Former Rams Special Teams Captain from the Greatest Show on Turf, Tony Horne Interview
Tony Horne played college football at Clemson University. He entered the 1998 NFL Draft, but was actually undrafted. He then signed with the St. Louis Rams. He was a member of the Super Bowl XXXIV-winning team. During this special game, he was nominated to be the Rams’ Special Teams Captain. Afterwards, he was traded to the Chiefs, but got injured and has not been able to play football for the rest of his life.If you want to download the audio interview with Tony Horne, right-click this link.
[audio https://prointerviews.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/interview-with-tony-horne.mp3|titles= Interview with Tony Horne|track=000000|width=614|border=ffffff|bgcolor=1e3f75|leftbg=000000|rightbg=000000|bg=000000|righticon=ffc212|slider=1e3f75|lefticon=ffc212|loader=1e3f75|text=1e3f75]
Follow @TonyHorne82 Follow @ProInterviews
Tony Horne : This is Tony Horne, from “The Greatest Show on Turf,” Super Bowl Champs, 2000 St. Louis Rams, giving you a live interview with http://prointerviews.org
Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with http://prointerviews.org/, http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/ and http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Tony Horne. Horne went to Clemson University and played wide receiver. He entered the NFL Draft in 1998, but went undrafted. He signed with the St. Louis Rams organization. He became a premier kickoff returner for three years with the Rams. He returned a kickoff to open the 2nd half in the Super Bowl. The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV and he was the Special Teams Captain. He then moved to Kansas City where his career shortly ended due to a severe injury. Here is the interview with Tony Horne and I hope you enjoy the collage also.
Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Horne : Either by FaceBook [or Twitter]… or I still have fans writing me and sending me mail and autographs to my home address.
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Horne : I never played junior varsity football ever in my life. I have always been on varsity. My high school football career started off in the 10th grade, I was on the varsity, I was the backup quarterback. And I played safety and quarterback but by the mid-season. I was starting at quarterback for our Richmond Senior High School in Rockingham, North Carolina.
Strauss : So you played quarterback in high school?
Horne : Yes. I played quarterback. I actually played quarterback my whole career. Ever since I was in the 7th grade, I played quarterback. Then, I went to Clemson University.
Strauss : And then, Clemson switched you to wide receiver?
Horne : When I got to Clemson, I started playing wide receiver. I mean I really wanted to pay defensive back. But they recruited me as the “athlete type” so they needed some help at wide receiver. That was the way I got the chance to play as a freshman so I took on the role.
Strauss : What was the transition like to Clemson?
Horne : The transition was different. I was very small going into Clemson; I think I was like 158. I feel like I had the skill set, but I didn’t have the size. My most memorable moment at Clemson that made me really start hitting the weights. I lined up against Brian Dawkins who was, you could tell he was intimidating, he was big, he was strong, he was fast, it was just intimidating! He now plays for the Denver Broncos. As I lined up against him, he jammed me on the line and he hurt my shoulder, I separated my shoulder. And from that point on, I knew I had to hit the weight room. And man, by springtime, I had gained like 20 pounds, but that was my most memorable moment of college.
Strauss : Did you have a best friend while you were at Clemson?
Horne : Raymond Preister was the running back. Donald Broomfield he played on the D-Line, and Antwuan Wyatt played wide receive, he was like the all purpose guy.
Strauss : Did they make it to the NFL?
Horne : Yea. All three made it to the NFL. Raymond Preister and I actually were on the same team. We both got drafted to the St. Louis Rams during the same year.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory with any of them throughout Clemson days?
Horne : We were all roommates. We were always together, so everyday is like a memory because even through the bad times and the things that we couldn’t afford and the things we couldn’t provide. We were all there for each other and we all care for each other. It was laughter, talking, and… There is no particular memory, but really everyday as a memory around those guys.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
Horne : My draft day was bizarre; I didn’t get drafted as high as I thought I should have. I had no experience I was going to the St. Louis Rams, cause I opened up a Sports Illustrated one day and I see all of the St. Louis Rams coaches. They were all older guys I’m like, “Wow I hope I’m not going there.” I was so frustrated with the draft, I felt like going to dairy queen. So I went to Dairy queen with my daughter. By the time I got back, St. Louis had called me. I got back in touch with them and everything, they wanted to sign me and bring me out there. I ended up in St. Louis, and that day was frustrating day, very frustrating, but it turned out to have a happy ending.
Strauss : What was your rookie camp like being undrafted?
Horne : My rookie camp was a lot of hard work. To me, it was fun because it gave a chance to compete and show myself to other teams that passed me by and also it showed the St. Louis Rams that they made a good decision in bringing me into camp. I loved my rookie training camp. I like to compete and I like prove people wrong. That was a fun and long and long experience. Very tiring with the pace, and coach Dick Vermeil, but it was a great experience.
Strauss : What was it like to play with Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kurt Warner, and Marshall Faulk?
Horne : I learned a lot from Isaac Bruce. He taught me a lot. Just being around those guys. Just to be in the same film-room, the same offensive meeting room with those guys. Those guys were full of knowledge of the game. I picked there brains every chance that I got. We all hung together, so it was good communication. Marshall Faulk and I had the same agent, so to top that off dental relationship. It was good to be around those guys, because they were positive influences.
Strauss : What’s your favorite memory from the Super Bowl year?
Horne : My favorite memory from the Super Bowl was the coin-toss. The team pick me as Special Team Captain, so I actually got the chance to go out and flip the coin before the game started. That was big memory for me because anyone who gets a chance to be there is not a Super Bowl Captain. Not only did I play in the super bowl, but I was the Super Bowl Captain, so that was a big memory for myself.
Strauss : Now looking back on the Super Bowl, people say it was, “The Greatest Show on Turf”, so what do you think about the Super Bowl when people talk about it and how much of an impact it had on you as a person?
Horne : When I hear people talk about, “The Greatest Show on Turf”, I can’t help but to smile because I’m going to always be in the book. I’m always going to be talked about in the “The Greatest Show on Turf”. That’s a point in my life as a child growing up, that was one of my dreams to play in the Super Bowl, and I actually played in the Super Bowl, and we won the Super Bowl. No matter what you think you can take away from me. No one can ever take away that I’m a Super Bowl champ. I’m a Super Bowl champ, for the rest of my life. I can bring it out, I can pull out my ring and, it’s a Super Bowl ring. The fact that I lived out my childhood dream, and I actually got a chance to go on and win it.
Strauss : What happened after the Super Bowl season with your career coming to a short end?
Horne : Pretty much after our Super Bowl year, I got injured on a Monday night when we were playing the Washington Redskins. I had just fumbled the kickoff before and Washington got three points out of it. I was thinking, I have to redeem myself, Monday Night Football game, everyone’s watching it. I got to redeem myself. Washington kicked off and I caught the ball in the end zone, and when I caught it, I planted my foot and I heard a bone pop. I was so struck when I had just fumbled the ball the previous kickoff, I took the ball and ran like fifty-sixty yards, passed mid-field, and as soon as I passed mid-filed, my momentum just left. I just fell to the ground and that’s when I realized I sprained my spectral in half. What had happened in St. Louis, I should have had surgery then, but they just put me in a boot, a cast, and I stayed on that for four weeks. I tried to come back too early, end up making it worse. Dick Vermeil went out to Kansas City. I went out to Kansas City with him in the Trent Green trade, and I ended up hurting it out there again. I was over-compensating had hamstring and knee problems, and actually that was the last time I played in the NFL. I was trying to make a comeback; I was trying to get healthy. I went to the Canadian League, and I just couldn’t get healthy. I ended up having several more bolts inserted into my big foot, which I was in a cast for five months. It took me a year and a half to walk again. I got off that injury, and ended up having two more knee surgeries; I had a scope on my knee, which was a big surgery that had some cartilage floating around, and that was it.
Strauss : Can you go into what you’ve done basically the last ten years outside of football?
Horne : Pretty much outside of football, I have been living life, raising my kids, and I went back to school and finished my degree. I started doing speed and agility training at this place called D1 Sports. For pretty much, the last seven to ten years I’ve just been working on my speed and agility and everything. The kids are just the confide change, the confide society. I was training, had a few workouts. The AFL League was about to come in, so I got myself prepared for that league, went to a couple workouts and everything. But basically, I’ve been training, basically the last seven to ten years. That’s what I’m doing, keeping myself in shape and training.
Strauss : Do you ever plan on coaching in the NFL?
