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Sebastian Janikowski's Record-Tying Kick: Sea Bass Is the NFL's Best Kicker

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Place kicker Sebastian Janikowski #11 of the Oakland Raiders kicks a 63 yard field goal from the hold of  Shane Lechler #9 of the Oakland Raiders with five seconds remaining in the first half to give the Raiders a 16-3 lead over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Janikowski's kick of 63 yards tied the NFL field goal record as the Raiders defeated the Broncos 23-20.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
John EwenContributor IIISeptember 13, 2011

I've been playing fantasy football for the past two seasons and I aim to have one guy on all my teams. When it's time to draft a kicker, my choice has been Sebastian Janikowski.

I don't know whether it's because one of my fondest video game memories was drilling a 55-yard field goal with the Raiders kicker to win the Super Bowl in NFL 2K5 some years back or what, but Sea Bass has been my go-to guy in the position that gets the least coverage in the fantasy universe.

My fandom for the former Florida State Seminole came up big yesterday.

Now, I wouldn't be writing this article if not for one Tom Brady, who decided to have a field day against the Dolphins secondary and put me in a hole heading into the final game of the fantasy week. My 20-point lead quickly transformed into an 11-point deficit.

My opponent—who had an injured Arian Foster and Sidney Rice in starting spots—was beating me, thanks to Mr. 500-Yards Passing.

I went where all people go to complain about their sorrows—Facebook—and posted this wonder of a status:

"Dear Lord, I may not be a religious man, and I have never really asked you for much, but I'm asking you for a miracle. Is three field goals from Sebastian Janikowski too much to ask? I don't think so. So please Lord, give me the strength to go 1-0. Amen."

To answer Al Michaels' question from the 1980 Winter Olympics, I do believe in miracles.

The Polish Cannon hit an extra point and two short field goals in the second quarter, giving me hope of winning my matchup.

But what happened just before halftime blew my expectations.

In front of a wet crowd at Mile High Stadium, Janikowski lined up for a 63-yard field goal to tie the record held by Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam.

The kick was up and, as time expired, just made it over the crossbar.

Janikowski was in the record books and I had my fantasy win in hand.

Serves Brady right.

Now that Sea Bass has tied the record, the argument can be made for labeling him the best kicker in the history of the league.

Sure, he may not have the Super Bowl rings like Adam Vinatieri, but the 33-year-old has a leg.

Funny how I just discussed these two in an article yesterday.

He has a 78.7 field-goal percentage and he is the highest-scoring player in Raider history. How many kickers can claim that?

The National Football Hall of Fame features seven players who were kickers in their careers, but only one—Jan Stenerudwas solely a kicker.

When Janikowski hangs up his cleats years down the line, he'll be joining Stenerud.

The question isn't will Janikowski make the Hall, it's will he break his record on the way there?

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