Staff Directory 10646006

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
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.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck, left, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: Big games bring big stakes for many on Gophers, Vikings

Neither game is do-or-die; both are do-or-doubt. These are the kinds of games that can make or mar reputations, especially at maximum-scrutiny positions.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck received a seven-year contract extension Tuesday. If Fleck wins big, his loyalty will be tested at some point, and s

Souhan: Fleck and the Gophers take a huge leap in relationship

Minnesota's paranoia of coaches departing for The Big City or The Bigger Program dates to Lou Holtz, who suckered the state into believing he was committed to the U in the 1980s.
Coming off two strong years, Hyun-Jin Ryu is one pitcher the Twins should target in free agency.

Souhan: Should Twins break up the BombaSquad for a top pitcher?

The Twins might have to trade to fill their needs. For all of their hitting talent, they have few players who have proved they belong in the middle of the order for a championship team.
Kalamazoo native Gregg Jennings, left, and mascot-headed Lee Corso both selected Western Michigan to defeat Buffalo in a NCAA college football game du

Souhan: C'mon, 'College GameDay': Gophers-Penn State is where you ought to be

This might be the biggest game ever to be played at TCF Bank Stadium and perhaps Minnesota's biggest game since Murray Warmath was coaching.
The NCAA Board of Governors took the first step Tuesday toward allowing athletes to cash in on their fame, voting unanimously to clear the way for the

Souhan: NCAA decision more about own profits than helping athletes

This news feels like progress because the NCAA has made so little before. The organization has gotten rich treating athletes like modern-day, jersey-wearing sharecroppers.
Wiggins celebrated his third straight three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Wiggins remains an enigma, this time a heroic one

Sunday night, in the Timberwolves' home opener, Andrew Wiggins proved that the most appropriate unifying theory regarding his career is that he is an amenable enigma.
Ryan Saunders was retained by new Wolves boss Gersson Rosas despite his relative lack of experience as a head coach.

Souhan: Wolves following other teams' lead in making over organization

It's a direction that makes sense, even with the nonsensical word 'culture' attached to it.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) celebrated after sacking Washington quarterback Case Keenum in the first quarter.

Souhan: Promising second half awaiting Vikings after wild two months

After all the drama and suppressed controversy, the Vikings are on a winning streak, boast the third-best point differential in the NFL and are relatively healthy with nine more days to heal before visiting Kansas City.
The last time quarterback Case Keenum was in U.S. Bank Stadium, he connected with Stefon Diggs for one of the most memorable plays in Vikings history

Souhan: Vikings-Redskins game worthy of burying and praising cast of characters

Vikings fans, who should you cheer or jeer at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday night? Here's a roadmap.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer celebrated their win with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) at Ford Field.] Jerry Holt • Jerry

Souhan: You're seeing Cousins that Vikings hoped they were getting

Kirk Cousins on Sunday in Detroit was accurate, aggressive, mistake-free and sometimes spectacular. He was also clutch, which is a word he doesn't hear often.
The Vikings defense celebrates an interception in the Philadelphia Eagles' end zone in the fourth quarter

Souhan: Credit Vikings for keeping house in order

The Vikings did not did not let a little early-season adversity spiral out of control.
What if the Twins made a pitch for Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg?

Souhan: Left brain, right brain battle over what Twins should do

Handing out major free agent contracts has been one sure way not to win the World Series in recent years. But imagine what a great pitching addition could do for a team that won 101 games this season.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck signaled to his team in the first half.

Souhan: Combining substance with style, you can't deny Fleck can coach

If you hate overt marketing and sloganeering, you may still not like Gophers coach P.J. Fleck. But Fleck knows his target audience, and has passed an eye test that speaks to his coaching skills.
Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs faked a pass in the third quarter as Eagles defenders Fletcher Cox and Nate Gerry (47) chased him.

Souhan: Cure for an uncommon 'cold?' A hot game for Diggs

Stefon Diggs had more receiving yards Sunday afternoon than in any other two games this season. "I have been waiting patiently, preparing," he said.
Stefon Diggs told reporters, “Yeah, I want to be in Minnesota,” and winked. Are there issues that losses would ignite?

Souhan: These next two Vikings games mean everything

If the Vikings lose their next two games, they will have to make up ground against such quarterbacks as Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. That's a bit scary, given that they've already lost a game to Chase Daniel.
The Twins' most logical offseason move would be trading a position player for a starting pitcher. The best bargaining chip is outfielder Eddie Rosario

Souhan: Why Twins should consider trading Rosario

Rosario is talented, entertaining, clutch ... and tradable. Will the Twins deal their cleanup hitter for pitching this winter?
The Yankees' Gleyber Torres, right, celebrated with teammate Gary Sanchez after Torres belted a home run in the second inning of Game 3 on Monday nigh

Souhan: From Metrodome to Target Field, Twins' dubious record lingers

The playoff failures are a shared history now, from old Yankee Stadium to new, from Metrodome to Target Field, from Everyday Eddie Guardado to Any Pitch Will Do Eddie Rosario.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen celebrated with Stefon Diggs after a touchdown in the third quarter.

Souhan: All is well (for now) after convincing victory over Giants

The Vikings proved that they could handle drama and beat a mediocre team with a rookie quarterback. But the fate of this season rests with how they'll do when things get tougher.
Twins second baseman Luis Arraez after striking out in the second inning Saturday.

Souhan: Twins' lineup of sluggers does little to rattle Yankees pitching

In two lopsided losses in the Bronx, the Twins lost by a combined score of 18-6, and in their 8-2 loss on Saturday at Yankee Stadium in Game 2, they were hardly competitive.
Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios shouted into his glove as he left the mound in the third inning.

