Nice Things Happen to Guys Who Finish Last (In the NFL Draft, That Is)
The NFL Draft takes place this time every year, and football fans from across America tune in to the broadcast find out who their favorite team will take in the first round. The early picks, especially the top 10, get the most attention. However, a 38-year-old tradition will continue this year when an organization from California honors the very last person selected in the draft–Mr. Irrelevant.
According to the Mr. Irrelevant website, the festival was created by Paul Salata, a former college and pro football player himself, in 1976. The last pick is celebrated with banquet, a golf tournament, and a regatta in Orange County. Mr. Irrelevant even gets his own trophy–the Lowsman Trophy–a parody of the Heisman complete with the statuette fumbling a football.
A few Mr. Irrelevant winners have gone on to see success in the NFL. Kicker Ryan Succop, the last draft pick in 2009, became the second-leading rookie scorer in Kansas City Chiefs history and is now in the middle of a five-year $14 million contract with the team. Saints fans remember him from last season when he went 6-for-6 and beat New Orleans in overtime. One year earlier, David Vobora started a game at linebacker for the St. Louis Rams. He became the first Mr. Irrelevant to start a game in his rookie season. Unlike Succop, Vobora is now out of the NFL. In 2000, Michael Green was selected last by the Chicago Bears. The Northwestern State alumnus played nine season in the league.
So, remember kids: Even if you don’t amount to first-round draft pick material, you still can find recognition by getting picked last.
Speaking of Mike Green, here’s his take on being Mr. Irrelevant.