Dangerous Leigh Azon | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Game Changer

RMRG would have loved the chance to address the characterization of Fight Club's play style prior to publication. We were pretty surprised to read that the slow play was considered our style.

The style described was actually started in Albuquerque and was then picked up and finely tuned by the Denver Roller Dolls, whose surgical pack control to exploit power jams or to give a strong jammer a point advantage in the 2009 tournaments, truly drew attention to the slow style. Teams simply did not know what to do about it, which allowed DRD to run away with the scores. For better or for worse, DRD won and won and won in 2009. DRD and RMRG share a city, but are different leagues.

DRD's play in 2009 forced the country's top teams to both learn it and learn how to counter it within the rule set. In 2010, those teams added it to the known strategies. The sheer skating talent and strategy that it takes is amazing. Packs began to speed up again.

RMRG can and does play at any speed, within the rules, and to the benefit of the team. It is nothing short of incredible to have a team like Fight Club that is so well trained and in tune with one another that they play at top speeds or a crawl as a cohesive and bruising unit. The wonderful thing about derby is the evolution of strategy and watching and ever more talented set of skaters who can play these amazing bouts.

I doubt anyone would characterize the RMRG-Oly bout at Western Regionals this year as slow play.

It may be called "Western Style," but it isn't RMRG style. But RMRG won't dispense with a strategy that can be employed as needed.

Can't wait to see what 2011 brings.

Thanks for your consideration,

PJ "Dangerous Leigh A'zon" Shields.

Posted by Dangerous Leigh Azon on 10/23/2010 at 12:50 AM

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