INDIANAPOLIS – Justice Cunningham was so irrelevant Saturday the announcer initially uttered the wrong name.
No, it’s not Justice Hamilton. It’s Justice Cunningham.
Indianapolis selected the 6-foot-4, 264-pound tight end from South Carolina with the 254th and final pick in the NFL draft Saturday.
Cunningham will be honored with a trip to Disneyland and the Irrelevant Week Parade in Newport Beach, Calif., this summer.
I most definitely did hear it, and I’ll remember it, Cunningham said jokingly after being the last player chosen on draft weekend.
And as the picks wound down, Cunningham seemed resigned to having to start his professional football career as an undrafted free agent. Then, out of nowhere, the phone rang.
They called at the last minute, Cunningham said, explaining that he was already pondering options about where he might sign.
What the Colts are getting is a tight end who earned his keep with the Gamecocks as a blocker.
In four seasons, he caught just 49 passes for 544 yards and one touchdown. Nearly half of those catches (22) during his final college season.
What Cunningham gets is membership into a unique club and a week to celebrate his new title in California.
He’ll visit Disneyland, appear in the Irrelevant Week parade, and the proceeds will go to Special Olympics of Southern California.
The Colts’ Chandler Harnish, last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, even offered to put his new teammate and club member in the locker next to his.
Sounds good. I like that, Cunningham said.
But there was some confusion initially, even with Cunningham when Paul Salada, who founded Irrelevant Week in 1976, announced that Justin Hamilton had been taken by the Colts.
Salada quickly corrected himself and Cunningham could finally breathe easy when Salada held up the blue-and-white Colts jersey this time with the No. 254. Harnish, a Norwell grad, was No. 253 last year.