Mr. Irrelevant

Pastoral Messages | February 15, 2024

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know there was a pretty big football game that took place last Sunday evening. And there were plenty of interesting storylines to follow as the San Francisco 49ers squared off against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, one of the best parts of this year’s Super Bowl was the backstory of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Yes, plenty of Iowans became fans of this west coast team because Purdy’s alma mater happens to be Iowa State University. It was hard to root against him, no matter your allegiances.

As you may already know, in 2022, Brock Purdy was selected dead last in the NFL draft—the final of 259 picks. As a result, Purdy was then given the title of “Mr. Irrelevant.” It’s a nickname of sorts, bestowed upon the last pick each year. Generally speaking, the last pick of the draft rarely actually makes it through preseason training camp or goes on to play a minute in an NFL game, much less becomes a starter. The last pick is considered somewhat of an afterthought, a non-contributor… irrelevant.

But for Purdy, the rest, as they say, is history. He worked his way up from third string quarterback to starter. This year he led his team all the way to the big game, becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.

There’s lots of reasons to love Purdy’s story. It’s especially sweet to see someone shed such an unfortunate label and prove to be something else entirely. So many people have loved watching his rise to the top because it fits the old adage—anything is possible. You don’t have to be limited by the value that others have assigned to you.

This is nothing new, of course. Throughout the Bible, God tries to offer similar reminders. From time to time, God chooses to change a person’s name, as if to say, “You are not the sum of others’ opinions.” In the book of Genesis, God tells Jacob his name will now be Israel. He would no longer be known as deceptive or conniving. He is not who he used to be.

Or Jesus tells Simon he will now be named Peter—the rock on which the future of the church will be built. Peter’s past is behind him, and his new name signifies a new identity, with renewed purpose.

I don’t know if Brock Purdy has come up with a new nickname just yet. But it’s certainly no longer Mr. Irrelevant. Whatever his friends and teammates might call him, he’s reminded us all that we don’t have to be defined by who we used to be. As people of faith, we’re given a new name, a new title that’s better than any other: Child of God.

-Katy Warren, associate pastor

5 Comments on “Mr. Irrelevant”

  • Marcia Willi

    February 16, 2024 at 9:13 am

    I enjoyed the story but for me the reminder I am a “ child of GOD” , brings it home for me ; thanks Katy

  • Georgia Dugan

    February 15, 2024 at 7:48 pm

    Love the tie-in the Super Bowl.

  • Vicki Felger

    February 15, 2024 at 2:02 pm

    Great and novel spin on the Super Bowl mania (even though I love Travis and Taylor’s love story too)!

  • Deb Lamp

    February 15, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Oh Katy, as usual your message is great! Thank you

  • Anne Budde

    February 15, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    Very nice, very nice – thank you, Katy.

Leave a Comment