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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He's Much More Relevant Than Pick No. 245

April 25, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

You would think that the last player chosen in the NFL draft, the 246th pick to the Arizona Cardinals, would be so obscure as not to be noticed. But in time-honored fashion, tight end Tevita Ofahengaue is going to live it up in style.

The 25-year-old player from Brigham Young, a father of four, is the latest Mr. Irrelevant and will be honored during Irrelevant Week in the last week of June in Newport Beach. He will be feted at a series of parties, a trip to Disneyland, a pub crawl, various other side trips and a banquet.

Ofahengaue, married in 1991, working for American Airlines and making good money, had no intention of playing football, but his parents talked him into walking on at BYU.

Irrelevant Week, now in its 26th year, is the brainchild of Newport Beach businessman Paul Salata, a former end with USC and the San Francisco 49ers.

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Trivia time: Who holds the Kings' playoff record in one series for assists by a defenseman?

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Selective memory: Kim Kiper says her husband, NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., has a photographic memory, although the lens is a bit restricted. "Once I offhandedly mentioned the name of a childhood friend from my hometown, a small place in western Maryland," she told ESPN.com. "Mel immediately started spitting out his college stats and telling me how good a player he was.

"But once I ask Mel to recall anything else, forget it. He couldn't get 10 miles down the road to the store without detailed directions, even if we'd drive it 50 times a day."

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Truck stop: Arizona Cardinal Coach Dave McGinnis on 6-foot-6, 367-pound offensive tackle Leonard Davis, the NFL team's top pick (second overall) in the draft:

"He'll play in this league, in my humble opinion, for a long, long time, unless he gets hit by a truck, and it's going to have to be a damned big truck."

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Mystery champ: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "And so it has come to this. We now have a heavyweight champion of the world who can walk the streets of any city on the planet and not be recognized by one person in 10,000."

The champion is, of course, Hasim Rahman.

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More Rapoport: "If Michael Jordan really wanted to do NBA fans a favor--those who like watching the game on television, anyway--he'd have hired Bill Walton to coach the Wizards and left Doug Collins where he is."

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Plenty of options: Dave Winfield said he agonized over which team he would represent when inducted into the Hall of Fame before finally settling on the San Diego Padres.

"Wow," says Michael Ventre of MSNBC.com. "If Winfield struggled that much, then I'm figuring Rickey Henderson will need years of therapy."

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Aging rookie: From comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "Twenty-eight-year-old Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke was finally taken in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

"Weinke already has several product endorsement contracts: All-Bran cereal, the National Prune Council and a company that makes a pill to lower your cholesterol."

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Looking back: On this day in 1964, the Toronto Maple Leafs took their third consecutive Stanley Cup with a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh game.

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Trivia answer: Steve Duchesne, eight, in 1990 against Calgary.

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And finally: After 29 operations, 15 on his left knee, Denver Bronco guard Mark Schlereth retired last week.

"This is probably as good a time as any to say, Pat Bowlen, I'm sorry," he said to the team's owner. "I'm sorry that I single-handedly raised your workman's compensation premiums through the roof."

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