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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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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