Horn saw Thomas’ honorary touchdown celebration while working out in Tupelo, Mississippi, he told Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune. He immediately went online and bought Thomas’ jersey.
The current Saints star receiver watched YouTube clips of Horn’s 2003 touchdown celebration, bought two flip phones and had one waiting in each end zone.
“Umm, I think someone . . . I think Joe Horn left it,” Thomas said when asked who planted the phones, via Mike Triplett of ESPN.
Thomas’ 72-yard touchdown catch gave the Saints a 45-35 lead. He celebrated with the flip phone, drawing a 15-yard penalty for using a prop.
“I paid a tribute to [Horn], tried to get the crowd going a little bit more, set the tone, have fun out there, giving people a show,” said Thomas, who had 12 catches for 211 yards. “You gotta have fun. All these guys just catching touchdowns and celebrating with each other, having fun, getting the crowd involved. I felt like I had an opportunity to make it happen, put the game away and make a call.”
The NFL will fine Thomas at least $13,369 for the celebration. Horn paid a $30,000 fine 15 years ago, but that was for a second violation.