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'It's About To Be The Greatest Time': 4 Reasons Seattle Fans Should Get Excited

From Seattle Sounders players shining at the World Cup to four Mariners in the All-Star game, to the Seahawks winning best team in sports at the ESPY Awards, Seattle sports fans have lots of reasons to smile lately.

And come September, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel, those smiles may turn into tears of joy.“This has been one of the most remarkable periods in Seattle’s recent sports history," said Art. "We’re all used to unfulfilled expectations and disappointing starts, and players leaving and all kinds of things that are, generally speaking, negative for the fans, but everything’s working out well right now.”

Art expects good things ahead for Seattle fans. Here's what he had to say about the teams that are causing the excitement.


“The Seahawks are favored for the next Super Bowl. Everybody thinks that they have replaced a lot of the people that have moved on. And there’s a lot of optimism that they can be a repeat champion. The Seahawks are in great shape going into training camp next week," Art said. 


Credit Ted S. Warren / AP Photo
AP Photo
Clint Dempsey signs autographs for young fans.

“The Sounders are 10 points ahead of everyone in the Major League Soccer (MLS) standings. They had a great win over Portland, the archrival, last Sunday. They have DeAndreYedlin and Clint Dempsey back from the World Cup. Obafemi Martins is healthy. And this looks like the year for the Sounders to achieve in MLS," Art said.


“The women’s soccer team the Reign have only one loss so far (13-1-3) after a season in which they were terrible. They were at the bottom of the standings (last year). And with Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux, they have some high-profile players doing very, very well. So it’s an exciting time for them," Art said.


Credit Ted S. Warren / AP Photo
AP Photo
A fan holds a sign reading "Kongratulations Kleveland Our King Never Left!" comparing the return of NBA basketball player LeBron "King" James to the Cleveland Cavaliers with MLB baseball Seattle Mariners pitcher "King" Felix Hernandez's long-term contract.

“The Mariners finished 51-44 in the first half before the All-Star break. That’s eight games better than they were a year ago and 12 games better than two years ago.

"They beat the Oakland A’s two out of three before the break, and are 7-6 against the best team in baseball to date. They’ve shown an ability to play with the best teams, they have dominant pitching and, right now, as it stands today, they would be the fifth and final team to make the American League playoffs.

"That is really remarkable, given the low expectations that people had. Even though they added Robinson Cano [in the off-season], there was lots of skepticism about the rest of the players. But their pitching has been so good, it’s covered up a lot of flaws for the Mariners," Art said.

Art Predicts 'Astonishing' Season Ahead

“By the end of September, I expect the Seahawks to be 4-0, the Sounders should be maintaining their lead, as well as the Reign and the Mariners could be in the playoffs. This would be absolutely astonishing," Art said.“By the end of September, it could be very, very cool to be a Seattle sports fan. You might want to work on slapping your forehead with your palm, because it’s about to be the greatest time that Seattle sports have had in many a year.”


You can find Art Thiel’s work at Sportspress Northwestand

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
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.