June 12, 2004
JIM DE BOOM Andre Sommersell, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 235-pound outside linebacker from Colorado State was selected No. 255 by the Oakland Raiders, the final pick in 2004 NFL Draft held in New York City, automatically becoming Mr. Irrelevant XXIX. Sommersell's achievement will be celebrated in a week-long series of events beginning at 5:30 p.m. June 21 with the arrival party and press conference sponsored by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce at the Newport Dunes Resort.
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 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.
April 27, 2013
After countless of hours on TV, the NFL Draft ended as it usually does with the last pick, Mr. Irrelevant. During the three-day event, draft pundits talked about 253 players, their size, their skills and their potential impact. When it came to the 254th player, the experts didn't have to say much. They usually run out of material by the time a team selects the final player in the draft. This is when the NFL folks in New York hand it over to a man named Paul Salata from Newport Beach.
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.