Staff Directory 10646006

Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4503
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Jim Souhan is a sports columnist for the Star Tribune. He has worked at the paper since 1990, previously covering the Twins and Vikings.

Souhan was Sports Editor of his high school paper at Vianney in St. Louis. He wrote and edited for the Missourian at the University of Missouri, where he earned a journalism degree with an emphasis on American literature.
Recent content from Jim Souhan
An an empty Target Field on April 2, what would have been the 2020 home opener.

Souhan: Major League Baseball can't afford to take season off

If players and owners can't agree on salaries this year, it would be another blow to the game
Torii Hunter

Baseball was Hunter's safe haven, and he grew into a star

Torii Hunter listened to veteran teammates and slowly learned. He progressed from a talented youngster who couldn't identify the spin of offspeed pitches to a slugger who crushed them.
Torii Hunter

Souhan: Black athletes call out again for justice. Will we listen this time?

For many white Americans, exposure to what it is like to be black in the United States often comes through black athletes and entertainers. We should listen to them.
The Xcel Energy Center, home of the Wild, might be in the mix as an NHL Hub City for its planned restart.

Souhan: Restarted NHL season could play right into Wild's hands

Had the NHL stuck to the traditional 16-team bracket, the Wild would have been out. Instead, it will get to play a best-of-five series against Vancouver. Minnesota's players could have the edge.
Fuad Reveiz walked off the Metrodome turf a hero in October 1994 after kicking a 27-yard field goal in overtime to give the Vikings a 13-10 victory ov

Kicker Reveiz never made excuses as he found footing with Vikings

Born in Bogota, Colombia, his family moved to Miami when he was 11. A friend saw Fuad Reveiz kicking a soccer ball and talked him into trying football.
Darrell Thompson is a big supporter of kids and former NFL players who are at risk.

Souhan: Darrell Thompson expects Gophers to have even greater success

But the former standout running back is worried about his mentoring program for at-risk kids and troubled by the NFL's apathy toward former players with needs.
Wild forward Marcus Foligno (17) tangled with Jets defenseman Tyler Myers (57) during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Myers is now with the Canucks, wh

Souhan: Fans should enjoy any Wild playoff run even if sportstuff will be missing

Sportstuff won't return for Stanley Cup playoffs, but fans should try to enjoy the sport at least.
Wolves player J.R. Rider speaks to reporters in a hallway outside of the team's Target Center lock room in 1994.

Souhan: With more controls, 'Wild West' feel gone from sports reporting

Sports coverage will never be as wild and personal as it was when an angry Wolves player walked into the media room and announced he was calling his own press conference.
Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president

Souhan: Ignoring blacks for top NFL jobs is racist and stupid

If you're not angry about discrimination, you should be angry about so many teams breaking the golden rule of sports. They're not doing all they can to win.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell might be a too-easy symbol of player greed when he says he's not willing to take less than a prorated salary to pla

Souhan: Public should side with rich, not wealthy, in MLB pay debate

We are in danger of returning to the bad old days of sports-talk debate, where fans conclude that millionaire players are greedier than billionaire owners.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver stood with umpire Angel Hernandez behind home plate last June.

Souhan: Ban spitting. Dial down celebrations. Bring on robot umps.

When Major League Baseball games return post-pandemic, there are a handful of changes that should be made - for the better.
Michael Jordan was a great athlete but not a great hitter, batting .202 for the Class AA Birmingham Barons in 1994.

Souhan: MJ making it to the majors would have been a minor miracle

Some believe NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan could have eventually played baseball in the major leagues. Former Twin Gene Larkin and manager Tom Kelly are not among them.
John Terrlinck, in 1994.

Souhan: Teerlinck had knack for motivating Vikings players he coached

John Teerlinck spent just three seasons with the Vikings, but columnist Jim Souhan considers him one of the great characters and coaches in a franchise history filled with high achievers and great characters.
Back in January of 2006, Brett Favre (left) was the Packers' starting quarterback and Aaron Rodgers was the backup. Favre eventually was nudged aside

Souhan: Rodgers to the Vikings? Weirder things have happened

Remember, there was never any way Brett Favre could ever play for the Vikings ... and then we had Brad Childress picking him up at the airport.
Wild interim coach Dean Evason provided 12 games worth of evidence that he deserves a shot at the job full-time, and his relationship with a key playe

Souhan: Interim coach Evason deserves shot to stick with Wild

He has only had 12 games under his belt filling in for Bruce Boudreau, but his relationship with Kevin Fiala is a critical factor.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino watches from the sideline as his team played Butler earlier this month. The Gophers lost to DePaul on Friday.

