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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4503

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
Justin Jefferson could win NFL MVP.

Souhan: Jefferson is a leading NFL MVP candidate, and for good reason

Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson is a star. Only one name shines brighter at this point this season.
Kirk Cousins threw three touchdowns against the Patriots, but he’s also thrown two more interceptions so far than the entirety of last season.

Souhan: After three games in 12 days, Vikings success still a mystery

If they had defeated Dallas, instead of getting blown out, the Vikings might be drawing attention as the most impressive team in the NFL. Instead, there's still skepticism about their 9-2 record.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, left, and Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, in losses to the Cowboys and Hawkeyes last weekend, leaned heavily on players wit

Souhan: Fleck, O'Connell must place higher priority on player safety

Two terrific young players, Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim and Vikings tackle Christian Darrisaw, were used too much by two coaches desperate for victories they didn't get over the weekend.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had to pick himself up after being sacked by DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys in the third quarter.

Souhan: Without pass blocking, Vikings look inept against Cowboys

One loss would not typically be cause for panic. But this defeat revealed a weakness over which upcoming opponents will drool as they prepare their game plans for the Vikings.
Be like this guy: Just enjoy the Vikings win, and keep the analyzing to a minimum.

Souhan: Overanalyze if you must, Vikings fans, but just savor all of it

Don't spend much time breaking down the wild victory over the Bills, with that many strange plays that turned the tide, over and over again. Just enjoy the ride, football fans.
Miguel Sano thrilled Twins fans with his promise and then production, until his skills and approach faded.

Souhan: The one bit of baseball Twins' Sano never mastered

Miguel Sano was a great prospect, then a good hitter, then a pretty good weapon, and then he was gone. Here's why he never lived up to the expectations and plunged into mediocrity.
Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell had some issues against the Suns on Wednesday, including leaving the team playing 4-on-5 during one possession when he

Souhan: Russell's lacking play has been a problem for too long

Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell is an anchor on a team in disarray to start this season. Wednesday's loss brought another example.
Gophers freshman Mara Braun was the scoring star in a 75-45 victory over Western Illinois on Monday night, delivering a game-high 21 points to go with

Souhan: Locally powered U women show headliner potential in opener

Unveiling the best recruiting class in program history, the Gophers women started slowly. Then Amaya Battle, the heralded freshman guard from Hopkins, came off the bench.
Vikings fans celebrate at FedEx Field after the team’s 20-17 victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

Souhan: With each win, Vikings pull away and build margin for error

The better coach and quarterback won Sunday in Washington as the Vikings once again capitalized on their opponents' mistakes.
Kirk Cousins returns to Washington on Sunday with a 6-1 record for the first time in his career.

Souhan: Cousins is back in Washington, having quite a moment with the Vikings

Kirk Cousins might be a changed QB this season ... or he might be the same ol' Kirk. In any case, the Vikings leader returns to Washington Sunday a thriving, winning quarterback.
Cheryl Reeve, whose Lynx teams have won four WNBA titles, has a new contract and a new title.

Souhan: Reeve's new contract is promising sign for Lynx new owners

As the league grows, contracts should, too. Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez should continue to make decisions like this one.
Minnesotans gave strong support to Minnesota Aurora in their first season this past summer.

Souhan: Seeking 'magic unicorn,' Aurora hopes to blaze pro soccer trail

The Aurora would prefer a woman or a member of a minority group to be their new owner or lead investor, to align with their goals of promoting women, equality and equity in sports.
The Vikings aren’t No. 1 yet, but have the second-best record in the NFC, somehow.

Souhan: Vikings aren't a great team, but that hasn't mattered — yet

Are the Vikings as good as their 6-1 record indicates, or is this a result of lousy competition, luck, timing and the NFL's ability to engineer close games?
The Vikings aren’t the butt of many jokes these days.

Souhan: Modern-day Vikings are heavy on culture and accountability, light on punchlines

Minnesota Vikings players and leaders have done an admirable job of cleaning up shop, making this job a little less fun.
Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns talked shop on the court.

Souhan: Wolves must get one thing right — and they're doing it, so far

Their record isn't a wow, at 3-2, but hidden underneath the unsteady start is something that's vital for the team to continue to be a success.
Spurs forward Doug McDermott drove to the basket against Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half Monday. The Wolves failed in all phases

Souhan: Offense is clunky, defense is slow and already fans are frustrated

The Timberwolves' honeymoon couldn't have been shorter had the wedding occurred at midnight in Vegas at a drive-through chapel featuring a chaplain wearing an Elvis costume.
Rebekkah Brunson, a WNBA All-Star and five-time champion in her playing days, shared her views on a multitude of topics.

Souhan: Brunson takes stock of Timberwolves, Lynx

Former WNBA star Rebekkah Brunson, a current Bally Sports TV analyst, says the Wolves are "all bought in" under coach Chris Finch.
Justin Jefferson (left) provides the Vikings something that Aaron Rodgers (top right) and the Gophers sorely lack right now, a No. 1 receiver.

Souhan: One position has Vikings winning, Packers, Gophers losing

The Minnesota Vikings have a bona fide No. 1 receiver, something the Packers (via free agency) and Gophers (injury) lack.
Rudy Gobert (27) of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after making a shot at the end of the fourth quarter Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at Target Cent

Souhan: In debut, Gobert shows he can raise Wolves to new heights

Rudy Gobert's debut ranked among the most anticipated in Twin Cities sports history, and promises to make the Timberwolves the most interesting team in Minnesota.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and coach Kevin O’Connell after their 29-22 win over the Bears on Sunday.

Souhan: O'Connell's job is not to impress fans, it's to win games

History tells us it takes more than an "offensive genius" to make magic on an NFL playing field. It's a just-win-baby league, and Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell is doing that so far.
Dalvin Cook’s 53-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave the Vikings a 24-10 lead.

Quiet homecoming game for Dalvin Cook ends with a late winning burst

Playing his first NFL game in his hometown, the Vikings running back scored on a 53-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
“I’m really proud to be 5-1 right now,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said after Sunday’s win over the Dolphins.

Souhan: O'Connell has plenty to learn, but he's winning games and allies

The first-year coach is 5-1 with an inside track on the division title but his team is playing down to the level of its competition.
Skylar Thompson will start at quarterback for Miami on Sunday vs. the Vikings.

Souhan: Why the Vikings vs. unknown QB is no sure thing Sunday in Miami

The Vikings have a long history of losing to quarterbacks you've never heard of. Throw in their Miami drought and a grass field and there's enough here to make prognosticators think twice.
Representative of the night, Wild center Frederick Gaudreau got knocked off his feet in a collision with Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider on Thursd

Souhan: Wild open season with a stinker — and it smells like trouble

The Minnesota Wild wanted to remind everyone that they were a playoff team last year. They reminded everyone that they were a terrible playoff team last year.
Gary Sanchez had questions after striking out in the Twins’ final game, and the organization has its share of questions looming ahead.

Souhan: Nine observations as Twins wrap-up the 2022 season

Give the Twins credit: their leadership takes on tough questions — and they have plenty of those to solve this offseason, from pitching to hitting, coaching, contracts and more.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) reaches out to get a hand on Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) as he rushed the ball i

Souhan: Three big plays by Dantzler saves the day vs. Chicago

Stripping the ball from former teammate Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the final minute was not the only way Cameron Dantzler helped the Vikings avoid an embarrassing loss.
Justin Jefferson and the Vikings should be smiling and 4-1 come Sunday evening.

Souhan: Lousy Bears can show us if Vikings, O'Connell are legit

Chicago is terrible at throwing the ball and stopping the run, giving the lucky-to-be-3-1 Vikings and their first-year coach Kevin O'Connell a big advantage.
Lynx trainer Chuck Barta, left, attended to Jessica Shepard after Shepard injured her knee in a June 2019 game.

Souhan: Injury chat with trainer ranges from beer to science to luck

Former Vikings and current Lynx trainer Chuck Barta has been around long enough to remember pregame meals of steak and eggs — and a reason for beer on the night before a game.
Lynx GM/coach Cheryl Reeve coached Team USA to its fourth consecutive World Cup gold medal last week in Australia.

Souhan: Reeve's Team USA was 'Dream'-like in its dominance

The American squad, in far from ideal circumstances, sent a message to any global competitors hoping to close the gap.
Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is 3-1 but his offense has looked shaky the past three weeks.

Souhan: Vikings are 3-1, but where's Kevin O'Connell's wizardry?

Being 3-1 after four games is optimal, but where are the offensive fireworks and situational savvy? The Vikings barely beat a New Orleans team hobbled by significant injuries.
Smiles were easy to find Friday on Justin Jefferson and friends in Thundridge, England. Those smiles might be sticking around.

Souhan: Luck is with Vikings in London, and it might stick around

The Vikings schedule is filling up with injured or erratic opponents.
Manager Rocco Baldelli had a few smiles left in him during Thursday’s final home game.

Souhan: Why the Twins are one bold move away from the top

This team isn't far off from being a World Series contender. They need to bet big this offseason — something they are not afraid to do — and sign a true ace.
Tim Connelly, shown meeting with the media Monday, is about to begin his first season as Timberwolves president of basketball operations.

Souhan: Bigger, better Timberwolves want to make historic run

With Rudy Gobert and Tim Connelly joining a franchise coming off a solid season, the Wolves begin training camp with their sights set higher than ever.
Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates his game-winning touchdown with tight end Irv Smith Jr. on Sunday against the Lions.

Souhan: Osborn delivers with game on the line and eyes on other Vikings

Being a third receiver behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen means that K.J. Osborn will face favorable coverages and golden opportunities.
Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne is sacked by the Gophers’ Ryan Stapp during the first quarter Saturday.

Souhan: These Gophers are for real, maybe better than 2019 team

A cruising victory in Lansing should lead to ranking this week, and could point to a very high spot by the end of the season.
If Byron Buxton, above celebrating a homer this season, can stay healthy next season, Twins could win 90 games. He is a difference-maker.

Souhan: Healthy Twins, featuring Buxton, could win 90 games next season

Injuries caused the Twins to cave. By the time they were in what could be called a title race, they were missing key pitchers, Byron Buxton and almost an entire starting lineup.
Gophers receiver Chris Autman-Bell’s right knee injury in the second quarter against Colorado took out a critical pillar in the team.

Souhan: Gophers victory came with a catch after Autman-Bell's injury

Top receiver Chris Autman-Bell's knee injury will test the Gophers' ability to get the job done by committee.
Gophers senior Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 130 yards against Western Illinois after rushing for 132 in the opener against New Mexico State.

Souhan: Ibrahim could contend for Heisman, but Gophers must be careful

The Gophers need their star running back healthy if they're going to win the Big Ten West.
Anthony Edwards needs to learn how much his homophobic words hurt others, not a fine from the NBA.

Souhan: Right response to Edwards' homophobic words? Education

The Wolves should require their star guard to meet with gay staff members and fans and explain what he was thinking.
Gophers linebacker Cody Lindenberg, left, and Vikings defensive end Za’Darius Smith indicated the mood of their teams over the weekend.

Souhan: As rivals wither, Gophers and Vikings raise fan expectations

The Gophers and Vikings have young, enthusiastic head coaches with an offensive background, lots of skill-position talent and what currently looks like open roads to the postseason.
Justin Jefferson (18) of the Minnesota Vikings scores on a 36-yard play in the second quarter.

Souhan: Jefferson sets blistering pace for meeting his superstar goals

After shredding the Packers for a career-high 184 yards, the star receiver again invites comparisons to Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.
Keeping Justin Jefferson happy is a priority for the Vikings.

Souhan: Can Vikings keep Jefferson happy and in Minnesota?

The Vikings can't afford to lose Justin Jefferson, which means they can't afford to offend him.
Lindsay Whalen, above holding up the WNBA championship trophy after the Lynx won their first title in 2011, will be inducted into the Naismith Memoria

Souhan: Five moments that led to Whalen's Hall of Fame career

Lindsay Whalen will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Saturday. But before that she reflected on five turning points in her basketball career.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has gotten more entertaining this season in his encounters with umpires.

Souhan: After 'lesson' from Gardy, Twins inspired by Baldelli's fight

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been ejected twice this month and four times this season, leading to some hat toss feedback from Ron Gardenhire.
Twins outfielder Jake Cave hit a two-run double, driving in the final two runs of his team’s five-run fifth inning against the Giants on Sunday at T

Souhan: After a long wait in St. Paul, Cave is helping Twins win

In 16 hours, Minnesota Twins reserve outfielder Jake Cave, who has spent most of the season with Class AAA St. Paul, made possible two crucial victories.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) celebrates after scoring on Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) in the second half of an MLS g

Souhan: Reynoso, in more ways than one, leading the Loons' surge

Emanuel Reynoso has added scoring to his already-excellent passing
With Kene Nwangwu (26), Dalvin Cook (4) and Alexander Mattison (2), the Vikings’ deepest position is running back.

Souhan: Depth still concern in first season for new Vikings management

For years, Vikings GM Rick Spielman raved about his team's depth. Then he got fired because his backups weren't good enough.
A recent national report said Carlos Correa would likely leave the Twins after this season.

Souhan: Is Correa's exit from Twins a sure thing? Six things to consider

A recent national report said that Carlos Correa will likely opt out of his contract with the Twins. There are reasons why you shouldn't consider his departure a done deal.
Max Kepler hits a ground ball to Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe for an out during the fourth inning Sunday

Souhan: Twins' slump has everything to do with too few reliable bats

The Twins inducted Ron Gardenhire into their Hall of Fame this weekend, then paid homage to him by swinging their bats like a utility infielder with a lifetime average of .232.
Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette is brought down by San Francisco cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields in the second quarter of a Saturday’s pre

Souhan: Vikings-49ers game proves NFL preseason is a joke

If they aren't going to play starters, as Minnesota and San Francisco opted Saturday, why play the game?
Kellen Mond (11) and Sean Mannion are competing to be the backup quarterback to Kirk Cousins for the Vikings.

Souhan: Mond or Mannion as No. 2 QB? Is that really the question?

The most intriguing duel at Vikings training camp should be neither intriguing nor a duel. Neither Kellen Mond nor Sean Mannion is the quarterback of the future.
Max Kepler had a career year for the Twins in 2019, when he hit 36 home runs. This season, his offensive production is below average, and severely bel

Souhan: Twins' Kepler breaks his slump, but he needs to do more

Another mediocre season from right fielder Max Kepler, when the team desperately needs production from a lefthanded hitter, is part of the reason the Twins are struggling.
With Sylvia Fowles’ retirement, the Lynx become Napheesa Collier’s team (left), but Cheryl Reeve has her work cut out for her as general manager t

Souhan: It's time for the Lynx to rebuild

Sylvia Fowles' last game ushers in an offseason of change.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles watched a tribute to her after Friday night’s 96-69 loss to Seattle at Target Center.

Souhan: Sylvia Fowles, Lynx's last champion star, says goodbye

Her farewell tour almost over, the All-Star center is feted at Target Center.
Lynx guard Rachel Banham fell during the fourth quarter and ended up leaving the game with what could be a strained knee.

Souhan: In season of missed games, Lynx guards rarely missed Sunday

You want to know one of the reasons the Lynx are in danger of missing the playoffs? Needing to use a half-dozen point guards because of health issues.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles held her WNBA MVP trophy beside Lynx owner Glen Taylor in September 2017.

Five Sylvia Fowles moments to remember

Lynx great Sylvia Fowles had hundreds of moments. Here are five.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles has two more home games remaining.

Souhan: Don't go, Sylvia ... but if you do, thanks for the memories

This might be the final week for one of the all-time greats in Minnesota sports: Sylvia Fowles. She can still play, no doubt, but it fits her personality to take a bow.
Juan Soto, one of the greatest young hitters in baseball history was traded this week from a recent champion, Washington, to the San Diego Padres for

Souhan: Baseball had a good week. The NFL did not.

The Twins' and Padres' trades highlighted a surprising trade deadline while the NFL gets embarrassed by its owners.
Jose Miranda is the sort of young player the Twins should not part with in their pursuit of pitching near the trade deadline.

Souhan: At deadline, Twins can't be trading too much for not enough

Is it rational to trade for the three or four pitchers the Twins might need if those pitchers won't give you a realistic chance of beating the Yankees or Astros?
Bill Russell (shown in 2009) led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA championships in 13 years, including the final two as player-coach. He was the first Bla

Souhan: Bill Russell was a great player — and an even greater man

Had he done nothing other than win basketball games, as a collegian, pro and coach, Bill Russell would belong on any short list of the most important figures in basketball history. But there was much more to his legacy.
History says wait until Year 2 to judge Kevin O’Connell as Vikings coach.

Souhan: History shows O'Connell will need time to prove worth

Judge new Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell after Year 2, just as you should have with Mike Tice, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer.
Should the Twins have kept Taylor Rogers and dealt Miguel Sano? Perhaps, but Rogers’ trade to the Padres wasn’t so foolish at the time.

Souhan: Trading Rogers, keeping Sano. How foolish were those Twins decisions?

Sometime this weekend in San Diego, Miguel Sano may bat against Taylor Rogers, an event created by the baseball gods to boil a Twins fan's blood.
Rickie Fowler watches where his chip lands on the green at the 18th hole during the 3M Open Thursday, July 21, 2022 at the Tournament Players Club in

Souhan: Drama on the diabolical 18th could well decide 3M Open

Making golf difficult for the best in the world is not about adding length, but creating strategic hazards and extraneous thoughts. The TPC's 18th hole fits that description.
Souhan: Before becoming Boston's 'Big Papi,' David Ortiz felt joy, pain with Twins

Souhan: Before becoming Boston's 'Big Papi,' David Ortiz felt joy, pain with Twins

Columnist Jim Souhan was sitting in the dugout in the Dominican Republic on the day David Ortiz was let go by the Twins. What happened that day — and over the next 20 years — couldn't have been foreseen.
Dustin Johnson at the British Open

Souhan: 3M Open should be proud of playing without golf's traitors

The PGA Tour is back in Minnesota this week for the 3M Open in Blaine, and it will be just fine without all of the LIV Tour defectors.
Aurora players Rachel Preston (29) and Mariah Nguyen celebrated after their 1-0 victory over McLean on Sunday at TCO Stadium in Eagan.

Souhan: Aurora head to final in first year of existence

Minnesota's upstart soccer team is also one of state's best stories.
Just because there’s parallels doesn’t mean the Wolves trade for Rudy Gobert (left) is the same as the Vikings trade for Herschel Walker (right).

Souhan: Is Rudy Gobert the next Herschel Walker? No, and here's why

The first thought from a Minnesota sports fan about that dramatic Timberwolves trade earlier this month might have been: Oh no, not this again. Analyzing deeper, however, reveals big differences in two mega-trades.
Tiger Woods was back at it Thursday, working his way through the first round of the British Open.

Souhan: Edina golf pro has seen Tiger's painful comeback, firsthand

Braemar pro Roger Fahrenkrug watched Tiger Woods in one of the many painful moments one of golf's greats has had in his return.
Luis Arraez has a career batting average of .322 through 3 1⁄2 seasons.

Souhan: Gwynn. Carew. Arraez? Twins star building quite a resume

Luis Arraez was named to his first All-Star team on Sunday and he's proving he's worthy of lofty comparisons.
Soccer icon Briana Scurry met young players Wednesday in Plymouth, including fellow goalie Grace Benson.

Souhan: Women's soccer great Scurry has been to hell and back

Minnesota native Briana Scurry contemplated suicide after a concussion ended her playing career.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, the former Vikings executive, is overseeing the dramatic expansion of the Big Ten.

Souhan: What happens now that USC, UCLA have blown up Big Ten?

The Big Ten is changing from a regional league to a coast-to-coast powerhouse. Here are the next steps that need to be taken in the dramatic reshaping of college sports.
Walker Kessler couldn’t talk about heading to the Timberwolves even though he was heading to the Timberwolves.

Souhan: The NBA draft is dumb

Thursday night, columnist Jim Souhan says he should have crossed the street and covered actual basketball instead of basketball's worst soap opera.
Auburn center Walker Kessler was the Timberwolves’ first pick of the 2022 NBA draft at 22nd overall, after Tim Connelly made a trade with the Memphi

Souhan: Boring? Sure. But Connelly maximized value in rational first draft

Two trades led to two first-round picks in the NBA draft, and Tim Connelly's first draft with the Wolves was characterized by logic, not fireworks.
Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton beats the tag by New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino to score from third base on a sacrifice fly by Max Kepler during

Souhan: That plan for resting Buxton the Twins hatched? It's working

Why limit the number of games your best player could play? Why would you avoid using him off the bench in a close game? Baseball can be counterintuitive.
The question of D’Angelo Russell’s future is one of the first major hurdles for the Timberwolves’ new President of Basketball Operations Tim Con

Souhan: Wolves in position to be patient at this NBA draft

The NBA draft and an D'Angelo Russell decision are the first tests for Tim Connelly, the new Wolves president of basketball operations.