Banquet packs 'em in; winner drives 'em out

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2006 - 10:00 PM

The bountiful list of contenders for Turkey of the Year ensures a crowded table, but this year's Grand Turkey knows how to empty the seats.

The internal debate on the Turkey Committee between the old guard and the young turks reached a new level of hostility during this week's final consultations.

The belligerent youngsters restated their contention that the Turkey Awards should be dedicated to ridicule. They argued vociferously that the Grand Turkey, a k a the Herschel, should be reserved for idiotic behavior of athletes.

The turks said the big award should go to a gentleman such as former Viking Koren Robinson, who was pinched for driving over the legal limit at more than 100 miles per hour and in the process blew the millions he had coming on a new contract.

The committee's chairman tried to explain again that the Turkey Awards are about catharsis -- about pointing out flaws on which an honoree can work to become a better athlete, coach, owner or administrator, and perhaps a better person.

"Take the example of the most recent Grand Turkey, Bob Naegele, the owner of Minnesota's NHL team," the chairman said. "A year ago, he was so cheap that he was ripping off his loyal customers with an inferior product.

"This flaw was pointed out on Thanksgiving morning 2005, and the man changed his ways. Naegele funded an overhaul of the roster last summer and now lively entertainment has returned for the sellout crowds in St. Paul.

"So you see what these prestigious awards can do when based on constructive criticism, rather than mere chastisement."

The turks hooted and hurled insults at the chairman until he couldn't take it anymore. The old boy pounded the lectern and shouted:

"The Turkeys are what we thought they were! Now, if you want to crown Koren's keister, then crown it. But the Turkeys ARE what we thought they were!"

The debate was over. The Turkey Committee finally embarked on the serious business of issuing these invitations for the 29th annual Turkey Banquet:

Ron Gardenhire: The Twins manager was a late addition after the MVP votes were announced. MVP, Cy Young, batting champ, Exec of the Year as the talent provider -- and 0-3 in the playoffs. We want more, Gardy.

Phil Mickelson: He wasn't satisfied to ruin his own season by pouting over his 72nd-hole collapse in the U.S. Open. He also decided to ruin any chance for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup.

Ricky Davis: Can't shoot but won't stop trying. Doesn't pass or play defense. The Woofies wuz robbed.

Jason Kubel: He goes in the tank after the All-Star break, sits around and shows no ambition the final six weeks of the season, then refuses the Twins' request to go to Venezuela for the second half of the winter schedule to get at-bats. Starting in left field for the Twins on Opening Day 2007: Jason ... Tyner.

Fay Vincent: He wasn't satisfied to be a disastrous baseball commissioner. He also was the chairman of the Hall of Fame's Negro Leagues special committee that failed to include the great (and now late) Buck O'Neil among last summer's 17 inductees.

Landon Donovan: The United States soccer team went to the World Cup in Germany with a huge buildup. The Yanks failed miserably -- with Donovan as the top flop.

Ben Smith: There are two countries in the world with more than a few dozen women playing hockey: the United States and Canada. Against all odds, Smith managed to avoid coaching the U.S. team into the gold medal game at this winter's Olympics.

Michelle Wie: Look up snot .n in any unabridged dictionary and you will find her picture.

Linda Koblick and Penny Steele: What's more juvenile for a Hennepin County commissioner: Koblick still refusing to talk to a colleague who voted for the tax to finance a Twins stadium, or Weepin' Penny weeping every time there was a debate on the issue?

Jay Mariotti: The Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist shows up every afternoon on ESPN making a fool of himself, then we find out this summer -- during the brouhaha with Ozzie Guillen -- that he hasn't had time to visit the White Sox clubhouse in a decade.

M & M & M boys: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer? Of course not. These are the permanent seats of honor for the U's Joel Maturi, Glen Mason and Dan Monson.

Phyllis Kahn: This legislator was so concerned about the youth of America in years back that she wanted 12-year-olds to have the right to vote. And then DeLaSalle, the oldest tenant on Nicollet Island, sought a permit to build a small football field next to the high school. Phyllis lives down there and turned into a raving hypocrite -- a wild-eyed foe of a facility to benefit the diverse student body of her city's only Catholic high school.

And now move aside for the head table:

Second runner-up: Zygi Wilf. Look out down there on Nicollet Island, Phyllis. That might be the next place the Vikings owner and crazed New Jersey developer wants to take his stadium dream.

