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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
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in a good spot: able to run away from the Lions and all other NFC North teams.

Souhan: Rodgers has it good in Green Bay; he should stay

The Packers play in the NFC North, one of the two worst divisions in football.
Bill Belichick’s stay in this postseason was short and chilly, as the Patriots were blown out by the Bills on Saturday night.

Souhan: Brady's success diminishes Belichick's 'greatest coach' title

Without Tom Brady as his quarterback, playoff success has been hard for Patriots coach Bill Belichick to find, including getting routed by Buffalo this weekend.
Hawkeyes forward Keegan Murray and Gophers forward Jamison Battle scrambled after a loose ball in the second half at Williams Arena on Sunday.

Souhan: Optimism overblown? Big Ten deals U hard dose of reality

For all of the nonconference promise and that notable victory at Michigan, the Gophers have become who we thought they were — likable, limited and 1-5 in the Big Ten.
Karl-Anthony Towns could be the centerpiece of a playoff team this year.

Souhan: Wolves have the players — finally — but on-court presence, maturity still lacking

If this team can grow up, quickly, it could join the (short) list of most-likable squads in franchise history.
Mike Tomlin was Vikings defensive coordinator in 2006 before getting hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he is still the head coach.

Souhan: 7 deadly sins? No, but Vikings must avoid these coaching-search myths

Here are seven examples of popular notions that could cost the Vikings a great coach — the next Mike Tomlin, perhaps — and why they're wrong.
The man the Miami Dolphins just fired, coach Brian Flores, could emerge as a candidate for the Vikings’ job.

Souhan: Vikings must look hard at undervalued market of Black leaders

Some of the many Black men in the NFL waiting for an opportunity deserve a long look at the team's GM and head coach openings.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, right, with his son Adam, the team’s co-defensive coordinator, after Sunday’s 31-17 victory over the Bears.

Souhan: Now the awkward conversations begin for Vikings, Zimmer

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer didn't want to talk about his future after Sunday's 31-17 victory over the Bears. "Not my choice. Not my decision," he said.
Mike Zimmer could be leading his last game as Vikings’ head coach.

One last question for the Vikings: Will they play hard?

The franchise has a lot of problems, but player effort and coaching intensity have not been among them.
Over the past decade, the Bears have burned through four coaches without much success: Lovie Smith (top left), followed by Marc Trestman (bottom left)

Souhan: Big changes could make the Vikings more like Packers — or Bears

The Vikings' division rivals offer them glimpses of what they could become ... one way or another.
Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley passes the ball over Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on Wednesday

Souhan: Patrick Beverley trade was a steal for Wolves

The veteran guard is who Jimmy Butler was supposed to be: a leader who makes other players around him better.
Kirk Cousins, Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer.

Souhan: It's time for Wilfs to move on from Cousins, Zimmer, Spielman

Don't be afraid of a Vikings rebuild, even if it involves the quarterback, coach and general manager. Turnarounds can happen quickly in the NFL.
Mike Zimmer walked out on the field Sunday night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Souhan: Awful loss final proof Spielman-Zimmer era must end

They couldn't cover the mess after the QB they banked on became a careless COVID casualty with the team's fate on the line.
Aaron Rodgers’ performance Sunday night could lead to a regime change with the Vikings.

Souhan: Rodgers, Packers could get last laugh on current era of Vikings football

Barring a big upset by the Vikings on Sunday night, this could be the last chapter in an epic Aaron Rodgers-Mike Zimmer rivalry.
Kirk Cousins is a great passer. He’s not a great quarterback, Jim Souhan says.

Souhan: For all the difficulty he's caused, for all he'll yet cause, dump Cousins

The Vikings and their owners need to separate from a quarterback who accumulates statistics more than victories and whose cost runs counter to his success rate.
John Madden wore a hat in 1999 he received while visiting his birthplace of Austin, Minn.

Souhan: Football genius John Madden sure did make Austin proud

Hall of Famer stayed connected to relatives in his birthplace, including a memorable visit in 1999.
Under coach P.J. Fleck, the Gophers are 16-9 in Big Ten games over the past three seasons.

Souhan: Gophers bowl could be first step toward bigger things in 2022

Coach P.J. Fleck has some firepower returning for next season, including the coordinator who had the offense humming in 2019.
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson broke an NFL record Sunday.

Souhan: Jefferson sets record, then sets off quiet storm about Vikings offense

The Vikings' immediate concern is their playoff position, but their bigger concern is Justin Jefferson questioning his coaches, his quarterback and the team's intensity.
Anthony Barr had two of the Vikings’ three interceptions of Matthew Stafford.

