When the identity of Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the NFL draft, is revealed on Saturday it will come with a tribute to the founder of the irreverent fundraiser for Orange County charities who died last year.
Paul Salata, who died in October, will be honored with a video tribute Saturday afternoon at the NFL draft in Las Vegas, his daughter, Melanie Fitch, the Irrelevant Week CEO, said.
Fitch said she was grateful the NFL was paying tribute to her father, not just because of what he’s done to promote the annual fundraiser, but because the video will spare her from making a speech about him.
“I didn’t think I could talk about my dad from stage without being a leafy mess,” Fitch told City News Service from the draft in Las Vegas.
“My dad’s always been my focus and I’ve been his right hand for as long as I can remember,” Fitch said. “He was my kingpin so it’s not easy for me.
“But he trained me well enough to do the good the Irrelevant Week does — championing the underdog. I just miss him a lot. He was a great guy, and we’ll continue his legacy.”
The San Francisco 49ers hold the last pick, and Fitch is hoping it stays that way because, “My dad played for the 49ers. That’s our family favorite team.”
Teams usually stick with their last pick but 30% of the time it gets traded, Fitch said.
If the 49ers make the last pick then the Irrelevant Week events will be held June 20-24, Fitch said. Otherwise, new plans will have to be worked out with another team if the 49ers trade the pick, she added.