Sparky in Philly II - 2004 Lacrosse Coaches Convention

By Darla Burns

Dearest Lacrosse Community,

I write to you on a snowy evening awaiting the water taxi, my means of transportation to and from Under Armour, five days a week for the past three months except on Fridays. After Taxi Steve (not to be confused with Scuba Steve) drops me off at the dock, I begin the long walk home, a brutal 15 minute trek to my apartment. A fallen transmission and 2 speeding tickets within three days of each other are the key contributors to the demise of my driving capabilities. It is 20 degrees with a wind chill factor of 152 below, the treacherous hike has me longing for a cup of Joe, but I am already warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about the beaches of Oahu. Speed dial #126 is occupied by Taxi Steve and I purchased a warm, plush butt matt for those harsh mornings on that 3 minute cruise (cruise, ha!). This leads me to my next pointů I need to get away! And while it is no beach of Waikiki, a simple trip to Philly will have to suffice.

The crew: Amanda and Nicole

During the escapade, 3 jobs were delegated. Amanda drove, Nicole DJ'd, and I of course, did what I do best, talked. This whole Philly trip might sound like a redundant story, but it is a different event with a new counterpart on the travel team I coerce for certain trips. Our new player in the 12 part series is Nicole Brahim. She performed a stint at Loyola College as a player and is now a teacher. Her victims are the students of Franklin Middle School, which is where I went in my younger years. Cry Baby was filmed here. When my first crush Johnny Depp would not even look in my locker's direction, I settled for snare drum and badminton extraordinaire Willy Neiman. His name has been disguised for his protection, and mine.

It's all laughs on the set of Tori's new talk show.

Back to business! I have to admit, while I do love the convenience of having the National Coaches Convention in Baltimore, it is so much more fun in Philly. As a tourist, I feel there is soo much to offer! Besides, their Fish Market is a Goliath compared to ours. Shopping is within a walk's distance, and where else can you pay 15 dollars a pop for a drink. Amanda and Nicole checked to see if their drinks had diamonds in the glass like Lil' Kim likes to rap about. She's Phat with a p-h. On this Friday night, we met up with Leslie and Lisa from Bacharach and toured Philly and all of its finest Irish Bars, and not by choice. I was told to go to the only "Irish Pub" in Philly, "your cab driver will know where", and five Irish Pubs later, we settled for the Jig and yet another round of mint green libations.

First Meeting: Mike Spinner and Sparky

The National Coaches Convention (remember, I'm covering that for E-Lacrosse) was hoppin' with the buzz of coaches and exchanged words of future prospects. For one time a year this where they all come together as one to learn a little more and go back to their respective teams after. Or whatever. But that night, if your eyes weren't on your watered down drinks, they were on the NFL playoffs on TV at every establishment in town. After the ups and downs of the melee, me and the ladies joined pal A.T. and the Lax World guys along with my editor in chief and his International Crew.

A.T. and Jerry from Lax World

On Sunday, I promised myself that since I missed a workout on Friday, I would make up for it at some point. So I sprinted all the way to H&M on Market Street, stair stepped past City Hall which was painted in all Green for the Eagles of course, all the while lifting my arms up and down to stiffen my pecs, like Rocky. Now, it may not have looked attractive, but you've never seen guns like these. Speaking of guns, unfortunately I will not be at the Mardi Gras Lacrosse Tournament this year, because as a competent employee of Under Armour's Law Enforcement department, my presence is required in Las Vegas for our Shot Show that very same weekend. However, I promise to be at the next tournament with full coverage. But a week after the tournament (Saturday, February 21st), meet me in Baltimore at MaGerk's Pub for the Bacharach/MaGerk's Women's Lacrosse Flip Cup Tournament. Click on this link for more information. You must, of course, be 21 or over.

Amsterdam's Eduoard Dopper and Sparky

In the meantime, just to give you ladies out there a heads upů the E-Lacrosse Amsterdam tournament welcomes its first women's bracket to join the men's in August. That could only mean one thing. I will have a teamů who's coming with me? Please e-mail me here and let me know if you are interested in playing on our team in Amsterdam. We'll make two teams if we get that many people! This summer the possibilities are endless!

Just one aisle of the huge fish market!

These All-Americans-turned-college-assistants crossed the street for a lunch break. Philly's best!

Special Congrats to Paul and Tracey Cantabene on their future lacrosse star! If it's a girl, name her Sparky!

From the future First Place Winners of Flip Cup,

                                                      Sparky-O'Doyle Rules!

Thousands of Lax Photos for sale!


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