"There's not a day that goes by," Holt said Tuesday when asked how often people mention it. "You should see the looks like, 'What in the … what happened?' It's just part of me. It is what it is. It's a symbol of my work."
Holt can't take guitar lessons like he once wanted, but he's proud to boast a trophy on his hand that is emblematic of his 920 career receptions and budding Hall of Fame resume. He said it's functional for day-to-day activities, which is a good thing since he's being paid $1.7 million to help improve the Patriots' offense, and it's not painful, despite the number of stomachs that Holt has turned by flashing the wobbly digit.
He even bragged of a game in Seattle. Holt, then playing wideout for the Rams, got jammed at the line by a cornerback, and the finger popped out. He adjusted to his route, popped the finger back into place on the fly and caught a pass.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
"There's times where it pops out during the play, but it's so subtle that I pop it back in," Holt said. "I've gotten better than the trainers in terms of popping fingers back in. It's a symbol of the work that I've put in in the National Football League. And the reason why I like it is because it's like a symbol, like I'm representing the old-school players, Deacon Joneses, Merlin Olsens. The old-school guys, they played with these. Ronnie Lott, they played with these, so this is a representation of those guys."
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