Souhan: Vikings refuse to take advantage of what Rams, Stafford offered them

Losing to the Rams shouldn't be considered an embarrassment. The way the Vikings played, it was.
Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce can push the pocket back on a quarterback. Two weeks ago, he disrupted Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.

Souhan: Will Vikings or Rams have the more disruptive pass rush today?

So will Aaron Donald ruin the Vikings' offensive game plan? Or will someone like Michael Pierce of D.J. Wonnum wreck the Rams'?
Dalvin Cook will miss Sunday’s game and perhaps another because he’s in the NFL protocols for COVID-19.

Souhan: Desperate and shorthanded, Vikings can blame betrayals by unvaccinated players

Dalvin Cook's foolish decision is hurting the team now, Harrison Smith's did that earlier, and Kirk Cousins can thank his good luck he's not in that position.
Santa Claus and a few elves cheered for the Vikings on Dec. 9 against Pittsburgh.

Souhan: Gifts Minnesota sports fans and athletes could use right now

More health, more support and, sure, more wins — it's a long list, but you dedicated Minnesota sports fans have been good this year. Happy Holidays to all of you.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and quarterback Kirk Cousins joined forces in 2018. Cousins has won seven of the 16 games he’s started in December since t

Souhan: Why do Zimmer and Cousins sink when Vikings most need them to sail?

The Vikings coach loses more often in December, the quarterback makes more mistakes in December — and together they might have only one more chance to fix this.
Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, left, recovers quarterback Kirk Cousins’ fumble against the Bears.

Souhan: Vikings' embarrassing win over Bears was 'must-unsee TV'

The Vikings played a dilapidated version of a terrible team on Monday night and, as the saying goes, did what they needed to do. When they didn't, the Bears did it for them.
Kirk Cousins’ hefty contract is one of the reasons the Vikings aren’t able to build a better team around him.

Souhan: Judging franchises, Vikings have present but Bears have future

Reduce the competition to one game, one night, and the Vikings are clear favorites over the Bears. But looking into the future tells a different story despite the Bears' disarray.
A sign advised fans to have their vaccine card ready is shown at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena before a Jazz game last month. It’s one of the many

Souhan: As COVID issues rise, sports leagues should require all employees get vaccine

What do we admire in athletes? Leadership and mental toughness. This is an ideal time for leagues and athletes to demonstrate both.
Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Tuesday, Dec. 1

Souhan: With early results in, let's declare Johnson a winning U hire

Ben Johnson getting the Minnesota men's basketball coaching job last spring made all kinds of sense. Ten games in, Johnson's team is 9-1 and proving believers correct.
Jim Kaat is headed to Cooperstown.

Souhan: Kaat's baseball life taking him to Cooperstown as time moves backwards

It took longer than many people would have liked, but former Twins pitcher Jim Kaat finally received the phone call that he thought might never come.
Cheryl Reeve shared the stage with wife Carley Knox and son Oliver on Wednesday as Reeve was introduced as the next women’s head coach of USA Basket

Souhan: Lynx's Cheryl Reeve receives the ultimate compliment

Selection as next coach of Team USA puts her in rarefied air.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw under pressure in the first quarter of Thursday night’s victory over Pittsburgh at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Souhan: Kirk Cousins, the Vikings' 'Captain Quirk,' confounds with up-and-down play

Kirk Cousins is a talented passer who all too often turns into a short-circuiting robot.
It was another chaotic game for Mike Zimmer and the 2021 Vikings.

Souhan: A hollow Vikings win only highlights what the team is missing

In emotional terms, the Vikings left little doubt they are missing something vital, something usually described in cliched terms. Heart. Guts. Leadership. Killer instinct. Football smarts.
Byron Buxton is one of the most talented baseball players on the planet.

Souhan: $100 million deal is a win for both Buxton and the Twins

The seven-year contract makes all kinds of sense for both sides. Next up: Find a few pitchers so the Twins can be competitive in 2022.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Souhan: Cousins fails to meet moment against 49ers; Vikings really need him now

Quarterback Kirk Cousins no longer has the comfort of relying on a good defense or a great running back. Now it's time to earn his big salary.
The last time Kirk Cousins and the Vikings played at Levi’s Stadium, it did not go well.

Levi's Stadium has not been a good fit for the Vikings

If the Vikings are to win today, they'll have to avoid playing the kind of game where the 49ers' physical rushing attack and pass rush dominate the game flow.
Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson

Souhan: Vikings' vaccination stats continue to hang over the team in Week 12

Dalvin Tomlinson is the latest unvaccinated starter expected to miss a game because of COVID-19.
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson warmed up in a Randy Moss T-shirt before Sunday’s game against the Packers. Then he tied another one of Moss’ re

Souhan: 'Trying to be a legend': Jefferson proves worth yet again

Justin Jefferson wore a Randy Moss T-shirt in warmups on Sunday, proof that Minnesota greats appreciate history. That's called dressing for success.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

What to watch during Vikings-Packers? Aaron Rodgers' toe

A toe injury kept the Packers quarterback from practicing much this week. And he looked rusty last Sunday, following 10 days on the COVID list.
Aaron Rodgers: very good quarterback, and ... well, let’s just leave it at that for now.

Souhan: Flawed and fantastic, Aaron Rodgers' ride into Minnesota could be his last

Unless the Packers win the Super Bowl, he likely will play for a different team next year. Green Bay would be ridding themselves of a nuisance, and one of the best QBs ever.
Clockwise from top left: Lindsay Whalen, Paige Bueckers and Cheryl Reeve.

Souhan: Whalen, Bueckers, Reeve. Great eras will mix in Bahamas this weekend

When Lindsay Whalen's Gophers play Paige Bueckers and Connecticut on Saturday, it will be easy to both reminisce and to see the future.
Kirk Cousins let a first-quarter pass fly on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

Souhan: Cousins can join NFL's top QBs and still lead Vikings to playoffs

Quarterbacks are the difference-makers again this season, and Kirk Cousins showed against the Chargers that he can turn that into good news for Vikings fans.
Dalvin Cook had 118 total yards and a touchdown to help lead a balanced Vikings offense.

Souhan: Vikings play most complete game just when they needed it

This is what Mike Zimmer's Vikings were built to look like: a team featuring power running, excellent receivers and defensive grit and adaptability.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook

Souhan: Vikings' path to victory against Chargers centers on Cook

The Chargers are terrible against the run. A big day from Dalvin Cook could control the ball, the clock and the scoreboard.
There’s a lot to like about the Chargers, whether it’s their sharp uniforms (as modeled by safety Derwin James) or their sharp-minded head coach,

Souhan: Giving up on the Vikings? Chargers are worthy of your cheers

They have sharp uniforms, maybe the best young quarterback and an admirable coach.
P.J. Fleck coached the Gophers to six points against Illinois last weekend.

Souhan: Is Gophers' future as bright as Fleck's new contract suggests?

P.J. Fleck signed a new deal just before had a chance to increase his leverage with a strong finish to the season and a possible high-profile bowl victory. That raises some questions.
Women’s coach Lindsay Whalen is in position to make an impact on the career of new Gophers men’s coach Ben Johnson.

Souhan: Whalen, Johnson attached, despite different Gophers timelines

The rookie men's basketball coach and the famous women's coach should come to success at different times, but one Minnesota native can pave the way for the other.
Running back Dalvin Cook and the Vikings offense stalled after two early touchdowns.

Souhan: Vikings offense, Smith deserve blame for latest loss

The offense continued a seasonlong trend of not putting the game away on a day when starting safety Harrison Smith was not available at all.
The Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase had 201 receiving yards against the Ravens two weeks ago.

Souhan: There's a blueprint to beat Ravens for Vikings

For all of their struggles, the Vikings should be able to make big plays against the Baltimore defense.
Should the Vikings have used the money they paid linebacker Anthony Barr on a position of greater need?

Souhan: Vikings spend too much on players who give them too little

Their opponent Sunday, the Ravens, do the opposite. They are ruthless in some ways — and in first place.
Aaron Rodgers won’t play Sunday, and might not play the following Sunday either.

Souhan: Rodgers' arrogance in full view while Packers' season suddenly in jeopardy

It used to be fun to think about Aaron Rodgers possibly following Brett Favre's footsteps to Minnesota after Green Bay boots him. Now: no thanks.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer leads a practice last month.

Souhan: Loss to Cowboys exposes Vikings' nepotism problem again

With Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator and Adam Zimmer as co-defensive coordinator, the Vikings do not have the coaching chops of a serious contender.
Adam Thielen scored on the Vikings’ opening drive, but it was mostly downhill from there, and he was frustrated afterward.

Souhan: Vikings' frustration evident after loss. So what's next?

The Sunday night loss is the kind of game that unravels a season, that destroys confidence, that leads to firings and organizational overhauls.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is, in many ways, the embodiment of the franchise.

Souhan: Vikings' goal for 11 games? Be better than average

The Vikings have to prove they are capable of winning important games. And Kirk Cousins has to prove he's capable of elevating the franchise in a way that justifies his contract.
Boxer Jamal James training outdoors in April 2020.

Souhan: James has a 'new temple' but same outlook ahead of boxing title defense

Jamal James has more financial stability, a world title belt, a measure of fame, and the pressure of defending his title. And his Minneapolis gym, the Circle of Discipline, is moving into a new and much-improved space.
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.