In this derby game the Bombshells are big game hunters. We study and learn the tendencies of the Jammers who sit at the top of the league’s food chain and have eaten other teams alive. Then I prepare my skaters on what to look for and what to do so they don’t fall victim to their predatory skating. When it comes time to bout, the hunt begins and I send my Bombshells out on the track to retrieve the prize.
Goody Goody Blooddrop. Check. Vanessa Velocity. Check. Mia Pow Wow. Check. Cannibelle Corpse. Check.
These Jammers heads all sit on the Bombshells’ mantel. In each contest we were able to hold them to an average of less than 2 ppj. In my eyes, that’s a successful and bountiful hunt. But there’s still a space on the mantel. There’s a space that I hope will be filled after we complete the hunt I’ve been looking forward to all season. That space is saved for the biggest prize of them all: I call her the Ivory Mustang, you know her as…
In our final hunt of the season, the Bombshells face an elusive prey that’ll never settle down: the Runaway Brides. They picked up their first win of the season last month against the Brutal Beauties in an impressive victory in which Ellie Mayhem finally came out to play and went nuts. It was the best Jammer performance of the season. For those of you that have been reading my blog since day 1, you’ll remember that my pre-season profile of this team captain labeled her as the league’s #1 threat. Only until recently has she made me look like I somewhat know what I’m talking about.
Ellie struggled miserably in her first two bouts of the season against the Coffin Draggers and the Schoolyard Scrappers. There were other Jammers on her team that were producing more than she was, which took me by surprise. The zombies and the school girls did a good job of containing this bride. Then the calendar flipped to June and it was like a switch flipped inside her. Since that time Ellie has been a one-woman wrecking crew, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch compared to the uninspired skating she exhibited in her first two bouts. Here’s what Ellie’s numbers looked like before June:
For the March season opener against the Coffin Draggers, Ellie jammed 11 times and acquired the lead jam 8 times. A 72pct. lead jam percentage is excellent but it didn’t translate into a solid scoring average. She scored 16 points for an average of 1.4 ppj. She was shut out in 4 of her 11 jams. The top scoring Bride for this bout was Phenomenon who logged 17 points for an average of 1.8 ppj. The final score of that bout was Brides 44 – Draggers 112.
In May versus the Schoolyard Scrappers she was abused by Goody Goody Blooddrop and the Plaid Curtain the entire night. I don’t know if it was by design or by chance that Goody lined up behind the Jammer line with Ellie 11 out of 12 times. In this bout Ellie didn’t acquire the lead jam once, she went 0-12. Worst of all, she only scored 12 of her team’s points for an average of 1 ppj. She was shut out in half of her jams and in those instances where she was unable to break the pack she attempted to fall back and play defense on Goody who just brushed her off like dandruff and skated on to score more points. Again, her supporting Jammers in Phenomenon and Lex Mosh had higher point totals and scoring averages.
After this bout I had kind of lost hope and confidence in Ellie’s desire. From a fan/spectators point of view, she didn’t look like she was trying. She bears so much ability and talent that other skaters would commit 1st degree murder for so it was frustrating to watch her concede consistently in the Scrappers bout. I assume that the disappointment I felt was a product of the high pedestal I put her on before the season started.
But then something changed. Lets take a look at the moves she made during the month of June. AZDD was busy with derby bouts all over the place. First, Ellie is a member of AZDD’s All-Star travel team that took a trip to Los Angeles to play LADD’s Aftershockers in an exhibition bout. The very next weekend was AZDD’s June double-header where her team played the Brutal Beauties. The following weekend, yet again the travel team shot to San Diego for the Battle on the Bank III national tournament.
In her two travel bouts in Los Angeles and San Diego she excelled to expectation and beyond. Against the LA Aftershockers she was AZDD’s highest scoring Jammer scoring 23 of the team’s 64 points. She finished with a scoring average of 2.5 ppj, the highest average for all AZDD Jammers that jammed a minimum of 5 times. She was held scoreless in her first two jams, but the Aftershockers didn’t succeed in holding her scoreless again after that. She came out blazing in the 2nd half scoring 17 of her 23 points.
AZDD made the trip to San Diego 2 weeks later and as I mentioned in All the Way to the Bank her scoring numbers where up there with the top Jammers of the tournament. TXRD didn’t give AZDD a warm welcome on the first day of the tournament with the 100-42 waxing they put on us, but Ellie and the rest of the Dames came to play bright and early on day 2. We went 1-1 on the day. In our win over TTRB, Ellie was the top scoring Jammer of the bout posting 39 points. That effort combined with the points she scored in our loss to the LA Ri-Ettes placed her as the #3 Top Scoring Jammer for day 2 with a total of 49 points. For all three bouts we played that weekend Ellie finished with a scoring average of 5.44 ppj. That average placed her in the Top 5 of all the Jammers in the tournament who jammed an average of 3 times per bout.
