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.

Ways To Connect

John Locher / AP Photo

Investment groups in Seattle, Bellevue and Tukwila did not apply for National Hockey League expansion before the deadline recently expired.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the prospect of professional hockey in our region is still alive.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders host the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field Saturday night.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel hopes they do better against the last-place team in the Western Conference than they did against the last place team in the Eastern Conference last weekend. He says the Sounders need to end their slide quickly.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners are playing their final series before the All-Star break this weekend, hosting the Angels at Safeco Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Mariners need to get hot to get into the playoff hunt.

AP Images

There is tremendous local interest as the U.S. Women's National team plays Japan in the Women's World Cup soccer final on Sunday in Vancouver, B.C.

The U.S. women are going for their third World Cup title. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says their odds are pretty good.

Title IX Coming To Fruition

Thiel said the reason the U.S. women are so dominant has to do with something that happened more than 40 years ago.

"Starting in 1972, Title IX, which was a federally mandated order to equalize the opportunities for women athletes in major colleges, took effect. By 1978, everyone was in compliance," he said.

  "What we're seeing 40 years later is a wonderful collection of athletes and coaches to make the U.S. dominant.

"It's unlike anything else in the world," Thiel continued. "A lot of people don't realize this but, from 1921 to 1971, England banned women's soccer. Germany did not give opportunities for women players until 1970.

"So this has been, really, a U.S. phenomenon. Now, Japan is catching up. Germany is catching up. But they're not quite there yet because the U.S. has so many opportunities in high school and in college. And particularly for soccer."

Soccer Interest Keeps Rising

"There have been studies done about participation in the various sports: soccer, volleyball, baseball/softball and basketball," Thiel said. "Soccer participation has been going up, up, up, while the others have been flat lining or even declining. But soccer has been really soaring.

"We're seeing in this World Cup the fruition of Title IX in so many ways."

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners are in Anaheim this weekend to play the Angels after a 4-4 homestand that included the hiring of Mariners legend Edgar Martinez as the team’s new hitting coach.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel isn’t expecting anything magical.

Is Love Enough?

"Everybody loves Edgar," Thiel said. "That's, really, I guess, all the m

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

A surprising development in Glendale, Ariz., involving the Phoenix Coyotes has hockey fans in Seattle crossing their fingers about a possible relocation of the team.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says their wish isn’t likely to come true.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

As the Mariners host the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend at Safeco Field, there are two new faces in the dugout. This week, the Mariners traded four players to the Arizona Diamondbacks for power hitter Mark Trumbo and left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuño.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said he's not impressed.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Investor Chris Hansen confirmed in interviews this week that he is looking for a new teammate in his Seattle arena project. Hansen's plan for a basketball and hockey arena in the SoDo district recently received a favorable Environmental Impact Statement.

But the process is far from over. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said there are bigger hurdles ahead, including the question of which sport should come first.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Negotiations continue between the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson over extending his contract. Wilson has led the team to three playoffs and two Super Bowls during his first three years in Seattle.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says giving Wilson what many fans feel he deserves is easier said than done.

Rick Scuteri / AP Photo

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady confirmed that he will appeal his punishment by the NFL in the so called “deflategate” controversy regarding the team’s doctored footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains how the Patriots have written a bizarre new chapter in the saga and how it could affect how the Seahawks are viewed.

"Just when think this story can't get more absurd, it takes a fresh turn," Thiel said.

He's referring to the Patriots' creation of a website to post a lengthy rebuttal to the allegations of cheating leveled by an independent investigator hired by the NFL.

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

The Seahawks are getting their first look at their newly-drafted players this weekend in a three-day camp. This, as one of those rookies continues to draw big scrutiny.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks' choice of Frank Clark sparked controversy and comparisons to troubled players they've selected in the past.

AP Photo

Baseball is back to normal this weekend after a very abnormal game this week in Baltimore. The sports world was captivated by the Orioles and White Sox playing a game in an empty Camden Yards, due to the riots in Baltimore.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says Major League Baseball missed the chance to make a bigger statement.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The NFL released its 2015 schedule this week, causing a major media circus. At the center of it all: the Seattle Seahawks.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team has a lot of people talking.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Now that the 2015 Masters is in the books, the golf world’s focus is shifting to Pierce County. Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place will host the U.S. Open June 18-21.

It’s a first for the Pacific Northwest. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s a really big deal.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners are in Oakland this weekend for their first road trip of the season. They got off to a bumpy start at home, much to the dismay of many fans.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the city seems to be suffering from the “Seahawks effect.”

Lenny Ignelzi / AP Photo

The Mariners start the 2015 season at home Monday afternoon. They host the Los Angeles Angles at Safeco Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a different vibe surrounding the team this year, and it's got him a bit out of sorts.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

The Seahawks are staying busy in the offseason. They continue to enhance their roster. And they learned this week that they'll get even more opportunities to do that during next month's draft.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the biggest question about the Seahawks next season has yet to be answered.

Tony Avelar / AP Photo

The shocking decision this week of San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland to retire from the game over health concerns has shaken up the NFL.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's time for the league to come clean about the dangers of the sport.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Seahawks sent shockwaves through the NFL this week with their big trade with the New Orleans Saints: giving up center Max Unger and their first round draft pick for tight end Jimmy Graham.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it was a bold move that will pay off big time.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders kick off their 2015 season Sunday night. They host the New England Revolution at 6:30 at CenturyLink Field.

The Major League Soccer season begins with a brand new contract between the league and its players’ union.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

The Mariners begin spring training play next week in Arizona with a pretty bold prediction from one of their star players.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Northwest college football stars are among the hundreds of athletes who’ve been invited to take the first step toward being drafted into the NFL. They’re being evaluated this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Several local standouts could be top draft picks.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

The Seahawks are in contract mode with two of their best players. Running back Marshawn Lynch is hinting at retirement. Quarterback Russell Wilson is poised for a big payoff.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the salary cap will be a factor in both players’ negotiations.

Gregory Payan / AP Photo

As the Seahawks and their fans begin the process of trying to move on after Sunday’s heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, the fallout from the controversial play call continues. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a comeback from this will be the challenge of Coach Pete Carroll’s career.

Matt York / AP Photo

With the hype almost over, the Seahawks say they're ready to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is in Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl XLIX.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel still can't get over how the Seahawks came from behind to beat the Packers in overtime to advance to their second Super Bowl in two years.

“That was the most remarkable sequence of events I have ever seen in my sports writing career," he proclaimed.

Art breaks down the game and looks ahead to Super Bowl XLIX between the Seahawks and Patriots.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC championship game. The winner will head to the Super Bowl.

It’s the second year in a row for the Seahawks and their fans to be in this position. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says those two years couldn’t be any more different.

Chris Keane / AP Images for Panini

The Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers Saturday night in the NFC divisional playoff game. Kickoff is 5:15 at CenturyLink Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's not going to be the cake walk that many Seahawks fans may be expecting.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

The year 2014 started with a Super Bowl victory by the Seattle Seahawks, and ended with them in the playoffs once again. In between those events, a lot happened with the Mariners, Sounders and two separate University of Washington teams.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel counts down his top five sports moments of 2014.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The University of Washington football team is spending the holiday break preparing for a battle against Oklahoma State University in the Cactus Bowl, which takes place on Friday, Jan. 2, in Tempe, Arizona.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it may be one of the "lesser" bowl games, but it still has some value for UW.

Pages