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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
Email:
Phone: 612-673-4503
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Jim Souhan is a sports columnist for the Star Tribune. He has worked at the paper since 1990, previously covering the Twins and Vikings.


Souhan was Sports Editor of his high school paper at Vianney in St. Louis. He wrote and edited for the Missourian at the University of Missouri, where he earned a journalism degree with an emphasis on American literature.
Recent content from Jim Souhan
“Baseball will return. Our job is to be ready for that, assuming it happens. But do we know that’s going to happen [in 2020]? No, we don’t.”
D

Souhan: Sports world's reaction paints grim image to issue's severity

The cancellation of events through the end of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic doesn't seem so far-fetched.
The Vikings might be at an advantage having Kirk Cousins under center for a third consecutive season in 2020.

Souhan: Compressed NFL season would hinder relocated QBs

Kirk Cousins' return under center for a third season could help give the Vikings a leg up on their competition.
Carlos Gomez -- one of the Twins' "Loose Cannons" -- jumped for joy after scoring the winning run in the 12th inning on an Alexi Casilla single agains

Souhan: 2009 Game 163 replay is a reminder of Loose Cannons' heroics for Twins

Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla, both promising but erratic players, delivered when called off the bench in an epic Metrodome finale.
Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer, in 2013.

Souhan: While waiting for baseball, Bremer's book a fine way to pass time

Broadcaster Dick Bremer should be preparing to announce the Twins' opener in Oakland on Thursday. Instead, he'll be at home in the northern suburbs, trying to distract himself from our new reality.
The Olympic flame from Greece arrived in Japan on Friday even as the opening of the Tokyo Games become more in doubt. Olympic gold medalists Saori Yos

Souhan: Logic means postponing games, but logic doesn't always guide IOC

Logic dictates that the Games be postponed until the summer of 2021. It would be criminally stupid to hold them this summer, during a worldwide pandemic.
Dalvin Cook’s talents as an NFL running back are indisputable, but he has been injury-prone in his first three seasons and he is entering the last y

Souhan: Vikings need Dalvin Cook now more than ever

After all of their roster changes, the Vikings are now more dependent on Cook remaining healthy and performing spectacularly than they were even last year.
Baseball fans look through a fence at Hammond Stadium after a game between the Twins and the Orioles was canceled on March 12. MLB suspended spring tr

Souhan: No spring training trip this year, and it sure was missed

Columnist Jim Souhan didn't make it to Twins spring training in Florida for the first time since 1992. It's not the perks he missed; it's the job.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.

Souhan: Vikings' latest moves won't help unless draft fills gaping holes

GM Rick Spielman made a great move in dealing Stefon Diggs and the logical move in extending Kirk Cousins, but he'll need to procure young, inexpensive talent to plug other gaps.
Part of the beauty of the NCAA tournament is that everyone can find a team or a player to root for. Last year it was Michigan for this fan, Mary Rolfe

Souhan: A virus knocks us all from our NCAA pools at the same time

The bracket is what makes March Madness a societal phenomenon. The bracket is the greatest driver of sports conversations in America. The bracket is what we will miss the most.
Even as most sporting leagues and events shut down, the business of sports marched on. On Friday, the Vikings released cornerback Xavier Rhodes (left)

Souhan: Full stop for sports? Impossible

The games have stopped, but the business of sports never will.
Clockwise from top: The Masters golf tournament, an annual rite of spring, became one of the last shoes to drop. Before that, new Commissioner Kevin W

How the sports world came to a standstill: a timeline

The New York Post's Ryan Dunleavy chronicled it all, including the indefinite suspension or delayed start of three major professional leagues and the abrupt end of the college basketball season, without March Madness (all times Eastern):
The seats are empty at the Amway Center in Orlando, and arenas around the U.S. due to the Coronavirus.

Souhan: When American sports leagues shut down, they got it right

Thursday, the sports world stopped cold. Except that this isn't really about sports. This is about American sports reflecting America's reality, instead of serving as diversion.
A roped-off interview area outside the clubhouse at the New York Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Fla.

Souhan: Teams using grubby locker rooms as excuse to keep media out

The decision to bar media from sports locker rooms in the wake of the coronavirus crisis is a cynical, calculated move more than a safety measure.
Whitecaps goalie Amanda Leveille (shown in a 2019 game) is so talented, she'd be rich and famous in a more lucrative sport. But she's dedicated to the

Souhan: Winning Whitecaps keep commitment to grow women's hockey

Comparing a startup women's league with no television deal to established male sports is pointless. Whitecaps players see a chance to grow their game by attracting girls to hockey.
Wild interim head coach Dean Evason speaks to his players along with assistant coach Darby Hendrickson during a timeout against Capitals last weekend.

Souhan: Wild's recent moves a page out of the Twins playbook

Twice in the past three years a team on the fringe of contention has decided to sell rather than buy at the trade deadline, then watched its supposedly depleted team go on a successful run.
Eden Prairie forward Ben Steeves (6) celebrated one of his two goals in the second period on Thursday vs. Lakeville South.

Souhan: Newcomer Steeves appreciates state tournament's exceptional appeal

Eden Prairie's Ben Steeves, who played last season in Michigan, said there has been "no exaggeration" of Minnesota's boys' hockey tournament lore.
Wild left wing Kevin Fiala

Souhan: Surging Fiala adds plenty of 'magic' to Wild's playoff push

Kevin Fiala looked dangerous all game. Most endearing, he continued to play like hockey is a fun sport instead of a prison sentence.
The Wild's Kevin Fiala has 21 points and 11 goals in the past 14 games. He has scored a goal in four straight and in six of his past seven games.

Souhan: Perhaps a certain former Wild GM was right about Fiala

The forward has been a sight for jaded eyes during his scoring spurt.
Souhan: Vastly different coaching scenarios for Pitino, Saunders

Souhan: Vastly different coaching scenarios for Pitino, Saunders

Richard Pitino's career head coaching winning percentage is .544. Ryan Saunders' is .340. So why would Saunders enjoy more job security? Because circumstances matter more than stats.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu stood disappointed after the Gophers lost the lead in the final seconds.

Souhan: Home losses may ruin season of promise, alter U's future

The worst aspect of the loss to Maryland is that it might limit the number of times we get to see Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr play together.
When he was chief operating officer of the Vikings, Kevin Warren greeted fan Kevin Lodoen of Eden Prairie before a game in 2018.

Souhan: Warren brings his common touch from Vikings to Big Ten

Most commissioners of moneymaking sports leagues have two primary jobs: Protecting the rich, and making them richer. That's not how Kevin Warren works.
With Seimone Augustus (left) leaving the Lynx for the Los Angeles Sparks, General Manager/coach Cheryl Reeve faces a brave new world of free agency.

Souhan: Lynx lag at rebuilding in WNBA's most dramatic offseason

The Lynx may never be quite the same, unless they can navigate the WNBA's new promising-yet-perilous landscape.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen recently became a free agent.

Souhan: Griffen is first domino to fall for Vikings in salary-cap crunch

The likely loss of Everson Griffen is the first piece removed. There are more players who will force the Vikings to make difficult decisions in the coming months
Richard Pitino reacts to a call on the team during the second half.

Souhan: Pitino's Gophers trending from pretty good to pretty awful

The Indiana loss may have ended any reasonable hope of an NCAA tournament bid. Will it prove as decisive for coach Richard Pitino's Minnesota career?
Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks and players followed the action on the ice during a medal round game vs. the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympic

Souhan: For your 'Miracle on Ice' memories, 'The Boys of Winter' satisfies

The 40th anniversary of a most Minnesota-centric accomplishment is near, and that memorable run is captured in Wayne Coffey's book.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin spoke about his decision to fire head coach Bruce Boudreau

Souhan: Hired to fix Wild, Guerin begins repairs with two big moves

The question isn't why Bill Guerin this week traded away Jason Zucker and fired coach Bruce Boudreau; it's whether he waited too long.
Jason Zucker

Souhan: Feelings aside, Wild made good move in trading Zucker

Jason Zucker was a popular player here. But he underperformed, and the Wild made a good deal shipping him to Pittsburgh for winger Alex Galchenyuk, defense prospect Calen Addison and a first-round draft pick.
It is hard to expect the Red Sox to be able to keep up with the Yankees in 2020 after they dealt away 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts in an effort to decreas

Souhan: Twins look even more like a World Series team, Red Sox even less

Baseball's sign-stealing scandal cost Boston manager Alex Cora, and its handling of negotiations with the Dodgers and Twins indicates that the organization lacks savvy and guts, too.
Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell shot around on the court before Saturday's game against the LA Clippers.

