December 14, 2003

Joe Horn dials up some controversy...: by grabbing a cell phone and apparently making a connection from the end zone. Of course, he and the Saints ended up on the receiving end of a 15-yard unsportmanslike call. For some reason, this seems much funnier than the Terrell Owens Sharpie incident of 2002. Your thoughts?

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 11:55 PM - 21 comments

I thought it was silly, but not offensive. Perhaps I'd be more offended if the game had been less one-sided. According to the rules of sportsmanship, you're not supposed to "show up" your opponents. This principle may have been applicable to the cell phone stunt had the Saints not been in the middle of "showing up" the Giants by whipping their asses on defense and offense anyway.

posted by molafson at 01:21 AM on December 15, 2003

This was better: Chad Johnson after his TD against the 49ers

posted by mick at 01:36 AM on December 15, 2003

No Fun League Let them celebrate however they want, as long as they do it in less than 15 seconds and don't point at, yell to or perform near the opposition. In the end, it's about entertainment.

posted by grum@work at 07:04 AM on December 15, 2003

The cell phone incident was pretty good, pretty clever. But I love nothing more than seeing players jump into the stands and celebrate with fans. For some reason the "Lambeau leap" just warms my heart.

posted by vito90 at 07:51 AM on December 15, 2003

It's amazing how lenient they will be on other things but the axe comes down when the sharpee or a cell phone comes out.

posted by jasonspaceman at 08:09 AM on December 15, 2003

Wasn't there an incident a few years ago when they banned the players from giving the game balls to people in the stands?

posted by jasonspaceman at 08:09 AM on December 15, 2003

I prefer the sharpie incident. I hate when people use cell phones in stadiums.

posted by corpse at 08:52 AM on December 15, 2003

Jason, the players receive fines for handing/throwing/punting the ball into the stands. Compared to what they are paid, the fines are minimal. I don't understand the reasoning behind this, especially the "handing of the ball" to people in the stands. And, I will just say this about Joe Horn and the cell phone thing: It hurts his team (15 yards), it hurts him (wait until he plays the Giants again) and he shouldn't have done it.

posted by 86 at 08:53 AM on December 15, 2003

While I would agree that the incident was funny (it would have been cooler if 30 minutes later, Domino's showed up on the sideline with pizza for front-row fans behind the Saints' bench), a couple of points: 1) I think eventually this turns the game into the WWE, with all sorts of arranged events and spectacles. You want to dance or whatever, go right ahead. Just don't set things up. 2) Any Giant defender who wasn't attempting to place Horn's kneecaps in the third row after this should be released. Perhaps a way to stop this is to require a pre-game license. Everyone signs up and hides their stuff around the stadium, but if it doesn't get used, they release the license list after the game. That way, the opposing team knows who was planning to show up whom, and they can deal with them accordingly the next time the two teams meet. Or maybe the NFL could just embrace this. Have a "Celebration of the Week" award, with the cash from the fines matched by them and going to the charity of the winner's choice. We could have a little Gong Show in end zones across the country. Oh, or maybe we could just show a little class, a la Emmitt Smith, and get on with the freaking game.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:12 AM on December 15, 2003

I'm not sure if this quote is apocryphal or not, but I remember something about an old-school college coach calling a star receiver on the carpet after an endzone celebration. The coach told him, "Son, act like you've been there before." I don't mind a little spontaneous display of emotion any more than anyone else, but most of the celebrations the NFL is trying to put a kibosh on are anything but spontaneous. The dancing can disappear yesterday for all I care, and the hidden sharpies and cellphones need to go away as well. It makes it look as if the player(s) involved is/are more interested in setting up a televised prank than in the playing of the game. Haslett may not care, but I bet you nothing like this would happen on today's Cowboys team.

posted by deadcowdan at 09:30 AM on December 15, 2003

I don't mind a little spontaneous display of emotion any more than anyone else, but most of the celebrations the NFL is trying to put a kibosh on are anything but spontaneous. Yes. The stupid cell phone thing bugged me mostly because he actually planted the damn thing there. Later, I think it was on the blocked kick score, they had a choreographed sword fight or something as a celebration. It's just stupid. Spontaneous dancing, yelling, jumping, etc is fine but they're out there just trying to get on sportscenter for their stupid dances that really don't amuse anyone but themselves.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:12 AM on December 15, 2003

It was stupid, and it was probably wrong... but I laughed and am still chuckling thinking about it. They did a good recap of it this morning on the Today Show. Ann Curry was doing the news, she started talking up the clip, they showed the clip and when they cut back, she was on a cell phone with "was that a good news segment?" Then they cut to the ever-shrinking Al Roker and he was on a cell phone too.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:19 AM on December 15, 2003

You know, we all thought it was stupid, and the NFL will fine Horn ... but perhaps they should think about the fact that Ann Curry and Al Roker were talking about the league on a Monday morning news program. Hello, free publicity!

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:43 AM on December 15, 2003

Football doesn't need publicity! It's an institution in America, like futbol everywhere else.

posted by dusted at 11:07 AM on December 15, 2003

here's the problem in a nutshell: after the three announcers on espn ripped into horn pretty good for his celebration, calling him un-professional (theisman went as far as to say it's going to cost him a trip to the pro bowl. wtf?) they cut to a commercial. on the display of the score they were showing the replay of the cellphone incident instead of showing the play for the touchdown. the more attention the media gives it the more it's going to be a problem. if the nfl thinks it's such a bad thing what's stopping them from not showing end-zone celebrations ala people who run onto the field/court at sporting events. you don't see them on teevee anymore.

posted by oliver_crunk at 11:42 AM on December 15, 2003

I don't know, I like the whole entertainment aspect of this. It was funny, original, and something to break up the horrid monotony of the Giants getting their asses handed to them. As to the Giants getting even or revenge? Why bother, really, they're the ones who've been phoning it in the past several games.

posted by patrickje at 11:52 AM on December 15, 2003

but perhaps they should think about the fact that Ann Curry and Al Roker were talking about the league on a Monday morning news program And that, my friends, is what is fundamentally wrong with the sports coverage in this country. It's not whether or not you have all the skills to dominate your sport, it's about the publicity. Hell, the NBA has tons of guys that can dunk 300 different ways, yet can't hit a freethrow or a fall-away jumper from 10 feet. Yet, who dominates the press the next day? You have players in baseball that can barely catch a pop-up, or hit a bloop single, yet they're all over Sportscenter when they crush one into the bleachers...even thought their team is down 12-1 because they struck out 3 previous times. I'm not a big football fan, so I had no idea who Joe Horn was until yesterday. Sure, now he's Mr. Popular...but he could have a Hall of Fame career, and I'll still know him as "the cellphone guy," like Ricky Davis will always be "the asshole who thought more about his stats than his team." As a sidenote, this is why I love hockey so much. Let a guy try this kind of stunt in the NHL...his phone call would be to his dentist...

posted by MeatSaber at 12:30 PM on December 15, 2003

Let a guy try this kind of stunt in the NHL...his phone call would be to his dentist... I've seen the "Riding the Horsie" (Tiger Williams..gonna punch HIM in the mouth?), "Skeet Shooting" (Pavel Bure), "Wet'n'Wild Slide" (Theo Fluery), "Windmill Arm" (Jaromir Jagr), "Bird Flies into Glass" (Tony Amonte)... It happens, no one takes it particularly hard (except Dale Hunter) and it's forgotten by the next game.

posted by grum@work at 12:40 PM on December 15, 2003

Not everyone is a football, or sports, fan but everyone likes a wacky, semi-original celebration.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:57 PM on December 15, 2003

God -- I love this -- "Hey Joe - Can you hear me now?" -- Here's what really happened. I guess Joe Horn isn't really to blame.... But seriously, it was a really dumb decision by Horn -- but hey, Mike Tyson gave boxing more publicity than any other boxer with his ridiculous antics.

posted by fanaroo at 12:18 AM on December 16, 2003

There are a lot of wacky celebrations in soccer. I wonder if any of them compare with the celebrations we see in American football.

posted by gyc at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2003

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