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 5:45am and 7:45am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

Ways to Connect

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

What makes sports rivalries so contentious, so impassioned and so much fun? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that it has a lot to do with proximity and stakes. While Seattle sports teams have often been accused of playing out of "Sound Alaska," Pacific Northwest teams still have managed to develop some consistent contention with other teams, especially if there is a lot on the line. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Developer Chris Hansen’s proposed NBA and NHL arena in Seattle’s SoDo district passed a major milestone this week. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the biggest obstacle remains: the NBA.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It might seem like a long way away from football season, but the University of Washington football team has taken the field for spring practice and will have their public spring scrimmage on April 23. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that there is plenty to expect from the Huskies this season.   

Brandon Wade / AP Photo

The Mariners are hosting the Oakland Athletics this weekend in their first home series of 2016. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team’s first three games in Texas had some surprising highs and lows.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The University of Washington women’s basketball team takes on Syracuse Sunday in Indianapolis as part of the NCAA's Final Four.

It’s the first time the UW women have gotten this far in the tournament. And KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it was a bit of a surprise this year.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders have a break from Major League Soccer play until April 2. But their best players aren’t getting a rest.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that’s not helping the team, which is off to the worst start in franchise history.

Bill Chan / AP Photo

'A turning point.' That’s what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel calls the NFL’s admission this week that football head injuries are a contributor to long-term health consequences for retired players.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The NFL’s free agency period is underway and, already, three well-known Seahawks players are gone.

It’s just part of the game and KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s no reason for fans to get nervous.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The University of Washington men’s basketball team is looking ahead to the Pac-12 Tournament, after finishing their regular season this week with a win over Washington State.

But will the Huskies get a chance to experience March Madness this year? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is doubtful.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Much like King Felix's new "do," newness is a big theme for the Mariners this season as they get ready to begin exhibition play next week in Arizona.

The team has a new general manager, a new manager, and a bunch of new players. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that could mean the end of some old problems.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders and their fans are likely still reeling from the surprise departure of leading scorer Obafemi Martins to the Chinese Super League.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that, amid the shock, there is a bit of a silver lining.

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

His teammates and fans are definitely going to miss him. But the retirement of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch isn’t really a bad thing for the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners begin spring training two weeks from now in Arizona. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says fans can expect a lot of changes this season.

Kelley McCall / AP Photo

We should know in a few weeks whether Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman will be charged with two felonies in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Bellevue last October.

Bellevue Police this week recommended charges to the King County Prosecutors Office. And that has drawn criticism from Coleman’s attorney.

The case has raised an issue that has KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel concerned.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Following their exit from the playoffs against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, the Seahawks are already looking ahead to next season.  But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team’s future may not include some very popular players.

Second-Half Rally By Seahawks Falls Short In NFC Division Game

Jan 17, 2016
Mike McCarn / Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers held off a strong comeback attempt by the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday's NFC divisional round game. The final score was 31-24.

Jonathan Stewart, returning from a foot injury, scored two touchdowns after jump starting the Panthers with a 59-yard sprint on their first play. Cam Newton threw for a touchdown and fellow All-Pro Luke Kuechly ran in an early interception for a score as Carolina built a 31-0 advantage.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

This Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game between the Seahawks and Panthers IS the Super Bowl, as far as KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is concerned.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

With Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. garnering the most votes ever for selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame this week, there’s been a lot of talk about his athletic achievements: 630 home runs, 10 Gold Gloves and 13 All-Star appearances, just to name a few.

But sports commentator Art Thiel told KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick there’s a very complex personality behind the powerful swing and graceful outfield leaps.

AP Photo

Seattle sports fans have a lot to look forward to in the new year. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel spoke with Kirsten Kendrick about some of the big stories to watch.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

2015 was filled with a lot of highs and lows for Seattle sports fans. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel breaks them down.

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks continue their quest for a wildcard playoff spot this Sunday, hosting the Cleveland Browns at CenturyLink Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says fans will see two new running backs, and an interesting quarterback matchup.

Joe Nicholson / AP Photo

The Mariners are the busiest team in Major League Baseball this offseason as they remake their roster. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel talks about the changes, including some made this week.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

After their dramatic win over the Steelers last weekend, the Seahawks face the Vikings in Minnesota Sunday morning at 10. It’s an important game for the 6-5 Hawks.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel expects the team to win, and keep winning through the end of the season.

"Call me crazy but I think they're gonna win," Thiel said. "I think they're going to score at least 30 points and I think it's going to be a big win.

"I think the Seahawks are set for a run.”

Why So Optimistic?

John Froschauer / AP Photo

With Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch recovering from sports hernia surgery, rookie Thomas Rawls will start this Sunday when the Seahawks host the Steelers. Rawls ran for 209 yards last Sunday, the second-most yards in a single game in Seahawks history.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel talks about Lynch, Rawls and what may be the beginning of a new era.

LM Otero / AP Photo

The Mariners have been the busiest team in Major League Baseball this offseason, remaking their roster in a big way. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes what he sees.

Ryan Kang / AP Photo

The Washington State Cougars are the surprise team of the Pac-12 this season. They're already bowl bound while their rivals, the Washington Huskies, are still trying to get to that point.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why both teams are where they are right now.

Brandon Wade / AP

The Seattle Seahawks have reached the mid-season point with a record of 4-4. Many fans have expressed a lot of concern over what they have seen on the field so far, especially coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

But sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt that the second half of the season should look significantly better.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders will face No. 1 seed FC Dallas in the semifinal round of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference playoffs. The first match of the two-game series happens Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders play the final game of the regular season this weekend. They host Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a lot a stake.

Can They Make It?

"This could be a very dramatic game for the Sounders," Thiel said. "They could miss the playoffs for the first time in their seven-year Major League Soccer history.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A big college football rivalry plays out Saturday night in Seattle, when the Washington Huskies take on the Oregon Ducks at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. The Ducks are coming off an upset loss to Washington State last weekend.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that was just one of the big events that put the Pac-12 conference in the national spotlight this past week.

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