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Q & A With Paul Salata:

Salata ready for Irrelevant Week

Irrelevant Week founder set to greet Idaho’s Vobora, beginning with arrival party Monday at 5 p.m.

June 19, 2008|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

Paul Salata is 81, yet he still knows how to have fun.

Salata sat down with the Daily Pilot and talked about his favorite week of the year.

Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach.

The founder of the event honoring the last player chosen in the NFL Draft is ready to make David Vobora, a linebacker from the University of Idaho, feel like the No. 1 pick and not No. 252.

The party kicks off at 5 p.m. Monday, when Mr. Irrelevant XXXIII will be showered with gifts and have a press conference at the arrival party at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

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Salata welcomes everyone. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of the St. Louis Rams pick.

“He’ll sign whatever,” Salata said.

Question: Does this event ever get old for you?

Answer: It doesn’t get old. I think it gets old for me because I’m getting old. We’re working on this being No. 33. We’re working on getting a partner somehow that’s national and the league is encouraging that. The NFL Alumni showed some interest. Goodwill Industries have shown some possibilities.

But rather than me having to come up with any shortcomings, and [depend on] the people that come to it, the people that are heavy business hitters say, “How much do you make on this?” We’ve averaged about $30,000 to $40,000 and spread it around in small amounts. They say, “What would you think of $500,000?”

Q: Are you guys ready?

A: It’s a lot of work and we’re not very sophisticated so we work hard at it. We have a bunch of interns working on it, and it’s going very well. We have a board of about 12 people and they give advice. We also work on sales, [arranging] gifts for the kid on the first day.

Q: What kind of gifts will you give Mr. Irrelevant?

A: We [give] a lot of things. The barber [gives] him a haircut.

Q: Any problems getting gifts?

A: Our main problems in putting this on is getting the head tables set for the [celebrities like John Robinson, former USC and Los Angeles Rams coach] and getting the gifts that we’re going to give [Mr. Irrelevant], all the Disneyland and Dodger game [tickets]. On Thursday, the yachting, the regatta at Balboa Yacht Club. Those are things that require detail.

Q: Who answers the phone at Irrelevant Week headquarters? He sounds really grumpy.

A: My brother Tommy. He loves his job. He’s keeping us in line. He’s doing a good job.

Q: Where do the proceeds from this event go?

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