Super Bowl XLII: The LJ/LJ Breakdown

Larry “LJ” Johnson and LJ

Smith Break Down the Duel in the Desert: Super Bowl XLII, The Patriots vs. The


Halfway through the football season, most would imagine that

if either of the Manning brothers would make it to play to the big game,

without a doubt Payton would have been the one.

Much to our surprise this year, the elder brother will be

watching his younger brother Eli play in Super bowl XLII against the undefeated

New England Patriots.

Along the way in the playoffs, the New England Patriots ran

over the Jacksonville Jaguars 31 to 20 and ended the San Diego Chargers dreams

of making it to Arizona. The Patriots advance to their fourth Super Bowl in the

last seven seasons, and the seventh in franchise history. The Patriots improved

to 6-1 all-time in AFC Championship Games.

The underdogs in this match up, the New York Giants beat the

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 to 14, and then fought off the Dallas Cowboys by four

points. The last hurdle for the now reborn G -Men was a visit to the Green Bay

Packers, a game which they won by a field goal. That game, won in below-freezing

temperatures, enabled the Giants to clinch their first NFC Championship since


Now with days left until the big dance, we decided to get

some insight on this historical moment from members of the draft class of 2003.

We got a few minutes to speak with Larry “LJ” Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs

and LJ Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Johnson, the two-time Pro Bowler Running Back has

established himself as one of the NFL’s top ball carriers. He garnered a

single-season record of 1,750 rushing yards in just nine starts in 2005. Smith

is one of the league's most prolific Tight Ends, and has caught 194 receptions

and 15 touchdowns over his five-year career in the city of brotherly love.

Although Larry and LJ were plagued by injuries this season,

when in the game, they both make a significant impacts for their team. They

spoke with about the playoffs, the upcoming Super bowl - and we

even got a score prediction. What is your most memorable highlight

from this season’s playoff?

Larry: The fact that the Giants beat the Packers - it was a

great moment. Soon as the game ended, it was crazy - and I was in New York at the


LJ: The Giants game versus Green Bay. I was definitely

impressed with how the Giants played. Now Larry, In the Patriots/Chargers game, do

you think the outcome would have been different had LaDainian Tomlinson and

Phillip Rivers been at 100%?

Larry: I think so, anytime you have the best weapon not able

to take charge, it’s a problem. Whenever LT and Rivers are in the game they are

able to make big plays. Okay so LJ, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10

being the most favorable, how much would you have rather seen a Brett Favre versus

Tom Brady Super Bowl?

LJ: Well, I love it the way it is now, as a player you never

want to put down another player. This is good for Eli, he’s always been in his brother’s

shadow. It does a lot for his career. What do the Patriots have to do against the

Giants to win the Super Bowl and make their mark in history Larry?

Larry: They have to stay true to themselves and Tom Brady

has to stay healthy. They are going to try and get at him because he is a

little hurt. Now LJ, since you played in the Super Bowl a

few years ago, what is one thing about the week leading to the Super Bowl that

stands out in your mind?

LJ: I remember being treated like a king; they give you a

car to do what ever you want. Everyone knows who you are and you have VIP

access to everything. My mom was down there meeting actors and actresses, and I

remember meeting Ice Cube. What advice would you give to the first


LJ: Try to stay out of the clubs and partying, you’re there

for a reason - to do your job. Based solely on how you’ve seen both the

Giants and the Patriots play throughout the season and in the playoffs, who are

you both predicting to win the game?

Larry: I have to go with the AFC, the Patriots

LJ: Experience is key, the Patriots, they have a team full

of vets. Can you give me a prediction, what do you

think will be the final score of the game?

Larry: I’ll say 28 to 24 I’m sure the both of you have been avid

spectators of NFL football for years. In your opinion, what was the greatest Super

Bowl moment of all time?

Larry: New England versus the Bears. Refrigerator Perry 300

hundred pounds running the ball.

LJ: I have to be selfish, the touchdown I caught in the

Super Bowl, and I was the first one to score in the game. It seems as if it was

in slow motion. If you both were playing in the big game,

name one Hip-Hop song that you would listen to before the game to get you

pumped up and ready?

Larry: Well right now it would have to be Rocko featuring Young

Jeezy and TI “Umma Do Me.” I even go crazy when I hear that song in the club.

LJ: I just pop in the second DMX album, and I always listen

to Method Man “Bring The Pain.”

Futhermore, Larry believes that the Giants regular season 4th

ranked rushing attack and the Patriots 10th ranked rush defense will

be a crazy match up, especially with someone as strong as Brandon Jacobs. Though

many Giants fans began to give up hope with the loss of Jeremy Shockey, LJ isn’t

surprised about how well they have done with without their key player, mainly

because of two names: Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress.

New England and New York each have much to gain from this

win. The Patriots can make history by becoming the first team to go undefeated

in both the regular and post season. The Giants have a shot to end the Patriots

perfect season and stop their chance at making history.

Larry and LJ unanimously selected the Patriots to win. But I

still have high hopes for the G-Men to bring it home to New York!