BY Art Thiel 06:30AM 01/02/2013

Thiel: What I want to hear, and don’t, in 2013

Some things we couldn’t get enough of in 2012, and some things we heard way too much. Sorting it out for 2013 . . .

For 2013, more K, less BS. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

In 2013, there’s some sports stuff I want to hear, and don’t want to hear.


Russell Wilson is slow to get up.”

“The Big East Conference is pleased to announce the addition of the University of Hawaii, and the Sorbonne.

The initial excavation revealed the remains of a prehistoric village that carbon-dates to at least 10,000 years ago. So until researchers more fully examine the extraordinary discovery, the arena construction at this site is on hold until further notice.’

“He scores the basketball well.” As opposed to what, a bowling ball?

“The Mariners announced today that they now oppose the completion of the deep-bore tunnel project that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct by 2016. The Mariners say the tunnel represents another impediment for the SoDo neighborhood, the location of Safeco Field, to return to 1995.”

ESPN’s Chris Berman referencing any Seattle landmark, custom or music as if he were leading a group of cultural anthropologists to his discovery of a lost tribe in Borneo.

Mike Leach, Howard Lincoln, Hope Solo, Tony Wroten: “I made a mistake.”

“We want to thank Lane Kiffin for his service during a difficult transition for USC, but now the Trojans family is very excited to bring back a man who has been lost in the wilderness until his return home today — Steve Sarkisian!”

Chip Kelly said he was seriously considering an NFL head-coaching offer, but nothing matched the offer from Washington, estimated at $50 million over five years, making him the highest salaried person doing anything, anywhere. ‘(Athletic director) Scott Woodward is a serious man,'” Kelly said at the press conference. “He had me at: ‘There’s no way UW  beats the Ducks as long as I coach Oregon.’ Then, to name the new stadium after me . . . ‘ he said, then paused and teared up.”

Explaining his rationale to attempt a 61-yard field goal by Hauschka against the Redskins when he had often passed on shorter field goals during the regular season, Pete Carroll said, “Another hormonal upsurge.”


The new radio voice of the Mariners: “Felix has done it AGAIN!”

“I didn’t want to tell anybody, but all last season I was playing with a dental condition that involved two extra teeth growing into my smile. But after the surgery, I feel as good as I did my sophomore year. You’re going to see the old Keith Price!”

“Until we get real grass in the Clink, we’ll never get the high-end DPs to come play here. They hate turf.  So we either need to make a commitment to a grass field, or accept that the Sounders will usually be a good MLS team, but never a champion.”

“Let’s face it. These kids today don’t respond to anything but but corporal punishment. So if it’s hosing them down with water, or hitting ’em with the hose, Washington State is committed to building tough football players. Every school does this stuff; I’m just honest enough to admit it, and (AD) Bill Moos is tough enough to not care. Besides, I’m already the best coach in the state.”

“The University of Washington is committed to the comfort and convenience of its customers on Saturdays, and is proud to be the first Pac-12 Conference member to limit to two per season the number of home games starting after 1 p.m.”

Asked what the difference was between this year’s team and previous Huskies teams under his command, Lorenzo Romar said, “No question about it. We need a tough guy. We should have recruited Gary Bell Jr. instead of Tony Wroten.”

“Regarding the decisions that were made about the substitute officials, some of the issues regarding the bounty system in New Orleans, as well as the handling of our drug-testing program, I would like to offer my apologies for operating the NFL in a manner to which it is unaccustomed.”

Lee Corso was taken to the campus hospital after his pre-game TV ritual went awry. He was unable to remove the mascot head of the Fighting Fungus of Southwestern Bacteria State. Sources tell ESPN that Corso is expected to survive the swelling stemming from a severe allergic reaction to Grown-Ass Man disease, a condition induced by the sudden awareness of what he was doing.”

