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  1. #1
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    Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/06/2009

    Of all the players on a football field, wide receivers are consistently the most interesting.

    They are the game's great entertainers, the long and lean athletes whose basic duty goes against the grain of football's most obvious violent instincts. The wide receiver is the elegant dancer who seeks to work in wide open spaces, contorting his body to avoid contact and always landing with his feet tapping delicately along the sidelines.

    So maybe that's why this position creates so many counterculture personalities.

    Sometimes that's a good thing. Torry Holt is evidence of that.

    But sometimes, this glossy showmanship can send a man careening into a rather disturbing place.

    Say hello to Terrell Owens.

    Over the past 48 hours, these two aging superstars have provided us with stunning examples of the benefit and downside of choosing your athletic personality wisely.

    Holt, the 32-year-old seven-time

    Pro Bowler, has asked the Rams to release him after 10 Hall-of-Fame-worthy seasons.

    He believes the Rams are going in a new direction and that those long-range plans no longer include him. MORE BURWELL
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    He didn't preen in front of cameras in a press conference in the driveway of his suburban St. Louis home. He didn't hurl insults at management. What he did is what he has always done since he arrived in St. Louis in 1999.

    He handled himself with class. I can't think of a time when Holt, who like a typical receiver gave himself the nickname "Big Game," did anything to dishonor the Rams. He won championships and earned Pro Bowls. He caught touchdowns and created excitement. He was a flamboyant showman without being an obnoxious minstrel act.

    And now one of the most celebrated stars since the Rams have been in St. Louis deserves to have his request honored, whether it makes good football sense or not.

    That makes good human sense.

    On the other side of this equation is T.O., who should be destined for the Hall of Fame. For the third time in his career, Owens is looking for another team, having left in his wake another fractured locker room full of players and coaches caught in the path of his disturbing emotional storm.

    Unlike Holt, T.O. begged to stay in Dallas, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided he was more willing to burn nearly a $10 million salary cap hit.

    This is the dark side of the football showman's life, when a great athlete gets confused about his career goals. So T.O. decided to join the sad parade of modern American pop culture, and just like the vacuous Paris Hilton, he wanted to be famous for being famous.

    He became a disruptive force on every team he played for just as long as the headlines always spelled his name right.

    Fans might love him and his goofy antics, but listen to the former players and coaches on those football studio shows. Listen to the guys with championship rings and Hall of Fame résumés talk, and you know what they say?

    They say he's one of the most toxic locker room forces they've ever seen. So what does it tell you when the Cowboys owner, the NFL's modern day Barnum, decides that he doesn't want any clowns under his big tent anymore?

    Someone else will be willing to take a chance on Owens, one more coach, one more locker room full of teammates, one more poor, unfortunate quarterback who thinks that this time it will be so much different from the other T.O. sideshows.

    Of course, they will be wrong, because Owens has not learned anything from the carnage left in his wake. In his mind, it still is not his fault. He will move on to another team, another town, another nightmare waiting to happen, and it will ultimately end like all his other bad acts.

    Badly.

    And you know what's the shame in this?

    When T.O. finds a new job, it will be the biggest news of the day, because it's always hard to tell if he is the moth or if he's the flame. The TV cameras will follow him and ESPN will document his every move.

    But whenever the dignified Holt moves on to his new team, the news will be in the form of a scroll across the bottom of the TV screen.

    Torry Holt deserves so much better than that.


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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    only one of the two wide receivers mentioned asked out of games last year and didnt put in the effort down the stretch

    and it wasnt TO

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    only one of the two wide receivers mentioned asked out of games last year and didnt put in the effort down the stretch

    and it wasnt TO
    You have got to be kidding right?
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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Here's where Burwell goes wrong because he doesn't think to ask the question.

    Why isn't Torry Holt a part of the Rams plans for next season?

    I don't think it's because Spags and Shurmur couldn't find a role for him in an offense that won't be relying on the WR's as heavily as it used to.

    I don't think it's because Holt couldn't be a positive influence on the young WR's if he wanted to be.

    The reality is, Holt has been complaining about not being a large enough part of the plan for a long time now. Holt hasn't responded well to change and different expectations for the position he plays in offenses that have different emphasis than he became accustomed to as a young player. I truly believe Holt, like a lot of fans, has never been able to pull his head out of the GSOT days and and adapt to anything but a role that places him smack dab in the middle of the spotlight. And he hasn't been a great role model in that case for young players that need to buy into what the new coaches are trying to sell.

    I think that, along with an apparent reluctance to accept less money to stay, is why Holt is not in the Rams plans anymore. Holt "could" still be a useful resource to a younger, developing team that is going to do things differently but I don't think he wants to and I don't think he's wanted to for a while now.

    And I'm pretty sure one thing Spags is going to require is that everybody rows in the same direction. Anybody who isn't 100% into doing that is out and that includes Holt.

    Holt has never been T.O. They don't even belong in the same sentence. But Holt in a much quieter way has still always been more about Holt than team IMO. And if that were reversed, I'd bet Spags would find a place for him in the Rams plans for the next year or two.

    Torry is going to get his wish before March 17th. He'll either be traded or released. There really was no good reason for him to go public with the "release me now" comment. There is something again self serving in doing that now when he knows he's gone. I don't see anything happening to him here that is undeserved. He'll be gone soon enough. It will be both a sad day and a good day for the Rams when it happens. Turning the page should be a good thing for both him and the Rams at this point.

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Holt appeared to not try as much, last season, just how I saw it. He so looked like he wanted to be somewhere else at times. He played better in the last 2 or 3 games, but was that shop window salesmanship?

    Love Torry and what he did for the club but I think linehan and bruce leaving finished him as a ram. Tragic but true. I know he wasn't the only demoralised player last year, most were, but it didn't stop bartell and atogwe trying their best. I really think the handling or lack of handling of Isaac has put us in bad shape with Torry, its a real shame.
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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Wow i cant believe you guys are turning your backs on Holt.
    I never thought i would see the day.

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    There is a difference between turning your back and acceptance that he is going and its time to move on. We deal with player leaving differently. I have found that spending years and years of my life looking back and saying why? why? why did w let them go? unproductive. Hence I try to look forward. Not backwards. Look for a solution, not a problem. Would I like holt to sign a cap healthy 3 year deal? Of course. Dedicate his remaining years to a new style of rams and help us rise again? Of course.

    Will it happen? Probably not.

    Hence I am a lot more worried about who we will get to replace him and who will fill in for jackson if he gets injured, as jackson is obviuosly going to be the focal point of our offence.

    I know we all hav different thought processes and I am what I am, I try to worry more about tomorrow than yesterday,

    Losing Dickerson, Greene, Everett, Bettis, Bruce, Ellard, Flipper Anderson, Wistrom, I'll say Bruce again! has taught me to try and look forward. I am now in full acceptance after the last year or 3 that the GSOT is gone. I just now hope for a new
    show. This one is defensive.

    I hereby christen the new show the GSOD.

    The Greatest Show On Dirt.

    Lets rub our oppositions in it.
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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonJoe View Post
    You have got to be kidding right?

    not at all
    but my dispute isnt with Holt, i just think TO gets an unfair rep most of the time

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    not at all
    but my dispute isnt with Holt, i just think TO gets an unfair rep most of the time
    Fair enough, but I disagree with your assessment of TO's rep. I think he has reaped all of what he has sewn. My opinion in he is an egotistical cancer that has done more harm than good for the teams he has played for. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for that since he has played only NFC teams to date, but I really think he is a bad representative of the sport overall.

    Whereas with Holt I realize he is not perfect, but he has been 98% professional in all of his actions and is a good example to me what a team player is (not withstanding this last season, which was just a train wreck anyway).
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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    TO deserves the criticism he receives, I can't think many would dispute that he's a terribly disruptive influence on every team he's been with.

    As far as Holt is concerned, to me he lost a little stature last season. Firstly he clumsily started talk of leaving the Rams for Carolina and then he visibly failed to perform on a team that desperately needed him to.

    I have to think that the Rams losing so consistently influenced Holt in his behaviour. We're in a downturn and frankly Holt doesn't want to be part of that and doesn't identify himself with a team that's suffering through it.

    Its tempting to think on what the difference would have been if we'd kept Bruce over Holt. Despite the losing, I think that we'd have been Bruce take responsibility for the performance of the team and I think we'd have seen him give his best effort consistently; providing an example of the younger members of the team and being a leader in the twilight of his playing career. Not for him the vacuuous and terribly loud 'rah rah' school of 'leadership', more the leadership of example and one Holt visibly failed to provide last season.

    You tend to see leadership in adversity and we didn't see that last season. Holt has been a consistent perfromer for the Rams over the course of his career and for that I thank him but we're at a stage where we need him to be more than he seems to be willing to be.

    So its good for both parties that he moves on. Good for a team that desperately needs to have everyone pulling in the same direction and good for a player who thinks that at this stage in his career he needs to be on a winner.

    Last season was a train wreck but I just think that if we'd had Bruce over Holt it'd have been a little less painful to watch.

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    To put Torry Holt in the same sentence as Terrell Owens when it comes to demeanor and behavior is a slap in the face. With Terrell Owens, it's always been all about him, be it dancing on the Cowboys' star at mid-field, calling Jeff Garcia a "homo", doing sit-ups in his driveway in front of 30 reporters, berating teammates and throwing tantrums on the sidelines, or generally making an ass of himself as he's worn out his welcome in 3 places. Torry Holt has quietly had a hall-of-fame career, won a Super Bowl, been to the pro-bowl 5 or 6 times, had 1000 yds. in EVERY SEASON he's played until this past season and has carried himself with class.

    ANY RAMS FAN WORTH THEIR WEIGHT wouldn't even dream of putting Holt in the same category as that jackass from Dallas.

    And don't tell me about Torry's "displeasure" or "unhappiness" in the way he played last season. When a proud veteran who has given tirelessly of himself on the field since 1999 sees a mickey mouse organization do everything in its power to wreck a once prolific offense and a first rate ball club, he can't help but become disenchanted with things. We fans have *****ed and complained for two years (deservedly so) at the Rams' futility; Torry Holt does it and he's maligned by a few mental midgets who compare him to Terrell Owens? Check yourselves.

    Torry Holt is one of the top 3 or 4 receivers in the history of Rams football and is a future hall-of-famer. Any discontent from Holt last season was 100% justified given the pathetic circumstances of the club and the cluelessness of the coaching staff. It will be a sad day upcoming when he leaves for good.

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    i love Torry more than anyone on the team, i have his jersey

    maybe i was just disappointed to see him stop trying last year
    we were a football team that was down and missing our best offensive player for most of the year. our QB was getting beaten up every game and the OL just couldnt block. In that scenario we need an offensive player to step up and just keep trying hard. Someone to make plays. Torry was a team captain, he shouldnt have given up and stopped trying. When you do things like that it hurts the team, just like TO

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    To put Torry Holt in the same sentence as Terrell Owens when it comes to demeanor and behavior is a slap in the face. With Terrell Owens, it's always been all about him, be it dancing on the Cowboys' star at mid-field, calling Jeff Garcia a "homo", doing sit-ups in his driveway in front of 30 reporters, berating teammates and throwing tantrums on the sidelines, or generally making an ass of himself as he's worn out his welcome in 3 places. Torry Holt has quietly had a hall-of-fame career, won a Super Bowl, been to the pro-bowl 5 or 6 times, had 1000 yds. in EVERY SEASON he's played until this past season and has carried himself with class.

    ANY RAMS FAN WORTH THEIR WEIGHT wouldn't even dream of putting Holt in the same category as that jackass from Dallas.

    And don't tell me about Torry's "displeasure" or "unhappiness" in the way he played last season. When a proud veteran who has given tirelessly of himself on the field since 1999 sees a mickey mouse organization do everything in its power to wreck a once prolific offense and a first rate ball club, he can't help but become disenchanted with things. We fans have *****ed and complained for two years (deservedly so) at the Rams' futility; Torry Holt does it and he's maligned by a few mental midgets who compare him to Terrell Owens? Check yourselves.

    Torry Holt is one of the top 3 or 4 receivers in the history of Rams football and is a future hall-of-famer. Any discontent from Holt last season was 100% justified given the pathetic circumstances of the club and the cluelessness of the coaching staff. It will be a sad day upcoming when he leaves for good.

    Go after the post, not the poster. 'Mental midget' isn't the way we normally go about things here.

    I won't rise to it necessarily as those types of exchanges never end well but will point out that a modicum of reading comprehension would reveal that no comparison was made or drawn between Owens and Holt, not by me at any rate. Indeed, they weren't even mentioned in the same sentence.

    I always smile when I hear about those 'poor' veterans who've always selflessly gone about their business. Those self same veterans have always been rather highly rewarded for their performance and fully recognise that its a business and a somewhat callous one at that.

    Whilst fully recognising Holt's contributions over the years and his demeanor on and off the field, last season I won't thank him for. I will never excuse someone for taking the pay cheque and then deciding that they won't quite play as hard as they might because they're unhappy with their coach or they're unhappy with the situation their team is in. That to me is an abrogation of responsibility that ,whilst not demeaning what he's done in the past, does not demand that I thank him for it.

    My point stands, had Bruce been here, who I'm sure we can all agree comported himself with just as much dignity on and off the field as anyone in the NFL, we wouldn't have seen quite the drop-off in performance or talk about being traded to Carolina.

    And don't start that tiresome old garbage about 'Rams fans worth their weight' either, this is an opinion board and some people, alarmingly enough, don't happen to share yours or resort to playground name-calling.
    Last edited by Fat Pang; -03-07-2009 at 01:20 PM.

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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    ANY RAMS FAN WORTH THEIR WEIGHT wouldn't even dream of putting Holt in the same category as that jackass from Dallas.

    "And don't tell me about Torry's "displeasure" or "unhappiness" in the way he played last season. When a proud veteran who has given tirelessly of himself on the field since 1999 sees a mickey mouse organization do everything in its power to wreck a once prolific offense and a first rate ball club, he can't help but become disenchanted with things."

