March 24, 2012
So it is a weekend in March with "March Madness" having the equivalent of their semifinals for the NCAA men's basketball championships. Countless millions of folks across the country, some of whom never watch a college game, have filled out brackets with their predictions. The amount of money changing hands in the next eight days is enough to finance a small country for a year. Spring training is drawing to a close with Opening Day not far away. The NBA is running it's accelerated schedule, with games being played more frequently than ever before.
April 21, 2001
Richard Dunn NEWPORT BEACH - Football fans will be glued to ESPN and ESPN2 this weekend for the NFL draft, which means none other than Irrelevant Week founder Paul Salata will make his traditional television appearance and announce Mr. Irrelevant XXVI to the world. Salata, who understands the inner workings of the mind of a lower draft choice, is the madman guilty of creating the zany Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach, which celebrates the absolute dead-last pick in the NFL draft every June.
April 15, 2000
Richard Dunn NEWPORT BEACH - Some might think Newport Beach-based sports agent Leigh Steinberg has cornered the market on NFL quarterbacks, but this weekend in the NFL draft he'll focus on the receiving end. Steinberg, whose client list includes quarterbacks Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Drew Bledsoe and Jeff George, will represent some of college football's top pass catchers this year. Wide receivers R. Jay Soward from USC, Danny Farmer from UCLA and Plaxico Burress from Michigan State, along with Miami's Bubba Franks, the draft's top-rated tight end, will be in Steinberg's camp today and Sunday as 31 NFL teams select an estimated 253 players at Madison Square Garden in New York (shown live on ESPN)
May 5, 2007
More than 36 NFL stars rallied for the Orangewood Children's Foundation, participating in a golf tournament and charity dinner that raised more than $225,000 for an auxiliary of Orangewood known as Orangewood PALS (Providing Assistance Love and Support). It was called the Athletes First Classic, with a gala dinner event held at the St. Regis Hotel and Resort in Dana Point in mid-March, followed by the golf tournament the next day. The gala honored football quarterback Steve Young, along with Orange County business leader and philanthropist Peter Ueberroth . The retired San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who won a Super Bowl during his career, founded a charitable organization that he named the Forever Young Foundation.
July 27, 2000
Richard Dunn NEWPORT BEACH - The great fraternity of football coaching has led Mike Giddings to the podium Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. No, Giddings himself won't be accepting accolades into the NFL pantheon. He will, however, present Hall of Fame inductee Dave Wilcox of the San Francisco 49ers. Giddings, a former 49ers assistant coach in charge of the defense, campaigned hard to the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors the last few years for Wilcox to enter the hallowed doors at Canton, Ohio.
September 27, 2012
When one of the most controversial calls in NFL history took place, Laird Hayes wasn't watching it during the Monday Night Football telecast. Hayes, a Newport Beach resident and an NFL side judge entering his 18th season, said he was watching the movie, "Midnight in Paris. " "I absolutely refused to watch those scabs work," said Hayes, who made the big call on Mario Manningham's catch along the sideline during the Giants' game-winning drive against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in February.
June 22, 2000
Richard Dunn NEWPORT BEACH - Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, who was presented with an honorary Lowsman Trophy, and Mike White, the former Cal football coach who helped launch super agent Leigh Steinberg's career, honored Mr. Irrelevant XXV from the head table Wednesday night as representatives of the Rams. And, of course, Steinberg was part of the program, giving a contract worth the price of the paper it was printed on to Mike Green, selected 254th by the Chicago Bears, earning Green the title as the ultimate underdog and the lucky last pick in the 2000 NFL draft.
June 22, 2011
NEWPORT BEACH — Mr. Irrelevant met the Nigerian Nightmare for the first time. Cheta Ozougwu was just happy to hear his name pronounced correctly by someone other than his Nigerian parents. Christian Okoye said "oh-ZOO-goo" just once. To the former running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, Ozougwu was still Mr. Irrelevant, the last player picked in the NFL Draft. As for any advice for Ozougwu, who will try to make the Houston Texans, Okoye chuckled at first. The laughs started well before a roast of Ozougwu at the All-Star Lowsman Banquet at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa on Wednesday.
September 5, 2009
Jesse Mahelona, a former Orange Coast College standout who played in the NFL, has died after being involved in a car accident. According to the Associated Press, agent Chad Speck said Mahelona, who was 26, died Friday night after being involved in an accident about a mile from his home in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Speck said Saturday he didn’t know any more circumstances of the accident. After OCC, Mahelona played at the University of Tennessee. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Titans, where he played in 10 games as a rookie.
September 25, 2000
Richard Dunn It was a big deal for his local friends watching on television when color commentator John Madden circled him with the magic marker on the air in the NFC Championship Game for the 1996 NFL season. Playing tight end for the Green Bay Packers, former Corona del Mar High standout Jeff Thomason sprang Dorsey Levens with a key block as Levens caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre and the Packers went on to capture the Super Bowl.