Recalling The Iced Kicker Game And Sebastian Janikowski

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJuly 10, 2009

Sept. 17 2007, Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

On this day a trend began during a 23-20 loss in overtime by the Oakland Raiders to the Denver Broncos. Denver coach, Mike Shanahan, used timeouts to "ice" Oakland's kicker, Sebastian Janikowski.

That resulted in the negation of a FG and then a miss on the second try.  Teams followed that trend throughout the 2007 NFL Season—including the Oakland Raiders a week later against the Cleveland Browns.

The idea of "icing the kicker" had been around before the 2007 season, but never to the degree that teams used it in the 2007 NFL Season.

Who could resist a bad joke about an iced Polack?

When Janikowski entered the league in 2000 as the Raiders first round pick, he was the punchline of every joke about Al Davis. 

Yet, Janikowski was the missing piece for the Raiders in 2000, 2001, and 2002 that put them over the hump and made the Raiders a contender. 

Every game (2000-2002) in which the Raiders were without Janikowski or unsure about his accuracy, they would struggle. 

Before the Raiders had selected Janikowski and Shane Lechler in 2000, they had the same problem in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

The Iced Kicker game, though, epitomized the state of the Raiders woes. 

Not only had the Raiders been the punchline for every bad football joke—they had then entered into the possibility of becoming the punchline for every bad Polish joke.

We shall wait and see whether coach Cable has changed the culture in Oakland in the direction of winning.

I hope so.


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