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 Brett Favre

Sunday superlatives

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 30, 2012 - 9:31 PM

Some numbers produced during what might have been the best football game I've seen in the Metrodome:

Adrian Peterson...

-Finished with 199 yards and the second-best rushing total in NFL history, 2,097 yards. Eric Dickerson retains the record of 2,105. Peterson was nine yards shy. ``I know Eric Dickerson is stoked,'' Peterson said with a smile.

-Set an NFL record for most rushing yards in December, with 861. Clinton Page of Devner had 672 in 2002.

-Set an NFL record for most rushing yards in any month. Chris Johnson of Tennessee had 800 in 2009. (Month not provided.)

-Tied an NFL record for most 150-plus yard rushing games in a season, with 7. He's tied with Earl Campbell, who did it in 1980.

-Set a team record for most rushing attempts in a game, with 34.

Also...

-Matt Kalil tied a record for most starts by a rookie tackle, at 16, with Todd Steussie.

-Blair Walsh tied an NFL record for most field goals made in a season by a rookie, with 35. Ali Haji-Sheikh of the Giants did it in 1983.

-Walsh finished the regular season with 141 points, most ever by a Vikings rookie and second among Vikings kickers all-time to Gary Anderson's 164 points in 1998.

-Walsh tied a team record for most field goals made in a season, with 35. Anderson had 35 in '98.

-Walsh set an NFL record for highest field-goal percentage in a season by a rookie, with 92.1. Richie Cunningham of Dallas had a 91.9 percent in 1997.

-Walsh set an NFL record for most 50-plus yard field goals made by a rookie in a season, with 10.

-Christian Ponder became only the sixth Vikings quarterback to start 16 games in a season. The others: Brett Favre, Daunte Culpepper (3 times), Warren Moon, Tommy Kramer, Fran Tarkenton.

Tale of two teams:

The Packers finished the season with 4,049 net yards passing. The Vikings had 2,751.

The Packers finished the season with 1,702 net yards passing. The Vikings had 2,634.

They wound up one game apart in the standings.

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Yes, I do think Frazier is the coach of the year. The Colts tanked on purpose last year, and were rewarded with one of the most advanced rookie quarterbacks of all time. The Vikings won three games on merit, while winning just enough to lose a chance to draft Luck or Griffin, and improved by seven games.

I also think Peterson is the MVP. As much as I revere Peyton Manning, he took over a team that won a playoff game last year. He improved the offense dramatically but stepped into a great situation. Peterson was the dojminant figure on an offense with few alternatives, and he performed even better once Percy Harvin went out.

As frequent readers know, I don't champion locals unless I think they're deserving. I think Frazier and Peterson are deserving.

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I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 a.m. and 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. tomorrow. Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

 

Ponder this

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 21, 2012 - 9:44 AM
By Jim Souhan
Christian Ponder traveled to Wisconsin on a December Monday to get married.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Other than the timing and the location.
It was the day after one of the most important games of his career. It was six days before what he calls the most important game of his career.
He is the Vikings’ quarterback. He plays a position synonymous with leadership, a position said to require more attentiveness and study than any other in team sports.
His team’s season hangs in the balance. So does his career. With two impressive performances over the next eight days, he could propel his team into the playoffs and establish himself as the starting quarterback for the 2013 season. With two poor performances, he could ruin a suddenly-promising season and force the Vikings to seek his replacement.
The nature of modern media, social media and the way sports intertwines with both means that the public would become aware of Ponder’s marriage and react strongly to the timing of it.
Why couldn’t he have waited until the end of the season, which might have required just two more weeks? Why the rush? Can he properly focus on the most demanding job in sports while tending to the details of a marriage, however perfunctory the ceremony might have been?
They’re all fair questions for an NFL quarterback, because to be an NFL quarterback is to invite attention and scrutiny.
Just because we’re entitled to inquire about the marriage doesn’t mean we should actually care.
Players do all kinds of crazy things with their time off. Many of them make headlines and police reports. I guarantee that while Ponder was driving to Wisconsin, an NFL player somewhere, and possibly in Minnesota, was getting irresponsibly drunk. An NFL player somewhere, and possibly in Minnesota, was getting stoned. An NFL player somewhere, and possibly in Minnesota, was breaking a more serious law, perhaps driving drunk or getting into a bar fight.
Ponder's timing may not have been great, or understandable, but there's no way his performance this week will be negatively affected by his trip to Wisconsin. If he throws an interception on Sunday, it won't be because he got married on Monday.
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I'll be on 1500ESPN at 2:05 with Reusse and Mackey. Tom Pelissero and I will run Sunday Sports Talk from 10-noon on Sunday morning. We'll be in Houston for the Vikings game and Joe Schmit from Channel 5 will moderate from the studio in the Twin Cities. And Dana Wessel will continue to have fabulous hair.
Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.
 