One big problem Zygmunt's maneuvering has created: The only way to fund a Vikings stadium would be with a referendum for a seven-county tax, and he has managed to alienate Anoka County to the tune of about 95 percent against in such a vote.

First runner-up: Don Lucia. When his underage hockey players were caught on tape drinking, Lucia said they were "violated." When his big-budget Gophers were eliminated in a first-round upset by non-entity Holy Cross, he didn't have the good taste to be embarrassed. And then Lucia's lackeys whispered negatives about the departing Phil Kessel, who had been ballyhooed a few months earlier as the best recruit in program history.

Lucia would have been worthy of the Herschel, except there was a coaching colleague at Minnesota who had a more impressive end-of-season collapse.

As most Turkey followers must have anticipated, the 29th Grand Turkey is Pam Borton, the basketball coach of the U of M women.

Borton's 2006 seniors went backward in their play, then the underclassmen bailed faster than an audience at a Michael Richards standup routine. In four years, Borton has taken the team she inherited from 14,000 people screaming inside Williams Arena to a following that would fit comfortably next door in the Sports Pavilion.

Borton's Herschel also has huge gender-equity implications. She's only the second woman -- along with gymnast Kerri Strug in 1996 -- to be a Grand Turkey.

The chairman is so emotional over this he's about to weep like Penny Steele.

