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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
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
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton signed autographs before the start of a spring training game. Will this be the long-awaited breakout year for him?

Souhan: Twins will do this summer what they do best: surprise us ... somehow

The Twins' recent history of unpredictability extends to this week, when another talented but unproven team takes the field for Opening Day on Thursday at Target Field.
Gophers freshman Jarvis Omersa comforted Jordan Murphy at the disappointing end to his college career Saturday night in Des Moines.

Souhan: For all its flaws, here's why we love all that madness

Jordan Murphy covered his face as he hugged his coach and teammates, knowing he would never share this kind of stage again. It's an unmatched sense of finality in sports.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy reacts with coach Richard Pitino at the end of the game.

Souhan: Murphy deserved more in final game for Gophers

Jordan Murphy spent all but four minutes of his last college game standing, gingerly stretching his aching back as the Gophers were sent packing from the NCAA tournament.
Rocco Baldelli as a standout high school baseball and basketball player and at his introductory news conference as Twins manager.

Jan. 20: Baldelli's baseball journey has led him to the Twins

Baldelli's ascension to a managerial job surprises only those who viewed him as just a superior talent or a tragic figure. Those close to him say his intellectual curiosity and natural empathy qualify him to lead.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur celebrates in front of Louisville forward Jordan Nwora after making a three-point basket during the first round

Souhan: Kalscheur always had the outside shot, thanks to Mom

Gophers freshman Gabe Kalscheur honed his shooting stroke while practicing with his mother, LeeAnna, a standout basketball player for Cal Poly Pomona and Nebraska.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino directs his team during Thursday's first-round game against Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

Souhan: Pitino downplayed the past and may have secured his future

Gophers coach Richard Pitino refused to play the "Him vs. Louisville" game all week, even after the Gophers had dribbled out the clock in their NCAA first-round victory over the Cardinals.
Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur (22), Jarvis Omersa and Daniel Oturu (25)

Souhan: Gophers' local recruits might make NCAA bids a habit

On Thursday, the 10th-seeded Gophers open the NCAA tournament featuring three starters from Minnesota. "There's nothing you can sell more ... than local kids having a great experience," Richard Pitino said.
The Vikings need quality offensive linemen, but General Manager Rick Spielman hasn't done much for that position thus far in the offseason.

Souhan: Spielman having fruitless offseason attracting offensive linemen

The Vikings' general manager needs to draft an offensive lineman or two next month who are capable of starting. Will he find them?
One day after a loss in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the Gophers basketball team got a shot of new life with an invitation to the NCAA tournamen

Souhan: Final Four an impossible dream for Gophers? You never know

Qualifying for the tournament that will end a couple of miles from campus means we get to see the bracket through the eyes and optimism of the Gophers' hometown players.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was congratulated by third base coach Tony Diaz after hitting a two-run home run. Buxton is in line for a reboot thi

Souhan: A week at Twins spring training tells enough about upcoming season

Sights, sounds and observations from Twins camp in Fort Myers.
Twins first base coach Tommy Watkins signed autographs in Fort Myers during spring training workouts.

Souhan: Twins coach Watkins turned minor league experience into major league job

Tommy Watkins spent 12 seasons in the Twins' minor league system as a player. When the Twins overhauled their field staff, they hired Watkins to be their first base coach.
Jose Berrios will be the 10th Twins pitcher in the past 12 seasons to take the ball for Opening Day and the youngest since Brad Radke, then 23, pitche

Souhan: Twins ace Berrios embraces hard, smart work

Since 2010, only three Twins pitchers have produced 200 innings in a season: Carl Pavano, Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana. With his work ethic at the front of the rotation, Jose Berrios should join that group this year.
Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz talked with Tony Oliva last month in Florida.

Souhan: New Twins slugger Cruz is always right on schedule

"I try to use my time effectively," said new Twins player Nelson Criz, who schedules everything from treatments to workouts to meals with meticulous detail.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton says he consumed 10,000 calories daily over the offseason in an effort to put on extra weight.

Souhan: Twins' Buxton carrying more bulk, moxie this season

The soft-spoken small-town kid is this spring displaying confidence bordering on the kind of competitive defiance that defines so many great athletes.
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins is struggling in his fifth NBA season.

Wolves need to figure out what to do with Wiggins

North Score: Michael Rand and Jim Souhan debate the possibilities.
The Twins have rarely had pitchers throw as hard as Fernando Romero (left) and Martin Perez.

Souhan: Radar love is a rare sight for Twins pitchers

For decades, the Twins have relied on pitchers featuring changeups and splitters, forkballs and sliders, curves and other assorted junk. No more.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy thanked the fans who had rushed the court after the Gophers beat No. 11 Purdue.

Souhan: Court-storm ritual becomes cliche

It's time for college basketball fans to recognize that court-storming is a dangerous idea, and to stop doing it.
Jordan Murphy, left, and Daniel Oturu celebrate after Murphy scored against Purdue on Tuesday

Souhan: On this night, Gophers offer reminder of The Barn at its best

On Tuesday, the Gophers provided a reminder that a few decades ago a ticket to Williams Arena was as good as sports got in the Twin Cities.
The Wild's Jared Spurgeon and the Predators' Mikael Granlund went after the puck during the first period Sunday. Nashville won 3-2 in a shootout, endi

Souhan: Boudreau knows his Wild well enough to know team won't quit

While the Timberwolves demonstrate virtually every winter what true dysfunction looks like, the Wild at least annually give themselves a puncher's chance.
Andrew Wiggins

Souhan: Wiggins has maxed out his welcome as a Wolves starter

Instead of taking advantage of Jimmy Butler's absence — either by becoming more productive or proving Butler's insults wrong — Andrew Wiggins has lapsed.
Despite a losing record in the Big Ten, the Gophers are still in position to make the 68-team NCAAmen's basketball tournament.

Souhan: In modern sports, teams selling burgers and calling it steak

Because of expanded playoff fields, teams can sell drama to their fans. Every game matters. Every game could be the difference. Every game could lead to a trophy.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: Vikings should avoid blunder of using narrow-defined offense

Viking coach Mike Zimmer needs to guard against imposing a philosophy on his offense instead of finding ways for his best players to thrive.
The Blues' Brayden Schenn (10) got the puck past Wild defenseman Nick Seeler and goalie Alex Stalock for a goal in the second period Sunday.

Souhan: This is a Wild team in freefall without a parachute

On Sunday, the Wild didn't look like it was missing a player or two, a goal-scorer or two. It looked like it lacked competitiveness. That's the worst thing you can say about a hockey team.
Houston's James Harden and Minnesota's Jeff Teague battle for the ball as Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns looks on in the first half

Souhan: Thrilling win over Houston offers glimpse into Wolves future

What happened Wednesday night at Target Center was a small sample size. It was also a lot of fun, and might have important implications.
Bryce Harper and Craig Kimbrel would be bold - and expensive - moves for the Twins, but why not?

Souhan: Hey, Twins: Make a statement and sign Harper, Kimbrel

Free agents Bryce Harper and Craig Kimbrel are there for the taking. So why not bring them to Minnesota?
Gophers stars don’t have to look far for career advice these days. Coach Lindsay Whalen, right, took Kenisha Bell to lunch before the season began t

Souhan: U's Bell can fill stat sheet, much like her coach once did

Rookie coach Lindsay Whalen has taught her oldest and best player to bring some swagger to the court, inspiring a four-game winning streak and a run of impressive performances from the senior guard.
Lindsey Vonn and Maya Moore have both left their mark locally and on an international stage in their sports.

Souhan: Feats of Vonn, Moore might never be matched

At the end of a week that included National Girls and Women in Sports Day, let's recognize the importance of Lindsey Vonn and Maya Moore.
Andrew Wiggins (22), forward Dario Saric, second from left, guard Josh Okogie and center Karl-Anthony Towns, right, watch from the bench at the end of

Souhan: Worse ordeals could be ahead for Wolves

If you thought the days of David Kahn and Kurt Rambis were bad … well, you were right. They were bad. But this is a different predicament.
Bill Belichick

Souhan: Belichick, Patriots are not about culture, just ruthlessness

The Rams had better players on Sunday, and the Patriots made those superior talents look inept and confused.
The Gophers defense pulls down Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman during the first half of Edelman's first game at Kent State in 2006. Minnesota wo

Souhan: Remember Edelman's college debut? That 44-0 loss? To the Gophers

Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman continued building a postseason résumé that most Hall of Famers would envy after a college career that didn't exactly start well.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play in his ninth Super Bowl on Sunday.

