Mr. Irrelevant is usually cut in training camp, not during the week Newport Beach worships him for being the last pick in the NFL Draft.
Tim Toone is Mr. Irrelevant XXXV, but his week has been cut short.
Instead of the usual six or seven days, Mr. Irrelevant is spending three days in town, starting on June 30. Paul Salata, the event's founder, understands why the stay for the latest Mr. Irrelevant will be brief.
The Detroit Lions drafted Toone, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound wide receiver from Weber State. The Lions appear serious about working with their dead-last selection.
"Detroit added a couple of practice days," Salata said was the reason behind Toone's limited availability.
Detroit needs the 255th pick more than Newport Beach.
There's a reason why the Lions have ended up with the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the past two drafts. Detroit has two wins to show in its previous two seasons.
The last time the Lions chose someone at No. 255 was three years ago. Mr. Irrelevant back then was Ramzee Robinson.
The more Robinson played in his second season, the more Detroit lost. The Lions two years ago went winless, the first NFL team with the dubious record of losing each of its 16 regular-season games.
At least Robinson played in the NFL. Toone has a ways to go before he lands in the Motor City.
The odds of Toone being cut are far better than the ones of him chopping his hair off. Salata's daughter, Melanie Salata-Fitch, who runs Irrelevant Week, calls Toone the "white guy with dreadlocks."
The dreadlocks are sure to get a rise. Salata-Fitch said she plans for Toone to ride the Goodyear blimp on the third and final day of his visit.
"The Goodyear Tire Company wants to take him for a ride on the Goodyear blimp and show him what a stadium looks like from above, as opposed [to what a] player is used to being on the field," said Salata-Fitch, adding Toone might fly over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The aerial view might be the closest Toone gets to a real football field.
Checking out the Coliseum is not a bad idea by Salata-Fitch, a USC alumnus. Her college football team that plays at the Coliseum might need some players after the NCAA took away 30 scholarships in the next three years as part of the sanctions it levied on USC for a lack of institutional control. The NCAA cited former tailback Reggie Bush for receiving improper gifts from marketers during his days at USC.
An invitation to honor Mr. Irrelevant has been sent to USC first-year head coach Lane Kiffin.
"They don't have as much recruiting … as they did before," joked Salata, adding that Kiffin hasn't confirmed that he's attending the event.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, or maybe fortunately, Toone has signed with an agent, and no his name isn't Leigh Steinberg. Toone is 25, so his athletic eligibility has run out in college.
Salata said the only gifts Toone will be showered with during the first day at the arrival party at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa are gag ones.
There might be free tickets to attend the Trojans' bowl game next season.
"They'll be easier to get now," said a sarcastic Salata, knowing the NCAA banned his alma mater from bowl participation in the next two seasons.
Salata said he still hasn't talked to Toone yet.
Toone will get an earful from Salata at the Lowsman Banquet, which follows the arrival party. Salata and his old-time friends, which include Pro Football Hall of Famers Ron Yary and Ron Mix, and former USC and Los Angeles Rams coach John Robinson, will roast Toone at the banquet.
There is plenty of material on Toone, who compares himself to Wes Walker of the New England Patriots. Both have similar physiques, but that's where the comparisons end.
Welker has totaled 346 yards for 3,688 yard and 15 touchdowns in the past three seasons. Toone has the edge in the hair department as Welker's losing his.
"He sounds really, really nice," said Salata-Fitch of Toone, offering proof of his kindness as he served a two-year Mormon mission in West Africa before playing at Weber State. "He's very excited. He's got a lot of family coming out."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun