Pats receiver Holt proud to be crooked

Hey, wanna see something creepy?

Of course, you do.

And Torry Holt wants to show you. The veteran receiver proudly displayed the gruesomely crooked middle finger on his left hand Tuesday for New England Patriots reporters.

I'll admit the photo, taken by Boston Herald reporter Karen Guregian, made me a little queasy. But I wanted to pass along a link because I think Holt's gnarled mitt illustrates the painful lengths players will go through for the game they love.

Holt's crooked finger, which dislocates frequently, generates a lot of attention when he's out in public.

"There's not a day that goes by," Holt said. "You should see the looks. 'What happened?' It's just part of me. It is what it is. It's a symbol of my work."

Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler, described how often the finger is an issue for him.

"One game we're in Seattle, and I came off the jam and it popped out," Holt said. "If you see the film, I'm popping it back in, running, the ball's thrown, I catch it, get up, give the ball to the ref, make sure my finger's [back in], run out, get it taped a little bit, run back in.

"There's times where it pops out during the play, but I'm so subtle. I pop it back in. I've gotten better than the trainers in terms of popping fingers back in."

Holt ranks 11th all-time with 920 career receptions. He has gained 13,382 yards and scored 74 touchdowns.

"It's just a symbol of the work I've put in the National Football League," Holt said. "The reason I like it is because it's like a symbol of ... I'm representing the old-school players, the Deacon Joneses the Merlin Olsens, because the old school players played with these. So this is a representation of those guys."