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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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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