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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
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.
Rocco Baldelli as a standout high school baseball and basketball player and at his introductory news conference as Twins manager.

The makings of a manager: 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.
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.
Danielle Hunter celebrated after a sack in the third quarter.

Souhan: Hunter puts 'superhero' skills to good use against Lions

Defensive end Danielle Hunter blends the Hulk's bulk and Spiderman's agility, and you would probably like him when he's angry.
The Vikings have had strong personalities at wide receiver in the past — Anthony Carter, Cris Carter, Randy Moss — but Stefon Diggs and Adam Thiel

Souhan: Both Thielen, Diggs stand-up guys for Vikings

Last week vs. New Orleans, Adam Thielen fumbled in the red zone and Stefon Diggs stopped running a route leading to a pick-six. Both took responsibility in the moments after the game.
Jimmy Butler didn't play Wednesday night because of "general soreness."

Souhan: Butler has done enough harm; Wolves need to trade him now

Two nights after scorching the Lakers, Jimmy Butler sat in the locker room, lounging in jeans and whining about media coverage instead of playing.
Red Sox fan/actor Matt Damon and Dodgers fan/talk show host Jimmy Kimmel watched Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles, but today's MLB game has s

Souhan: Baseball can't wave off signs of self-inflicted ills

Baseball's problem is that it is going backward while the NFL is surviving some of its problems and solving others. Here are five proposals for changing the game.
Saints defense stopped Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) at the goal line in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday October 28, 2

Souhan: Plenty of blame to go around after Vikings' lethargic loss

Last time the New Orleans Saints visited they aided and abetted the Minneapolis Miracle. This time, they facilitated Minnesota mediocrity.
Saints safety Marcus Williams' decision to duck his head and go for the big hit on Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs sparked what's now known as the Minne

Souhan: Vikings are in debt to Minneapolis Miracle architect

The true Minneapolis Miracle is that Vikings fans have mythologized a fluke play, caused by the most egregious missed tackle in recent NFL history, that led to an embarrassing blowout loss.
New Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was introduced to the media Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

Souhan: Analytics aside, Baldelli's prime task is salvaging Buxton, Sano

If the transition from Paul Molitor to Rocco Baldelli as Twins manager is to succeed, Rocco Baldelli will have to prove he can somehow improve key players who have faltered.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen worked out during practice, Wednesday

Souhan: What's the rush to get Griffen back on the field?

Rejoining his teammates at the Vikings' training facility might be good for Everson Griffen. Everything else — practicing, playing, taking even light hits to the head — sounds inadvisable.
The Adam Thielen tote board now reads: 67 receptions for 822 yards and five touchdowns in the Vikings’ first seven games. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonz

Souhan: Sure as his hands, 'humble dude' Thielen makes NFL history

Adam Thielen left MetLife Stadium with another milestone and a cut mouth, courtesy of a shoulder to the chin.
Josh Freeman played in only one more NFL game after starting for the Vikings on a Monday night in the Meadowlands in 2013.

Souhan: Vikings' QB situation hit rock bottom 5 years ago at Meadowlands

On Oct. 21, 2013 the Vikings chose to start the recently acquired Josh Freeman, who had been cut by Tampa Bay, over Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel in a Monday night game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium
If the Timberwolves can move Jimmy Butler and gain reasonable talent, yet another team soap opera will end and Karl-Anthony Towns can assume leadershi

Souhan: Get rid of Butler and let Towns take control on the floor

Once Jimmy Butler is gone, the Wolves won't be rebuilding from scratch. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best young players in the league, who soon should make the word "young" an unnecessary qualifier.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) scored a third quarter touchdown over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes (57) at U.S. Bank Stad

Souhan: Playing like a broken record, Thielen thrives in spotlight

Adam Thielen is making history while writing one of the greatest Minnesota sports stories of all time, prompting a new question: Who does he compare to historically?
Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen was one of four rookie QBs to win last Sunday, beating San Francisco.

Souhan: There's nothing 'soft' about Vikings' next two opponents

The Vikings' next two games could be as important and revealing as any two on the schedule.
Souhan: Winner? Leader? Tough guy? For Butler it's no, no and no

Souhan: Winner? Leader? Tough guy? For Butler it's no, no and no

Jimmy Butler calls himself a winner while trying to force a trade from a talented playoff team to a horrible one. It's part of being Jimmy Two-Face.
There was a time, back in 2006, when the futures of quarterbacks Drew Brees and Daunte Culpepper was inextricably linked. It all worked out well for B

Souhan: Dolphins, others paid for doubting Brees

In 2006, the Dolphins chose to trade for Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper instead of signing Drew Brees. Which was a good move -- for Brees and the Saints.
Linval Joseph returned a fumble 64 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, showing great speed for a 6-4, 329-pound man.

Souhan: Joseph possesses large body but shows off larger skills

Linval Joseph is 6-4 and 329 pounds. Sunday, when a football floated in his direction, he reacted not as a living stereotype of a full-figured lineman, but in the way any world-class athlete would.
Adam Thielen

Souhan: Vikings' Thielen is a well-grounded rising star

In a league full of spectacular receivers and prolific offenses, Adam Thielen ranks second in catches, yards and yards per game. Like Joe Mauer, he deflects praise.
Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey right, and Senior Vice President, General Manager Thad Levine talked about former Twins manger Paul Molitor who wa

Souhan: 'Falvine' didn't really tell us why they fired Molitor

Paul Molitor was fired for several reasons, and none of them would have sounded great if Derek Falvey and Thad Levine had been direct in their answers.
Teammates welcomed the Twins' Joe Mauer back into the dugout after he caught one pitch in the ninth inning.

