Comments & Curiosities: A good time to be irrelevant

June 18, 2011|By Peter Buffa

Does no one notice you?

When you tell your doctor, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this," does he say, "So don't do that?"

When you go to the airport, do the security people wave you through and tell you to just leave your shoes on?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you might be irrelevant. Not to worry. Worse things can happen. Look at Cheta Ozougwu. He's irrelevant, and he's thrilled about it.


Ozougwu was the last pick in this year's NFL draft, which means of course that he is the centerpiece, the hero, the exceedingly big dog of Irrelevant Week XXXVI — that's Irrelevant Week 36 if you're not an ancient Roman — which begins with the not-at-all traditional high-octane, pure fun, always bizarre waterside kickoff at the Newport Dunes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday.

It's a music, cheerleader, margarita, generally crazy thing, with the Newport Beach Fire Department manning the grills, turning out chili dogs and burgers like it was a fire sale.

This year's final man of the final hour, Ozougwu, a standout defensive end at Rice, was the last pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, 254th to be exact, and will go to the Houston Texans. Cheta is a nickname by the way. His full name is Chetachi Ozougwu, which is a little formal for Texas, thus the nickname, Cheta, which is much more down home.

Of course, there may not even be an NFL season this year, with yet another millionaires-versus-billionaires war going on in the NFL. Not only does that kind of disconnect fit Irrelevant Week like a glove, but it doesn't bother the event's founder and inimitable top cop, Paul Salata, one bit.

"People want football, and we aim to bring them football," Salata told the Daily Pilot. "Sure, it's only one guy, but it's a start."

From start to finish, Irrelevant Week is all in fun, of course, and nothing more than the title "Mr. Irrelevant" itself, considering any of the very best college players across the country would give up at least one body part to be picked in the NFL draft, first, last or middle.

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