If you consider yourself a hard core NFL football fan, you may have watched the entire football draft of college players. I doubt it but you may have. If you are Paul Salata, the last pick is just as good as the first.
Salata, a former football player at USC and briefly in the NFL, led his annual crusade to the NFL draft party and helped announce the final pick. For Salata and friends, why is this just as important as the Lions number one pick?
The last pick of the draft is honored annually by Salata and friends in Newport Beach at an annual event called Irrelevent Week. The 256th pick is made a hero, (and the butt of a few jokes) which includes a few days of good fun and all in the name of charity.
You know the Heisman trophy? Draft Number 256 is awarded the “Lowsman” trophy which includes a statue of a football player dropping the pigskin.
This year, the Orange County Goodwill Fitness Center is the benefit of all of the fun and antics, which includes a banquet dinner and a few excuses for a party and drinks.
According to Salata and the organization’s web site, It all began in 1976 when a totally unknown and obscure wide receiver from the almost totally unknown University of Dayton, Kelvin Kirk, became the last player selected in the NFL draft that year – Old # 487 – and he was quite shockingly invited to Newport Beach for a week of upside-down celebrating and cheering.Irrelevant Week was born.
It all transpired that historic first week just as Irrelevant Week founder Paul Salata hoped and dreamed. Hardly anyone outside of Newport Beach swooned or blinked. Few noticed. Fewer cared. Perfect. It was so irrelevant that birds didn’t even sing (IW history section, not my line).
And so what was originally planned to be a mere one-shot-only, once-in-a-lifetime brief flight into happy lunacy lingered and survived and grew into something much more.
Once Irrelevant Week hit age 20, it became rather obvious that it will never go away. It’s here to stay.
This year’s chosen one, South Carolina place kicker Ryan Succop will be thanking the Kansas City Chiefs for years to come. Now you might think that the last pick will never make an NFL team so he might as well enjoy all of the attention during the week in which he is honored, right? Let’s take a quick look at previous “honorees.”
Just last year, Mr. Irrelevant David Vobora (Idaho) not only made the St. Louis Rams but appeared in eight games and started one. Here is a complete list of past Mr. Irrelevant’s, the pick in the draft and the team that draft them. If you see their names in blue, they stuck around and played in the NFL.
2007 (255) Detroit Lions
Ramzee Robinson, CB Alabama
2006 (255) Oakland Raiders
Kevin McMahan, WR Maine
2005 (255) New England Patriots
Andy Stokes, TE William & Penn
2004 (255) Oakland Raiders
Andre Sommersell, OLB Colorado State
2003 (262) Oakland Raiders
Ryan Hoag, WR Gustavus Adolphus
2002 (261) Houston Texans
Ahmad Miller, DT UNLV
2001 (246) Arizona Cardinals
Tevita Ofahengaue, TE Brigham Young
2000 (254) Chicago Bears
Michael Green, DB NW Louisiana
1999 (253) Chicago Bears
James Finn, RB Pennsylvania
1998 (241) Baltimore Ravens
Cam Quayle, TE Weber State
1997 (240) Green Bay Packers
Ronnie McAda, QB Army
1996 (254) San Francisco 49ers
Sam Manuel, LB New Mexico State
1995 (249) Carolina Panthers
Michael Reed, DB Boston College
1994 (222) New England Patriots
Marty Moore, LB Kentucky
1993 (224) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daron Alcorn, K Akron
1992 (336) Washington Redskins
Matt Elliott, C Michigan
1991 (334) New York Giants
Larry Wanke, QB John Carroll
1990 (331) Los Angeles Raiders
Demetrius Davis, TE Nevada
1989 (335) Minnesota Vikings
Everett Ross, WR Ohio State
1988 (333) Los Angeles Rams
Jeff Bethard, WR Southern Oregon State
1987 (335) Green Bay Packers
Norman Jefferson, DB Louisiana State
1986 (333) San Diego Chargers
Mike Travis, DB Georgia Tech
1985 (336) San Francisco 49ers
Donald Chumley, DT Georgia
1984 (336) Los Angeles Raiders
Randy Essington, QB Colorado
1983 (335) New York Giants
John Tuggle, RB California
1982 (334) San Francisco 49ers
Tim Washington, DB Fresno State
1981 (332) Oakland Raiders
Phil Nelson, TE Delaware
1980 (333) Pittsburgh Steelers
Tyrone McGriff, G Florida A&M
1979 (330) Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Almond, WR NW Louisiana
1978 (333) Miami Dolphins
Bill Kenney, QB Northern Colorado
1977 (335) Oakland Raiders
Rolf Benirshke, K California-Davis
1976 (487) Pittsburgh Steelers
Kelvin Kirk, WR Dayton
As for Salata, by the time he saddled up to the NFL microphone to announce the final secrion, most of the people were already gone. No matter. It’s all irrelevent.
Here is the scedule for this year
Monday June 22
“Kick-Off” Arrival Beach Party
$20 per person
Welcome Mr. Irrelevant to Our Community (Newport Beach)
Tuesday, June 23
Guest of Disneyland & Angels Game
Wednesday June 24
All Star Lowsman Banquet
Newport Beach Marriott
Celebrities and NFL players team up to roast and toast Mr. Irrelevant
Thursday, June 25
Guest of Balboa Yach Club Sailing and BBQ
Friday June 26
For updated information about this year’s event, you can go to http://www.irrelevantweek.com/