Jim Souhan Apparently Knows Better than Vikings, Doctors, and Everson Griffen Himself

PHOTO: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

PHOTO: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports



There are a lot of stupid things on the internet this morning. I thought I’d be typing something about KAT and the coddling he gets from Twitter and others in the local media. But then, I ran across this piece from Jim Souhan in this morning’s Star Tribune and he bailed Towns and the TWolves bloggers out… at least for now.

If you haven’t used up your 10 free reads or if you have a Star Tribune subscription, I’d highly recommend you read the nonsense yourself. But, let’s highlight some of the fun for you:

Rejoining his teammates at the Vikings’ training facility might be good for Griffen. Everything else — practicing, playing, taking even light hits to the head — sounds inadvisable.

I do not possess a degree in psychiatry, and there will be many who will place faith in the Vikings’ decisionmakers. I’d have more faith if the sport in question wasn’t football, and the league in question wasn’t the NFL, the Big Tobacco of entertainment.

The Vikings might have Griffen’s best interests at heart, but if I were in Griffen’s inner circle, I’d want to get a second opinion, then a third and fourth. I would not bet my long-term mental health on a league that not long ago was denying that football causes brain injuries.

I love the beginning of the second paragraph quote from Souhan above. ‘Let me admit that I have no professional experience in this field but then spend the next 500 words telling you why I’m smarter than those who are professionals.’

It’s pretty clear that Everson Griffen has been cleared by those doctors in his “inner circle” who are prescribing him medication and helping to care for his well-being while he’s been taking time away to focus on his mental health.

But Souhan is just going to ignore all of that and act like this is completely the decision of the Minnesota Vikings. It’s obvious that getting back on the field is first and foremost the decision of Everson Griffen himself. He doesn’t mention Griffen as the decision-maker anywhere in his article. Like, if you have any sort of mental health problem, you shouldn’t have any control over your own life.

Let’s read a bit more:

Asked whether Griffen could play this week, Zimmer said, “I don’t know. We’re just going to see how he comes back. Really, that’s not the focus right now. The focus is seeing how he’s doing, work him in a little bit and decide at the end of the week.”

In addressing the mental health of a key player, Zimmer also whined, a little more than two minutes into the news conference, that no one had asked any questions about the Saints. Later, he tried to normalize Griffen’s situation by guessing that a lot of people in the room had gone through difficult times.

This is wrongheaded, and a good reason to not have a grizzled head coach handle questions about mental health. It shouldn’t be in his job description, and he’s not good at it.

I’ll consider this a terrible idea until the Vikings do or say something to change my mind. Zimmer didn’t come close Wednesday.

Souhan even threw a comparison out on how the Vikings handled Adrian Peterson beating his kid with a switch…. Like I said, you need to read the whole thing yourself. It’s full of this bullshit.

Is playing tackle football good for someone struggling with mental health? Maybe not. Is playing football good for anyone’s mental health? Maybe not. But, where do you draw the line Jim? What mental health issue makes a player unable to handle the vigors of the NFL? And, if you have a mental lapse or a breakdown like the one Everson had, when are you able to come back? How much time is enough time? Or, should people be banned forever if they are deemed mentally unstable at any capacity?

Answer these questions for me Dr. Souhan.

You can’t and you shouldn’t try to. Everson Griffen is a grown-ass man and only he knows how he is feeling or what he is thinking. Is he ready to come back? Is it the right decision? Only he knows that. He could be lying to doctors and friends and the Vikings. Or, he could be on the right medicational regimen and really feeling better. Unless you’re going to deem those who have any mental instability as unable to make their own decisions, then the only person who really has control over the situation is Griffen himself.

Lucky for Griffen and anyone else who Jim deems inept at deciding what goes on with their own lives, we live in the United States and not North Korea with Jim Souhan, The Dictator.

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan