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American football star phones mom (in middle of game)

That'll be a penalty, then

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New Orleans Saints footballer Joe Horn set a new low on Sunday, becoming the first player to be hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty for using his cell phone during a game.

The flash receiver caught his second touchdown pass of the day in a game against the New York Giants and then met teammate Michael Lewis in the end zone. Lewis had pulled a cell phone out of the padding wrapped around the goal post and then handed Horn the phone. Horn proceeded to call his mum in the middle of the game.

"I had told my kids to be at home, watching the game, and I told my momma, "Mom, if I score the second one, I'm going to get my cell phone out,'" he said after the game.

The gag did not go over well with officials or Horn's coach Jim Haslett. Horn's team was hit with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Haslett then laid into him on the sideline.

"You don't do stuff like that,'' Haslett said after the game, according to the AP. "I know it was premeditated. I know it was national television. But you don't do it."

U.S. footballers have entered a disheartening game of trying outdo each other with foolish stunts. Last year, San Francisco receiver Terrell Owens pulled a pen out of his sock to sign a football for his agent after a touchdown.

"I have great respect for Joe Horn, but that's not original," New York defensive end Michael Strahan told the AP. "Terrell Owens already beat everybody to that stuff. That's bush league."

Right.

It was not possible to tell what brand of phone or carrier Horn was using. Lucky for him, the phone did not explode during the celebration.

You can see a picture of the attention-needy player here. ®

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