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Nickel City Knockouts Push QCRG Streak to 18

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

The Nickel City Knockouts defeated the Devil Dollies 214 – 154 in QCRG home league play on Friday night. That 60 point gulf largely gained in the 5 jams before the first half ended where penalties for the Dollies saw the Knockouts finish on a 54-5 run. Outside this, the Dollies largely held their own against the three time QCRG Champions and even managed to claw back in the second half to outscoring the Knockouts 109-88 in the final frame.  

This should be something for the Dollies to build on, and a wake up call for the Knockouts who tightened their jammer rotation in the second half but were still outscored. Pressure on the Knockouts also increased their use of Librawlian – putting her in doing double duty as a jammer and blocker to the point of fouling out. 

Dollies Jammers Griff and Ashes were net positives for the bout, while Chickadeemolish made good use of star passes and strategic jamming. Vanilla Creamz did an excellent job going head to head against Librawlian in 5 of her 6 jams. Brawl, Ivana and Abercrombie and Fists were all net positives jamming for the Knockouts. Ivana did a great job throughout the entire game maximizing her time on the track – laying hard hits as a blocker and playing a consistent game jamming in the first and second half.

Blockers for the Dollies had a much better showing after the previous loss to the Saucies – with better communication, more three walls, fewer penalties and more strategic blocking this time around. This was the fewest points, and the closest spread, that the Dollies have had against the KO’s in two years and the blocking played a big roll. HerHeiny Granger and Chickadeemolish were central in creating a more focused and communicative blocking core. For the KO’s, the bout preview held up as their hard hitting blockers threw very hard hits. Fists, Lambchop and Ivana were menaces for Dollies jammers – recycling fast and throwing big hits on jammers just as they were about to break through. The KO’s blockers are all about creating that sense of false hope and demoralizing opposing jammers.  

Overall this was a bout that should help both teams going forward. The KO’s should realize that the rest of the league is catching up as they are still winning games, but the margins are shrinking. Over a longer home league season this year, and with a small roster, they will be more prone to fatigue and penalties in tight games. Focus over the span of an entire game will be crucial if they want to stay unbeaten in 2015. For the Dollies, the bout showed the young team what they are capable of against the best in the league. After a tough first half they didn’t quit and they pulled off some of the best derby the Dollies have played in years over that final 30 minutes. 

Stat of the Night: Brawl had 19 jams for the game, of the 18 where she started on the jam line she got lead jam 16 times. Overall the KO’s dominated on lead – grabbing lead in 30 of the 40 jams – but Brawl’s 88% lead percentage ensured that she controlled much of the game. 

Crowd Assist: Injured KO skater Smackie Onasis sang the National Anthems to a good sized crowd at Riverworks to start the bout. As she began singing the Canadian anthem an older gentleman was walking into Riverworks and joined along with a really beautiful voice that matched Smackie’s slow and emotional delivery. When it came time for the American National Anthem the crowd joined in, pushed by Smackie, this man, and guest KO’s coach NY Senator Marc Panepinto. I am really not one for national anthems, but the way this organically played out was really special.

I couldn’t find a great crowd video/shot from last night, so you get another beauty from bout photographer Chris Kalisiak. Lots of interesting things going on in this photo, but I would like to direct attention to KO’s coach Supernova who looks very angelic and proud mama-ish in the far left corner as she watches Brawl jam. 

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Skyride Kickoff Party

Filed under: Bicycle

From GObike Buffalo:

GObike Buffalo Launches the Second Annual SkyRideSkyRide-10-1024x768

WHAT: The SkyRide is GObike Buffalo’s signature annual event. It is a fundraising bicycle tour of historic locations, new bike infrastructure and an incredible scenic ride over the Skyway highlighting and celebrating the past, present and future of bicycling in Buffalo. The launch party will provide discounted registration and allow some of our region’s prestigious businesses to talk about why they support better bicycling.

WHEN: Saturday, March 28th from 2pm – 4pm, formal program begins at 3:15pm

WHERE: Flying Bison Brewery located at 840 Seneca Street

WHO: Members of the community and SkyRide Sponsors including Dr. Michael Cropp, President and CEO of Independent Health; Tim Herzog, Owner of Flying Bison Brewery; Lisa Cislo, Promotions Coordinator at The Buffalo News; and Tim McMorrow, M&T Group Vice President.

Buffalo Bisons 2015 and all the cool new stuff

Filed under: Sports


Upon arrival to Pettibone’s yesterday, the mezzanine level restaurant inside Coca Cola Field in downtown Buffalo, it hit you as soon as you walked in.

Popcorn, Orange colored popcorn. Bowls and bowls and bowls of the confection adorning every table. So why all the popcorn?