Souhan: Mauer stars in what should be the perfect ending

Joe Mauer could come back, could play a role, but he will never play one as poignant as the one he helped write Sunday

Souhan: Royals could teach Twins a lesson in patience

Without the benefit of a new stadium or large payroll, the Royals came within a few pitches of winning two straight World Series titles. It takes patience - and organizational leadership.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff attempted a pass in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Vikings have yet to show they can stop anybody

This was a mismatch, and given that the Vikings defense is supposed to be the strength of the team, that is a bad sign.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

Souhan: Vikings' season already tinged with tragedy, troubles

There are already ominous signs that this season could be more like 2010, when the Vikings got their coach fired, than 2009, when they came within an eyelash from playing in a Super Bowl.
Gophers quarterback Zack Annexstad, left, struggled in his first Big Ten road start, going 14-for-32 for 169 yards, a TD and two picks.

Souhan: After lopsided loss, time is now for Annexstad to showcase poise

Freshman QB Zack Annexstad is leading a Gophers team that raised expectations in the first three games, and Saturday was blown out by Maryland.
P. J. Fleck was all smiles after Minnesota's wide receiver Tyler Johnson's touchdown during the third quarter as Minnesota took on Miami (Ohio) last S

Souhan: The time to judge P.J. Fleck begins now

The Gophers coach excels at connecting with talented teenagers. Whether he's a good Big Ten coach is yet to be determined, but the determining can fairly start Saturday when his young team opens conference play.
Jimmy Butler did much for the Wolves in his first year in Minnesota, but it remains to be seen if there will be a Year 2.

Souhan: Wolves, Jimmy Butler have reached the tipping point

NBA stars carry all the power, so the Wolves need to carefully explore all their difficult options.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was not outplayed by Aaron Rodgers, a rare measure of equal production in this rivalry.

Souhan: In Cousins, Vikings have QB who could match Rodgers' efforts

In a rivalry defined for 25 years by the Green Bay Packers' stability at the most important position, Kirk Cousins went into Lambeau Field on Sunday and threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns.
Lions tackle Shaun Rogers sacked Brad Johnson

Souhan: Heroics can be painful but QBs live for the moment

NFL quarterbacks prove that football's toughest players are often those who receive, rather than deliver, punishment.
Aaron Rodgers missed practice again Thursday after injuring his knee in Week 1.

Souhan: Packers have a lot to lose if Rodgers plays Sunday

Here's how it should go down Sunday at Lambeau Field: If the Packers wonder whether Aaron Rodgers is healthy enough to play in Week 2, he's not healthy enough to play in Week 2.
Saints manager George Tsamis, center, and the team thanked the CHS Field crowd after their victory Wednesday. It was the Saints' last home game of the

Souhan: Veeck follows Saints from afar this championship series

With the team's founder away because of Hurricane Florence, the Saints earned a shutout to even up their series with Kansas City.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins scrambles for a first down late in the fourth quarter. He cam up short, but got the ball back when the 49ers jumped o

Souhan: Cousins' head-first dive was crazy, but won the locker room

New Vikings QB Kirk Cousins put his team above health with a fourth-quarter dive on third down, and fellow football players respect nothing more.

Grade the Vikings: How did the team do on offense, defense, special teams and coaching?

Use our weekly poll to grade the Vikings' performance against the 49ers.
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Souhan: Vikings OC DeFilippo has a certain swagger

John DeFilippo is eager to prove himself, and follow the path cut by Brian Billick and Pat Shurmur.
Miguel Sano, left, and Byron Buxton were the future of Twins baseball just a few seasons ago, but have ongoing struggles

Souhan: Twins need a winter of answers to a long summer of questions

We will learn nothing from a month devoid of baseball meaning. What could matter is this winter, especially for Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer

Souhan: With Vikings pieces in place, pressure now rests on Zimmer

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is set up to win big, which means he is set up to be blamed if he doesn't. Vikings coaches have been here before.
Stefon Diggs put himself front and center during last season’s playoffs when he scored perhaps the most heralded touchdown in Vikings history. Indic

Souhan: This is Diggs' time to shine as most-talented, highest-paid receiver

Stefon Diggs signed a five-year contract valued at $72 million during training camp. He's 24, entering his prime with a quarterback eager to spin him the ball. This is Diggs' moment.
Defensive end Khalil Mack is headed to the Chicago Bears.

Souhan: Bears' trade for Mack throws another hurdle in front of Vikings

In the past few days, the Packers signed Aaron Rodgers, the Rams signed defensive end Aaron Donald and the Bears traded for Khalil Mack. The Vikings face them all this season.
Former Gophers receiver Eric Decker is proof that a Minnesota kid unheralded by national recruiting services can stay in Minnesota and use the program

Souhan: Decker shows that risks of football can be worth taking

Eric Decker is proof that an unheralded Minnesota kid can stay in Minnesota and use the Gophers program as a trampoline to the big time.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer announced Sunday that starting center Pat Elflein would not practice this week but wouldn’t necessarily start the season o

Souhan: Elflein situation will not go away for Vikings

What we know is that the Vikings have to find a way to field a functional line, or a remarkably talented roster will be wasted.
Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau cracked a smile during a game last season, a rarity.

Souhan: Thibodeau has relaxed, recharged himself over the summer

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau seems to be known more for growling than winning but during a long conversation last week looked refreshed and sounded cheerful.
Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie

Souhan: A's here to destroy every losing argument by Twins fans

Oakland has built one of this season's elite teams without an easily described formula, but with a series of moves that at the time were underappreciated.
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