Even if you’ve never met Sebastian Janikowski, you’ve heard enough of the stories to have a picture in your head of what he’s supposed to be like. It’s rather like the image on the side of his Oakland Raiders helmet: big, strong, vaguely mysterious, a little menacing.
But then you meet Janikowski, and what’s really surprising is how normal he actually is: he’s married to a girl he was too shy to introduce himself to, and has a nice house in the suburbs with a basketball hoop in the driveway and a tetherball pole in the backyard.
Make no mistake, however -- there’s very little that is average about the athleticism of the 33-year-old kicker. At 6’ 2” in height and 250 lbs. (he’s got about 50 pounds on most other NFL kickers), he’s one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL because of his prodigious strength, and because of the way he’s grown into the role.
Janikowski -- known to most as “Seabass” -- is the Raiders’ all-time points leader, with 1,142 scored.
From a college football career notable for both athletic achievement -- and, er, police reports -- he’s become one of the leaders of a resurgent Oakland Raiders in this, his 11th year. After a dismal 5-11 season in 2009, his team finished 8-8 last year -- 6-0 within the AFC West -- entering the new season tipped as division contenders.
Janikowski -- known to most as “Seabass” -- is the Raiders’ all-time points leader, with 1,142 scored. He was second in the league last season with 142 points. He also has one of the strongest kicking legs in the NFL, as evidenced by the 59-yard field goal he made last year in a late-season game against Indianapolis -- an attempt not many placekickers have the strength to try. Despite that, he’s still working for acceptance within the league.
Check out the October issue of Red Bulletin magazine for more of the article. To see it all, download the Red Bulletin iPad app.