“The decisive factor, according to a story in the Scaramento Bee, was the threat by the NBA to reveal that the Maloof brothers ownership thought that the Isaiah Thomas the Kings drafted out of Washington in 2011 was the same Isiah Thomas they grew up cheering as fans of the Detroit Pistons. When co-owner Gavin Maloof attempted to appoint the younger Thomas as general manager, succeeding the retiring Geoff Petrie, the NBA voided the transaction, took over operations of the Kings franchise and awarded it to Seattle arena builder Chris Hansen without compensation.”

In a teleconference after his dismissal, Eric Wedge dropped the careful veneer of diplomacy he maintained as Mariners manager: “This club isn’t going anywhere until it grows some stones. We’ve lost more fans than Raul Ibanez has lost fly balls in the outfield. We can’t keep shopping at the blue-light table for players when the Angels and Rangers are shopping at Tiffany’s. How long does this go on? Obviously, I don’t have to care anymore. Does anyone else?”

Asked for his thoughts as he held the Lombardi Trophy in the Superdome, Russell Wilson told a national TV audience: “Stay in the now. Separation is in the preparation. Doesn’t matter where we play; a hundred yards is a hundred yards. Each week is a championship week. Go 1-0 every week. The offensive line did a great job. The defense did a great job. Special teams did a great job. The coaching staff did a great job preparing us.”

In the thrill of a championship, even a dial tone sounds like a Beethoven symphony.



  • MissoulaMarinerFan

    You forgot the “Go Hawks!” At the end of Russell Wilsons interview. :-)

  • bhamhusky

    On Russell you forgot “no time for sleep”

  • Ashland Actor

    (“Want I don’t want to hear”? You’re usually so well-edited.)

    I DO want to hear Lincoln admit making a mistake. Loudly, as he’s pilloried.

    Did Wedge say that yet?
    How about now?
    (He’ll harp on the company line louder than the rest– he’s surely taken the mandatory
    M’s. Inc. blood-oath).

    • sportspressnw

      Yikes, good catch, bad on our part. I would like to use the holiday as an excuse while I can.

    • art thiel

      Good catch, Ashland. My bad.

      The thing about admitting mistakes is that when you get long chance to consider carefully all options . . . well, I don’t want to hear “my mistake” as an attempt at absolution.

  • Alvin Kroon

    Art, RE: Russell Wilson, you forgot “Go Hawks!”

    • Diamond Mask

      You’re right. I was waiting for it!

      • art thiel

        You guys are well trained by Russell

    • art thiel

      Actually, I left off a lot. Most of them remain available at Hallmark shops.

  • seattlenative57

    So you want Wedge replaced/fired? Interesting, I guess the rebuilding will start anew.

    • sportspressnw

      I took it as Art saying that the current attempt will fail, management will blame and fire Wedge, who will then be able to speak freely about his thoughts on how the team is run.

      • seattlenative57

        This makes sense.

    • art thiel

      Not saying he should be, but someone will have to be blamed for a seven-game losing streak. In the rich tradition of the Mariners, it is rarely the right person.

      • seattlenative57

        Ahh, and in that that “fine tradition” includes scapegoating, this is Wedges response in your “wish to hear” list. I get it. On this, I hope not to hear this from Wedge. It will obviously mean the rebuild has failed (more than it has already). And we’ll be looking for manager #4 AP (after Piniella) and more than likely GM #2. Probably also means bye-bye Felix. Sounds like baseball Armageddon … I’m gonna stop imagining anymore fallout to this Wedge rant. Hope it doesn’t happen … for my own sanity.

        • seattlenative57

          Actually, manager #5 … forgot McLaren.

        • art thiel

          You see where I was going. I think Wedge and Zduriencik are good baseball men deserving of more resources than they’ve been given. Z has made some under-productive trades so far, but aside from the draft and international FA, he can’t bury his mistakes like the Yankees/Dodgers/Angels.

  • Diamond Mask

    Loved the Lee Corso “do want to hear.” That man needs to just go away.

  • Roslyndawg

    How about we’d like to hear from all pro sports organizations:”We have put a maximum salary on athletes of $150,000 per year. It’s absurd and obscene that we are paying grown men to play kids’ games more in a year than a teacher or a nurse makes in several lifetimes. Are pro athletes really doing so much more good for the world? If the athletes refuse to play, fine. They can go back to college and get a real education or they can try their chops in the manual labor world. There will be athletes who chose to play for the love of the game.”

    • art thiel

      Roslyn, you have a splendid, wistful imagination.

      • Roslyndawg

        Thanks. I know.

    • John Eichler

      Sports are entertainment. If Tom Cruise can make $20 million for one movie, why can’t Lebron James make $17 mil for one year of basketball? If you lower all the players salaries to cap at $150,000, do you think the owners are going to lower ticket prices and accept less TV revenue? Nope, they will just hoard it themselves. I think it’s awesome that somebody can make that kind of money doing something they love, it’s what this Country is all about.

      • Roslyndawg

        I’m also against Tom Cruise making that kind of money, as well as CEOs etc. I think runaway capitalism is a sickness on the land. Yea, “it’s what this country is all about”, and it’s whats helping to sink this country as more and more wealth is consolidated in fewer and fewer of the richest. Meanwhile, more Americans go without health care, adequate nutrition, good education, and so on. I guess I’m not a pure capitalist but feel that we’re all one nation and have an obligation to take care of one another. Imagine, when I was a kid you could go camping or have a picnic in a state park without paying! Perhaps we should tax the bejesus out of the high incomes again like we did 50-60 years ago when the highest marginal tax rate was 91% rather than the current 39.6%. We built the interstate highway system then, put men on the moon, and did it without huge deficits.

        • John Eichler

          I respect your consistency, but will that help long term if the outlook for success here = being taxed out of your eyeballs so badly that there is no motivation to climb to the top? I think 39% federal plus state income/sales tax is fair. That means if a person makes $1 mil, they have to pay about $500,000 of it to Uncle Sam, plus once they die their estate gets slashed to pieces by Uncle Sam. I don’t know why that isn’t fair. My only objection is the laws allowing people to get their tax rate in the teens via capital gains loopholes.

          • Roslyndawg

            John, the motivation issue was not a problem decades ago. The economy was hummng along way better than it is now. The highest marginal tax rate of 39.6% is not applied on all of the income. It is only applied on the highest portion of the income. Lower tax rates are applied on the income up to that level, so if you make a million, you don’t pay that 39.6% on the full million. In the new “fiscal cliff” deal, the new higher rate is only on the portion of imcome over 400k-450k. That is what marginal rate means, and it is often misunderstood which makes higher rates sound draconian and unfair.

          • rightwingrick

            Estate tax is only after the first $5 million is tax-free.

      • rightwingrick

        It’s only possible because in sports, the taxpayers foot the bill for the hugh capital projects (stadiums, which include administrative offices, etc.). Even the poorest taxpayer has to pay, and he/she can’t even afford to take the kids to the game.

    • rightwingrick

      The only reason that high level of pay is possible is because the taxpayers (even those making just $25,000 a year) are paying for the stadium, not the owners. So all that millions and millions either goes all to the owners, or is split with the players (after much haggling with the union).
      Meanwhile, only the top 3% of taxpayers can even afford to attend a Marnier’s game, even though we all paid for the stadium. How does that work, again??????

  • just passing thru

    Love your humor, Art, but one thing I’d like to hear: seeing all these kids play up to their potential made me think the Seahawks became Mariners. Super Bowl win followed by a World Series win!! No one can say Seattle’s a sad-sack sports town again…well, for at least a year.

    (I can dream, can’t I???)

    • art thiel

      You’re entitled to the Christmas hangover of unfulfilled dreams. I understand. This burg is way overdue.