 

Get off Parise's back

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: July 3, 2012 - 8:54 PM

As Zach Parise has spent three days hearing pitches from teams, discussing deals with his agent and meeting with his family and advisors, I've heard fans accuse him of becoming the next Brett Favre, of actling like a diva and keeping teams, and the free agency process, on hold.

Give me a break. Give him a break.

He's a thoughtful guy who's taking all of these immense offers seriously and doing his due diligence before making one of the biggest decisions of his life. He has to weigh opportunities to win, money, cities and travel. I don't blame him a bit for taking his time.

Plus, it's been three days. Three days! If he had signed on Sunday, that would have meant that he knew where he was going before free agency even started. He spent much of Tuesday traveling.

The people complaining about Parise's patience are fans who think it's Parise's job to make them happy, and media members who didn't want to be bothered on July 4.

This really isn't about you.

The longer Parise deliberates, the more you have to believe he's taking all offers seriously. That can only help the Wild.

By next year, none of us will remember whether Parise took three or five days to make this decision., Only his decision will matter.

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I'm writing about the Wild's pursuit of Parise for the Wednesday paper. Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

 

Thome reminds me of someone

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: June 12, 2012 - 8:29 PM
We should all be thankful Jim Thome doesn't know how to use a cel phone. Otherwise he'd be in danger of becoming Brett Favre.
Think about it. He's got the backwoods accent. His last name could be pronounced differently than his family chooses to pronounce it. (Shouldn't it be Thhhh-ome?) Ask him a question, and he'll smile and filibuster for a while. Favre did it with misdirection; Thome does it by repeating himself.
Both are all-time greats. Both are charming. And both really want to play forever.
Asked before the game how much longer he expects to play, Thome, whose green card says he's 41, gave a Favrian answer:
``I have to be honest, I do like to compete, I really do. I like to dig in that box. I like to work. I like to come to the ballpark. That, I think, is a tough part. I know I’m getting toward the end, but I can still go out and do it. That’s what drives me to come back every year. It’ll be interesting going forward here.”
 
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My NBA finals pick (and I don't know why anyone would care, after I picked San Antonio to beat OKC): Thunder in six. I say that even as Miami gets out to an early lead against the Thunder tonight.
More specifically, I have the Thunder winning Game 1 and Game 6, with the teams splitting the four in the middle.
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Had Mike Modana on the Sunday radio show this week. Asked him where he sees Zach Parise playing next season. Modano said Jersey has such a good young roster he sees Parise staying put.
Plus, he gets to summer in Minnesota, and work a cab ride away from Manhattan, when he's young and without kids. Who wouldn't take that deal?
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Wrote tonight about the passing of Dave Boswell, for the Wednesday paper. Sounds like a great character, and if you look up his numbers, he was pretty dominating before hurting his shoulder.
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Trevor Plouffe has 10 home runs. Yes, it's important for him to improve at third base, but if he's going to hit for this much power, he's already fine as an every day third baseman. As Gardenhire says, now when Plouffe walks to the plate you expect him to hit the ball hard somewhere. His first out tonight was a hard shot that could have been a single to left.
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I'll be on 1500espn at 2:05 each day the rest of the week. Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.
 

Bountygate re: Favre

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: March 2, 2012 - 6:47 PM

Because Brett Favre is a fickle and mysterious human, you have to wonder how the Saints' bounty on him affected Vikings history and his career.

If the Saints hadn't badly injured his ankle in the 2009 NFC title game...

-Would he have run for the first down after the 12-man-in-the-huddle call? He had room. He instead tried to force the ball to Sidney Rice and was intercepted. Another first down and I would have bet a lot of money that Ryan Longwell would have kicked the game-winning field goal. Well, OK, I would have bet a little money.

-If he had either advanced to the Super Bowl or left Superdome healthy after a close loss, would he have been more eager to play in 2010? It was Favre's passive-aggressive attitude about playing that helped ruin that season. I can't even guess on this one.

What SpyGate and BountyGate have taught us is that the NFL is a dirty, dirty business. Even when defensive players aren't offered rewards, they often enter the game intent on injuring or intimidating offensive players.

I covered Floyd Peters when he was the Vikings' defensive coordinator. Great guy. And he wanted his defensive linemen to knock every quarterback unconcious. Sound harsh? These were the days before concussion awareness, when that was an explicit goal of every defense.

Football hasn't changed. It's become even more violent and profitable. I can't pretend to be offended by the Saints' bounty system because I believe that all defensive players are incentivized to brutalize offensive players. The Saints were just stupid enough to create a traceable system, and stupid enough to get caught.

Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

 

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