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Joseph Addai on Both Sides of the Sidelines — Our Interview with a Former LSU Tiger

Indianapolis Colt Joseph Addai knows a bit about national championships, having played for LSU when they won theirs in 2003. All these years later, he gets to watch as his alma mater once again plays for the top title in the land. I interviewed him before that game in 2003 and again recently. What’s it like to be on both sides of the sideline?

Back on January 4, 2003, the Louisiana State University Tigers roared through the gates of the Louisiana Superdome to face the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. LSU athletes, under the leadership of Nick Saban, walked into the Dome underestimated and under-ranked. Little did the Sooners know, when LSU roars, we roar LOUD and bring lots of noise. The Bayou Bengals were accompanied with massive support as the Dome filled to 79,342 total fans; the largest crowd ever to see a game in the LA Superdome. The Sooners were headed towards massive destruction and were minutes away from becoming TIGER BAIT. The fans yelled, shouted, and screamed at the top of their lungs — Geaux Tigers.

As we speculate what the players were thinking, feeling, and wanting, only they could tell us what was going through the mind of a soon-to-be 2003 National Champion. Here we go!

Joseph Addai
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty images)

Then: Joseph Addai #10, Redshirt Sophomore Running Back

As Joseph Addai entered the Superdome on January 4, 2003, he was definitely pressed by his nerves, yet ready for the excitement. I interviewed Joseph Addai, and here is what he had to say about his National Championship appearance:

  • What was going through your head as you entered the dome? “I thought of the previous bowl games that were played and knew that this was something different, yet I was filled with excitement. This excitement was a natural high, in which focus could be easily lost. I had to calm and settle myself to get focused as if this was just a normal game. The plays were the same, the refs would call the same stuff, and it was a normal game. At this point, it was important to be separated from boy to man in order to work as a team and get this win.”
  • What was going through your head? “I was thinking, I got to get this ring because that solidifies you as a champion. It was a ‘whatever it takes’ situation at this point. Being only 19 years of age, I had to get and stay focused.”
  • Nervous? Worried? Intimidated? “I would not say that I was worried or intimated because that’s what started when I first played in elementary school and the guys were bigger than me. Now that I was in college, I was pass the level of worry and intimidation because I am here to play football. Yes, I was nervous, which is the right tool to have. If you are not nervous in this situation, you should not be doing what you are doing. Its like applying for a job you really want, you will be nervous because you want to do everything right. If not you take stuff for granted and don’t do well.”
  • Your thoughts at the end of the game. “Winning a National Championship; man I need to call my family. We encounter the media the whole week that we prep for the game, so we cannot relax. Once the game is over its like I need a vacation to get away from football. Vacations are needed. I was so ready to be back in Houston.”

I later interviewed Joseph after he’d become a star running back for the Indianapolis Colts. Here are his thoughts now:

Joseph Addai
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

NOW: Joseph Addai #29, Indianapolis Colts Running Back

  • How does it feel to watch from the sideline? “I got to be a fan first. I am a fan no matter what, whether LSU wins or loses. On the field, you totally block out those 92,000 fans when playing the game. As a fan, you understand the feeling of being a FAN. Fans help the team WIN and are so into the game. LSU’s fans are definitely a big help to the team’s success. I have watched other teams and they did not have the same fan loyalty that LSU has. It will be a milestone for me when I take my son to his 1st LSU game.”
  • Any words of wisdom you would share with the players? “I have been through so much, which was tough and others may not be able to go through what I did. I would definitely say control what you can control and not lose focus. Believe and know that God is working for you so do your part and let God do his.”
  • What do you predict the scores to be? “I believe it will be a low scoring game because both teams have good defenses. I know the fans want a lot of touchdowns, but this will be a good defensive game. Offense win games and Defense win championships.”

Those were the thoughts of Joseph Addai on the Bayou Bengals’ road to another National Championship.

92.1 KISS FM has its share of LSU Tiger fans as well. I am in LOVE with the Bayou Bengals, as they are my alma mater. My eyes will be pasted to the television on January 9, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

What about you?

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