Turkey of the Year 2002: Kevin McHale and Flip Saunders

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 4:30 PM

Herschel Walker. Joe Salem. Jim Wacker. Dino Ciccarelli. Ron Davis. J.R. Rider. Christian Laettner. Harvey Mackay. Chris Voelz. Mark Yudof. Roger Headrick. Cheryl Littlejohn. Sid Hartman. Dark Star. Rudy Martzke. Bud Selig.

And: Glen Mason.

How tough is it to become the Turkey of the Year? Look at the list of names above, and then realize the unfathomable: None of the aforementioned legends has been deemed to be the Grand Turkey of a single calendar year.

Yes, Rider was named the Turkey of the Millennium for the years 1000-1999, and Walker had a lifetime achievement award named for him by the Turkey Committee, and Voelz was the winner of that lifetime achievement award, but Turkey of the Year? Nope.

These prestigious contenders have been shut out through 24 years of Turkey Banquets, ranging from those wonderful feasts we experienced during the Clinton economic boom, to the pressed turkey roll we now choke down in these hard times.
Still, this is the 25th Turkey Banquet and the committee wanted to do something special to greet the attendees.

Rick Kahn was invited to make a fiery keynote address, but we were informed he has chosen to take a hiatus from public rhetoric. We invited Senator-elect Norm Coleman and were told he would offer any message we wanted, although it had to be approved by the White House. These constraints caused the committee to go where we should havebeen looking in the first place: to Twins owner Carl Pohlad, the only two-time Turkey in a quarter-century of gobble glory.

In today's prepared remarks, Pohlad will tell the banquet audience: "I was happy seeing my team back in the playoffs. The only thing that would have made me happier was if my baseball partners had been allowed to give me that $175 million a few months earlier to fold the Twins."

With those inspiring words, we will start the roll call of honored guests for this historic 25th celebration of Turkeydom:

- R.T. Rybak. There were many Minnesota politicians suckered by the idea that Donald Watkins was prepared to buy the Twins and build a ballpark, but none looked sillier than the newly elected Minneapolis mayor standing with Watkins in that hole behind Target Center, trying to sell it to the Alabama windbag as a stadium site.

- Rivaldo. The Brazilian set an example for other soccer fakers to follow throughout last summer's World Cup. A ball was fired after the whistle and struck Rivaldo in the leg. He grabbed his head and went down as though he had been shot in the face by a bazooka. He was cited by FIFA for what was termed "disgraceful overreaction." And here's the good part - Rivaldo did this against Turkey.

- Jerry Royster. After a miserable season, the stragglers attending Brewers games had fun with shortstop Jose Hernandez's pursuit of the single-season strikeout record. Manager Royster went into a pout and benched Hernandez for the final games of the season. Hernandez didn't get the record, but Royster got what he deserved - being fired.

- Sarah Tueting. Dartmouth's Tueting and Providence's Sara DeCosta had been the top two goalies for U.S. women's hockey since the 1998 Olympics. Tueting was the winning goalie in the gold medal game that year. Last winter in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tueting was informed a season-long rotation would stay in force and DeCosta would be the goalie in the Olympic final.
To which Tueting harrumphed, "I do know I can do it in an Olympic final. Now, it's time for Sara to stand up and see if she can do it." Canada upset the Yanks and DeCosta, 3-2, which might have thrilled Tueting.

- Paul Allen. There's no way a play-by-play announcer can be spotted in a victorious locker room hugging a naked offensive lineman without getting a Turkey invite. Allen wound up in that situation with Vikings center Matt Birk after the mid-October victory over Detroit.

- Clinton Hurlbut. That was quite a shot for an ultra-senior citizen, Clinton, nailing that four-legged beast with a slug from 200 yards. If only it had been the world's largest albino buck, rather than a white horse.

- Joseph Chapman. The president of North Dakota State has been 100 percent behind the wacky plan to propel his school into Division I athletics. Meantime, the NDSU football team - too mighty for its Division II rivals in Chapman's opinion - finished 1-7 and last in the North Central Conference.

- Denny Hocking and Anne Hutchinson. Didn't they make a cute couple - the slap-hitting utility infielder and the future winner of CBS' Walter Cronkite Award - spraying each other with alcohol products after the Twins clinched a playoff spot?

- William Ligue Jr. You remember Billy, don't you? Billy called a relative and told her to find the White Sox game on television, then led his 15-year-old son out of the stands to attack Tom Gamboa, Kansas City's unsuspecting first base coach. In the process, Billy offered an important reminder to criminals everywhere: Always be shirtless to show off tattoos when being led away by the cops.

- Kirby Puckett. The committee would like to emphasize that, for now, the greatest player in Twins history is just an honored banquet guest.

And that takes us to the three finalists. As usual, it took much wrangling and many votes to reach a decision, which was this:

- Second runner-up: Brenda (Oldfield) Frese. There's always a place for ingratitude at the head table of the Turkey Banquet.

- First runner-up: Red McCombs. The Texas car dealer wants $600 million for a team for which he paid $250 million four years ago. And, he wants the public to build his Vikings a stadium all his own, so he can add scores of millions to that price.

When McCombs' people show up at the State Legislature next January, the Republicans running the place should say, "Tell your boss to call Sacco Babacas or Donald Watkins. Maybe they will build him a stadium."

This gets us to the 2002 Grand Turkey. For a second year in a row, following Randy Moss and Cris Carter, we have two chaps joined at the hip to share this honor:

- Kevin McHale and Flip Saunders.

This Timberwolves brain trust let Tom Gugliotta leave for nothing. They traded Stephon Marbury for what has turned out to be $10 million worth of nothing - Terrell Brandon. They got their Jacksons mixed up, losing Bobby and acquiring Marc.

They served as enablers to owner Glen Taylor's Joe Smith fetish by bringing back this NBA version of a stick figure, without even getting a promise from Joe that he would eat a big bowl of Wheaties every morning.
As you two affable ex-Gophers receive your golden drumsticks, the committee would like to add a keepsake to dramatize the occasion. Yes, we have copies of Sunday's Star Tribune sports section, with the game story for a third-year NHL expansion team on page 1 and the game story for your current product on page 19.

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Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 34 FINAL
Atlanta 3
Detroit 20 FINAL
Green Bay 30
Oakland 14 FINAL
Denver 47
Arizona 17 FINAL
San Francisco 20
St. Louis 6 FINAL
Seattle 20
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Pittsburgh 27
Arizona 1/3/15 3:35 PM
Baltimore 1/3/15 7:15 PM
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 106 FINAL
San Antonio 110
Oklahoma City 107 FINAL
Dallas 112
New York 79 FINAL
Portland 101
Toronto 116 FINAL
Denver 102
Phoenix 116 FINAL
LA Lakers 107
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 1 FINAL(OT)
Anaheim 2
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 59 FINAL
Cornell 52
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 46 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 80
Ill-Chicago 60 FINAL
Bradley 68
Loyola-Maryland 61 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
Houston 80
Lehigh 58 FINAL
Delaware State 56 FINAL
Temple 66
Belmont 56 FINAL
Butler 67
Howard 59 FINAL
Fordham 74
NW Christian 67 FINAL
Nevada 81
UC Davis 83 FINAL
Washington St 90
Abilene Christian 81 FINAL
Grand Canyon 83
Alabama 56
Stony Brook 62 FINAL
Washington 57
Buffalo 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
CS-Bakersfield 55 FINAL
California 52
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Colgate 68 FINAL
Siena 80
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Fla Gulf Coast 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 64
Yale 51 FINAL
(25) Arizona State 69
UC Santa Barbara 34 FINAL
(16) Stanford 90
Long Island 63 FINAL
Long Beach St 71
Jackson State 56 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 58 FINAL
Memphis 57


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