Chandler Harnish wanted to get away from it all.
It was the final day of the 2012 NFL Draft and Harnish had been keeping close tabs on the quarterbacks selected in the first three rounds, knowing that his name had a chance to be called on that Saturday.
The weather in northeast Indiana wasn’t ideal. Yet, despite 40 degrees and blustery conditions, Harnish and some family members headed out to a local golf course.
It was a chance to decompress from everything that comes with being a bubble draft prospect and while golf offered a brief escape, Harnish couldn’t help but get himself back in front of the television.
“We wanted to get our minds off it because they were just as stressed out as I was,” Harnish said. “By the time we were done golfing the draft was still going on, so naturally we go back to one of my cousin’s houses and we all sit down and watch it together. That probably made the process a whole lot worse when it comes to stress and just kind of building up those butterflies.”
The butterflies started to grow throughout the seventh round and some frustration crept in as Harnish watched pick after pick go by without hearing his name called.
As preparations for free agency began for Harnish, his cell phone rang with a “317” area code showing up.
“Everyone in the room got real silent, real still and Mr. Grigson just asked me if I wanted to be an Indianapolis Colt and I said, “Heck yes I do.”
“All of a sudden it went from being the worst day ever to being one of the best days ever,” Harnish said.
Harnish also spoke with Chuck Pagano and his future head coach told him to sit back and watch the pick live while celebrating with family and friends.
The pick of “Mr. Irrelevant” has grown over the years and come Saturday the Colts will once again have the honor of the final pick in the NFL Draft.
Since 1976, the pick has turned into a celebratory matter with the person selected winning a week vacation in Newport Beach, Calif.
When Harnish looks back a year he can’t help but laugh of the whirlwind of emotions he experienced on the final day of the draft.
Undoubtedly another prospect will go through the same swing this Saturday before ultimately joining the Indianapolis Colts.
“Just have fun with it,” Harnish said of his advice to this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant”. “You can’t take it as a bad thing. They are going to joke around with it but it’s a blessing to get drafted and to end up on a great team like the Colts.”
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