(May 12, 2017)… It’s hard to miss season ticket holder Tim Knab on game nights. Clad in his No. 95 jersey and face paint, “Knabber” is like a team ambassador as he roams the concourse and arena bowl meeting people and cheering on his favorite team, the Rochester Knighthawks.
But Knabber’s fanhood goes well beyond the in-game experience. Being fortunate enough to be a fan since Day One, Tim has lived and breathed Knighthawks lacrosse. Soon after the team was founded in the fall of 1994, he created the Knighthawks Krew fan club. Knabber also jumped in the co-host’s seat when Eric “Gonzo” Driscoll launched Hawk Talk, which remains the longest-running fan-hosted radio show in the NLL.
Tim’s home is a shrine to the Knighthawks as his man cave is replete with Knighthawks bobbleheads, framed photos and life-size photos of championship teams. His wife, Jen, and son, Dylan, are also huge fans of the team. In fact, Tim proposed to his wife at a Knighthawks game. You can read about those details in his interview.
All this, and so much more, make Knabber one of the most avid fans of the Knighthawks and the game of lacrosse in the region. We had a chance to chat with Tim about his passion for the Knighthawks in this edition of Fan Friday.
How long have you been a season ticket holder? Since the beginning in 1994. What prompted you to start the Khawks Krew?
- We saw how the other teams brought tons of fans to Rochester with buses from Philadelphia and caravans of fans from Buffalo and I thought, why don’t we have something organized here in Rochester like that. I reached out to Eric “Big E” Schultz, who was the founder of the PWFC Philadelphia Wings Fan Club, and he helped me formalize how to do it, how to approach the team, how to approach the league, and how to get the fans engaged and involved. We are proud to be the longest-running professional lacrosse fan club in existence today in the NLL.
What first brought you to a Knighthawks game?
- Believe it or not, I was an avid Bandits fan before Rochester got a team and Steve Donner called and said, “How do you think a team would work in Rochester?” I told him, “I think it would change the face of Rochester sports and we have in my perception.” There wasn’t constant music, fans standing for a majority of the game, fights to settle disputes on the field, and players getting to know fans on a personal level after the games with any other team in Rochester with the best players in the world.
What is your favorite part of the game(s)?
- The Knighthawks Knation is truly my favorite part of the game, from needing tickets leading up to the game and knowing I’ll come through for them, to the relationships and bonds that have grown from this amazing sport of lacrosse. How many people get to honestly say that they have a separate family they get to see every week from December to May who loves their same passion as much as they do? I’m sure some fans show up to the game and go home afterwards, but we get together for the NLL Draft, Training Camp, and hours before each home game and hours afterwards. We get together to watch away games. Even during the summer our love for the sport cannot be quenched, as the fans get together for the Fann Cup in July. This year it’s being hosted by Buffalo at the downtown RiverWorks.
How great was it to propose to Jen at the Knighthawks game?
- Jen reconnected with me after finding me on the Wingszone Message Board, of course talking lacrosse. She became as huge of a fan as I am. With the lacrosse family we’d put together, it wouldn’t have been right to do it anywhere else. To have some of our best friends, John “Mac” McAllister and his wife, Deb “Bandit” McAllister, help with the proposal made it that much more special. Our friends Erich and Jen Roeszies created beautiful artwork and had the fans and players sign it congratulating us. Corey Quinn, the former Knighthawks goalie, ran up to us after the game as we stood against the boards and pointed to his ring finger and asked if she said, “YES.” She did and the journey has been amazing ever since; all thanks to the Knighthawks Family.
Do you have any interesting rituals? Any good luck routines?
- This may get me a free psychological exam, but every game day I lay out my game day gear, socks (one purple one teal), purple and teal game day sneakers, jeans with fabric paint saying “LET’S GO HAWKS” on the legs, dri-fit long sleeve under shirt, jersey and of course beads. This year was the first year that face paint was not worn and we didn’t make the playoffs. IT’S ALL MY FAULT ROCHESTER, I’M SORRY! During the games, if we start falling behind, I excuse myself from my section and leave the arena and walk the concourse or stand outside in the smoking area until we come back to win. If we start falling behind, you will hear Section 220 yell, “GET OUT KNABBER.” I’ve never been in the arena seating bowl for a Knighthawks championship victory, but quickly made my way back in 2012 and 2014. Also, after every goal I have to high-five everyone in my row and the last row of the section below me and the usher for our section.
Favorite memory as a fan:
- Going to the parade in Six Nations and being a guest with the team at Curt’s house, and celebrating Bread and Cheese Day was such an honor for me. It made me feel so appreciated for everything my family and all of the Knighthawks Krew do every year to support and promote the team and the sport of lacrosse.
Additional information you would like us to know:
- We would like to invite everyone to join us before and after every home game, and even most away games, to the Stock Exchange Restaurant in the First Federal Plaza on Main Street, which is across the river from the Radisson Riverside Hotel. Doors usually open two hours before game time and there is food, friends, drinks and sometimes even the players show up after the games. We’ve had every Hall of Famer come by after their induction. Everyone is welcome; you are our Lacrosse Family after all!