Author: Art Thiel

Never having met a metaphor he could not twist beyond recognition, Art has been illuminating, agitating, amusing and annoying Puget Sound sports readers for a long time. Along with Steve Rudman, he co-founded Sports Press Northwest because it didn’t seem right that the Google monster should aggregate daily journalism into oblivion without at least a flesh wound from somebody. Thiel and Rudman labored under the Seattle Post-Intelligencer globe until the print edition died an undeserved death in March, 2009. Art continued on at its online successor seattlepi.com while working on SPNW’s creation. His radio commentaries can be heard Friday and Saturday mornings and Friday afternoon on KPLU-FM 88.9. In 2003 he wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with 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.

Seahawks LB Carlos Dunlap swats away Jimmy Garoppolo’s final pass to preserve the Seahawks’ win. / Rod Mar, Seattle Seahawks It’s easy for fans to think that all players on a team know each other. It’s often not the case, especially when a team sinking fast like the Seahawks needs so much help that every Amazon driver through the headquarters doors gets a once-over by frantic scouts. Fortunately, the guy through the door Wednesday was RB Adrian Peterson, who has almost as many NFL touchdowns as Amazon has trucks. By Sunday, he was good enough and the Seahawks desperate enough…

Read More

Against the Cardinals missing their starting QB, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson was out-gunned by Arizona backup Colt McCoy. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest Name the injured NFL quarterback who said this Wednesday about returning to play after a four-week absence: “You’re not practicing, you’re not throwing the ball, stuff like that. But I try to do as much as I can, (similar to) when I was out. Just trying to stay close to it and prepare myself for when I do come back, that I’m not feeling clueless out there.” It certainly wasn’t Russell Wilson. Way too real. Kyler Murray…

Read More

Robbie Ray, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League, is now a Mariner. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest Before signing the whopper deal with the Mariners, the star called a player he knew on the roster for some dish on the club. “He told me what was great about this organization,” the star recalled. “He said they’re going to make you feel like family. They’ll take care of you. And that played a big role in my situation. You always want to be with people that treat you right.” Mitch Haniger probably said something like that to…

Read More

UW athletics director Jen Cohen shares a laugh with her new hire, football coach Kalen DeBoer. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest College football’s annual post-season coaching-job shuffle has gone nuclear. Openings at so many program giants seems unprecedented, topped by Brian Kelly, the most successful coach in the storied history of Notre Dame, telling the Fighting Irish to drop dead. He took LSU’s offer of 10 years and $95 million. The episode followed Lincoln Riley telling Oklahoma to drop dead, decamping for USC and $110 million, plus a mansion and a private jet for his family. If you’re looking for…

Read More

Where the football goes, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson sometimes doesn’t know, but won’t admit it. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest For two minutes, he flickered, then shone. Over 10 plays and 96 yards, Russell Wilson was mostly his old self, throwing darts and bombs as the clock ran down at FedEx Field in suburban Washington, D.C. The remains of the Monday night national TV audience, schooled for a decade to always watch Seahawks games because they can count on seeing football’s equivalent of a two-headed calf held by a bearded lady, was thrilled. Sure enough, the man ran the tightrope,…

Read More

Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer, with the Old Oil Can Trophy after winning the rivalry game with San Diego State, is the new head coach at the University of Washington. / ABC30.com In the world of big-time college football, Kalen DeBoer is not a figure with a national brand. He’s doesn’t check the box requiring previous head coaching experience in a Power 5 conference. Nor does he have connections to University of Washington heritage, nor convictions similar to Don James and and Chris Petersen that defense and the run game are unassailable essentials to winning. None of the foregoing means much…

Read More

From here, the damaged finger looks back to normal. But whether the guy attached to it is back to normal awaits the Monday night game at Washington. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest When last they played the Washington Football Team, at the Loo Dec. 20, 2020, the Seahawks won ugly, 20-15, improving their record to 10-4 and clinching their eighth playoff appearance in the previous nine seasons. No one was more delighted with the results than seasonal newcomer SS Jamal Adams, acquired at considerable expense from the perennially malodorous New York Jets. “I’m not used to this — I know…

Read More

Cougars RB Max Borghi ran through Washington’s defense for 129 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns in the Apple Cup Saturday night at Husky Stadium. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest In few years, we’ll have enough perspective to answer the key Apple Cup question from Saturday night at Husky Stadium. What will have lasted longer: The party in the Palouse following the Cougars’ 40-13 win (box) over Washington — the biggest Washington State margin of victory in the series’ 113 meetings — or the head coaching career of the Huskies’ Jimmy Lake? Judging by the exuberance on the field…

Read More

Gov. Jay Inslee happily sent off the Apple Cup trophy to a sea of Huskies players at WSU’s Martin Stadium after Washington won in 2016. It would be good to see the trophy change hands Friday. / Office of the Governor I thought the worst part of my Tuesday was over when I left the dental office after a root canal. Then I worked the Sounders playoff game. Sadly, no pain-numbing medications were made available. Hey, Major League Soccer: Work on that, willya? Yes, I’m aware that five years earlier, the Sounders played a similar no-shots-on-goal game in Toronto, and…

Read More

Sounders midfielder Nicolas Benezet keeps possession past RSL’s Pablo Ruiz Tuesday the playoff opener at Lumen Field. / SoundersFC.com Any witness to the proceedings Tuesday night at the Loo would have no difficulty identifying the superior team. Just as any followers of the Seattle Sounders in 2021 would have no difficulty understanding how their team, on a late-season fade, ended up losing to a foe that never managed a shot on goal in 120 minutes of professional soccer. Still, it was still hard to comprehend how dominance turned to despair for the most successful team over the past 13 Major…

Read More