An Irrelevant Weekend in Newport Beach

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Chad Kelly

He may have been the last man selected in this year’s NFL draft, but that means that Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly is this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, and will be celebrated with a flurry of activities in Newport Beach this weekend.

Launched in 1976 by NFL alumnus Paul Salata, Irrelevant Week (or in this case, weekend) is the annual celebration recognized by the National Football League that honors the last player to be picked in the NFL Draft.

“We established Irrelevant Week to drive home an important message – that it’s not a negative to be picked last in the NFL Draft; rather, it’s an honor to be drafted at all,” says Salata. “The last draft pick’s demonstration of perseverance is lesson that resonates not only with NFL players and fans, but also with people everywhere.”

Over the past 40 years, Irrelevant Week has become a much-anticipated and beloved celebration honoring football’s underdog, while also making charitable contributions to the community. In fact, through Irrelevant Week, the organization has donated more than $1 million to charities over the past three decades.

Previous beneficiaries include the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill Industries, YMCA, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, NFL Alumni, and the American Red Cross, among others.

This year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Chad Kelly, was selected No. 253 overall by the Denver Broncos in the final round of the 2017 draft. Unlike Mr. Irrelevants of the past, Kelly’s name is familiar to many football insiders, and more than a few fans.

Chad Kelly

Kelly’s uncle is former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who had an 11-year career in the NFL, led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s, and eight postseason appearances total, earning him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

The focus of international acclaim and media attention, the annual Irrelevant Week celebration includes an Arrival Party welcoming him to town, where NFL fans and the local community come out in force to cheer the player and shower him with gifts from businesses and patrons near and far.

Mr. Irrelevant is the guest-of-honor at the annual Lowsman Banquet on Friday, June 30, an evening gala that gives past and present sports stars and celebrities a chance to roast and toast the newest member of this exclusive club.

The high-spirited celebration includes a silent auction and the awarding of the Lowsman Trophy. The Lowsman Trophy is a parody of the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the outstanding American college football player of the year. The Lowsman Trophy itself mimics the Heisman, but depicts a football player fumbling a football.

Mr. Irrelevant begins his day with a Giddy Up and Go spin class at Grit Cycle.

On Saturday, Kelly will attend a Balboa Peninsula Bronco Beach Bash featuring families of Serving People in Need and KidWorks.

The final Irrelevant Week event is the Roundup at the Resort at Balboa Bay Resort, where Kelly will be showered with gifts and well wishes before he bolts back to Denver to earn a spot on the Broncos’ roster.

“I – and the entire team at Irrelevant Week – remain steadfast in our commitment to applauding those who exude the principles of enduring effort and sportsmanship,” said Salata. “The Irrelevant Week tradition shares an inspirational story about a champion of perseverance, and that’s an important message for today’s society.”

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