Turkey of the Year 1998: Carl Pohlad

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:14 PM

Today's gathering behind the huge tent in the Metrodome's upper deck will do more than mark the 21st Turkey Awards. It also will celebrate the greatest year in the history of Minnesota, host state for the Turkeys.

Revered gentlemen such as Cris Carter and Randall Cunningham will give thanks today to their Lord and savior for the gifts they have received. While members of the Turkey Committee consider this to be noble, we have passed a resolution giving thanks for Minnesota's wonderful year to El Nino.

The Casbah - the tent that rises majestically in center and right fields during Twins' games - has been the home to the Turkey Banquet in recent years. The placards on the face of the tent that honor great Twins of the past are replaced with placards honoring great Turkeys of the past.
There was an appeal from the Vikings that an up-to-date photo of defending Grand Turkey Dennis Green, freshly skinny, be used on the coach's placard. The committee voted the placards must depict the Grand Turkeys as they were when winning the award and stayed with the full-figured Green.

The final committee meeting was held early this week and a senior committee member summarized the good-natured atmosphere that existed throughout the year:

"This has been the most fun-loving year in memory in Minnesota. We've become a tropical location, with year-round golf. We've spent the last few weeks laughing at both Cheeseheads and Iowejians.
"Heck, we were even able to laugh at the politicians. Minnesotans stormed to the polls to elect a guy named The Body, for no reason other than we figured it would be fun to have the big knucklehead as governor.

"The pressure's on to make this the most festive banquet ever. Plus, we're going up against the Vikings-Cowboys game, so we need good humor to maintain the banquet's usual through-the-roof ratings."

It's with that charge that the Turkey Committee would like to announce the 1998 honorees:
Jac Sperling. He is the CEO of St. Paul's NHL expansion team. He's the guy who turned third graders into focus groups and came up with that nickname - the Wild. It's ridiculous, embarrassing and just what could be expected from a guy who can't find a k to spell Jack.

Tara Lipinski. Minnesotans didn't get to see the Olympic gold medalist during the World Figure Skating Championships last spring, since she retired from competition at 15 rather than risk a rematch with Michelle Kwan. The committee is honored to offer a Minnesota tribute to Tara, gutless little charmer that she is.

Ray (Rabbit) Miller. In 1986, Miller managed the Twins to a sub-.500 record and was fired late in September. It was not a coincidence that the Twins won the World Series in 1987. This season, Miller returned as a big-league manager in Baltimore. The Orioles had the highest payroll ($72 million) in baseball history and finished 79-83. Again, not a coincidence.

David Stern. Remember all those pompous things the NBA commissioner had to say about his league's dedication to the fans during the baseball strike and NHL lockout? Four years later, Stern's wearing a full beard, hoping a change in appearance might stop fans from pointing at a television set and saying, "There's that hypocrite Stern."

Cheryl Littlejohn. This was the year when Linda Tripp became notorious in Washington, D.C. for taping conversations and snooping into the sex lives of acquaintances. This also was the year when Littlejohn, the women's basketball coach at Minnesota, stood accused by players of using informants to monitor their conversations and snooping into every aspect of their private lives.

Tom Lehman. The Minnesota native turned 39 this year and was fighting the clock to get in more time as one of the world's top golfers. So, how did he approach 1998? Basically, Lehman played less, worked on his game less and hung out more at home in Arizona. That's why committee members now refer to him as Scottsdale's Tom Lehman.

Mike and Pete Brown. Sons of coaching legend Paul Brown, these two gentlemen run the Cincinnati Bengals, including the college draft. That means they passed on receiver Randy Moss twice before he went 21st to the Vikings last spring.

Tom Clancy. Yes, he turned out to be a fraud in his attempt to buy the Vikings. But let's admit it: The chain-smoking braggart did provide a few laughs during the short time he was in view around here.
Wayne Huizenga. There are people with money, and then there are people such as Huizenga, with the type of money that allows them to do anything. As the owner of the Florida Marlins, he had the money to win the World Series in 1997, then turn the team into the worst in baseball in 1998, simply on a whim. This willingness to ruin a franchise was based on Huizenga's general dislike of baseball, fellow owners and most ballplayers.

Kerry Collins. "Ruthless People" was a hit movie and it included this line: "Is that the single stupidest person in the world?" No, that would be Collins, the quarterback who quit on his team in Charlotte, N.C., was hooted out of town, returned for one weekend, and was arrested for drunken driving.


This program has not turned out to be as good-natured as was intended. And now the crowd seems to be getting restless. Maybe it's because we decided to take the advice of B.A. Peterson of Mounds View (Letters from readers, Star Tribune, Nov. 25) and serve grains, beans, vegetables and fruits at today's banquet, rather than the traditional turkeys raised while being "crammed into large sheds filled with toxic fumes from their excrement."

It also could be that the crowd wants to get home for the second half of the Vikings' game.
This much was known from the time the committee started serious discussions on the identity of the 1998 Turkey of the Year: The winner would come from the Minnesota Twins, a franchise that won a World Series at the start of this decade, and now is clueless, rudderless and hopeless.
There was consideration given to left fielder Marty Cordova for his decline from a Rookie of the Year to haplessness. There was consideration given to Terry Ryan, the overwhelmed general manager. There was consideration given to Tom Kelly, capable of seeing only flaws in Ryan's younger talent.
They were considered, but the Twins' fatal shortcoming has become an owner who can't even make a decision on whom he wants to make decisions. Yes, in the 21st year of this banquet, Smilin' Carl Pohlad (1987) becomes the first two-time Grand Turkey.

"The committee is proud, in this year of John Glenn's space voyage and the miracle of Viagra, to cite Mr. Pohlad for another historic achievement by and for a super senior," said the Turkey Chairman, in making the emotional announcement.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Denver 7:30 PM
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Denver 6:00 PM
Portland 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 58 2nd Half 3:51
Colorado 76
Lewis & Clark 39 2nd Half 6:04
Portland 67
SC State 30 2nd Half
Abilene Christian 23
Manhattan 22 1st Half 5:56
Fordham 21
Truett-McConnell 16 1st Half 7:10
Ga Southern 27
Citadel 22 1st Half 6:49
Michigan State 23
Miami-Ohio 14 1st Half 5:43
Ohio State 34
Gardner-Webb 22 1st Half 7:17
Purdue 29
Idaho 18 1st Half 7:57
Northern Ky 20
Fairfield 6:00 PM
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Oakland 6:00 PM
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:00 PM
Mercer 6:00 PM
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Columbia 6:30 PM
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
UAB 7:00 PM
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Furman 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Grambling St 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Penn 7:00 PM
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Boise State 9:30 PM
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Memphis 55
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
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 53 2nd Half 3:15
(16) Stanford 65
Washington St 73 2nd Half 5:49
Loyola Marymount 46
Sacramento St 65 2nd Half 11:21
San Jose St 68
SIU-Edwardsville 34 2nd Half
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:05 PM
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Hampton 7:00 PM
Florida State 7:00 PM
Murray State 7:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State


question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins off-season moves so far?

Weekly Question





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