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BEST COLUMNIST Minneapolis 2007 - Patrick Reusse

Patrick Reusse is ridiculously prolific. The veteran sports scribe churns out at least four columns a week and takes vacations about as often as the U of M wins Big Ten football titles. And that's not even taking into account the countless radio gigs that he juggles. Reusse deftly covers the full sports landscape, from the improbable Division II basketball dominance of Winona State to the failings of first-year Vikings coach Brad Childress. His columns are chock-full of the kinds of details and intelligent analysis that can't be garnered from staring into a pint of beer at the local Hooters. Perhaps it's in part because Reusse's an ex-drunk that he's such a workhorse. Check out this chestnut from the first sentence of a recent column celebrating the life of the late Twins radio announcer Herb Carneal: "There was nothing more important in the lives of baseball play-by-play broadcasters in the '40s, '50s and into the '60s than beer." Who wouldn't read to the bottom of that piece?
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Loel Schrader
Loel Schrader

I was Patrick's sports editor at the St. Paul papers in the early 1980s and it was one of my greatest joys in a newspaper career that now spans 67 years. In fairness to Patrick, the paper needs to let him go where he wants to go. Send him to the Masters, Kentcky Derby, Indy 500, etc., and insist that he explore the lighter side of each event. Screw being an expert. Shit, few of us (including me) are experts on any sport, so why pretend we are? There are funny people in sports, although the wealthier they get the less funny and fun they are. I'm in California and don't get to read Patrick often, but he is one of the gifted people of our profession. Loel Schrader, Palm Desert, CA (partially retired at 84)

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