As it turns out, this was “Buffalo Wing Popcorn”, one of the new food items which will be available at Buffalo Bisons games this spring and summer.

The Buffalo Bisons introduced their lineup of menu items, apparel, ballpark upgrades and improvements, and things that fans expect to see and experience this season, the 130th year of professional baseball in Buffalo, at their annual “What’s New” media event at Coca Cola Field.

The popcorn is just one of the treats on the menu at the downtown ballpark. Original Pizza Logs, already a big hit at Sabres games, are being added, along with Oreo Churros, complete with a sweet cream dipping sauce, and turkey nachos. Big Ditch Brewery, nearing completion and opening as the newest microbrew in downtown Buffalo, will be added to the roster of local craft beers.

IMG_2987Bisons Vice President and General Manager Mike Buczkowski lauded his grounds crew as he addressed the media. “Most of the field had 15 inches of snow, and in left field where it had drifted the snow was as high as 30 inches. They’ve pulled out all the tricks including black sand to help break up the snow to physically shoveling off. Actually today after the rain they got out the mower for the first time and actually cut the grass. So we are much more optimistic than we were in the colds of February and early March,” said Buczkowski.

Fans returning to the ballpark will immediately notice the new kelly green seats in the infield special reserved section on the 100 level. This is the first phase of seat replacement which took place last September, and it is anticipated that all chairs in the ballpark, which go back to the facility’s opening in 1988, will eventually be replaced. “The new seats are 3 inches wider than the old ones,” said Buczkowski, “and this brings the capacity of the ballpark down to 17,600.” (The former capacity was 18,025)

The most transformational change to the game itself is the addition of pace of play clocks at the ballpark; two behind home plate and the third behind the centerfield wall. Beginning this season, all the AA and AAA leagues will be using these clocks in an effort to improve the overall pace of the games. The clocks will count 2 minutes and 25 seconds between inning and 20 seconds between pitches. While warnings will be issued by the umpires during April, after May 1 teams could be penalized a ball or a strike for violating the clock rule.

Of course, the purists might howl.

Nonetheless, Bisons Public Relations Director Brad Bisbing said that the clocks were tried last fall in the Arizona Fall League, and shaved an average of 14 minutes off game times.

Bisons Director of Entertainment Matt LaSota explained that the pace of play clocks poses challenges for the entertainment staff. At Bisons games, and at almost every minor league game, between inning entertainment diversions such as frisbee tosses, run the bases contests and other challenges share space with the actual team infield warmups. “What if one of our contests gets in the way of pitchers doing warmups?” LaSota asks. “It is something we have to be more mindful of this year. There will certainly be a learning curve for our staff.”

Fans who enjoy the entertainment will certainly keep a keen eye on the mascot race this year. Celery remains winless despite so many close calls, and observers are hoping that this will be the year that she steps into the win column. On August 22, the first 4000 fans through the gate will receive a Bleu Cheese bobblehead, the third in the series of mascot bobblehead giveaways. A Luke Easter bobblehead will also be on the giveaway list (June 14).

Ethnic festival nights, the ever popular Star Wars night (July 18) and the annual Independence Day bash (July 3) with the Buffalo Philharmonic and a fireworks extravaganza are just a few of the many themed promotional nights on the calendar. “Baseball is a different kind of sport,” says Buczkowski. “People like to come out, enjoy baseball, fireworks, promotions and food. We do want to challenge ourselves. We don’t have the luxury at this level of getting a big name free agent that sells tickets. What we rely on are things that are fun, and affordable.”

It all starts in two weeks, Thursday April 9, when the Bisons take to the field against the Rochester Red Wings (game time 2:05PM). Oh, and line up early for the Buffalo Wing Popcorn. The stuff is addicting.

This Modern World: Highlights of the Next Two Years


We the Buffalovers

love notes

You have your head down, fingers racing across the touchscreen keyboard, ears plugged with blaring headphones, and feet pacing in sync with the beat of your iTunes. Stop, smell the roses [they’re coming – we promise], and look up to see all the Buffalove in the air.

Once a city under siege, a now thawed and transformative place has shown its true colors as one of pure hometown pride.

It’s as if you can feel the hopes for prosperity from the cracks of the sidewalk beneath you and the pores of the one sitting next to you.

It is this exact sentiment that broods from the BuffaloveNote movement.

Hand printed on paper objects of every size and color, the BuffaloveNotes emulate all that the term ‘Buffalove’ could ever hope to represent. Within this ‘city of good neighbors’ comes about something that allows you to track just that. These small acts of kindness are meant to be picked from their Etsy store, posted about in true 2015 Instagram fashion, and then passed on to the next person to revel in and enjoy.

