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Patrick Reusse's annual Turkey of the Year Award goes to ...

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After narrowing down a long list of potential candidates for the Turkey of the Year, Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse revealed his pick Thursday, and it may come as a surprise.

The 2015 Turkey of the Year is: Death.

It beat out several contenders for the title this year, including Adrian Peterson, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Gopher's hockey coach Don Lucia, Ragnar the ex-Vikings mascot, former U of M athletics director Norwood Teague, among a slew of others.

So why did Reusse go with this not-so-obvious pick for Turkey of the Year?

"Death has given us a horrible year in sports. Death can kiss my … grits, I guess," Reusse writes.

He then listed off all the people we've lost this year, starting with Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, who was named Turkey of the Year in 2002 "and took it in the good humor that was intended," Reusse notes.

Reusse also named Vikings linebacker Freddie McNeill, hockey great J.P. Parise, 19-year-old basketball player Lauren Hill, among several other notable sports figures who were lost this year.

Then circled back to Saunders, writing: "Flip, for goodness sakes."

The venerable columnist ended his Thanksgiving tradition with: "Take this Turkey award, and try to get lost for a while, Death."

This was the 38th year for Turkey of the Year, which started in the late 1970's with a column that roasted the late Woody Hayes. Click here for a look back at the long and ignominious parade of poultry.

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