    I agree, tragic but true, most players respond like this to adversity, despite being paid millions.

    "We fans have *****ed and complained for two years (deservedly so) at the Rams' futility; Torry Holt does it and he's maligned by a few mental midgets who compare him to Terrell Owens? Check yourselves."

    I do complain, I feel it is my right as a customer to be upset if I pay for tickets and merchandise. I do it for free. My fan support is free. Provides revenue for the club. I spend plentiful amounts of cash on this. Even if my perspective is a different one and I too get upset with employers from time to time, I still do my job to the best of my ability. I dont earn millions.


    My response was actually to tomahawks comment.

    If people compare T.O. to holt, in the same sentence and they think Holt is the classier act, are they still a 'mental midget'?. Holt is classier than TO, by a distance. But that does not mean as a customer, I was not a bit upset by his and other rams performances last year.


    "Torry Holt is one of the top 3 or 4 receivers in the history of Rams football and is a future hall-of-famer."

    Hence he should never ever be questioned or held accountable for his play?? Ever?? Even if in the past 2 off seasons he has let us know he wants out, with his words and his actions. Not saying he sat out, refused to play
    etc, but he was upset, as you state;

    I agree 100% justified. The rams were falling apart. But nonetheless,some players reacted better to th situation, some worse, but some better
    .

    "Any discontent from Holt last season was 100% justified given the pathetic circumstances of the club and the cluelessness of the coaching staff. It will be a sad day upcoming when he leaves for good.

    It will be a sad day. I am also not so great of a 'mental midget' that I do not realize Holt leaving will be the end of one of the greatest rams careers, as do I realize the world is not perfect and most stars would have acted the same, given the rams disarray. But that will not stop me from discussing it and questioning it.
    Last edited by rampower; -03-07-2009 at 03:14 PM. Reason: made text clearer
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    Re: Class act and a clown: Holt and T.O.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    Go after the post, not the poster. 'Mental midget' isn't the way we normally go about things here.

    I won't rise to it necessarily as those types of exchanges never end well but will point out that a modicum of reading comprehension would reveal that no comparison was made or drawn between Owens and Holt, not by me at any rate. Indeed, they weren't even mentioned in the same sentence.

    I always smile when I hear about those 'poor' veterans who've always selflessly gone about their business. Those self same veterans have always been rather highly rewarded for their performance and fully recognise that its a business and a somewhat callous one at that.

    Whilst fully recognising Holt's contributions over the years and his demeanor on and off the field, last season I won't thank him for. I will never excuse someone for taking the pay cheque and then deciding that they won't quite play as hard as they might because they're unhappy with their coach or they're unhappy with the situation their team is in. That to me is an abrogation of responsibility that ,whilst not demeaning what he's done in the past, does not demand that I thank him for it.

    My point stands, had Bruce been here, who I'm sure we can all agree comported himself with just as much dignity on and off the field as anyone in the NFL, we wouldn't have seen quite the drop-off in performance or talk about being traded to Carolina.

    And don't start that tiresome old garbage about 'Rams fans worth their weight' either, this is an opinion board and some people, alarmingly enough, don't happen to share yours or resort to playground name-calling.
    Don't really care if you're offended and not interested in your "this isn't normally how we go about things here" admonishing. It is disgraceful that things can never end well between a fan and a once loved player without some type of negativity coming out. Holt deserves better than to be mentioned in the same unfavorable light as Terrell Owens. Life is a motion picture and not a snap shot: you judge a man's career by his entire actions rather than a few moments of pique. Anyone on this board, if we were players, would have been thoroughly pissed (as Holt appears to have been) at last season and spoken or acted out. There is no tangible proof that Holt "quit" last season (did ANYONE HERE watch Torry Holt during EVERY play of EVERY game)- other than the ramblings of a few sports writers who assumed Holt's displeasure translated into sub-par stats. Truth be told, the coaches did an extremely poor job of communicating with Holt about his role in the offense, and as a veteran he deserved better. And in the 4 games I attended, Holt appeared to be trying as much as he always did. Could he have handled the Rams' decline a bit better? Probably. But that's a far cry from saying the man "quit".

    Just because you make millions does not mean you are immune to frustration, especially if you still have ability and are being phased out of the offense by a staff that obviously didn't know what they were doing. And don't assume because you are a "die hard fan" you want to win more than the player who makes football his livelihood. Fans like to think that, but it's largely nonsense.

    If Torry Holt wants his release or feels a change of venue is in his best interests that is his right. He quietly made it known and it was subsequently reported; he did not rant and rave on national TV or fill a reporter's notebook with 2 pages of venom. As such, he's not deserving of negativity. You wish the man well, thank him for his considerable contributions to Rams football and move on.

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