November 27, 2002


TURKEY FOR YOU AND TURKEY FOR ME: I'm getting ready to leave for my first trip to Minnesota in a year, to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to all kinds of traditions that I'm used to enjoying from spending every Thanksgiving of my life in the Twin Cities: seeing all the relatives, eating lots of turkey (no Tofurkey for me), watching football, the once-a-year broadcast of "Alice's Restaurant" on KQRS, the ass-cold weather...
Another thing I love about Turkey Day in the Twin Cities: getting the morning paper and finding out the identity of the Turkey of the Year. See, each year since 1978 Star Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse has chosen the Minnesota sports figure most deserving of the label of "turkey-" sort of like the New York Post's Gerard Finneran Man/Perp of the Year Award, only not quite as mean-spirited. Recent Turkeys have been Cris Carter and Randy Moss (last year), Gov. Jesse Ventura (2000), disgraced former U. of M. basketball coach Clem Haskins ('99), and miserly Twins owner Carl Pohlad, who became the first two-time winner in 1998; Herschel Walker was awarded the Lifetime Turkey Achievement Award in perpetuity in 1991.
This year's top candidates are Pohlad (again), Moss (again), Ventura (again!), Vikings owner Red McCombs, Vikings coach Mike Tice, Bud Selig, DFL booster Rick Kahn, Garrison Keillor, and T-Wolf Wally Szczerbiak (someone's gotta be the scapegoat for First Round Exit #6).
However, I've got a feeling about who this year's Turkey will be, and it's a bad feeling: Kirby Puckett. He's been arrested a couple times, his aura as Minnesota's Perfect Athlete has been shattered forever, there's only one honor left that Kent Hrbek has but he doesn't... Puckett has been in the picture for almost as long as the Turkey Award has existed, and has never even been considered, but now Reusse almost has no choice. After all, Warren Moon wife-beated his way to the award in '95. Puckett as Turkey- kind of reminds me of when Hulk Hogan suddenly turned evil and joined the NWO.
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, and be sure to have a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat...

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 27, 2002 05:28 AM
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