Team photographer Brian Liesse is introducing T-Birds fans to those connected to the team whose contributions might not be readily visible. We are excited about this project because we get to highlight those that make T-Bird hockey possible through their hard work and dedication to the team and the sport of hockey. We look forward to introducing you to T-Birds staff, accesso ShoWare Center staff, Booster Club members, Game Night Staff, Media, and others who help us celebrate and promote the team and the sport in the Pacific Northwest. Each person highlighted has answered a questionnaire about what they do with the team or how they are connected to the team,and some personal highlights. Brian took the photos of each person in their T-Bird environment.
What do you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I’m a national anthem singer for the team.
How long have you been working for/with the Thunderbirds?
I’ve been singing for the T-Birds since the 1996-1997 season (at KeyArena).
What is your favorite aspect of what it is you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I LOVE when the crowd sings along with me. It gives me chills every time. 💝
What is the most challenging aspect of what you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
The most challenging aspect of singing is making sure I start in the right key. Otherwise, I might end up singing too high, and everyone would suffer for it. 😁
What is your favorite Thunderbirds memory?
My favorite T-Birds memory was the first time everyone sang along (maybe two years ago?). I went out to sing and didn’t realize the microphone wasn’t on. So, I turned it on then said, “Let’s do this again and this time, you sing with me.” It was so much fun. Tom Helm has been asking the crowd to sing along with me since then.
Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I ALWAYS write the lyrics to O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner before I sing and take the lyrics out onto the ice with me. You’ll see the paper in my left hand. I’ve been doing this since I became the national anthem singer for my college, The University of Alabama Huntsville (which has an NCAA Division 1 ice hockey team!). I started doing this after forgetting the words to O Canada one night. We didn’t have the internet then (I had learned the song by listening to a record of Canadian folk songs). I asked our goalie (who was Canadian) for the words and he gave me THE WRONG WORDS! I sang what he gave me and tried to sound convincing. I’ve always written the lyrics since then.
Are you excited for an NHL team to come to Seattle?
I’m excited for the NHL to come to Seattle and excited to see how having an NHL team will help grow the sport of hockey among kids and our T-Birds!
What do you enjoy doing when not working for/with the Thunderbirds?
When I’m not singing for the T-Birds, I teach high school (video production). I also like to write and have self-published two novels, one of which is being turned into a movie.
What position do you/would you play if you were to play hockey?
If I were to play hockey, I’d play defense because that’s the position I played in soccer. I think I’d be a good hip-checker. 😁
Who are the Thunderbirds biggest rivals?
Their traditional rivals are the Portland Winterhawks, but the Everett Silvertips are also up there. Any time either of those teams comes to ShoWare, you can expect an exciting game.
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m @Motley_Su on Twitter and @motleysu on Instagram. Come say hi!