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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
Stefanie Dolson, left, and Candace Parker of the Sky celebrated their WNBA championship during a rally at Millennium Park in Chicago on Tuesday.

Souhan: Seven things the WNBA can address as it rises in popularity

The league certainly needs to find its own niche when it comes to TV exposure. And it needs to answer a question posed to Cheryl Reeve by new Lynx and Wolves co-owner Marc Lore.
Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Lamar Jackson of the Ravens will test the Vikings defense.

Souhan: Make-or-break stretch of games coming up for Vikings defense

They'll face Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson, and their offenses' array of bells and whistles.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck stood in the fourth quarter against Nebraska on Saturday.

Souhan: It's a losing play for Fleck to tout Gophers' 'culture' over talent

P.J. Fleck's postgame comments Saturday after a win over the Cornhuskers insulted Nebraska's coach and his own Gophers players, plus his recruiting.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan completed 20 of 24 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.

Souhan: Still too soon to say Gophers QB Morgan has turned the corner

Tanner Morgan followed a strong first half Saturday with a confounding second half, but the Gophers' defense closed the door on Nebraska.
Kirill Kaprizov (left) and Matt Dumba are expected to be among the new leaders on the Wild roster.

Souhan: Wild's Guerin doesn't care about your feelings (and that's good)

The 2021-22 Wild team will be younger than its recent predecessors and general manager Bill Guerin is betting on it being better.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen scored one of the team’s two second-half offensive touchdowns against the Bengals in Week 1. The offense hasn’t scor

Souhan: Lacking second-half scores, Vikings need to unleash stars

An offense featuring an excellent running back, two of the NFL's best receivers and one of its highest-paid quarterbacks hasn't scored a touchdown after halftime since Week 1.
After beating the Lions, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, “It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but it was a win and we’ll take it.’’

Souhan: Awkward Cousins-Zimmer moment perfect snapshot of Vikings season

The Vikings had just pulled off a victory made miraculous by their own ineptitude, and now Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer were feeding raw video evidence of … something.
Patrick Peterson and the Vikings better be in a winning mood again Sunday against Detroit.

Souhan: If Vikings lose to Lions, light the match

Historically, Vikings teams that don't beat Detroit fail to make the playoffs. And if this team fails to make the playoffs, changes will come top to bottom.
High school senior Isabella McCauley is the first woman and youngest ever to win the Minnesota Golf Champions tournament, beating a field of men and w

Souhan: Phenom golfer McCauley has LPGA in mind after Gophers

Isabella McCauley became the first woman and youngest player ever to win the Minnesota Golf Champions tournament last weekend.
Minneapolis resident Jamal James during training last year.

Jamal James will defend boxing title in Las Vegas vs. Radzhab Butaev

The Minneapolis boxer will fight an undefeated opponent from Russia the day before Halloween.
Alex Colome looks down at a fresh baseball after giving up a two-run home during the ninth inning of a game at Fenway Park in August.

Souhan: Money for proven closer must be high on Twins priority list

A bad closer doesn't just lose games — he destroys morale. When a team works to build a lead and the closer can't do his job, over and over again, players feel helpless.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, right, talks to Browns coach Kevin Stefanski before Sunday’s game.

Souhan: Final score doesn't reflect how Browns dominated Vikings

This was the first time the Vikings had to face a contender that would rather run through you than throw over you, and the Vikings turned into saloon doors.
Thursday night’s Cincinnati/Jacksonville game meant little to Vikings fans but you watched. Why? Because it’s the NFL.

Souhan: What makes NFL football great? Let's count the ways

Most of it has to do with weekly, built-in suspense factors. How so, you ask? You just proved the point.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton hit two home runs and a double in Thursday’s 10-7 loss to Detroit.

Souhan: Twins can't let Buxton leave and become their new-age David Ortiz

Letting Byron Buxton leave the Twins as a free agent would be a disaster. Signing him would be a signal that they are willing to take an intelligent financial risk.
New Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore stood on stage while majority owner Glen Taylor walked off.

Souhan: New owners have wild ideas — like turning Wolves into winners

Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez offered thoughts on management philosophies and team culture, but turning the Wolves franchise around won't be easy.
Lynx forward Napheesa Collier got control of the ball after forcing Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot to turn it over in the second quarter Sunday.

Souhan: After shining on big stages, Collier disappeared in playoffs

The Lynx's loss in a single-elimination WNBA playoff game to Chicago at Target Center was directly related to Napheesa Collier's unusually lackluster performance.
Aerial Powers went by Seattle’s Steph Talbot during an Aug. 24 game at Target Center.

Souhan: Can these Lynx win it all again? Playoffs-ready Powers might have the answer

A fifth title could come, if the Lynx can get healthy enough together in time. Aerial Powers is healed, and that's a really big deal.
Team Europe’s Tyrrell Hatton congratulates Rory McIlroy after a putt on the ninth hole during a practice day at the Ryder Cup on Thursday.

Souhan: Americans have better Ryder Cup team, but Europe has better teamwork

The USA has entered virtually every Ryder Cup with a stronger lineup than Europe, in terms of world rankings and majors won. But the Europeans have an advantage that goes beyond the numbers.
Timberwolves executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta.

Souhan: Rosas failed for Timberwolves. What should they do next?

With ownership changing, the answer to Wolves' leadership problems, at least for now, is still in the organization. But if they want a model, they don't have to look far
Safety Harrison Smith, one of the highest paid players on the Vikings.

Souhan: Who to blame for Vikings' loss? Always follow the money

Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith and Kirk Cousins are making millions, they're supposed to be the key to big victories, not a temp placekicker.
Max Kepler hit 36 home runs in 2019. He won’t get near that number this season.

Souhan: Kepler deserves some of your Twins exasperation, too

Why does Max Kepler seem to get a free pass from the summer of 2021 criticism party? He's failing too often at the plate, plain and simple.
The Aaron Rodgers Saga is becoming quite the epic.

Souhan: Leaked! Rodgers plan to ruin Pack, escape to Vikes! (Maybe)

Columnist Jim Souhan tests your appetite for dark-web satire on a moody first Monday of the NFL season.
The Vikings offensive line allowed three sacks and struggled overall against the Bengals on Sunday.

Souhan: In losing a crucial season opener, Vikings' flaws are exposed

While there is plenty of precedent for NFL teams rallying from slow starts, the 2021 Vikings are in a dicey situation after their season-opening loss to the Bengals. Here's why.
Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins and all that fun Vikings-Packers drama gets underway Sunday, even though the two teams don’t meet for weeks.

Souhan: Draft misses mean Vikings fans can't ridicule Packers picks

Minnesota fans may find it hard to tease their neighbors to the east about bad logic when their favorite team keeps trying to fill areas of need and failing.
Mac Jones in purple instead of Patriot blue? Could have happened.

Souhan: On Mac Jones and why the 2021 draft could haunt Vikings for years

Minnesota traded down and left two players who will start elsewhere Sunday on the table, and picked a lineman still recovering from injury.
Kayla McBride and the Lynx won their fifth straight game on Saturday night.

Souhan: Opportunity is there for Lynx going into WNBA's stretch run

Several of the league's best teams are surging as they push for the precious top two playoff seeds and the breaks they include.
Before Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim was injured Thursday against No. 4 Ohio State, he rushed 30 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Souhan: How do you replace Gophers running back Ibrahim? You don't

Mohamed Ibrahim was off and running in 2021 until an injury against Ohio State.
“I get upset when things don’t go the right way,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said last week.

Souhan: Zimmer tries to maintain wry smile as Vikings drama swirls

The 65-year-old Vikings head coach enters his eighth season of putting out fires in Minnesota. "Everybody has their trials and tribulations, I guess," he said.
Alex Colome celebrated with Ryan Jeffers after earning a save against the Brewers on Saturday night. The save was Colome’s ninth of the season, but

Souhan: Twins can't afford 'rebuild' if they want to avoid being a punching bag

The problem is that the Twins rarely rebuild quickly. They fall off a cliff, then spend years looking for an extension ladder. There's a better path for them to take.
Crystal Dangerfield and Napheesa Collier need to do more for the Lynx to be WNBA title contenders.

Souhan: Lynx need their Huskies to have more bite in home stretch

Sylvia Fowles remains incredible, but if the Lynx want another title they need more from young stars Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield.
Vikings defensive ends Danielle Hunter, left, and Everson Griffen celebrated during the team’s playoff win over the Saints in 2020.

Souhan: Re-signing Griffen is good, and the quintessential Vikings move

There are risks to signing Everson Griffen, and his return is as fraught with drama as just about everything else that has happened to the Vikings since the start of camp.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli talked with umpires during a game against the Tigers earlier this year.

Souhan: Are Twins managers at their best when the expectations are low?

Since the 1980s, the best managerial performances by the Twins have come from teams that appeared to be flawed in some way. Here's a ranking of the five best.
Vikings wide receiver Chad Beebe had a pass slip through his hands in the first half.

Souhan: Sure, it's preseason, but maybe Vikings should start to worry

The Vikings offseason began with optimism, but they have discovered more problems than they have solved this month.
Coach Dawn Staley talked to Team USA during the women’s basketball gold medal game against Japan on Sunday in Saitama, Japan.

Souhan: Reeve in charge, Bueckers at guard? U.S. women's hoops likely to improve

If Cheryl Reeve is promoted to Olympics head coach, she will face pressure of winning an eighth gold medal in a row. But the 2024 team should be better than the current one.
The Olympic flag is lowered during the Closing Ceremony as the Tokyo Summer Games came to an end.

Souhan: Profoundly human stories lift the Tokyo Olympics

The people who ran and jumped and the ones who cleaned and drove and smiled made these complicated Games a success.
Brittney Griner posed with her gold medal after Team USA beat Japan in dominant fashion for the Olympic women’s basketball championship.

Olympic Diary: Team USA basketball star Griner inspires a new motto

After winning the gold medal, the 6-9 Griner had words of advice for girl athletes: "Love being different. ... Own it."
Sue Bird, right, and Diana Taurasi pose with their gold medals during the medal ceremony for women’s basketball at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Bird, Taurasi keep the party going with another gold for USA women

Brittney Griner finished with 30 points in Sunday's gold medal game vs. Japan, the second most in one game in U.S. Olympic women's basketball history.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve

USA coach Staley to step down; touts Lynx's Reeve as replacement

Dawn Staley said of Cheryl Reeve, "she'd get my nod, for sure" as the next USA women's basketball coach.
Nick Martinez of the USA pitched during the first inning of the gold medal baseball game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday in Yoko

Souhan: USA takes silver with baseball team of willing and available

Players head back to the minor leagues or independent leagues, their Japanese teams or retirement.
United States' Brittney Griner (15) drives around Serbia's Sonja Vasic (5), left, during women's basketball semifinal game at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Souhan: Winning their 54th in a row, U.S. women again show dominance

There are dynasties, and then there is utter world dominance. The 54-game women's basketball winning streak at the Olympics is a mark of the latter.
Kevin Durant celebrates after a basket during the men’s basketball gold medal game against France at the 2020 Summer Olympics

USA men's basketball topples France to win gold medal at Tokyo Games

Kevin Durant's 29 points led the U.S. to its fourth straight gold medal with a 87-82 victory over France.
United States players celebrated their 97-78 victory over Australia in the men’s basketball semifinals game against Australia at the 2020 Summer Oly

Souhan: What struggles? Gold medal game awaits USA men's basketball

Team USA was missing key players in Tokyo and has suffered some losses. But the Americans will be favored in Saturday's gold medal game, probably by a lot.
United States' Joe Ryan pitches to South Korea's Hae Min Park during the first inning of a semi-final baseball game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thurs

Twins present and past team up to lead USA into gold medal game

Pitcher Joe Ryan got Team USA off to a strong start and infielder Tyler Austin had a hit that helped break open the 7-2 victory over South Korea.
The United States’ Ryan Crouser set an Olympic record on his first throw — and then kept resetting it throughout the competition — to win the go

Rosemount's Otterdahl finishes 10th in shot put; Crouser sets Olympic record

Payton Otterdahl, who competed for and now coaches at North Dakota State, had his best throw on his first attempt, then scratched on his second and third.
The United States’ Breanna Stewart drove to the basket against Australia during a women’s basketball quarterfinal game at the 2020 Summer Olympics

This time, when it mattered, U.S. pummels Australia, makes semifinals

With aggressive half-court defense and a dominating performance from Breanna Stewart, the U.S. went on a 17-0 run in the first quarter against Australia and was never threatened.
A photo collage of Joe Fahnbulleh was front and center at a viewing party at the Hopkins High School cafeteria, Wednesday, August 4, 2021 in Minnetonk

Souhan: 'Two kids from the north' (border) battle it out in Olympic 200

On Thursday morning in the Twin Cities, Joe Fahnbulleh's extended family put together a watch party. Kenny Bednarek's people did the same in Rice Lake, Wis.
Hopkins’ Joe Fahnbulleh (center), running for Liberia, finished second in a men’s 200-meter semifinal. just behind Aaron Brown of Canada (left) an

On the big stage, Hopkins sprinter Fahnbulleh bolts into 200 final

Racing for Liberia, Joe Fahnbulleh showed he can compete with the best in the world. His eye is on a gold medal in Tokyo, and on something even bigger down the road.
Rosemount’s Payton Otterdahl’s best toss of 20.90 meters was good enough to place 12th and qualify him for the men’s shot put final.

Rosemount's Otterdahl believes he has more to give in shot put final

Payton Otterdahl's final toss was his best, 20.90 meters, but he had to wait for a second qualifying group to complete their competition before he found out he had qualified 12th and made the final.
Spain's Ricky Rubio (9) reacts after he fell on the court during men's basketball quarterfinal game against United States of America at the 2020 Summe

Souhan: Rubio's spectacular effort vs. Team USA comes up just short

Even though the United States won the game to advance to the Olympic semifinals, the story of the game was Ricky Rubio's 38-point performance for Spain.
Athing Mu, of United States wins the gold medal ahead of Keely Hodgkinson, of Britain in the final of the women’s 800-meters.

Olympic Diary: Track and field has purity that eludes other events

Track measures the units of the Olympic creed -- faster, higher, stronger. It's quite the spectacle, even in a stadium without fans.
Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx, right, and Team USA’s powerhouse frontcourt have worn down Olympic opponents such as France.

Souhan: The good, the ugly and the imminent in the Tokyo Games

Hundreds of amazing tales have emerged from these Olympics, from the heartwarming to the head-scratching.
Farmington native Patrick Sunderman finished 12th in the men’s 50-meter three positions rifle competition at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo on Mo

Farmington's Sunderman sets his sights on returning to next Olympics

Patrick Sunderman finished 12th in the men's 50-meter three-position rifle competition. Only the top eight advanced to the final, but he savored every bit of the experience — even the pressure.
Joe Fahnbulleh doesn’t slow down often, but he did for this 2019 portrait when he was a track star at Hopkins.

Fahnbulleh is from Hopkins, a Gator, a flagbearer — and really, really fast

Former Hopkins star Joe Fahnbulleh takes to the track for the first time on Monday in the 200 meters as he lives out his Olympics dream.
Team USA swimmers Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby, Torri Huske and Abbey Weitzeil huddled after swimming to silver in the women’s 4x 100 meter medley rela

Souhan: Dogs, drugs, domination. U.S. swimmers share Tokyo thoughts

After winning 30 medals during the Olympic swimming competition, Lakeville's Regan Smith and three of her teammates took on topics in and out of the pool.
Japan’s Daiki Tanaka (24) fought for a rebound with Argentina’s Leandro Bolmaro (10) on Sunday at the Olympics.

Argentina's Bolmaro shows flair, could be part of Wolves' future

With the Timberwolves not having a draft pick this year, there could be an opening on their roster for Leandro Bolmaro, the 23rd pick in the 2020 draft.
Spain’s Laura Gil drives to the basket ahead of Canada’s Natalie Achonwa, left, during a women’s basketball preliminary round game

Team Canada, with its Lynx players, is pushed to the edge

The Canadian women's basketball team that includes Bridget Carleton and Natalie Achonwa lost to Spain and will learn Monday whether it will play on.
Sergey Kamenskiy, right, of the Russian Olympic Committee, competes in the men’s 10-meter air rifle at the Asaka Shooting Range in the 2020 Summer O

Focused on shot after shot, Sunderman finds his way to the Olympics

Farmington native Patrick Sunderman will compete at the Tokyo Games on Sunday in an event he didn't know existed when he first picked up an air rifle.
The United States’ Jrue Holiday (12) drives to the basket between the Czech Republic’s Tomas Satoransky (8) and Jan Vesely (24) during a men’s b

Souhan: New arrival Holiday is the boost Team USA needed

Fresh off winning an NBA title with Milwaukee, he has improved the team's offensive flow and defensive intensity.
United States’ Jordan Thompson, rear, lies injured on the bench during the women’s volleyball preliminary round match against the Russian Olympic

Olympic diary: The lone reporter at an Olympic event. How does that happen?

Jim Souhan was the only reporter to cover the U.S.-ROC volleyball match Saturday morning in Tokyo.
Jim Souhan is in Tokyo covering the Olympics and missing pizza, like this beautiful pie at Josefina in Wayzata.

Olympic diary: At these Games many normal things are missed, including pizza

The Tokyo Games are starting to feel like an experimentation in regimentation, and everyday things feel very far away.
Joe Ryan pitches for the U.S. against Israel at the Tokyo Olympics.

Souhan: Twins connections on both sides of U.S. baseball win over Israel

Joe Ryan, Tyler Austin and Danny Valencia were on the field in a strange convergence of team's prospects past and current.
Jordan Thompson lies on the court after an injury during the women’s volleyball preliminary round pool B match between United States and Russian Oly

Edina's Thompson injured during Team USA's volleyball loss to ROC

U.S. coach Karch Kiraly says the outside hitter's injury isn't serious and she should return in a day or two
Alise Willoughby of the United States retrieves her bike after crashing, as Merel Smulders of the Netherlands passes on the left, in the BMX Racing se

Pair of crashes end Willoughby's Olympic medal hopes in BMX Racing

St. Cloud cyclist Alise Willoughby crashed in two semifinal heats and did not advance to the final in Tokyo. She won the silver medal in 2016.
Suni Lee, gold medal winner.

5 great memories from watching Suni Lee win gold in Tokyo

The moments between the moments — unforgettable.
Suni Lee after landing her balance beam routine during the women’s all-around gymnastics competition.

Souhan: Suni Lee is 'one of the best stories' in Minnesota history - period

Watching Suni Lee perform, prepare herself between rotations and then win gold made for an unforgettable event.
Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan's big week: Traded to Twins for Cruz, ready to pitch in Olympics

One of the two pitchers the Twins received in the Nelson Cruz trade, Joe Ryan is out to throw strikes, enjoy the moment and embrace the future.
Alise Willoughby, center, is followed by Rebecca Petch of New Zealand, left, and Natalia Afremova of the Russian Olympic Committee, right, in the wome

St. Cloud speedster Willoughby races into BMX Olympic medal position

A showdown now looms for St. Cloud's fastest. Alise Willoughby looked strong on Day 1 and is in position to add a second career medal Thursday night.
Australia’s Ariarne Titmus displays her gold medal after winning the women’s 200 meter freestyle finals

Olympic diary: Even from a bus window, Tokyo is spectacular

This has been a rough Olympics in many ways, but there are pockets of positivity abound.
United States’ Stefanie Dolson (13) and Olga Frolkina (15), of the Russian Olympic Committee, chase a loose ball during the 3-on-3 gold medal game.

Souhan: Playground ballers now have their Olympic sport in 3-on-3 hoops

If you had a hoop in your neighborhood where the kids gathered to play physical, sweaty, outdoor pickup games, the Olympics now have a sport for you.
Simone Biles hugged teammate Suni Lee after Biles pulled out of the women’s gymnastic team finals Tuesday in Tokyo. Lee, from St. Paul, assumed the

Souhan: Biles' bravery in this time should mean more than gold

Athletes, no matter how mighty, do not owe us pain and self-destruction. Good for you, Simone Biles, for protecting yourself.
Katie Ledecky won the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle for her sixth career Olympic gold medal.

Ledecky strikes first Tokyo Olympics gold

U.S. swimming legend Katie Ledecky won the inaugural 1,500 freestyle.
Regan Smith took second in her semifinal in women’s 200-meter butterfly in Tokyo.

Fourth-fastest again, Smith might have 'another gear' for 200 fly final

Lakeville star Regan Smith once again finished behind three world-class competitors in the 200-meter butterfly qualifying races. Will she have a surprise for them in Wednesday's final?
Sue Bird guided Team USA against Nigeria on Tuesday.

Souhan: Finding American power and global dreams at women's hoops

The Team USA victory had drama, and afterward the opposing coach shared his dreams.
Regan Smith of the United States swims during a heat in the women’s 200-meter butterfly.

Smith advances to semis in 200 butterfly with fourth-fastest time

The swimmer from Lakeville finished the first heat in the 200-meter butterfly in second place, which turned out to be the fourth fastest time overall.
Ariarne Titmus of Australia, left, edged out the United States’ Katie Ledecky for the gold medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle final in Tokyo

Souhan: Being unbeatable is a myth, even for Ledecky

American swimming star Katie Ledecky was beaten by her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus in the 400 freestyle, but Ledecky has more miles to swim in the Tokyo Games and beyond.