Horn's cell phone...
April 07. 2005 11:35AM
Saints receiver's cell phone becomes prized possession
The Associated Press
Joe Horn's cell phone cost him $30,000 in fines when he used it to celebrate a touchdown during a New Orleans Saints game against the New York Giants.
The same phone cost Jay Foster just $645, and it has been worth every penny.
Foster, who purchased it at a charity auction last year, keeps the phone, complete with all of Horn's personal contacts still stored in it, on a pedestal in a jewel case in Foster's Ocean Springs law office. It makes for an interesting conversation piece with clients and is a reminder of Foster's love for his favorite team.
Foster said his friends have called him "nuts" for spending so much on an ordinary cell phone. But the diehard Saints fan says the phone's sentimental value has no price tag.
"This is a piece of Saints history," he said. "I just had to have it."
The phone, autographed by Horn with the message "Can you hear me now?," has also brought Foster a shot of fame. He said ESPN's production crew spent nearly four hours filming him at his home three weeks ago for a piece that will air on "SportsCenter" on April 11.
The money Foster paid for the phone was donated to Christian Brothers School in New Orleans and other than a trial call to his office, Foster hasn't used it for anything more than decorative purposes. Rather than selling the phone later for a profit, Foster said he plans to donate it to the Saints Hall of Fame after Horn retires.
A season-ticket holder since 2000, Foster describes his love for the Saints as an obsession.
"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack," he said. "You know you should stop, but you just can't."
Horn's now infamous end zone celebration brought widespread scrutiny to the NFL's extravagant post-score displays.
During the Saints' 45-7 rout of the Giants in 2003, Horn's teammate, Michael Lewis, pulled the phone from beneath the goal post padding and presented it to the veteran wide receiver following his second of four touchdown catches during the game.
Horn dialed a few numbers and put the phone to his helmeted head, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the hefty fine from the league.
But despite the on-field antics, Foster said Horn has proven himself to fans on and off the field.
"Some players in the NFL are real prima donnas," Foster said. "(Horn) is nothing like that. He won't leave until he's signed an autograph for everyone. He's always willing to talk to people. That's the kind of guy he is."
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