Sparky Answers That Age-Old Question: WHAAAZUUUP?

By Darla Burns

During the downtime between Hawaii and the start of lacrosse season, I take a few months off to reflect on the past year and how I can top it the next. If I have time left over, I then see if I can stuff more grapes in my mouth than I did during lunch my senior year of high school on a dare by me. I, like the groundhog, am never wrong and 2005 looks promising. And that's my only prediction for the year to come. So, what did I do with my downtime? A winter in review, if you will:


Crease Monkeys Christmas Party- NYC

In mid December, a month after our Hawaii trip, a group of Monkeys organized a Christmas party in NYC that Courtney and I attended.



Sue Korcek has the secret to shutting Sparky up. Fresh off the slopes, she
shares some hot chocolate via the Monk-onut obtained from the Luau in Hawaii.


It was great to see the cast of Santa's Helpers and the man who killed the abominable snowman. My cousin Christine came with me to the jingle ball which turned out to be a good time/reunion had by all. Monkeys past and present were all in attendance. Towards the end of the night, I won a sword fight involving two mutant candy canes and Kevin Travis. At the end, Travis cried uncle and well, just cried, actually. Unfortunately, the pictures were too horrific to show to the public, but I hope I have painted a pretty picture. John Chescavage put me on his shoulders at the loft on 53rd, because the bartenders couldn't see me. My big hair was almost taken out by the ceiling fan, but with these cat-like reflexes, I swiveled backwards in Matrix-like form.




Joanna with Court posing as the Grinch, but she's not fooling anybody.


Lacrosse Clinic in South Carolina

January was a bitter cold month, but I celebrated another birthday. It was the best birthday ever. It was sleeting, it was on a Monday, and I celebrated it alone. Oh yeah! I bounced a check that day, too. I mean, does it get any better than that? However, that weekend was the real celebration, and this time I say that without sarcasm.



A.T. shows Kevin how to buckle his seatbelt while Nick attempts to thieve someone else's carry-on.

A group of us went to South Carolina and coached a clinic for high school kids with some has-beens (or a never was, meaning me) headed up by Lax World and Sports Her Way. We had a lot of fun and group was a real hoot. Jen Dragoni, Lauren Traber and I took in an 80's cover band the night before with A.T. Bailey, Nick Ruocco, Rob Horrigan, and Kevin Warne. They performed Flock of Seagulls better than Flock of Seagulls. We had a lot of fun and the southerners really are some of the nicest people on the planet.



The kids here show Nick a thing or two during instruction

The clinic varied from rookie to veteran high- schoolers with one common ground, to have fun playing lacrosse. Our group of young grasshoppers was attentive, yet whimsical. It was fun for us too, girls.


 
Lauren teaches reflex improvement skills while Dragoni looks on in awe.

After the clinic, the girls flew back to Baltimore and I was the brave soul to ride 3 hours to paint the town of Charleston with all the boys. But if Pedro can become class president, then this cat could survive as the Soldier of Fortune. I succeeded by running up A.T.'s tab. Charleston was similar to Baltimore except that it was better by like a thousand. By the way, boys smell. And the ride was NOT awesome.



Kevin braves A.T.’s driving skills, among other things.


US Lacrosse Coaches Convention

The next weekend was the US Lacrosse Coaches Convention in Philly which I feel like I was only there for 5 minutes.



I just like this picture because it gives the impression that I am tall and
Kevin looks like he was just told he is not attractive.


We got there at 6pm on a Friday, in which I was rushed to rehearse the E-Lacrosse Fashion show (of course, I didn't participate, I co-hosted, there was no youth line to model) with Casey Powell and our editor. For the first year of the fashion show, I must say it was a success, much credit due to Rebel Wear's Scotty Joyner and his tumble up the stairs. I look forward to an even bigger turnout next year.



FASHION is SMASHIN'!

Models included Kevin Finneran, Gary Gait, and other notables from across the country. Adrenaline made a seductive debut and Wave One rolled out a team of uniformed models. Thanks to all those that participated and especially Cranbarry and Adrenaline for hooking Casey and me up with some sweet goodies!





After the show, we went to the lobby to see old and new friends. Half of my college team was there, which was nice to see, and before you knew it, Courtney, Amy and I were the last men standing, well, with a few others.



Darah's Homecoming/Stas & Joanna's engagement Party- Baltimore, MD


Wings vs. Knighthawks-Philadelphia, PA

It's no wonder that Sports Illustrated has a swimsuit issue around this time to boost their sales, because it is apparent that this time of year is somewhat slow in the sports industry. Until now. A few weeks ago I ventured to College Park with alum Tori Wellington and co-worker Beth Frissora to catch the Terps' Hoops squad beat #8 Duke for the second time in the regular season for the first time since 1995. The now unprecedented event was something out of a movie. The bomb squad was released to calm fanatics and student body that ran amuck in the streets, in dramatic fashion. It was quite an experience to say the least. But that's not the only excitement in sports I discovered this season.





Court and a few pals of mine took in a Philadelphia Wings game with Harry Mazaheri, Godfather of the Crease Monkeys, to see if the team still had it and if the audiences, and Chopper, were still making noise. They did, and he was.

Fellow Monkey John Grant Jr., however, took his Knighthawks to victory scoring a hatrick times three. That means 9 goals for all you Frostburg State grads.





We went to the local hangout after the game, we hopped in a cab with Nick and T.R. for late night at some of T.R.'s buddies' house. T.R. unveiled his new do' and anyone that guesses how many lbs. was lost gets a pack of Big Red (the trial size) and a Dr. Pepper. That's all I can afford right now. Send me your guesses here.



Some of us dressed up in funny hats…




…while some of us fell asleep on car seats in the basement.

So, the Patriots won the super bowl. Jamal is in jail. It's very cold, but no snow to show for it, and my neighbor downstairs is complaining that I make too much noise (don't worry audience, I have changed my schedule of 12 a.m. shadowboxing to 5 p.m., for fear of eviction). On top of all that, the shoes that my brother's fiancé chose for the bridesmaids to wear in the wedding are crap. These days, life in Baltimore is very Blah to say the least. But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel. The Orioles acquired Sammy Sosa* and Torrie Wellington is now engaged to Matt Hanna. The start of the lacrosse season and Sunday Funday is around the corner. So, the hiatus is over and I will see ya'll on the field! And congratulations to






This is Sparky signing off by saying:
If you fall asleep, You get the feet.
                                          From Sac-Town to B-more,

                                                                  Sparky





Photos by Sparky, John Strohsacker, and others.
Thousands of Lax Photos for sale!


PREVIOUS SPARKPLUG COLUMNS:

2004 Hawaii Tournament
2004 Ocean City Tournament
2004 Final Four
2004 Lacrosse Fashion Extravaganza
Back In Philly - 2004 Lacrosse Coaches Convention
Sparky in Hawaii
Sparky in Ocean City
Sparky's Final Four
Sparky Storms into Jersey
Sparky @ Mardi Gras
Sparky in Philly