Given that the Oakland Raiders and Oakland A’s share the O.co Coliseum as their home venue, you would expect many players to be fans of the other team and root them on.
Not Raiders’ placekicker Sebastian Janikowski, at least according to Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee, who told the the Florida-Times Union that Janikowksi “roots every year for the A’s to miss the playoffs so the dirt is replaced by sod sooner.”
Since the Raiders and A’s share the stadium, the infield dirt runs through the football field during baseball season, when the two seasons overlap. That can make things difficult for kickers, who prefer to kick on grass. Scobee, who is preparing for a Week 2 matchup against the Raiders, says the biggest problem is that his plant foot can slide in the dirt.
Unfortunately for Janikowski and the rest of the kickers who will play at the O.co Coliseum in the early stages of the season, the A’s will most likely make the playoffs. They currently hold a three game lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and even if they don’t win their division, they should be able to claim one of the two wild card spots.
So, if the A’s make it to the World Series, Janikowski will have to be kicking on dirt until at least late October, or six more weeks, much to his chagrin — supposedly.
But when Janikowski got word of Scobee’s quotes about him rooting against the A’s, the Raider kicker showed some of his fiery personality in his response to the Bay Area media.
I go to A’s games all the time and root for them. I was pissed off when I heard that. That’s why I’m talking to you guys. I want to set things straight. Whatever he said, it just blows my mind. The conversation never happened. If they make the postseason, I’m excited for them. I think it’s an advantage for us. Guys come in and think about it so much that it messes with them.
Scobee himself is practicing on local baseball fields in Florida this week.
Either way, there’s an interesting war of words between kickers brewing for a battle of teams expected to be picking near the top of next year’s draft. But if things get physical, the smart money should probably be on the 260-pound Janikowski.