The Windy City Rollers will be back in action on Saturday, May 20 at the Broadway Armory. The Windy City Rollers All-Stars and Second Wind will be taking on the Mad Rollin Dolls Dairyland Dolls A and B teams respectively in the WCR second home bout of the season.
Most recently, the All-Stars beat the Tornado Sirens 188-119 in Naptown, IN, while Second Wind is coming off a 241-66 win against the Warning Belles. Both WCR teams are jam (no pun intended) packed with exciting athletes.
The last time I saw the WCR at the Armory earlier this year, I caught up with old favorite Christian Mangle. The talented Mangle wears #2 for Hell's Belles, but she is #1 in the hearts of many fans, including me. Okay, maybe she is tied for #1, but only because the ladies of the WCR are simply awesome.
These women practice many nights to be ready for a handful of bouts every year. On bout night, despite the grueling effort it takes to compete for a full game, the lady athletes always mingle with their fans.
Our friend Mangle was just one example. Look at that smile (hers, not mine). She just finished a tough game of getting slammed, pushed, blocked and more, not to mention the skating sprints. Still, she took the time to talk to fans and pose for pictures (and not just with this reporter). She did all of that with that smile.
That smile is seen on many pretty much all of the skaters. They seem to really have fun out there. Make no mistake though. These ladies compete, whether it is within the WCR or against other teams. That competitive edge doesn't prevent them from having a blast though. It also helps the fans enjoy the night, as smiles are contagious, especially around the WCR.
Speaking of their fans, there is quite a wide array of fans. The crowd is comprised of kids and adults (couples and singles). All are there for fun and all walk away satisfied. The crowd can get rowdy, as they support their favorite skater or team. It seems the rowdier the crowd is, the harder the skaters play (or maybe it is the other way around). Either way, the fans are into it as much as the athletes.
I often say that I went to my first WCR event years ago as something different. I didn't realize that I would enjoy it so much that I would keep going back every time I could.
Christian Mangle and me in Chicago, IL-February 2017.