Souhan: Deep down, we should all have admiration for Tom Brady

Tom Brady is easy to hate, but here's why sports fans should embrace what he's accomplished.
Wade Wilson (11) and Tommy Kramer left the field following the Vikings’ season-opening loss in Buffalo in 1988.

Former Vikings quarterback Wade Wilson dies at 60

An eighth-round pick, Wade Wilson went on to play in an NFC Championship Game and a Pro Bowl
Despite being a first-round pick out of Oregon State in 2014, Brandin Cooks has played for three teams in five NFL seasons, although the Rams say they

Souhan: Cooks hopes to have found a home with Rams

On Sunday, Los Angeles Rams receiver Brandin Cooks will play in a second consecutive Super Bowl, against the team he played for in last year's, the New England Patriots.
Aaron Donald has been influenced by the careers of three former Vikings: Alan Page, Keith Millard and John Randle.

Souhan: Rams' Donald blends assets paying homage to 3 former Vikings

Over the past two years, Aaron Donald might be eclipsing any player produced by the Purple People Eaters or the Rams' similarly legendary Fearsome Foursome.
Some accuse Rams coordinator Wade Phillips of being too fun-loving to be a successful head coach, but his career winning percentage is .562 and he has

There's genius hidden behind the wit of Wade Phillips

The Rams' Wade Phillips is quick with a quip, disguising a defensive mastermind.
The Rams’ Todd Gurley was a junior and the Patriots’ Sony Michel was a freshman when the pair shared the backfield at Georgia. Now the former Bull

Souhan: Atlanta has eyes on two top Dawgs at Super Bowl

The Georgia Bulldogs matter more in Atlanta than any other football team at any level. If you needed proof, you should have visited for a weekend in December 2017.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answered a question during a news conference for the Super Bowl on Wednesday in Atlanta.

Souhan: Kaepernick situation shows Goodell earns millions 'by telling obvious lies'

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual state of the league address Wednesday and provided a reminder that his job title is completely different from his job description.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick each have demonstrated their abilities over the years, but they've also had a little luck go N

Souhan: Lady Luck tends to favor Super Bowl winners

The point here is not that the Patriots and Rams are headed for Atlanta only because of lucky breaks, but that winning NFL teams often require a combination of luck and ability.
New England quarterback Tom Brady threw a pass during his team's opening drive vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis

Souhan: Super Bowls more compelling since 'Brady era' began

In the past 15 Super Bowls, the average margin of victory is 8.7 points, and there has been only one game decided by more than 15 points — the Seahawks' 43-8 victory over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII.
2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jack Morris, top center, speaks during the induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY. Members of the Hall are voted in

Souhan: Here's why I quit voting for baseball's Hall of Fame

If you are a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for 10 years, you become eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame. But why would anyone want this thankless job?
If the team would sign reliever Craig Kimbrel, he would be in place if this group of young Twins proves it’s ready to win.

Souhan: Twins should close a deal on top reliever Kimbrel

If you sign Craig Kimbrel, you'd be sending a signal to Miguel Sano and Joe Fan that you want to win now.
Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis looked for a call after getting hit by Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman. Lewis didn’t get one.

Souhan: Missed call was bad for Saints, but the playcalling was, too

There were plenty of questionable officiating rulings in both championship games. But based on their earlier decisions, the Saints can't say they were cheated.
Before Jimmy Butler (top) left the Wolves via a trade he forced, he accused the team of lacking toughness. When they met again Tuesday in Philadelphia

Souhan: Wolves can't be counted on to show heart, toughness every game

What the Wolves displayed in Philadelphia was a lack of toughness, getting blown out from the start against a team that is dealing with its own version of Butler dyspepsia.
Jonathan Quick was able to stop a scoring attempt by the Wild's Mikael Granlund (64) and Jason Zucker (16) in the second period

Souhan: Drastic changes coming for Wild - but when?

The Wild is paying $3 million or more to 11 current players. But the roster as it currently stands is highly paid, too old and too unproductive.
Two father-son combos with local ties are still in the hunt for a Super Bowl title. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (upper left), son of former Twi

Souhan: On second-generation pros, Nick Foles and Vikings' draft woes

A few loosely connected thoughts with local angles as the NFL playoffs wind down to the final four teams.
Vikings kicker Blair Walsh walked away after his chance for a game-winning 27 yard field goal sailed wide left against the Seahawks in the 2016 playof

Souhan: A logical solution to correcting illogical existence of NFL kickers

Kickers exist mostly so coaches will have someone to blame when they lose a close game. So let's devalue field goals.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy managed only six shots against 6-10 forward Jalen Smith and the Maryland defense in Minnesota’s 82-67 loss Tuesday.

