Monthly Archives: November 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…


INJUSTICE OF THE WEEK: Anyone who follows music at all is perfectly aware that at any given time there are dozens (if not hundreds) of high-quality bands out there that deserve record contracts and radio airplay but unfortunately must make do with sparsely attended club/bar gigs and demoralizing day jobs. And it’s a slap in the face to every one of those bands that Kelly Osbourne has a record contract and they don’t.
Sure, it was cute when Kelly got to do a karaoke-level cover of “Papa Don’t Preach” for the “Osbournes” soundtrack. And she’s entertaining enough on the show. But awarding a full-length album to someone who has never demonstrated even the slightest hint of singing ability is exactly the type of decision that we can point to when analyzing why the music industry is expected to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars this year.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The Islamic world today is being held prisoner, not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open. As long as the majority remains silent, this will be a tough war to win. But in the end, or so we must hope, someone will kick down that prison door.” –Salman Rushdie, who knows the wrath of Islamist fanaticism as well as anyone, in the New York Times.


MY GENERATION’S FIRST GM: The Boston Red Sox announced today that they have hired 28-year-old Yale grad Theo Epstein as their new general manager, becoming the youngest man to hold that title in the history of the game, as well as one of only two current GMs who are Jewish (the other is Mark Shapiro of the Cleveland “Baseball Team” Indians).
Epstein, who was only two years old when the Sox lost the 1975 World Series and only 13 when they lost in 1986, will join a brain trust that also includes team president Larry Lucchino, erstwhile acting GM Mike Port, former Phillies exec Lee Thomas, former Tigers GM Bill Lajoie, and legendary statistician Bill James. The best baseball teams in recent years have all been led by visionaries in the GM’s seat, and Sox certainly hope that Epstein can live up to the successes of Brian Cashman, Brian Sabean, Billy Beane, and the like. Even though the Twins are my team I’ve always maintained that a Red Sox championship would be better for the game than perhaps any other development- perhaps it will be a kid that ultimately leads them there. Even if he is younger than many of the players that he’ll be signing and trading.


MR. GARRISON… HOW YOU EXPECT TO UNDERSTAND THE HOMOSEXUAL UNDERWORLD?: No, this post has nothing to do with last week’s gerbil-based “South Park” episode, but rather I am quoting Kevin Bacon’s Willy O’Keefe (from “JFK”) in reference to Garrison Hearst, the San Francisco 49ers running back who stated in an interview last month that “I don’t want no faggot on my team.” The comments were apparently in response to a question about Esera Tuaolo, the former Vikings lineman who came out of the closet earlier this season.
A spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign criticized Hearst’s comments, saying that “if he were a player in the Deep South, I’d understand it, but he plays in San Francisco.” While I agree that Hearst’s comment was wrong and that he needed to apologize, the HRC’s statement has quite a few things wrong with it as well: it’s prejudicial towards Southern people; it promotes the same “you be tolerant of me but I’ll never be tolerant of you” logic that was lampooned in that same aforementioned “South Park” episode, and it’s ignorant of the facts, most notably that Garrison Hearst is in fact from the Deep South, and played his college ball at the University of Georgia. What, did she think he was a decendant of the William Randolph Hearsts?
Hearst’s statement is also indicative of another new trend: people named “Garrison” saying exceptionally stupid things. Whether it’s Garrison Hearst gay-bashing, Garrison Keillor accusing Norm Coleman of adultry and murder, or “South Park”‘s Mr. Garrison trying to get fired for being gay, there’s something about that name that seems to be bringing out the worst in public people. Thankfully former Brandeis politics professor Garrison Nelson seems to have kept his cool; Jim Garrison would’ve likely had something outrageous to say on the 39th anniversary of JFK’s death, but he died a few years ago.