Turkey of the Year 2006: Pam Borton

  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:16 PM

The internal debate on the Turkey Committee between the old guard and the young turks reached a new level of hostility during this week's final consultations. The belligerent youngsters restated their contention that the Turkey Awards should be dedicated to ridicule. They argued vociferously that the Grand Turkey, a-k-a the Herschel, should be reserved for idiotic behavior of athletes. The turks said the big award should go to a gentleman such as former Viking Koren Robinson, who was pinched for driving over the legal limit at more than 100 miles per hour and in the process blew the millions he had coming on a new contract. The committee's chairman tried to explain again that the Turkey Awards are about catharsis – about pointing out flaws on which an honoree can work to become a better athlete, coach, owner or administrator, and perhaps a better person. "Take the example of the most recent Grand Turkey, Bob Naegele, the owner of Minnesota's NHL team," the chairman said. "A year ago, he was so cheap that he was ripping off his loyal customers with an inferior product. "This flaw was pointed out on Thanksgiving morning 2005, and the man changed his ways. Naegele funded an overhaul of the roster last summer and now lively entertainment has returned for the sellout crowds in St. Paul. "So you see what these prestigious awards can do when based on constructive criticism, rather than mere chastisement." The turks hooted and hurled insults at the chairman until he couldn't take it anymore. The old boy pounded the lectern and shouted: "The Turkeys are what we thought they were! Now, if you want to crown Koren's keister, then crown it. But the Turkeys ARE what we thought they were!" The debate was over. The Turkey Committee finally embarked on the serious business of issuing these invitations for the 29th annual Turkey Banquet: - Ron Gardenhire: The Twins manager was a late addition after the MVP votes were announced. MVP, Cy Young, batting champ, Exec of the Year as the talent provider - and 0-3 in the playoffs. We want more, Gardy. - Phil Mickelson: He wasn't satisfied to ruin his own season by pouting over his 72nd-hole collapse in the U.S. Open. He also decided to ruin any chance for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup. - Ricky Davis: Can't shoot but won't stop trying. Doesn't pass or play defense. The Woofies wuz robbed. - Jason Kubel: He goes in the tank after the All-Star break, sits around and shows no ambition the final six weeks of the season, then refuses the Twins' request to go to Venezuela for the second half of the winter schedule to get at-bats. Starting in left fieldfor the Twins on Opening Day 2007: Jason ... Tyner. - Fay Vincent: He wasn't satisfied to be a disastrous baseball commissioner. He also was the chairman of the Hall of Fame's Negro Leagues special committee that failed to include the great (and now late) Buck O'Neil among last summer's 17 inductees. - Landon Donovan: The United States soccer team went to the World Cup in Germany with a huge buildup. The Yanks failed miserably - with Donovan as the top flop. - Ben Smith: There are two countries in the world with more than a few dozen women playing hockey: the United States and Canada. Against all odds, Smith managed to avoid coaching the U.S. team into the gold medal game at this winter's Olympics. - Michelle Wie: Look up snot .n in any unabridged dictionary and you will find her picture. - Linda Koblick and Penny Steele: What's more juvenile for a Hennepin County commissioner: Koblick still refusing to talk to a colleague who voted for the tax to finance a Twins stadium, or Weepin' Penny weeping every time there was a debate on the issue? - Jay Mariotti: The Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist shows up every afternoon on ESPN making a fool of himself, then we find out this summer - during the brouhaha with Ozzie Guillen - that he hasn't had time to visit the White Sox clubhouse in a decade. - M & M & M boys: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer? Of course not. These are the permanent seats of honor for the U's Joel Maturi, Glen Mason and Dan Monson. - Phyllis Kahn: This legislator was so concerned about the youth of America in years back that she wanted 12-year-olds to have the right to vote. And then DeLaSalle, the oldest tenant on Nicollet Island, sought a permit to build a small football field next to the high school. Phyllis lives down there and turned into a raving hypocrite - a wild-eyed foe of a facility to benefit the diverse student body of her city's only Catholic high school. And now move aside for the head table: - Second runner-up: Zygi Wilf. Look out down there on Nicollet Island, Phyllis. That might be the next place the Vikings owner and crazed New Jersey developer wants to take his stadium dream. One big problem Zygmunt's maneuvering has created: The only way to fund a Vikings stadium would be with a referendum for a seven-county tax, and he has managed to alienate Anoka County to the tune of about 95 percent against in such a vote. - First runner-up: Don Lucia. When his underage hockey players were caught on tape drinking, Lucia said they were "violated." When his big-budget Gophers were eliminated in a first-round upset by non-entity Holy Cross, he didn't have the good taste to be embarrassed. And then Lucia's lackeys whispered negatives about the departing Phil Kessel, who had been ballyhooed a few months earlier as the best recruit in program history. Lucia would have been worthy of the Herschel, except there was a coaching colleague at Minnesota who had a more impressive end-of-season collapse. As most Turkey followers must have anticipated, the 29th Grand Turkey is Pam Borton, the basketball coach of the U of M women. Borton's 2006 seniors went backward in their play, then the underclassmen bailed faster than an audience at a Michael Richards standup routine. In four years, Borton has taken the team she inherited from 14,000 people screaming inside Williams Arena to a following that would fit comfortably next door in the Sports Pavilion. Borton's Herschel also has huge gender-equity implications. She's only the second woman - along with gymnast Kerri Strug in 1996 – to be a Grand Turkey. The chairman is so emotional over this he's about to weep like Penny Steele.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

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