May 2, 2015 Tight end Gerald Christian became Mr. Irrelevant 2015 when he was selected 256th overall in the NFL draft today, making the leap from the Louisville Cardinals to the Arizona Cardinals.
As the last pick of the draft, Christian will be invited to participate in the Irrelevant Week festivities (July 7-12, 2015) in Newport Beach, California.
However, Christian will potentially be affected by a rule instituted by Irrelevant Week organizers after the last time the Arizona Cardinals selected Mr. Irrelevant (in 2001). That year the Cards chose Tevita Ofahengaue, a tight end out of Brigham Young University.
Ofahengaue asked if his family could attend, recalls Melanie Salata Fitch, CEO of Irrelevant Week. Fitch didn't envision any problem with accommodating a family member or two. "But Ofahengaue is from Tonga, and 63 family members—like a whole village, descended on Newport Beach. And I had to find them rooms," she continues. "So now we have the Tevita rule. The player is only allowed to bring one guest. If the rest of the family wants to come they are welcome, but were not able to pay for their flights and lodging."
Of course, that problem was nothing compared to the issues created by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in 2005, who attempted to spoil the Irrelevant Week festivities by refusing to allow Andy Stokes (Mr. Irrelevant 2005) to attend. Then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue had to intercede, and even then, Stokes spent just a few days in Newport Beach, which is why Fitch refers to Belichick as a curmudgeon.
For the sake of everyone involved, one hopes that the Patriots are not awarded the last pick in the draft while Belichick is still head coach. "I don't think wed have a problem with the Patriots again, but if we did we would take our toys and go home, says Fitch. We'd take the next-to-last guy or even the next guy," implying that she would contact the team with the first pick in the draft and ask who they would have selected if they had another choice.
Lets hope it doesn't come to that.