Turkey of the Year 2004: Red McCombs

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:15 PM

There have been complaints within the Turkey Committee for several years that decision-making power was centralized with a bunch of heathens left over from the Summer of Love. A growing faction of religious conservatives on the committee offered its first show of strength a couple of years ago, when it forced the Turkey Chairman to take down his favorite placard in the board room, the one with the painted flowers that read, "Make Love, Not War." The empowerment this faction felt only increased with the events of Nov. 2, when George W. Bush rode the coattails of a higher power (no, not Karl Rove) to a second term. The chairman's political problems were clear again Wednesday, when he walked into the board room for the final Turkey of the Year selection meeting and the head of the faction announced: "We're giving you one more chance, Mr. Chairman. What's your position on gay marriage?" Without a hem or a haw, the Chairman said: "I'm all for it. I feel as though the folks with alternative lifestyles should be permitted to suffer as much as the rest of us." Much shouting and debate ensued, and finally it was decided the chairman would be allowed to announce the roll call for one more flock of Turkeys: - Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. This pair of Greek sprinters brings with them an impeccable resume: fleeing from a pre-Olympic drug test, faking a motorcycle accident in order to hide out at a hospital and disgracing the home country on the eve of the Athens Games. - Alvin Shackelford. This was the smooth dude with the oversized hero jersey who walked onto the Pistons court last Friday night and gave Indiana's Ron Artest a "what-you-got?" shrug. Whack! Down went Alvin. As he wobbled to his feet, Alvin turned into the path of Jermaine O'Neal, Artest's teammate. Whack! Down went Alvin again. Poor Alvin has hired a lawyer - but he also has some explaining to do to his boyz. - Gary Bettman. What sound does the shutdown of the commissioner's hockey league make in the Lower 48? Far from a gobble-gobble - more like a peep-peep. - Todd Bertuzzi. Right, Todd, there's no hockey, but your admirers here in Minnesota on the Turkey Committee have not forgotten the Vancouver winger's attack last March on Colorado's Steve Moore.   - J.C. Romero. There were two lefthanded pitchers of prime talent employed by the Twins this season. Johan Santana, 25, won the American League's Cy Young Award. Romero, 28, briefly was sent back to the minors. At season's end, he was completely distrusted by his manager - all because of a refusal to throw strikes. - World Cup of Hockey. The Wild gave its season ticketholders an ultra-hard sell on what a breathtaking attraction this early September hockey tournament would prove to be. Someone paying those stiff prices to watch sleepwalking-on-skates should have sued the Wild for false enticement. - Joel Maturi. Two years on the job as Gophers athletic director and already Maturi is a Turkey Banquet invitee. Allowing men's basketball coach Dan Monson to put together the current nonconference schedule was an invitation to the most loyal of Williams Arena season-ticket customers to cancel. There also was the attempt to negotiate a high-buck extension with a guy who is now an eighth-place football coach. Keep it up, Joel. You have Grand Turkey potential. - Mike Krzyzewski. Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Billy Packer and all the stooges for the Duke men's basketball coach could not cover up his classless display at the end of the Blue Devils' choke against UConn in the NCAA semifinals. He blamed the refs for the loss, then followed with the charade of being interested in coaching the L.A. Lakers in order to have the Duke administration prove again how much it loves him. - Lou Holtz. A former Grand Turkey (1985), Lou has been invited back to tell the banquet audience about his glorious final Saturday as a college football coach. First, his South Carolina Chickens offered a woeful effort against archrival Clemson, then they ended Holtz's career by engaging in a brawl. - Nomar Garciaparra. The shortstop took his poisonous attitude from the Red Sox to the Cubs on July 31. The Red Sox responded by winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years, while the Cubs faded in the stretch. It wasn't a coincidence. - Hal Sutton. Captain Hal opened his Ryder Cup duties by putting together Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, two egos that clearly could not fit into one pairing. This was the first of several failed brainstorms for Sutton, ultimately the boss of the most-embarrassing Ryder Cup effort in Yanks history - an 18 1/2-9 1/2 loss on home turf (Oakland Hills) to Europe. The Turkey Committee, before we get to our finalists, would like to thank NBA Commissioner David Stern for using Artest's lost wages to pay for an entire table of guests to today's banquet. Ron the Rapper is here, as well as Kobe Bryant, Stephen Jackson, Latrell Sprewell, Vince Carter, Anthony Peeler and Carmelo Anthony, elbow to elbow with Stern himself, as Turkey honorees. Now, it's time to reveal the final three, the drama that annually causes quivering among all Turkey Banquet attendees - righties, lefties, fundamentalists, agnostics, Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. - Second runner-up: Kris Humphries. When basketball coaches of the future seek to teach the "turn and dribble into a triple-team" maneuver, they will search the archives for tapes of Humphries with Monson's Gophers. Kris' father, Bill, has agreed to come out of his shell and present his son with the coveted prize, the bronze cranberry dish. - First runner-up: Glen Mason. The Turkey Committee has received public pressure for a Grand Turkey candidate in the past, but nothing to compare with the e-mails, notes and calls demanding Coach Mason as a first-ever back-to-back Grand Turkey winner, following the Gophers' football season of monumental failure. The committee members have chosen to proudly thump our chests and simply remind you that we were ahead of the curve in honoring Mason with the big prize on Thanksgiving 2003. Our guy Sid Hartman, who has been double-crossed previously in hyping Gophers football but never like this, is here to present Mason with the silver gravy boat for finishing second. - Grand Turkey: Red McCombs. Finally. After consecutive Thanksgivings as the first runner-up, the Vikings owner came out firing this fall with more "I Love L.A." rhetoric and more nickel-squeezing at Winter Park. Remember, in actual dollars, Red has the Vikings much closer to the salary-cap minimum than the maximum. Presenting McCombs with the Golden Gobbler is Mike Tice, who might feel safer as a citizen with a Texan in the White House, but shouldn't feel the same way as a coach with this Texan in the owner's suite.

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Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
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NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Ottawa 12:30 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

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