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Sports Stories To Watch In 2016: Seahawks, Mariners, Huskies

Seattle sports fans have a lot to look forward to in the new year. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel spoke with Kirsten Kendrick about some of the big stories to watch.

Art Thiel's Top Three Sports Stories To Watch In 2016:

3. Husky Football Program

"This really should be the time when (coach) Chris Petersen moves the program forward from where it has been, which is okay but not a contender for the Pac-12 Conference Championship," Thiel said.

2. Mariners' Spring Training

"So many new faces are part of the Mariners' roster now, and there are so many personalities to blend in, that it's going to be an entertaining spring in Peoria, Ariz. I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch," Thiel said.

1. Seahawks In The Playoffs

"That's such a big deal - the fifth time in six years," Thiel said. "It's going to be different this year, because they did not win the NFC West.

"Getting to a third consecutive Super Bowl would be virtually unprecedented in the modern era of the NFL."

Football Concussions: Top Issue Of 2016

Thiel said he has seen the movie  "Concussion" starring Will Smith. He predicts it will be a major topic this year.

He said the movie will have much more of an impact for parents and school districts than academic papers or doctors' warnings about the dangers of repeated head injuries in football.

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.