June 30, 2012
Where will the "Happiest Place on Earth" be this week? No, not Disneyland, although it is also in Orange County. It will be in Newport Beach, as the annual wackiness known as Irrelevant Week takes place at multiple venues. "Doing something nice for no good reason" is the motivation that Paul Salata used for inspiration back in 1976 when he decided to honor the dead last player taken in the NFL Draft. He created the "Lowsman Trophy" as the award, which features a bronze rendition of a player fumbling a football.
June 14, 2013
Irrelevant Week might want to change its name to "A Couple of Irrelevant Days" in Newport Beach. The event that celebrates the last player selected in the NFL Draft seems to get shorter every year. Don't blame the organizers, Paul Salata and his daughter, Melanie Salata-Fitch. If it were up to the Salatas, this year's Mr. Irrelevant, Justice Cunningham, would crash at the family beach house in Newport Beach all summer. Someone has to take care of Salata, right? At 86, Salata-Fitch said her dad just got a new hip a couple of weeks ago. Keep in mind, Cunningham is trying to make it in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, not be a nurse for the man who founded Irrelevant Week in 1976.
June 28, 2003
In an Irrelevant Week Lowsman Trophy banquet for the ages -- one in which Martha Burke would be extremely happy because women were allowed for the first time, ending a 27-year run of stag parties -- Mr. Irrelevant XXVIII Ryan Hoag, a small-college wide receiver, made a big impression in front of the Heisman Trophy winner and a sellout crowd of 1,200 at the Anaheim Marriott. Oh, sure, Irrelevant Week founder Paul Salata fired off his usual jokes and former USC quarterback and 2002 Heisman winner Carson Palmer shared the spotlight with Mr. Irrelevant.
June 16, 2002
NEWPORT BEACH - Over the years, Mr. Irrelevant has always been treated to an assortment of unofficial Irrelevant Week bonuses, such as learning how to surf and visiting Hollywood, in addition to the scheduled appearances throughout the zany, madcap week (Monday through Friday), which celebrates college football's so-called underdog -- the absolute dead-last pick in the NFL draft. Whatever Ahmad Miller of UNLV decides to do in his spare IW time, it's a good bet that Mr. Irrelevant XXVII will be given carte blanche when he arrives in Newport Beach.
June 17, 2002
NEWPORT BEACH - Each year is a different theme for Irrelevant Week and this year a little "Yee-Haw" replaces "Aloha" at the annual Arrival Party today at 5:30 p.m. at the Newport Dunes. Last year's Mr. Irrelevant, BYU tight end Tevita Ofahengaue, was born in Tonga and raised in Hawaii -- thus, the luau setting. Mr. Irrelevant XXVII, however, UNLV defensive end Ahmad Miller, was picked absolutely dead last and 261st overall in the NFL draft by the expansion Houston Texans and, thus, will be the guest of honor in a good ol' fashioned hoedown lowdown, transforming the Dunes into Dodge City.
June 29, 2001
Looking back, 5 years ago this week. Chris Oeding, out of Corona del Mar High, following a three-stop touring exhibition for the U.S. Olympic water polo team, earns a spot on the 13-man final squad. "It was a stressful process," Oeding says. "I think it would be presumptuous for me to say I was secure." For Oeding, the then-interim head coach at Orange Coast College, it is his first attempt at making the Olympic team. While at CdM, he earned 1988 CIF Southern Section Player of the Year recognition for Coach John Vargas's Sea Kings.
June 20, 2001
Richard Dunn NEWPORT BEACH - As the last pick in the NFL draft and with no guaranteed salary, Tevita Ofahengaue realizes he faces an uphill battle this summer in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals. But Ofahengaue, roasted and toasted as Mr. Irrelevant XXVI Tuesday night at the All-Star Sports Banquet at the Newport Beach Marriott, is confident about a playing career in professional football. The 6-foot-2, 254-pound tight end out of Brigham Young University, who once painted curbs and sold vacuums to support his family, also worked out for the Cardinals at fullback during mini-camp.
June 25, 2004
Rick Devereux Dennis Conner, a three-time America's Cup-winning skipper, said that sailing is just the bottom line, and that his real interest is in the "tremendous game of life." The real interest for Andre Sommersell -- the 255th pick by the Oakland Raiders and this year's Mr. Irrelevant for being the dead-last player selected in the NFL draft -- is the game of football and making the squad as a projected outside linebacker. But, for now, he'll continue another relevant quest.
June 15, 2005
Rick Devereux The festivities for Irrelevant Week XXX kick off June 20 at 5 p.m. at the Newport Dunes Resort with an arrival party for Andy Stokes, the tight end from William Penn University who was the 255th and final pick in April's NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. The creation of Newport Beach resident Paul Salata for the purpose of "doing something nice for someone for no reason," Irrelevant Week tries to incorporate the personality of the individual player into the various events.