You can click here to peek into SFN’s tag archive for one of my favorite Wolfpackers of all-time, Torry Holt.
Looking back at “Big Game” (Link)
Holt’s greatness as a player can easily be measured in numbers. His clockwork consistency made him the most productive and dependable receiver of the 2000s. His knack for the spectacular never simmered far from the surface. Even as a rookie, Holt showed no fear on the game’s grandest stage as he helped the Rams to the Super Bowl XXXIV title helping solidify the “Big Game” moniker that would stay with him.
What made Holt special, much like his running mate Bruce, was that for as terrific as he was on the field, he was that good of a person off it. Teammates revered him, coaches trusted him completely and every person he interacted with got the very best of Torry, not some robotic facsimile that majored in insincerity.
In 2007, I had the opportunity to write a feature about Holt, Bruce and then receivers coach Henry Ellard. It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve done in the eight years I’ve had this job. For as much as I loved talking to Bruce and Holt, I loved listening to Ellard talk ABOUT them.
Much like Bruce, Ellard is a quiet kind of guy with a keen eye for the little details and a brain set on astute perspective. Ellard told me a story about when the light came on for Holt, a game against Miami early in Holt’s career where he ran a deep 8-route and caught a touchdown pass.
When Holt went to the sideline, he walked up to Ellard wearing that aforementioned grin on his face. Ellard asked Holt what he was smiling about and Holt told him that the play had felt like it happened in slow motion. In other words, Holt was seeing things like he’d never seen them before and the play had felt, well, easy.
Ellard told Holt that it meant everything had clicked and Holt went on to one of the most productive and exciting careers by a wide receiver in league history. He wore that same smile for the rest of his time in the NFL.
In five years, Holt’s name will come up for debate amongst the voting members of the Hall of Fame. Holt plays a position that is forming a backlog of talent so it remains to be seen whether he garners the necessary votes to get in.