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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
phone: 612-673-4503
Jim Souhan can be found on Twitter at @Souhanstrib. His podcasts can be heard at
Recent content from Jim Souhan
Don Lucia

Souhan: Lucia's graceful departure benefits all parties at U

Don Lucia wrote his own ending at the University of Minnesota, to depart with grace, to create a smooth transition to his successor. "I've always tried to do it the right way,'' he said.
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) screened by Houston forward Trevor Ariza (1) as Rockets guard James Harden moved the ball upcourt in the firs

Souhan: Wolves' execution of win-now plan remains in doubt

Tom Thibodeau's reputation as a defensive mastermind has to be questioned, after watching this team fail far too often on that end of the floor.
Kirk Cousins

Souhan: No longer the underdog, Cousins has sky-high expectations.

With one signature, Kirk Cousins transformed from plucky overachiever unappreciated by his first employer into a franchise quarterback for a franchise that expects him to win a Super Bowl.
Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf shook Kirk Cousins hand after a news conference Thursday.

Souhan: Have an opinion about Cousins? You're right no matter what

Many opinions surround the Vikings' decision to hand Kirk Cousins $84 million to take over as quarterback. But this is a franchise that desperately needed to take a chance.
Kirby Puckett, at Twins spring training in 1989.

Souhan: Tales from Twins spring trainings of yore

Once quaint and antiquated, spring training has become highly professionalized, befitting a billion-dollar industry populated by millionaire employees.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns scored over Warriors guard Nick Young late in the fourth quarter at Target Center on Sunday.

Souhan: For Wolves, Towns is the guy who's always open

There are a few players who -- by virtue of height, arm length, release point and athletic ability -- are always open. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of that elite group.
Lance Lynn joined a growing list of pitchers the Twins have added to their staff. Others include relievers Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke

Souhan: Twins' Lynn signing is latest in series of smart, calculated moves

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have aggressively built a deep, strong team without giving up a top prospect or a long-term contract. They have positioned the 2018 Twins to win without hamstringing any future teams.
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios, a 14-game winner last year, puts in the time off the mound to get better on it.

Souhan: Berrios pushes and pushes to get better

The question is not whether Twins pitcher Jose Berrios will do all he can to succeed but whether, in baseball, maximum effort yields maximum results.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton hit .314 from July 4 through the end of last season.

Souhan: Twins hitters find success focusing on one thing at the plate

Embracing the power of one thought, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton hit .314 with a .912 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) from July 4 through the end of the regular season - and his hot numbers had company.
Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey watched a recent game against Tampa Bay from the deck of his office at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.

Souhan: Objective + subjective is Derek Falvey's baseball equation

Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey seems more curious than certain. He compared running a franchise to "drinking from a fire hose," yet he still sounds thirsty.
Brian Dozier homered to lead off October's AL wild-card game between the Twins and Yankees in New York.

Souhan: Dozier sounds willing to walk away from Twins after season

The second baseman said the prospect of free agency is "intriguing" to him.
Jamal James, 29, has a record of 22-1 and is seeking his first title shot. “Hopefully, that happens this year,” he said.

Souhan: Up-and-comer boxer from Minneapolis has old-school spirit

Jamal James, 29, would feel comfortable in another era, but he's trying to usher in a new one for Minnesota boxing. He's ranked 13th in the world and eighth in the United States.

Souhan: Some half-fast ways to pick up baseball's pace of play

Some highly serious (wink, wink) suggestions on ways baseball could pick up the pace at the ballpark this season.
Kirk Cousins

Souhan: Cousins, Vikings pairing is perfect move for both sides

In the NFL, gambling on roster moves gets you fired. But so do bland moves, or any combination of aggressiveness and passiveness that doesn't lead to the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Rays' Logan Morrison, right, hugs Steven Souza Jr. after Morrison hit a home run off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Chris Tillman during t

Souhan: Twins front office goes back to strapped Rays for seconds

Even if the Twins head North with their current roster, they will have strengthened a good, young team by raiding a franchise they once resembled.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler

Souhan: Butler's injury does not have to be a death knell for Wolves

Jimmy Butler's absence in the Wolves lineup is damaging, but it could have been much worse.
Jimmy Butler

Souhan: Tired or not, Wolves will look to Butler for postseason push

Jimmy Butler admits he's pushing through some fatigue but the Wolves need him healthy and energetic to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Minnesota coach Marlene Sotllings hugs senior guard Carlie Wagner during Tuesday night's final regular-season home game at Williams Arena.

Souhan: Emotion-choked night ends in loss, but lingering hope for Gophers

The Gophers' women's basketball team this season ranks third in the nation in scoring, behind only UConn and Baylor.
FILE - In this June 26, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, right, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, shares a laugh w

Souhan: Saunders' passion, diligence personified in Wolves' Towns

Above all, Flip Saunders was a basketball fan who wanted to bring all of Minnesota's basketball fans along on the bandwagon that he planned to build with the Wolves. Drafting Karl-Anthony Towns was the start.
Rockets forward Ryan Anderson hit a three-pointer over Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins

Souhan: Andrew Wiggins needs to realize bored is a bad look

This would be the kind of game that lights fires in competitors' bellies and eyes. James Harden showed that. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins played like he was full of asbestos.
The quality of Sunday's victory against a lousy Sacramento team shouldn’t matter, not when you haven’t had a winning season since Ndudi Ebi was in

Souhan: It's nice to talk and care about the NBA in February

What matters in our marketplace is that the Timberwolves have a chance to become the No. 1 sporting attraction in Minnesota for the next couple of months.
From left, Twins senior vice president and general manager Thad Levine and executive vice president and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey. ] AARON L

Souhan: Twins front office needs to take bolder steps in remaking roster

The Twins are smart to be cautious with their signings, but at some point you have to take a step to get ahead of the competition.
Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta looks to defend as Matt Cullen searches for an opening.

Souhan: Good but not good enough. Can the Wild do anything to help itself?

In the real world, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. In sports, insanity sometimes pays dividends.
Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) celebrated after his first-quarter touchdown catch, a 34-yard strike from quarterback Nick Foles, as the Eagl

Souhan: Eagles winning Super Bowl means no more excuses for Vikings

What the Eagles accomplished will place more pressure on the rest of the NFL's coaches and general managers because the team wasn't deterred by key injuries or a coaching change.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) threw a pass during Super Bowl LII as Beau Allen (94), a Minnetonka native who plays defensive tackle

Souhan: Even in defeat, Brady adds to his legend

Tom Brady on Sunday passed for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards at the age of 40, with a recently-healed right hand and his most talented receiver in the locker room because of a head injury.
Randy Moss laughed at remarks by Brian Urlacher, right, while on the stage with the other members present for the presentation of this year's class of

Souhan: With Moss and Owens, Hall of Fame may need to wing for divas

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens deserve their calls to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But we can simultaneously acknowledge their greatness and their flaws.
Malcolm Butler’s goal line interception in Super Bowl XLIX meant instant fame for the Patriots cornerback. It also revealed something about his coac

Souhan: Butler exemplifies Belichick's knack for using right player, right time

Malcolm Butler, once an undrafted free agent, is expected to play in a third Super Bowl in his fourth NFL season Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Kirk Cousins (8) attempted a pass in the third quarter against the Vikings in November.

Souhan: Cousins available? Perhaps Vikings should make a bold move

The question is simple: Would Kirk Cousins be a better choice than Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater? The next question: If so, can they afford him?
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reflected on the State of the NFL at his annual news conference Wednesday — and was reflected in the Super Bowl’s V

Souhan: Goodell's catch-rule fiasco is a joke without a punchline

Most of Roger Goodell's tenure as NFL Commissioner has been consumed with fighting illogical or unwinnable battles, trying to preside over the league rather than run it.
Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins raises his fist during the national anthem before the Eagles play the Miami Dolphins in a preseason

Souhan: No 'distraction.' Two Eagles show athletes can fight for causes

Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long are proof that players can get involved in social issues. As Long puts it: "Distraction is code for 'I don't agree with what you're talking about.' "
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had the largest crowd of media around him for his availability at Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center.

Souhan: Super Bowl makes a public spectacle of itself

Nancy Kerrigan shouted questions. A reporter asked Bill Belichick what made this Super Bowl different. "It's in Minnesota,'' he deadpanned. The game's hype, with off-the-wall characters and plenty of odd questions, arrived at the X in full force.
Super Bowl visitors, bundle up for your trek to U.S. Bank Stadium for Sunday's game between the Eagles and the Patriots. Helmet and horns are optional

Souhan: Super Bowl visitors, you'll be fine here as long as you don't die

Such a casualty would be highly inconvenient because our corporate overlords are trying to use Super Bowl week to prove that people can come to Minneapolis in February and not freeze to death.
Mike Brown, right, and Jodie Brown, foreground, from St. Paul, looked dejected as Eagles fans celebrated around them during the NFC Championship game

Souhan: At Minnesota's Super Bowl party, who's the guest of 'honor'?

Minnesota this week will host one team that the nation loves to hate and one fan base that deserves to be hated.
Joe Kapp, in 1970.

Souhan: Like many, former Vikings quarterback Kapp paid a price

Former Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp is coming to Minnesota for Super Bowl week. He's eager to see old teammates ... and a renowned neurosurgeon.
The Eagles' Alshon Jeffery caught a touchdown pass while being defended by Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes in the fourth quarter. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ �

Souhan: Something happened on the way to the Super Bowl

That the Vikings could have become the first team to play a Super Bowl at home became the dominant theme of their season. That story line obscured a more important truth.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer looked down on the sidelines in the third quarter as the Eagles built a commanding lead in Sunday's NFC Championship Game

Souhan: This Vikings season was going to be different, until it wasn't

Losing big games and seeking more at quarterback. These are your Vikings.
Minnesota Vikings fans do the Skol Chant at US Bank Stadium during the divisional game last Sunday.

Souhan: After all this, Vikings can't lose this game ... right?

When you become the first team ever to win a playoff game with a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expires in regulation you are playing with house money and gifted emotion.
At 35, Vikings guard Joe Berger knows his career is nearing its end. “I’m pushing those thoughts aside right now, but in my mind, this is it.’�

Souhan: From the UP to 13 years in the NFL, Berger's built quite a career

The Vikings offensive line has become a driving force on a 14-victory team, and Joe Berger, a sixth-round draft pick out of a small school in the Upper Peninsula, has made something of himself.
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs walked off the field Sunday after the Vikings' 29-24 victory vs. the Saints in which he scored the game-winning 61-yard

Souhan: Quicker thinking made Diggs the Vikings' hero on Sunday

Stefon Diggs said he "took a picture,'' a mental sketch, of the Saints defense before he turned back to await Keenum's pass.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer raised his arms in triumph after his team beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in the NFC divisional playoff game.

Souhan: For once, Vikings are on right side of a miracle

Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings gave us the Minneapolis Miracle, a play without precedent in 56 years of franchise history.

Souhan: Vikings' last playoff game against the Saints was an all-timer

Vikings fans may want to forget, but there are so many reasons to remember that 2010 NFC Championship Game.
“This has nothing to do with the Saints,” said Tom Johnson, who used to play for New Orleans.

Souhan: Johnson's world football tour finds home with Vikings

After a football life that started in Mississippi and migrated around the globe, he has found trust at the other end of the big river.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

Souhan: Vikings helped create the monsters that became Brees and the Saints

If not for what now appears to be a bizarre set of circumstances and decisions made by a seemingly random group of current and former NFL figures, Drew Brees never would have played in the NFC.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara, right, tried to elude the grasp of Vikings defensive end Brian Robison during the first half Sept. 11. Now the Saint

Souhan: Vikings-Saints matchup could have anything and everything

Vikings vs. Saints will provide the marquee matchup of the weekend, and the winner likely will be favored to play in the Super Bowl. Things will be much different than when the teams met in Week 1 of the season.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr in October, resulting in a broken collarbone.

Souhan: Tremors from Vikings rattle across NFC North

The Vikings are the reason there are no NFC North teams playing this weekend, and their dominance of what promised to be an intriguing division race has altered their opponents' plans, maybe even prompted mistakes.
Carson Wentz walked off the field after suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Rams.

Souhan: Wentz injury makes Vikings true No. 1 seed in NFC

Philadelphia earned the NFC's top seed but without former North Dakota State star Carson Wentz at quarterback, the Eagles are at the bottom of the playoff field.
Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) scored in the second quarter for his second touchdown of the game from the one yard line. ] JEFF W

Souhan: Vikings have become the team to beat in NFC

Since the Vikings lost at Carolina, the defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown. Sunday, the Bears' offense produced zero points.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum tossed his towel to a fan while celebrating the 16-0 win over Green Bay last week.

Souhan: Vikings still uncertain just what they have in Keenum

The Vikings' quarterback hierarchy for the remainder of this season is set. The quarterback hierarchy for the future remains muddled, and probably will be determined by Case Keenum's playoff performance.
Jimmy Butler

Souhan: Butler rising to meet, exceed expectations with Wolves

During the Wolves' past two home games, fans began chanting "M-V-P" as Jimmy Butler shot free throws. It won't happen, but that's closer to the truth than anyone could have guessed three months ago.
Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) during a run in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: It wasn't a pretty Vikings victory, but who really cares?

If there is a downside in terms of the entertainment value of this season, it's that the Vikings are making their surge to the finish line seem clinical.
Aaron Rodgers won't be uniform for the Packers on Saturday night, and that's too bad for the Vikings.

Souhan: Rodgers sitting out doesn't help Vikings' playoff prep

Saturday's game would provide the Vikings better playoff preparation if Aaron Rodgers were under center for the Packers.
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau yelled at officials Pat Fraher during NBA action at Target Center Tuesday December 12, 2017 in Minneap

Souhan: Wolves' body language in win over Portland was telling

Before, during and after Timberwolves games there's plenty of animated action - especially from coach Tom Thibodeau.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum celebrated the NFC North championship after beating Cincinnati 34-7 on Sunday at U.S.Bank Stadium.

Souhan: Division title is just the first item on the Vikings' checklist

"Now that we're in, we've got to keep winning," receiver Adam Thielen said after the Vikings assured themselves of a home playoff game.
The star-studded 1998 Vikings went 15-1 with quarterback Randall Cunningham and wide receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter helping to lead the way. Thi

Souhan: With 13 wins possible, Vikings' success shouldn't be taken lightly

If the Vikings win their last three games, this would become the second team in franchise history to reach 13 victories.
Cornerback William Jackson, top, of the Bengals — the nastiest team in a nasty league — tackled Steelers running back James Conner two weeks ago.

Souhan: Vikings must be wary as nastiest team in NFL comes to town

A lousy Cincinnati Bengals team will face one of the NFL's best success stories. Which means that one or two cheap shots from a cheap team could ruin the Vikings' season.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum hits the turf during Sunday's loss.

Souhan: Offensive line issues mount as big plays dwindle for Vikings

If offensive tackle Riley Reiff can't return soon or perform well in the playoffs, his ankle injury could wind up being more devastating than Sam Bradford's or Dalvin Cook's.
Adrian Peterson

Souhan: Vikings multiply success by key subtractions

A look at the key departures, and what their absences have allowed for the Vikings in this above-average season.
Tre Jones puts up a shot against JaVonni Bickham (23) of Minnehaha Academy with Prince Aligbe (10) helping and Jalen Suggs (1) trailing.

Souhan: Suggs, Minnehaha stop Jones, Apple Valley in hoops showcase

Tre Jones scored 39 points, but Minnehaha Academy sophomore Jalen Suggs led a team effort that resulted in the smaller school's youth-filled lineup beating the top team in Class 4A.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) hits Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sun

Souhan: Vikings have a handle on every situation

Throughout the summer and again during the Vikings' bye week, coach Mike Zimmer preached the importance of situational football. That was on display Sunday in Atlanta.
FILE -- New York Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during Super Bowl XXV in Tampa

Souhan: Compare Keenum to Hostetler rather than Dilfer

Like Jeff Hostetler in 1990, Case Keenumis turning his first shot to play with a good team into a season that will land him a large contract.
Shohei Ohtani

Souhan: Ohtani's arrival to major leagues could revolutionize baseball

Baseball hasn't featured a superstar who both pitched and played the field since Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox.

About Shohei Ohtani

ABOUT SHOHEI OHTANI Star power: Ohtani is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound standout righthanded pitcher and lefthanded hitter for the Japanese League’s Nippon Ham Fighters. He has…
Mike Scott (30) attempted a shot in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Why is Thibodeau always yelling? There's no defense

The Timberwolves are 12-9. There is nothing wrong with their record. That does not mean there is nothing wrong. And what happens if all of the coach's yelling doesn't work?
Looking up: Kevin Warren, with ex-Viking Ahmad Rashad and his family, has a deep reservoir of experience and history of accomplishment.

Kevin Warren, Vikings executive on the rise, knows no limits

He is the highest-ranking black executive working on the business side of an NFL team and the league's first black COO.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) was sacked in the third quarter by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence (97) at Ford Field Thursd

Souhan: By now, you'd have to pry Vikings QB job away from Keenum

Now that Case Keenum has led the Vikings to seven straight victories coach Mike Zimmer can't play games with his most important position, not even to appease Teddy Bridgewater.
Vikings defensive lineman Brian Robison signed autographs for fans at the start of training camp.

Souhan: Thank Vikings' Robison for good work off the field

Brian Robison not only started his own foundation, he and his wife, Jayme, do the grunt work to make the charity work.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen looked back and smiled as he headed for the end zone on a 65-yard pass play for a fourth quarter touchdown.

Souhan: Overlooked no more, let's bust all myths about Thielen

Why are defenses not swamping Adam Thielen with double teams and complex coverages? "It's almost like guys don't believe it,'' Vikings cornerback Terence Newman said. Well, believe it. Thielen is a star.
Minnesota running back Rodney Smith recovers a ball he almost fumbled during a return in the fourth quarter. The Gophers lost to Northwestern 39-0.

Souhan: A bad Gophers' loss, yes, but don't jump to conclusions

If you thought Minnesota had turned a corner by scoring 54 points against Nebraska, you were wrong. If you think P.J. Fleck has no chance to win because of one bad game, you're dangerously jumping to conclusions.
Twins baseball boss Derek Falvey, left, looked on as manager Paul Molitor spoke during an October news conference. Molitor was named AL Manager of the

Souhan: Twins almost had to explain why they let AL's top manager go

If Derek Falvey and Thad Levine had fired Paul Molitor, Tuesday would have become one of the more embarrassing days in Twins history.
Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum

Souhan: Zimmer's 'got a plan' at QB; interpretation: Stay Teddy ready

Teddy Bridgewater remains the Vikings' best hope for the future. Now all coach Mike Zimmer has to decide is when the future will resume.

Souhan: Starting Sunday, Vikings' road to the playoffs more treacherous

To date the Vikings' 5-2 record is far more impressive than their pedigree. They haven't beaten a team that currently has a winning record since opening night.

Souhan: Wolves, Gophers basketball could bring zing to humdrum sports market

The Timberwolves and Gophers basketball have an opportunity to seize this market, to activate basketball fans who have lain dormant, waiting for a reason to drive into Minneapolis on a cold night.
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

Souhan: Time for Vikings to give Bridgewater a test drive

More will be required from the Vikings quarterback over the next two months, and in the playoffs. Which is why the Vikings are again asking, 'How good can Teddy be?'
Wolves guard Jimmy Butler defended against the Hornets’ Dwayne Bacon in the first quarter at Target Center on Sunday night. Butler is one of several

Souhan: Wolves' veteran additions demonstrate professionalism

The Wolves' dramatic improvement is because of dramatic change. You could argue that four of the team's top six players this season are veteran newcomers.
George Springer of the Astros celebrated after his team won the World Series in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Souhan: Ten lessons we learned from the World Series

Here are the lessons this Series would have taught us if we had been able to stay awake for it.
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