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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

Souhan: Twins climb the standings behind beautiful defensive play

Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, Gio Urshela are leading the way as the Twins find their superpower is turning line drives into outs

Souhan: You may disagree, but Twins making right calls on Buxton, Lewis

As hungry as fans are to see Byron Buxton and Royce Lewis run and hit, protecting them for the long run is the wise plan with an AL Central title — and their futures — in play.

Souhan: Herschel Walker goes from football stardom to troubling Senate candidate

Former Vikings running back Herschel Walker is a leading Republican candidate — with a concerning background — in a U.S. Senate race in his native Georgia.

Souhan: Perfect 10s, All-American, academic honors: U gymnast Loper did college well

Ona Loper just completed a dream career, athletically and academically. It is the kind of success story too easily overlooked in college sports. "The experience of a lifetime," she says.

Souhan: A Minnesota team that wins postseason games? That's P.J. Fleck's Gophers

Postseason victories are hard to come by around here, so let's appreciate the ones who keep delivering them: the Gophers football players and coaches.

Souhan: For Twins, playing Buxton is all about risk vs. reward

Their baseball calculus: A healthy Byron Buxton at near full strength for just 100 games might be one of the best and most productive players in the game. They also know that may not be a popular call,

Souhan: Reality hits hard — this Wild team wasn't that special

An excellent regular season wasn't enough to elevate the Wild into playoffs success.

Souhan: Healthy again, Verlander shows Twins what aces are all about

Justin Verlander, 39, outdueled rookie Joe Ryan, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning, in a game for those who prefer pitching mastery over long, loud homers.

Souhan: Why the Twins are winning despite injuries and oddities

The Twins are in first place in the American League Central more than a month into the season. Imagine what they could do if anything was going right for them.

Souhan: Lynx need effectiveness at point guard, not promise

Former Gophers star Rachel Banham is hoping to follow fellow Gopher Lindsay Whalen in positional success with the Lynx.

Souhan: Lynx are facing tough start, predictable finish

Lots of roster moves spell short-term trouble for the old and injured Lynx to kick off the WNBA season. But the Lynx tend to figure things out.

Souhan: Wild should put goonery aside in favor of skill — and humor

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, owner of three Stanley Cup titles, responded to the Game 1 loss to St. Louis with humor more than intensity. He may be on to something.

Souhan: Adofo-Mensah's first draft with Vikings? Let's call it 'brave'

Having a fast, firm opinion on any NFL team's draft results is foolish, but we do know this: new Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did not take the safe or easy routes this past weekend.

Souhan: After the Wolves' ups and downs, Russell should go, McLaughlin should stay

The Timberwolves had many highs and lows, and D'Angelo Russell often contributed, but Jordan McLaughlin was better when it mattered. And what about bringing back Tyus Jones?

Souhan: New Vikings leaders, same uninspiring choices on draft night

The decision to trade back in the first round of the NFL draft means Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's front office hasn't moved far from its predecessor.

Souhan: Here is what NFL teams really need at the top of the draft

Mock draft? Sure, our columnist says, let's give that a try. From Jacksonville to the Vikings, here's what each team should really consider in the top 12.

Souhan: Twins rotation developing into unexpected asset

Scouting, analytics and well-conceived game plans have done more than fill holes on a rebuilt staff.

Souhan: Zero to hero, McLaughlin rewards Wolves in career-best game

Jordan McLaughlin scored 16 points in 14 minutes, hitting all four three-pointers that he took, after not playing at all in the Wolves' Game 3 collapse.

Souhan: What happens when these Wolves are uncomfortable? They fold

The Wolves returned home-court advantage to Memphis. They also gave the Grizzlies an even bigger advantage by the way they fell apart in Game 3.

Souhan: Wolves surge latest sign that Minneapolis is a basketball city

The Wolves' playoff appearance this weekend will sell out games at Target Center and continue a trend: Minneapolis is a hoops hotbed.

Souhan: Honest, personable style has made Finch's Wolves a winner

Few other coaches could achieve what Chris Finch has done for the Timberwolves this season. He's on the way to becoming the best coach in franchise history.

Souhan: Baseball's impossible standards again lead to destructive criticism

Clayton Kershaw's chance for a perfect game was clearly not worth the health risk, but top analysts railed anyway.

Souhan: Act like they've been there before? Not these Timberwolves

Winning that game? That way? This franchise? Those who know, know: This NBA playoff spot is special for the Wolves, and it was silly to expect them to tone down their celebrating.

Souhan: Can Masters champion Scheffler be golf's Next Big Thing?

Scottie Scheffler has won four tournaments already this year, but to become the new Next Big Thing, he'll be dueling with a lot of former Next Big Things.

