Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game is a 1908 Tin Pan Alley song by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer which has become the unofficial anthem of North American baseball, although neither of its authors had attended a game prior to writing the song.”


When we go to a sporting event, most of us root, root, root for the home team. After all, if they don’t win it’s a shame. Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is a little different. I want the Dutchland Rollers to win, but, knowing how much hard work each skater puts into it, I sometimes root for both teams. Especially, last Saturday. As usual, it was a doubleheader with the Dutchland skaters taking on Jersey’s Shore Points in the first game and the Delaware’s Diamonds in the second game.

Dutchland has a couple dozen skaters on their roster, and each team is allowed 14 skaters in a game, so half of them skate the first game, and the rest skate in the second game. Occasionally, if they’re a little shorthanded, some of the women skate in both games. Nobody skates all the time, though. Five skaters from each team go at a time, three blockers, one pivot skater, and the all-important point-scoring jammer. After each jam, the five skaters are replaced by five fresh skaters for the next jam. The action is almost continuous, but the skaters get to rest for half the game. The jammers have to do the most skating, so Dutchland usually rotates three jammers. That way, they each skate one-third of the jams, and each jammer gets sufficient rest before their turn comes again.

Shore Points only had 8 skaters. So, they didn’t have the luxury of sitting out every other jam. They were in trouble. There are two 30-minute periods in a game. I knew that they would be exhausted by the second period. They would be in big, big trouble then. They did have one thing going for them, though. One of their blockers, “Choo Choo Trainwreck” was a big girl capable of derailing any skater on the track. Early in the game, Choo Choo blocked a Dutchland jammer and sent her flying halfway across the arena. The woman next to me cheered like crazy. I turned to look at her and she beamed, “That’s my daughter.”


Choo Choo chugging along on the outside

“She’s quite a blocker,” was all I could say. Then we started a conversation and I learned the background on some of the Shore Points players. One of their skaters just had a baby 4 months ago, and had only been back skating for a month. The team has trouble recruiting good skaters because they’re so close to Philadelphia, and Philly has one of the best teams in the country. I remembered that Vanessa Sites, who was one of the best skaters in the world, used to play for Philly.

I found myself cheering for both teams. As the Shore Points team became exhausted, one of their skaters fouled out, so they were now down to just 7 skaters. It was obvious that Dutchland would win, but I rooted for Shore Points to keep it close. They did. Well, fairly close. At least they could make the long ride back home with their heads held high.

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The Start of the Second Game Vs The Delaware Diamonds

My good feelings carried into the second game, in which both teams were at full strength with 14 skaters each. I rooted for everyone. It was a closer game, but, when the smoke cleared, the Dutchland team again emerged the winner in a hard-fought battle.

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Syntax Terror (404) has a bigger problem than grammar.

There is an old expression, “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts, it’s how you play the game.” I finally get it.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,


2 thoughts on “Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

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