Paul Salata, NFL "Irrelevant" Champion, Dies at 94

Paul Salata was a receiver at the University of Southern California in 1944, 1946, and 1947. He touched down at the Rose Bowl in 1945 bef...


Paul Salata was a receiver at the University of Southern California in 1944, 1946, and 1947. He touched down at the Rose Bowl in 1945 before joining the Army Air Corps in World War II. He was also an infielder on the USC team that won the College World Series in 1948, and he played a season in the minor leagues in 1950.

Like most M. Irrelevants, M. Salata had a largely unremarkable career. He played 23 games for the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers in the early 1950s, as well as two years in Canada, before leaving the game in 1953.

He also had a few moments in Hollywood, with minor roles in movies like “Stalag 17” and “Angels in the Outfield”. In “The Ten Commandments,” he fought Charlton Heston and lost, leading him to often joke that he was so old that he was beaten by Moses.

As his dreams of fame faded, Mr. Salata embarked on his father’s job, building sewers; helped start the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation; and focused on the turn Week not relevant in an offbeat ritual.

“My mantra has been to make the ‘F’ in the NFL fun,” said Rich Eisen, a longtime NFL network host who interviewed Mr. Salata often during the draft. “He was perfect in our studio because he created such an original tradition.”

NFL teams quickly realized that Mr. Irrelevant’s writing was free publicity. In 1979, the Los Angeles Rams voluntarily passed the penultimate pick to force the Steelers, who had the last pick, to pick first. Mr. Rozelle had to step in and let the Steelers choose last. Thus was born the “Salata Rule”, which prevented teams from fishing to gather last.

One year, Ms Fitch said, when the Raiders had the final pick Jerry Davis, brother of team owner Al Davis, joked with Mr Salata that the Raiders were going to pick the player who had the most complicated last name. so Mr. Salata would have a hard time pronouncing it.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Paul Salata, NFL "Irrelevant" Champion, Dies at 94
Paul Salata, NFL "Irrelevant" Champion, Dies at 94
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