Sports with Art Thiel

Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick and commentator Art Thiel have been talking sports every Friday on 88.5 for the past 10 years.

They cover all the major professional sports teams in Seattle as well as the University of Washington and Washington State University. Kirsten and Art also talk about the business of sports, such as the proposal to build a new arena in Seattle. Other issues they've discussed include head injuries in sports and the crackdown on domestic violence.

Art Thiel was the longtime sports columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He is now the co-founder of the website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 he wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, he co-authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists.

Thiel offers a unique and informed perspective to 88.5 listeners. His philosophy for his commentary on KNKX is to give the casual sports fan "enough information to be interesting at a party."

You can hear Sports with Art Thiel every Friday on Morning Edition at 5:45 and 7:45 and on All Things Considered at 4:44 on 88.5 KNKX.

Ways to Connect

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.

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.

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.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be no football game Friday night for Evergreen High School in Seattle, following the death of one of their players after last week's game.

Kenny Bui's death was brought up at Seahawks practice this week, where cornerback Richard Sherman discussed the risks associated with football. It is also the topic this week for KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

Tragic But Rare

Despite Bui being the fourth high school football player to die from an on-field injury this season in the United States, Thiel said it's still a rare event in sports.

LM Otero / AP Photo

The Seattle Mariners play their final games of the season at home this weekend against the Oakland A’s. It’s the Mariners 14th year missing the playoffs - the longest drought in the majors.

Seattle’s front office is hoping newly-announced general manager Jerry Dipoto will help turn things around. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says "major changes" are in order.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

The Seahawks will have strong safety Kam Chancellor back for their home opener Sunday against the Chicago Bears. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s still not clear why Chancellor held out, or what brought him back.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

In a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game, the Seahawks and Packers meet again this weekend in a Sunday Night Football battle at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Packers are filling a void as the Seahawks’ newest nemesis.

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks begin their regular season Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel expects great things from the team this season, just not right away.

Winslow Townson / AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is calling for the ouster of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, after a federal judge ruled he mishandled the Deflategate controversy.

The judge Thursday overturned Goodell’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over deflated balls in the AFC championship game last season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's not the ideal circumstance for University of Washington football players or head coach Chris Petersen. They open the 2015 season next Friday night, Sept. 4, against Petersen's very successful old team, Boise State, in Boise, on national television (ESPN).

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said it's a challenging start to a tough season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Mariners have had plenty of gold nuggets this season -- a no hitter, a player leading the league in home runs, a star pitcher on another great season -- but the team's overall fortunes have not reflected individual accomplishments, said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. 

"The Mariners have had moments of individual stellar play but it hasn't worked as a group at all," Thiel said. "This is a pretty good baseball team but they haven't been consistent in the key elements of the game."

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks may have started training camp, but there seems to be more activity going on in the front office than on the field. Team officials are busy negotiating contract extensions and dealing with a key holdout.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the NFL’s salary cap dictates how far they can go.

Ralph Radford / AP Photo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week upheld a four-game suspension for Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady over the controversy surrounding the team’s deflated balls in the AFC title game.

Brady and the Patriots are fighting back. And sports commentator Art Thiel says, as a result, a man with strong ties to Seattle could become the new leader of the NFL.

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.

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