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

Greenway on Zimmer

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 5, 2014 - 8:42 AM

I wrote about Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway in today's paper.

The most interesting aspect of the interview that I didn't include in the column is this:

Greenway said new coach Mike Zimmer is far different than he expected when it comes to the treatment of players.

Asked to finish the sentence, ``I was wrong about...'', Greenway laughed and said, ``I was wrong about the way that coach Zimmer would handle us as players. He handles us as professionals. He gives us breaks when he knows we need them. He's really been good at that. I thought he'd be harder....

``He loves football and loves coaching. He understands his team and when to pull off. He's been phenomenal about that.''

I asked Greenway about being a public figure, jokingly asking if he has ever knocked a fan's hat off.

``You try to keep yourself private from the fokls who might be crazed about being a fan or might be upset about the way a game went, or about how you’re playing,'' he said. ``You try to keep yourself distant from those folks because you don’t want your family to have to deal with that...

``I think just based on the way you go about your business, you set yourself up…Even though they may not appreciate the way you play, you try to set yourself up to be treated a certain way in public. When you act a certain wa you receive a certain amount of respect.

``If you’re a jerk and actin ga certain way in pubcli you’re giogn to be treated that way. I've never done that. It's important when you are a guy who’s active in the community and your face is on TV - whether or not you want to be a role model, you're going to be treated that way because kids see you on TV.''

Today's column quotes Greenway on his hopes and plans for the rest of his career.


My last two podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com are with Twins closer Glen Perkins and Greenway.

Perkins talked about learning to brew his own beer, being a lifelong Minnesotan and why I'm wrong about Kevin Slowey.

Greenway spoke of his love of country music, and how his life has changed since he arrived as a rookie. He expounded on his thoughts on Mike Zimmer.

Next Wednesday at 5 p.m. I'll be at Kieran's Irish Pub with Gary Louris, the frontman for the great band The Jayhawks, who is playing on Dec. 11 at the Cedar Cultural Center. The following Wednesday, Dec. 17, I'll be back at The Local at 5 p.m. with Roy Smalley, my favorite baseball storyteller, as my guest.

All the podcasts, including previous versions with Wild owner Craig Leipold, Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant and Paul Molitor, can be found at SouhanUnfiltered.com.

In this Sunday's paper, I'm writing about the obvious landing spot for Adrian Peterson.

Vikes-Packers pick

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 23, 2014 - 9:57 AM

In 1988, the Bears and Eagles played in what became known as ``The Fog Bowl'' at Soldier Field. It was an atmospheric, beautiful mess of a game.

It's a bit foggy at TCF Bank Stadium this morning, but the players won't have any trouble seeing the ball unless things get much worse.

On to my worthless prediction:

The Packers are on an almost historic roll. The Vikings are at the juncture of their season where they know they're not going to make the playoffs, figure they probably won't have Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season, and have been visited by the Ghost of Controversies Past, in ESPN's Ed Werder. Whenever Ed shows up, something bad or crazy is happening.

So...I'll guess Packers 43, Vikings 17.

I think Teddy Bridgewater has a chance to be a good player...next year. Right now, I see a lost young man with little help around him.

The Packers have been incredible opportunistic on defense, and I think Bridgewater will give them some opportunities.

I also didn't like the way the offensive line or Jerick McKinnon played last week, and with Matt Asiata out, I can't see Ben Tate making much of a difference after a few days of preparation.

This, to me, is what you call a bad matchup.


Had a great conversation with Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant this week. It's up on Souhanunfiltered.com, along with conversations with Paul Molitor, Michael Russo, Mark Craig and Ross Bernstein.

Mike told a great bunch of stories about his father, Bud, as well as Rick Spielman, Jerry Kill, Glen Mason, Red McCombs. He also talked about the most rewarding aspect of his job, and his future.



Mike Grant on his future, Bud's past

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 21, 2014 - 2:51 PM

I’ve been interviewing people for a long time. The hour or more I spent with Eden Prairie football coach Mike Grant might represent the best on-the-record conversation I’ve had in 30 years.

Grant said he’s contemplating retirement, so he can write books. He may write about race relations, after watching the demographics of Eden Prairie change dramatically during his tenure. He may disappear into the woods with his father, Bud, the legendary former Vikings coach.

He also told me that his father came close to never playing sports or coaching football. When Bud graduated from high school, he told his father he wanted to live off the land, to hunt and fish and forgo college. Instead, he attended the University of Minnesota on the GI bill, subsisted on five-for-a-quarter candy bars and a all-you-can-eat-for-a-buck spaghetti at Café di Napoli in Minneapolis, and lived off the generosity of Star Tribune sports columnist Sid Hartman.

Bud is 87. Mike is 57. Mike says he wants to spend time hunting with his father while he can, and that may mean leaving a program that is trying for its fourth straight and 10th total state championship tonight at TCF Bank Stadium.

``My dad didn’t want to go to college,’’ Mike said. ``He got out of the war he wanted to go hunting. He just wanted to go live in the woods. My uncle tells the story of him and my grandfather arguing, fighting, my Dad saying, `I want to go into the woods and hunt. That’s it.’

