Raiders kicker Janikowski disputes comments about A's 

click to enlarge Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski said reports that he hopes the A's miss the playoffs so the infield dirt at the Coliseum can be covered by grass are out of bounds. - BRIAN BAHR/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Brian Bahr/Getty Images file photo
  • Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski said reports that he hopes the A's miss the playoffs so the infield dirt at the Coliseum can be covered by grass are out of bounds.

ALAMEDA — Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski has kicked off the infield dirt at O.co Coliseum for so long now that it's become almost second nature to him.

That's why Janikowski was surprised — and a bit angry — to read a published report quoting Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee, claiming Janikowski annually roots for the A's to miss the playoffs so the dirt can be replaced with sod.

Janikowski normally makes it a habit to duck out of the locker room without speaking to reporters, but was waiting in front of his stall when the media was allowed in. He only spoke for two minutes, but his message was clear: The kicker is fully behind the A's and their run to the postseason.

"I root for the A's, I want them to do well," Janikowski said Thursday. "I've been to several A's games. Whatever [Scobee] said, it just blows my mind. The conversation never happened.

"If they make the postseason, I'm excited for them."

The Raiders are the only NFL team to share facilities with a baseball team, having done so with the A's since 1995. Janikowski, the 17th overall pick in 2000, has been dealing with the dirt since then.

He made a 57-yard field goal off the dirt in overtime to beat the New York Jets in 2008, the longest field goal in overtime in NFL history.

Two years ago in the preseason, Janikowski nailed two more 57-yarders despite being on the dirt.

"It really doesn't bother me," Janikowski said. "I think it's an advantage for us. Guys come in and they think about it so much. And I'm not going to tell them what to do."

The Raiders routinely have to play off the infield dirt at the Coliseum until baseball season is over. The A's made the playoffs in 2012 and are leading their division again this season, making it likely the configuration of the field won't be changing anytime soon.

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