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Joe Horn

This article is about the American athlete. For Joe Horn the psychology professor, see Joseph M. Horn. For the man who shot and killed two house thieves, see Joe Horn shooting controversy.
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No. 87, 11, 84
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1972-01-16) January 16, 1972 (age 48)
Place of birth: Tupelo, Mississippi
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Career information
College: Itawamba CC
NFL draft: 1996 / Round: 5 / Pick: 135
Career history
*Off-season and/or practice squad member only.
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics
Receptions: 603
Receiving Yards: 8,744
Receiving TDs: 58
Stats at

Joseph Horn (born January 16, 1972) is a former American football wide receiver. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and also played for the New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Memphis Mad Dogs of the Canadian Football League. He played college football at Itawamba Community College. Currently, Joe Horn is promoting his own "Bayou 87" barbecue sauce and traveling around the Gulf Coast region doing in-store promotions.

Early years

Horn attended Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he played for legendary coach Bob Paroli.[1] He stood out as a quarterback, tailback,wide receiver, and punter. He was only voted to the Mid-South 4A All-Star team as a punter. Horn was also a standout basketball player in which he started every game for the Douglas Byrd Eagles as a point guard. Horn originally signed with the University of South Carolina.[citation needed] However, his academic performance and SAT score were insufficient for Division I schools.[1]

College career

Horn played two years of college football (1991–1992) at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi. At Itawamba, he picked up 54 catches for 878 yards and seven touchdowns as a wide receiver and a punt returner. Still unable to qualify for Division I college football, he returned to Fayetteville and worked at a fast food restaurant and at a furniture factory.[1]

Professional career

He set the Saints career mark in receiving touchdowns (50), making the Pro Bowl four times in five seasons, and compile the second most receptions (523) and receiving yards (7,622) in Saints history.

Horn is perhaps even more well known by some for his role in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Horn was noted for his support for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf region. He visited evacuees in both San Antonio and the Houston Astrodome during the aftermath of Katrina. Beyond Katrina, to this day Joe donates time, energy and money to local charities in New Orleans and beyond.

He didn't play a down of football for two years after leaving college. After playing two years at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi, Horn worked at a Bojangles’ restaurant in Fayetteville, Mississippi. Down to the final $6.00 in his possession, He spent $3.99 on a Jerry Rice workout from a local Blockbuster and studied the drills and moves Rice performed in the film. Horn then made a highlight video of himself working out and sent the tape to multiple professional teams across America and Canada. One response Horn received was from the Memphis Mad Dogs of the CFL who offered him a contract after viewing the tape and in his first year Horn accumulated 1,415 yards on 71 catches.


Horn tried out for the CFL Baltimore Stallions and was signed to the practice squad, but never played in a game for the team.[1] Horn was signed as a free agent by the CFL Shreveport Pirates in May 1995.[citation needed] Horn was traded to the Memphis Mad Dogs in June 1995.[citation needed] With Memphis, Horn played well, with 71 catches for 1,415 yards, and caught the attention of NFL scouts.

Kansas City Chiefs

Horn was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He was mainly relegated to special teams and reserve duty at WR during his four seasons with the Chiefs. In his years there, he garnered 879 yards on 53 receptions with seven touchdowns, starting only two games. The New Orleans Saints acquired Horn as a free agent in 2000.

New Orleans Saints

Horn signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2000 and immediately surpassed their expectations ranking in the top ten in receptions (7th), yards (8th) and touchdowns (9th) that year. Even though he came out of nowhere and produced immediately, Horn was no “one year wonder”. Given a starting role with the Saints, "Hollywood", a nickname he picked up while with the Kansas City Chiefs for his particular style of dress and a name which carries to this day, quickly proved himself to be a premiere NFL receiver. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four out of his seven years with the Saints, and set single season franchise records for receiving yards (1,399), and receiving touchdowns (11-shared with Marques Colston) as well as the career franchise record for receiving touchdowns (50, a record surpassed by Colston in 2012[2]). Horn is also the Saints' all-time leader in 100-yard receiving games at 27. Horn had a career year in 2004 with his 1,399 receiving yards being second most in the league. His total was only six yards behind Carolina Panthers WR Muhsin Muhammad. The Saints signed Horn to a six-year contract extension in 2005.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Horn was noted for his support for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf region. As a leader of the Saints, he served as a public face of the team in many community events in recent months. He frequently visited evacuees in both San Antonio and the Houston Astrodome during the aftermath of Katrina. He criticized the NFL for not making a greater effort to care for the future of the Saints during this time of crisis.[citation needed]

After the 2006 season the Saints asked the then 35-year old receiver (who had suffered a groin injury during the 2006 season and had hamstring injuries in the past) to accept a pay cut. He refused and asked to be released. He was cut soon after his request.[1]

Atlanta Falcons

In early March 2007, Horn started negotiations with the Atlanta Falcons. He signed a 4-year, $15 million contract with Atlanta. Later, in 2008, he requested to be traded from the team saying he didn't want to be a "just-in-case guy" for the Falcons.[3] On August 19, 2008, the Falcons cut him.[4] In his only season with the Falcons he made 27 receptions for 243 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.


Horn worked out for the Lions, Giants, and Titans, but they ultimately passed and he did not play in the 2008 or 2009 seasons.[1] In May 2010, Horn was selected for induction into the Saints Hall of Fame.[5] On June 23, 2010 it was announced that Horn had signed a contract with the Saints. Two days later, on June 25, it was announced that Horn would officially retire from football as a member of the Saints.[6] Since retirement, Horn has focused his efforts on creating and selling his own "Bayou 87" barbecue sauce.[7]

NFL stats

Year Team Games Receptions Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1996 KC 9 2 30 15.0 21 0 1 0 0
1997 KC 8 2 65 32.5 47 0 2 0 0
1998 KC 16 14 198 14.1 57 1 11 1 1
1999 KC 16 35 586 16.7 76 6 28 0 0
2000 NO 16 94 1,340 14.3 52 8 63 1 0
2001 NO 16 83 1,265 15.2 56 9 59 1 1
2002 NO 16 88 1,312 14.9 63 7 65 1 0
2003 NO 15 78 973 12.5 50 10 52 2 0
2004 NO 16 94 1,399 14.9 57 11 73 0 0
2005 NO 13 49 654 13.3 30 1 37 2 2
2006 NO 10 37 679 18.4 72 4 28 0 0
2007 ATL 12 27 243 9.0 26 1 17 0 0
Career 163 603 8,744 14.5 76 58 436 8 4

Cell phone celebration

Always a spirited and outspoken player, Horn gained notoriety for a memorable touchdown celebration on ESPN Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants during the 2003 season. After scoring his second touchdown in a game in which he would score four, he pulled a cell phone out from underneath the goalpost padding with the help of teammate Michael Lewis and pretended to make a call.[9] Horn's prank drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a $30,000 fine by the NFL. He later stated that he did not realize what he had done right away. This celebration was later used in the videogame Blitz: The League which allows excessive celebrations.

Lawsuit against the NFL

In December 2011, Horn made headlines when he and a group of 11 other former professional players filed a lawsuit against the NFL. Horn and his attorneys allege that the league failed to properly treat head injuries in spite of prevailing medical evidence, leading the players to develop effects of brain injury ranging from chronic headaches to depression.[10]

Personal life

Horn is married with six children.[1]


External links