If you are a Minnesota sports fan, you probably already know about Patrick Ruesse’s Turkey of the Year, but we go down a different path. Sporting Sota names the Cornucopia of the Year.
It is the most wonderful time of the year. According to the American songbook, kids are just about to go jingle-belling and that is when you know the holidays are upon us. For Minnesota sports fans, the holiday season officially kicks off with Patrick Ruesse’s Turkey of the Year column in the Star Tribune on Thanksgiving. Did you know there is another side of the Turkey of the Year, though?
Sure, Ruesse has no clue it is going on, not many people do, but it is right here, friends. This is the Cornucopia of the Year. The Cornucopia of the Year is awarded to the Minnesota sports figure or entity that has kept us the happiest and satisfied the past year.
The table is rather full this year. There is plenty to be thankful for around the state of Minnesota when it comes to the sporting scene. The Minnesota Twins made the postseason, the Minnesota Vikings have only two losses this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are winning, the Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball team is nationally ranked and, most importantly, society has not yet fallen into a deep dark hole since last Thanksgiving.
When looking around the Cornucopia of the Year banquet table, you will see many famous folks. Byron Buxton is seated at the table, for instance. Buxton didn’t have a great first plate for the meal but really started to get some good combinations on the second plate.
Karl-Anthony Towns is at the table. He really can fill up a plate, but can’t stop anybody from stealing the turkey right off his plate. Jimmy Butler is at the table, even for a short time, but the Cornucopia committee is keeping an eye on him. He doesn’t seem to fully fill up his plate every time through. It is a little concerning, honestly.
Richard Pitino received an invitation for his work bringing the Gophers basketball team back to the NCAA tournament. Pitino came to the banquet, but you might’ve missed him because he left right away.
No participation trophies are awarded from the Cornucopia committee, but the immediate runners-up should be recognized.
The second runner-up went to Tom Thibodeau. The executive Thibodeau was close to winning the award, but the coaching side of his job didn’t allow that to happen. First off, Thibodeau is just continually yelling ‘SQUASH’ when he is at the table. Also, Thibodeau promised to bring the stuffing, but there is little stuffing to be seen. Jimmy Butler has a little stuffing, but Karl-Anthony Towns has none. Andrew Wiggins isn’t at the Cornucopia of the Year banquet this year, but you know he doesn’t have any stuffing where ever he is.
The first runner-up goes to Case Keenum. Keenum is having the best meal of any Vikings quarterback since 2009 which is impressive because he’s only having mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Food analysts say that his meal isn’t a first-string meal, but a lot of fans say his meal tastes like great turkey. Apparently, by dessert we’ll find out, everybody says someone will pick off the piece of pumpkin pie that he wants at, the very critical, dessert time.
The time is now to name the Cornucopia of the Year. For the first time in the long and storied history of the Cornucopia of the Year award, it will be going to someone that doesn’t actually play, but he knows how to construct.
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Sitting at the head of the table this year is Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. If we cut out the meal metaphors for the moment, let’s enjoy what Spielman has recently done. He decided to cut ties with Adrian Peterson. Over the course of the past few years, Spielman has constructed a stout defense mainly through the draft. Spielman signed Keenum who has saved the Vikings season after the injury to Sam Bradford.
Spielman might be eating at the Cornucopia of the Year banquet, but he truly is a chef. He decided to change the way the world famous turkey was made and it came out even better. He fully stocked the shelves with ingredients that have held the meal together. Plus, the ham he bought to be the backup option to the turkey has tasted mighty, mighty fine.
Spielman joins an elite class of former Cornucopia of the Year winners. The last winner was bestowed in 2015 to Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk. 2014 and 2013 both went to Twins players in Danny Santana and Glen Perkins.