For a five-year period there was no wide receiver in the NFL that was more productive than Joe “Hollywood” Horn. During his playing career, Horn was an electrifying receiver who made play after play, even though opposing defenses were keyed in on him week after week.
Thanks to relentless passion and energy, “Hollywood” became a fan favorite during a career which saw him set the Saints career mark in receiving touchdowns (50), make the Pro Bowl four times in five seasons, and compile the second most receptions (523) and receiving yards (7,622) in Saints history.
Joe 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.
As a leader of the Saints, he served the public face of the team in many community events and national interviews while frequently visiting 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.
Perhaps more amazing than Horn’s on-field production and off-field community efforts was his unlikely path to the NFL; a path which included not playing a down of football for two years after leaving college.
After playing two years at tiny Itawamba Community College in Tupelo, Mississippi, Horn found himself working at a Bojangles’ restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina with no prospects of playing football as a career.
Down to the final $6.00 in his possession, Horn 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 Canadian Football League who offered him a contract after viewing the tape, and in his first year Horn accumulated 1,414 yards on 71 catches and scored five TDs.
Horn was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and spent the ensuing four seasons as a combination wide receiver/special teams player. In his final year with the team, Horn had 35 receptions for 586 yards. His six TD catches were second-most on the team and hinted toward what was to come.
After signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2000, he immediately surpassed their expectations by ranking in the NFL’s 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.
From 2000 to 2004 he averaged 87 receptions, 1,257 yards and 9 touchdowns per season and became the most productive Saints receiver in the history of the franchise. Horn made the Pro Bowl in four consecutive years from 2001-2004 is ranked 58th in NFL history in receptions with 603.
Joe’s entire career in professional football is a testament to what anyone can do if they are willing to work hard enough with a focused will, no matter the odds, no matter what is in front of them.
He lives in the South with his children – Jhia Horn, Joe Horn Jr., Jaycee Horn, Juajue Horn, Juda Horn, Jaycob Horn, Semaj Horn, and Bacage Horn.