Reading things such as, “Your sunshine is showing”, “Your love gives me powers”, and the option of a custom message, brings about smiles that you probably haven’t felt since your crush in 5th grade handed you that secret valentine. There is truly nothing like walking out to your car and finding some love hiding underneath your windshield in place of the usual looming parking ticket.

It’s time to bring the true nature of pure kindness and unprompted compliments back to life. Bring on the sunshine and bring on the BuffaloveNotes. We hope you’ll send us some, too.

11018490_1629835980583465_1531017158_n 1599102_863955773665758_1118554987_n   love note


Instagram: @BuffaloveNotes

Twitter: @BuffaloveNotes



~ Pearl Leigh Gates    







Devil Dollies Look to End Nickel City Knockouts 17 Bout Win Streak

Credit: Chris Kalisiak

Credit: Chris Kalisiak

June 4, 2011 – the QCRG home league championship, the Devil Dollies vs the Nickel City Knockouts. That is how far back you would have to go to find the Knockouts last home league loss. Since that 19 point loss, the Knockouts have gone on to win 17 straight home league bouts and take three straight QCRG Championships. The team is a juggernaut. The Dollies, still reeling from a 75 point loss to the Suicidal Saucies, will have to rebound and set brave new goals if they want to break this streak. Dollies fans should already be breaking out the crystals and channeling positive energy.

Doors open at Riverworks (359 Ganson St. Buffalo) at 7pm and the bout starts at 7:30. Front row seating is $20, general admission is $15 and kids under 12 are $10 (at the door only). You can purchase tickets at

Storylines to Watch

Librawlian v Low Hits Griffin: The Dollies have tried using Griff as pivot more this year, but these two jammers have finished the last two years in the top 3 in points scored for the entire league. No teams relied more on their jammers in 2014 than Brawl with 51.4% of all points for the Knockouts, and Griff with 42.8% of all points for the Dollies. Both teams will be hoping for a more balanced jammer attack – but ultimately both teams need these jammers to play well.

The New Kids on the Block: The Dollies drafted 8 new players this year, 6 of whom are rookies. The Knockouts drafted 2, both rookies. The Dollies will be hoping for some big games from new players and also hoping they can catch a complacent Knockouts team by surprise. The Dollies have also committed to the long game by really prioritizing working new players, especially rookie jammers, into their first two bouts. This bout will seriously test that plan as veteran Knockouts blockers like Lambchop and Ivana LeiHerOut can hit very, very hard.

Focus On Good Habits: The Dollies next two bouts after this are against the Alley Kats and the Suicidal Saucies. Look for the Dollies coaches to work on using the bout experience to key in on good habits moving forward. Those following two bouts will decide where the Dollies line up going into the QCRG playoffs and playing against a team like the Knockouts can be great experience leading into them. Body language, focus, penalties, team blocking and communication should all be a priority for this young team no matter what the score is. 

Remember to use the #QCRG hashtag on instagram if you take photo/video from the crowd during the bout! For each bout recap I will be looking for great shots or video that really capture what it was like to be in the crowd. 

Credit: Galia

Credit: Galia

Lake Effect Furies Bury DC Rollergirls

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

 What was a close game at half, 103-75 for the Furies, was blown open in the second half as the DC Rollergirls ran out of steam. Although down 28 at the half, DC actually controlled the majority of the first half with 7 more lead jams than the Furies. In the second half that advantage disappeared as the Furies defence tightened and their jammers outlasted DC. DC would only see 6 lead jams over the final 26 jams of the second half and only score 27 points for the whole second half – for a final of 246-102 for the Furies. 

The second bout of the season for the Furies, and just the first for DC, the Furies dominated the second half playing a complete team game that saw outstanding defensive blocking alongside strong assists to open up lanes and make it easier for their jammers. That extra bout certainly helped the Furies, especially in the second half, and the blocking overall was greatly improved from their win against Roc City weeks ago. As a good defense should operate, few really stood out from an overall dominate group effort, however, Head Huntress and Bricks Hit-House struck serious fear into DC jammers while B’kini Whacks, Ivana LeiHerOut and Co-Captian Tabrina Schreier did a great job opening up holes for their jammers and holding opposing jammers back. 

Jammers 1 through 4 of the Furies offered no break for DC, who struggled to find their own consistent jammer line up – rolling out 7 jammers in total during the game. Veteran jammers for DC in Rocky Brawlboa and Yankee Scandal struggled, while new jammers Byers Remorse and Dottie Deathwish couldn’t get into a rhythm. Of all the 7 jammers sent out by DC none of them ended the game with a positive plus/minus rating. 