Horne : I’m on the verge on making a comeback. I got my body healthy. I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been in my life. It feels great. I still have my speed, so right now, I’m pretty much all focused on making a return back to the NFL. I got back reinstated. I’ll talk with a couple teams that are interested. I’ll watch film on me to see if I can still move agility-wise and straight ahead speed. So right now, my focus is mainly on getting back to NFL, playing. If things don’t work out that way, my dream is to coach at Clemson University.
Strauss : Do you think your chances of playing back in the NFL after 10 years are the highest they’ve ever been?
Horne : To me, it’s a long shot. I spoke to a lot of teams. They told me the truth, it’s a long shot, but if you look good on film, and you can move the way you move, “We’ll give you a shot.” The way I look at it, whether it’s two years, ten years, four years, it doesn’t matter. One still hasn’t played football. If Michael Vick can come back and play after two years, Plaxico Burress can come back and play after two years, and Tiki Barber can come back and play after four years, I can come back and play after ten years. The only difference is the number of years. Ten years, four years, two years, you still haven’t played football. You still have to get your body acclimated back to the game in training, and in contact. The way I look at it ten years, two years, it’s all the same. You haven’t played, it’s how you convicting yourself, it’s how you take care of yourself in those ten years. I feel great about my chances. I’m training as hard as I’ve ever before. I feel like, if a team give me an outside chance, then they’ll be happy with their decision of bringing me into camp.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Horne : What type of ice cream flavor would I be… Hm… I think I would be the rainbow; I’m the rainbow flavor. I come in different sizes, different shapes, and different forms. But at the end, at the end of the rainbow, there is a pot of gold (laughs).
Strauss : For someone who wants to play in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?
Horne : My best advice for someone who wants to play in the NFL, is to really study the game, learn football game, learn your importance, and be wanting to take corrective criticism. That’s the biggest thing in the NFL. Of course, you have got to prepare your body and eat right, challenge yourself to work harder, but a lot of people that outside in don’t really know that. Football is 90% mental and 10% physical. Outside in the summertime for someone to be an NFL player just to be a student of the game, you’re willing to put in four, five, or six hours a day studying. Studying the game and your opponent, and preparing yourself to be the best that you can.
Strauss : Is there anything else you want to tell your fans that we haven’t talked about?
Horne : I just wanted to tell all my fans that I’ve missed the game of playing football. I miss putting drills on the sites. I miss seeing it in their eyes of me running back kickoff returns, and doing whatever down the field to make my team win. I promise this, I’ll be back this year. I can’t guarantee where. I can’t guarantee how. But, I’m really thinking god is working miracles. I am going to be one of the miracles in football in 2011, and I will be back. I’ll see you soon.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Tony Horne, I really appreciate it.
Horne : Ok Max. Thank you man for this taking of the time, on a day just reaching out and touch me, want to know what’s going on in my life, to put it out there to the fans, and to the world, what I’m doing now. Just doing my comeback story. So I thank you a lot for just giving me the opportunity to tell my story. So thanks Max!
Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Tony Horne. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you leave your comments below as well! Please check out my website https://prointerviews.org/ for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/, and follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. Subscribe to me on YouTube at http://youtube.com/ProInterviews/ Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me!
->Here are the personal questions that Tony Horne answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
Horne : That’s a tough question there, Max. Who would that be? It would probably be President Obama, just because he’s the first black President. If we ever won the Super Bowl, you’re supposed to meet the President. We were supposed to have met President Clinton, and for some reason we didn’t get a chance to meet him. The answer would be President Obama.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Horne : I grew up watching Tony Dorsett as I was growing up. I really didn’t have a hero per say. growing up. I just liked the way Tony Dorsett played the game of football, and the same goes for Lawrence Taylor. It really wasn’t a childhood hero; I just liked the way they played football.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite TV show?
Horne : My favorite TV show right now is probably 48 hours, which is not really a good show to watch. I think that’s my TV show right now.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite movie of all time?
Horne : Oh man! My favorite movie of all time is Sunset Park. It was about these kids from the inner city, high school, was coached by a lady. They went on to win the city championship in New York City.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite type of pie?
Horne : Hm… Favorite type of pie… Sweet potato pie.
Strauss : If you could choose your last meal on Earth, what would it be?
Horne : My last meal on Earth would be some turkey fried chicken with some gravy and coleslaw with five biscuits.
Strauss : What would you have to drink?
Horne : Sweet Tea.