BEST NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST (1998)
He calls himself a moderate, but from week to week for the past 11 years this sports-columnist-turned-news-junkie has been in the trenches for the little guy, taking shots at the Man. As a journalist, he continually scoops his opinionated peers, unearthing people, places, and things Strib reporters skip past on their daily beats. Like his idols--Chicago's Mike Royko before he started navel-gazing, New York's Jimmy Breslin when he sat down for a memorable one-on-one interview--Grow works the phones and scours the media for people in the system who not only make the news, but feel it where they live. When the Strib was cheerleading for a new baseball stadium, he stepped up and took a swing at Carl Pohlad. When St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman was bribing the state for hockey money--and snowballing the PiPress--he called the Music Man's bluff. And lately, despite his political convictions, he's taken a few well-deserved shots at DFL Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton.