Joe Horn (born January 16, 1972 in New Haven, CT) is an American Football player who currently plays wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints of the NFL. He attended Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, NC, where he played for legendary coach Bob Paroli. He stood out as a quarterback, tailback, and wide receiver, and punter. He was only voted to the Mid-South 4A All-Star team as a punter. Horn originally signed with the University of South Carolina, but his academic performance and SAT score prevented him from doing so.
Horn played two years of collegiate football (1991-1992) at Itawamba Junior College in Fulton, Mississippi. He returned to Fayetteville after achieving little success at Itawamba and worked at a Bojangles' restaurant with his mom. According to an NFL films interview, he only had six dollars, but decided to purchase a Jerry Rice workout video tape for 3.99 at a local Blockbuster. He then proceeded to work out in Fayetteville and made a highlight film with some colorful music which he sent to various teams. Memphis Mad Dogs coach, Pepper Rodgers, got this tape and offered Horn a contract. He was signed by the Memphis Mad Dogs of the Canadian Football League for the 1995 season, where he led his team in receptions (71) and receiving yards (1414).
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. Horn sang the National Anthem along with fellow Chief players before a game. The New Orleans Saints acquired Horn as a free agent in 2000.
Given a starting role with the Saints, Horn quickly proved himself to be a premiere receiver in the NFL. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl four out of his five years with the Saints, and holds franchise records for receptions (94), receiving yards (1399), and receiving touchdowns (11) in a single season. 2004 was a career year for Horn, as his 1399 receiving yards was second most in the league, only six yards behind Carolina Panthers WR Muhsin Muhammad. The Saints signed Horn to a six-year contract extension in 2005. Horn's agent, Ralph Vitolo, manages an investment company in Fayetteville, NC.
Always a spirited and outspoken player, Horn earned notoriety for a stunt he pulled in a nationally televised game against the New York Giants in the 2003 season. After scoring a touchdown, he pulled a cell phone out from underneath the goalpost padding and called his family to tell them he scored a touchdown. Horn's prank drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a $30,000 fine by the NFL.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina Horn has been very supportive of the people of New Orleans and the entire Gulf region. As the leader of the Saints he has served as the public face of the team in many community events in recent months. He has criticized the NFL for not making a greater effort to care for the future of the Saints during this time of crisis.
Horn's brother Darian works as an assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney.