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


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Toronto 6:00 PM
Houston 6:30 PM
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Portland 7:30 PM
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
San Antonio
Charlotte 8:00 PM
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 0 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 1
NY Islanders 1 FINAL
Detroit 4
Arizona 2 3rd Prd 5:27
Ottawa 6
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Florida 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Columbus 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Boston College 49 FINAL
Clemson 64
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Eastern Mich 69
NC State 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
Iowa 63
Stony Brook 48 FINAL
New Hampshire 63
Notre Dame 72 FINAL
Pittsburgh 76
Providence 66 FINAL
St Johns 75
Davidson 70 FINAL
Saint Josephs 75
Xavier 82 FINAL
Seton Hall 90
Tulane 37 FINAL
Temple 55
Auburn 63 FINAL
Tennessee 71
Texas Tech 58 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Arkansas 56 FINAL
Florida 57
Penn State 58 FINAL
Illinois 60
Lipscomb 73 FINAL
Stetson 75
South Florida 71 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Bradley 58 FINAL
Indiana State 64
UMass Lowell 69 FINAL
Binghamton 76
Green Bay 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 76
Georgetown 67 FINAL
Creighton 40
Coll of Charleston 68 FINAL
Delaware 71
Villanova 68 FINAL
DePaul 55
Vermont 65 FINAL
Hartford 46
Iowa State 83
Kennesaw St 51 FINAL
Jacksonville 50
Kansas State 57 FINAL
Kansas 68
Boston Univ 86 FINAL
Lehigh 89
Illinois State 48 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
Albany 77 FINAL
Maine 59
Butler 72 FINAL
Marquette 68
Miss State 73
Mount St Marys 77 FINAL
Sacred Heart 71
Richmond 64 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 55
Virginia Tech 70 FINAL
Wake Forest 73
IUPU-Ft Wayne 75 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 65
Arkansas State 43 FINAL
Georgia State 74
Loyola-Maryland 77 FINAL
Army 71
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Belmont 71
Bethune-Cookman 61 FINAL
Florida A&M 44
Valparaiso 70 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 65
TX-San Antonio 57
Idaho State 69 FINAL
North Dakota 80
Evansville 65 FINAL
Drake 70
Rutgers 64 FINAL
Indiana 72
Ball State 73 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 79
Southern U 24 2nd Half 15:01
Alcorn State 35
UNC-Wilmington 50 2nd Half 9:30
Drexel 60
Coastal Carolina 51 2nd Half 8:53
Gardner-Webb 47
Morgan State 20 2nd Half 20:00
Howard 28
William & Mary 66 2nd Half 10:02
James Madison 47
North Carolina 44 2nd Half 15:39
Louisville 32
Coppin State 48 2nd Half
MD-Eastern Shore 45
Ole Miss 53 2nd Half 7:57
Missouri 39
Wichita State 36 2nd Half 10:04
Northern Iowa 53
Loyola Marymount 44 2nd Half 8:21
Pacific 52
Winthrop 48 2nd Half 10:00
Radford 53
George Washington 33 2nd Half 12:30
Rhode Island 38
Bryant 52 2nd Half 7:50
Robert Morris 44
Long Island 49 2nd Half 10:45
St Francis-NY 59
Fair-Dickinson 50 2nd Half 7:37
St Francis-PA 54
Massachusetts 44 2nd Half 10:39
Saint Louis 39
Georgia 33 2nd Half 11:59
South Carolina 44
Central Conn St 48 2nd Half 3:54
Wagner 73
SIU Edwardsville 32 2nd Half 13:24
Eastern Ill 32
Ohio 31 2nd Half 20:00
Central Mich 41
Eastern Ky 27 2nd Half
Morehead State 34
Incarnate Word 41 2nd Half 14:35
Nicholls 37
Campbell 27 2nd Half
UNC-Asheville 24
Vanderbilt 25 2nd Half 18:15
Texas A&M 40
Western Carolina 23 1st Half 5:59
UNC Greensboro 22
Detroit 6 1st Half 10:28
Milwaukee 18
Idaho 30 1st Half 6:28
Eastern Wash 20
Marshall 4:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jackson State 4:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Houston Baptist 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Louisiana 4:30 PM
Texas State
Denver 4:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 4:30 PM
South Dakota
South Alabama 4:35 PM
Texas 5:00 PM
Citadel 5:00 PM
Fresno State 5:00 PM
Colorado State
Yale 5:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:00 PM
Grambling St
Nebraska 5:00 PM
Hampton 5:00 PM
Norfolk State
Purdue 5:00 PM
Alabama A&M 5:00 PM
Prairie View
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Pepperdine 5:00 PM
St Marys-CA
NC A&T 5:00 PM
Savannah State
Delaware State 5:00 PM
SC State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Southern Miss
Nevada 5:00 PM
Akron 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Colgate 6:00 PM
FIU 6:00 PM
Brown 6:00 PM
George Mason 6:00 PM
NC Central 6:00 PM
East Tenn St
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Alabama 6:00 PM
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Hawaii 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
New Orleans 6:00 PM
McNeese State
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Elon 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Harvard 6:00 PM
La Salle 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Furman 6:00 PM
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Duke 6:00 PM
Mercer 6:00 PM
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
North Florida
Longwood 6:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC Riverside
Towson 7:00 PM
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Murray State
San Jose St 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Rice 7:00 PM
North Texas
Toledo 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
San Francisco 7:00 PM
San Diego
Utah State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
UCF 7:00 PM
Southern Ill 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Troy 7:15 PM
Jacksonville St 7:30 PM
Tennessee St
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Stanford 7:30 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Middle Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Weber State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Memphis 9:00 PM
Air Force 9:00 PM
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Seattle 9:00 PM
Montana State 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Colorado 9:30 PM
UMKC 9:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Mount St Marys 64 FINAL
Sacred Heart 71
Texas-El Paso 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 74
Arkansas State 61 FINAL
Georgia State 47
Bryant 84 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Central Conn St 83 FINAL
Wagner 67
Fairleigh Dickinson 78 FINAL
St Francis-PA 60
Long Island 53 FINAL
St Francis-NY 62
Bethune-Cookman 70 FINAL
Florida A&M 57
Longwood 56 FINAL
Campbell 68
Charleston Southern 40 FINAL
Winthrop 77
Louisiana Tech 68 FINAL
Marshall 67
Ohio U 74 FINAL
Central Michigan 66
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 53
Coppin State 58 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 66
Incarnate Word 34 FINAL
Nicholls 67
Samford 46 FINAL
East Tenn St 48
Western Carolina 72 FINAL
Furman 84
Gardner-Webb 71 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 65
Liberty 58 FINAL
High Point 41
Presbyterian 46 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 59
Kent State 67 FINAL
Akron 74
Northern Ill 65 FINAL
Ball State 62
Houston 66 FINAL
Cincinnati 69
SIU-Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 48
Eastern Kentucky 58 FINAL
Morehead St 76
Holy Cross 67 FINAL
American Univ 61
Army 62 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 53
Niagara 53 FINAL
Manhattan 46
Lehigh 78 FINAL
Boston U 71
Navy 65 FINAL
Lafayette 60
Saint Josephs 57 FINAL
Davidson 52
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Fordham 46
George Washington 87 FINAL
George Mason 52
St Bonaventure 77 FINAL
Massachusetts 57
Milwaukee 64 FINAL
Youngstown St 87
Jacksonville 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 64
North Florida 49 FINAL
USC Upstate 61
St Marys-CA 53 FINAL
Pepperdine 49
Nebraska Omaha 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
Sam Houston St 74
Mercer 59 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 71
No Dakota State 52 FINAL
South Dakota St 82
Oral Roberts 70 FINAL
South Dakota 93
Southern Miss 63 FINAL
Western Ky 61
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
UAB 73
East Carolina 67 FINAL
Tulane 63
South Florida 57 FINAL
Memphis 53
Buffalo 75 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 53
New Mexico St 74 FINAL
TX-Pan American 71
Utah Valley U 58 FINAL
Jackson State 71 FINAL
Miss Valley St 74
Louisiana 83 FINAL
Texas State 81
South Alabama 53 FINAL
ULM 55
Saint Louis 72 FINAL
Dayton 87
Cleveland State 72 FINAL
Oakland 64
Grand Canyon 76 FINAL
Chicago State 51
Oregon 67
Washington St 56 FINAL
(12) Stanford 75
Kansas State 34 2nd Half 10:44
Texas Tech 35
UNLV 61 2nd Half 9:41
Air Force 65
UCF 54 2nd Half 4:32
Tulsa 56
UNC Greensboro 56 2nd Half 4:52
Wofford 62
Delaware State 52 2nd Half 6:30
SC State 56
San Diego State 59 2nd Half 4:01
Utah State 50
Sacramento St 63 2nd Half 8:36
Montana 75
Hampton 54 2nd Half 7:46
Norfolk State 54
NC A&T 44 2nd Half 6:21
Savannah State 41
Alabama A&M 33 2nd Half
Prairie View 40
Toledo 50 2nd Half 8:35
Bowling Green 35
Ark-Pine Bluff 18 2nd Half
Grambling 29
Southern U 20 2nd Half 16:00
Alcorn State 33
Marist 50 2nd Half 6:33
Iona 50
Bucknell 39 2nd Half 4:40
Colgate 47
North Dakota 48 2nd Half 7:27
Idaho State 55
Ark-Little Rock 26 2nd Half
Georgia Southern 23
BYU 10 1st Half 8:11
Santa Clara 17
Gonzaga 24 1st Half 7:13
Portland 21
Pacific 19 1st Half 8:36
Loyola Marymount 20
Colorado State 20 1st Half 6:36
Fresno State 13
New Mexico 18 1st Half 8:58
San Jose St 9
UC Davis 11 1st Half 7:24
UC Santa Barbara 16
San Diego 14 1st Half 7:58
San Francisco 26
New Orleans 13 1st Half 9:09
McNeese State 23
TX A&M-CC 17 1st Half 3:55
Stephen F Austin 23
Old Dominion 26 1st Half 7:33
Florida Atlantic 8
Tenn Tech 6 1st Half 12:19
Belmont 12
Eastern Washington 13 1st Half 8:50
Idaho 16
Stetson 23 1st Half 8:15
Lipscomb 14
Washington 4:30 PM
USC 4:30 PM
(7) Oregon State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 4:30 PM
Northwestern St 4:30 PM
SE Louisiana
SE Missouri St 4:30 PM
Austin Peay
Portland State 5:00 PM
Montana State
Columbia 5:00 PM
Northern Colorado 5:00 PM
Weber State
Charlotte 5:00 PM
(19) Princeton 5:00 PM
Penn 5:00 PM
UT Martin 5:00 PM
Murray State
Troy 5:00 PM
Morgan State 77 FINAL
Howard 64
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Jacksonville St 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Oklahoma St 6:00 PM
Iowa State
CS-Bakersfield 6:00 PM
La Salle 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Cal-Irvine 6:00 PM
Cal Poly
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM


question of the day

Poll: Who wins the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question





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