Herald JournalHerald Journal, May 5, 2003

Timberwolves' 'super fan' has Lester Prairie roots

By Troy Feltmann

Have you ever been to a Minnesota Timberwolves game and wondered who that guy is pounding his program on the hardwood floor?

It is "Super Fan," Bill Beise, a 1974 graduate of Lester Prairie High School.

He has been a season ticket holder with the Wolves since day one in 1989.

This year, the team honored Beise with a bobblehead being modeled after his likeness. During Fan Appreciation Day, 1,500 "Super Fan" Bill Beise bobbleheads were given away.

Every year, Beise has had the same seats next to courtside at Target Center. "You have not experienced a NBA game until you sit in the front row. It is unbelievable!" Beise said.

Beise takes his wife, Laurie, to half the home games. The other times are split up between their three children, or friends. The first time Laurie went to a Wolves game, she said she didn't like to see guys sweat. By the end of the first quarter, she was a big fan also.

Beise, a stock trader in Minneapolis, played basketball and football in high school.

"I go to other sporting events occasionally, but my passion is the Wolves."

Even during the early years when the Wolves were terrible, he never considered giving up his tickets. "I'm a die-hard fan," he said.

Beise commented that Lester Prairie was a great place to grow up. He still keeps up on local news at herald-journal.com. "I have to let Mom know what is going on."

Beise has been pounding the floor since the first game that he went to. He never gets worn out, he said. "Some games take more out of me, depending on game situations."

Does he ever actually sit in his seat? Beise replied, "Time outs!"

In fact, Beise tells a good story about not being in his seat.

The Washington Wizards were in town and there was a time out on the floor, with Beise being in his usual spot.

The buzzer sounded and Michael Jordan walked toward Bill and Laurie Beise.

Jordan shouted, "Hey Coach (Beise's nickname with many of the players), Why do you pay for those seats? You are never in them." Jordan walked away laughing.

Beise doesn't socialize with the players much, but the players come up to him and say hello. He has gotten to know the referees well. He knows the front office best, he said.

"They take care of me. They get me playoff tickets for the away games and set me up in the players' hotel," he said.

Beise goes to all the away playoff games. "I made one regular season away game. It happened to be in L.A. when I was there. We won that game."

Beise has one superstition before he goes to a game. "We have a lucky stone that everyone in the family has to touch."

The family was at the Uptown Art Fair and his daughter found a rock with a timber wolf painted on it. They had to buy it.

Anthony Peeler, a Wolves guard, considers Beise the Wolves' "sixth man." Beise replied, "No, everyone in the arena is the sixth man. I appreciated A. P. saying that."

At the beginning of the season, the promotion department came to Beise with the idea of the bobblehead.

"My initial reaction was that I wasn't too keen about the idea. They told me to think about it. When I got home and discussed it with my family, I was outvoted."

With all the publicity, people recognize him on the street. "I'm not looking for publicity. It's a nice honor; a little embarrassing. The deciding factor was all the proceeds were going to charity," he said.

The "Super Fan" bobblehead is available at all 42 area Rainbow Food stores for $13.

Fans are advised to call ahead if they are making a special trip because the bobbleheads go fast.

"The promotion is going very well," Beise said.

All profits will be donated to the Timberwolves Community Foundation and Ronald McDonald House on behalf of Bill Beise and Rainbow Foods.

How long is he going to get season tickets and be a "Super Fan?"

"Maybe I will stop if the Wolves win the NBA Championship," Beise said.


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