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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Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

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