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Oakland Raiders’ Kicker Sebastian Janikowski Did Not Disappoint in 2011: Fan’s Look
The Oakland Raiders may have disappointed fans with the way their season ended, but there were more than a few players who stood out for showing their true commitment to excellence and dedication to the Silver and Black. Without a doubt, kicker Sebastian Janikowski was one of those players.
Janikowski may have started out as the butt of jokes in his first years with the team, and the late Al Davis took a lot of flack for taking a kicker in the first round of the draft, but in the end, it turned out ol' Al was right. Janikowski has not only been a solid player during the 12 seasons he's been with the team, he's grown and matured into one of the best kickers the NFL has ever seen.
2011 was another banner year for Sea Bass. He's now amassed a total of 1,271 points scored for Oakland during his career, the highest of any Raiders' player in history. George Blanda has the second highest with 863. This past season he kicked 31 successful field goals, third only to his own record in 2010 of 33, and Jeff Jaeger's 35 in 1993.
The Polish Cannon was key in the Raiders win over the Bears , kicking six field goals, and was named "AFC Special Teams Player of the Week," for his efforts in that victory, and in the opening game of the season at Denver , he kicked the historic record-setting field goal of 63-yards.
Janikowski set another NFL record in the game against the Houston Texans with three successful field goal kicks of over 50 yards, and in the second battle against the Kansas City Chiefs, he kicked the winning 36-yard field goal to keep the Raiders playoff chances alive.
Even when Sea Bass was suffering from a painful hamstring injury, he was doing whatever it would take to get back on the field, and his efforts weren't unnoticed. He is one player the team is certainly not the same without.
After years of being dissed by Pro Bowl voters, despite his outstanding performances year after year, Jano was finally selected for the 2012 Pro Bowl. He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for both September and November, and was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week three times.
In Janikowski's conference with the media about his Pro Bowl selection, he said "Good things happen to people who wait." Let's hope the next good thing that Sea Bass gets is his well deserved trip to the Super Bowl. He's definitely one player that shows an unquestionable commitment to excellence.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan from the time she could walk. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett . Follow her at www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter, Twitter @kcdermody, or www.kcdermodywriter.com.
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