Souhan: Russell, a mixed bag, arrives ... and takes night off

D'Angelo Russell needs to be a fixture with the Timberwolves, not just a fit.
D'Angelo Russell, the newest Timberwolves player arrived at the Signature wing of MSP airport. He was greeted by Timberwolves President Gersson Rosas.

Souhan: Now it's up to Towns, Russell, Saunders to prove they're winners

This would be a good time for the Wolves to trade in the desperate hope of sure things for the hard work of sustainable plans.
Brusdar Graterol is on his way to Boston.

Souhan: For Twins fans, dealing Graterol what 'going for it' looks like

The risk: Brusdar Graterol will become a star and remind Twins fans forever of David Ortiz. The payoff: The 2020 Twins are a better team.
Gary Kubiak will become the Vikings offensive coordinator in his second season as an assistant under Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: Vikings' nepotism, cronyism just might work

Gary Kubiak, Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer were promoted from within, maintaining the cohesion of the coaching staff.
Vikings great Chris Doleman rode in the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Grand Parade in downtown Canton, Ohio, three years after his induction.

Souhan: Gone too soon, Doleman more than a tremendous football player

Like fine wine — and he did like fine wine — Chris Doleman aged well in his career. It's not fair that a good life didn't last long enough.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders

Souhan: Solutions, not search for scapegoat, need to be Wolves' focus

The Timberwolves are evolving in a painfully slow way. But screaming for the head of Ryan Saunders when he doesn't have the players to fit his system doesn't solve anything.
An emotional Willie Burton addressed the Williams Arena crowd on Sunday afternoon.

Souhan: Young Kobe was a work-in-progress under Willie Burton's watch

When Willie Burton played for the Philadelphia 76ers, he worked out regularly with Kobe Bryant, then a high school phenom at Lower Merion High in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Newly signed Twins slugger Josh Donaldson signed autographs during TwinsFest 2020 on Friday

Souhan: Reassembled Twins cast could be the best, despite shaky pitching

The Twins won 101 games last year, and they are a much better team right now than they were last January, or even last July.
Brothers Chris and Ethan Behrend of Sioux Falls attended a Twins playoff game against the Yankees. CEO Dave St. Peter knows that baseball needs to con

Souhan: Twins hope to boost attendance with family-friendly deals

If you want to be known as a family game, you have to have prices that appeal to families. The Twins are doing just that.
Katie Smith with the New York Liberty in 2016. When Smith’s head coaching contract was not renewed by the Liberty, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve immediate

Souhan: New Lynx assistant Smith tasked with keeping Reeve calm

Cheryl Reeve said she used to be a buffer between the head coach and players, including Katie Smith, when she was a WNBA assistant. That'll be part of Smith's role with the Lynx.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid, left, and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will provide two of the story lines leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

Souhan: Past, present story lines raise interest in 49ers-Chiefs

There's plenty of local angles and trends to gnaw on for the next two weeks as Super Bowl LIV approaches. Pat and Patrick Mahomes, for example.
James Wade talked with Cheryl Reeve when Wade was a Lynx assistant in 2017. He now is the head coach for Chicago.

Souhan: Reeve committed to grooming other women to be WNBA head coaches

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is thrilled with the WNBA's new CBA, which will raise the pay of players. She believes this could be a tipping point for women's sports and rights.
Miguel Sano, who agreed to a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth, talked with reporters at a press conference.

Souhan: Sano's contract is big — to match his personality

After signing a three-year, $30 million extension with the Twins, Miguel Sano wants to boost his statistics as well.
Josh Donaldson

Souhan: Twins pull off the improbable, improve a record-breaking lineup

A Twins team that set the MLB mark for homers in 2019 added more firepower in Josh Donaldson.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s defensive problems are highlighted by the position in which he has invested most — cornerback. Xavier Rhodes (right, d

Souhan: Zimmer has something to prove with defense next season

For all of his regular-season accomplishments, coach Mike Zimmer will enter 2020 needing to prove that he can win with a new defense.
Kirk Cousins was pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead before he sacked Cousins during the second quarter.

Souhan: Cousins the playmaker? That QB left behind in New Orleans

The Vikings are a pretty good team. Kirk Cousins is a pretty good quarterback. That combination isn't likely to bring a Super Bowl title to Minnesota.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins handed the ball off to Dalvin Cook in overtime Sunday in New Orleans. The Vikings offense has been at its best this s

Souhan: 2019 Vikings rewarded for sticking to their plan

Their commitment to the run has put less of a burden on Kirk Cousins and enabled the defense to avoid getting worn down.
Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (left) introduced his mother, Tina, to tailback Dalvin Cook before a game Dec. 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Ham’s wife, Stephan

Souhan: Star and 'bodyguard.' Cook not shy about crediting Ham

As running back Dalvin Cook emerged as the key to the Vikings offense this season, fullback C.J. Ham took on more and more responsibility for making things run well.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins made a pass down field in the second quarter.

Souhan: From now on, never say never when talking about Cousins

In his first playoff game in with the Vikings, Kirk Cousins rose to the challenge in a hostile environment.
Vikings President Mark Wilf issued a statement of confidence in GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer on Friday

Souhan: Stakes are high for Vikings — and we're not just talking playoffs

The question Vikings ownership will face if the Vikings lose Sunday is: What do you do with a leadership team that succeeds in the regular season but not the playoffs?
A musician played in New Orleans’ French Quarter in July. You can find music of all sorts being played just about anywhere in Louisiana’s largest

Souhan: Minneapolis and New Orleans are different cities with similar passions for football

Football connects the Mississippi River's bookend cities.
The Vikings can simulate the deafening din of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at practice, but they will have trouble replicating the wizardry of Saints q

Souhan: Vikings drew their worst possible opening opponent in Saints

Drew Brees-led New Orleans has a passing game that can shred apart a struggling secondary.
Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone (23) was tackled in the end zone for a safety by Chicago Bears inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (44) in the

Souhan: Even with Vikings' loss, Bears clearly the team in decline

The best thing that happened to the Vikings this season was that the Bears imploded.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacted after watching a replay of a holding penalty that negated a long touchdown pass to Bisi Johnson

Souhan: Cousins flubs yet another chance to beat Monday night jinx

Unless Kirk Cousins can change the way he plays in important games, what happened on Monday night will be remembered as a prequel to another Vikings playoff failure.
Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson spoke with Jaleel Johnson during a July training camp practice.

Souhan: Vikings' 'Rushmen' are a tribute to defenders past and present

Coming off two dominant performances, The Rushmen on Monday night will face a unique challenge: A quarterback requiring caution, in Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

Souhan: It's time to hold Astros, Patriots accountable for cheating

The Astros won a World Series while cheating. The Patriots have won multiple Super Bowls while cheating. Here in Minnesota, we have the perfect precedent for punishing cheaters. Take away their trophies.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck shook hands with AD Mark Coyle following the victory over Illinois this season.

Souhan: Under Coyle, Gophers sports rising to 'amazing' level of success

It's truly a golden time for athletics at the University of Minnesota.
The Vikings built their offense around running back Dalvin Cook. Now he has two bad shoulders after being injured in the third quarter against the Cha

Souhan: In entertaining season, Vikings' narrative changes weekly

Every week has been a miniseries. They've featured sniping receivers, an apologizing quarterback, key injuries, a cornerback sideline tantrum, wrenching losses, redemptive victories -- and now a meaningful Border Battle.
The Vikings C.J. Ham checked on teammate Dalvin Cook, who was injured on a run in the third quarter.

Souhan: Vikings shroud Dalvin Cook's latest injury in mystery

Following their most lopsided victory of the season, the Vikings' smiles were paired with winces because of Cook's injury, the way expensive wine might pair with moldy cheese.
Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd went after a fumble in front of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook during one of the Vikings' failures on grass this seas

Souhan: The sod truth, Vikings struggle on grass

Since 1982, the Vikings' winning percentage on grass fields is .390 (66-104-2). That ranks them 25th among the 32 NFL franchises.
Not all offseason bonding exercises with pro sports teams prove successful, as the Timberwolves and Wild have demonstrated at times this year.

Souhan: Team bonding a sweet idea that hasn't shown much success

The Wolves and Wild engaged in relationship-building getaways during the offseason, but any success from such gatherings hasn't been visible to the ticket-buying public.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu gave his daughter a kiss as he was honored Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center for having played 1,000 games.

Souhan: Wild honors cool-as-ice captain Koivu

Koivu is a Minnesota rarity because of the oddity of his career. He was good and durable enough to play in 1,000 games, and understated enough to avoid fame.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter sacked Lions quarterback David Blough in the second quarter Sunday.

Souhan: For Danielle Hunter, flamboyance is in the statistics

The 25-year-old defensive end had three sacks in the first half on Sunday, making him the youngest player in NFL history to reach 50 sacks.
Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph (98) sighed as he and his fellow defenseman were unable to stop a Chicago Bears drive in the third quarter in S

Souhan: Where have you gone, Vikings defense?

The Vikings' defense is in decline because of some of their best and highest-paid players are on the downside of their careers or hampered by injuries.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner became a free agent after the season and the Twins are in the market.

Souhan: Twins' options to fill out rotation are plentiful

Signing Madison Bumgarner might be the easiest path for the Twins, but it also figures to be the most expensive.
Seahawks wide receiver David Moore caught a long touchdown pass after getting by Xavier Rhodes in the third quarter.

Souhan: Rhodes' blowup another reminder all isn't right with defense

After another woeful performance by cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and another big-game whiff from the Vikings defense, should Rhodes be gone for good?
Seahawks quarterback and MVP candidate Russell Wilson, a perpetual thorn in the Vikings’ side, doesn’t fit the mold of race and stature expected b

Souhan: History lesson on black quarterbacks is worth repeating

Time for a history lesson. Did you know that there was a point in NFL history when executives shied away from drafting, signing or developing black quarterbacks? It was 2018.
With the usual competitive year from the Vikings and the stunning success of the Gophers, 2019 is shaping up as the most successful football season in

Souhan: Gophers, Vikings doing stunning, historic things right now

Here's the usual: Vikings lose big games, Gophers don't reach them. But what we're seeing so far has the makings of the best football season in state history.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan threw downfield in the second quarter at Northwestern.

Souhan: Tanner Morgan making history, but won't be the one to tell you

Tanner Morgan, who didn't practice until Wednesday because of concussion symptoms, threw four touchdown passes and now has a school-record 26 this season.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan

Souhan: Development of Morgan at QB is promising sign for Gophers' future

P.J. Fleck speaks of "culture" and speaks in slogans, but the true opportunity for building a better program lies at the quarterback position. He's off to a pretty good start.
Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka had some choice words for QB Jim Harbaugh after his fourth-quarter interception by the Vikings’ Todd Scott was return

Souhan: Huge comeback vs. Bears in '92 was a Vikings turning point

Sparked by a memorable comeback on Oct. 4, the Vikings finished 11-5 in 1992 and made the playoffs, setting themselves up for a decade of success that included two NFC championship games.
Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins looked downfield for a pass in the first quarter.

Souhan: Cousins continues mending his reputation by leading comeback

This was not your basic comeback: Kirk Cousins threw three second-half touchdown passes as the Vikings pulled off a rally that was unique in the history of the NFL.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and clobbered him on top of the head Thursday night, ea

Souhan: Vikings come down hard on Browns' Garrett for his outburst

Thursday night's brawl on national TV gives the NFL a black eye.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck was swarmed by fans during a TV interview after beating Penn State.

Souhan: Gophers look the part of a football team ready for the big stage

The Gophers have won big games before. They have upset highly ranked teams and traditional powers before. What was different about their latest upset was that it didn't look like an upset.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was introduced to the media after accepting the job last fall.

Souhan: Interviewing wore down Baldelli; 101 wins refreshed him

Teams can be fooled by interviews, but what the Twins saw in Rocco Baldelli during those meetings after the 2018 season dovetailed with his résumé and what others said about him.
Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) defends Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) during the first half on Sunday's game.

Souhan: Tipped pass by Kendricks in final minute saves the day for Vikings

Eric Kendricks had spent Sunday night sifting through blockers and applying shoulders to one of football's best running backs. Now the Cowboys were isolating him on the biggest play of the game.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.

Souhan: Jerry Jones has nothing on the Wilfs and the Vikings

The Cowboys may be America's team, but the Vikings have their own impressive facilities and fan base.