Portland finally has a #1 sports team. Like many have long suspected... it's roller derby! The Rose City Rollers' all-star team—the mighty Wheels of Justice—are the top-ranking team on the ENTIRE PLANET after defeating New York's Gotham Girls yesterday in a nail-biting last jam of a game, Rose 206-Gotham 195. The final minutes of the game echoed the 2014 Championships, a soul-crushing heartbreaker that saw Portland lose to New York in the final seconds by three measly points. At that time, it was the closest any team had gotten to besting the Goliaths of Gotham in four years. Yesterday's historic win for Portland marked Gotham's first loss in 67 straight games (!!), five years, and four consecutive champ titles, according to stats compiled by Derby Central. Gotham's dynasty fell, and the Wheels of Justice's mascot, the Pegacorn, prevailed thanks to the team's watertight defenses and fast-as-the-wind jammers who sailed over apexes with style and grace.
After getting achingly close to the title last year, and dancing ever nearer in the years before that, the Wheels of Justice beat Bay Area and London (the only team to defeat them this season) prior to clinching Sunday's big win over Gotham. Didn't catch the barn-burner when it aired on ESPN3? They're replaying the final four games on ESPN3 for 30 more days. I can't recommend it enough. I have never gnashed so many teeth and rended so many garments in my life.
Basically, Portland won the roller derby equivalent of the Super Bowl! The 2015 Hydra trophy—the biggest honor in the sport of flat track roller derby—is Portland's first champ title in the modern-day sport's 10-year history. And it was met with bittersweet tears of joy. The team's longtime coach Rob Lobster (Robin Ludwig) succumbed to a long fight with brain cancer on October 17 at the age of 35. He wasn't able to watch his team win it all at champs, but it was very apparent that the skaters held his memory just as close as their gold medals.