Throughout the 2012 season, the Swarm will be featuring Q&As with selected season ticket holders. Their "Swarm experiences" will be highlighted once a month on mnswarm.com.
This month, Jessica Baltes from the Swarm caught up with eight-year season ticket holder Nick "Niknak" and new season ticket holders Mark and Rachel.
Nick cheers on Minnesota in his infamous Swarm suit.
Nick, known as “Niknak” to Swarm fans, has been a season ticket holder from day one. After watching some video and attending one of the Swarm's exhibition games during its inaugural season in 2005, he was hooked and has been a fan ever since.
Jessica: How would you describe a Swarm game to someone who has never experienced it before?
Nick: I’d say it’s about 80% hockey, and 20% basketball. It’s the same type of scoring. You are trying to get the object into the net like hockey, there’s checking and it’s really physical like hockey, but a little bit of the game play is kind of like basketball. It’s a fun, fast-paced, and high-scoring sport.
Jessica: You are well-known for wearing a Swarm suit to the games. How did that come about?
Nick: After the first couple of seasons I was definitely a huge fan and I want to bump it up a notch. I started doing some fun stuff like a blue Mohawk one year and I did some crazy stuff. I took too much razing at work, so I decided that I needed to do something different, but still fun that I could put in the closet.
Jessica: So how long have you been wearing it for?
Nick: I think this is the third or fourth year that I have had the suit now.
Jessica: Last season the Swarm had its first nationally televised game on VERSUS, and I heard that you made it on TV. Did any of your friends see you?
Nick: Yeah, a few people were watching the game and were texting me saying, “You were just on TV.” That was really fun. A few people had the picture from the DVR recording of the game. I got Facebooked a few times with the pictures. It was cool because I was there with my family and they got to be on TV too.
Jessica: Do you have a favorite Swarm player?
Nick: I like them all. I just like the team. Beni [Ryan Benesch] is a good guy...Patterson. I’m excited for this year and getting to meet a lot of new faces. A bunch of these guys are the next generation of superstars.
Jessica: What game are you most looking forward to this season?
Nick: Just seeing what all of these new guys can do. It’s going to be a fun season. There is a lot of young talent with a lot of potential. We’ll see with the rule changes. It could be a surprising season. I just like going to the games and having fun. Wins are definitely a pleasure, so hopefully we will see a lot of them.
Jessica: Do you have a favorite game theme (Native Night, The Hive Cares, etc.), or is there a game theme that you would like to see added?
Nick: The one that I have had the most fun with lately has been Hive Cares Night, the cancer theme. The last couple of seasons I have worn a black suit with pink lettering and logos just to get into that a little more. All of them are fun.
Jessica: Do you have a favorite season ticket holder event?
Nick: Anything they do is above and beyond really. It’s cool that the Swarm do the stuff like this bowling event [Holiday Bowl]. It’s always fun to come and hang with the team members. Anything you can do get together and to meet the players is really cool. There isn’t any other sport where you can do that. I appreciate that the Swarm do really fun, interesting events. All of them are great.
Rachel (bottom, blue jacket) celebrates her birthday at a Swarm game with friends and her family, Gabrielle, Lora, and Mark (top right).
Mark and Lora, along with their daughters, Rachel and Gabrielle, are new season ticket holders with the Minnesota Swarm. Mark and Rachel recently discussed their experience with the Swarm.
Jessica: When was your first Swarm game and how did it come about?
Rachel: About two years ago, my dad’s boss got extra tickets and invited us to attend a game with his family. We couldn’t believe the excitement in Xcel Energy Center. We have been to hockey games and concerts, but this was a different kind of energy.
Jessica: What about the experience keeps you coming back?
Rachel and Mark: We love lacrosse. We love the action and the fast pace of the game. We love the atmosphere and how much the crowd gets into the game. The Swarm organization works hard to make these games fun and entertaining for everyone!
Jessica: Have you ever played lacrosse?
Mark: Not on a team, but our daughters have played a few pickup games in the backyard.
Jessica: How does a Minnesota Swarm game compare to going to other sporting events?
Rachel and Mark: It’s more exciting and energetic. We stay engaged the whole game. You would have to work hard to not have fun at these games. The fast pace is incredible and there is always something going on in the stadium.
Jessica: Do you have a favorite Swarm player?
Rachel: #93, the goalie [Nick Patterson]!
Mark: Dad’s opinion is that there is a minor crush involved with her pick. But they’re all good.
Jessica: Do you participate in any of the season ticket holder events? If so, what event is your favorite?
Rachel and Mark: We are new season ticket holders and are just learning about the events. We haven’t taken advantage of them yet, but are looking forward to trying them.
Jessica: What are you most looking forward to this season?
Rachel and Mark: Everything! The game, the action, and the players!
For more information on season tickets, click here or call 1-888-MN-SWARM.