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

Chicago 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 20 1st Half 5:16
Robert Morris 25
Santa Clara 21 1st Half 6:17
Tennessee 18
Oklahoma 12:00 PM
Butler
Austin Peay 1:00 PM
Brown
Princeton 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Coastal Carolina 1:30 PM
Chattanooga
Kansas 1:30 PM
Rhode Island
Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Georgetown
FIU 2:30 PM
USC Upstate
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 12:00 PM
Furman
Clemson 12:15 PM
Ohio State
Idaho State 1:00 PM
San Diego State
East Carolina 1:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Santa Clara 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Florida State 2:30 PM
Washington
Wichita State 2:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Kansas State 5:00 PM
LSU
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will the Gophers bring home The Axe?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT