Best Sports Writer
The job seems so easy. Attend games for free. Shoot off your mouth. Eat ballpark dogs. Then wake up the next day and do it all over again. But when you’re required to produce words by the pound and not sound exactly like the hundreds of others weighing in on the same topic, the task becomes much more formidable. That’s what makes Russo so refreshing. The Star Tribune’s Wild beat writer is a thinking fan’s hockey scribe, a student of the game who prefers studied observation to microwaved hot takes. He resists the peaks of fawning adulation and the depths of talk radio despair, instead covering the minute details that together paint the grind of an 82-game season. In an age when much of sports writing has fallen to anyone-can-do-it quality, Russo’s the rare treasure: a true professional.