Turkey of the Year 2003: Glen Mason

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 4:31 PM

There have been few outfits more dedicated to selflessness than Turkey of the Year, Inc. The Board of Directors has spent 25 years giving to others.

We decided the time finally had arrived to be nice to ourselves. So, for the past 10 days, you could have found the Turkey Board gallivanting about Hawaii, blowing wads of shareholders' money, and without a care in the world. The Turkey brain trust had never seemed as kind of spirit as it engaged in what was supposed to be the climactic meeting to determine the 2003 honorees.

No matter the Turkey candidate mentioned, a voice would say, "Yes, that was questionable behavior, but let's look at it from his [or her] standpoint."
 
The Turkey Chairman gaveled the meeting to a close, saying: "I will not tolerate all of this understanding. We might as well play golf."

This decision would provide precisely the attitude adjustment needed after the Turkey Board wound up at Ko'olau Golf Club. It sits directly below the rain-soaked mountains on the Windward side of Oahu, and bills itself as "The World's Most Challenging Golf Course."

That sounds much better than "The World's Most Ridiculous Golf Course," which would be more accurate.

"If you see the [wild] hogs, don't go toward them," the starter told the Turkey group on the first tee.
We were safe, since no self-respecting hog would root around in the mudholes that were intended to serve as fairways.

Yup, five hours at Ko'olau were all the Turkey Board required to get into a foul (fowl?) mood and properly complete its work.

Let's have it - the list of special invitees for this 26th annual affair, still the Turkey Banquet, even if the menu this time features poke, mango and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, rather than basted bird, cranberries and pumpkin pie:

- Marion Jones. The sprinter went to the Sydney Olympics as America's sprinter/heroine. It was revealed before competition started that her husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, had been busted earlier for a positive steroid test.

Marion divorced Hunter and took up with sprinter Tim Montgomery. The couple was taped working out with Charlie Francis, the coach of disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a year ago. And, earlier this month, Montgomery testified before the grand jury looking into BALCO, the Bay Area outfit alleged to have distributed THG - a re-formulated steroid designed to beat drug tests.

Hmmmm, Marion. That's all. Just, hmmmm.

- A.J. Pierzynski. The recently traded Twins catcher also testified briefly to the same grand jury. Fortunately, A.J. has strong evidence he did not dabble in muscle-building THG - namely, a mere 11 home runs for a 6-3, 225-pound lefthanded hitter in a lefty-friendly ballpark.

- Martha Burk. There was enough of a police presence on Masters Saturday to secure the anti-Bush protest in London. As it turned out, Martha Burk's campaign against Augusta National was able to produce only 20 protesters. There was so little energy with Martha and her small legion that they were not able to drown out one redneck who was shouting, "Iron my shirt; make my dinner."

- Joe Paterno. Last season, the coach spent much energy selling the idea to the Penn State rubes that Big Ten officials had a vendetta against his Nittany Lions. This season, his players laid down on him like Nittany Dogs. Give it up, Joe Pa.

- Cristian Guzman. The shortstop was able to get less out of more than any Twins player.

- Chris Hovan. See above, changing shortstop to defensive tackle and Twins to Vikings.

- Phil Mickelson. See above, changing shortstop to golfer and Twins to PGA Tour.

- Dan Monson. What is it about this Gophers basketball coach that causes tall Minnesotans to bail out early rather than stick around to become standouts? Whatever his magic in that area, it was worth Monson's first-ever Turkey Banquet invitation.

- Mike Kelly. Yes, the Vikings' vice president beat the drunken driving rap he faced from activities during the team's Arctic Orgy promotion at Mille Lacs last winter, but the Turkey Board can't forget Kelly asking for a tissue to dab his eyes while in custody.

- LaTroy Hawkins. What the Turkey Chairman will miss most about the Twins reliever will be his shouting "Could you do any better?" across the clubhouse. You never could convince our guy LaTroy that perhaps Minnesota's major leaguers should be held to higher standard of performance than might be provided by a guy in his late 50s and shaped like a pineapple.
 
And now, here to accept their Turkey-feather leis, are the finalists:

- Second runner-up: T. Denny Sanford. A while back, we had Alabama's Donald Watkins. Now, we have South Dakota's T. Denny, who wants the University of Minnesota to build a football stadium and put his name on it, and trust him to fork over the $35 million eventually.

- First runner-up: Red McCombs. This was Red's position at the Turkey Banquet a year ago. The Vikings owner offered much in his bid to move up to Grand Turkey - threatening a lawsuit ("We'll see you in court") to break his team's commitment to Minnesota, threatening to move training camp out of Minnesota, telling his players they had humiliated themselves after the first loss of the season.

Red did it all, but it wasn't enough.

The Grand Turkey for 2003 is Glen Mason, architect of the most feeble nine-victory season in the history of Big Ten football.

It looked impossible for Mason to climb over McCombs to join the distinguished list of Turkeys of the Year, but his bold move of last week - suggesting in sideways fashion that the Minnesota sporting public would be responsible if his Gophers received a low-rung bowl bid - pulled out this last-minute upset.
 
Mason is demanding the bowl berth his team deserves, and it should be this: whatever is left after Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa and Michigan State have taken up the Big Ten's first five spots.
You can't play one of the three or four softest schedules among 63 BCS teams, then claim your 9-3 is better than Michigan State's 8-4, not when the Spartans beat you on your home field.
Unless you're Mason. Then you can make the claim.

Mix that with Sunday morning censorship and watching in befuddlement as a 21-point fourth quarter lead blows away against Michigan, and here's a postseason prize for Mason that is definitely deserved:
Turkey of the Year.

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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 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 55 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 56
Oklahoma City 33 2nd Qtr 8:48
Dallas 42
New York 8:00 PM
Portland
Toronto 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 0 1st Prd 16:29
Anaheim 0
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
NJIT 71 FINAL
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
UMKC 73 FINAL
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
UMBC 55
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
UCLA 40 2nd Half 5:49
Alabama 43
Stony Brook 4 1st Half 15:24
Washington 6
Buffalo 7 1st Half 16:18
Wisconsin 8
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
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 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
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
Stanford
(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
Minnesota
(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
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(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
Florida
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
UCLA 67
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 37 2nd Half 11:40
Louisiana 43
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis

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