Souhan: Twins off their game in series opener, and pay the price

The Twins on Friday needed more innings from starter Jose Berrios and more resistance from the lineup. Instead, they produced one run after the third inning.
Twins players, including second baseman Luis Arraez, fielded grounders during a workout in the drizzle at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Souhan: Twins-Yankees a modern baseball matchup in a classic venue

Never before have two 100-victory teams met in baseball's playoffs while wielding so much power and so little pitching certainty.
Eddie Rosario, left, and Jorge Polanco — two Twins with postseason experience at Yankee Stadium — faced the media on Tuesday before facing the Yan

Souhan: Lots of reasons why these Twins shouldn't fear the Yankees

Are we supposed to believe that the 2019 Twins have no chance to beat the 2019 Yankees because a bunch of departed players failed to beat previous Yankee teams?
The arrival of Nelson Cruz this year helped Sano’s growth process, as the 39-year-old veteran slugger has served as a mentor to his fellow Dominican

'Grown up.' Sano finally becoming the player he was expected to be

Twins executives, managers, coaches and teammates had tried to lead Miguel Sano. Then a new teammate came along and Sano found the ideal leader in Nelson Cruz -- and Sano was ready to follow him.
T.C. Bear sat with Chrissie Olson and her 5-month-old daughter during a free "Postseason Push" party Thursday, which watched the Twins play the Tigers

A much different Twins team gets ready to recapture postseason magic

These powerful newbies could break Minnesota's streak of 13 playoff losses.
Twins starting pitcher Martin Perez reacts after issuing a walk to Aaron Judge in July at Target Field.

Souhan: Take it from the old guard and welcome Yankees in the playoffs

Current and former Twins believe there is no reason to fear their playoff matchup with the Yankees, but that belief is hardly supported by historical fact.
Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer

Souhan: Blossoming bullpen becomes Twins' weapon of secrecy

The bullpen became a Twins weapon because of the most boring and underappreciated aspect of baseball management: Patience with young talent.
Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak gave up one hit and an unearned run over six innings in Wednesday night's clinching victory.

Souhan: Key players turned around careers for march into postseason

Wednesday night, a handful of formerly under-or-off-the-radar Twins players produced, again, proving that the most mathematic of sports is often the least predictable.
P. J. Fleck goes for his first Big Ten opener victory Saturday, on the road vs. Purdue.

Souhan: Forget Lombardi. Fleck needs to be next Glen Mason (or Jerry Kill)

P.J. Fleck arrived at Minnesota painting himself as the next Murray Warmath. Approaching his third Big Ten football opener, it's time for him to target a more reasonable goal.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook celebrated a first down in the third quarter.

Souhan: Cook's excellence has made him the face of the Vikings

Dalvin Cook is the Vikings' best player, athlete, stratagem and blemish-obscurer. "We're riding his coattails,'' receiver Adam Thielen said.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is in Year 2 of his stint with the Vikings. Jon Gruden is in Year 2 of his second stint with the Oakland Raiders. Neither is

Souhan: Big money, big trouble so far in Year 2 of Cousins, Gruden

Success is still very much possible for the Vikings QB and the Raiders coach, but they are battling high expectations and confidence-deflating starts.
How well does Rocco Baldelli fit in with Ron Gardenhire, Paul Molitor and Tom Kelly, the three previous Twins managers?

Souhan: Maybe Baldelli isn't so different from past Twins managers

Twins first-year manager Rocco Baldelli wields attributes that previously benefited Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor.
Saints player Todd Van Steensel held up the American Association championship trophy while standing on the back of a moving vehicle during the Saints'

Souhan: Champion St. Paul Saints get their minute in the sun

The social media response turned a joke about having a one-block, one-minute parade into an event, which is just how things happen in Saints World.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins walked back to the sidelines after throwing an interception in the end zone during the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Is Cousins regressing? Or did Vikings overestimate him from the beginning?

On Sunday, quarterback Kirk Cousins was in situations where he could prompt comparisons to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. Instead, he evoked memories of Christian Ponder.
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense went by way of the ground in their Week 1 victory over the Falcons.

Souhan: Talk of Vikings' new 'offensive identity' should be silenced

What works one week might not work the next.
Dalvin Cook celebrates with teammate CJ Ham (30) after scoring on an 85-yard touchdown run during a preseason game against Arizona.

Souhan: Vikings will bring Ham to counter Green Bay, cheeseheads

C.J. Ham's ability to pass block, run block, run and catch could give him rare job security for an NFL fullback, especially one who wasn't drafted out of college.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton has dealt with a slew of injuries this season.

Souhan: What the hex going on with Twins' history of crushing injuries?

The Twins, who found out Tuesday they'd be without Byron Buxton the rest of the season, haven't entered the playoffs with their best players healthy since 2003.
Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) dove after Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) as he ran the ball in the second

Souhan: Cook reminds us how much he needs to remain healthy

Having Dalvin Cook available and productive is the unifying theme of the 2019 Vikings. He is the rare non-quarterback who may be his team's pivotal player.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer

Souhan: Pressure is on Zimmer, Spielman to make playoffs run

The Vikings should be good this year. They should make the playoffs. If they don't, ownership will have to decide whether to give Mike Zimmer and personnel boss Rick Spielman one more year.
Kaare Vedvik was let go on cut day.

Souhan: Vikings' kicker drama nothing new, but now is self-imposed

When it comes to Vikings and kickers, history doesn't just haunt. It nags.
Team USA posed for a group photo before Tuesday's match.

Souhan: USWNT, Lynx players support the fight for excellence and better pay

Both teams know that merely winning won't mean they will suddenly begin earning what their male counterparts make, nor will silence. "We're all in this together," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said.