Sports with Art Thiel

Kirsten Kendrick's weekly sports Q & A with Art Thiel.

Julie Jacobson / AP

Whether you've been following the team for years or are just now jumping on the Vancouver Canucks' bandwagon, it's worth the ride. Those are the words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel as the Canucks vie for their first-ever Stanley Cup title.

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

The Mariners are firing on all cylinders these days, with great starting pitching, clutch hitting and good fielding. They enter this weekend's big series with the Yankees on a hot streak. But how long can it last?

David Wallace / AP

He started his NBA career in Seattle as an assistant public relations director for the SuperSonics. Now, Rick Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns. And he recently revealed he's gay. He's the first person in men's team sports - executive or active player - to make such an admission.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has known Rick Welts for more than 30 years, from his time in Seattle. He shared some insight on Welts' struggle to reveal his sexual orientation in an industry that Art says has "a narrow definition of manliness that does not include being gay."

Elaine Thompson / AP

"He's done." The words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel when asked about the professional future of Milton Bradley. The Mariners cut ties with the controversial outfielder this week.

Known for his hot temper on and off the field, as well as other personal problems, Bradley has played for eight teams in his Major League career - five in five years. While you would think the Mariners are relieved to be rid of him, Art says there are no winners here.

File photo/Ted S. Warren / AP

Incredible. Unbelievable. Whopper-sized. Just some of the words used to describe the television deal announced this week by the new Pac-12 Conference. It's the biggest media rights contract in college sports history.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the deal may seem ridiculous to non-sports fans, but they too will benefit from it.

Evan Siegle/Pool photo / AP

Editor's Note: In the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, former Washington quarterback Jake Locker was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 8 pick. The Seahawks chose James Carpenter, a tackle from Alabama, with the 25th overall pick.

If you watch any part of the NFL Draft over the next few days, chances are you'll hear the words "war room" to describe the place where team leaders huddle together to make their player selections.

The seemingly careless use of such a serious military term is a pet peeve of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. And he wants to start a campaign to abolish the use of the phrase in sports.

REUTERS / Robert Sorbo

How can you have a successful draft during a lockout? That's what the Seahawks are trying to figure out ahead of the 2011 draft, which begins Thurs., April 28.

Even as the current players are locked out, the Hawks are trying to decide who to add to the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the big question is, will they go for a quarterback?

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Mariners have said that 2011 is a rebuilding year. But, judging by recent attendance at Safeco Field, they're going to have to rebuild more than just the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the bond between the Mariners and their fans has been broken.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Two of the University of Washington's most prominent athletes in recent years are planning to go pro. Point guard Isaiah Thomas recently announced he's leaving the UW a year early to enter the NBA draft. And quarterback Jake Locker is participating in the NFL draft this month.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says both athletes have taken risks in their paths to professional sports.

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

The Mariners are making some changes to their starting lineup as the 2011 season gets underway. Will it bring them better luck than last year's losing season?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical, but he says there are some bright spots coming out of spring training.

He was tough. He was obstinate. He was the only sports figure to ever lay a hand on KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. But Art says Barry Ackerley was the best owner the Sonics ever had.

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The Seattle Sounders FC started the 2011 season this week with a record crowd and some unwelcome controversy.

Too much, too little or just right? Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers to the question of whether University of Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar went far enough in his punishment of senior guard Venoy Overton.

Robert Sorbo / REUTERS

NFL labor talks have gone into overtime.  Owners and players have now agreed to a seven-day extension to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union.

For Seahawks fans, this means quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will likely become a free agent.

After a mid-season controversy and losing a shot at the Pac-10 title, the Washington Huskies appear poised to end the regular season on a high note. And they might just make it to the NCAA tournament.

Elaine Thompson / AP

There are a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved issues with Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job as special consultant with the Seattle Mariners. This follows his abrupt retirement in the middle of the season last year.

John Froschauer / AP

The NFL may want to keep celebrating a successful 2010 season and profitable Super Bowl, but it must now turn its attention to a more unpleasant topic: a new collective bargaining agreement with players. The contract of a popular Seahawks player factors into one of the issues at play.

Do you remember the Seattle Seahawks losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL? If you lived in Seattle five years ago, of course you do. Have you gotten over it? If not, you might want to root for the Green Bay Packers this weekend.

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The sudden death of Mariners' Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus last November left a huge void in the team's radio booth. It's a void that will be evident this weekend as fans flock to Safeco Field for Mariners FanFest - the annual meet-and-greet with players and team personnel.

Since there is no one voice that can replace Niehaus, the Mariners have decided to use five this season. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

There's no rest for the weary at Seattle Seahawks headquarters. Less than a week after the end of the season, head coach Pete Carroll fired offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and hired Darrell Bevell from the Minnesota Vikings to replace him.

Carroll also has hired the newly-fired head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tom Cable, to be his assistant head coach and the man in charge of the Hawks' offensive line. How does all of this impact the effort to re-sign quarterback Matt Hasselbeck?

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It will be freezing cold. The field will be lousy. But the Seahawks are bringing a lot of emotional momentum into Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Bears in Chicago. 

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The Seattle Seahawks host the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints Saturday in the NFC playoff game.  Kickoff is at 1:30 at Qwest Field.  Matt Hasselbeck will be the starting quarterback, getting the nod over Charlie Whitehurst, who led the Seahawks to victory over St. Louis for the NFC West title last weekend. 

Sports commentator Art Thiel shared his thoughts on the Saints-Seahawks matchup with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick.

Ted S. Warren / AP

What would you say was the top Seattle sports story of 2010?   Sports commentator Art Thiel has come up with his top five, and he shared them with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick.

The Washington Huskies are working hard to prepare for their first bowl appearance in eight years.  They play Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl next Thursday, December 30th, in San Diego. 

Sports commentator Art Thiel shared with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick the many reasons why this game is such a big deal for Washington and not for Nebraska. 

AP Images

The Mariners have signed three veteran free agents in the past week.  But the news is not generating much excitement.  Sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick that’s because the Mariners are embarking on a rebuilding year, which could have them entertaining offers for star pitcher Felix Hernandez. 

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The Washington Huskies may be all smiles when it comes to preparing for the Holiday Bowl on December 30th.  But that’s not the case for their opponent, Nebraska.  Sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick the Cornhuskers are suffering from a double case of Déjà Vu. 

You’ve read his columns in the Seattle P-I for 30 years – first in print and more recently online.  Now, KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has started a new Web site with friend and former P-I colleague Steve Rudman.  It’s called Sportspress Northwest.  Art talked with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick about his new venture, and about one of the big stories that will be featured on the site this weekend (the Apple Cup). 

AP

The Washington Huskies play their second-to-last football game of the season Saturday against Cal in Berkeley.  And, even though the Huskies are just 4 and 6, sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick the stakes are high for this game. 

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Mariners' Felix Hernandez has won his first Cy Young Award.  He was recognized Thursday as the American League’s best pitcher for the 2010 season.  Sports commentator Art Thiel talked with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick about Felix’s honor in this week’s installment of Sports with Art Thiel. 

Ted S. Warren / AP

After falling just short of the honor last year, Mariners pitching ace Felix Hernandez has won his first American League Cy Young Award.  The announcement was made this morning. 

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