Sparky Burns Down The Ocean City Tournament

By Darla Burns

Cut off jeans?       Check.

Extreme and Warrant's greatest hits?       Check.

Aqua Net for Courtney's mullet?       Check.

Pit stop in Easton to put some grenades in the cooler?       Check.


Our favorite hand held device is also a favorite among most attendees so it is only right that Budweiser is tapped as the official sponsor of the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic. As always it is I, Darla "Sparky" Burns, "the Big Hurt" as some like to call me, along with the rest of the clan venturing to our Beloved Hamptons of Maryland. And that my friends, is putting it extremely mildly.

For the third year in a row I have turned up for a war on the shore that features many familiar cats I grew up playing with or against in the years past. Laughing about the past and old grudges is just a part of growing up.

We arrived at the Econo-Lodge on 145th St. - the very same one that has a pool bar (like you expected any less of me) at 1900 hours and with no time to spare. We hit the Green Turtle on Jamestown to have a few Red Stripes, because it makes you pretty. We played some foosball, golden tee and Keno, and before you knew it, the $2 Long Islands were kicking in and I 86'ed myself. See this causes a problem because I have this bad habit of not telling anyone that I am leaving when I have thrown in the towel. I just do it. Then everyone thinks I got kidnapped.



Oh yeah, there was some boy's lacrosse there too!

The next day, conducting my own investigation, I was able to conjure up some of the pieces that led to my downfall that evening before. Strangely enough, I had a wad of $20's in my purse, 14 new messages on my cell, and a pink business card from an all-female taxi service. I woke up, Uncle Wierdy Flops still on, gripping my 6 Tribes sweatshirt like it was my boyfriend. The literal rude awakening was caused by the wake-up call which I do not remember requesting for 8a.m. But with an hour left to kill in the morning, I head to the beach. Now I'm no sun Goddess, but with a real job it's been a long time since I've been one with the sun.



Nurse Sparky

While we were frazzled and running a bit late, we missed breakfast and headed straight for the field. Our first game was against a strong Monument Squad that handed our butts to us on a plate. I asked them if there was anything I could do to repay them. They said NOPE!

Later on that day we played my homie Dawn Will and the rest of a dynoMIIIITE Capital squad. We lost. Again. Big Shocker. We settled for dinner at my favorite spot at the beach, Fager's Island. Great oysters and en FUEGO extra dirty martinis (Sparky likes everything nasty) was my final answer. Among the guests were Tori Abbott, Lisa LeBeau, and Leslie. Later on Kim met up with us and it was soon a Soul Train free-for-all and the bottle dance was the star of the show. A late night, hosted by one Jennifer Ann Scott, All-American Wild Woman, is always fun.



Sparky and Courtney at the beach

I headed back to the hotel with 4 hours of beauty sleep to catch up on. First up, Women In Black, my second favorite team only because Lacy and Hollis Pica play the field and their literally red headed stepsister Courtney Stringer, the goalie on the team is my roommate. Now everytime I have played against Courtney for as long as I can remember, I have yet to score on her. Lemme tell you why, too. It's a combination of me choking and her just being a helluva good goalie. Her performance was nothing short of stellar. Next time Court, just get out of the fricking way. I feel it necessary to step in and defend Courtney's honor and tell my demographic that she was misquoted in last week's Sports Illustrated. Courtney Stringer would never say a cheese line like "What can I say, we're all just lacrosse junkies." Thank you for your time.

Moving right along. Saturday night, the Picas, Courtney and I went to Mellow Beach for some cold beverages. Before it turned into a bar room brawl like a scene from Crossroads, we bolted and caught up with everyone at M.R. Duck's. Not much to recall except consuming from a wooden duck, and annoying people with my water gun. Crazy night!

After the melee and severe body injury done to myself, the next day I realized I was actually reaping benefits from not qualifying for even the consolation final round, otherwise known as the loser's bracket to be blunt. I spent the beautiful 85 degree tournament championship day inside, in the fetal position, sleeping.

By the way, who won the tournament? No, seriously. I'm supposed to write a column about this thing.

The ride home was actually a lot of fun though as Kevin Sturm, Ryan Lannigan and I recapped what we could remember of the whole weekend and told jokes about a dog named Stain. It was tough to stomach the #4 from Burger King but I finished it by the time we hit Baltimore. By the way, you can check out Lannigan in the SI article. He's the one on the right side in the Rolling Rock uniform getting smoked by some guy from Capital.



OC Tournament Founder Jim Huelskamp and his wife Natalie

A special holler that I haven't mentioned to those who made the OC Classic a blast:

INHALE
SIX TRIBES for hooking my team up as usual, Casey Hazel, knock em dead at Dartmouth, Josh Hahn for his birthday suit, Jake Rogers and the Swamp Dogs, The Stringers, Trish Cummings, John Strohsacker, Jennifer Scott, Lacy and Hollis Pica (good luck at G'Town, Hollis!), Toby Carson aka Sir Talks A lot, and the Pool Bar Posse, Tully, Freddy, Marshall, The Boosh, Jenn Mezzadra, Kelly Eberling and the rest of the Magerk's/Investor's First Lacrosse Team, and the poison that creates these great stories.
and EXHALE.

Beth Edwards and Courtney Benner - I wish we could've hung out longer. I'll hit you up on the next go round…

Before I cut out, let's hope I have enough funds to get me to Hawaii otherwise y'all are gonna have to fill in the blanks between now and Mardi Gras. Besides, it ain't over. 'Cause like our pal Rocky says, "I didn't hear no bell."





Signing off by welcoming our new Quarterback Kyle Boller with open arms,

                  Sparky


Photos by John Strohsacker Thousands of Lax Photos for sale!


PREVIOUS SPARKPLUG COLUMNS:

Sparky's Final Four
Sparky Storms into Jersey
Sparky @ Mardi Gras
Sparky in Philly