Souhan: Building Gophers through transfers has merit for Pitino

While not getting the state's best high school players, Richard Pitino could be devising a strategy that could allow the Gophers to compete with better Big Ten programs.
Jordan Love, Sean Mannion, Jameis Winston and Jalen Hurts all figure to have different roles - and futures - as backup quarterbacks.

Souhan: The role of a backup QB? Depends who you ask

NFL teams differ on what they want from the backup quarterback position: An heir apparent, a reclamation project, a multi-tasking gadget QB or a thrifty insurance policy.
The Vikings' drafting of Boise State tackle Ezra Cleveland, left, in the second round could pay off in the long run more than other immediate, expensi

Souhan: Spielman just made Vikings stronger with deft handling of draft

Yes, picking Gophers stars Antoine Winfield Jr. and Tyler Johnson would have made nice stories, but that's not what the team was after.
The Vikings filled a gap when they drafted tackle Ezra Cleveland in the second round. Their competitors had no such success.

Souhan: By not making mistakes, Vikings lead NFC North in draft success

While none of us can predict the future, we can always assess real-time logic. The Vikings made use of it during the 2020 NFL draft. Their closest competitors did not.
LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson gives the Vikings depth at receiver and isn’t named Troy Williamson.

Souhan: Selecting Jefferson won't repeat Williamson fiasco

Troy Williamson was fast and raw. Justin Jefferson is built like a prototype NFL receiver, he has excellent hands and he excelled in the biggest games in college football last year.
The draft isn't as important as the NFL would have us believe. After all, Vikings standout wide receiver Adam Thielen went undrafted.

Souhan: The NFL draft is all-important. (Here's why that's a lie)

The draft feels important because the NFL has made it feel important, and because the draft is filled with mystery and speculation, and every once in a while your team drafts the perfect player.
This week will mark the ninth time Lions have a top-three pick in the NFL draft since 1980, meaning Matt Patricia might not be the answer any more tha

Souhan: NFL franchise needs that go beyond the draft

Some teams are out to select the best athlete available, but a lot of them have bigger problems that won't be fixed this week.
Christian Ponder

Souhan: Vikings have gotten into trouble drafting need over talent

Need is a terrible evaluator. For many NFL fans, that phrase has become a cliche, but it is the kind of phrase that becomes a cliche because it is so true.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve

Souhan: Lynx's draft picks point more toward the long term

The Lynx could have taken a more polished player or a pure point guard at No. 6. Instead, they gambled on upside. They are hoping to position themselves for next year's free-agents, and get back to taking swings at a title.
Tamara Moore, shown in 2002 in a Lynx win.

Souhan: Tamara Moore well-prepared to be a men's basketball coach

Tamara Moore, who has played against and coached men before, will be the only woman coaching a men's college team next season at Mesabi Range.
Oregon standouts Sabrina Ionescu, center, and Satou Sabally, left, figure to be two of the top three picks in the upcoming WNBA draft. Might Ruthy Heb

Souhan: In this WNBA mock draft, Lynx go big and with a winner

Many national mock drafts have the Lynx taking a point guard to fill the void left when Lindsay Whalen retired. But draft wisdom tell us that what you hear and what really happens don't always match up.
Jamal James keeps training, for a welterweight title fight that didn’t happen Saturday and hasn’t been rescheduled.

Souhan: Jamal James ready for WBA title fight — whenever it happens

Jamal James' title bout was supposed to have taken place Saturday at the Armory. Even after the fight was canceled because of COVID-19, with no makeup date, James maintained his grueling training regimen.
Sammy Schmitz at the 2016 Masters.

Souhan: Masters memories never fade for St. John's star Schmitz

In 2015, Sammy Schmitz, the former All-America from St. John's, won the U.S. Mid-Am to earn a berth in the 2016 Masters. He played two rounds at the Masters, missing the cut but gaining lifelong memories.
Playing all MLB games in Phoenix-area stadiums such as Chase Field is one option — with possible dire results.

Souhan: Is MLB so desperate for games it would put lives at risk?

COVID-19 isn't just a disease. It's an intelligence test. If baseball tries this, its entire management team will get a failing grade.
The Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett, elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, might be the most indispensable athlete in Minnesota sports h

Souhan: Garnett is Minnesota's most valuable athlete since ... ever

More than Randy Moss. More than Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew or Maya Moore. Without KG, the Timberwolves' history would be one of complete oblivion.
Souhan: Postpone drafts in WNBA and NFL. It's the right thing to do

Souhan: Postpone drafts in WNBA and NFL. It's the right thing to do

A month ago, holding sports drafts made sense; an antidote to the lethargy and boredom of our new lives. But our awareness of what we're up against has changed, so the leagues' plans should change as well.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.

Souhan: Baldelli has baseball in his head while music soothes his restless mind

Performing in front of demanding crowds is what groups do, and Twins manager Rocco Baldelli — currently with a lot of unexpected time on his hands — takes lessons from watching his team or his favorite band.
Among the things columnist Jim Souhan misses is a border battle where you can throw out the records when the the teams meet and players stay focused b

Souhan: Missing sports clichés, the comfort food of English language

There's an "i" in cliché, but this is all about team, and columnist Jim Souhan is a team-first guy, but it's a business and he's got to be able to feed his family.
“Baseball will return. Our job is to be ready for that, assuming it happens. But do we know that’s going to happen [in 2020]? No, we don’t.”

Souhan: Sports world's reaction paints grim image to issue's severity

The cancellation of events through the end of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic doesn't seem so far-fetched.
The Vikings might be at an advantage having Kirk Cousins under center for a third consecutive season in 2020.

Souhan: Compressed NFL season would hinder relocated QBs

Kirk Cousins' return under center for a third season could help give the Vikings a leg up on their competition.
Carlos Gomez -- one of the Twins' "Loose Cannons" -- jumped for joy after scoring the winning run in the 12th inning on an Alexi Casilla single agains

Souhan: 2009 Game 163 replay is a reminder of Loose Cannons' heroics for Twins

Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla, both promising but erratic players, delivered when called off the bench in an epic Metrodome finale.
Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer, in 2013.

Souhan: While waiting for baseball, Bremer's book a fine way to pass time

Broadcaster Dick Bremer should be preparing to announce the Twins' opener in Oakland on Thursday. Instead, he'll be at home in the northern suburbs, trying to distract himself from our new reality.
The Olympic flame from Greece arrived in Japan on Friday even as the opening of the Tokyo Games become more in doubt. Olympic gold medalists Saori Yos

Souhan: Logic means postponing games, but logic doesn't always guide IOC

Logic dictates that the Games be postponed until the summer of 2021. It would be criminally stupid to hold them this summer, during a worldwide pandemic.
Dalvin Cook’s talents as an NFL running back are indisputable, but he has been injury-prone in his first three seasons and he is entering the last y

Souhan: Vikings need Dalvin Cook now more than ever

After all of their roster changes, the Vikings are now more dependent on Cook remaining healthy and performing spectacularly than they were even last year.
Baseball fans look through a fence at Hammond Stadium after a game between the Twins and the Orioles was canceled on March 12. MLB suspended spring tr

Souhan: No spring training trip this year, and it sure was missed

Columnist Jim Souhan didn't make it to Twins spring training in Florida for the first time since 1992. It's not the perks he missed; it's the job.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.

Souhan: Vikings' latest moves won't help unless draft fills gaping holes

GM Rick Spielman made a great move in dealing Stefon Diggs and the logical move in extending Kirk Cousins, but he'll need to procure young, inexpensive talent to plug other gaps.
Part of the beauty of the NCAA tournament is that everyone can find a team or a player to root for. Last year it was Michigan for this fan, Mary Rolfe

Souhan: A virus knocks us all from our NCAA pools at the same time

The bracket is what makes March Madness a societal phenomenon. The bracket is the greatest driver of sports conversations in America. The bracket is what we will miss the most.
Even as most sporting leagues and events shut down, the business of sports marched on. On Friday, the Vikings released cornerback Xavier Rhodes (left)

Souhan: Full stop for sports? Impossible

The games have stopped, but the business of sports never will.
Clockwise from top: The Masters golf tournament, an annual rite of spring, became one of the last shoes to drop. Before that, new Commissioner Kevin W

How the sports world came to a standstill: a timeline

The New York Post's Ryan Dunleavy chronicled it all, including the indefinite suspension or delayed start of three major professional leagues and the abrupt end of the college basketball season, without March Madness (all times Eastern):
The seats are empty at the Amway Center in Orlando, and arenas around the U.S. due to the Coronavirus.

