June 30, 2010
Even the last player picked in the NFL Draft has a busy itinerary. Tim Toone, aka Mr. Irrelevant XXXV, is in town for three days. The arrival party for Toone is at 5 p.m. today in the atrium of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Toone will receive gifts and mingle with fans. The event is free, so if you root for the Detroit Lions, which drafted Toone with the 255th pick, you have a reason to cheer before the actual NFL season. An hour later, Toone is off to the All-Star Lowsman Banquet, where the wide receiver will catch grief for having blond dreadlocks.
April 24, 2010
Tim Toone says people give him strange looks in Ogden, Utah. It’s a conservative town, and Toone usually catches people by surprise because of his hairdo. There aren’t too many white men with dreadlocks in Ogden. But Toone appears to have a flair for being different. On Sunday, at the end of the NFL Draft, Toone became unique again. The Detroit Lions picked him with the 255th and dead-last selection, making him Mr. Irrelevant XXXV. Yes, Mr. Irrelevant is a white man with dreadlocks.
February 5, 2010
As millions of football fanatics sit down Sunday to watch the Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, know this, Orange County folks: There’s a Newport Beach resident who’s been to the Super Bowl twice — and he wasn’t sitting in the stands. He’s got the pinstripes, the hat, the shoes, the whistle, the flags, even the professional pig skin. He even has a number: It’s No. 125. Laird Hayes, an Orange Coast College instructor, is living the dream.
January 5, 2010
The top-ranked University of Alabama and Texas football teams have been practicing in the area this week for Thursday’s Bowl Championship Series title game at the Rose Bowl. While the Longhorns practiced at UC Irvine, the Crimson Tide squad has been using Orange Coast College’s locker room, weight room, training facility and cardio-lab. It’s practicing across the street on the natural turf of the Farm Sports Complex in anticipation of the Rose Bowl’s natural surface.
November 10, 2009
A former NFL player and his former girlfriend from Ladera Ranch can stand trial for the killing of a Newport Beach man nearly 15 years ago, Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Gannon ruled Monday. Nanette Packard, 44, and Eric Naposki, 42, are charged with killing Bill McLaughlin, a Newport Beach father and successful businessman, on Dec. 15, 1994. Prosecutors claim that Packard, who was financially supported by McLaughlin and was his longtime girlfriend, persuaded her secret lover, Naposki, to kill McLaughlin inside his home.
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 1, 2009
For a football program coming off its worst season in five years, Sage Hill School has a sense of urgency. Players no longer walk off the field. They jog off it. The attitude is different compared to last year. Going 2-8 buried Sage Hill’s confidence. With a new coach in J.R. Tolver, the Lightning aren’t going to show any signs that they’re down. “I don’t care if we’re more tired than the people we’re playing. They will never know it by the way we carry ourselves,” said Tolver, a first-year coach, who replaced Derek McIntyre.