Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Trails 'Big Game' Torry Holt

Finishing 13th at something can be seen as a sign of bad luck, but not for one man, who this week retired with the the team that drafted him back in 1999.

Torry Holt the Super Bowl winning wide receiver ended his NFL career having caught the 13th most pigskins in league history, with 920 catches. He also finished #10 in career yards with 13,382 in a decade playing in the top flight.

About the only negative to come out of Holt's NFL career was the way it ended, not even making the Patriots team in 2010, after a single nondescript 2009 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That's why it was fitting that Holt retired this week as a Ram, having signed a one-day contract to honour his contribution between 1999 and 2008.

Holt finished just 20 catches behind my hero Art Monk. In fact Holt and Monk both wore #81 on their jerseys.

Torry's one Super Bowl win came in his rookie season, and he even caught a touchdown in the nail-biting win over the Tennessee Titans in early 2000.

What followed was a pretty remarkable six seasons, where Holt caught for over 1,300 yards every year, catching over 80 passes a year, including a whopping 117 in 2003, one of his only two All-Pro years.

Holt may have been a big-time performer but unlike the other high-profile wideouts of the last decade, like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, Holt has gone about his business with dignity and class.

Perhaps he deserved more than one Super Bowl ring, but he did get to play in two of them, and he was recognised as a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Because Holt did not pull a sharpie out of his sock, pour popcorn down his shirt or stomp on a team's logo at midfield, his legacy is maybe not completely respected yet, but some of his records simply have to be respected. They include:
  • Fastest to reach 10,000 AND 11,000 yards
  • Most receptions in a decade 868 (2000-2009)
  • One of only two players in NFL history to have two 1,600 yard seasons
  • Rookie catch and yardage records for a rookie in a Super Bowl
Give it five years and I for one think Holt has a legitimate claim to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.

Receivers entering the 2012 NFL Draft should check out Holt's career, and above all his work ethic. No-one catches 920 passes in the NFL without a will of iron and fingers of glue.

Take a bow Mr Holt, you owned the Noughties.

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