Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Sports Writer

Michael Russo

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.

Best Coach Brady Starkey

Best College Athlete Kelly Pannek

Best Columnist Lee Schafer

Best Commercial Kinetico Water Softeners

Best Construction Project Vintage on Selby

Best Dressed Emily Eaton

Best Hipster Trend The Discovery of the Razor

Best instagram @exploreminnesota

Best Landmark Turnblad Mansion

Best Lynx Player Maya Moore

Best Parking Lot Victory Ramp

Best Place to People-Watch First Avenue's Halloween Dance Party

Best Podcast In the Dark

Best Politician Gov. Mark Dayton

Best Radio Personality Matt McNeil

Best Radio Station MPR News

Best Road Ayd Mill Road

Best Sign of Spring Kids Flocking to Como Park Zoo

Best Sports Fan Obadiah Gamble

Best Sports Highlight Gwen Jorgensen

Best Sports Talk Radio Host Cory Cove

Best Sports Team Gophers women's hockey team

Best Sportscaster Tom Reid

Best Star in the Making Halima Aden

Best Suburb South St. Paul

Best Timberwolves Player Karl-Anthony Towns

Best TV Newsperson Jana Shortal

Best TV Station TPT

Best Tweeter Kyle Matteson (@solace)

Best Twins Player Brian Dozier

Best Vikings Player Linval Joseph

Best Viral Video Grow Food by Appetite for Change

Best Way to Get Flipped the Bird Attempting the Zipper Merge

Best Website Streets.MN

Best Wild Player Mikael Granlund