Souhan: Murphy, Gophers disappoint in home loss to Terrapins

Minnesota and Jordan Murphy came up short at home, against one of the many good Big Ten teams with which they will be competing for an NCAA tournament berth.
Tom Thibodeau stood and barked Sunday, as he did nearly every game as Wolves coach. But the difference Sunday was that this was the last one.

Souhan: Wolves finally tired of a coach who couldn't help but be himself

There is a great coach somewhere inside Tom Thibodeau, but Thibodeau couldn't hear his inner Popovich over his own jet-engine monologue.
Souhan: Big-money deals often turn out to not be deals at all

Souhan: Big-money deals often turn out to not be deals at all

Most big-money sports contracts, here and elsewhere, turn into albatross-shaped millstones. Players are often paid for past production and fail to maintain it at higher salaries.
Kirby Puckett enjoyed the moment after signing a five-year, $30 million contract with Carl Pohlad in 1992.

Best, worst big-money contracts in Minnesota sports history

Ranking Minnesota’s big-money deals Which big contracts in Minnesota sports history worked, and which ones didn’t? Here’s how Jim Souhan ranks ’em: Best large contracts…
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins looked to pass Friday in the second half.

Souhan: Wiggins' game is too uninspiring to draw even boos

Andrew Wiggins is playing under a five-year, $148 million contract and is a key player on a collapsing team. Yet the fans, at least in person, seem as apathetic about him as he is about getting back on defense.
Blaming quarterback Kirk Cousins for the Vikings missing the playoffs is convenient, but what better options were available to them last offseason?

Souhan: Vikings didn't have much better option than signing Cousins

Blaming GM Rick Spielman for the signing and Cousins for his play and behavior is easy at this point. What's difficult is figuring out what the Vikings should have done instead.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf greeted coach Mike Zimmer before a game earlier this season.

Souhan: Should Wilf fire Zimmer and/or Spielman to change Vikings leadership formula?

The Vikings showed why they are not a playoff team in Sunday's loss to the Bears. If Zygi Wilf wants to change his leadership formula, he's going to have to make big changes.
Stefon Diggs scored a 61-yard touchdown - the Minneapolis Miracle - to beat the Saints 29-24 in last year's playoffs.

Souhan: Vikings always entertain, win or lose, so give thanks

The Vikings have been relentlessly interesting ever since their first game, and there is more value in that than in merely winning one Super Bowl.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) tossed a towel to a fan after the game at Ford Field Sunday December 23, 2018 in Detroit, MI.

Souhan: 'Hail Rudy' became rallying cry as Vikings offense got rolling

When you're in an end zone surrounded by superior athletes, likability won't do you much good. Being 6-6 and a former prep basketball star will.
The Vikings fired John DeFilippo, right, and promoted Kevin Stefanski to the position of offensive coordinator before Week 15 vs. Miami.

Souhan: DeFilippo-Stefanski move by Vikings looks like right call, now

When Vikings coach Mike Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, the move may have felt like scapegoating. It may even have felt personal. That doesn't mean it won't work.
Nelson Cruz has hit an average of 40.6 home runs over the past five seasons, the past four with Seattle.

Souhan: Established bat that would take pressure off Twins teammates? That's Nelson Cruz

The veteran slugger appears to be a good fit in the Twins lineup, and Derek Falvey appeared to acknowledge as much.
Wolves rookie Josh Okogie, left, celebrated one of his second-quarter baskets with Robert Covington on Monday night.

Souhan: Okogie is the latest Minnesota sports cult hero

For a franchise locked in a perpetual battle with inertia, rookie Josh Okogie is, to quote one of this century's greatest thinkers, manna from heaven.
Vikings interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski talked with Kirk Cousins in the fourth quarter

Souhan: Stefanski succeeds in debut, but tougher tests are ahead

In his debut as offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski faced one of the NFL's worst defenses and his game plan led to the Vikings' largest point total of the season.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against Seattle

Souhan: Pressure is staring right back at Zimmer

Mike Zimmer has the prerogative to make controversial decisions like firing coaches and kickers, and the responsibility to do what he believes is best for his team. But is this approach what is best for his team?
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins gets pulled down by Frank Clark for the sack in the 2nd quarter.

