Art Thiel

Sports Commentator

Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,”  which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University as well as two dead papers and a live one, the News Tribune of Tacoma, he has become a fan of entrepreneurial online journalism because it allows him to continue a lifelong passion to take the English language to places it rarely visits willingly, and does not involve the cleaning of kennels or stables.

Kirsten Kendrick's Q. & A. with Thiel can be heard every Friday during M.E. at 5:35am and 7:35am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

How the public benefits from the Pac-12 TV deal

The revenue from the new Pac-12 television deal is expected to be a huge boon for the University of Washington and its efforts to renovate Husky Stadium without public money.
File photo/Ted S. Warren AP

Incredible. Unbelievable. Whopper-sized. Just some of the words used to describe the television deal announced this week by the new Pac-12 Conference. It's the biggest media rights contract in college sports history.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the deal may seem ridiculous to non-sports fans, but they too will benefit from it.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

No room for war room in NFL draft

A so-called "war room" during the 2010 NFL draft. Art Thiel wants to do away with the phrase in relation to the draft. He says a serious military term that describes where life-and-death decisions are made has no place in sports.
Evan Siegle/Pool photo AP

Editor's Note: In the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, former Washington quarterback Jake Locker was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 8 pick. The Seahawks chose James Carpenter, a tackle from Alabama, with the 25th overall pick.

If you watch any part of the NFL Draft over the next few days, chances are you'll hear the words "war room" to describe the place where team leaders huddle together to make their player selections.

The seemingly careless use of such a serious military term is a pet peeve of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. And he wants to start a campaign to abolish the use of the phrase in sports.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Lockout poses draft challenges for Seahawks-will they go for a QB?

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck gets a hug from coach Pete Carroll after the team beat the Saints in the NFC Wildcard playoff Jan. 8, 2011. With Hasselbeck now a free agent, will the Hawks open their arms to another quarterback in the upcoming draft?
REUTERS Robert Sorbo

How can you have a successful draft during a lockout? That's what the Seahawks are trying to figure out ahead of the 2011 draft, which begins Thurs., April 28.

Even as the current players are locked out, the Hawks are trying to decide who to add to the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the big question is, will they go for a quarterback?

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Have Mariner fans lost hope?

Mariner fans have left the building. Some never even arrived. Safeco Field attendance hit a record low this week. This photo is from a game from last year's 101-loss season, in which the M's lost to the Cubs in extra innings.
Ted S. Warren AP

The Mariners have said that 2011 is a rebuilding year. But, judging by recent attendance at Safeco Field, they're going to have to rebuild more than just the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the bond between the Mariners and their fans has been broken.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

UW's Thomas and Locker: path to pros risky for both

UW quarterback Jake Locker smiles during a pro day workout at UW on March 30, 2011. Locker is participating in this month's NFL draft, after finishing his senior year at UW. Art Thiel says he was a better prospect a year ago.
Elaine Thompson AP

Two of the University of Washington's most prominent athletes in recent years are planning to go pro. Point guard Isaiah Thomas recently announced he's leaving the UW a year early to enter the NBA draft. And quarterback Jake Locker is participating in the NFL draft this month.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says both athletes have taken risks in their paths to professional sports.

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Sports with Art Thiel
4:01 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Mariners start 2011 season with a major shuffle

Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki stretches before a spring training game in Arizona last month. Art Thiel says Ichiro is the only player to be starting in the same position he played last year, as the Mariners shuffle things around.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

The Mariners are making some changes to their starting lineup as the 2011 season gets underway. Will it bring them better luck than last year's losing season?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical, but he says there are some bright spots coming out of spring training.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:29 am
Fri March 25, 2011

What makes a successful pro sports owner? Look to the late Barry Ackerley

He was tough. He was obstinate. He was the only sports figure to ever lay a hand on KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. But Art says Barry Ackerley was the best owner the Sonics ever had.

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Sports with Art Thiel
3:56 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Sounders start season with crowd, controversy

Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham defends as Seattle Sounders' O'Brian White looks for a shot and Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders looks on during the 2011 season opener Tuesday, March 15, in Seattle.
AP

The Seattle Sounders FC started the 2011 season this week with a record crowd and some unwelcome controversy.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:46 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Art Thiel: Give Romar benefit of the doubt in Overton case

Too much, too little or just right? Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers to the question of whether University of Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar went far enough in his punishment of senior guard Venoy Overton.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:21 am
Fri March 4, 2011

NFL labor talks extended; Hasselbeck likely free agent

Love 'em or leave 'em: Matt Hasselbeck hugs coach Pete Carroll after the Seahawks beat the Saints in the NFC Wildcard playoff game Jan. 8, 2011. Art Thiel says Hasselbeck will be a free agent whenever NFL players get a new contract.
Robert Sorbo REUTERS

NFL labor talks have gone into overtime.  Owners and players have now agreed to a seven-day extension to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union.

For Seahawks fans, this means quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will likely become a free agent.

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Sports with Art Thiel
1:45 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Huskies bounce back after controversy - NCAA tourney bound?

After a mid-season controversy and losing a shot at the Pac-10 title, the Washington Huskies appear poised to end the regular season on a high note. And they might just make it to the NCAA tournament.

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Sports with Art Thiel
8:15 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Hard to embrace idea of Griffey as Mariners' consultant

Ken Griffey Jr. puts his arm around Mariners team president Chuck Armstrong before a baseball workout in 2009 at Safeco Field. Their close relationship came under scrutiny last year, following Griffey’s abrupt retirement from baseball.
Elaine Thompson AP

There are a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved issues with Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job as special consultant with the Seattle Mariners. This follows his abrupt retirement in the middle of the season last year.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:34 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Concerns of both sides need to be heard in NFL labor talks

Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry talks with fans at the end of the playoff game against the Saints Jan. 8, 2011, in Seattle. Curry's $60 million/5 year rookie contract is a reason why NFL owners want a wage lid for rookies.
John Froschauer AP

The NFL may want to keep celebrating a successful 2010 season and profitable Super Bowl, but it must now turn its attention to a more unpleasant topic: a new collective bargaining agreement with players. The contract of a popular Seahawks player factors into one of the issues at play.

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Sports with Art Thiel
2:32 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

Steelers and Super Bowl still bad mix for Seahawks fans

Do you remember the Seattle Seahawks losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL? If you lived in Seattle five years ago, of course you do. Have you gotten over it? If not, you might want to root for the Green Bay Packers this weekend.

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Sports with Art Thiel
1:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

After Niehaus: How do you replace a legend?

Dave Niehaus was the legendary voice of the Seattle Mariner broadcasts for more than 30 years. His death last fall has left a void. How will the M's fill it?
AP

The sudden death of Mariners' Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus last November left a huge void in the team's radio booth. It's a void that will be evident this weekend as fans flock to Safeco Field for Mariners FanFest - the annual meet-and-greet with players and team personnel.

Since there is no one voice that can replace Niehaus, the Mariners have decided to use five this season. 

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