  • related content

  • Previous turkey winners

    Wednesday November 22, 2006

    • 1978: Woody Hayes• 1979: Pete Rozelle and Bowie Kuhn• 1980: Bobby Knight• 1981: George Steinbrenner• 1982: Billy Martin• 1983:...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Detroit 6:00 PM
Washington
Atlanta 6:30 PM
Miami
Toronto 6:30 PM
New York
Memphis 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Brooklyn 7:30 PM
Dallas
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Utah
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Buffalo 2:00 PM
Florida
Detroit 2:00 PM
Nashville
Carolina 4:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 4:00 PM
Columbus
Arizona 4:30 PM
Boston
Toronto 6:00 PM
Montreal
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Colorado
St. Louis 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Ottawa 9:00 PM
San Jose
Kennesaw St 75 FINAL
Lipscomb 94
Navy 57 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 47
Bucknell 71 FINAL
American Univ 69
NC State 63 FINAL
Boston College 79
East Carolina 71 FINAL
UCF 66
Georgia Tech 63 FINAL
Clemson 70
Lehigh 55 FINAL
Colgate 61
Louisville 81 FINAL
Florida State 59
Missouri 44 FINAL
Georgia 68
Army 64 FINAL
Lafayette 74
Michigan 56 FINAL
Maryland 66
Georgetown 70 FINAL
St Johns 81
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
La Salle 56
Western Carolina 57 2nd Half 2:57
Citadel 46
Nebraska Omaha 68 2nd Half 5:28
IUPUI 65
Maine 56 FINAL
New Hampshire 65
Samford 65 2nd Half 5:02
Va Military 57
Presbyterian 50 2nd Half 1:38
Winthrop 79
Utah State 30 2nd Half
Air Force 21
Vermont 39 2nd Half
Albany 37
UMBC 20 1st Half 3:14
Binghamton 25
Indiana State 27 2nd Half
Bradley 20
Butler 29 2nd Half
DePaul 24
Illinois State 31 2nd Half
Evansville 27
Wright State 18 2nd Half
Ill-Chicago 24
Fla Gulf Coast 22 1st Half 3:50
Jacksonville 31
Ole Miss 27 2nd Half
LSU 23
North Carolina 30 1st Half 2:29
Miami-Florida 25
Wagner 27 2nd Half
Mount St Marys 34
TCU 36 2nd Half
Oklahoma 28
Delaware 31 2nd Half
Towson 30
Cincinnati 30 2nd Half
Tulane 16
Dayton 33 2nd Half
VA Commonwealth 29
Northern Iowa 26 2nd Half
Wichita State 38
Drexel 37 2nd Half
William & Mary 21
Oakland 31 2nd Half
Green Bay 41
Villanova 33 2nd Half
Xavier 40
Campbell 15 2nd Half
Longwood 34
Sarah Lawrence 11 1st Half 15:45
NJIT 4
Middle Tennessee 2:00 PM
UAB
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
Liberty
Southern Utah 2:00 PM
North Dakota
Utah Valley U 2:05 PM
Chicago State
ULM 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Bowling Green 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Long Island 2:30 PM
Sacred Heart
West Virginia 3:00 PM
Baylor
Holy Cross 3:00 PM
Boston Univ
MD-Eastern Shore 3:00 PM
Delaware State
Wofford 3:00 PM
Furman
Montana State 3:00 PM
Idaho
Hofstra 3:00 PM
James Madison
Iowa State 3:00 PM
Kansas State
Arkansas 3:00 PM
Kentucky
Missouri State 3:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Fordham 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Nicholls 3:00 PM
McNeese State
East Tenn St 3:00 PM
Mercer
Coppin State 3:00 PM
Morgan State
San Diego 3:00 PM
Portland
Gardner-Webb 3:00 PM
Radford
St Francis-PA 3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Duquesne 3:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Creighton 3:00 PM
Seton Hall
Oklahoma State 3:00 PM
Texas Tech
Alabama 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Virginia Tech 3:00 PM
Virginia
Bethune-Cookman 3:00 PM
NC Central
St Francis-NY 3:00 PM
Bryant
Drake 3:05 PM
Southern Ill
High Point 3:30 PM
Char Southern
Central Conn St 3:30 PM
Fair-Dickinson
Eastern Mich 3:30 PM
Western Mich
Texas 4:00 PM
Kansas
Chattanooga 4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
SE Louisiana 4:00 PM
Central Arkansas
South Dakota St 4:00 PM
South Dakota
Montana 4:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Georgia State 4:15 PM
Troy
Old Dominion 4:30 PM
North Texas
Arkansas State 4:30 PM
Texas State
Texas Southern 5:00 PM
Alabama State
Tennessee St 5:00 PM
Belmont
Princeton 5:00 PM
Brown
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Cornell
Tennessee 5:00 PM
Florida
Jacksonville St 5:00 PM
Morehead State
San Jose St 5:00 PM
Nevada
Florida A&M 5:00 PM
NC A&T
Iowa 5:00 PM
Penn State
Loyola Marymount 5:00 PM
Pepperdine
Miss State 5:00 PM
South Carolina
Savannah State 5:00 PM
SC State
Miss Valley St 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Southern U
Prairie View 6:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Harvard 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Washington 6:00 PM
Davidson
Syracuse 6:00 PM
Duke
Tenn Tech 6:00 PM
Eastern Ky
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
Elon
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Hartford
Hampton 6:00 PM
Howard
Northwestern 6:00 PM
Illinois
Western Ill 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Kent State
Incarnate Word 6:00 PM
Lamar
Cal State Fullerton 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Marshall
Richmond 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
George Mason 6:00 PM
Saint Louis
Austin Peay 6:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Murray State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
Penn 6:00 PM
Yale
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Stetson 6:00 PM
North Florida
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Grand Canyon 6:05 PM
UMKC
Abilene Christian 6:15 PM
New Orleans
Northeastern 7:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Tulsa 7:00 PM
Memphis
Wyoming 7:00 PM
UNLV
