"He just keeps getting better and better," Wheelwright says. "There isn't another quarterback in the country who can run the Veer as well as Tom. And there aren't many coaches who know it as well."
This season Colgate got off to a fast start. With Parr running for three scores, passing for four more and accounting for 311 yards en route, the Raiders walloped Lafayette 55-21. Parr was named the Associated Press Back of the Week. Colgate has not had an All-America since 1932, but now Dave Leonard, the school's sports information director, began shipping out pamphlets on Parr. "I don't believe in these things," Leonard apologized. "But how else is a little guy from a little school going to get any ink? Anyway, I'll bet all those pamphlets get thrown in the wastebasket. That's what I'd do."
Then Cornell came in the next Saturday and overpowered Colgate 35-21, and although Parr added 237 yards to his total offense, the figure was lost in the wreckage. "It happens," said Parr later. "We just don't have enough people. Look at Cornell. They had some starting back who fumbled the first two times he had the ball and they replaced him with a guy who was just as good or better. We can't do that. We've got to go with what we've got."
Colgate does not have enough, it seems, as Yale put another damper on the season by winning 24-18 while holding Parr to 118 yards. It was a long bus ride home to Hamilton, but that is about as long as the gloom would last. As rivals discovered, no matter how often you knock that delicate-looking quarterback down, he is having too much fun not to get back up. There was the time last year when he threw a pass just a split second before being hit by a sturdy defensive end from Princeton. Both crashed heavily to the ground: Parr face down, the end sprawled on top, his mouth just inches from the quarterback's right ear. "How did the pass go?" the end whispered.
Parr squirmed around until he could look the bigger man in the eye. "Completed, of course," he whispered back. Then he grinned.