Turkey of the Year 1992: 25 Years of Gophers Football

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:20 PM

The Turkey Committee first assembled in 1978. In this, its 15th year, the committee has taken a look inward. The era when America honored selfishness is over. It is time for everyone - including the Turkey Committee - to reach out and help those who are less fortunate.

That is why a couple of special guests have been invited to the 15th Turkey Banquet, which is being held today at the site of Patti's, the now-defunct restaurant that had a glorious run of, what, six weeks on Hwy. 12.

The guests are from the ranks of the recently unemployed: Rick Bay and Earle Bruce. These men have been linked since 1987, when athletic director Bay turned down the task of firing football coach Bruce, and both left Ohio State.
How remarkable that, five years later, Bay and Bruce would join the unemployment rolls within days of one another.

Bay was fired as president of the Cleveland Indians because ofphilosophical differences with the team's owner. The guy must havewanted Bay to work, rather than hire. Bruce was fired as coach at
Colorado State. The administration was offended by the verbal and physical abuse the old coach heaped on players.
It was not possible for the Turkey Committee to invite all of America's 9.3 million unemployed citizens to today's feast. To demonstrate a commitment to the caring '90s, the committee has invited Bay and Bruce, a couple of guys who now need a meal.

We would ask the previous winners of the Turkey of the Year Award to take their seats: Pete Rozelle and Bowie Kuhn (1979), Bobby Knight (1980), George Steinbrenner (1981), Billy Martin (1982), Paul Giel (1983), Les Steckel (1984), Lou Holtz (1985), Kenneth Keller (1986), Carl Pohlad (1987), Louie Nanne (1988), Mike Lynn (1989), Kent Hrbek (1990) and Chris Doleman (1991). The committee has given the 1978 winner, Woody Hayes, an excused absence.

The birds have been radiated to a pale brown. If any of this year's honorees do not approve of dining on turkeys that have been raised in pens and pumped up with growth hormones, we are offering an option to the main course: milk-fed veal.

To introduce the 1992 honorees, we are proud to have America's hottest celebrity, Kathy Lee Gifford. Please, Kathy Lee, no singing. Just open the envelopes. Let's go:
George Nicolau/ This is the arbitrator who reinstated Steve Howe to baseball, accepting the argument that Howe's seven suspensions for cocaine use and his conviction on a drug charge could be blamed on this: Howe was hyperactive as a child.

Earvin Johnson/ The Turkey Committee enjoyed Magic in the All-Star Game, enjoyed him with the Dream Team, but this attempt to pass off himself as the world's most-enthusiastic heterosexual has become too tacky to be ignored.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson/ The daffy duck lady turned loose hordes of crazed senior citizens, ripping luggage from the grip of horrified Super Bowl visitors as they arrived at Minneapolis-St.
Paul International Airport. Nelson orchestrated those seven wonderful days in January, when we proved there are more rubes per square foot in this state than any other area in the Western Hemisphere.

Gary Gaetti/ The dreary, inept, unemotional effort Gaetti has demonstrated while taking the California Angels' money has disgraced everything he stood for in Minnesota.

Neal Broten/ Neal has done about as much for the North Stars on his big contract as Gaetti has done for the Angels.

Dorothy McIntyre/ This veteran warrior from the Minnesota State High School League has gone after the barriers preventing gender equity the way Lizzy Borden went after her parents. Finally, in 1992, Dorothy went off the deep end, when she complained that women football players weren't getting proper respect.
Rick Aguilera/ The Twins' bullpen ace had 41 saves. How did he earn an invitation to the Turkey Banquet? Two words: Eric Fox.

Dan O'Brien/ There were enough stories this summer about the heartbreak of O'Brien, the U.S. decathlon failure, to provide a 747's worth of barf bags. The Turkey Committee would like to offer another perspective: Dan O'Brien, choker of the year.

Keith Millard/ The Mallard didn't make it through September before he drove his employers nuts in Seattle. He didn't make it through October in Green Bay. He has plenty of career options:
police officer (no weapon required), driving instructor and counselor at the team-building center in Pecos River, N.M.

Anthony Carter/ The guy plays an entire football game and can't catch one lousy pass.

Eloise Pohlad/ For years, Minnesotans have been hearing that Eloise is such an enormous Twins fan that she will make sure her husband, Smilin' Carl, keeps this or that player. Not long thereafter, those players wave goodbye. This is the big test, Eloise. Your name is written in pencil. If Kirby Puckett stays, Eloise gets erased. If Puckett leaves, Eloise's name will be embossed on the official Turkey list.

As loyal followers recall, the grand gobbler was re-christened on Thanksgiving 1991. It became known as Herschel the Turkey, in honor of a gentleman - Herschel Walker - whose Turkey qualities transcended winning a single year's award.

There has been an enormous groundswell from the public, contacting the Turkey Committee, demanding that Norm Green receive today's Herschel the Turkey. Sorry, folks. Norm's conduct - like
Herschel's - has become so Turkeyesque that he goes beyond winning the grand prize for a single year. It has been decided that Norm, too, will be remembered in perpetuity.

Today, the committee announces a new award: Norm's Hot Turkey Lips, which goes to a foreign Turkey. The first winner is Gundars Vetra, the Timberwolves' 12th man. Vetra comes from Latvia, one of the tiny Baltic countries that spent 50 years trying to regain its independence from the Evil Empire. Latvia succeeded, but Gundars played with the ex-Soviets - rather than his homeland – in international play.

Get on up here and get your award, Gundars. Who knows? Norm might have a peck on the cheek for you.
OK, that's over with. The Turkey Committee is bursting with Minnesota pride as it announces the 1992 Herschel the Turkey winner: 25 Years of Golden Gophers Football.

The Gophers last shared a Big Ten title in 1967. In the ensuing quarter of a century, there have been 26 games when the Golden Gophers have allowed more than 45 points; there has been the worst defensive team in the history of intercollegiate football (1983) and perhaps the worst offensive team in the history of intercollegiate football (1991); there have been six losses to Northwestern, a loss to Pacific and 84 points allowed in one night (Nebraska, 1983).

Many people were considered to accept the 1992 Herschel the Turkey, in honor of the six head coaches, the hundreds of assistants, the thousands of players and the dozens of loyal fans from these 25 Years of Golden Gopher Football.

The Turkey Committee considered inviting Holtz again, to represent broken dreams. We considered Pete Najarian, the defensive MVP on the 1983 team that allowed 518 points. We considered asking Patt Evans, the offensive MVP on the 1991 team that scored 104 points. We considered asking Chuck Dickerson, the defensive coordinator who devised that anti-Nebraska strategy in 1983. We considered asking Luther Darville, the ultimate booster.

The Turkey Committee finally invited Aaron Piepkorn, the placekicker of the past two 2-9 seasons. During these two seasons, Piepkorn was 20-for-35 on field goals and 16-for-24 on extra points. Get up here, Aaron, to take this Herschel as the proxy for 25 years of Golden Gophers.

And good luck in that future career as a Navy pilot, buddy. One piece of advice: If you're ordered to bomb Iraq, don't hook any of those babies into Turkey.

  • related content

  • Turkey of the Year 1996: Kerri Strug

    Wednesday November 21, 2012

    The Tournament of Turkeys Committee, the group that sponsors the Festival of Turkeys Parade and the Turkey Banquet, annually faces...

  • Turkey of the Year 2000: Jesse Ventura

    Wednesday November 21, 2012

    The Turkey Committee had ignored outside influences for 22 years.The Turkey Chairman had been re-elected again and again by framinghimself...

  • Turkey of the year 2007: Charlie Weis

    Wednesday November 21, 2012

    The war continues in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight. Surveys show the American public is depressed over...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
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 77 4th Qtr 8:53
San Antonio 77
Milwaukee 19 1st Qtr 1:57
Portland 15
Houston 9:30 PM
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 2 3rd Prd 5:05
Minnesota 2
Dallas 0 1st Prd 9:39
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
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
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 40 2nd Half 15:56
Auburn 45
New Mexico St 35 2nd Half 10:29
Baylor 49
San Diego St 37 2nd Half 12:12
Cincinnati 34
Eastern Mich 31 2nd Half 13:24
Michigan State 45
Loyola Marymount 45 2nd Half 8:48
Stanford 47
Incarnate Word 58 2nd Half 10:40
Grand Canyon 62
Northeastern 21 1st Half 5:38
Cal Poly 15
Central Arkansas 17 1st Half 9:34
New Mexico 16
Howard 7 1st Half 10:27
Pepperdine 11
Portland 9:30 PM
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
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
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 53 2nd Half 3:18
Eastern Washington 62
North Texas 3 1st Half 9:34
San Francisco 11


question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question





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