Saturday, March 10, 2007

Joe Horn joins Falcons, FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, Bush Cabinet

“I couldn’t hate New Orleans more,” Horn says
ATLANTA — Veteran New Orleans Saints wide receiver and fan favorite Joe Horn announced Thursday that he has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Moreover, he has also signed a record sponsorship deal with FEMA and is expected to join both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bush Cabinet, sources report.

Horn, a 12-year NFL veteran who spent seven seasons with the Saints, said that he increasingly felt excluded from the future of the franchise.

“I wasn’t part of [Saints head coach] Sean Payton’s plan,” Horn said. “He seemed to have an issue with the fact that I had a pulled groin that I kept aggravating in every game, combined with my advancing age, and that despite all of that and my supposed devotion to my team that I insisted on being paid even more money or I would hobble out the first chance I could, thus sullying my pride, alienating my fan base and virtually guaranteeing that I’ll never play in a Super Bowl in my career.”

Horn also cited a need for personal growth in his decision to don the Falcons helmet. “Last year’s home opener against Atlanta was a hallmark moment, not only for the NFL, but also for the people of New Orleans,” he said, referring to the Sept. 25, 2006 Monday night game that the Saints won 23-3 over the Falcons. “But there was that part of me that wondered, ‘What’s it like to experience that from the other side?’ Everyone has to have balance in their lives.

“I eagerly anticipate doing all I can for the Falcons and coach whatshisname. Jim Mora Jr.? Or is he gone? I don’t know…I just know the name of the guy who signed my check, Arthur Blank. Is that him?”

Horn added that the Falcons’ offense suits him best.

“Let’s face it…with my advancing age and declining acrobatic ability, Michael Vick is my perfect complement. In my current condition, I’ll be lucky to catch five passes all season. And since Vick is likely to spread his five annual passes around, I can actually prepare for fewer. And when he inevitably loses the game for us with his endless showboating, I won’t be complicit.”

Veteran kicker and new teammate Morten Andersen, for one, is happy to have Horn onboard. Both spent long careers with the Saints before switching to Atlanta.

“It’s great to see such a legend continue with such a great team,” he said. “I hope Atlanta will be as good to him as it was, er, is, to me.”

“He reminds me of myself when I was his age,” Andersen said of the 35-year-old receiver.

In this 2007 file photo, Atlanta Falcon Joe Horn exits the visitors' tunnel at the Superdome wearing his old uniform and poses in a cruel mockery of his former greatness. At least until an actual Saint ran up to him and knocked him over with one finger.

Spurred by his new agent, Michael Brown, Horn has taken on extracurricular pursuits. Through a record endorsement deal, he is now the official goodwill ambassador to FEMA. His smiling face will soon be the centerpiece of the agency’s new “Gee, I never saw it that way before!” campaign. The $330 million campaign will include major ad blitzes in the New Orleans market, as well as a personal appearance by Horn himself in the Superdome, when the Falcons take the field against the Saints. At halftime, he will personally make the agency’s case to 70,000 Saints fans.

“With Horn’s bond to New Orleans fans, this is synergy at its best,” Brown said as he affixed a Falcon patch to his shirt sleeve.

Horn agrees. “For years, I was a leading ambassador of New Orleans, telling everyone I could that we all had to make our sacrifices. And I did my part by slogging through those last two seasons and acting like I enjoyed being there. God, that was exhausting. You have no idea. I couldn’t hate New Orleans more. That’s why I’m also joining the Army Corps of Engineers.”

Horn’s offseason will be devoted to volunteer work with the Corps. He intends to tour the Garden District and the French Quarter and survey residents and business owners as to how much damage the breached walls caused them. “I’m expecting that damages have been overestimated,” he said. He will then meet with President Bush and present the findings. Bush said he eagerly anticipates the feedback.

“Now, more than ever, Joe Horn is qualified to ass--assassinate--excuse me, assess the true state of New Orleans,” Bush said. “I am counting on him to give me the numbers I need. If he follows through, he’s looking at a Cabinet position.”

Horn acknowledged that some might see the FEMA and Army Corps of Engineers marketing outlays as crass at such a critical juncture. However, he quickly dismissed such claims. “Hey, chill,” he said. “You're finally getting to see something for the money, all right?”

In any case, Horn said he wanted New Orleanians to know his appreciation for his many years of success. “It has been my great pleasure to play in that part of the world,” he said.

Horn then excused himself and left the press conference whistling, “Georgia On My Mind,” changing the lyrics to, “I’ve got my money on my mind and my mind on my money.”

Some Saints fans suspect these moves are signs that Horn’s allegiance to New Orleans is on the wane.

“Horn blows!” screamed a fan who refused to be identified because he can’t remember what he looks like without a Mardi Gras mask. His declaration was met with a rousing chorus of approval from the entire French Quarter.

Still, some in New Orleans are willing to give Horn the benefit of the doubt. “Well, it could have been worse, I suppose,” said another fan. “He could have called us a chocolate city or something.”


Leigh C. said...

"Horn, a 12-year NFL veteran who spent seven seasons with the Saints, said that he increasingly felt excluded from the future of the franchise."

Funny, I read that as "12-year-old NFL veteran"...

yournamehere said...

Didn't the Saints cut him? Was he supposed to just quietly retire then?

Ian McGibboney said...

Going from the Saints to the Falcons is like screwing the man who killed your husband. Also, precedent shows that such a move kills your career. Joe Horn worked tirelessly to keep New Orleans on the map after Katrina and may literally be the best Saint ever. Which is why it hurts Saints fans to see him go to our archrivals, and because of a salary dispute at that.

Nick said...

Joe Horn made a business decision. Had he stayed in New Orleans, he would not have had a big role in the offense, as he was being weened out this season even when healthy. Marquise Colston is an extrordianry talent and stud, a young Keyshawn Johnson he's been called. Meanwhile, speedser Devery Henderson is actually starting to catch the ball, which makes him a great viable deep threat to pair with Colston.

Meanwhile, Atlanta is in serious need for players at WR. Roddy White is a very good talent, but has yet to come through. Then again, having Ron Mexico throwing irratic passes doesn't exactly help the young receivers either.

Didn't Horn inpregnate or sleep with Willie Roaf's? If so, not exactly the best teammate.

Ian McGibboney said...

It may be a "business decision," Nick, but I don't doubt it will come at great cost to his reputation. But apparently he can live with that. Money seems to be the only thing anyone cares about anymore. See my latest post.

Also, I think your last sentence is missing a few key words. But beyond that: I never heard of anything like that. But Willie Roaf hasn't been a Saint in awhile, nor have I heard much from him since his own "business decision."

Anonymous said...

Whew, Captain America may rise from the dead again -but Horn's career will not. Go Go Rodgers.

Nick said...

What I meant by "business decision" didn't have anything to do with money, but rather, his role in an offense and chances of being a starter. I guess I should have worded it "playing time decision," because you are right about players' loyalty and money.

Like Latrell Spreewell claiming he needs a bigger contract to feed his family. I never realized some of these athletes had 40 kids.