Turkey of the Year 2000: Jesse Ventura

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:15 PM

The Turkey Committee had ignored outside influences for 22 years.

The Turkey Chairman had been re-elected again and again by framing
himself as a compassionate autocrat.

In 1999, the chairman and his rubber-stamp committee met their obligation by naming a Turkey of the Millennium. And while the selection - Isaiah Rider Jr. - received acclaim, the international attention it brought to the Turkey Awards caused outside meddlers to surface.

The committee was attacked as a collection of fat old white guys, sitting around, smoking cigars and scratching themselves, and doing whatever they wanted to do. The compassionate autocrat had a response for that: "Yeah, so what?"

The committee was picketed by PETA, by Naderites, by anti-ballpark activists and by soccer moms – all demanding voting representation.

Several of these people were seated, just to shut 'em up. Already, these do-gooders have exerted their influence.

The committee honored a very worthy Turkey of the Year last Thanksgiving in Clem Haskins, the former Gophers basketball coach. Clem was very moved by this award, which had come during a difficult period in his life.

Sure enough. We allowed a collection of left wingers to gain seats on the Turkey Committee. Predictably, they got all worked up when the NCAA and the Big Ten started stripping the Gophers of their hardware and banners, and Clem of his Coach of the Year trophies.

The new committee members voted as a bloc, and there was nothing the chairman could do about it. Sorry, Clem, but you have now lost the greatest honor of all. You have been stripped of the 1999 Turkey of the Year award.

It's with a heavy heart - and soon-to-be-stuffed gullet – that the Turkey Chairman calls to order the 23rd Turkey Banquet, and introduces this year's honorees:

- Maurice Greene: The sprinter had demonstrated a brain pan filled with yams for a long time, but Greene's performance as the ringleader of the 4x100 relay team's celebration of a gold medal in Australia made Americans turn their heads away in embarrassment.

- John Rocker: Speaking of a guy with an oversized yam on his shoulders.

- Dwayne Rudd: If there were a formula for the amount of athletic ability vs. the number of plays made, Rudd would rank near the bottom of the NFL. But that doesn't stop the Vikings linebacker from nonstop preening.

- Chris Clouser: The former Northwest Airlines executive was named CEO of the Twins a few weeks into the 2000 season. He slyly increased the Twins' offer by $15 million, throwing in no-trade and opt-out clauses, to sign Brad Radke, a below-.500 pitcher. Clouser then spent the rest of his energy trying and failing to build Porta-Potty Park in a Bloomington pasture.

- C.J. Hunter: U.S. athlete Marion Jones arrived in Australia in September and flashed five fingers to the waiting cameras. The media thought that indicated the number of Olympic gold medals Jones was seeking, not an estimate of the number of steroid tests that Hunter, her shot-putter husband, had failed in recent months.

- Glen Mason: A victory over Ohio State in Columbus. Rose Bowl! Rose Bowl! Micron.pc Bowl? At least have the good taste to tear up your bonus check for this gizzard of a bowl game, coach.

- Siri Mullinix: She replaces Briana Scurry, hero of the Women's World Cup, as the goalie for the U.S. soccer team. She goes off on a wild-goose chase in the middle of the second half, Norway puts in a goal behind her and winds up beating our heroes 3-2 in overtime to win the Olympic gold medal. All those 12-year-old girls who filled stadiums around the country in the summer of 1999 are now disillusioned.

- Bobby Knight: They gave the old tyrant a couple of rules, and he was gone a month before practice started.

- Roger Clemens: Is there a psychiatric wing in the Hall of Fame?

- Cheryl Littlejohn: Twenty-four consecutive conference losses on your home floor. If this is Coach LJ's last season with the Gophers, she would leave behind a record that will live for generations.
That brings us to the finalists. To get here, the Turkey Chairman had to withstand complaints from the committee's new element. First, the do-gooders insisted they wanted a democratic process - the right to vote! Then, they claimed the ballot was confusing.

As you can see by the sample ballot that accompanies today's official program, it's preposterous to think the chairman was trying to manipulate the outcome of the voting in this first democratic election of the Turkey of the Year.

On with the banquet:

- Mark Yudof: The committee always has had great regard for those who are sanctimonious and self-serving. This little guy is tops in both categories.

- Baha Men: They are the artists who gave us "Who Let the Dogs Out," a greater blight on stadiums and arenas in this country than was "Whoot, There It Is."

- Scott Boras: Shortstop Alex Rodriguez probably rates as one of the 10 finest baseball talents of all time. He's also very personable - a splendid salesman for a troubled game. Now he's a free agent and Boras, the poisonous agent, has managed to ruin A-Rod's image in less than a month of negotiations.

- Glen Taylor, Kevin McHale, Eric Fleisher: There was considerable pressure from the public to name Taylor, the Timberwolves owner, as Grand Turkey, because of his conduct in the Joe Smith matter. Sorry, folks. Support for McHale, Taylor's vice president for basketball, and Fleisher, Smith's former agent, skimmed just enough votes from Taylor to cost him the election.
 It also has left the committee with a Grand Turkey who won with a plurality rather than a majority: Jesse Ventura.

While the Turkey Chairman was the campaign manager for Ventura, the chairman repeats his denial that the ballot he designed was intended to favor votes for his candidate.

"Gov. Me has been selected on merit," the chairman said. "Dull of etort, thin of skin and enormous in ego. Making deals with Vince McMahon, his former devil.

"Despite this year's internal problems on the committee, the chairman has never been more proud to announce a choice for Turkey of the Year."

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Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19


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