Turkey of the Year 1991: Chris Doleman

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:13 PM

We have a full agenda with this year's Turkeys, the often-imitated, never-duplicated Thanksgiving Day feast where the guests - not the birds - get basted. The table has been set for such a large delegation today that we must get to it, starting with the previous recipients of the Turkey of the Year Award:

1978/ Woody Hayes and Chuck Fairbanks. 1979/ Pete Rozelle and Bowie Kuhn. 1980/ Bobby Knight. 1981/ George Steinbrenner. 1982/ Billy Martin. 1983/ Paul Giel. 1984/ Les Steckel. 1985/ Lou Holtz. 1986/ Kenneth Keller. 1987/ Carl Pohlad. 1988/ Lou Nanne. 1989/ Mike Lynn. 1990/ Kent Hrbek.

As for this year's honorees, we will start with the 20th runner-up and work our way to the top:
20/ Scott Simpson. Spectacular crowds and a splendid golf course greeted the field for the U.S. Open at Hazeltine National last June. Then, Simpson turned the competition into the Long Prairie Shortstop by bogeying two of the last three holes on Sunday, and the three final holes during a Monday playoff, to hand the championship to Payne Stewart.

19/ Five BBWAA voters. Five members of the Baseball Writers Association of America cast their first-place votes for the Twins' Scott Erickson in the Cy Young Award balloting. Wake up, folks. The schedule did not end June 29, which is when Erickson stopped getting out hitters.

18/ Five Minnesota Gophers. Patt Evans was the snapper. Dean Kauffman and Scott Schaffner were the holders. Aaron Piepkorn and Mike Chalberg were the kickers. These lads were able to execute two of eight extra points from placement. Do you still wonder why the coach was fired?
 
17/ Martina Navratilova. She read a co-habitation agreement in front of a video camera, then tried to convince people she did not know what was in the deal with Judy Nelson. How stupid is this woman?

16/ Gary Glitter. A couple of decades ago, this guy recorded a ridiculous, three-note song called "Rock 'n Roll, part 2." Now, you can't walk into a sports arena without having a crowd of idiots standing up every three minutes to go "hey, hey." Glitter has left a legacy more annoying than the wave.

15/ Phil Esposito. This guy was going to bring the NHL to Florida. The only items lacking in Tampa were investors with the $50 million to pay the franchise fee, investors with the $100 million for a proposed arena and a population with an interest in ice hockey. How stupid is this man?

14/ Bob Sheffield. His duties include overseeing Willowbrook Golf Course in Winter Haven, Fla. When Donald DeGreve fell dead of a heart attack near the 16th green, Sheffield decided to keep the golfers on schedule. "I told them to skip 16 - to go from the 15th green to the 17th tee," Sheffield said. Sheffield passed on another option: giving a free drop from Donald and playing through.

13/ Elton Kuderer. He is the chairman of the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents. Here in the land of 100,000 layoffs and 10,000 arenas, Kuderer and the regents have told the men's athletic department to find and spend the funds for a $17 million (or more) hockey arena.
 
12/ Andy MacPhail. OK, the guy's team did win the World Series, but Young Andrew continues to grasp the ridiculous notion that the Frank Viola trade was the foundation for this championship. When the pieces were in place from the Viola trade in 1990, the Twins finished last. When they added Jack Morris (to replace Viola as a staff leader), Chili Davis and Mike Pagliarulo, the foundation was there to win another Series. . . . despite the best efforts of David West to prevent it.

11/ Chris Voelz. She has one of the best-funded women's athletic departments in the country at Minnesota. The women continue to compete in privacy. Blame it on the media? How about blaming it on Voelz and her people, who seem to revel in the anonymity that surrounds this $3 million-a-year fiefdom.

10/ Kent Hrbek. Big Herbie should be commended for the late October push he made to become the first two-time Turkey of the Year, but the best he could do was a place among the top 10 runners-up.

9/ Tom Ryther. On the occasion of his firing at KARE-11, Ryther recalled the many stories he had broken as a dogged sports reporter. The Turkey Committee will give T.R. credit: He always seemed to break the news that promoter Chuck Daszkiewicz was going to have another boxing card.

8/ Tony Campbell. Bill Musselman brought Campbell to Minnesota and made him a star. Campbell joined Pooh Richardson in starting the public criticism that led to Musselman's firing with the
Timberwolves. Now, there is a new coach and Campbell is working his way back toward the end of the bench.

7/ Bud Selig. The owner of the Milwaukee Brewers also has been an influential member of baseball's Player Relations Committee. He has been campaigning for fiscal responsibility. Then, this goofball gave $13 million to Ted (Dead Arm) Higuera and followed up by guaranteeing $8.5 million to Bill Wegman.

6/ Lonnie Smith. He fell for the oldest Little League trick there is and gift-wrapped the World Series trophy for the Twins. For all Minnesotans, the Turkey Committee offers another huge thank you to Lonnie.

5/ Mike (Ironbrain) Tyson. What kind of birds don't fly? Pen-raised turkeys and jailbirds. Ironbrain already is a turkey. There is strong potential for him to become the other type of grounded bird, too.

4/ Frank Deford. This guy took hundreds of workers down the tubes with him with his ill-conceived sports daily, The National. As a reward to the people who lost their jobs, Deford sent a copy of his latest book, with the inscription: "Thank you for joining me in this great adventure." Right, Frank. Unemployment.
 
3/ Bill Bork. Never has an outfit been so committed to ruining its live product as Ladbroke, the international bookmakers who own Canterbury Downs. Bork is Ladbroke's vice president for North
American Racing, which should be called North American Simulcasting.

2/ Rudy Martzke. Turn to page 3 of USA Today's sports section most any time and you will find the No. 1 embarrassment in the history of print journalism. The Turkey Committee is including The Star and National Enquirer when it makes this assessment.
 
1/ Norm Green. The owner of the North Stars gave it a valiant effort with his pay per view of his sport's sacred championship (the Stanley Cup), with his hiring of Pat Forciea as sports' first official political spin doctor, by stealing the hockey tournament from St. Paul, by driving his Rolls Royce Corniche to Met Center and then trying to pass himself off as a man of the people, with his gawd-awful black uniforms. Yet, in the one of the closest votes in the 14-year history of the Turkey Awards, Norm Greed had to settle for being the first runner-up.
 
This brings us to the great moment. No doubt, the anticipation was again strong that the winner would be Herschel Walker, the wealthy, tip-toeing tailback of the Minnesota Vikings.
 
The committee gave Walker strong consideration in 1990, then went with Hrbek in something of an upset. Again, Walker was a strong candidate in 1991. He left a tremendous impression before the final vote with his disinterested effort last Sunday against Detroit.

Finally, the Turkey Committee reached an historic conclusion. It was decided that Herschel's qualifications go beyond those of a mere Turkey of the Year - that his efforts on behalf of the Vikings should be remembered in perpetuity.

We have decided to rename the yearly honor. No longer will this award be known as the Turkey of the Year. In the future, the person deemed to be the biggest sporting turkey of a calendar year will receive this award:

Herschel the Turkey.
 
How appropriate, then, that the Turkey Committee has selected one of Walker's teammates as the winner of the first Herschel. He represents everything the Vikings of recent years have stood for -
too much pay, too little effort, too much egomania and too much acceptance of defeat.

You know him, you love him, here he is - Chris Doleman.
 
We don't have Lomas Brown or Stan Thomas or Mike Kenn blocking the way to the head table, Chris, so you can walk right up here and take your place at the forefront of Turkeydom

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Miami
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Houston
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Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
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Baylor 66
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Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
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Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
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Northern Ill
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Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60

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