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Published on October 11th, 2011 | by Suzy Hotrod

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Suzy Hotrod: ESPN Party Time!

The celebration of being in the ESPN Body Issue has been reverberating throughout the roller derby community. Right now we’re the sport that gets paid in getting bigger muscles, but not in cash. Maybe that’s why there are no rivalries when it comes to sharing the news when anyone in our sport gets exposure- because its not about me, its about us. ESPN took a chance on roller derby, thanks to a bit of encouragement from writer Jane McManus, who happens to write for ESPN…. as well as play a little roller derby herself (and who also wrote this). Our network is strong, ladies. Roller derby is EVERYWHERE.

Last Thursday was the big release party. Having teammates makes faking classiness easy. Hyper Lynx works for Rent The Runway, so she secured me a rental bandage dress from Hervé Léger, which I’m told are worn by the Kardashians, so I knew it would pass the derby booty test. Wearing red for Gotham Girls. Ana Bollocks and Brazilian Nut loaned me accessories and I wore the heels in our team colors of silver and black that my team Queens of Pain bought me for my 30th birthday. Teamwork saves me again.

We got picked up in a black Mercedes by our new buddy “Kevin.” My home team co-captain Puss N Glutes was my date and we figured we would pack our Converse for the subway ride home. Kevin informed us his services included also driving us home, so he would hang on to our sneakers and not even steal them. We were running a little late, so we had to fight the urge to have him take us to Costco to buy a ton of toilet paper and throw it in this big car. We continued quizzing each other about who was in the magazine and what they do.

Dinner was first. While in the elevator Puss was wondering how to introduce herself, “Do I use Puss?” A lot of people met a lot of people that night. A Kristen could be forgotten, but who forgets meeting a Puss N Glutes, ya know? I was already the weirdest named athlete in the magazine, so we stuck with it.

We were there!…and feeling awkward. The first athlete I met actually came up to me to introduce himself. It was Steven Jackson, the professional football player from the St. Louis Rams. He was extremely polite and quite dapper in a tuxedo. He’s like the first friend I made in first grade or something. The “big mean football player” was a real gentleman and broke the ice.

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Ok, to get comfortable, one of the margaritas that were circling the room helped too. Then I had enough buzz on to talk to Natasha Hastings, the “400 Meter Diva.” We sat together for dinner and talked about her training as a professional track star, and…. red lipstick. She said she was going to tell her running teammates how roller derby skaters have to pay out of their pockets entirely to travel to our games.

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Hockey player Julie Chu was on my top priority to meet list (sharing the love for contact sports). We tried to recruit her to play roller derby, but she’s still got a full life of ice hockey, being a college coach and playing too. I kept thinking, “she’s just like a derby girl,” but what’s more accurate is we’re just both like athletes. Julie, Puss, and I talked about what every “derby girl/athlete” loves, FOOD! We ate mini Whoopie Pies and mini cupcakes together, and she told us about how her team would fly to Europe and pack enough snacks to feed them for weeks. That’s SO US!!

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The final hurdle to overcome was meeting Hope Solo, the US Women’s Soccer Goalie, and the big star of the magazine. We quickly snuck in to the seat next to her as snowboarder Louie Vito stepped out off it to use the bathroom I think. Jammers find holes, right? She admitted that she didn’t know a lot about roller derby but wanted to be honest because she finds that a lot of people don’t know about soccer. We gushed the rules of roller derby to her.

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Next up, THE RED CARPET! Clearly I have never walked a red carpet. (Texturally it was quite fluffy/bouncy). You get ready on the side and they prep the press for who you are (somehow I feel this step is omitted for Gwynneth Paltrow, but I digress…). 100s of flashes go off and they all yell “SUZY! SUZY! SUZY!!!” To try to get you to look at each of them……(seriously that really happened).

After I did the walk, Pippi Strongsocking joined up and asked the reporters if they wanted to talk to me, securing me quite a few interviews. She did an incredible job both at the party and the day of my shoot being extremely professional and talking about derby.

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The party was in a industrial, raw-style space, which was “just great” for walking in heels in the parts where the floor was bricks. I was having enough trouble walking on regular floor. Puss and I sat down so we could Twitter something from the red carpet, but we were kicked off the sofa because it was labeled “Reserved.” Of all the days I figured I would not get yelled at for sitting on a special reserved sofa, this was it, and I failed again!

Rounding out the night, Nelly performed, wearing many diamond accessories. I got to meet Paralympic athlete Jeremy Campbell who told me he lives in Oklahoma City and knows that there’s a roller derby league there – rad! Finally I snuck in ever so quickly, after the band was done, and got to meet Jose Reyes, telling him my team is from Queens, too.

Then everything turned back in to pumpkins and I was back to normal me again.

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Check out Suzy’s ESPN Profile!

More from the ESPN Body Issue Release Party Red Carpet.

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