Sound the Horn: Joe Horn on Deflategate, Junior Seau, Jen Welter and More
Back in May, former Saints receiver Joe Horn was featured in our NFL Afterlife series. We discussed Horn’s fascinating background as well as his current ventures, but readers of TFG (and beyond) probably remember the conversation for the shocking moment when Horn called Commissioner Roger Goodell ‘the devil.’
I had not spoken with Horn since our interview. But yesterday he texted me. Deflategate weighing heavily on his mind, Horn needed to share his thoughts. I obliged.
We, of course, spent a lot of time on Goodell’s power and how Horn sees Deflategate playing out, but I also got his take on a few other hot button issues from around the league. From this point forward, whenever Horn has something on his mind he’ll be sharing it with TFG for a regular series that we’re calling “Sound the Horn.” The first installment follows.
Warning: Some language may be offensive.
TFG: Can I assume your thoughts on Goodell haven’t changed?
JH: Roger’s gonna be Roger. [NFLPA Executive Director] DeMaurice Smith is really the one we should be looking at too. I gave him a ride on that Goodell situation. Roger Goodell has the power he has because the lawyer who represents the NFLPA let his clients sign that stupid deal.
Look at the Adrian Peterson thing. How can you have a player that you represent and someone says he did something wrong. He gets arrested and he gets suspended before he even goes to court and is proved to be innocent or guilty. What lawyer would sign a contract to give a man that much power to do that to his clients?
So here we are with Tom Brady. Brady thought he was the poster boy of the NFL and he sat down with Goodell who said, ‘I like you, but I heard you were doing something wrong and too many fans know about it and I’m going to give you a suspension. There’s nothing you can do about it because I’m the judge and I’m the jury. And I’m the judge and jury because your Executive Director gave me the right to screw you.’
TFG: How do you see Deflategate playing out?
JH: Here’s my outcome. Tom Brady takes the NFL to court ala Jonathan Vilma and he wins. Guess what happens when he proves to the world that he didn’t really do anything wrong?
TFG: What happens?
JH: NOTHING happens to Roger Goodell. The players need to fire DeMaurice Smith and find someone to do a new deal with owners to not give Roger Goodell that much power. I want the players to wake up and see what they did. At the end of the day you can’t blame Roger. Yeah, I called him ‘the devil’ but he’s been given the power to do what he does.
TFG: What can the players really do now? The CBA negotiation was about tradeoffs, and it’s locked in for several more years.
JH: Giving the players extra money or revenue off a television contract, that was all a smokescreen. The problem is the commissioner.
And the media, Stephen A. Smith and Herm Edwards and all those guys who sit around the booth at ESPN and talk, Roger Goodell is smoking a cigar laughing at those clowns. He’s thinking, ‘You can’t catch me because I work for the owners and as long as I keep doing a good job in their eyes, I’m going to keep making my $40 million a year and I’m going to keep laughing at you clowns when I turn on the TV in my $30 million house.’
If you want to change Roger Goodell’s power, the fans are going to have to change it. They’re going to have to boycott. The players can’t do shit. They’re stuck with a commissioner who’s telling Tom Brady, ‘Hey Tom, I love you. Tom, you’re great. But I’m getting pressured because I spent $5 million to do this Wells Report. I let you in my office; we had some wine. All you had to do was say you got rid of your phone and you may have taken a little air out of the footballs, what can we do to negotiate this?’
But he didn’t. Brady went in cocky. So Goodell basically said, ‘Ok, Tom. Fuck you. I’m going to suspend you for four games and let you know who runs the NFL.’ Tom Brady found out the commissioner wasn’t as much of a buddy as he thought.
TFG: Let’s touch on some other things. Junior Seau is getting enshrined in the Hall this weekend. How do you feel about his daughter not being allowed to speak on his behalf?
JH: To not let his baby speak on her father’s behalf is like spitting in Junior Seau’s face. That’s exactly what the Hall of Fame is doing.
Junior left a message and said he wanted his daughter to speak on his behalf. It’s not the Hall of Fame board’s damned kids. If I want my kid to say something about me, that’s what I played my whole career for. That’s what I hate about these people in high places; they have to be the judge and the jury on what everyone gets to do.
I don’t give a damn who’s in charge. Whoever’s in charge needs to have some respect for Junior Seau. Take your stupid rule and change it.
TFG: The Arizona Cardinals hired Dr. Jen Welter as a coach this week. How do you feel about a woman assuming that role?
JH: That’s great. I’ve always thought women should have a chance. I think it would be good to have even more women. There are so many that love football, and know football. Men coach girl’s basketball. Why can’t women coach men’s football?
TFG: Does Russell Wilson deserve the mega-contract he’s seeking?
JH: Absolutely. The boy should have two Super Bowls right now, let’s be real. They run the ball up New England’s ass and they win the Super Bowl.
TFG: What about your Saints? Do you think Drew Brees has a successful year without some of his weapons around?
JH: I do, just because of Drew and Sean. They work so well together. I think Sean Payton has a chip of shoulder. He’s basically saying, ‘Look, I let some guys go but I’m going to show you guys that I can win football games with just regular talent around me.’ I think he has a lot to prove and I think he will prove it.
Look for “Sound the Horn” at random points in the future when Joe Horn lets us know he has something to say.