Throwdown is back in our hometown
One big weekend is over.
Another bigger weekend is almost here.
For local roller derby enthusiasts, it can get better, but not a lot better than what awaits them at Oaks Amusement Park this month.
Rose City Rollers and their world championship women's all-star team, Wheels of Justice, will play host to the Hometown Throwdown tournament June 23-25.
Wheels of Justice is ranked No. 3 in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association breakdown of international teams.
Also competing in the Throwdown will be the No. 4 Hollywood Scarlets from Los Angeles, the No. 5 Texecutioners from Texas, and No. 6 London Brawling from Great Britain.
Six regulation bouts are scheduled over the three days at Oaks. Tickets for all the action are $35 each.
Wheels of Justice will face Texas on Friday, June 23; London on Saturday, June 24; and Los Angeles on Sunday, June 25, going second all three days, with start times listed at 8:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
The first matches on Days 1-3 will be London vs. L.A., 7 p.m. Friday, L.A. vs. Texas at 6 p.m. Saturday, and London vs. Texas at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The top two teams in the WFTDA rankings, by the way, are Victorian Roller Derby League at No. 1 and New York's Gotham Girls.
The 2016 and 2015 Throwdowns were sweeps for the Rose City Rollers entry.
This year's tournament figures to be one of the most competitive of the year, as teams try to build points for ranking purposes going into the 2017 world championships in November at Philadelphia.
RCR recently conducted its Season 12 championships.
First place went to the Heartless Heathers, who beat the High Rollers 205-175 in the title bout. It is the first season crown for the Heathers since 2008.
Guns N Rollers captured third place in dramatic fashion, coming from behind in the last jam to edge the Break Neck Betties 204-200.
Timbers show growth
The Portland Timbers showed they are back, shaking off what had been a lull in the dominance as they beat a strong FC Dallas team 2-0 last weekend at Providence Park. And they did it with two of their key players, Darlington Nagbe and David Guzman, away for international duties.
The win showed why Portland should be capable of winning another MLS Cup.
The MLS regular season is long enough that it's hard to pick out key stretches, but a 19-day period starting Saturday might be one of them for coach Caleb Porter's kickers.
The Timbers will have five league matches in the span, three on the road, with home clashes against the rival Seattle Sounders on Sunday, June 25, and the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, July 5.
Portland will be looking for revenge against the Sounders, who beat them 1-0 at Seattle on May 27.
A Crane goes up
Ben Crane, who grew up at Portland Golf Club, was back in form on the PGA Tour, challenging for a win in Memphis. Crane, hot and cold throughout his career, had a share of the lead early in Sunday's final round at TPC Southwind, where he won the event in 2014 (his fifth and most recent PGA Tour victory).
He wound up in a tie for 10th, but his performance showed that the 41-year-old former Oregon Duck has plenty of good golf still in him.
Crane has had his share of injury issues, but he's the same age as Tiger Woods, and at least a little healthier.
Crane's performance in Memphis moved him up from 481st to 411th in the world golf rankings.
Woods? He's No. 922.