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Denver 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Rice
Boise State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
St Marys-CA 7:00 PM
Santa Clara
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
FIU 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Ga Southern 7:15 PM
Louisiana
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Grambling St 7:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Auburn 7:30 PM
Texas A&M
Arizona 8:00 PM
Utah
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
New Mexico 9:00 PM
Fresno State
BYU 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Idaho State 9:00 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 9:05 PM
Portland State
UC Riverside 9:30 PM
CS-Northridge
Washington 9:30 PM
USC
CS-Bakersfield 9:30 PM
Seattle
UC Irvine 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Michigan 60 FINAL
Illinois 72
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
Kennesaw St 75
North Florida 45 FINAL
Stetson 77
Samford 65 FINAL
Mercer 70
Liberty 55 2nd Half 2:40
Campbell 48
North Texas 48 FINAL
Old Dominion 70
St Francis-NY 62 FINAL
Bryant 52
St Francis-PA 53 2nd Half 3:27
Robert Morris 57
Long Island 60 2nd Half 2:08
Sacred Heart 62
Sam Houston St 52 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 60
Kent State 59 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 66
ULM 61 FINAL
Appalachian St 80
Boston U 62 FINAL
Holy Cross 76
Nicholls 44 2nd Half 11:19
McNeese State 52
Akron 26 2nd Half
Buffalo 36
Ball State 22 1st Half 0:23
Western Mich 28
MD-Eastern Shore 28 2nd Half
Delaware State 26
Northern Ill 24 2nd Half
Eastern Michigan 26
Bowling Green 23 2nd Half
Ohio U 36
Central Michigan 34 2nd Half
Toledo 31
Coppin State 21 2nd Half
Morgan State 38
Bethune-Cookman 34 2nd Half
NC Central 10
Central Conn St 43 2nd Half
Fairleigh Dickinson 24
Memphis 9 2nd Half
(1) Connecticut 54
Georgia Tech 27 2nd Half
Wake Forest 32
East Carolina 31 2nd Half
Temple 30
Marist 23 1st Half 0:39
Rider 32
Michigan State 29 2nd Half
Purdue 28
Fairfield 26 1st Half 4:54
Manhattan 20
Niagara 22 1st Half 1:30
Iona 37
East Tenn St 13 2nd Half 20:00
(18) Chattanooga 31
Furman 38 2nd Half
Wofford 24
Longwood 25 2nd Half
Charleston Southern 22
UNC-Asheville 45 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 27
Northern Ky 25 1st Half 6:43
USC Upstate 11
Winthrop 27 2nd Half
Presbyterian 29
Western Ill 12 1st Half 12:30
South Dakota 7
Detroit 24 1st Half 9:06
Valparaiso 16
Cleveland State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Lafayette 2:00 PM
Army
Arkansas State 2:00 PM
Texas State
Georgia State 2:00 PM
Troy
IUPUI 2:00 PM
South Dakota St
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Belmont
Eastern Illinois 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Jacksonville St 2:00 PM
Morehead St
Kansas State 2:00 PM
TCU
Cincinnati 2:00 PM
SMU
SE Louisiana 2:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Denver 2:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Tulane 2:00 PM
Tulsa
IUPU-Ft Wayne 2:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Air Force 3:00 PM
Utah State
San Diego State 3:00 PM
Boise State
Fresno State 3:00 PM
New Mexico
Florida A&M 3:00 PM
NC A&T
Gonzaga 3:00 PM
BYU
South Florida 3:00 PM
UCF
UCLA 3:00 PM
Washington
(3) Baylor 3:00 PM
Iowa State
Miss Valley St 3:00 PM
Jackson State
Tenn Tech 3:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
UMKC 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Seattle 3:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Texas Southern 3:00 PM
Alabama State
Santa Clara 3:00 PM
St Marys-CA
UNLV 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Savannah State 3:00 PM
SC State
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Southern U
Bucknell 3:00 PM
American Univ
Oakland 3:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Eastern Washington 3:00 PM
Montana
Idaho 3:00 PM
Montana State
Weber State 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Radford 3:00 PM
High Point
Green Bay 3:30 PM
Youngstown St
Austin Peay 3:30 PM
SE Missouri St
Wagner 3:30 PM
Mount St Marys
Portland 4:00 PM
San Diego
Nevada 4:00 PM
San Jose St
Stephen F Austin 4:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 4:00 PM
Lamar
Abilene Christian 4:00 PM
New Orleans
Pepperdine 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Francisco 4:00 PM
Pacific
Prairie View 4:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Hampton 4:00 PM
Howard
Chicago State 4:00 PM
Utah Valley U
Murray State 4:00 PM
UT Martin
Cal Poly 4:00 PM
Cal-Irvine
Marshall 4:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Portland State 4:00 PM
Sacramento St
UC Santa Barbara 4:00 PM
UC Davis
Western Ky 5:00 PM
FIU
UAB 5:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Georgia Southern 5:00 PM
Louisiana
Grambling 5:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Cornell 5:00 PM
Dartmouth
Columbia 5:00 PM
Harvard
Brown 5:00 PM
(14) Princeton
USC 5:00 PM
Washington St
(24) California 5:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
Yale 6:00 PM
Penn
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Navy
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
(21) Fla Gulf Coast
Long Beach St 6:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Rice 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Colgate 6:30 PM
Lehigh
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Kansas 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northern Colorado 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close