Thank You, Sebastian Janikowski

I want to take a moment to give thanks for Sebastian Janikowski, who we have not seen all year in a uniform, but now it seems, the end of an extraordinary era in Oakland.

Throughout his entire career, Janikowski has been a “Raider lifer” since the turn of the century. The once Florida State Seminole was selected 17th, way back in the 2000 NFL Draft. Ever since that day, Janikowski has proven his worth to be a sure-fire Hall of Famer as only the fourth kicker in history to be taken in round one of the drafts.

Record Holder

In 2003, “Seabass” tied a record for successfully attempting four field goals in one quarter alone. Also back in 2007, the “Polish Cannon” lined up for what is known to be the longest field goal attempt in league history at a mind-boggling 76 yards. Of course, it was not completed, but it just goes to show what sort of special leg this man had in his prime as an Oakland Raider.

Only ten years into his career, Janikowski became the most prolific scorer in Raiders lore by scoring 1,000 points all by himself. And finally, only one season later, “Jano” equaled a 63 yarder held by only three others; this would eventually be outdone by current Detroit Lions placekicker Matt Prater.

Those are just a few of the multitude of feats that he has obtained since coming into the league in 2000. The Cannon owns the longest field goal in overtime at 57, two field goals made of over 60, and the most gained extra points in the annual Pro Bowl contest. Not to mention, Janikowski is the only college player to win the Lou Groza award twice in his stellar time at Florida State. He is a truly one of a kind trendsetter at the position for all of these eye gouging statistics that may never be duplicated.

First Ballot Hall Of Famer

In what world does a kicker get taken in the first round of the NFL draft anymore? Nobody would have the fortitude to do that nowadays, mainly because decision makers want to keep their jobs for as long as possible. That was not the case for legendary owner Al Davis. Davis pulled the trigger almost 18 years ago now and it turned out to make both of them look like geniuses after all these years. Seabass has had his ups and downs like anyone else since then, but put the doubters to rest early and hasn’t looked back.

He has earned the honor to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, in my humble opinion, because he has stood the ultimate test of time and conquered all tests thrown in front of him. He’s  currently under contract until this upcoming 2018 season, which means this could be the last we have seen of him in the Silver & Black. If the Raiders decide to move on from him, it will be a sad day in Raider Nation that had to come to reality sooner or later.

He’s accomplished about everything you could ask for from a special teamer, which will go down in lore forever. So if this is it for Jano, then I must simply say thank you so much for all of the moments, records, and time that you have given to the Oakland Raiders organization since 2000. And if he remains until the move to Vegas like he stated in minicamp, then Raiders fans will get a gift that just keeps on giving with arguably no end in sight. Regardless, Janikowski is a once in a generation talent that will never ever be forgotten. Until next time, Ramble On, Raider Nation, and Happy New Year!

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