Best Sports Columnist - 2007
Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle
On pure reflex, it would be easy to offer Knapp backhanded praise for winning this category. After all, her competition includes Bruce Jenkins and Ray Ratto, columnists whose every offering tempts readers to follow Oedipus' example and stab out their own eyes. But such backhandedness would be a slap at Knapp, a sharp, smart observer of the sporting life. Much of her success stems from being that rare breed of columnist who gasp! does her own reporting, instead of simply commenting on (read: vomiting up) yesterday's news. Knapp has called sources on Capitol Hill to parse pro baseball's steroids saga and sat down with Milton Bradley to discuss the volatile outfielder's slow maturation. Such legwork might be considered pass? in a blog-drenched news culture where opinions are the new facts. But it's what separates Knapp from her fellow Bay Area sports scribes and makes her one of the country's best.