you, so you can't just focus on one and let the other go. You gotta have awesome defense and awesome offense, and you gotta switch back and forth at any given time. It's going to be hard. This championship bout, we've got a lot of work to do before we go into it.Mean Josie Green: I think we learned a lot. The Pistoffs are obviously a great defensive team, and we haven't seen a defensive team quite like the Pistoffs.
Some input from Pistoff Captain Kraken Whips:
Detroit Area Dork: What are your initial thoughts on this bout?Kraken Whips: I was really nervous going into this bout, because they have some really good defense, with Racer, Spanish [Assassin], and Mean Josie Green is really good offensive player. I was pretty nervous, but we kept to our game, we stayed positive, and I think that's what made us keep working really hard, so it worked out great.Detroit Area Dork: What did your team get right tonight?Kraken Whips: They played as a team, and they trusted each other. There were some stick moments, but they were able to get it back together real quick.Detroit Area Dork: In the Grand Prix Madonna's last bout Racer scored 90 points. Did you have a plan to neutralize her?Kraken Whips: Oh yeah, it was the whole plan ever since then was "shut down Racer, shut down Racer". If we get no points, don't let her get any, that was the plan. She did get some, clearly.Detroit Area Dork: What did you learn about the Prix Madonnas?Kraken Whips: They really figured out how to split up our walls, so we need to work on that more. We need a tougher wall that no one can get through. It has to titanium. So I think that's going to be what we're working on. We're going to make sure it continues to get better and better with the walls. That's our thing, walls.Detroit Area Dork: Through-out most of the season, the Madonna's walls were pretty dominant...Kraken Whips: We were working on busting up walls. I thought it was just as important to build walls, as to bust their's up. I think it worked to our advantage. We worked a lot harder than they brought to it, so I was expecting more of a show from them, but I think we shut them down pretty good too. We were out Freakin' Rican in this one too, and she's a big point scorer.
All photos by Scott Lipiec
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I'm a dork, I live in the Detroit area, and sometimes I take blurry photos on an outdated camera