Souhan: When American sports leagues shut down, they got it right

Thursday, the sports world stopped cold. Except that this isn't really about sports. This is about American sports reflecting America's reality, instead of serving as diversion.
A roped-off interview area outside the clubhouse at the New York Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Fla.

Souhan: Teams using grubby locker rooms as excuse to keep media out

The decision to bar media from sports locker rooms in the wake of the coronavirus crisis is a cynical, calculated move more than a safety measure.
Whitecaps goalie Amanda Leveille (shown in a 2019 game) is so talented, she'd be rich and famous in a more lucrative sport. But she's dedicated to the

Souhan: Winning Whitecaps keep commitment to grow women's hockey

Comparing a startup women's league with no television deal to established male sports is pointless. Whitecaps players see a chance to grow their game by attracting girls to hockey.
Wild interim head coach Dean Evason speaks to his players along with assistant coach Darby Hendrickson during a timeout against Capitals last weekend.

Souhan: Wild's recent moves a page out of the Twins playbook

Twice in the past three years a team on the fringe of contention has decided to sell rather than buy at the trade deadline, then watched its supposedly depleted team go on a successful run.
Eden Prairie forward Ben Steeves (6) celebrated one of his two goals in the second period on Thursday vs. Lakeville South.

Souhan: Newcomer Steeves appreciates state tournament's exceptional appeal

Eden Prairie's Ben Steeves, who played last season in Michigan, said there has been "no exaggeration" of Minnesota's boys' hockey tournament lore.
Wild left wing Kevin Fiala

Souhan: Surging Fiala adds plenty of 'magic' to Wild's playoff push

Kevin Fiala looked dangerous all game. Most endearing, he continued to play like hockey is a fun sport instead of a prison sentence.
The Wild's Kevin Fiala has 21 points and 11 goals in the past 14 games. He has scored a goal in four straight and in six of his past seven games.

Souhan: Perhaps a certain former Wild GM was right about Fiala

The forward has been a sight for jaded eyes during his scoring spurt.
Souhan: Vastly different coaching scenarios for Pitino, Saunders

Souhan: Vastly different coaching scenarios for Pitino, Saunders

Richard Pitino's career head coaching winning percentage is .544. Ryan Saunders' is .340. So why would Saunders enjoy more job security? Because circumstances matter more than stats.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu stood disappointed after the Gophers lost the lead in the final seconds.

Souhan: Home losses may ruin season of promise, alter U's future

The worst aspect of the loss to Maryland is that it might limit the number of times we get to see Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr play together.
When he was chief operating officer of the Vikings, Kevin Warren greeted fan Kevin Lodoen of Eden Prairie before a game in 2018.

Souhan: Warren brings his common touch from Vikings to Big Ten

Most commissioners of moneymaking sports leagues have two primary jobs: Protecting the rich, and making them richer. That's not how Kevin Warren works.
With Seimone Augustus (left) leaving the Lynx for the Los Angeles Sparks, General Manager/coach Cheryl Reeve faces a brave new world of free agency.

Souhan: Lynx lag at rebuilding in WNBA's most dramatic offseason

The Lynx may never be quite the same, unless they can navigate the WNBA's new promising-yet-perilous landscape.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen recently became a free agent.

Souhan: Griffen is first domino to fall for Vikings in salary-cap crunch

The likely loss of Everson Griffen is the first piece removed. There are more players who will force the Vikings to make difficult decisions in the coming months
Richard Pitino reacts to a call on the team during the second half.

Souhan: Pitino's Gophers trending from pretty good to pretty awful

The Indiana loss may have ended any reasonable hope of an NCAA tournament bid. Will it prove as decisive for coach Richard Pitino's Minnesota career?
Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks and players followed the action on the ice during a medal round game vs. the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympic

Souhan: For your 'Miracle on Ice' memories, 'The Boys of Winter' satisfies

The 40th anniversary of a most Minnesota-centric accomplishment is near, and that memorable run is captured in Wayne Coffey's book.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin spoke about his decision to fire head coach Bruce Boudreau

Souhan: Hired to fix Wild, Guerin begins repairs with two big moves

The question isn't why Bill Guerin this week traded away Jason Zucker and fired coach Bruce Boudreau; it's whether he waited too long.
Jason Zucker

