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 Football on TV

Tarvaris Jackson still dying to play

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 29, 2014 - 2:28 PM

While most of his teammates and coaches were surrounded by reporters on Wednesday morning, Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson sat on the floor, back against a wall, playing with his phone.

``It's been cool,'' he said of his week so far. ``Just chilling, not doing too much. Being bored, pretty much. I don't have a lot to do.''

There's the rub. The former Viking could accept his role as Russell Wilson's backup and enjoy the good life: An NFL salary, the perks of being an NFL player.

Then Jackson looks around the league and wonders why he's not a starter.

``I still think about it,'' he said. ``Of coruse, I’d rather it went a lot different, but I feel like I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve actually been thinking abuot it the last few days. Just being here, thinking about wanting to be a starter in this game. Recapping my career,  I unfortunately wanted it to be different, but it is what it is.

``You look around the league, and you're like…maybe I have a chance. But I haven’t played football in two years, so who knows. It’s a different experience but I’m trying to take it in and take it as it comes.''

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Mark Craig and I will be covering the Super Bowl all week from New York and New Jersey. It's cold here, too.

Blasts from past at Super Bowl, plus Earl Thomas challenges Manning

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 29, 2014 - 1:18 PM

Got mired in a traffic jam in New York while hearing that Fred Smoot is trying to organized a Love Boat party and the Twins have signed Matt Guerrier.

In other news from the mid-2000s: Don't worry, Kevin McHale just assured me that the Timberwolves would never consider trading Kevin Garnett.

Even with a police escort, traffic in Manhattan is terrible. Not a complaint. I love New York. Just a fact.

What is surprising is how nice Jersey City is. We were in the refurbished Newport area, and it sparkles.

Anyway, after talking to a bunch of Seahawks with Minnesota connections, I dropped in to talk with Seahawks star safety Earl Thomas.

He was not shy. ``This matchup is everything that I want.''

Meaning?

``Peyton Manning. Future Hall of Famer. I want to prove everybody wrong, that he's just a man.''

Then he paused, and said, deadpan, ``Omaha,'' a reference to Manning's most-used signal at the line of scrimmage.

This is classic NFL behavior: A player working himself into a lather for no particular reason. There's no reason to hate Manning. There's no reason to dismiss his accomplishments. So Thomas is making himself believe that Manning is getting too much credit or attention.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN all week from New York, and will be doing Sunday Sports Talk, 10-noon on Sunday, from here as well. Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

I'll be posting about my conversation with Tarvaris Jackson and my thoughts on Marshawn Lynch's behaviour later today.

What a beating

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 22, 2013 - 2:56 PM

Like arguing about sports?

Then the Vikings did you a disservice on Sunday, during theri 42-14 loss.

They robbed of us of all interesting debates.

Now we know that Leslie Frazier and his staff will be fired, the Vikings will search for a new quarterback in the offseason, and, just as important, they will need to rebuild a defense that was whipped by the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.

Before Andy Dalton, AJ Green & Co. went after Chris Cook, I hadn't seen a Vikings cornerback targeted and burned so frequently since Steve Smith rowed his boat after torching Fred Smoot in 2005.

Before Sunday, you could have argued that Frazier had his team ready to play under adverse circumstances, and that the Vikings performed their best when Cassel started. Both statements were true as of 11:59 a.m. on Sunday. Sunday's result doesn't make those statements false; it just makes them irrelevant.

This was the kind of game that makes it easy for an owner to clean house.

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Please read our full coverage in the Star Tribune and on Startribune.com, complete with videos, analysis, features and sidebars.

I'll be on WJON in St. Paul at 7:15 Monday, and on 1500ESPN at noon.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

Quick postgame reaction: Jennings goes nuts

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 15, 2013 - 3:25 PM

Greg Jennings caught 11 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Which is one way to prove that he hasn't entered the witness protection program.

The Eagles were hot, and had desirable matchups all over the field against the injury-riddled Vikings, and yet the Vikings won, 48-30, on Sunday at the Metrodome.

It's remarkable how differently the Vikings function with Matt Cassel at quarterback instead of Christian Ponder. With Casel in the pocket, the Vikings' receivers look more than good enough. Unlike Ponder, Cassel doesn't rely on tight ends, or a strong running game, for production.

The Eagles are not a good defensive team, but their offense has been dynamic with Nick Foles at quarterback. Sunday, the Vikings not only won without their top two running backs and top two tight ends, they won without their top three cornerbacks.

If the Vikings' braintrust was intent on firing Leslie frazier and dumping all of their quarterbacks, this game might cause a little reconsideration. Frazier has had the Vikings playing hard all season. With better cornerback play and a better defensive coordinator, they might be in contention. And when Frazier has the benefit of decent quarterback play, the offense is good enough to win.

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I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 a.m., and on 1500ESPN at noon tomorrow to talk Vikings.

My twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

Two bad teams give us a spectacle

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 1, 2013 - 3:49 PM

How crazy was the Vikings' 23-20, overtime victory over the Bears?

Blair Walsh won the game twice. The first game-winning kick in overtime was wiped out by Rhett Ellison's facemask penalty.

Walsh wound up trying three field goals in the overtime, and the second wasfted through the smoke from the celebratory fireworks after his first attempt, and fell short.

What will be remembered is that Adrian Peterson had one of the best games of his career. Amid the chaos, he rushed 35 times for 211 yards, and his running set up the game-winning field goal.

Peterson reached for 10,000 yards in his 101st NFL game. Only two backs have reached 10,000 faster - Eric Dickerson in 91 games, and Jim Brown in 98.

It was a relatively meaningless game between two bad teams, eventually involving two backup quarterbacks once Christian Ponder left with a concussion, and yet it was still a spectacle.

Peterson ran wild. And Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery set a Bears record with 249 receiving yards, twice beating Chris Cook deep. After the second touchdown catch, an amazing play on which Jeffery caught the ball over Cook's head and held it there as he fell into the end zone, Cook, angered by a previous call, bumped an official and was ejected.

He missed some good stuff, particularly Peterson's wild, stop-and-start 19-yard gain on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter.

That play seemed to set the Vikings, then trailing 20-17, up to at least tie the score. But backup quarterback Matt Cassel's pass to Rhett Ellison caromed off Ellison, then a Bear or two before it was intercepted.

I'm hoping Leslie Frazier is ready to give up on Ponder. He can play Cassel if he wants to win, or management can force him to play Josh Freeman if they want to play for a high draft pick. Expect the former.

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