Friday, January 26, 2007

Liberty Belles vs. Mobtown Maulers

I’m a little late in writing this, but work has been a bitch this week, so get over it. Last Saturday (1/20/07) we hauled it up caravan style to the suburbs of Philly to play the Liberty Belles. It was the 1st bout in their new home, a sports arena with sport-court flooring – and beer. I was really interested to see if the crowd dynamic changed with a little help from the liquid cheer, but more about that later.

The local was rad, the floor a little noisy (sport-court tiles that made it sound like you had busted bearings the entire time you were skating), and the hospitality warm. The Liberty Belles kept referring to us as their “little sisters,” as they helped us out a bit in our 1st year through advice and teaching us drills – they’re really a great group of ladies (who all have awesome hair extensions or are awesome because of their lack of any hair).

Now, to the bout…

We were off. Way off. Our strengths lie in our ability to work together as a team, and Philly really kept us from doing that. Mad props to them. Philly has really played up their strengths: they have big blockers who hit hard and rarely tip over, and their jammers jam. Only once did I see a jammer in a blocking position. Last year we were so short on players due to injury that doing that had never occurred to me – keep your jammers fresh by reserving them for jamming only. Interesting.

I’ve somehow lost any sense of pre-bout nervousness I ever had, but looking back on it, I wish I could have had a little fear and apprehension driving me. We got schooled. We didn’t even play our game – ever. It was bittersweet though, because although we lost by 50 and did pretty awful as a team, I had one of my better games, and it showed. After the bout several of my teammates and some fans congratulated me on “stepping it up,” something only a handful of people knew I had been doing for the past few weeks.

I’ve been in the midst of a very difficult bout of depression following the unexpected death of my dad several months ago. Depression breeds odd things. For me, it’s been a lack of self confidence, something I’ve never in my life had to worry about before. Now, it’s a struggle, and my game has suffered because of it. It’s a bad cycle. You feel bad about yourself, you do bad, and people know you’re doing bad. That further feeds the negative self image, etc, etc. But several weeks ago it all came to a head and I decided to say “fuck it” to myself. I came up w/a new tactic to boost my self confidence, and as a result I’ve been putting 110% into practices and then the Philly game. I’m back.

As for the beer? Well, I don’t know how Philly fans usually are, but they weren’t as loud as I expected them to be. On the other hand, the Baltimore fans who attended were as fucking loud and crazy as we’re use to :) Go Mobtown.

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