One of the best – but certainly not most coveted – awards in all of American sports is the Lowsman Trophy.
It is a small, bronze statue atop a wooden base, and it depicts a football player with one knee raised, like the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded annually to college football’s best player. But the inanimate man on the Lowsman Trophy has his mouth goofily agape. Instead of carrying a football, like the Heisman shows, he is dropping it.
South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham will be latest recipient of this amusing award, because he was this year’s Mr. Irrelevant – the final player picked in the NFL draft. Cunningham went Saturday to the Indianapolis Colts with pick No. 254.
The Colts also had Mr. Irrelevant last year, Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, and he made the team. Cunningham’s selection neatly transitions to the 2014 draft, which will almost certainly begin with USC defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as the first pick.
Cunningham is USC’s second Mr. Irrelevant, a distinction that began in 1976 and includes a summer week of events in Newport Beach, Calif., as well as that glorious trophy. In 2009, kicker Ryan Succop was picked by Kansas City Chiefs as Mr. Irrelevant. He is their starting kicker, and after the 2011 season he reportedly got a five-year, $14 million contract.
“Cannot believe we have another Gamecock Mr. Irrelevant,” Succop tweeted. “What are the odds?”