© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2002
Saints receiver Joe Horn isn't happy about being selected to the Pro Bowl. He's glad to be chosen, but it's the long flight to Hawaii he could do without.
"I don't like flying at all. At all," Horn told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I don't care if it's a 20-minute flight. I don't fly anywhere in the offseason. The only reason I fly here (with the Saints) is because I have to. It's part of the job."
Horn is so afraid of flying, last season on his way to the Pro Bowl he aborted the trip when his flight was delayed in Houston by mechanical problems. He rented a van and transported the 14 family members and friends traveling with him back to New Orleans.
"The mechanic came on board like two or three times. And it was raining. That did it," Horn said. "I felt pretty bad. I may suck it up this time because a lot of my family members were with me last year and they really wanted to go."
This season when the Saints played at Atlanta, Horn took a limo back to the Big Easy instead of flying with the team.
"Statistically they say (air travel) is safer," Horn said. "But at least in a car wreck you can brace up for it. If something goes wrong in the air, your life is out of your hands. I don't like that."
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which starting quarterback has the best winning percentage?
A FULL HOUSE: The Falcons may not win the Super Bowl, but they've been winners at the box office. They are expected to end the season with sellouts for each home game and may need a waiting list for season tickets next season. That's a huge turnaround from the past two seasons, when the team sold out two games.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "It's a great place to play a football game and visit some inmates while you're out there." -- Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe on playing in Oakland.
STAT OF THE WEEK: The Falcons lost two straight after an eight-game unbeaten streak. In the two losses the Falcons gave up a combined 885 yards.
STAT OF THE WEEK II: The Saints are the only team to have allowed 20 or more points in every game.
HE SAID IT: "You never want your records being broken. I would be lying if I told you I wanted him to do it. But if he does it, he deserves it. He's a class guy." -- former Dolphins QB Dan Marino on the prospect of Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon breaking his single-season league record of 5,084 passing yards.
HOME SWEET HOME: If the Packers beat the Bills today at Lambeau Field, it will be the 11th time the Packers have gone undefeated at home for a regular season.
ROAD SWEET ROAD: If the Texans win at Washington today, they will be 3-5 on the road, the best of any expansion team.
BALL COACH OWNS UP: Among the mistakes Steve Spurrier acknowledges making in his rookie NFL season with the Redskins, the biggest has been creating the appearance he isn't holding the reins of his own team."You've got to take charge," he said. "I should have done that better. The head coach, he should know everything that's going on. ...
"I came in pretty much last year and really didn't know a lot about the personnel and the draft and this, that and the other. ... Last year I probably wasn't quite qualified to do it, so I didn't try to act like I knew more than I did."
IN THE BLACK: You know the eye black players wear, supposedly to reduce glare? Players swear by it, but experts aren't sure it actually works. "I remember playing baseball growing up, and it was kind of the cool thing to do, putting the eye black on. But I don't know if there is any scientific data as to how it works or if it does," Titans ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Weikert told the Tennessean. "I think it is more of a cosmetic thing and more of a habit than anything, but if players like it and it works for them they are going to use it regardless."
DID YOU KNOW?: Fans in Cincinnati are so disinterested in the 1-13 Bengals the city's recreation commission urges ticket-holders to donate tickets to disadvantaged youth instead of letting them go to waste.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Miami's Jay Fiedler, 29-11 (.725).
-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.