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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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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"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.

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.

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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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.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

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.  

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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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.  

Katsumi Kasahara / AP File Photo

The death of Mariners' majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi has raised a lot of questions about the future ownership of the team. And just as many questions about the man himself.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel gives us a history lesson on how Yamauchi saved professional baseball in Seattle but in recent years caused anger and mistrust among fans.

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

CenturyLink Field will be packed and louder than ever on Sunday evening. The Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers in a much-anticipated match-up. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this game may very well be a preview of the NFC championship battle this season.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Seahawks play the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday morning to kick off their much-anticipated 2013 season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the season might not start off with a bang, but could end with one.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The new and improved Husky Stadium opens Saturday night as the University of Washington hosts Boise State to kick off the 2013 football season. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel got a sneak preview of the renovated facility and was quite impressed.  

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A lot of questions remain following the revelation that Seattle arena investor Chris Hansen gave $100,000 to the anti-arena campaign in Sacramento, well after losing the battle to relocate the city's NBA team to Seattle.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel wonders if Seattle arena stakeholders are wondering whether Hansen can be trusted.  

Forbes Magazine recently named Seattle as the "Most Miserable Sports City in America." As KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt prepares to leave Seattle and move across the country, he asked Sports Commentator Art Thiel if it really is that bad of a sports town, and what he might be missing after he leaves.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders took a big step toward establishing themselves as a world-class team with this week's acquisition of Clint Dempsey, the captain of the U.S. Men's National Team.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this is a big deal.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

He cost the Seahawks a lot in trade treasure. Now, an injury could cost wide receiver Percy Harvin the season. He had hip surgery this week and is expected to be out for much – if not all – of the season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why this is a blow but not a death knell for the team. And he discusses reports there might have been warning signs about Harvin's injury.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners are going to be without skipper Eric Wedge for at least the next 10 days. He's out of the hospital but not back with the team following a minor stroke this week.

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The Seattle Sounders host the Colorado Rapids Saturday to begin the second half of the season. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team is far from full-strength.   

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners head into next week’s All-Star break out of the pennant race once again. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team's poor performance has created a trust issue with fans.  

Matt York / AP Photo

The two most promising chances for the NBA and NHL to come to Seattle this year are now gone. This week the city council in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale voted to approve a lease agreement that keeps the NHL's Coyotes in Arizona.

The news comes two months after the NBA rejected a bid to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's a blow to Seattle's arena project, but not a very big one.  

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It should’ve been tougher. That’s what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says about the punishment that the NCAA has issued to the Oregon Ducks football program for recruiting violations.

Matt York / AP Photo

Do sports fans in Seattle dare to get excited about the prospect of yet another professional team coming to town?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical about the possibility of the Phoenix Coyotes moving to Seattle.


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The Mariners are on the road for the next seven games. They're playing the A's in Oakland this weekend.

The team keeps finding more painful ways to lose. And KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the fans end up hurt the most.


Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners are hosting the Yankees at Safeco Field this weekend. But a lot of fans are still shaking their heads about Wednesday's history-making game —and devastating loss— against the White Sox.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel was there. To the bitter end. In the 16th inning. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Investor Chris Hansen says he remains committed to bringing the Sonics back to Seattle despite having lost his bid to move the Sacramento Kings to town.

Hansen made his first public comments about the failed deal in interviews this week.  

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