The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

June 26, 2012

George Bremer: Irrelevance in eye of beholder

Chandler Harnish was so excited about being drafted by his favorite NFL team in April, he didn’t have time to drink in the fact he’d just joined a fairly exclusive fraternity.

The former Northern Illinois star was the 253rd and final player selected in the seven-round draft, and that earned him entry into the “Mr. Irrelevant” Club.

“To be honest, I don’t know much,” Harnish told the media when asked about the honor on draft day. “I was told there was a parade, but other than that I don’t know much. I’m excited to find out.”

Harnish will learn all he needs to know during “Irrelevant Week” in Newport Beach, Calif., culminating with a party in his honor on July 3 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel.

Mr. Irrelevant is the brainchild of former NFL player Paul Salata, and Harnish is the 37th man to earn the title.

And some of the previous winners actually have proven to be quite relevant.

Bill Kenney, who earned the award as the second-to-last player taken in 1978 after the final selection suffered an injury and did not report to camp, became a Pro Bowler in 1983 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Special-teamer Marty Moore won a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots in 2001, and St. Louis linebacker David Vobora and Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop are current starters in the NFL.

The Colts even had their own brief brush with Mr. Irrelevant success with fullback Jim Finn — who was taken by the Chicago Bears in 1999, played in Indianapolis from 2000-02 and became a starter with the New York Giants between 2003-06.

But Indianapolis never had drafted Mr. Irrelevant before Harnish.

The Colts did hold the final pick in the draft three times before Salata established the award in 1976, and Salata himself played one season for the Baltimore Colts in 1950.

He caught 45 passes over the season’s final seven games from Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle, but the Colts finished 1-11.

“We had some good players,” Salata said in a press release. “Tittle and (offensive lineman) Art Donovan are in the Hall of Fame, but the franchise folded at the end of the season.”

The Colts returned to the NFL in 1953 and selected Harnish nearly 60 years later.

Harnish grew up a Colts fan in Bluffton and said his family still supports the team.

He established his football credentials at Northern Illinois, where he compiled 4,043 yards of total offense as a run-pass threat and led the Huskies to an 11-3 record during his senior year.

Harnish is behind fellow rookie Andrew Luck and veteran Drew Stanton on the Colts’ depth chart, but it’s unlikely any player on the roster is happier to be in Indianapolis.

“I’ve always loved the Colts, and I looked up to guys like Jim Harbaugh and Peyton Manning,” Harnish said after his first pro practice in May. “To be a part of the team and to put on the helmet is something very special.”

And by next week, thanks to Salata and his eccentric award, Harnish already will have made a name for himself.

Hard to see anything irrelevant in that.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - Colts night practice - 061.jpg Fans fuel Colts at night practice

    Early in Thursday night's practice at Anderson University, Colts tight end Coby Fleener found himself running free behind the defense in 11-on-11 drills. Seconds later, a laser-like pass arrived just past his shoulder, and he had a free run to the end zone. A crowd of 7,540 erupted inside Macholtz Stadium, adding a unique energy to the lone evening practice of this year's training camp.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0801 - Mewhort - Colts night practice - 130.jpg Rookie Mewhort gets first crack at guard

    Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano believes no situation is too large for rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. That theory will be thoroughly tested soon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-LuckWatch-045.jpg Colts Quick Hits: Thursday, July 31

    Notes, news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thomas - Colts Camp day two 252 Pagano confirms Colts OL Thomas out for season again

    Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano confirmed Thursday morning that guard Donald Thomas reinjured his right quad and will have season-ending surgery.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Kelly - 332 Kelley leaving Colts after 29 years One of the few remaining links to the early days of the Indianapolis Colts is leaving the team after today following 29 years of service.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • bramwell mugshot Rick Bramwell: Rainy day memories abound

    This past Tuesday, I was up early and had a vigorous workout at the gym. Yard work was interrupted by a late-afternoon shower. It was a perfect time to take a nap.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Werner - 319 Werner's progress evident at Colts Camp

    Bjoern Werner's rookie training camp was rather quiet. The German-born outside linebacker went through individual drills and worked hard in full-team sessions, but he was overwhelmed by all the new information he was processing. And it was holding him back. When the season started, Werner was further set back by a foot injury that cost him three games, and he finished the year with just 2.5 sacks. Then the former Florida State star went to work.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • HB0724 _ Teverbaugh mug Rick Teverbaugh: Some folks can't be replaced There were a lot of possible topics as I decided what would lead the list of things that would move me enough to compose today's column.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Corner - HB Colts Notes: Thomas, Hilton hurt in Wednesday's practice After a physical practice Wednesday afternoon at Anderson University, the Indianapolis Colts are hoping they have not lost another starter. Left guard Donald Thomas hit the ground following an 11-on-11 running drill and was visibly upset when he finally was helped to his feet. He threw his mouthguard away in anger and attempted to walk off the injury with trainers away from the rest of his teammates.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Fleener - 206 Colts focusing on situational improvement One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes. The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News