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 April 4, 2014

College Athlete Unionization Effort Gains Steam, Threatens NCAA

In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter wears APU for "All Players United" on wrist tape. Colter is the face of the union movement.
Nam Y. Huh AP File Photo

A recent ruling has opened the door to unionizing scholarship athletes at major universities. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it could have a dramatic impact on the future of college sports.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Mariners 'Not Ready' For Regular Season

Tony Gutierrez AP Photo

The Mariners begin their regular season Monday against the Angels in California. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says they're not ready.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri March 21, 2014

NBA — Not NHL — First For Seattle's Proposed Arena Project

In an image provided by 360 Architecture Inc., a view of Seattle includes the preliminary preferred design for a new arena being planned to house an NBA basketball team.
AP Photo/360 Architecture Inc.

After last year’s failed bid to bring the NBA back to Seattle, there has been a lot of talk lately about professional hockey coming to town.

An arena proposed for Seattle’s Sodo district would be built to accommodate both sports. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has learned that NBA must come first.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Many New Faces As Sounders Make Fresh Start

Seattle Sounders forward Chad Barrett (19) center, celebrates with teammates Osvaldo Alonso, left, Obafemi Martins, (9), and Djimi Traore, (18) after Barrett kicked a goal against Sporting Kansas City.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders FC host Toronto FC Saturday at CenturyLink Field. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team has undergone an “extreme makeover,” with new players making up half of its 2014 roster.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Will The NHL Beat The NBA Back To Seattle?

Seattle Metropolitans logo
imgur.com

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

Could Seattle get a professional hockey team before professional men’s basketball returns to the city? Speculation has ramped up recently, and KPLU sports commentator says there are reasons for that.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

It Will Take 'Time, Tolerance' For Openly-Gay Players To Transition In Pro Sports

The photos show Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, left, and Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins.
AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The issue of openly-gay athletes is being discussed in both the NBA and the NFL right now.

Veteran NBA player Jason Collins has signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, nearly a year after announcing he was gay. And NFL draft hopeful Michael Sam finished participating in the annual scouting combine this week after recently coming out.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s going to take time, tolerance and acceptance from both sides of the issue for the transition to happen.

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Super Bowl XLVIII
1:54 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Thiel: Seahawks' Road To The Super Bowl Began With Miserable 2009 Season

Seahawks general manager John Schneider, left, and coach Pete Carroll talk before an NFL game against the St.Louis Rams in Seattle on Dec. 29, 2013.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

How did the Seahawks end up in Super Bowl? Thank the team’s abysmal 2009 season, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

Art says that miserable season led the Seahawks to fire both their general manager Tim Ruskell and first-year coach Jim Mora. The team, which had a short list of candidates for general manager, made Pete Carroll an offer he couldn’t refuse.

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Super Bowl XLVIII
10:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Seahawks' Lynch Finally Makes Peace With Media, Answers Questions

Jeff Roberson AP Photo

Marshawn Lynch, who faced NFL fines for not talking to reporters, appears to have made his peace with the media, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

The Seahawk took reporters’ questions for 15 minutes on Thursday morning, just a day after the Football Writers Association of America lodged a complaint with the NFL regarding access to Lynch.

“He appeared in front of the media with his aide de camp and horse whisperer, Michael Robinson,” said Art. “Michael has been a great asset and a great friend to Lynch, and the two of them together kind of entertained everyone.”

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Super Bowl XLVIII
10:48 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Thousands Pay $28.50 To Watch Super Bowl Players Answer Questions At Media Day

Seattle Seahawks fans cheer during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Newark, N.J.
Charlie Riedel AP Photo

"It’s a new phenomenon,” says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel, “charging people to watch people be interviewed.”

But thousands of people were willing to pay $28.50 to pack into Prudential Center on Tuesday to watch thousands of reporters interview the Super Bowl players.

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Super Bowl XLVIII
10:17 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Seahawks' Lynch Tries To Open Up To Media, Gets Fed Up, Leaves

Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch smiles during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Newark, N.J.
Matt Slocum AP Photo

Marshawn Lynch, who has risked NFL fines for not talking to the media, made a brief appearance before cameras at Super Bowl 48 on Tuesday, taking questions for six minutes out of the Seahawks’ hour-long press availability.

Lynch was a little more generous Wednesday morning at the team hotel — that is, until he decided enough was enough, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

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Sports with Art Thiel
2:42 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Thiel: No Surprise UW's Sark Leaving Job for USC

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2013 file photo, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian runs onto the field before NCAA college football game against Washington state in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

University of Washington head football coach Steve Sarkisian has accepted a coaching job at the University of Southern California, USC announced on Monday.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the news "wasn't a surprise."

“I believe I wrote when he was hired five years ago that he would last in this job until USC has a head-coaching vacancy,” said Art. 

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Can Sounders Stop Slide and Make the Playoffs?

Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, center, calls to teammates to position his defense during a match against D.C. United on July 3, 2013, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The Seattle Sounders play FC Dallas in Texas on Saturday. It’s yet another chance for the team to clinch a playoff berth. They’re running out of chances. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a lot has been going wrong for the Sounders recently.  

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Huskies vs.Ducks: Beyond Regional Rivalry

In this photo made with a fish-eye wide angle lens, Washington's Mike Criste (78) and Kevin King (20) run out of the tunnel into newly renovated Husky Stadium for an NCAA college football game against Boise State, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The Washington Huskies host the Oregon Ducks Saturday in a highly-anticipated game. It begins at 1 p.m. at Husky Stadium in Seattle, but fans will be gathering well before that, with cable station ESPN featuring the matchup in their weekly “College GameDay” program—a first for Washington.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this year, the game is more than just a regional rivalry; it’s a matchup between two nationally-ranked teams.  

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Can Seahawks Stay Undefeated Against Colts?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is taken down during the first quarter an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP Photo

For the first time in team history, the Seattle Seahawks have a 4-0 start. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel calls that a “tremendous start.”

“I thought they were going to stumble in the first game against Carolina, and they nearly did,” he said. “I thought that was going to be a problem, because this team had a lot of things to get right in the exhibition season that I don’t think were quite there, especially in the offensive line.”

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Questions about Leadership as M's Wrap Up Another Losing Season

A patch with the initials of late Mariners majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi is displayed on a team uniform at Safeco Field this week. Art Thiel says it’s time for some changes following Yamauchi’s death and the end of the season this weekend.
Stephen Brashear AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The Mariners end the 2013 season on Sunday. It’s their eighth losing season in 10 years. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's time for some big changes, but he doubts any will be made.  

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