Patrick Burke, a former All-American lacrosse player at the University of Maryland has won
a national vote to be the wild-card entry to the 16th season of "Dancing With the Stars". Burke,
a native of the tony town of New Canaan, Connecticut, home to celebrities like Harry Connick,
Jr. NBC anchor Brian Williams, and sportswriter, Mike Lupica, was thrilled to get the final
spot on ABC's hit television show.
"I've been waiting a long time for this," said Burke, 48. "I was brought up in the Walter Schalk
school of dancers and now the world will see what I already know. This pasty-white, Irish guy
can dance his ass off."
Burke, who will be sponsored by Jack Daniels, will be teamed with pro dancer, Cheryl Burke,
no relation. It will be the first Burke & Burke pairing in the history of the show. Burke the pro
dancer has been teamed with NFL players Chad Ochocinco and Warren Sapp in the past, thinks
P. Burke has some potential which could make them a dark horse to win the show.
"First of all, we need to get him in some kind of dancing shape. That goes without saying," said
C. Burke. "He'll need to cut down on the Ring Dings, Ho-Ho's, Chocolate Malt Balls, and Rum &
Cokes. If he can drop 20, we should have a chance."
|PATRICK BURKE IN 1982 DURING "CUPID" SONG AND DANCE|
Burke is no stranger to the big stage. In 1982, as a senior at New Canaan High School, he
teamed with Steve Tonra and Doug Stevens to execute a stirring rendition of Sam Cooke's,
"Cupid". Burke, wearing a giant-sized diaper, showed some serious dance moves to help the
trio capture the top-prize in the talent show. Burke is hoping lightning strikes 31 years later.
"Just as long as Chaz Bono doesn't show up, I think Cheryl and I will have a chance," said Burke.
"I can't promise you that I'll be sober, but I can guarantee you a great performance."
Burke was joined in the celebration by four of his 13 brothers, who think Patrick has the goods
to go all way.
"Patrick was never the fastest guy on the field. Think Manti' Teo plus two seconds," said Joe
Burke, a former legendary football player at Boston University, whose football program ceased
operations just three practices into Burke's career. "But I got a tell you. He was nifty and sneaky
fast. I realize that was 25 years and 75 pounds ago, but I think he can dance with the best of them."
Burke said he'll turn to Howard Benedict, his lacrosse coach at New Canaan High School, for
advice on how to mentally prepare for his debut on "Dancing With The Stars".
"I owe everything to Howard," said Burke. "He was a complete space cadet off the field. Can
you imagine the school actually let that guy form and mold the youth of New Canaan when he
was an English teacher? But the guy could flat out coach lacrosse. I want to pick his brain and
see what he thinks about my Cha-cha-cha and how to work the judges. Benny was always good
at working the refs, so he might have some advice for me on how to sway the judges."
Burke is set to appear on "Dancing With The Stars" on March 23rd.
|"STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS"|