Turkey of the year 2009: Tim Brewster

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

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed Feb. 17 by President Obama. The chairman of the Turkey Committee immediately contacted his board of directors on a  conference call to ask, "How can we get our hands on some of that $787 billion in order to continue to do our good works?'' A board member nicknamed "Fingers,'' and by coincidence a former employee of both Tom Petters and Denny Hecker, came up with the plan: Apply under the initials MTPA, emboss the envelope with a turkey logo and include in the application a strong hint that we long have had a strong role in the promotion of turkeys in Minnesota. Imagine the excitement when an official government envelope arrived at committee headquarters in August. Inside, the cover letter said our organization was receiving stimulus funds as part of the distribution for Minnesota's 23rd Congressional District, and there was a check made out to the MTPA for $38 million and change. All that was left after that was to complete the paperwork as the Minnesota Turkey Provocateurs Association and, presto, we had on hand a potential bonus for the honorees at today's Turkey Banquet: stimulus money. This gorgeous influx of cash also has allowed the Turkey Committee to stage the most elaborate celebration in the event's 32 years. On Wednesday night, this year's honorees attended a St. Paul bonfire fueled by the Wild's tickets "distributed'' to keep its sellout streak alive. Today, we move west to Target Center for the Turkey Banquet. We're expecting 1,200 people and can only hope the staff that works Timberwolves games can handle a crowd that large. Let's get rolling here, with the introduction of 2009 special Turkey guests: Joe Christensen. Gentleman Joe is a Star Tribune baseball writer and also the Twin Cities' leading advocate for OPS, a make-believe number that Bill James acolytes have embraced. How often must we say this, Joe? Runs scored and RBI mean something; OPS doesn't. Decision: $1 million in stimulus money, if Joe promises never to reference OPS in a Twins story again. Kevin Whaley. Couldn't help but think, as the running back kept heading toward the pylon in a failed attempt to get the Gophers on the board late in the Penn State game, that he would have lowered a shoulder and scored, if only the end zone had been the entrance to a downtown Minneapolis dance club. Decision: MTPA can pick up a cover charge for Kevin, now that he's turned 21. Phil Davis. The president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College went along when the student government voted to drop basketball after this season. Davis knows the cost of basketball is minuscule compared to the positive publicity it has brought to MCTC, but playing the role of devoted academician was clearly irresistible. Decision: We could fund the basketball programs with stimulus dollars, but the fear is Davis would confiscate the money for bike racks. Jay Cutler. Fortunately for Minnesota football fans, the Bears -- not the Vikings -- paid the ransom for Cutler, the hard-partying interception machine, and now are doomed for years to come. Decision: We'll buy Cutler a daiquiri (he's a Vanderbilt guy) next time we run into him at 3:30 a.m. on Rush Street. Francisco Liriano. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, thick, disorganized and stubborn is no way to go through life, son. Decision: MTPA will pay for the ticket to Rochester, N.Y., if Liriano isn't completely different as a Twins pitcher next spring in Florida. Brook Dieter. The hitter on the Gophers volleyball team was recruited as a Junior Olympic phenom. Coach Mike Hebert benched the junior last month after some poor play. The young woman handled that with the maturity of a lifelong all-star. She quit. Decision: Cab fare to the airport. Jeff Schemmel. The former University of Minnesota employee was due to make $257,000 annually through 2013 as the San Diego State athletic director. Then, testimony surfaced from Carolyn Lineberger in an Alabama divorce proceeding in which she admitted to a three-day "nonbusiness'' meeting with Schemmel in Point Clear, Ala. Expense records showed Schemmel had charged $460 of his detour to the school, and he resigned last week. Decision: Schemmel received a $116,000 settlement -- his personal stimulus payoff for being cheap, at best. Alex Rodriguez. Were the members of the Turkey Committee the only ones screaming at the TV as the postseason announcers tried to get viewers to applaud the idea that A-Rod finally was going to win a World Series? Decision: How about stimulus dollars to buy Selena Roberts' book ("The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez'') for select Yankee fans, so they could learn more about their hero's steroid use and other blights? Keizo Konishi. He covers the Seattle Mariners (meaning, Ichiro) for the Japanese outlet Kyodo News and had one of two Seattle votes for American League MVP and put Detroit's Miguel Cabrera on top of the ballot. Was it Miggy's drunken, postdawn dustup with his wife late in the race with the Twins or his jogging to first on ground balls that impressed the voter? Decision: Fifty bucks to Kenishi, if he would say that he meant to vote for Derek Jeter -- for anyone but Cabrera -- as he cost Joe Mauer a clean sweep to the MVP award. There are the honored guests, which leaves the Turkey Committee to present this year's Big Three for placement at the head table. Second runner-up: Ballooning is a sport, right? That moved Richard Heene, mastermind of the "Balloon Boy'' hoax in Colorado, into strong consideration as the Grand Turkey. Any stimulus dollars would go to Richard's psychiatric care and not a new balloon. First runner-up: You knew all along that Zygi Wilf, a real estate guy from New Jersey, would turn to extortion, even as every other sentence he uttered early on guaranteed the Vikings were in Minnesota forever. Made you feel all warm and fuzzy when you saw Wednesday's Star Tribune, didn't it? The Vikings owner was in Austin demanding his billion-dollar stadium or else, and Hennepin County was trying to figure out how to cover a $25 million shortfall at HCMC. Let's see. The county hospital is a few hundred yards from Wilf's preferred site, so what about it, Zygi: Should we use stimulus dollars and solve HCMC's financial problem by tearing it down to make room for your vision of an opulent stadium? That gets us to the Turkey of the Year. The committee tries to bring creativity to this award, but there are those times when we have to do what we have to do. So, loyal followers of this Thanksgiving tradition, you were right all along: The Turkey of the Year is Tim Brewster, the Gophers football coach who established himself as a world-class blowhard on the day he was hired and has made it clear after three seasons that he's a sideline disaster. The Turkey Committee had no choice but to give this 2009 honor to Brewster, since we couldn't risk having him escape as Gophers basketball coach Dan Monson had done previously.

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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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