Mister Irrelevent

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By Josh Veatch

The National Football League held its annual draft recently. Eric Fisher from Central Michigan was selected as the first overall pick of the draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Three quarterbacks were selected in rounds 1-3, with only one going in the first round. In the later rounds, the quarterbacks started coming off the board.
But I’m not here to talk about the quarterbacks drafted. I’m here to discuss the title given to one player in particular. Mr. Irrelevant is the title given to the final pick of the draft; round seven, pick number 254. For the second year in a row, the Indianapolis Colts had the “honor” of making this selection. They picked Justice Cunningham from South Carolina.  
My biggest thing about the whole Mr. Irrelevant thing is simply the name and the fanfare that goes with it. Really, Mr. Irrelevant, what does that say to the kid who is that pick? I mean the name they call him forever has the word irrelevant in it. By definition, irrelevant means unrelated to the matter being considered.  Come on, for a player to be picked in the draft should be the biggest moment of his life. For this one player every year, he has to have this title attached to his name. Why don’t they call the No. 1 pick “Mr. Important?”
I hope that Cunningham can make the team and show all the people out there that he is not irrelevant. Not that long ago, the draft used to be much longer than it is now. In the early 1990s the draft used to be 12 rounds long, not seven.  So then the final pick of the seventh round was just a player picked halfway through the draft.
The whole Mr. Irrelevant thing started in 1976, when Paul Salata founded a whole week-long celebration dedicated to this pick. Yes you read that right, there is a week-long celebration given in “honor” of this pick. The new Mr. Irrelevant and his family are invited to spend a week in Newport Beach, Calif., where they enjoy a golf tournament, a regatta, a roast giving advice to the new draftee, and a ceremony awarding him the Lowsman Trophy. The trophy mimics the Heisman, but depicts a player fumbling a football.
The Lowsman trophy is another subject for discussion. After proclaiming that this pick is irrelevant and having a week long “celebration” for this, this player is awarded an actual trophy called the Lowsman trophy. How much more degrading can we get toward this player?
I wonder how these players truly feel about all this. After working hard for four years at college on your team, you are then finally selected in the draft.  But the pick you are taken at has this degrading name attached to it. At that point, the player picked last, which is never fun, has this title attached to them forever. Do we really want to put this title on a kid that just went through the biggest transformation of his life?