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.

RB Rashaad Penny scores on a 62-yard run with 4:34 remaining to seal the Seahawks’ 38-30 win over the Cardinals at Arizona Sunday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest The subtle benefit to having a crappy seasonal record in the NFL is it allows a team to get to the future more quickly. The Seahawks arrived at their future Sunday in Glendale, AZ. The rest of the NFL has moved on to the postseason party for the 2021 season. But by beating playoff-bound, 11-win Arizona, 38-30 (box), the Seahawks won their first game of the future.

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As Cougars fans stormed the Husky Stadium field after winning the Apple Cup, star DBs Trent McDuffie (22) and Brendan Radley-Hiles strike studiously defiant poses, as if they are taking names for the rematch next year. Instead, they are taking their talents to the NFL. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest Remember when Jimmy Lake said that the Huskies football program didn’t compete for the same kind of players as hated rival Oregon? He said Washington’s standards were higher; “academically prowess,” was the unfortunate term he used to describe the distinction. Here’s the reminder: https://twitter.com/ESPNRittenberg/status/1455293058606673922?s=20 The quote, inaccurate as well as…

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Two Lakers fans, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bobby Wagner, got together at Seattle University in 2016. / Town Hall Seattle Among the many skills necessary to prosper as an NFL middle linebacker, the foremost is vigilance. At the vortex of 21 other large men running swiftly to make collisions, no detail can be overlooked in order to avoid having one’s head removed. For 10 years, Bobby Wagner has kept his head. The game doesn’t get past him. That’s among several reasons why someday he’ll be in the NFL Hall of Fame. One day five years ago after a Seahawks practice, Wagner…

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Russell Wilson wants to win three more Super Bowls; why not here? / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest What if they gave a Super Bowl, and nobody good won it? So much bad football has been played in the NFL this season. The latest episode was the Monday Night Game, Pittsburgh beating Cleveland in a tedious 26-14 gumming polluted by the hagiography surrounding Ben Roethlisberger, in his final Heinz Field game as the most overrated good quarterback in NFL history.

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CB D. J. Reed celebrates his second interception Sunday with LB Jordyn Brooks. / Rod Mar, Seattle Seshawks NFL historians will little note nor long remember what happened Sunday in the Seahawks’ 51-29 victory (box) over the Detroit Lions. It was a no-stakes game played in a partly filled stadium between losing teams with opposing trajectories. And the Detroit Lions were forced to deploy a backup quarterback, which means one thing in the rest of the NFL, but only ratchets up the tension among Seattle fans. Historians are to free to consign the game to the footnotes. In Seattle, the…

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DK Metcalf (14) celebrates his 41-yard touchdown pass with Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson in the first quarter Sunday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest The impact on sports of the latest wave of COVID-19 is so widespread and intense that the mind becomes numb. The industry insists it shall carry on. Most of us would have it no other way. Coaches, players and staffers are sitting out games; postponements are shredding schedules of the NHL and NBA; the college football bowl season, already largely superfluous, is pickled with cancellations and fears of more; and the erosion of the quality of…

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John Madden, at his 2006 Hall of Fame induction, had the best winning percentage of any coach who worked at least 100 games. / NFL.com Renegades. Desperadoes. Outlaws. Castoffs. Misfits. Those were the polite adjectives applied to many players under John Madden in his 10 years as Oakland Raiders coach. The descriptors were also useful for some of the beat writers. The late Jack Smith, a friend and colleague from our days at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, was covering the Raiders for the San Francisco Chronicle at training camp in Santa Rosa, CA. Years away from sobriety in Seattle, Smith, drunk…

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A winter of discontent awaits coach Pete Carroll, his staff and the Seahawks. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest Now that the nuisance of playoff contention has been dispatched, Seahawks fans can dive into the important season: Endless speculation about whether Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson can continue to co-exist in Seattle. Hey, if we can have Covid Year 2, we can have Real Househusbands of Bellevue Year 2. But before the soap opera begins in earnest, there is the continuing mystery of The Blank Slate: Jody Allen. What will the inscrutable Seahawks owner do?

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D.K. Metcalf scores on a 41-yard pass, Russell Wilson’s third throw of the game, and caught only one ball thereafter, for no gain, in five targets. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest The last time the Seahawks had snow at a game in the home stadium, it was the home finale of the 2008 season, a 13-3 win over the New York Jets, in a year that wound up 4-12. It was also the final home game of Mike Holmgren’s 10-year coaching career in Seattle. He took a post-game farewell lap around the field, waving to fans who were appreciative that…

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Rams coach Sean McVay usually doesn’t need the NFL’s help to beat Seattle, but he was happy to take it. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest file 2019 Once darlings of the NFL, the Seahawks this week find themselves outside the closed ballroom, peering through keyholes (look it up, kids) to see only flashes of color from the pre-playoff dance among the landed gentry. The shunning may seem even worse because it seems orchestrated by NFL evil-doers as some sort of punishment. For what, isn’t clear.

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