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Passing the Crown of Mr. Irrelevant

John Moe

Millie Jefferson

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Ramzee Robinson
(Getty Images)
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It's NFL draft weekend, the weekend when pro teams take their pick of college players. The top pick will be catapulted to instant stardom -- but the last pick gets something special, too. A group of people with money and a sense of humor fly him out, hold a parade, and crown him Mr. Irrelevant. This weekend, after seven rounds and two days, someone will be the new Mr. Irrelevant.

The current Mr. Irrelevant is Ramzee Robinson, a cornerback for the Detroit Lions and the last man picked in the 2007 NFL draft. He remembers last year's draft well. He started watching the draft on Saturday with his family and friends, but couldn't stomach the wait. Little did he know it was going to be a long night -- or rather, a long weekend.

John Moe: What was it like to be the last man picked in the longest draft in NFL history?

Ramzee Robinson: It was frustrating. I just didn't want to let my brothers and sisters down, my family down and my friends. I still came back home, couldn't go to sleep. I woke up Sunday and my mom was sitting right there in front of the TV. I was walking through the living room looking at her like she was crazy. I said, "Mom, find something else to do." I asked her, "Did you take a shower, or even use the bathroom yet?" I had to tease her a little bit.

How did you find out you were picked?

My cousin came running out of the house to give me a big 'ol hug and said, "You were finally picked -- you got picked last with the Detroit Lions!" So he gave me a big hug and everybody ran outside yelling. I was overwhelmed because I wasn't even watching any more. I was sitting outside in the car thinking about stuff when everyone ran out. I was in tears -- I was truly in tears, because it was bittersweet for me. It took forever, and I wanted to get picked so badly. When I finally did get picked and everyone came running out and I saw the look on their faces, it moved me. It's a very special moment that is really hard to explain. I just hate that I missed seeing my name go across the screen.

How did you find out about this title of Mr. Irrelevant? How did you find out you were Mr. Irrelevant?

Melanie Finch, who is the CEO of Irrelevant Week, finally got in contact with me. She was just ecstatic. She was so excited and talking so fast. I was thinking to myself "I'm not all that happy about being picked last." Now that I think about it, she was probably more excited than my family. She was telling me how they were going to have a whole bunch of festivities out in California. I was like, okay, that's cool. I was thinking she was just a promoter trying to do something for me because she felt sorry for me because I was the last pick of the draft. I really didn't know that much about the Mr. Irrelevant title or the significance of it.

What was that weekend like? What did you do?

It was perfect. As soon as I got there I was greeted at the airport. They had signs and so many T-shirts made with my name on it. They made me my favorite dish of macaroni and cheese and handed it to me when I got off the airplane. That was great.

They handed you a dish of macaroni and cheese at the airport?

Yep, they sure did. It wasn't the best dish of macaroni and cheese, but it looked good. You know the funniest thing about those festivities was when I went to the Angels game. You know, normally when they have someone of some significance at the game they have them do what, throw out the first pitch, right?

Sure.

Okay, well, I was thinking that's what I was going to do when I got to the game. They had told me that I was going to be sitting in the VIP. section and that they were going to call me out on the field. I was thinking, that's great. I started getting my arm ready because I was so excited to throw out the first pitch. They sent me downstairs and I was already to go and that's when they told me that I was not throwing out the first pitch, but doing something else -- dragging the infield. So, I'm out there getting my shoes dirty trying to clean up the infield between innings. It was too funny. They had me on the big JumboTron and they gave me a big shout out, so it was great how they pulled that off.

Now Ramzee, this weekend on Sunday somebody else is going to be Mr. Irrelevant. You're going to hand over the title of Mr. Irrelevant to someone else. What advice do you have for that guy?

If I have to hand it over, my first piece of advice is not really advice at all. I'm going to first say I apologize that I have to hand this over, but I have to give it to somebody. My second piece of advice, more seriously, is to be patient. They are not expecting you to make it. So believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities because nobody is really going to give you any credit for how good you might be or could be. The coach is going to forget your name sometimes. So, you have to still believe, you know: "It's all right you forgot my name but I'm going to show him I'm better than this guy. I am going to show him that I'm just as good as this guy." So, you have to let your playing do the talking because it's going to be a struggle and you are going to have to be strong-minded to get through it.

Ramzee Robinson, 2007 Mr. Irrelevant, cornerback with the Detroit Lions thanks for being with us.

Hey thanks a lot. The pleasure was mine.

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