ALAMEDA -- Sebastian Janikowski is never in the Raiders locker room when it’s open to the press. He was on Thursday afternoon, waiting for reporters to file in.
He was clearly upset, with a stern gaze and hands punched into his pockets.
The Raiders kicker held court, and wanted to make a few things crystal clear.
He is an A’s fan. He never told Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee he roots for them to lose. He wasn’t happy if, even only for a day, Raiders fans thought he wasn’t rooting for the local nine.
“I root for the A’s. I want them to do well,” Janikowski said. “I’ve been to several A’s games. Whatever he said, it just blows my mind. The conversation never happened. If they make the postseason, I’m excited for them.”
Scobee told the Florida Times Union that Janikowski roots for the A’s to lose so the at Oakland Coliseum’s infield dirt can be re-sodded at the earliest possible date. The Oakland Coliseum is the only stadium in the country that hosts an NFL and an MLB team and the only place where you have to kick off the dirt.
Janikowski refuted Scobee’s take in no uncertain terms. He said that he doesn’t mind kicking off the dirt. In fact, he hit a 57-yard field goal off the dirt in 2008 to beat the New York Jets in overtime. It stands as the longest game-winning overtime field goal in NFL history. Janikowski believes the dirt gives him a competitive advantage because he’s used to it and opponents aren’t.
“I think it’s an advantage for us,” Janikowski said. “Guys come in and think about it so much that it messes with them.”
Kickers prefer kicking off grass, including Janikowski, but he never wants it to come at the A's expense. The veteran kicker didn’t like what Scobee said and wanted to clear the air.
“I was pissed off,” Janikowski said. “That’s why I’m talking to you guys. I want to set things straight.”