Jim Souhan
See more of the story

This was going to be a strange football year in which Minnesota prep teams didn’t begin until after the Vikings’ season was over.

On Monday, the MSHSL reversed field and scheduled the prep football season to start on Oct. 9 — or after the Vikings’ season will be over.

We’ve had a firehose of sports news and events in the past week. Here’s what I think you should think, about …

Kirk Cousins: Out of 10? I’d give him a .00001.

Heat star Jimmy Butler looked around Boston defender Marcus Smart during Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals last week.
Heat star Jimmy Butler looked around Boston defender Marcus Smart during Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals last week.

KEVIN C. COX • Getty Images

Stefon Diggs and Jimmy Butler: Both looked at their Minnesota teammates and sneered. Both were right.

Butler thought the Timberwolves’ young players were soft. He felt the same in Philly. He signed with a great coach, in Erik Spoelstra, and a tough-minded group of players in Miami, and he looks like the savior he could have been in Minnesota.

Diggs thought he wasn’t fully appreciated in an offense built around a running back and a flawed quarterback. He left a beautiful stadium and a winning team for the Siberia of the NFL (Buffalo) to play in a decrepit outdoor stadium in the cold and with an unproven, sometimes erratic quarterback. He chose wisely.

Diggs outgained the Vikings pass offense on Sunday. His team is 2-0. The Vikings are 0-2.

Kevin Warren and the MSHSL: Warren, the former Vikings executive who is now the Big Ten commissioner, and the Minnesota State High School League both decided to play football this fall after previously deciding it was too dangerous for young athletes. This is a popular decision. But is it intelligent?

What has changed? The coronavirus has not abated, more than 200,000 Americans have died and no credible medical expert has deemed football safe on behalf of young people with no collective bargaining power.

Is football returning because playing is a good, safe idea, or because pressure from parents and politicians, and peer pressure from nearby states, became unbearable?

Vikings defense: Entering Monday, the Vikings had allowed more points than all but one NFL team: the collapsible Atlanta Falcons.

Ron Gardenhire decided to prioritize his health over his career, so the Tigers manager announced his retirement on Saturday.
Ron Gardenhire decided to prioritize his health over his career, so the Tigers manager announced his retirement on Saturday.

CARLOS OSORIO • Associated Press

Ron Gardenhire: I was covering a Twins day game in the Metrodome in the ’90s when Gardy wound up flat on his back behind his desk, too ill to board the team flight that night.

His impeccable sense of humor obscured and sometimes alleviated the massive amount of stress he felt as a big-league manager. He took everything — every second-guess, every critique, every loss — personally.

I’m glad he’s retiring to take care of himself, and I’ll miss his voice. As a young writer I wanted to cover baseball because it is (or was) a game of storytellers, and Gardy was the best storyteller I’ve encountered. He won a lot of games, too.

Bryson DeChambeau showed why he is among the best golfers in the world with an eye-opening dominant victory at the U.S. Open.
Bryson DeChambeau showed why he is among the best golfers in the world with an eye-opening dominant victory at the U.S. Open.

John Minchillo • Associated Press

Bryson DeChambeau: He started the golf season hitting his driver remarkable distances and struggling with his wedge and putting. There were two questions regarding his game entering last week: Would U.S. Open rough defeat his bomb-and-gouge strategy? And would his stiff-armed putting stroke work on lightning greens?

He answered in the affirmative by winning the way Tiger Woods often won in his prime — by playing a game with which his competitors were not familiar.

3M Open: The inaugural 3M Open, played in 2019, produced an 18th-hole drama between Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa and DeChambeau. Wolff won, at 21 under, with an eagle at the 18th that trumped DeChambeau’s eagle minutes earlier.

Morikawa won the PGA Championship this year. DeChambeau won the U.S. Open while outplaying Wolff in the final pairing. All three could be fixtures on majors leaderboards for a long time.

More Kirk: He ranks 31st in the NFL in ESPN’s QBR. With the arrival, emergence or ascension of Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray and others, Cousins in two weeks has gone from being a middle-of-the-pack NFL quarterback to one of the worst in the league.

Cousins is making a prorated $40 million this season.

Cam Newton is making $1 million.

At 0-2, should the Vikings consider tanking so they have a chance to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence? I can’t believe I’m saying this in September. But ... yes?

Jim Souhan’s podcast can be heard at TalkNorth.com. On Twitter: @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com