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If you spent 3 days of last week watching the 2022 NFL draft of 262 college football players, you probably were bored, unless you had a “dog-in-that-fight” meaning you had a player or team in whom you were interested. There were lots of player/team draft parties held throughout the country. I spent some of last week waiting to see who would get picked as the “last draft choice.” That in itself sounds like it could have been a waste of time — but not for me.

It was in 1975  when Paul Salaita showed up at my Newport Beach home to ask if I would help with a project he was planning? I said “Of course! What do you have in mind?” Paul said, “I want to do something for someone for no good reason. “And that’s it, I countered?” “I want to honor the NFL’s last draft choice,” he said. And he did! Paul, always a philanthropist, continually thought about helping others and had no hesitation using his own money to do so.

Thus, he founded MrIrrelevant honoring the NFL’s last draft choice. “I mean, he continued, what could be more irrelevant than the last choice.”  Not more than 100 players of those drafted each year manage to maintain an NFL career. The first draft choice, in 1976 proved his point.  Kelvin Kirk, the first Mr. Irrelevant out of University of Dayton, missed his flight from Dayton to LAX. Salaita immediately recruited a Hispanic friend to take the place of Kirk, who is Black, in the parade. I mean it’s irrelevant!

It worked! Kirk arrived the next day. When he did, the inaugural parade had already taken place, so now with Kirk on board, we all went to Disneyland – our next irrelevant adventure. Mr. Irrelevant is treated to a week in Newport Beach, CA with a boat parade in the Newport/Balboa Harbor and many other pleasant surprises. At the concluding evening banquet, he is “roasted” by a cadre of sports celebrities who, while making fun of the irrelevant tag, honor him with gifts and a fun evening, which is capped off with the presentation of the Lowman Trophy (as opposed to the Heisman Trophy) and presented by Paul Salaita.

Sadly, Paul died October 16, 2021, one day before his 95th birthday. The irony of this year’s Mr. Irrelevant is that pick #262 Brock Purdy is a San Francisco 49er pick – a team that Salaita had played for after graduating from the University of Southern California.

Will you enjoy watching the newest members selected in this year’s NFL draft?

Posted On Friday, 13 May 2022 00:00 Written by

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