BY Art Thiel 06:30AM 10/22/2013

Thiel: Good news: Harvin and I ready to rock

Free at last of a knee walker, crutches and boot, I join Seahawks WR Percy Harvin in a mid-season rally to health. And I have Marshawn Lynch’s secret to fast recovery.

The tools of the temporary incapacity are now trash. / Art Thiel

Figured I better get this news out before Seahawks WR Percy Harvin steals all the headlines about miracle recoveries. I’m back too. It’s not quite a miracle, and I won’t be any help to the Seahawks in St. Louis, but I have resumed with two feet the ability to split an infinitive, dangle a participle and bury a lead.

Perhaps you think those majestic feats can be done without two feet, but since June 25 I was single-footed, and it wasn’t been nearly as much fun to mangle a metaphor for your pleasure.

In case you missed the story here, I broke my ankle in two places when I slipped on a wet deck at home during a major cloudburst. A July 2 surgery repaired the cracks with a plate and nine screws. Unlike Harvin, I still showed up daily for work, even if it was just to the dining room table and my laptop.

But thanks to ample support from Julia The Bridal Unit, colleagues at SPNW, KPLU-FM, and AM 1090 The Fan, the surgical and rehab staffs at Group Health, the public relations staffs among our local teams and the merciless hectoring from the blister of local sports-media members mocking my temporary incapacity, I was inspired to carry on with crutches, a knee walker and Percoset.

A special shout-out goes to Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, who parted from his season-long media silence when he saw me wheeling around the Seahawks locker room,  offering advice that was medical, emotional and . . . whatever the Beast says when he gets going. As a man who deals and receives pain on a weekly basis, his counsel was wise: Stop freakin’.

So it was with much pleasure that, after getting the medical OK, I recently trashed my tools of the gimp. The ankle still swells and the leg is still skinny, but I stand ready to chop the LEO linebacker, should Lynch beckon. And to the Sportspress NW readers who emailed and snail-mailed their get-well wishes, I am honored to be in your thoughts.

There is more good news: Voluntary donations to the site have been generous and gratifying. The task of maintaining local digital journalism that is free of paywalls, and independent of sports leagues and national platforms, is hard. The number of news consumers who appreciate authoritative journalism and contribute when asked, and not forced, appears to be growing.

To those who have helped: Thank you. To those who keep reading: Thank you. To those seeking to join the crusade, the PayPal donations link is in the box in the upper right-hand corner of the site.

We have other ways to support.

SPNW co-founder Steve Rudman and local sports historian Dave Eskenazi are launching this week “Washington Wayback: A Sports Century of Feats, Foibles and Fame,” a delightful e-book that gathers the best of the site’s weekly “Wayback Machine” feature stories on the astonishing history of sports in Washington state. It’s a must-have for anyone who cares about the region’s sports, especially for the photos from Eskenazi’s incredible collection.

Volume I now available includes a great story on how the Seahawks were nearly the Seattle Kings, run by former University of Washington star and NFL great Hugh McElhenny. The book is available via the iBooks app on iTunes for iPads. Find the link in the ad on the site’s right rail.

Also, if you do any shopping via, please consider using our link in the upper right to access The Everything Store. A portion of each sale returns to SPNW as part of our affiliate partnership. Now that Amazon CEO and fellow Seattleite Jeff Bezos is soon to be a media publisher too, after buying the Washington Post, we expect him to do his holiday shopping via us too.

The best news is that our site traffic is up nearly 90 percent from a year ago. We are gratified with the response. We seek to take your attention, support and ideas and become  part of the answer for the renaissance of independent journalism — a lively, authoritative, credible part of your digital day.

And if you have a good orthopedic story to share, I am much more empathetic than before. Please join me Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. at the Market Arms in Ballard, where longtime pal and Seattle radio personality Mike Gastineau will celebrate the launch of his book, “Authentic Masterpiece” on the creation and rise of Sounders FC. Details here.

It’s a splendid, behind-the-scenes look at one of modern American sports’ greatest business stories. Now if only Clint Dempsey can find the back of the net . . .


  • giorgio547

    You’ve blown your cover! Best

    • art thiel

      I’m in good company. Richard Sherman blew his cover on Indy’s T.Y. Hilton.


