There are worse things in the world than being Mr. Irrelevant. In fact, I'd argue that the temporary celebrity enjoyed by the last pick in any NFL draft is probably better than what the entire rest of the seventh round picks have waiting for them. Nobody ever named a blog after pick #254, right?
This was the longest draft in NFL history, which means that Ramzee Robinson sat for a full 18 hours and five minutes, spread over the course of two days, before hearing his name called. So I'd just like to say, with all due respect: Waaaaah, Brady Quinn... Waaaah. Get the baby his bottle.
We'll look at what's being written about this year's Mr. Irrelevant, Ramzee Robinson, after the jump.
In fact, Ramzee Robinson is kind of a study in class. His hometown Huntsville, Alabama newspaper, the Times, quoted him as saying "It was kind of neat it ended up being the 'Mr. Irrelevant' pick, which is kind of funny to me". He expects his otherwise un-noteworty selection by the Detroit Lions to result in a bit of a publicity blitz, including television talk shows. Not bad for an unheralded seventh round pick. As the article notes, another Huntsville native and last-round pick, Johnny Baldwin, went to the Lions as well.
Of course the hometown folks are proud, but what do the big, bad Detroit papers have to say about Ramzee? (I admit, I just like typing Ramzee) Free Press writer Carlos Monnarez reports that they're just happy to find someone who's excited about being there at this point: "My faith was tested, man, just believing that no matter what I was going to end up where I belong," Robinson said. "And thankfully and luckily today it made me a Detroit Lion."
Mr. I followers will know by now that Robinson is an undersized cornerback from the University of Alabama. The Tuscaloosa papers were underwhelmed that the Tide aced the seventh round of the draft, but were still kind enough to mention Ramzee twice, getting another double trunkfull of humble, aw-shucks quotes out of him: “Any guy coming out knows it’s his ultimate dream to have his name called and to have the opportunity to become part of an NFL organization," Robinson said. “I’m just grateful that my name was finally called."
He was also feeling his oats a bit, and seemed confident that he would put his SEC skills to the test and come out on top: “I try to put myself in position to make plays. If you are going to look at my height as a disadvantage, take a look at a guy who was just there - Dre Bly - and how he performed. I never thought my height was a disadvantage. Other people saw it as one."
The best part of being Mr. Irrelevant will be the party thrown in Ramzee's honor in Newport Beach, California. Barry Faulkner of the Newport Beach Daily Pilot wrote a fun article about the 30-plus-year history of Mr. Irrelevant week. This piece contains all kinds of fun passages: (H)e saw a cousin bolting out of his family's house right toward him. He was followed by a crowd of giddy family members, who proceded to chase Robinson around the yard, eventually consuming him in a stream of joyful hugs. (See, this is why you're Mr. Irrelevant - you got chased down from behind by Uncle Joe and some random cousins.)
He was also obligingly honest about another reason his draft stock may have dropped a bit: He said catching the ball is an area of the game he needs to improve upon. He broke up 22 passes in his collegiate career and he admits some of those were interceptions he merely dropped.
To see the history of Mr. Irrelevant, and see what kind of fun is in store for him this June, drop by the homepage of Irrelevant Week. It sounds like, if you have a sense of humor about it, the weekend can be a blast, with golf scrambles, luncheons, and the awarding of the Lowsman Trophy. A sample of the Irrelevant Irreverence: Kentucky linebacker Marty Moore, taken last by the New England Patriots, evolved into perhaps the most relevant Mr. Irrelevant ever. He is the only Lowsman Trophy winner to ever play in a Super Bowl (XXXI with the Pats).
And, to once more point out that Ramzee Robinson sounds like sort of a fun, down-to-earth guy, he is kind of looking forward to attending: When asked if he would attend and participate in the festivities, he said: “Most definitely, because I feel like it is a tradition. That is something that I learned at the University of Alabama, how to carry myself as a human being and how to be thankful for the opportunity that I have and the situation that I am in right now."
So there he is, ladies & gents. The man who has elevated obscurity to an art form just in time for the 2007 draft - Ramzee Robinson. You may now proceed to forget all about him.
(all photos of past Mr. Irrelevants were taken from the Mr. Irrelevant homepage)