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 3rd Qtr
New England 6
Cleveland 3 3rd Qtr
Baltimore 3
Dallas 27 2nd Qtr 0:51
Washington 10
Indianapolis 17 2nd Qtr 1:55
Tennessee 7
Jacksonville 10 2nd Qtr 1:23
Houston 14
San Diego 7 2nd Qtr 0:33
Kansas City 16
NY Jets 14 2nd Qtr 0:38
Miami 17
Chicago 3 3rd Qtr
Minnesota 3
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TBA
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TBA
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TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
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St Johns 82
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Iona 56 2nd Half 11:38
Drexel 45
Concordia (MI) 28 2nd Half 11:10
Eastern Mich 67
Harvard 14 1st Half 9:10
Arizona State 14
Longwood 8 1st Half 11:45
Ball State 11
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Columbia 11
MD-Eastern Shore 24 1st Half 10:43
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East Carolina 20
Marist 7 1st Half 11:23
Elon 8
NJIT 5 1st Half 13:54
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Cincinnati Christian 12 1st Half 11:18
Liberty 17
Morgan State 7 1st Half 14:23
Marquette 12
Campbell 11 1st Half 12:50
Samford 11
Bucknell 14 1st Half 12:01
Siena 15
Long Beach State 14 1st Half 13:24
Syracuse 6
Coppin State 13 1st Half 11:15
Evansville 19
UMKC 5 1st Half 13:18
Indiana State 8
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Long Island
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South Dakota
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Cornell
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Fresno State
Haskell 3:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Wake Forest 3:00 PM
Richmond
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Xavier
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Northern Ariz
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IUPU-Ft Wayne
Ill-Chicago 4:00 PM
Bradley
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Fairfield
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UMBC
Delaware State 4:00 PM
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Butler
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Fordham
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California
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(24) USC 45
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Texas
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(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
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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 50 2nd Half 11:41
(8) Tennessee 52
Providence 45 2nd Half 13:22
Boston College 52
Florida A&M 30 2nd Half 15:01
Miami-Florida 63
Oakland 53 2nd Half 9:28
Central Michigan 56
Chattanooga 44 2nd Half 11:35
SIU-Edwardsville 38
Fairfield 49 2nd Half 5:47
La Salle 56
St Francis-PA 15 1st Half 11:42
Pittsburgh 17
Milwaukee 11 1st Half 11:45
IUPU-Ft Wayne 15
Gardner-Webb 9 1st Half 12:25
Longwood 20
New Hampshire 11 1st Half 11:21
Manhattan 13
Bucknell 17 1st Half 11:54
Binghamton 5
Northeastern 16 1st Half 7:49
Albany 18
George Mason 10 1st Half 12:45
Towson 16
Richmond 5 1st Half 12:12
William & Mary 16
Tulane 10 1st Half 12:05
Cincinnati 6
North Florida 11 1st Half 13:03
Florida 18
(14) Georgia 7 1st Half 11:59
Seton Hall 12
Tennessee St 18 1st Half 11:42
(12) Kentucky 16
American Univ 15 1st Half 8:44
Wake Forest 22
Massachusetts 8 1st Half 14:41
Boston U 11
Quinnipiac 13 1st Half 13:07
Saint Josephs 10
Lafayette 12 1st Half 8:02
Saint Peters 12
Northwestern 14 1st Half 9:56
(20) Michigan State 9
Duquesne 13 1st Half 12:05
Lehigh 15
George Washington 18 1st Half 11:08
Loyola-Maryland 7
(17) Rutgers 8 1st Half 12:37
Indiana 10
(24) Green Bay 23 1st Half 8:54
Dayton 16
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(16) Stanford
Long Island 4:00 PM
Long Beach St
Jackson State 4:00 PM
Louisiana
Eureka 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
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