Souhan: From Polar Vortex to Basil Smotherman, I've got it covered

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 5, 2014 - 11:05 PM

On concussions, coaching searches, Chris Kluwe and other assorted thoughts.

Sprinkling the infield while thinking that “Polar Vortex’’ would have been a better name for Minnesota’s hockey team than a vague, singular adjective describing amorphous vermin. Actually, “Amorphous Vermin’’ would have been a better name than “Wild’’:

• If NFL players can sue the league over concussions, fans, after weekends like this, should be able to sue over couch sores.

• If the Vikings were interested in Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, they should take two aspirin and lie down until the feeling passes. He has immense offensive talent to work with and Sunday an average Chargers defense flummoxed him.

• I’ll take Darrell Bevell as Vikings head coach and Johnny Manziel as quarterback, with Brett Favre doing Bevell a favor by working as quarterbacks coach.

• I wouldn’t want to be on either side of the Chris Kluwe revelations. If Mike Priefer really said what Kluwe says he said, then he should be fired and sent to a certain island of his own. If Priefer didn’t say it, Kluwe should lose a hefty lawsuit. Even if Kluwe quoted Priefer accurately, waiting until he had no chance at another NFL job and trying to taint Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier by association doesn’t speak well of Kluwe’s motives.

• In Big Ten play, the Gophers men’s basketball team has failed to beat an injured Michigan team and almost blew a big lead against a lousy Purdue team. Time for Richard Pitino to look up Clem Haskins’ quotes about how winning the NIT counted as a national championship.

• For those who prefer college sports because of the passion of the players: How come every NFL game is a passion play and most bowl games are won by the team that cares enough to make an effort?

• A reminder that all coaches mess up: Jim Harbaugh and Mike McCarthy looked incompetent at time management Sunday.

• Anyone else think it’s funny that the Wolves are sending first-round draft pick Shabazz Muhammad to something called the “D’’ League?

• Mike Yeo’s coaching might not be holding back the Wild, but wouldn’t you like to test the theory?

• More proof that Bill Belichick is a genius: He wants to eliminate or alter the extra point in the NFL. Kickers shouldn’t determine the outcome of NFL games. Teams should have to score from the 2 to earn an extra point, and the width between the goalposts should be narrowed to encourage more teams to try to convert fourth downs instead of settling for an easy three points.

• The Wolves are 0-9 in game decided by four points or fewer. They might be close to figuring out how to win close games, or they might be doomed by their inability to surround Kevin Love with scorers.

• Charlie Strong, the new Texas coach, was on campus for an interview with the Gophers in 2007 when our esteemed university decided you can’t keep a genius like Tim Brewster waiting.

• How important is it to have a great running back? Well, the most productive running backs for the four NFL winners this weekend were Donald Brown (55 yards), Ronnie Brown (77), Mark Ingram (97) and Frank Gore (66).

• One of the curses associated with not having a franchise quarterback is having to use a high draft pick on what you hope will be one. If the Vikings didn’t need a quarterback, they might be in position to take Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, who is a polished Cordarrelle Patterson.

• The importance of the quarterback you draft? In 2011, the Panthers took Cam Newton with the first pick. They’ll be the host of a playoff game next week. The Titans took Jake Locker at No. 8, and just fired their coach. The Jaguars took Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick, and fired their coach last year.

The Vikings took Christian Ponder with the 12th pick, and fired their coach last week. The 49ers took Colin Kaepernick with the 36th pick and might be on their way to a second consecutive Super Bowl.

• Purdue has a player named Basil Smotherman. That is all.

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

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