Souhan: Through smiles and tears, Scheffler lives his Masters dream

Scottie Scheffler capped off an amazing two months with his grandest feat of all, winning the Masters on Sunday to validate his new status as the best player in golf.

On a 'tough road', Woods limps to second straight 78 at the Masters

The 46-year-old superstar was all smiles, though, after his first competitive rounds since a horrific car accident 14 months earlier.

Fargo golfer Hoge finishes his first Masters on a down note

The Fargo pro had a bogey and double bogey on his final two holes for a 78, and said he was disappointed with his play for the week.

Souhan: Following Fargo's Tom Hoge at the Masters

The course is tricky but there are birdies available, as Hoge proved today. Here's a hole-by-hole recap.

Souhan: Scheffler holds steady, Smith surges to second in Masters

Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith will be the first pairing of top-10-ranked players in the final round since 2015.

Midwest-like weather hasn't put Hoge off the Masters

Having made the cut but nowhere near contention, Fargo's Tom Hoge said he's determined to enjoy his time on the course.

Fargo's Tom Hoge dunks bunker shot on No. 7 for a surprise birdie

Crowds line up to see Tiger Woods play.

Fargo's Hoge finds himself among Minnesotans at Masters

At his first Masters, North Dakotan Tom Hoge has spent time with the Lehmans and even encountered a rules official from Faribault.

Souhan: Scheffler says bye-bye with six birdies on day two of Masters

Scottie Scheffler became the sixth player ever to take a five-shot lead into the weekend.

Souhan live at the Masters: High winds, high scores shuffle leaderboard

It was an unpredictable day at Augusta National because of the weather, and few golfers were going low.

Souhan: Woods shoots 71 amid Masters throng, calls for 'lots of ice'

If you wanted to walk with Fargo's Tom Hoge or former Gopher Erik van Rooyen, you could stand within a foot of them. Walking with Tiger? Good luck with that.

Im plays off good vibes from dad, grabs Masters lead

The South Korean shot a 67 and said he was inspired by a shot his father hit in Wednesday's Par 3 Contest.

Souhan live at the Masters: How close could I get to Tiger Woods?

It was a mob scene at the first hole when Tiger Woods teed off for his first round of the Masters. That and more from the scene, including another place that's really crowded at Augusta National.

Souhan: Pitching uncertainty is nothing new for the Twins

An early estimate of the Twins' bullpen for 2022 guarantees nothing.

Former Gopher van Rooyen has no problem being in Woods' wake

The South African golfer is playing in his 11th major and second Masters this week.

Souhan live at the Masters: Mickelson's absence and course changes

Masters chairman Fred Ridley held his annual press conference on Wednesday and said Phil Mickelson withdrew from The Masters in a text, and that the tournament did not dissuade him from playing.

Souhan: With no clear successor, Woods still consumes golf spotlight

If golf had produced another king, Tiger Woods might be more of an oddity and less of an obsession this week.

From Fargo to Augusta: Hoge basks in his first Masters

Tom Hoge will be the first North Dakotan to play in the Masters since Mike Podolak in 1983, and he is more than an endearing long shot.

Souhan: Can Woods win the Masters? Why not?

There's no reason to believe Tiger Woods, recovering from a severe leg injury, can contend at Augusta. Except for all the other times he's defied expectations.

Souhan at the Masters: Woods is in; Fargo golfer plays with Spieth

Practice rounds were suspended and patrons asked to leave the course during a thunderstorm that started in late morning and is still going on mid-afternoon.

Souhan: Want to promote women's basketball? Expand the WNBA

The Final Four in Minneapolis showed the sport is thriving. But the next step for developing the game is adding teams to the WNBA.

Souhan: Bueckers makes effort, but homecoming ends without a title

We were all watching to see if it could happen, Paige Bueckers winning it all in her hometown. It didn't, but only because South Carolina was so good.

Souhan: Staley, Auriemma bring 'Philly Tough' attitude to title game

South Carolina's Dawn Staley and UConn's Geno Auriemma, two Philadelphia natives, bring an intensity and pride to their teams that is hard to miss.

Souhan: Bueckers plays through new injury and thrives again

Friday night on a home Target Center court, Paige Bueckers, one of the best players Minnesota has ever produced, fought through injury and guided UConn to the national title game.

Souhan: Put focus on Final Four's incredible players, coaches, stories

This weekend we should focus on the games, the atmosphere and the drama of a captivating women's Final Four instead of dwelling on all — good and bad — that led up to it.

Souhan: Women's basketball present, future pass each other at Final Four

Wednesday's practice became a basketball convention within a basketball convention in what Cheryl Reeve and the Minnesota Lynx have made one of the meccas of the sport.

Souhan: Augustus, Moore took parallel paths to success with different styles

Both grew up in the South, became stars for vaunted college programs, then the first pick in the WNBA draft and league finals MVPs. The similarities of their resumes belie their differences.

Souhan: Wild fragile? Evason, players look like they were wrong about that

Three weeks and a few well-conceived deals have made a difference in a team that was expressing doubts about itself and taking a dive in the standings.

Souhan: Judging the risk-reward ratio of three Minnesota teams' new additions

Carlos Correa, Marc-Andre Fleury and Za'Darius Smith could boost their teams to glory, but nothing is set in stone.

Souhan: Why the women's NCAA tournament, Final Four are better

The dirty secret of men's March Madness is that the atmosphere at the games rarely matches the excitement caused by the bracket and the broadcasts.

Souhan: Hey, trade advocates. Think you can do better than Cousins?

To move away from Kirk Cousins, the Vikings would have to trade him for mediocre value, then sign a journeyman stopgap quarterback and admit they're trying to rebuild. You like that?

Souhan: The 'never going back' crowd? They'll soon be buying $13 ballpark beers

The baseball lockout was obnoxious, sure, but we're addicted to entertainment. See ya at Target Field this summer, everybody.

Souhan: Wolves' jaw-dropping talent is marquee March basketball

The skills displayed in games are one thing, but in scrimmages — or even in games of H-O-R-S-E — Wolves starters and subs alike dazzle each other.

Souhan: Wild is fragile and in free fall. Here's a checklist of what to do

Sunday's loss to Dallas exposed a worrisome state of mind and a long list of areas that need improvement for a team that right now has a spine of papier-mâché.

Souhan: Few goals, but plenty to see and enjoy at Allianz Field

The fan experience is great at Allianz Field if you discount the weather — it will be nicer soon.

Souhan: Sportswriter Maisel takes on tougher topics: grief, fragility

In probing his grief, my one-time colleague Ivan Maisel bluntly analyzes his own actions as a father in a way that will make careerists flinch.

Souhan: D-Lo wants your applause, and Wolves fans should comply

Scoring, passing, defending, leading, goading Target Center crowds, bonding with his teammates, D'Angelo Russell looks like the player the Wolves needed all along.

Souhan: Near Target Field, business owners feel threat of MLB lockout

Billionaire owners and millionaire players will be fine. But those most likely to be hurt by the potential for canceled games are people like Marcus Dorn, whose bar is one block from Target Field.

Souhan: Women's sports booming — and TV networks are just noticing

Women's sports are having a moment, and that moment might not end. It's a moment far too delayed and deferred, but one that is arriving rapidly and with intent.

Souhan: Packers fans have paid high price with Rodgers and Favre dramas

Sure, they've won two Super Bowls, but the quarterbacks lead the way in egomania, manipulation and off-field embarrassments.

Souhan: Twin Cities coaches rewriting playbook on building relationships

For now, a rebuilt Vikings staff is aboard the train and preaching culture and collaboration — to receptive ears.

Souhan: There's plenty of shared blame in Michigan-Wisconsin fracas

Absurd tradition of forced postgame handshakes opened door to trouble.

Souhan: Reactions to baseball's labor dispute often aren't realistic

"They're killing the game." "I'm never going back." These and other sentiments aren't always well-founded.

Souhan: Cousins' future? O'Connell's arrival presents fascinating situation

Kevin O'Connell sounded noncommittal in one answer to a question about the team's quarterback issue and committed to Kirk Cousins in another.

Souhan: The Vikings and Rams have more in common than you think

Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell will hold his introductory news conference as coach of the Vikings this week — he will see a few similarities in his new home.

Souhan: Winning the Super Bowl showed Rams made all the right moves

All season, the Rams made a persuasive argument that talented NFL teams should always be all-in, should always push their chips to the middle of the table and scream "call."

Souhan: Beckham can be happy now, Lombardi Trophy or not

Odell Beckham Jr. was labeled as another unhappy diva receiver in the NFL, but Beckham had every right to be frustrated.

Souhan: Rooting for Minnesota Aurora before it even plays a match

Nothing in sports is better than the underdog story, the tale of improbable ambition rewarded. This is such a story, which starts with a meeting outside a brewery in St. Paul

Souhan: Back in Fargo, they saw Tom Hoge's first PGA Tour win coming

Hoge's first career victory came Sunday at Pebble Beach, but those were simply the final steps in a process begun long ago in North Dakota.

Souhan: Is Whalen's job safe? Her potential makes success worth the wait

Big Ten record aside, the Gophers women's basketball coach has shown that her work ethic and reputation are spurring the state's best talent to stay. She deserves the benefit of whatever doubts fans are having.

Souhan: Minnesotans get at least one more year to enjoy stacked Lynx roster

With all-time greats Sylvia Fowles and Angel McCoughtry in the lineup, the Lynx are ready to make a run at a championship.