Roller skates, bruises, and unicorns, today the 2017 Bay Area Derby season kicked off at 16th st Station in Oakland, CA. The weather cleared up just in time for the match between the Oakland Outlaws and the San Francisco Shevil Dead, a welcoming new venue for the event that previously resided in the Craneway Pavalion in Richmond. The teams, fans, and staff came in full force, with one of the announcers dressed stylishly in a full unicorn outfit while providing commentary.
The sold out event was the first time the teams played at the historic site for an official game, making a transition from in indoor venue to an outdoor ring complete with concrete that is far less forgiving. Vendors lined the back of the complex, serving up a variety of food, prizes and merchandise, with the hats quickly selling out to block the harsh sun. The spectator stands overflowed as fans showed up and spectators watched from outside the chain link fence beyond.
The bout between the Outlaws and Shevil Dead took off quickly and with tremendous ferocity. Jammers fought through the pack, scoring quick points and racing back for more. Fans screamed and cheered on their teams, packing the stands down to track level. The first half was primarily about scoring quick points then calling off the jam, which proved very successful for the Shevil Dead. A brief half time show brought a display of unison performances of baseball bat twirling performers, reminiscent of a marching band's performance infused with derby style.
The second half was grittier, relying more on pack mentality and pushing and shoving for points. The outlaws made a comeback to redeem valuable points, both teams pitting their all star jammers against each other. The San Francisco Shevil Dead dominated the game though, with an impressive 186 to 114 victory of the Oakland Outlaws, marking a great start to the derby season.