By now Sebastian Janikowski is used to being hated on. My man was greeted with hate when Al Davis made the Commish call his name in the first round of the draft. As soon as Jano started making more headlines for what he did off the field than on it the hate grew like Warren Sapp’s waistline. Even after Seabass toned down the extras and turned up his production he still was hated on for any Pro Bowl love.
Well that is all about to change this season.
Sure, Janikowski is still dealing with a court case. But his performance this year has made that story as marginal as Chad Ochocinco in New England.
Even before this season Janikowski had been playing at a level few kickers ever venture into. So much so that even Al Michaels mistakenly called Jano a perennial Pro Bowler during a preseason broadcast. Michaels would later correct himself but even his Raider hating self wondered aloud how Sebass has been snubbed for his entire career.
After his six pack of field goals on Sunday, Janikowski was again honored as the AFC special teams player of the week. At this rate they might just have to name after Jano. The season began with Janikowski booting a record tying field goal and has continued at record setting pace despite his nagging hamstring.
Individual accolades aside, the Raiders as a team have benefitted greatly from Sebastian’s standout performance. On Sunday the Silver and Black needed every one of his kicks to hold off the Bears. Prior to this season the haters could have passed off anything Jano did as meaningless since he played for a non-contender.
So, what will the excuse be this year?
Chances are there will be no excuses. Should Janikowski again be overlooked for Pro Bowl honors you’ll know the Raider Hatred is alive and well. This season Janikowski is building a hater proof resume that will be impossible to ignore no matter how much the anti-Raider movement tries.