The most significant performance she put up during her June resurrection was for the hometown fans against the Brutal Beauties right here in Phoenix. Her scoring total was astronomical. Let me break down her numbers first, then we’ll analyze them.
First, for the sake of accuracy I have to break some bad news. Ellie’s point total for this bout by official AZDD stats is inaccurate. Unfortunately, she didn’t score 99 points. After my review of the bout tape she ”only” <playful sarcasm> scored 89 points on the bout. The discrepency came when the league credited Ellie with 15 points in jam 18 when she scored 5. The score still came out correctly because Octohussy aka “Rowdy Roulette” was credited 0 points for her 10 point Power Jam that came in jam 34. That’s where the 10 point difference comes from. But now that we’re straight on that oh so important number lets look at the rest.
Ellie scored 89 points on the night. She jammed 13 times and acquired the lead jam on every occasion but one. I guess she wasn’t happy with imperfection because in that jam she ended up stealing the lead jam from that Brutal Beauty who got out in front of her first. She finished with an ungodly average of 6.8 ppj.
The Brides had 8 Power Jam opportunities that night. Ellie skated in 6 of them and had counts of 10, 5, 14, 15, 15, 5. That’s an average of 10.6 ppPJ. Unreal. Who does that? Answer: No one until Ellie did it. I remember sitting up at the top rows of the Coliseum when Ellie lined up for her first jam of the 2nd half; a Power Jam. She breaks the pack quickly and makes one pass to score 5 points. Then I notice her teammates are visibly controlling the pack and slowing it down as Ellie comes around for her second pass and scores 5 more points. I then looked up at the clock and noticed she had 20 second left in the jam and thats when I came out of my seat and started screaming at what I might have the opportunity to witness. If she can make one more pass (which I knew she had the ability with 20 seconds left) she will set the league record for most points in a Power Jam. I screamed and cheered during the entire lap and as the last second ticked for the jam she had passed 3 more Beauties and received a ghost point for a 14 point Power Jam. Ellie had just set a new league record for most points scored in a Power Jam. The crowd went crazy over her athletic display.
Bad news: Ellie’s record didn’t last long, it was broken on the next Power Jam. Good news: it was Ellie who broke it. After her 14 pointer her blockers knew exactly what to do with the pack when she lined up for the very next Power Jam and she ended up putting up two more 15 point Power Jams on the night for a total of 4 double figure power jams. The combination of her speed with the slow pace her blockers brought the pack to was a perfect storm of 15 point Power Jams. Take notice AZDD, the Brides know how to capitalize on a Power Jam. The final score for this bout was Runaway Brides 120 – Brutal Beauties 94.
I come to Ellie’s defense on one subject after looking at the numbers. First, there was some objection to the number of times Ellie ended up jamming in this bout. Some say she jammed entirely too much. In fact, she really didn’t jam any more or less than usual, she was just blowin’ up the track when she did. She jammed 13 times in this bout. She had a teammate, Lex Mosh, who jammed 12 times. On the other side of the infield, the Beauties had a Jammer in The LAP Dancer who jammed 15 times. In her previous bouts she jammed 11 times against the Draggers and 12 times against the Scrappers. There was nothing unusual about her jamming frequency here. Furthermore, and I speculate in this assertion, Ellie appears to be the Brides primary Power Jam Jammer and the Beauties gave up 6 of them in the second half; Ellie skated in 4 of them. If the Beauties don’t give up that many Power Jams, Ellie doesn’t skate as much. Why shouldn’t she go in when she has the potential to score 15 points everytime? If I had a skater on my team that could do that you bet your sweet ass she’s going in everytime we have a Power Jam. I want 15 points! And finally, she’s the Captain of that team. She can do with it what she wants. One of the perks of being a leader.
By my count, Ellie set four league records that night: Highest Point Total – 89 points (which destroys the previous record held by Goody Goody Blooddrop with 54); Highest Point Per Jam Average – 6.8 ppj; Highest Power Jam Point Total for a Single Bout – 64 points; and Highest Power Jam Point Average – 10.8 ppPJ.
I had the time of my life watching Ellie Mayhem skate that night. It was fun watching her have fun. Performances like that is what puts butts in the seats. If I’m a paying derby fan and I hear the Brides are playing, the name Ellie Mayhem would be enough to get my butt back to the Coliseum just so I give myself the opportunity to possibly see some high scoring action like that again and again. These are the types of bouts the fans want to see and its the responsibility of our elite players in the league, like Ellie, to come out and give them to the fans every month.
Ellie is at her best right now. She’s got so much momentum I hope that she and her team rides it through Saturday. They Runaway Brides exhibited some awesome improvements to the fundamentals of their game, specifically, pack control. The Bombshells want Ellie Mayhem and her team at the top of their game when we meet. Not only will it make for an entertaining bout, but most big game hunters don’t become big game hunters because they like chasing easy targets. They go after the biggest and baddest the wild has to offer because of the rush of the challenge and the thrill of the kill. In this league, Ellie is the biggest and the baddest, and the Bombshells want to add her, above all, to the mantel.