  • Gary S

    I’m new to SPNW and I must say that I have really enjoyed ALL the articles that I have read so far! Great site! I’ll be back often.

    • art thiel

      Good to find a reader with such a discerning eye. Thanks.

  • Gerald Turner

    Ever since I turned fifty two years ago
    my game plan for the day definitely has altered. It used to be “How
    can I throw deep?” Now its “ How can I get thru this day with out
    taking a blind side hit?”

    Fell three times last winter, that’s
    three times I veered from the game plan.
    My new game plan, that features a new
    play book.
    The one that is all maximum QB
    protection plays. The formation looks like this, three tight ends,
    three fullbacks, all assigned to protect the QB.

    So when life was in blitz formation,
    !!!’WET DECK’!!!, did you have the new play book in hand?
    I know that on the day when the game
    situation was; !!!’RUNNING A 40 POUND DOG ON LEASH OVER SNOW
    COVERED ICE’!!!, I had forgotten the play book, and was foolishly
    relying upon old play ground improvisation skills that I no longer
    possess. Fortunately a foot of new snow cushioned my head well
    enough to prevent skull fracture.

    Do not forget the playbook, if you do,
    slide, throw it away or get out of bounds, do not take the hit.
    Think Russel Wilson, not Jay Cutler.

    Weekends with out Seahawks are
    difficult for me, on these days I have no ‘Wife chore list Seahawks
    immunity, yes I am an easy put to work target as I just wander from
    room to room.
    Good luck with the healing possess, and
    many more loyal readers to come I’m sure.

    • art thiel

      Always packing the playbook, Gerald.

  • Tian Biao

    great photo! and glad to hear it: Art is upright, the site is thriving, there’s a sportspress link on Amazon, and the Sounders are . . . well, at least they’re in the playoffs. ps that’s a pretty long recovery time Art, congratulations on your patience. and thanks for advice: just do whatever the Beast says.

    • art thiel

      Nine weeks to weight bearing was, I’m told, in the normal range, which doesn’t mean I wasn’t abnormal during that time. But’s it’s now a speck in the rear view mirror. Onward!

  • Bayview Herb

    Well Art, I remember when I used to e-talk to you back when you had a job. Thankfully, you are doing well without one. As a retired fan of yours, and an occasional critic, I too, am a journalist. Unfortunately, I started out as a part time, read (freelance) where you actually had a career whereby stories were created for you, vis-à-vis the successes or failure of the team you were covering.
    I survived a high school firing when the sports editor of the Renton High School paper. I learned about the real world at an early age. I simply wrote a story about the loss a game involving Renton and a team. The Coach was Jon Suzick. He didn’t like the way I portrayed his team and reamed me out in in front of the team after the game.
    Apparently, I responded in a inappropriate way, since I merely said, “Hey, I didn’t play the game, I just wrote about it.” It was not well received.
    I was called to Vice Principal Carl Weber’s office to discuss what was my swan song for the school paper. Two things occurred. First, the Journalism teacher did not choose to back me, as she should have. Secondly, the vice-principal got me fired from the News Record.
    So much for teaching journalism and the retaliation that the administration felt necessary. This was obviously an era shortly to end where students had absolutely no rights and the administration had it all. Come to think of it, I may have been the start of the new era where students had a voice,
    Some will remember when I organized a group to appear on “Wally’s Music Makers,” in 1956, produced by KTVW which that year, had their studios in Seattle. The school had declined participation without presenting the opportunity for the student council to form an opinion. I independently organized two such performances.
    I did not learn much about democracy there, nor justice nor much of anything else of use. I began to write professionally in 2004 in the Spokesman-Review at age 67. It is never to late to prove that assholes can be wrong.

    • art thiel

      Regarding your last point, Herb, that’s a 24/7 career.

      And I’m writing off Renton High School for its asssault on journalism.

      • Bayview Herb

        Now you’ve blown it. I hadn’t admitted to them that I have prostituted the education I got there. Now everyone will know of my fall from grace.

  • PokeyPuffy

    ARt, great that you have full mobility to add to your other skills. BTW that pampas grass in the background of the photo is nothing but trouble. Get rid of it while you still can…or better yet pay an unwitting neighbors’ kid to do it for you

    • art thiel

      I know the problem. You volunteering more than advice?