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. Shucks. 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 4th Qtr 0:16
Atlanta 104
Utah 72 4th Qtr 9:14
Memphis 67
Washington 67 4th Qtr
Chicago 74
Milwaukee 40 2nd Qtr 8:29
Denver 34
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 3rd Prd 8:51
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 2 3rd Prd 19:38
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd
Minnesota 2
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd 11:37
Dallas 0
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd
Arizona 0
Los Angeles 0 1st Prd 14:10
Edmonton 0
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 2nd Half 1:01
Ill-Chicago 58
Western Mich 56 2nd Half 3:29
Northern Ill 59
Nebraska Omaha 79 2nd Half 1:10
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 20 2nd Half
Clemson 21
Texas A&M 23 1st Half 1:18
Florida 24
Kentucky 21 1st Half 4:05
Georgia 22
West Virginia 32 1st Half 3:39
Kansas 22
Auburn 30 2nd Half
Missouri 30
Michigan 34 2nd Half
Northwestern 27
Villanova 12 1st Half 7:44
Creighton 16
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 52 2nd Half 4:20
Kansas State 46
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 30 1st Half 0:33
Air Force 24
San Jose St 28 2nd Half
Boise State 48
Nevada 24 2nd Half
Colorado State 37
UNLV 18 1st Half 0:10
San Diego State 24
Wyoming 29 2nd Half
Utah State 28

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT