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No room for war room in NFL draft

Evan Siegle/Pool photo
A so-called "war room" during the 2010 NFL draft. Art Thiel wants to do away with the phrase in relation to the draft. He says a serious military term that describes where life-and-death decisions are made has no place in sports.

Editor's Note: In the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, former Washington quarterback Jake Locker was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 8 pick. The Seahawks chose James Carpenter, a tackle from Alabama, with the 25th overall pick.

If you watch any part of the NFL Draft over the next few days, chances are you'll hear the words "war room" to describe the place where team leaders huddle together to make their player selections.

The seemingly careless use of such a serious military term is a pet peeve of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. And he wants to start a campaign to abolish the use of the phrase in sports.

Art says the term "war room" has no place in professional football or anywhere in sports.

"When I hear that I cringe. I understand that the NFL is a contact sport and it's about gaining real estate or losing real estate. There's a definite analogy to the battlefield. But, please, this is a game."

Art says he would love to have everyone who watches the draft on television and hears the words "war room" to participate in a boycott. He suggests people write to the companies that sponsor the draft shows on the big networks and say they're not buying their products - as a message to the networks to stop using the term.

"War room" is described by as "a room at a military headquarters in which strategy is planned and current battle situations are monitored." A secondary definition is "any room of similar function, as in a civilian or business organization." But Art says most people associate the term with the military, and it's time to take it out of sports.

"The sooner it gets out of the mindset of people, the better off we're going to be. It demeans the sacrifices and the efforts that our Armed Services are making on our behalf. To use that phrase in any connection with a sports event...really makes the user look like an idiot."

You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest.








Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.

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