"I felt like I had an opportunity to make it happen, put the game away and make a call."
New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas filled up the stat sheet in yesterday's 45-35 win over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams, finishing with 12 catches for 211 yards, one touchdown and one memorable touchdown celebration.
Following Thomas' 72-yard TD reception that gave the Saints a 45-35 lead over the Rams, he ran over to the goal post and pulled out a flip cellphone, a la Joe Horn circa 2003. In fact, the 25-year old receiver told reporters that he hid a cellphone in each of the goalposts during pre-game warmups, just in case.
Thomas was penalized for the celebration and ESPN reports that he will be fined at least $13,369. Horn was fined $30,000 when he pulled a similar stunt 15 years ago, but that was also his second violation of that season, according to ESPN.
"I paid a tribute to him, tried to get the crowd going a little bit more, set the tone, have fun out there, giving people a show," Thomas said. "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."
Horn told ESPN the Thomas' celebration "absolutely" meant a lot to him. The former Saints WR said he texted Thomas and "thanked him for doing what most athletes in his position would never do." On top of that, Horn also went out and ordered Thomas #13 jersey, which he plans to wear when he attends any future Saints events. "It took a lot of courage ... and I appreciate that, and I'll never forget that," Horn said.