Souhan: Feelings aside, Wild made good move in trading Zucker

Jason Zucker was a popular player here. But he underperformed, and the Wild made a good deal shipping him to Pittsburgh for winger Alex Galchenyuk, defense prospect Calen Addison and a first-round draft pick.
It is hard to expect the Red Sox to be able to keep up with the Yankees in 2020 after they dealt away 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts in an effort to decreas

Souhan: Twins look even more like a World Series team, Red Sox even less

Baseball's sign-stealing scandal cost Boston manager Alex Cora, and its handling of negotiations with the Dodgers and Twins indicates that the organization lacks savvy and guts, too.
Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell shot around on the court before Saturday's game against the LA Clippers.

Souhan: Russell, a mixed bag, arrives ... and takes night off

D'Angelo Russell needs to be a fixture with the Timberwolves, not just a fit.
D'Angelo Russell, the newest Timberwolves player arrived at the Signature wing of MSP airport. He was greeted by Timberwolves President Gersson Rosas.

Souhan: Now it's up to Towns, Russell, Saunders to prove they're winners

This would be a good time for the Wolves to trade in the desperate hope of sure things for the hard work of sustainable plans.
Brusdar Graterol is on his way to Boston.

Souhan: For Twins fans, dealing Graterol what 'going for it' looks like

The risk: Brusdar Graterol will become a star and remind Twins fans forever of David Ortiz. The payoff: The 2020 Twins are a better team.
Gary Kubiak will become the Vikings offensive coordinator in his second season as an assistant under Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: Vikings' nepotism, cronyism just might work

Gary Kubiak, Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer were promoted from within, maintaining the cohesion of the coaching staff.
Vikings great Chris Doleman rode in the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Grand Parade in downtown Canton, Ohio, three years after his induction.

Souhan: Gone too soon, Doleman more than a tremendous football player

Like fine wine — and he did like fine wine — Chris Doleman aged well in his career. It's not fair that a good life didn't last long enough.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders

Souhan: Solutions, not search for scapegoat, need to be Wolves' focus

The Timberwolves are evolving in a painfully slow way. But screaming for the head of Ryan Saunders when he doesn't have the players to fit his system doesn't solve anything.
An emotional Willie Burton addressed the Williams Arena crowd on Sunday afternoon.

Souhan: Young Kobe was a work-in-progress under Willie Burton's watch

When Willie Burton played for the Philadelphia 76ers, he worked out regularly with Kobe Bryant, then a high school phenom at Lower Merion High in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Newly signed Twins slugger Josh Donaldson signed autographs during TwinsFest 2020 on Friday

Souhan: Reassembled Twins cast could be the best, despite shaky pitching

The Twins won 101 games last year, and they are a much better team right now than they were last January, or even last July.
Brothers Chris and Ethan Behrend of Sioux Falls attended a Twins playoff game against the Yankees. CEO Dave St. Peter knows that baseball needs to con

Souhan: Twins hope to boost attendance with family-friendly deals

If you want to be known as a family game, you have to have prices that appeal to families. The Twins are doing just that.
Katie Smith with the New York Liberty in 2016. When Smith’s head coaching contract was not renewed by the Liberty, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve immediate

Souhan: New Lynx assistant Smith tasked with keeping Reeve calm

Cheryl Reeve said she used to be a buffer between the head coach and players, including Katie Smith, when she was a WNBA assistant. That'll be part of Smith's role with the Lynx.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid, left, and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will provide two of the story lines leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

Souhan: Past, present story lines raise interest in 49ers-Chiefs

There's plenty of local angles and trends to gnaw on for the next two weeks as Super Bowl LIV approaches. Pat and Patrick Mahomes, for example.
James Wade talked with Cheryl Reeve when Wade was a Lynx assistant in 2017. He now is the head coach for Chicago.

Souhan: Reeve committed to grooming other women to be WNBA head coaches

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is thrilled with the WNBA's new CBA, which will raise the pay of players. She believes this could be a tipping point for women's sports and rights.
Miguel Sano, who agreed to a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth, talked with reporters at a press conference.

Souhan: Sano's contract is big — to match his personality

After signing a three-year, $30 million extension with the Twins, Miguel Sano wants to boost his statistics as well.
Josh Donaldson

Souhan: Twins pull off the improbable, improve a record-breaking lineup

A Twins team that set the MLB mark for homers in 2019 added more firepower in Josh Donaldson.