Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows that I love football. Being on the sidelines during a high school football game is one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night, but I have honestly never paid much attention to anything about football in the spring. So I have learned some new things this week.
I like tweet after tweet throughout the year as our student athletes sign to play with the college of their choice. The pictures are as diverse as the students, but there is a common look on the face of them all. Excitement. Pride. Anticipation. It is the culmination of years of hard work, years of practice, years of preparation. Many of them have been dreaming of this moment since they first stepped onto a court or a field or a track. They made it.
This week we watched that same moment for college football players. The NFL Draft is quite a show, but beyond the spectacle, at its heart, it is no different from that moment when a high school senior snaps a picture with that college shirt and hat. There is the same common look on their face. Excitement. Pride. Anticipation. This is the culmination of years of hard work, years of practice, years of preparation. Many of them have been dreaming of this moment since they first stepped onto a football field. They made it.
And then I learned about Mr. Irrelevant.
I know, how on earth have I not heard of this before? But I had not. A friend told me to do a little research on Mr. Irrelevant. He actually thought it would make a great blog, and he was right!
For those of you who, like me, are not as versed in this ridiculous “award”, it is the person selected last in the Draft. Kelvin Kirk in 1976 was named the first Mr. Irrelevant when he was selected as the 487th pick in that Draft. This year Chad Kelly “won” the “award.”
There are summer trips, golf tournaments, real perks to being named Mr. Irrelevant. There is a trophy…of a player fumbling a ball.
I get it. It’s fun. Clever idea. But irrelevant? Really?
Children all over the country want that moment. They watch the Draft (or the Oscars or the Nobel Prize Ceremony) and dream of the day they will be on that stage. They wake up hours before their friends, push harder than imaginable, and persevere through loss and rejection and injury to reach for that moment. And almost none of them make it.
Chad Kelly made it. Every player picked last in the Draft, every year, was picked in the Draft. Imagine that! How many others wish it had been them, even in the last round with the last pick.
We are all picked last. We all have moments when we fail to set our personal record. We all have days when we fail to do as well as wanted to do. But we ran the race, or we finished the work. How many people out there want to do what we do?
We do not have to have the biggest house. We do not have to have the fastest time. We do not have to be the number one pick to be relevant.
We are all relevant.