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Super Bowl Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers: Brock Purdy’s journey from Mr Irrelevant to extreme relevance

Editor Written by Editor · 1 min read >

Brock Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft. On Monday, he’ll start in his first Super Bowl. Photo / Getty Images

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Two quarterbacks with completely different NFL journeys will face off against each other for the biggest prize of them all, the Super Bowl.

On one side of the match-up is the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who has won two Super Bowls and two MVP awards.

On the other is the 262nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers.

Purdy got the title of Mr Irrelevant for being the last pick in the entire draft.

The term was started in 1976 by former NFL wide receiver Paul Salata, to celebrate the underdogs.

Salata established this to get across the message that it’s not a negative to be picked last in the NFL and that it’s an honour to even be picked at all.

He says the last pick demonstrates a level of perseverance that people everywhere can relate to.

It might sound like a harsh phrase that no one would want attached to them, but it’s a way of recognising that although you might not be a top pick, your hard work and dedication has paid off.

Mr Irrelevant is then involved in Irrelevant Week – a weeklong series of events meant to raise recognition for the player and money for a chosen charity.

There is an arrival party welcoming him to Newport Beach, California, which is then followed by a week of fun as they tour Disneyland, sail in a regatta and attend a Major League Baseball game, just to name a few activities.

There have been a few Mr Irrelevants who have played yet succeeded in the NFL, with a couple even featuring in and winning a Super Bowl.

However, nobody could see what was in store when the 49ers selected Purdy.

Purdy first got his chance in 2022 after two injuries left him as the only healthy quarterback.

Mr Irrelevant then went 7-0 as the starter in his first season, before losing in the NFC Championship game, one step before the Super Bowl.

Purdy was injured in this game, which many claim was the reason they even lost at all.

He came out firing in 2023, having the fifth-most passing yards with 4280, the third-most passing touchdowns with 31 and leading his team to the Super Bowl this time round.

He will be the third Mr Irrelevant to feature in a Super Bowl and the first in the quarterback position.

With a championship win, Purdy could cement himself as the greatest Mr Irrelevant of all time.

The game will be played on February 12th from 12.30pm NZT.

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