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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Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 FINAL
Minnesota 9
Toronto 0 FINAL
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 105 FINAL
Chicago 108
Dallas 75 FINAL
Portland 94
Calgary 4 FINAL(SO)
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Washington 1
Toronto 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 4 FINAL(SO)
Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 FINAL
Nashville 3
Vancouver 2 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 3
Montreal 3 FINAL(SO)
Los Angeles 4
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 FINAL
Appalachian St 67
SC State 62 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 72
Delaware State 104 FINAL
Coppin State 92
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 FINAL
Ga Southern 76
Norfolk State 80 FINAL
Hampton 69
NC A&T 58 FINAL
NC Central 69
Savannah State 57 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 72
Marshall 50 FINAL
Old Dominion 67
Rice 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 74
South Alabama 81 FINAL
Arkansas State 76
Alabama State 78 FINAL
Grambling St 46
Alabama A&M 54 FINAL
Jackson State 72
Sam Houston St 67 FINAL
Lamar 61
Georgia State 58 FINAL
ULM 50
Central Arkansas 70 FINAL
Nicholls 77
Portland State 51 FINAL
Northern Ariz 58
Southern U 77 FINAL
Prairie View 73
Alcorn State 73 FINAL
Texas Southern 94
Houston Baptist 72 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 85
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Louisiana 75
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
New Orleans 85
California 60 FINAL
Arizona 99
Memphis 54 FINAL
Connecticut 53
VA Commonwealth 55 FINAL
Davidson 82
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 65 FINAL
Southern Utah 69
Northwestern St 66 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 92
North Texas 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 83
Colorado 64 FINAL
Washington 47
Idaho 63 FINAL
Weber State 74
Abilene Christian 52 FINAL
Incarnate Word 64
Eastern Wash 85 FINAL
Idaho State 81
Marist 80 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Eastern Ill 64 FINAL
Belmont 97
Bradley 52 FINAL
Drake 50
Cal State Fullerton 62 FINAL
UC Irvine 68
CS-Northridge 58 FINAL
Long Beach State 69
UC Riverside 59 FINAL
UC Davis 61
Stanford 62 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Utah 67 FINAL
Washington St 59
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 62 FINAL
High Point 75
Vanderbilt 61 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 67
Colorado 75 FINAL
USC 63
San Francisco 74 FINAL
Pacific 64
Idaho State 58 FINAL
Eastern Washington 62
Weber State 42 FINAL
Idaho 71
Purdue 78 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 66
Long Beach St 60 FINAL
CS-Northridge 77
Hawaii 60 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 36
UC Davis 56 FINAL
UC-Riverside 61
Northern Ariz 79 FINAL
Portland State 62
Southern Utah 73 FINAL
Sacramento St 107
Utah 64 FINAL
Washington 75
BYU 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 64

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