Best Sports Columnist - 2006
John P. Lopez
Readers' Choice: Richard Justice
If there's one thing that annoys a fan of the U.S. national soccer team, it's when someone criticizes the players after watching just one World Cup match. Thankfully, Houston readers have a columnist who's on the ball: John P. Lopez covered this year's World Cup in a way newcomers could understand and die-hard fans will never forget. The highlight of his coverage came with a column addressing the devastating state of U.S. soccer. In his article, which was critical of the risk-averse coaches, Lopez blamed the team's poor performance on their meager presence at international matches. Argentina took over Olympic basketball after years of embarrassing defeats, and Latin America has conquered baseball, he wrote. Thus it's not years of exposure to a game that makes a great athlete, but rather exposure to true competition that makes a difference. Goal!