Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

Find him on Twitter

Posts about Ex-Vikings

On Warren and Vikings

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 12, 2015 - 3:29 PM

The Vikings' promotion of Kevin Warren to chief operating office is probably a good move.

I can't offer a more definitive opinion because most of what behind-the-scenes NFL executives do remains...behind the scenes. If Warren were a great or terrible administrator, we may never know, and his performance might not ever affect the team's on-field performance.

This much I do know:

When the Vikings held consecutive press conferences last September to address their handling of Adrian Peterson's case, the only person who took the podium who seemed capable of offering a measured and nuanced statement was Kevin Warren.

That makes this promotion understandable and perhaps vital.

As I've written many times, the Vikings have grown into a big-league organization. However the Wilfs handle business in New Jersey, they have been good NFL owners. They have supported the franchise financially, pushed to win, yet been loyal to key employees through difficult times.

The Vikings have become excellent in terms of fan relations and media relations. They have engaged with their great players of the past, although I've heard from some former players that they could do even better in that regard.

What they have lacked in recent years is a key executive who could handle the inevitable difficult press conferences. GM Rick Spielman is personable in small groups and one-on-one but looked like he was being electrocuted during his press conference about Peterson last year. He and coach Mike Zimmer are football guys who should not be expected to handle a press conference on a topic as sensitive to the public and sponsors as child abuse.

Warren can handle that. He gives the Vikings a chance to look as professional on the podium as they have become in other aspects of their business.

---------

I'll be appearing every afternoon at 3:30 on 105.1 The Ticket with Bob Sansevere. Catch my podcasts, including the last few with Michael Russo and Roy Smalley at SouhanUnfiltered.com. Thank you.

@Souhanstrib

Last-minute adjustments

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 1, 2015 - 5:00 PM

My pick for this game: Patriots 22, Seahawks 21.

As gametime approaches, my heart says the Seahawks find a way, but my gut is wondering if I shouldn't pick the Patriots by a wider margin.

Here's why:

Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman is catching punts one-handed in warmups, obviously trying not to aggravate his elbow injury.

Seahawks star safety Earl Thomas is wearing a harness under his jersey to protect his injured shoulder.

Kam Chancellor, the other safety, suffered what is believed to be a mild injury in practice and is wearing a knee brace and limping just a bit.

There's little doubt all three will start. But will all three finish?

The Patriots are sharks. If they see an injured player, or a replacement on the field, they will attack that player.

In what is a great matchup and what probably will be a close game, I think those injuries give New England the edge.

---------

This morning, had longtime Seattle sports columnist Art Thiel on my podcast, and he offered more insight into the Seahawks than I've heard anywhere all week. You can find it and all other podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com. Thanks.

@Souhanstrib

Hall hits and misses

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 31, 2015 - 9:26 PM

I think Mick Tinglehoff earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I can't say I know how to judge a center who played in the '70s against a wide receiver who played in the 2000s. I'm not sure it can be done.

It's right to give the benefit of the doubt to a great player who was as durable and admired as Tinglehoff, and who contributed to so many team victories.

Now I'll categorize the rest of the inductees:

-Of Course They Should Be In:

Junior Seau. He was dominant, and you didn't need to break down the All-22 film to see it.

-I think they should be in but it's hard to separate them from other candidates:

Tinglehoff. Charles Haley. Will Shields. Ron Wolf. Bill Polian.

Wolf and Polian were both great, but were they both better than George Young, who has not been inducted? I don't think so.

-Really tough call:

Tim Brown was highly productive. He was also the product of quick-passing offenses. Don't think he was as good as Marvin Harrison, who didn't make it. This feels like a chronological pick more than a true choice. I think voters wanted to get Brown in before Harrison, Randy Moss and a slew of modern receivers become eligible.

-Bad call:

Jerome Bettis. Never rushed for 4.0 yards per carry in any postseason. Averaged 3.4 yards per carry overall in his career in the postseason. Ranks sixth all-time in rushing but never seemed exceptional to me.

-Should have made it:

Harrison. Orlando Pace, who was truly dominant.

-Probably should make it:

Kurt Warner.

-------------------

I've been in the Hall of Fame voting room once, when I subbed for Sid Hartman. I gave a presentation on behalf of Carl Eller, and didn't feel anyone in the room was paying any attention to me.

I also know, because i have friends in that room, that Sid's angry presentations turned off other voters and hurt the causes of many Vikings over the years.

Now Star Tribune football writer Mark Craig is handling the presentations, and suddenly just about every worthy Viking is making it into the Hall.

Trust me: That is not a coincidence. Craig is liked and respected in the room, he gives thorough but understated presentations, and he has done very well on behalf of former Vikings.

---------------------

At 9:30 on Sunday morning, I"ll do a podcast from Phoenix to set up the Super Bowl. My guess will be SportsPress Northwest columnist Art Thiel, a great writer who will provide more insight on the Seahawks than you've heard all season. Trust me. I've already taped it, and it's great stuff.

You can listen live or anytime later at SouhanUnfiltered.com, along with podcasts featuring Mark Craig, Tom Pelissero, Leo Lewis, Terry Ryan and Master Tesfasion. Thanks.

@Souhanstrib

On DeflateGate, Vonn, Wilson, Wild

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 19, 2015 - 8:37 AM

Bob Kravitz, the former Indy Star columnist now working for Indy TV station WTHR, broke the news that the Patriots may have used deflated balls during the AFC title game.

Deflated balls can be easier to grip, throw, catch and control in rainy conditions, and it rained and sleeted during the game.

Kravitz is a pro, and the NFL has confirmed it is investigating, so I wouldn't dismiss this as a provincial reaction to getting blown out. The Colts can't make the case they would have won under any conditions. If proved true, this will further mark Bill Belichick as the kind of coach who will do anything to win, and with two weeks before his latest Super Bowl appearance, will give everyone time to reflect on SpyGate.

The simplistic will paint Belichick as someone who wins because he cheats. He doesn't win because he cheats, but his willingness to bend rules is part of the mentaility that makes him a great and yet thoroughly unlikeable coach.

----------

I've forgotten most of what I ``learned'' in college, which for most people is just a transitional boarding school, but I remember taking a class called ``African American Literature.'' I read Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.

On Martin Luther King Day, this is a good time to remember what is spelled out so beautifully and achingly in their works: That America treated black people as slaves, then as subhumans, not long ago and for a very long time.

One of the things I always loved about sport was that it can be a pure meritocracy blind to skin color. But it wasn't long ago in the history of our nation that black men were not allowed to play sports alongside white men.And a shockingly short time ago NFL teams didn't feel comfortable with black head coaches and quarterbacks.

Let's honor today by continuing to chop down the stereotypes that enable racism. Next time you hear an announcer talk about a white player who ``works hard'' or has a lot of `grit,'' turn the channel.

-------------

When the Seahawks were getting whipped yesterday, and before Russell Wilson had completed a pass, I Tweeted that ``I still think Russell Wilson is great.'' I meant it.

He's never going to set passing records, but he has produced more fourth-quarter comebacks in his first three seasons than any quarterback in NFL history - 10. He is the first NFL quarterback to start in two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. He is winning despite a shocking lack of help from his receivers.

Wilson should wni the I-Just-Made-It-Up Herm Edwards Award. You play to win the game. Wilson finds so many ways to win so many games.

--------------

It was heartening to see the photo on the back page of the Strib sports page today, of Lindsey Vonn surrounded by her entire family.

I first met her before the Turin Olympics, and when I asked about her family, she said she no longer spoke with her father. Her father woultn't return my calls while I researched a long story about his daughter. I did get to visit her mother at her home in Apple Valley.

The photo shows both parents and Vonn's sister all smiling i nthe same photo.

This morning, Vonn broke the record for the most women's World Cup victories, an amazing achievement for anyone, but especially for someone who started at Buck Hill in Burnsville.

My impression of Vonn, having covered her at two Olympics: She's a powerful person, physically and emotionally.. Her ability to persevere without a relationship with her father and while traveling the globe to compete says something about her resolve.

---------------

Latest podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com: Michael Russo, Leo Lewis, Terry Ryan, Jeff Munneke. The Alive and Social Network, the podcast company owned by Sean Barnard, now has a studio in Minneapolis, which will enable us to do more frequent podcasts, and to bring in guests via phone from around the country. Thanks for listening.

@Souhanstrib

An actual ``good'' morning in Twin Cities

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 18, 2015 - 10:04 AM

Twin Cities sports fans Let's enjoy today.

We wake to one of the best sports days of the year - NFL championship Sunday - after a day during which the Timberwolves, Wild, Gopher basketball team and Gopher hockey team all won.

While we can, let's cite a few positive developings in our winter of discontent:

-Andrew Wiggins keeps getting better. The Wolves' incompetence has given him and opening, and he has walked right through it, becoming more assertive as an NBA rookie than he ever was at Kansas.

-The Wild's trade for goalie Devan Dubnyk has paid off instantly. I believe the Wild would have been better off losing big this year, securing a high draft pick and resetting for next season, but Dubnyk has been better than expected. Maybe the positive development here is that the Wild gets to give Dubnyk a full tryout and decide whether he can become their goaltender of the future.

-It's been a terrible season for Gopher senior Andre Hollins. Saturday, he hit 7-of-10 three-pointers, and the Gophers won. That link shouldn't surprise. College basketball might be the most overanalyzed game in existence. The team that hits shots usually wins.

-Gopher hockey has been a disappointment. Saturday, the Gophers earned a blowout victory over a bad Wisconsin team.

As I wrote about in the Sunday paper, the four coaches and four quarterbacks in the NFL title games today all offer wildly different resumes. You never know who the next great quarterback or coach is going to be.

Strangely, of the four great or potentially great quarterbacks playing today, I think I'm most fascinated by Russell Wilson. Being a short, scrambling, running quarterback with average receivers is not supposed to be a formula for success in the modern NFL, but Wilson has made it one. He makes the right play at the right time, and is not only the best running quarterback in the NFL, he may be the only one who seems to know exactly how to avoid big hits.

Enjoy today...and yesterday.

--------------

Latest podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com: Strib hockey writer Michael Russo, former Viking Leo Lewis (who recalled that he and his father were both cut by Bud Grant), Twins GM Terry Ryan...and a lot of other fascinating people.

@Souhanstrib

ADVERTISEMENT

Post By Category

Professional baseball (166) Vikings (260)
Gopher coaches (57) Gopher quarterbacks (14)
Gopher recruiting (4) Gopher road games (5)
Gophers disciplinary action (3) Gophers injuries (1)
Gophers recruiting (3) Gophers spring football (6)
TCF Bank Stadium (24) The Big 10 (26)
NCAA: football (17) Gophers coaches (66)
Gophers players (45) Tubby Smith (40)
Williams Arena (18) Gophers post season (8)
Gophers roster moves (5) Golf (47)
Soccer (6) Twins news (41)
WNBA (8) Wild news (66)
AFC (14) Bears (35)
Ex-Vikings (29) Football on TV (118)
Lions (31) NFC (98)
NFL draft (49) NFL post-season (56)
Packers (65) Super Bowl (68)
Vikings coaches (139) Vikings defense (68)
Vikings fans (49) Vikings injury report (19)
Vikings management (92) Vikings off the field (36)
Vikings offense (77) Vikings quarterbacks (46)
Vikings road games (16) Vikings rookies (4)
Vikings roster moves (3) Vikings special teams (2)
Vikings training camp (6) Off the field (6)
On the road (27) Quarterbacks (44)
Rookies (7) Roster moves (1)
Vikings draft (42) Ron Gardenhire (123)
Target Field (168) Twins fans (177)
Twins management (231) Twins offense (124)
Twins transactions (102) NBA playoffs (42)
Wolves coaches (77) Wolves draft news (35)
Wolves guards (43) Wolves injury report (10)
Wolves management (84) Wolves players (65)
Wolves trade talk (16) Wolves training camp (14)
All-Stars and honors (99) Fighting (2)
Wild coaching (56) Wild management (70)
Wild off-season news (14) Wild player moves (13)
Adrian Peterson (84) Anthony Herrera (2)
Antoine Winfield (16) Ben Leber (1)
Bernard Berrian (7) Brad Childress (30)
Brett Favre (58) Brian Robison (3)
Bryant McKinnie (3) Cedric Griffin (5)
Chad Greenway (18) Chester Taylor (5)
Chris Kluwe (3) Darrell Bevell (8)
E.J. Henderson (4) Jared Allen (29)
John Sullivan (6) Kevin Williams (6)
Leslie Frazier (55) Madieu Williams (2)
Pat Williams (3) Percy Harvin (29)
Phil Loadholt (3) Ray Edwards (1)
Ryan Longwell (9) Sage Rosenfels (1)
Sidney Rice (10) Steve Hutchinson (7)
Tarvaris Jackson (12) Tyrell Johnson (2)
Visanthe Shiancoe (5) Brad Childress (30)
Darrell Bevell (8) Leslie Frazier (55)
NHL news (11) 2010 Winter Games (13)
Olympic curling (1) Olympic hockey (8)
Olympic skiing (5) Olympic speedskating (1)
Olympic village (11)
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT