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
Jacksonville cornerback Luq Barcoo tipped the ball away from Vikings receiver Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Vikings are winning - and bumbling - all at the same time

The Vikings have won five of six. They have also lost to the Falcons and Cowboys at home, and needed to work overtime — and make Dalvin Cook work far harder than is healthy — to beat a one-win team.
Justin Jefferson’s 918 receiving yards this season are 245 more than the next best rookie.

Souhan: Rookies aren't supposed to do what Vikings' Jefferson is doing

The first-round pick is on pace to break Randy Moss' team rookie records for catches and receiving yards.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and Sporting Kansas City forward Gerso chase the ball during the first half Thursday

Souhan: Reynoso's toe-tapping magic makes Loons must-see TV

Emanuel Reynoso's deft passing touch has transformed Minnesota United into a playoff force.
Lindsay Whalen will have only seven healthy Gophers to play in Wednesday’s women's basketball season opener.

Souhan: College basketball bosses, stop playing games and delay season

This isn't working. Seven (seven!) healthy Gophers women's players? That's not a plan. A better plan: practice safely now, get back to playing games after this COVID spike.
Vikings receiver Chad Beebe celebrated with Bisi Johnson after catching a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: It was time to write off the season again — until it wasn't

Are the Vikings a good team digging out of a hole, or a bad team that's in too deep? What we know is they're a flawed team still in the playoff chase.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook

Souhan: NFL running backs like Cook live one carry at a time

The Vikings enter Sunday's game desperately needing to win, planning to feature Dalvin Cook heavily and hopeful that he can prove to be one of the rare exceptions to the rule of running back usage.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns

Souhan: Wolves trying to improve roster, appease Towns at same time

The Wolves know they need to keep Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota for the long term, or risk another long stretch of hopelessness.
Linebacker Josh Aune (29) ran off the field cheering with teammates after his late interception helped the Gophers edge Purdue 34-31. But a COVID-19 o

Souhan: College football proving it can't out-macho the virus

The surprise with the Gophers-Badgers cancellation is that the Gophers have made it through five games.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) ran past Minnesota Vikings' Jalyn Holmes (90) and Chris Jones (26) on his way to a touchdown in the four

Souhan: Woeful attempt at a tackle is fitting place to hang Vikings' loss

If the Vikings miss the playoffs by one game, a defining moment will be reserve cornerback Chris Jones playing matador on a long touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith celebrated after he intercepted the ball in the second quarter vs. Tennessee in September.

Souhan: Credit for win streak goes to Vikings' three-man wrecking crew

Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks and safeties Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith have controlled the middle of the field as their young teammates find their way.
New Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng poses for a photo at Marlins Park

Souhan: Ng's hiring as Marlins GM flouts sexism, racism in sports

Kim Ng is eminently qualified to run a professional sports team, as are many other women and people of color.
Georgia guard Anthony Edwards (5) is one of the players the Timberwolves are considering with their No. 1 overall pick in Wednesday's NBA draft.

Souhan: Georgia guard Edwards is best fit, safest pick for Wolves

Anthony Edwards would be a better choice with the No. 1 overall pick than LaMelo Ball, who doesn't play defense.
New Masters champion Dustin Johnson got his first green jacket from 2019 winner Tiger Woods after Johnson's record-setting performance at Augusta Nati

Souhan: Johnson closes out record-setting performance at Masters

The world's No. 1-ranked player won his second career major and his first green jacket.
Dustin Johnson looks over his shot on the 18th green during the third round of the Masters

Souhan: For DJ, it's easy does it heading into Masters Sunday

Dustin Johnson, the leader by four after three rounds of the Masters, plays golf in a strangely casual way. He takes little time before he swings, then launches line drives, making golf look effortless.
Dustin Johnson walks to the 15th green during round two at the Masters

Souhan: Diverse, crowded leaderboard makes for exciting weekend at Augusta

Setting up another dramatic weekend at The Masters, the morning wave of players finishing the rain-delayed first round took advantage of wet greens, and the afternoon wave found them suddenly slippery, leading to a logjam at the top.
Rory McIlroy chips to the second green during the first round of the Masters

Souhan: Masters of a different hue opens with power hitters on pause

After days spent anticipating Bryson DeChambeau's aerial assault on Augusta National, a strange but strong group rose on the leaderboard.
Paul Casey, of England, tees off on the eighth hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP

Casey leads The Masters, enjoys the moment

Paul Casey doesn't care for golf in a pandemic but still appreciates his position atop the leaderboard during a delayed Round 1 of the Masters.
Bryson DeChambeau works on his driver during practice for the Masters

Souhan: At Masters, DeChambeau brings the thunder amid the silence

A tournament known for its roars might for the first time be defined by the startling sound of one man's driver.
Souhan: Cook and Ibrahim give Minnesota a tough pair to tackle

Souhan: Cook and Ibrahim give Minnesota a tough pair to tackle

The Vikings and Gophers stars share a success rate that ranks them with another standout with state ties, Adrian Peterson.
Souhan: There's still a path to the postseason for the Vikings

Souhan: There's still a path to the postseason for the Vikings

The 2-5 Vikings have not yet been evicted from the playoffs. Not mathematically, and not practically, no matter how many sleepless nights they have caused. Here's what needs to happen.
Dalvin Cook’s 163 rushing yards and four scores brought comparisons to another elite Vikings running back — with a superior body of work.

Souhan: Better than Peterson? Cook's big day brings comparisons

A week before Adrian Peterson returns to Minnesota with the Lions, Dalvin Cook showed he's a more complete back than Peterson ever was. But is he a better player?
Maryland running back Jake Funk dives in for a touchdown against Minnesota defensive back Jordan Howden during the second half.

Souhan: Gophers defense again shows it's not up to Big Ten standards

The most immediate cause of Friday night's Gophers loss at Maryland was a missed extra point in overtime; the true culprit was a defense that has allowed 94 points in two weeks.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck

Souhan: Fleck's challenge proving he can win with his defensive recruits

P.J. Fleck already has made good on many of his promises at Minnesota. But there is a difference between one exceptional season and winning every year
Souhan: Ranking NFL quarterbacks, from franchises to compromises

Souhan: Ranking NFL quarterbacks, from franchises to compromises

NFL teams can win Super Bowls without great quarterbacks, but it doesn't happen often. Given that history, the Vikings are in long-term trouble.
Gophers tight end Ko Kieft (42) reacted after scoring a touchdown on a reception during the first half.

Souhan: One loss doesn't mean Gophers can't dominate this market

The Vikings are down. Most others are out. So even with Saturday night's loss, the Gophers still could become the preeminent sports team in the state of Minnesota.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman (left) and head coach Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: If Vikings rebuild, should Spielman and Zimmer be in charge?

Decisions made on Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook and Yannick Ngakoue aren't looking good. So it's fair to question if the current Vikings general manager and coach should be making decisions for the future.
Anthony Barr, left, and Kirk Cousins after the Vikings’ playoff win in New Orleans in January.

Souhan: Did a playoff victory actually doom the Vikings' future?

Who deserves the blame for the Vikings' 1-5 record and seemingly dismal future? Here's a nomination for an unlikely candidate.
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (91) of the Falcons deflects a pass by Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins that was intercepted in the second quarter

Souhan: Far from a cure, Cousins is what ails the Vikings

On Sunday vs. Atlanta, the Vikings produced the kind of performance that gets coaches fired and quarterbacks benched.
Mike Zimmer’s decision to go for a first down against Seattle might well have been rooted in trust in his Vikings players.

Souhan: Zimmer trusted his gut on fourth down vs. Seattle — justifiably

There has to be room in sports for human intuition, and for leaders who know their players. Mike Zimmer's late-game decision in the Vikings' loss to Seattle last Sunday sparked a week's worth of second-guessing.
In one of only two NFL games played on a Tuesday in the past 70 years, backup quarterback Joe Webb (14) led the Vikings past the Eagles 24-14 in Phila

Souhan: More NFL games on Tuesdays? Bring 'em on

The pandemic has induced sports chaos anyway, so the midweek experiment might as well continue even if coaches crave routine and regimentation.
LeBron James (23) of the Lakers is silhouetted during introductions before Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on Sunday in Lake Buena Vis

Souhan: LeBron is the greatest ... for these strange, polarized times

Two players rose above all others in the Florida bubbles: Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm and James. Both led their teams to championships. Both could at some point be regarded as the best to ever play the game.
Devan Dubnyk, Jason Zucker (bottom left) and Eric Staal (bottom right) are among the players that general manager Bill Guerin has sent away from the W

Souhan: Guerin has broken up Wild without much to show for it

GM Bill Guerin's moves so far have in common: He has rid the Wild of some of their best people and personalities without receiving much in return.
Twins rookie Alex Kirilloff got his first hit in the fourth innin and could be part of the team's improvement in 2021 and beyond.

Souhan: Ending playoff failure era may best be a job for youngest Twins

Many fans may again demand that the Twins fix all of their problems with one, flashy free agent signing. But the answer to this team's problems could reside within the organization.
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios in the dugout after finishing the fifth inning.

Souhan: Quick hook for starters leads to quick exit from playoffs

Do not let the oddities of this short, strange season distract you from the fact this was the most embarrassing loss of the Twins' record-breaking postseason losing streak.
Nelson Cruz's RBI double in the third inning Tuesday was one of the few offensive bright spots for the Twins against the Astros in Game 1 of the teams

Souhan: Playoff pressure continues causing offense to disappear

In dropping yet another postseason game, the Twins showed once again that the stage lights are too bright for their wide eyes when the games matter most.
Kenta Maeda’s emergence as a prospective ace, combined with Jose Berrios’ late-season resurgence, might give the Twins their best one-two postseas

Souhan: Karma is a pitch for Twins' and Houston's playoff fortunes

The Twins' starting rotation, as underwhelming as it might seem to many fans, might be the deepest they have had entering a postseason since 1991.
Twins players gathered on the field for a team photo with the AL Central championship banner.

Souhan: To erase past playoff debacles, Twins must draw on mental toughness

Twins players acknowledged their division title and home playoff berth in muted fashion Sunday, intent on bringing about bigger and better celebrations in the days ahead.
Twins second baseman Luis Arráez, smiling above on a double, is one of several Twins dealing with injuries. So, too, are Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson

Souhan: Badly timed injuries could continue Twins' playoff curse

Luis Arraez returned to the Twins lineup Saturday and gave it a spark, but other key players were still out.
Seattle forward Breanna Stewart tried to get around Lynx defender Napheesa Collier on Tuesday night.

Souhan: Collier plays like a superstar as Lynx almost pull off shocker

At one point in the fourth quarter, Napheesa Collier blocked three shots by Seattle superstar Breanna Stewart in quick succession.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looked up at a replay on the scoreboard during Sunday’s game at Indianapolis.

Souhan: Prep football on way back, Kirk Cousins on way down

A lot of news to catch up on, including the very quick and sudden end to the Vikings season and the belated start of high school football.
The Vikings need new arrival Yannick Ngakoue to put pressure on Colts quarter Philip Rivers on Sunday.

Souhan: Ngakoue arrives just in time to save Vikings' season

If we were going to identify the most pivotal non-quarterback in Sunday's Vikings game at Indianapolis, it might be Yannick Ngakoue, the lone blue-chip defensive lineman.
Lynx players celebrated the end of their one-point playoff victory over the Mercury on Thursday night in Bradenton, Fla.

Souhan: 'I didn't want to go home' more than just words from Sims

Odyssey Sims gave birth to her son in April and planned not to play this season. She changed her mind, and changed the Lynx's prospects for success.
Souhan: Vikings, Packers take different approaches to star players

Souhan: Vikings, Packers take different approaches to star players

The Vikings on Saturday made a huge investment in star running back Dalvin Cook, while Green Bay sent Aaron Rodgers mixed messages this offseason.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson scrambles against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half Thursday.

Souhan: more Lamars and Deshauns, fewer Kirks and Toms will define this NFL season

Quarterback play has never been better in the NFL, for a number of good and heartening reasons.
Odyssey Sims of the Lynx

Souhan: Lynx have right stuff to make a WNBA playoff run

One of the reasons the Lynx boast so many possible WNBA award candidates is their ability to hang around the top of the league without their departed stars and their currently injured star — center Sylvia Fowles.
The Twins' Eddie Rosario was tagged out by Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner in the fifth inning Sunday.

Souhan: Picture not always rosy when it comes to Twins' Rosario

Somehow, Eddie Rosario went 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk and yet had a bad game because of other misadventures.
Souhan: From Wolves to NBA playoff teams: 'You're welcome'

Souhan: From Wolves to NBA playoff teams: 'You're welcome'

The Wolves' draft decisions have created something of a reverse curse in the NBA. Since Dallas won the NBA title in 2011, every NBA champion except once has featured a Wolves connection or benefited from a Wolves draft-day decision.
Byron Buxton hit a single in the seventh inning on Tuesday.

Souhan: Twins' ability to bounce back from adversity might be best trait

We might never see this team whole. But we might have already witnessed the most important bounce-back games of the season.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer

Souhan: Vikings managing array of on-field crises beyond virus

Without a normal offseason or training camp, and without preseason games, the Vikings will be trying to douse fires at a handful of key positions.
Members of the Milwaukee Bucks read a statement outside fo their locker room in Lake Buenavista, Fla., on Wednesday evening.

Souhan: Athletes threaten bosses' money as they sit out for justice

Black athletes have raised fists and boycotted anthems and broadcast their grief, but sadly they may never have mattered as much, in terms of social impact, as they did on Wednesday.
Souhan: Lynx, Twins lead the league in vulnerability

Souhan: Lynx, Twins lead the league in vulnerability

By admitting what they don't know and valuing input from employees at all levels, the Lynx's Cheryl Reeve and the Twins' Derek Falvey have built successful and progressive franchises in a complicated modern sports culture.
Lynx rookie Crystal Dangerfield

Souhan: Lynx keep winning with big contributions, not big names

Cheryl Reeve's work as Lynx general manager the past two years has allowed her to survive as a coach in the post-Maya Moore franchise mode.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk and Zach Parise celebrated at the end of a game in 2015.

Souhan: Moving Parise and keeping Dubnyk might help Wild

What Wild GM Bill Guerin does with Zach Parise and Devan Dubnyk this offseason will be telling, and perhaps pivotal for the team's future success.
Athletics director Mark Coyle and University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel

Souhan: Voices of reason, not greed, led to right call by Big Ten's leaders

As college football goes on hiatus, it's not hard to separate the adults from the children. Most of the latter are highly paid college football coaches.
New interim WBA champion Jamal James often trains at Bde Maka Ska Park in Minneapolis.

Souhan: New world champ from Minneapolis fights for title and for justice

As he returns to Minneapolis from Los Angeles with an interim World Boxing Association welterweight title, Jamal James is seeking "change as a society and a nation as a whole."
The Wild's Matt Dumba stands with fist raised during the national anthem before taking on the Canucks on Thursday night.

Souhan: Given chance to show unity with Dumba, players stumble

Matt Dumba stood alone in an arena and before the sports world, asking for equality and awareness, raising a fist to protest racism. His teammates and the NHL left him hanging.
Souhan: Minneapolis boxer James finally gets his shot at a title

Souhan: Minneapolis boxer James finally gets his shot at a title

Saturday night in Los Angeles, Jamal James will fight for the WBA interim welterweight title. For years, James' slogan has been: "Where's my belt?" Now, finally, it is an uppercut away.
(Clockwise from left) Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard and Devin Smeltzer were three of the Twins' six relievers who held Cleveland to two hits in a 3-1 vi

Souhan: Twins bullpen transformed from a liability to a strength

Last summer, when the Twins' bullpen was getting knocked around, the team started a flurry of moves that has paid off very well.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

Souhan: Props to Bettman and the NHL for saving the season

Six months ago, the NHL seemed a long shot to become a model for COVID protocols. In an upset, the NHL is now winning the dangerous game of responsibly returning to action.
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios, right, gets a mound visit from pitching coach Wes Johnson after giving up a two-run home run to Cleveland's Francisco Lind

Souhan: In battle of No. 1 starters, true ace is not Twins' Berrios

Jose Berrios is a two-time All-Star, a maniacal worker, a career overachiever and the ace of a team coming off a 101-victory season. But he still has a lot to prove.
Tony Finau teed off on the second hole during the final round of the 3M Open on Sunday at TPC Twin Cities. Finau recorded his 25th top-eight finish si

Souhan: Finau fails again by slipping into Sunday worst at 3M Open

He's a Ryder Cup player ranked 17th in the world, but when it comes time to win, he's more choker than closer.
Cameron Tringale hits on the 18th fairway during the third round of the John Deere Classic last July

Souhan: Tringale, with a 63 at the 3M Open, reminds us of realities

The world is loaded with excellent golfers, and it's a very close call who will win and why. Just ask Cameron Tringale.
Matthew Wolff plays a shot from a bunker on the 12th hole during the second round of the 3M Open

Souhan: Wolff's confidence, crazy swing propel him to 3M Open success

Matthew Wolff, the defending 3M Open champion, is comfortable at TPC Twin Cities, and he's in contention again.
Tony Finau, who played on several of the minor pro tours, is 17th in the world now and is among the 3M Open leaders.

Souhan: Finau's polished swing has come a long way from the garage

Learning the game of golf in a garage produced Tony Finau's remarkably compact yet powerful swing. It was on point Thursday, leading him to a 6-under 65.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver

Secret to Mitch Garver's power? Crushing it with science

Mitch Garver blended science, baseball analytics and common sense to devise an approach that produced 31 home runs in only 311 at-bats last year.
Souhan: What I watched during the quarantine of 2020

Souhan: What I watched during the quarantine of 2020

Quarantine has created the opportunity and isolation for new diversions as live sports slowly return to our lives.
Vikings helmets sat on the bench before the team's game at Dallas last November.

Souhan: Fall football forecast sees maybe the NFL playing

Will there be football this fall? Should there be football this fall? Is football at every level below the NFL going to be called off due to the pandemic?
Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson celebrated after hitting a home run in a scrimmage at Target Field

Souhan: Twins are back at Target Field but nothing feels normal

The crack of the bat is supposed to be accompanied by cheers or gasps, not resolute silence. The final words spoken on the loudspeaker should not be "Attendance: Zero."
Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tyrann Mathieu celebrate after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl

Souhan: Mahomes' megabucks deal a reminder American sports flush with cash

The measure of any large sports contract is not whether the owner can afford it, but whether it makes sense within the salary and payroll structure of that team and league.
Sports has given athletes such as Maya Moore and Colin Kaepernick an opportunity to effect change well beyond the court and field.

Souhan: Sports world finds its voice in difficult times

There are examples everywhere of people trying to effect change.
Fans held up a BombaSquad sign during last season's playoffs at Target Field.

Souhan: 60-game version of Twins could be more dangerous

With ridiculous power and underrated pitching depth, the Twins were well-prepared to succeed over 162 games. As they begin workouts this weekend at Target Field, they may be even more formidable than they were a few months ago.
Designated hitters, like Howie Kendrick, will be used in National League games this season.

Souhan: A short, experimental baseball season? Bring it on

A universal designated hitter? Expanded rosters? Runners on second base to start extra innings? This MLB season could be loads more fun than the usual 162-game slog.
The work of Maya Moore, right, helped overturn a conviction against Jonathan Irons in Jefferson City, Mo. She was with supporters when she called Iron

Souhan: Maya Moore more deserving than Cruz for ESPYs' Humanitarian award

Nelson Cruz was a deserving winner, but the Lynx star gave up her career to dedicate her life to criminal justice reform, and should have won the award.
The Pohlad reign began with Carl, left, in 1984 and continues to this day with sons Jim (pictured), Bill and Bob. This photo is from 2005; Carl died i

Souhan: Pohlads weather storms to sit solidly in charge of Twins

Among many Twins fans, the name Pohlad is synonymous with cheapness. As the team prepares for a long-delayed Opening Day, this is a good time to ask whether the family deserves the reputation.
A protester in Detroit talked with Pistons coach Dwane Casey during a march on June 4 following the death of George Floyd.

Souhan: Ex-Wolves coach Casey lauds strong words from white peers

It shouldn't need to be this way, but having Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr and others speak out has made a difference in the month since the killing of George Floyd.