``His brother says it’s truly what he wanted to do. He would disappear for days when he was 15 or 16 and be gone hunting and fishing, where he has his cabin now. My grandfather would say, what, you want to be a `Hunyuk’ your whole life? I don’t know what that is. Whatever a Hunyuk is, it can’t be good.’’

I’m writing about Mike’s future and Bud’s past tonight. It’ll be in the Saturday paper and online at startribune.com. If you want to hear our full conversation, in which Mike weighed in on race, Jerry Kill, college recruiting, Red McCombs, Rick Spielman, high school coaching, hungry kids, Tim Brewster, Glen Mason, Jeff Diamond, Sid, Tom Kelly and John Gagliardi, you can find it on my podcast at Souhanunfiltered.com, along with conversations with Paul Molitor, Michael Russo, Mark Craig, Ross Bernstein and Sean Barnard.

Thanks for reading, and listening.


Peterson got what he deserved

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 18, 2014 - 8:37 AM

In suspending Adrian Peterson without pay for the rest of the season, Roger Goodell made the right decision, and probably for the wrong reasons.

When the photographs of the damage Peterson did to his four-year-old son were made public, with the caveat that the wounds had begun healing before the photos were taken, it was clear that Peterson had behaved inhumanly, using his incredible physical power to damage someone innocent and defenseless.

The courts in Texas, where child brutality is often mistaken for strong parenting, barely blinked before cutting Peterson a favorable plea deal. Vikings’ management tried to reinstate him after one missed game, with general manager Rick Spielman saying `` We believe this is a case of a parent disciplining his child.’’

The only person with the power and willingness to discipline Peterson would be Goodell, the NFL commissioner. And he did.

To think he punished Peterson severely strictly because Goodell was concerned with the child’s safety would be naïve. Goodell punished Peterson severely to offer a warning to other wayward players, to challenge the players’ union, and to reestablish himself as an authoritative figure months after he was made to look either foolish or corrupt with his handling of Ray Rice’s act of domestic violence.

Goodell is severely punishing Peterson because he so lightly punished Rice, initially handing Rice a two-game suspension even while knowing that Rice knocked out his then-fiancee in an elevator.

There will be howls of protest from Vikings fans, and fantasy football owners, but Goodell got this right. He had two choices moving forward: To remove himself as acting judge and jury of player misconduct cases, or to make an example of a star athlete who harmed a child.

Peterson earned this level of punishment. Whether Goodell has the right to impose it is a matter for the courts, and Goodell probably won’t mind watching Peterson’s legal team fighting him in the courts, where Goodell for once will get to wear a white hat.


There are new podcasts up at Souhanunfiltered.com, and this afternoon I'll be at Devil's Advocate bar in downtown Minneapolis with Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo, from 4-5 p.m. Jeff Dubay will host his podcast right after us.

Michael has covered the NFL before, so we'll talk about Peterson a bit before getting into how Michael went from a guy hanging around the offices at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel to becoming one of the best hockey writers and reporters in North America. You can listen live at Souhanunfiltered.com - or listen anytime. That's the cool thing about podcasts.

My full column on Peterson, with different thoughts on his predicament, will be up tonight on startribune.com and in tomorrow's paper. Thanks.

I'll also be live at Shamrock's in St. Paul on Wednesday at 8, talking about the NFL and other topics. That will preceed a music showcase for the @Aliveandsocial network, as local acts Nathan Anderson and The Last Ride will take the stage. They are remarkably talented and I'd love to see our towns support them and other rising talents.


My Jimmy Fallon Thank You Note

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 14, 2014 - 10:08 AM

Good morning, all. I was going to write a Thank You Note to our local football coaches this morning, then realized that Jimmy Fallon has made a great bit out of doing that.

So, apoogies to Jimmy:

1. Thank you to Mike Zimmer, for losing perhaps his two best offensive players, revamping an entire defensive scheme, and positioning the Vikings to play a meaningful game in mid-November.

IF the Vikings beat the Bears, they'll be at .500 and in some sort of contention. If they could win eight or nine games under these circumstances, I'd nominate Zimmer for some kind of award.

2. Thank you to Jerry Kill, who for the second season in a row has the Gophers playing big games in November. He's remade the Gopher football team into a physical beast well-suited for playing cold-weather games. Will he beat Ohio State? Probably not. But if he wins one of his last three games this will be a highly successful season in my view.


My first podcast is up at souhanunfiltered.com. Paul Molitor came on and told some great stories. Local author Ross Bernstein, who is friends with and has done a book with Marc Trestman, got inside Trestman's head as he deals with anarchy in Chicago. And we did Set Pieces - song of the day, broadcast review of the day, and Stuff People Yell at Me on the Internet.

Tonight we're live at the Devil's Advocate Bar in Minneapolis with Star Trib NFL writer Mark Craig, who will tell many stories about going to Pittsburgh as a Browns fan and getting punched in the face, and the Vikings are going to provide a player guest, I believe.

Plus: More Stuff People Yell at Me on the Internet, and I Was Wrong About...(long list).

Bonuses (or not): I"ll be on Rusty Gatenby's podcat on the @aliveandsocial network at 5:30 from Devil's Advocate, and after my podcast, Strib photog Carlos Gonzlez and I will play a few acoustic songs. We prefer playing with our full band and playing rock and roll, but we'll assault your ears with just acoustics tonight.

Thanks for reading, listening and screaming.


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