While DC certainly planned for Furies’ jammer Librawlian – who torched them for 143 points the last time the they played – the scoring for the Furies was much more balanced this time around. InSINerator had a strong showing, giving up only 6 points against the entire bout, scoring a 29 point jam and finishing with the only penalty free game of the Furies top 4 jammers. Low Hits Griffin and Murphy capitalized with jams in the teens and kept DC’s points down with great strategic jamming – overall no Furies jammer had more than 40 points scored against them. Librawlian was still a highlight reel though, her apex jump in the 7th jam of the game was special to watch as was the bizarro jam where Brawl racked up points while Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” played over the PA. 

Riverworks is still a work in progress, but with two solid wins to start the season and eight wins over their last ten bouts, the Lake Effect Furies are beginning to enter into unchartered territory as they shoot up the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association rankings. Their next test will be the first of the season against a higher ranked team when they take on Steel City Roller Derby from Pittsburgh at Riverworks on Saturday April 18th. Five spots ahead of them in the rankings, Steel City will be an important test to see if Queen City can play a complete game instead of relying on strong second half. 

Stat of the Game: Furies Jammer InSINerator only had 6 points scored against her on 12 jams. That is a .5 average against per jam and it is so impressive I’ve triple checked it just to make sure it is right. Whoa. 

Crowd Assist: Although unlikely, it is possible the Furies were spurred onto a massive second half by the half time dancing efforts of their mascot the Yeti. Two examples of what that looks like, because it is an awesome and weird new QCRG tradition. 

Yetiiiii! #QCRGvsDC #QCRG #yeti #RollerDerby #Furies

A video posted by Jill Carl (@pinkelephants82) on

Fear the Yeti and his silks #QCRG #QCRGvsDC #yeti #RollerDerby

A video posted by Jill Carl (@pinkelephants82) on

Steam Donkeys Celebrate Spring at Sportsmen’s

Early last week, archaeologists uncovered what was believed to be the fully preserved remains of a five-piece musical act, encased in a melting snowbank in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo, NY, near the Sportsmen’s Tavern.

A private snowplow driver was the first to notice the weird anomaly at the top of the towering snow pile.

“A lot of stuff turns up in snowbanks,” the driver said, under condition of anonymity. “Everything from side-view mirrors to jewelry to i-Phones. But it’s not everyday you see a cowbell. I looked further up the pile and saw what looked like the edge of a cymbal sticking out of the ice. I got out of the truck to take a closer look. As I scraped away at at the snow pack, I came upon what looked like the foot pedal to a bass drum. And just above that, a cowboy boot. That’s when it hit me, ‘My God! There’s a drummer in there!'”

A team of archaeologists was called to the scene. What they discovered was shocking.

“As they cordoned off the area and began to pick at the ice, they realized that what they had found was, in fact, an entirely intact drummer with his arm raised as if to strike a cymbal with incredible force,” said a spokesperson for the research team. “It’s not unusual to find drummers frozen in snowbanks after a hard winter. But at the point when they become stuck and frozen in the ice they are usually performing their day jobs as pizza delivery men. What was unique about this specimen was that he was actually sitting at his drum set.”

As the researchers continued their work on the site they began to uncover, one by one: a bassist, a saxophone player, and not one but two guitar players, entirely intact.

“It was as if the whole band was frozen and buried mid-song,” the spokesperson said. “Except for the one wearing the acoustic guitar, who appeared to be nonchalantly sipping a Genesee Beer.”

What is even more remarkable is that upon close examination, each frozen musician was found to have a faint pulse. They were immediately rushed to the bar where they were administered shots of bourbon. The quick thinking of the bartender is credited with saving their lives.

How the band came to be buried in the snow bank remains something of a mystery. The leading theory is that they drove to a previous gig in a complete whiteout, and, while loading into the club began to suffer from hypothermia. As confusion set in, they may have set up in the street, thinking they were already on stage and that the oncoming headlights were stage lights.

The unfrozen musicians—known as the Steam Donkeys—are a Buffalo, NY-based music act and global think tank. They last played at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on December 26, 2014. None of them have any recollection of the ordeal they have been through, preferring instead to look ahead.

“What happened to us isn’t so special,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “From what people have been telling us, everyone was feeling frozen this winter. We had it easy, being stuck in a state of suspended animation.”

The Steam Donkeys are celebrating the return of spring with a performance Saturday (3/21) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, beginning at 8:30pm with a long set by their good friends Shaky Stage.

Shaky Stage

Shaky Stage

The Steam Donkeys

The Steam Donkeys








“After what we’ve all been through,” Quigley adds, “It feels good to be back.”



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