Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Posts about Ex-Vikings

Souhan blog: Eli's different when he sees purple

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: October 21, 2013 - 6:21 PM

Eli Manning has made five career starts against the Vikings.

In those games, he's thrown three touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, and the Giants have gone 1-4.

Against the rest of the NFL, Manning's career numbers are: 217 touchdowns, 148 interceptions, and a 77-59 record.

Perhaps Manning's worst game as a pro came in Jersey against the Vikings. The Vikings would finish 8-8. The Giants would rally to beat the previously undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl.

On Nov. 25, 2007, the game was a mismatch. The Vikings intercepted Manning four times, returning three interceptions for touchdowns, and won, 41-17, with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback.

Dwight Smith intercepted Manning twice, returning one for a touchdown. Chad Greenway and Darren Sharper each intercepted one and scored on returns.

Sharper had a knack for reading Manning, and baiting him into throwing into coverage. And those Vikings defenses were particularly tough on teams that wanted to play traditionally, by running to set up the pass. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams didn't allow many rushing yards, and the front four put lots of pressure on quarterbacks in obvious passing situations.

Manning lost his first four career starts against the Vikings before finally beating them, 21-13, on Dec. 13, 2010. Even in victory, the Vikings held him to one touchdown pass and intercepted him twice.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN at 9:30 Tuesday with Judd&Dubay.

Last time at MetLife Stadium...

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: October 21, 2013 - 8:48 AM

Last time the Vikings played a Monday night game at Met Life Stadium in Jersey, the Vikings were in the middle of another lost season, but the personalities and circumstances were dramatically different.

Brad Childress was the coach, and fighting for power within the organization. Tonight, the Vikings' coach will be Leslie Frazier, whose job may be in as much jeopardy today as Childress' was in 2010, but who plays his role with more diplomacy.

Brett Favre was the quarterback, and fighting off tabloid stories about his texting habits. Tonight, the quarterback will be Josh Freeman, who, unlike Favre in 2010, is hoping to play another 10 years in the NFL.

Randy Moss was the supposed midseason saviour. Tonight, Freeman plays that role, trying to prove that Greg Schiano really is who we think he is.

The Jets beat the Vikings on that rainy Monday night in 2010, but what I really remember was dealing with Moss and Favre after the game.

Moss was difficult, parrying interview requests until Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press challenged him to talk, and Moss did. That night, you could not have imagined that a television network would ever hire Moss and pay him for his thoughts.

Favre was masterful. Not on the field, but in the cramped, overcrowded postgame interview room. If Anthony Weiner could handle negative press and difficult questions about his personal life the way Favre did, Weiner could be president, instead of out of politics.

The Minnesota media had already asked Favre plenty of questions about his texting habits and relationship with Jenn Sterger. This was the New York media's chance to go after him. Favre calmly turned every question towards football without getting angry or offering any new information.

I think Favre would have made the perfect politician. He looks and acts like a leader. He is a master at manipulating the national media. He has fame and money on his side. And he is the best press-conference manager I've ever interviewed.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN at 9:30 instead of noon today so I can catch my flght to New York. I'll also be on KFGO in Fargo with Mike McFeely, probably around 3:30 Central time. I'll also be on 1500ESPN at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday before heading back to Minnesota.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib. Thanks for reading.

Vikings sign Freeman...

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: October 6, 2013 - 10:52 PM

A series of national reports indicated the Vikings have signed former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman is problematic. He was inaccurate and error-prone this season. He missed a team photo and battled with his head coach.

This part is important: The coach he battled with, Greg Schiano, may be an idiot.

I like the move. Freeman has had two outstanding NFL seasons. He has the talent to succeed. The Vikings are getting a chance to try out a quarterback capable of being a productive NFL starter without giving up a first-round draft pick or a massive, long-term contract.

The reports are Freeman will sign a one-year deal worth $2.5 to $3 million. That's nothing for a quarterback.

The Vikings may not admit it, but this should end Christian Ponder's tenure in Minnesota. Matt Cassel is sure to start against Carolina next week, and the Vikings aren't bringing in Freeman to be a third-string quarterback.

Freeman gets a fresh start, and the Vikings get a quarterback with NFL talent without waiting and hoping the right guy falls to them in the draft.

This is a smart, aggressive, low-risk, high-reward move by Rick Spielman.

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Ponder has injured ribs

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: September 25, 2013 - 6:40 AM

Watford _ The Vikings' first full-fledged press conference in London offered some startling news: Quarterback Christian Ponder injured his ribs against the Browns on Sunday and is not certain to play against the Steelers.

Ponder spoke at the team hotel before Vikings' practice. He said he was able to throw the ball during the team's walk-through, but coach Leslie Frazier said he needed to evaluate Ponder during practice and would make a decision by Friday afternoon.

Matt Cassel would start if Ponder was unable to play.

Ponder said he injured his ribs on a play early in the Browns game. He was able to finish the game.

-Vikings GM Rick Spielman wouldn't comment on whether he has reached out to former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield. Safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerbacks Chris Cook and A.J. Jefferson will not practice today because of injuries.

Spielman said his staff in MInnesota is looking for roster depth but wouldn't comment specifically on Winfield. Spielman usually doesn't speak publicly during the season but made an exception to meet with the London and U.S. press covering his team's practice at the team hotel on Wednesday. Owner Mark Wilf, Frazier, Ponder and Adrian Peterson also spoke.

-Not much news came out of the Peterson press conference, but one Brit did ask whether he would consider expanding his acting career, perhaps to become the next James Bond.

``I'll have to take acting lessons,'' Peterson said with a smile.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN at noon with Judd&Dubay. You can follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib. Mark Craig, Chip Scoggins, photojournalist Carlos Gonzalez and myself are covering the Vikings all week in London. Please check for updates, features, videos, photos and posts all week on Startribune.com. And please buy the paper! It's cheap and filled with lots of great stuff!

Leyland was right

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: July 17, 2013 - 10:35 AM

Glen Perkins messed up. He had a chance to make it big on the national stage. All he had to do Tuesday night was chase down Mariano Rivera as Rivera neared the Citi Field mound, push him out of the way, and pitch the eighth inning for the American League. He coulda been famous.

It's a shame Perkins didn't get in the game, but he'll have another chance. Tuesday night belonged to Rivera, and, by extension, to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who did everything he could to win the game while paying homage to the Yankee great.

Leyland nailed it. He used Rivera in the eighth inning, knowing that if the National League rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth off of someone else that Rivera could wind up without a chance to pitch in his last All-Star game.

Then, Leyland told his other players to stay off the field while Rivera warmed up, leaving the stage to the most accomplished closer in history.

Because this is the Twitter Universe, Leyland immediately took heat from people who couldn't figure out the possible scenarios.

Leyland got it just right. He ensured that Rivera would have his moment, and what a moment it was.

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T'oday's column is on John Randle's love of golf. I've never done a column quit like this one. I asked John one question about golf, and he spoke, rapidly and passionately, for 12 minutes straight.

So when I sat down to write, I just got out of the way and let John speak.

It's good to see John in such great shape and good spirits. I covered John when the Vikinigs signed him as an undrafted free agent out of little Texas A&I. I saw him out-hustle and outwork more talented players to become a Hall of Famer.

Monday, he was playing Hazeltine and helping promote one of the many charities for which he does work: The St. David's Center for Child & Family Development.

You can find out more about St. David's here: stdavidscenter.org

Thanks for reading.

I'm very jealous of John's golf game, by the way.

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I'll be on Judd & Dubay at noon on 1500ESPN, and running Sunday Sports Talk 10-noon on Sunday morning.

 

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