Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Former Newport Beach Mr. Irrelevant is on the cusp of becoming the next Super Bowl star

In 2022, the San Francisco 49ers used their seventh round pick in the NFL Draft to select Iowa State’s Brock Purdy with the #262 and final selection. As last pick, Purdy got the dubious distinction to be called Mr. Irrelevant, an honor Newport Beach’s Paul Salata annually bestowed on the NFL’s last pick each year since 1976.

When a team picks someone with their #262 selection, chances are he can usually only hope to maybe make that team’s taxi-squad, at best.

Purdy has sure bucked that trend.

Unfortunately, Salata passed in 2021 before he ever got to witness Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy become part of the NFL’s conversation as perhaps “most relevant.”

But, for those of us that knew Paul, we can only imagine the fun he’d be having these next two weeks telling anyone and everyone about it.

You see, Purdy is now going to the Super Bowl coming up Sunday, Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (technically Paradise) after leading the Niners to a come-from-behind 34-31 win over the Cinderella Detroit Lions.

With SF down at halftime 24-7, Purdy led the team all the way back with his passing, running and a little bit of luck, to a huge victory in the NFC Championship game.

Has a Mr. Irrelevant ever even made it to the Super Bowl, you ask? C’mon now, of course. Marty Moore (Mr. Irrelevant 1994, from Kentucky), a special teams player for New England, was the first, playing in Super Bowl XXXI and then again, when he became the first Mr. Irrelevant to win in Super Bowl in XXXVI; Jim Finn (Mr. Irrelevant 1999 out of Penn), a fullback, was on the New York Giants roster for Super Bowl XLII, but was on injured reserve and never played in the game; Ryan Succop (Mr. Irrelevant 2009 out of South Carolina), a kicker, played in Super Bowl and won with Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV.

What will Purdy do? Well, in two weeks we’ll find out, but there’s no question that this Mr. Irrelevant has become an NFL star.

And, he was so nice and accommodating during his time here in Newport Beach that he’ll have many of the friends he made cheering on his every move!

• • •

These questions arrived this week from the Women’s Sailing Association – Orange County: “Have you ever looked out at boats sailing along the Southern California coastline and wished you could do the same? Do you have your own boat but feel the need to boost your skills or confidence? Is 2024 the year you want to challenge yourself to try something new?”

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are happily invited to learn more about the Women’s Sailing Association – Orange County (WSA-OC) at their upcoming February meeting.

“Members of WSA-OC range from licensed captains who have sailed around the world to women who are brand new to sailing but are looking for new adventures. Member activities include monthly meetings on sailing-related or ocean-awareness topics; and on-the-water events include Social Sails, Safety-at-Sea practices, Duffy cruises and Learn-to-Race Regattas. WSA-OC is also committed to several community service projects throughout the year that support at-risk girls and women.”

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Courtesy of WSA-OC

The WSA-OC is open to women sailors of all skill levels

One of the 2024 highlights for this year includes the 45th Anniversary of the founding of Women’s Ocean Racing Sailing Association (WORSA) which was one of the first organizations to support women in sailing in the Southern California region. WORSA was re-launched as WSA-OC in 2015.

If you’re interested, plan to attend the February 14 meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Yacht Club. There is no charge, but space is limited, so please RSVP to commodore@wsaoc.org.

The evening will feature a presentation by Lynsi Gibbons, pro sailor and Quantum Sail consultant from San Diego, who will talk about what goes into sail design, cloth selection and sizing when selecting a sail.

WSA-OC is a co-ed group dedicated to supporting women sailors throughout the Orange County area through land-based educational programs and on-the-water activities. The group’s mission includes a focus on serving the community through sailing-related activities designed to foster a love for sailing and cleaning up the ocean. For more information on WSA-OC, visit www.wsaoc.org/.

• • •

The OC Fair is still months away, but we have news for you: The theme this year is “Always a Good Time.” The fair run will be July 19 through August 18.

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Courtesy of OC Fair & Events Center

Admission tickets will go on sale online in February and this will be the fourth year they will use a limited-capacity model, meaning days are again expected to sell out.

An alternative to worrying about how you can get in is the OC Fair Every Day Passport which allows guests to visit the Fair any day of its 23-day run without advance tickets or reservations required.

A special feature exhibit, “The Art of Music,” will return for a second year with new displays highlighting album covers, posters, artwork and interactive experiences. Also on display will be community fine art and photography entries, handcrafts, woodworking, agriculture competitions and more. Deadlines vary and details can be found at ocfair.com/oc-fair/competitions-contests/.

Tickets are now available to purchase for shows in Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar. ABBA LA and Bee Gees Gold will perform on July 20, Chris Young and Conner Smith will be in the Pacific Amphitheatre July 19 and Los Tucanes de Tijuana and Voz de Mando will be on stage July 24. Check out updates at https://pacamp.com.

Tickets to performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during the run of the OC Fair also include same-day Fair admission.

• • •

In case you’re wondering, the 2024 Presidential Primary Election is right around the corner. These days it’s actually hard to say exactly when it is because it’s spread over a long period rather that the old days when everyone showed up on a certain Tuesday, went into the booth and cast their vote.

So, here’s what you should know about what’s planned for this year’s primary, including ballots, about what’s being done in make certain ballot tabulations are correct and where to vote:

–Monday, Feb. 5, ballots for all active registered voters in OC will be delivered to the U.S. Postal Service for mailing. Voters may also visit the Registrar of Voters to be issued one.

–Tuesday, Feb. 6, a pre-election logic and accuracy test of OC’s voting system will start with the preparation of test ballots and will continue until all devices to be used in this election have been included. It is expected that scanning of the test ballots will commence on Thursday, Feb. 8.

–Tuesday, Feb. 6, processing of ballots begins, including sorting, signature verification, collection and return operations, and duplication of the official ballots.

–Monday, Feb. 12, begins the counting of accepted mail ballots. The votes of those scanned ballots may not be tabulated by the Registrar of Voters staff, or released until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5.

–Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8 a.m. Thirty-seven Vote Centers will open throughout the county to serve voters daily. An additional 146 Vote Centers will open on Saturday, March 2. All 183 Vote Centers will be open through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5.

Also, processing of Conditional Voter Registration and Provisional Ballots can begin.

–Tuesday, March 5 – The votes from mail ballots processed and scanned by this day and in-person ballots cast at Vote Centers will be tabulated by the voting system. Unofficial Result Reports will be posted from 8:05 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and every thereafter until all Vote Center ballots are tabulated.

–Audits and other accuracy tests will follow the election to confirm that the system is reporting accurately.

And, if all goes right, we’ll then have our candidates selected for the 2024 General Election that will come up November 5.

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