Souhan: Cousins' play leads to firing; are Zimmer, Spielman next?

Kirk Cousins' performance Monday at Seattle got offensive coordinator John DeFilippo fired, a move that should be viewed as a possible preview of coming events.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen

Souhan: Whalen still pulling the right strings as Gophers coach

She has defied odds by immediately transferring her analytic nature to players who are only now beginning to understand the competitive drive behind the greatest basketball career in state history.
Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, forward Andrew Wiggins and center Karl-Anthony Towns reacted after a fourth quarter timeout called by the Horne

Souhan: First Butler trade burned Wolves, second one lights a fire

The Timberwolves are 9-3 since trading Jimmy Butler for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. Trading for Butler in the first place turned out to be move not worth the risk.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick chatted with Mike Zimmer after New England's victory Sunday; Tom Brady worked the line of scrimmage Sunday during the ga

Souhan: Patriots show Vikings what they do to inferior opponents

On a day when the rest of the NFC North lost and the Vikings' primary rival fired its longtime head coach, they stewed in their own frustration.
After the Vikings lost to New England on Oct. 31, 2010, Randy Moss gave a bizarre new conference in which he praised the Patriots, his former team, wh

Souhan: Last antics of Randy Moss forgiven, forgotten

If anyone cares to ponder the once-difficult relationship between Randy Moss and the Vikings, Sunday would be the right day to do so.
Gophers head coach Hugh McCutcheon stood beside his team and University president Eric Kaler, left, as he was recognized for his induction into the In

Souhan: Restless McCutcheon picked Gophers team over a dream

This summer, Hugh McCutcheon was voted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame but he skipped this month's ceremony to be with the Gophers on the road in a crucial part of the season.
One reason the Gophers are going to a bowl game has been the improved play of the defense under new coordinator Joe Rossi, who over the job earlier th

Souhan: A Gophers coach deserves kudos. But it's not Fleck

New defensive coordinator Joe Rossi has saved a football program that was headed nowhere and engineered an unexpected victory in beating Wisconsin.
Viking's quarterback Kirk Cousins had good protection early in the third quarter Sunday vs. the Packers.

Souhan: These are the wins when big-game quarterbacks are made

Kirk Cousins still hasn't won a playoff game. But now beaten the Packers in a meaningful game, perhaps burying Green Bay's season and the tenure of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Souhan: Big-money QB Cousins facing a defining stretch of games

Is Kirk Cousins the quarterback the Vikings thought they bought, or the one Washington refused to pay?
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck has four Big Ten victories since taking over, two each season.

Souhan: At 2-6 in the Big Ten, Fleck and the Gophers look lost as ever

The Gophers football team has not improved in its second year under P.J. Fleck, even while playing in a mediocre league.
Marcus Carr had hoped to be a sophomore guard for Richard Pitino’s Gophers this season.

Souhan: Gophers' Carr is a victim of NCAA's hypocrisy

The NCAA making a random example of Marcus Carr, who has the same résumé as many athletes allowed to compete after transferring, does not set a precedent that will keep athletes from transferring in the future.
Wild General Manager Paul Fenton resisted coming in and making a series of trades, and 18 games into his first season, the team sits near the top of t

Souhan: Not making big deal has been a big deal in Wild's success

Give Bruce Boudreau depth, and he can do damage to opponents. He's rolling four quality lines that might not have existed had Paul Fenton made a splashy trade over the summer.
Head coach Cheryl Reeve and Lindsay Whalen talked Whalen was honored at the final regular-season Lynx home game.

Souhan: As stress of coaching U builds, Reeve says she's there for Whalen

Lindsay Whalen's coaching debut at the University of Minnesota on Friday night will be unique because her circumstances are almost as unimaginable as they are familiar.
Joe Mauer

Souhan: Let the Joe Mauer Hall of Fame debate begin

A look at Twins history reveals the difficulty and unpredictability of judging players whose careers were damaged by injuries.
Minnesota's Daniel Oturu rebounds against Omaha's Mitchell Hahn (44) and Matt Pile (40) during Tuesday's action at Williams Arena.

Souhan: Freshmen were the draw for Gophers in promising opener

In a program and an athletic department in desperate need of ticket sales and financial success, Richard Pitino isn't shying away from expectations.
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