Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deja Vu: Jim Souhan makes unfunny jokes about the Vikings

JJ Cooper at Fanhouse wants to give Jim Souhan credit for "for the most-inventive explanation for the Vikings red zone troubles."

What did the uber-creative, inventive Souhan write? In his column "Only one game, but offense already has apparently hit the wall," he writes:

"There is only one possible explanation for the Vikings' offensive futility under Brad Childress: invisible fencing.

You know those collars you put on your dog, so if the mutt wanders beyond the confines of your yard a small shock sends Spot yelping home?

Apparently, Vikings opponents have surreptitiously placed similar sensors into the uniforms of Vikings 'skill' position players. Why else would a pro football team treat the end zone like a minefield?"

Ho ho ho! The last time I laughed this hard was when my parents told me the family dog died. That's really funny. Once again, in place of any analysis, Jim Souhan has taken to making jokes about the Viking performances.

And if you did laugh out loud at his imagery, I want you to do me a favor: go stick your head right down the toilet, push the lever, and scream as the water flushes around you, "I have no sense of humor and no personality and I deserve this flushing toilet water around my head." My seven month old son has an odd sense of humor right now: he laughs like a madman at changing distances. If I'm standing looking at him, and I quickly move my face closer to him, he just busts out in uncontrollable laughter. And he has a better sense of humor than you if you've ever laughed out loud at a Jim Souhan column.

After one preseason game, Souhan is already pulling out his A-material jokes to mock the Viking offense. He calls Childress's offense "paleolithic," and says the offensive performance was "good news, as long as you didn't make the silly mistake of looking at the scoreboard."

Oh no, the first team offense isn't scoring touchdowns in its first preseason game? The season is doomed!

Of course, last night Tom Brady stayed in the game for two series for the Patriots, and they managed no TDs (no points, actually, though last season the Pats were 7th in the league in scoring). Drew Brees played two series for the Saints, and they managed just field goal attempts (they were 5th in scoring last year). Heck, as the Daily Norseman points out, in the very game Souhan is writing about, the Rams' starters didn't manage any points at all (in their two possessions, and they ranked 10th in points last season).

No, I'm not a moron: I don't expect the Viking offense to be as good as the Patriots', Saints', or Rams' offenses. The Viking offense could very well stink this season. My point is that the Vikings' failure to score an offensive touchdown in its first preseason game is exactly ZERO indicator that the offense will struggle this season. And be honest, Souhan: if the Viking first-team offense had scored touchdowns on all three of its possessions, you would be dismissing this performance as pointless because it's merely the preseason (as the Daily Norseman says again, "had the Vikings gone out and put a big number on the scoreboard last night, you'd be telling us not to get our hopes up because the Vikes would have played all their offensive cards in the first pre-season game of the year"). Souhan just wants to make fun of the Vikings, and he'd be doing it today no matter how the team performed last night.

There's reason to be hopeful. Last season, the Viking passing offense was atrocious; if it had been merely mediocre, the strong defense probably would have led the team to 9-10 wins. It's only preseason, but Tarvaris Jackson throwing to Troy Williamson and Bobby Wade looked mildly competent last nigh, netting some solid completions for first downs. And if the defense performs as it did last season, and if running game is as successful as it is possible it could be, then mildly competent is all the Viking passing game will need to be to compete for a playoff spot.

Addendum: Ryan Wilson at the Fanhouse has also commented on Souhan's column.


  1. I read his column at work today and I was hoping you would comment about it...Souhan is such a chump.

  2. Anonymous10:40 AM

    I'm sick of sportsfans reading articles and blaming the writer rather than the team for the mistakes. If the team was good i doubt you would be making comments about how the author is a "chump". Stop pouting because we live in a state where the football team has problems that need to be fixed and a problem with winning. I doubt your anger would be directed toward him if he wrote an article about the vikings winning the super bowl. And judging by your writing skills I don't think you have any room to critize anyone for their talent or lack of talent when it comes to writing, but by all means if you want to critize someone for being an idiot i think you have all the qualifications to do so.

  3. If you've read this blog at all you'll know I've given credit to good sportswriters (I think Kevin Seifert and Sean Jensen do an excellent job covering the Vikes). You'll also see I'm not criticizing Souhan for criticizing the Vikings; I've frequently criticized Souhan because he brings no insight or analysis to his coverage of the Vikings. My critique is not general but quite specific: he doesn't provide analysis, insight, or inside knowledge. He just writes bad jokes. Anybody can do that. By all means, a bad team deserves criticism: my problem is that Souhan's criticism rarely goes beyond the "they must have invisible shock collars yuck yuck" commentary.

    And I welcome any comments, positive or negative, about my writing: that's what the comment section is for. Thanks for contributing.

  4. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Souhan appears to have a personal issue against Childress and the Vikings, and it shows in his writing. This is the guy who claimed that the problem with the passing game last season was because Childress didn't establish a good relationship with Brad Johnson. And not the fact that Brad got old and has no arm left.

    He hammers the Vikings and Childress at every opportunity. Anything that goes right is due solely to the players he likes, so through a fluke stroke of luck. Everything that gores wrong is Childress's fault. He did an assessment of Childress as a coach and gave him a bunch of C's, C-'s, etc for all the things to do with actual coaching, then gave him an F for accessibility to the media, and downgraded his overall performance to a D. This suggests that Souhan is pissed because he doesn't get the easy stories and have the buddy-buddy relationship with the coach that he wants (or had with Tice). And to get personal like this is bad sportswriting.

  5. I agree: a lot of local media members seem to have a personal dislike of Childress, largely because he doesn't provide the access Tice did. Their personal animosity too often colors their "analysis." A lot of Souhan's digs on Childress appear personal and mean-spirited.

  6. I know I'm a few days late with my comment here, but you hit the nail right on the head.

    1) the fact that the Vikings didn't score a lot of points in the first preseason game is nothing to worry about.
    2) Jim Souhan is a moron.