Turkey of the Year 2005: Bob Naegele

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

The Turkey Committee decided to simplify its task way back in 1983 and started showing a great bias toward Minnesota-based winners for the grand award. There has been only one Turkey of the Year without a Minnesota connection in the 22 years since the committee's philosophical change. That was Kerri Strug, the squeaky-voiced gymnast who made herself a hero of the 1996 Olympics by overhyping an ankle injury and allowing her crazed coach, Bela Karolyi, to carry her around Atlanta like a sack of new potatoes. We might as well get this out of the way early in today's Turkey Banquet: The committee gave consideration to Mark Downs Jr. of suburban Pittsburgh as a contender to break Minnesota's hold on top turkey. You will remember Downs as the tee ball coach who offered one ofhis players $25 to hit a teammate with a baseball. The target was a child with autism. Downs was hoping a solid bump with a baseball would enable him to avoid playing the kid in that day's game. Eventually, committee members decided they didn't want to be in Downs' company, and thus he wasn't issued a banquet invitation. It also must be revealed that our ever-vigilant members have been focused in one area since the first of the preliminary selection meetings took place in May.   A committeeman rose that day (we'll call him Darkman, to protect his identity) and said: "I'm sure that you saw the Original Whizzinator headlines this week. I really think it's about time for us to acknowledge that, without the Minnesota Vikings as an organization, the Turkey Banquet would have long since faded away. "Without the drunken driving, sexual harassing, ticket scalping, Moons in the driveway and moons in Lambeau, without the Herschel trade, Pecos River and eating peanut butter from a diaper, without taking a knee, 41-0 and Nate Poole, and now the Whizzinator - without all of this, we would have been eating our Thanksgiving cranberries at home long ago." The committee chairman never heard so many hoo-rahs in the long, emotional history of Turkey meetings. And since then, we've had the flotilla from Al and Alma's for the aquatic version of the Arctic Blast, followed by an Old Testament-sized Code of Conduct that apparently suggests players take part in intimate contact only with a committed mate for the purpose of procreation.   There's no question about it. The Turkeys of the Year come and go, but when it comes to being a fowled-up organization, the Vikings are unchallenged every year for persistent, spectacular embarrassment. As you might have anticipated, today's banquet has been moved to the waters of Lake Minnetonka. The folks at Al and Alma's hung up on us when we said a number of Vikings would be in attendance, so the Turkey cruise was booked at Bert and Bertha's, the competitors on the other side of the lake. Guests are reminded that, rather than the Turkey Banquet's tradition of formal wear, today's dress is optional. The Turkey envelopes, please. - Michelle Wie: First pro tournament, she got away with unofficial cheating once - hitting it in a bush and finagling a free drop by claiming an aversion to bees. So, she tried to cheat more blatantly the next time she found foliage, and was turned inby Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger. Congratulations to him, since no one else was willing to give this brat a comeuppance. - Daunte Culpepper: The quarterback's one-day walkout in Mankato earned him an $8 million boost in contract cash, then he took a giant leap backwards in performance before ripping up his knee in Game 7. And what the final results of Sex Cruise might do to his good-guy image Minnesota is still waiting for that. - Bret Boone: How could anyone come in as a replacement for Luis Rivas at second base and be a downgrade? Boone managed it. - Justin Morneau: In March, he was called Joe Mauer's partner in the best combination of young hitters in the major leagues. By September, injured teammate Torii Hunter was throwing a punch at Morneau, perhaps figuring it was the only way in Morneau's first full season to get anything into what seemed to be a noggin filled with Canadian granite. - Dave Lee: He's a nice fellow, but how much of his supercilious homerism must radio listeners to Gophers football withstand? Last Saturday, the Gophers were being nudged 35-0 by Iowa, and Lee was complaining about favorable spots of the ball for the Hawkeyes. This is the Big Ten, Dave, not Bertha Hewitt High. Professional it up a bit. - Lou Holtz: Gosh, Lou all the time you have spent on camera for ESPN, you haven't offered much insight into the probation-producing NCAA violations you left behind with the South Carolina Gamecocks. - Brett Favre: The once-great Packer showed it again Monday: In his dotage as a quarterback, he would rather throw extra-quick at high risk of interception, than wait a tick and face the possibility of getting hit. Favre's team is 2-8 - a reflection of many negatives, including his transformation from swashbuckler to gunshy. - Reggie Fowler: Reggie, we have a spot for you over here at the table with Tom Clancy, Donald Watkins, Sacco Babacas and T. Denny Sanford. - Tim Pawlenty: We can see the re-election billboards now, Governor: "Still proud to be standing on both sides of the stadium issue." - Rashad McCants: Real men - especially NBA rookies - don't wear leotards. And now, the 2005 Turkey finalists are asked to wobble on sea legs to the front table. - Third runner-up: Onterrio Smith, Vikings. Quote of the year: "I'm carrying this Whizzinator and dried urine for my cousin." - Second runner-up: Fred Smoot, Vikings. Credit card, cruise, covering Carolina's Steve Smith and Smith paddling his imaginary boat in the end zone all make for a succulent Turkey. - First runner-up: Terry Ryan, Twins. After a season in which the general manager did nothing as his team sunk from wild-card contention, Ryan offered up coach Al Newman as a scapegoat. This has been followed by offering Joe Vavra (three home runs in 1,187 minor league at-bats) as the new hitting coach to cure what ails the powerful Morneau and the other flailing failures. Add it up, and Terry's Twins clearly are gathering momentum for a return to the glory of 1993-2000.   And now, as we get ready to introduce Turkey of the Year No. 28, you are asked to remember the respect with which the committee always has treated cheapness. Carl Pohlad, the only two-time Turkey, cheap. Norm Green, cheap (and goofy). Red McCombs, cheap (and conniving). The 2005 Turkey of the Year will be considered a reach by some, but when it comes to being cheap, this owner has a chance to put his dollar-squeezing predecessors to shame. Yes, our newest Turkey is Bob Naegele, the Wild's chairman of the board. He enthusiastically joined the 17-month lockout, then decided not to share in a league-wide trend of rewarding fans with reduced ticket prices. Also, the guarantee of another winter of sellouts did not prevent Naegele from having his GM, Doug Risebrough, come in at roughly a $26 million payroll - $10-12 million under the new salary cap. That money goes into the pockets of Naegele and his partners, rather than offering a share of it to a free agent with whom the ticket buyers might have been familiar. But don't worry, down there in those $90 seats. Naegele still has that jersey hanging in the rafters, telling the fans that you're No. 1. We have a jersey for you today, Bob - big Turkey on the front and a dollar sign on the back.

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT