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
5:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Mariners' new scoreboard: hit or miss?

In this computer rendering provided by the Seattle Mariners, a new high definition video display screen is seen where it will replace the current center field scoreboard at Safeco Field.
Ben VanHouten Seattle Mariners

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

"It's more of a hood ornament when no one is really buying the car."

That's what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has to say about the Mariners' plans for a new scoreboard at Safeco Field - at an estimated cost of $10 million.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

WSU controversy highlights lack of players' rights

This Oct. 13, 2012 file photo shows WSU wide receiver Marquess Wilson (86) standing on the sidelines.
Dean Hare AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

Washington State University's athletic department and the Pac-12 are each investigating claims of abuse by first-year head football coach Mike Leach. The often controversial coach denies the claims being leveled by former star receiver Marquess Wilson, who quit the team.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says, no matter who's right in this case, it sheds light on the long-overlooked issue of players' rights - or lack of them - in college sports.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:15 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Finally! Sounders move on to 2nd round of playoffs

Seattle Sounders Mario Martinez celebrates with teammates Fredy Montero and David Estrada after scoring the only goal in the Western Conference semifinal match with Real Salt Lake Thursday in Utah.
Rick Bowmer AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The fourth time’s the charm. After three years of losing in the first round, the Seattle Sounders are moving on to the second round of the Major League Soccer playoffs.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Seahawks defense 'showing its youth'

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passes the ball as Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (92) and defensive end Red Bryant (79) try to block the pass during Sunday’s game in Detroit.
Rick Osentoski AP Photo

The Seahawks host the Vikings on Sunday. At midseason, the Hawks are 4-4 and looking to turn things around.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it starts with their defense.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Can Sounders get past Real Salt Lake in first round of playoffs?

The Sounders' Fredy Montero comes in from the side to challenge Real Salt Lake's Nat Borchers for the ball in their match on Oct. 17, 2012, in Seattle. The teams played to a 0-0 draw.
Ted S. Warren The Associated Press

The Sounders play their final game of the regular season this Sunday against the LA Galaxy in California.

Next weekend, they face Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals - in a rematch from last year.

The Sounders have made it to the Major League Soccer playoffs all four years of their existence, but have yet to make it to round two. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's tough to say if this will be their year.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Rough season for UW, WSU quarterbacks

UW quarterback Keith Price reaches for the ball as he fumbles it against Southern California on Oct. 13. USC recovered at its own 4-yard line and won the game 24-14.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

There's not a lot to cheer about this season if you're a college football fan in Washington.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State have been struggling. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says nowhere is that more evident than at the position of quarterback.

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Sports with Art Thiel
1:54 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Former Mariner players continue to haunt Seattle fans

Former Mariner Raul Ibanez celebrates after hitting the game-winning home run during the 12th inning of Game 3 of the American League division baseball series on Wednesday. Ibanez played for, and left the Mariners on two separate occasions.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

There has been a lot of excitement so far in the early rounds of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and much of that has been provided by former Seattle Mariner players. As sports commentator Art Thiel explains to KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt, the sight of players leaving Seattle to flourish on other teams has become far too common for fans over the years. To hear the discussion, click the "Listen" button above.

Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Will Mariners fence changes make big difference next year?

A sign put up by Mariners fans behind left field indicates a concern for their seats. The Mariners this week announced plans to move in the outfield fences at Safeco Field for the 2013 season to make it easier on hitters.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Despite modest improvement this year, the Mariners end the season last in the American League West for the third year in a row.

And that's not the end of the frustration for Mariners fans, according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Seahawks fans' reaction to disputed call 'foolish'

The call seen 'round the world: Officials signal a touchdown by Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate on the last play of the Monday Night Football match-up against the Green Bay Packers. The call gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win.
Stephen Brashear AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has a bone to pick with some Seahawks fans. He's baffled by the action of several season ticket holders following the Seahawks' controversial victory over the Green Bay Packers Monday night, at the hands of replacement referees.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:46 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Seahawks, Packers, NFL, referees, history collide in end zone

Packers defenders fight for possession of a jump ball with Seattle Seahawks wide receivers Charly Martin (14) and Golden Tate, right, in the final seconds of last night's game.
Stephen Brashear AP

Special post from SportsPress Northwest

As the parabola of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s final pass became apparent – in play, in the end zone –  there was no doubt that the Seahawks, the Packers, a stadium of fans, and the world that cares about Monday Night Football were about to witness the worst collision between clown cars in the history of the circus.

Boom! Floppy shoes, orange hair, red noses flying across the Pioneer Square landscape. Oh, the greasepaint!

And grinning in the bottom of the mayhem was a hero named Golden.

Does it get more loopy?

Yes. Loopy went overtime, grabbed a snack and came back on the field to kick a pointless point. Ten minutes after the game was over, it was over-over:  Seattle 14, Green Bay 12, but the controversy over this outcome will finish the moment the sun goes supernova.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Seahawks - a team of thugs in passive-aggressive Seattle?

Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones has his kick blocked by the Seahawks in the first half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. The Seahawks won 27-7.
Kevin P. Casey AP Photo

In a city that's known for being passive-aggressive, it might sound funny to some Seattleites to hear their football team described as simply aggressive. Some are calling the team "a bunch of thugs" after their rout of the Cowboys last Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel finds humor in the Seahawks' tough new reputation.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Will the Seattle Storm stay at KeyArena if a new facility is built?

Fans filing into KeyArena for a Seattle Storm game.
Flickr

A revised agreement for a new Seattle sports arena that was unveiled this week got people talking again about the future of KeyArena. As part of the amended deal with lead investor Chris Hansen, the city negotiated $7 million for upgrades to KeyArena and a study about its future.

That future may not include the Seattle Storm, according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Seahawks' early success: why some fans act like 'jilted lovers'

Seahawks fans react to an upheld touchdown by the Tennessee Titans that is shown on the replay screen behind them in a preseason game last month in Seattle.
Rick Bowmer AP Photo

When it comes to getting their hopes up early on in the season for any Seattle sports team, many fans instead put up their defenses. That may be happening to some people in the wake of the Seahawks' perfect preseason record of 4-0.

As the Hawks gear up for the start of the regular season Sunday in Arizona, some fans are keeping the team at arms' length. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Preview: Seahawks' perfect preseason makes some wary

Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson in action against the Oakland Raiders in a preseason game in Seattle.
AP Photo

The Seahawks are preparing for their season opener on Sunday in Arizona. They went 4-0 in the preseason - only the second perfect preseason in team history.

But not everyone is celebrating that feat. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will explain why tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

UW Huskies face formidable foes in first half of 2012 season

On the bright side: Quarterback Keith Price is back at the helm for UW this year, after an impressive debut last year. Art Thiel says Price is a Heisman Trophy contender and will help the Huskies get through a rough start to 2012.
Elaine Thompson AP File Photo

The Washington Huskies begin the 2012 football season Saturday night against San Diego State. UW will face four Top 20 teams in the first six weeks of the season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a tough schedule is not the only obstacle the Huskies face this year.

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