B.J. Raji is dancing his way to the Super Bowl

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  • B.J. Raji is dancing his way to the Super Bowl

B.J. Raji is dancing his way to the Super Bowl

B.J. Raji’s interception during the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship was a game changer. A lot of commentators have stated that if Raji hadn’t caught that interception, the Bears could have been on their way to Dallas on Super Bowl weekend. Caleb Hani could have guided the Bears into overtime and possibly won the game. You never know.

It didn’t happen because of Raji. It’s always a big moment when a nose tackle scores a touchdown. It’s bigger when he scores in the conference championship. It is huge when it’s against his team’s arch rivals and it wins the conference championship. Raji had reason to be excited but for the love of god, Raji, don’t ever shake your hips like that again.

The 337 pound Raji, heaviest man to ever score a touchdown in the playoffs, obviously didn’t have anything planned. Greg Jennings is expected to have a post touchdown dance, Brandon Jackson might have something planned for the end zone celebrations too. Not even in his wildest dreams would Raji have expected to intercept a pass intended for Matt Forte and run it into the end zone for a touchdown.

So when the unexpected happened, Raji stood clueless in the end zone. What does he do in that situation? The same thing any 337 pound lineman in his position would do, vigorously shake his hips until the ladies faint.

Thank god for Sam Shields. If he hadn’t jumped on Raji, the hip shaking would have continued. Sunday wasn’t altogether a merry day for Bears fan. If it wasn’t bad enough that your team was taking a beating of a lifetime, a lineman scores a touchdown on an interception and dances. Condolences to any Chicago fan who had to sit through it and Lovie Smith.

The Bears head coach, Smith stood on the sidelines horrified, as if he had seen a ghost with very wide hips. Aaron Rodgers was beyond ecstatic. The usually calm Packers coach, Mike McCarthy, was as thrilled as any Packers fan. He put on his coaching hat when he reviewed the play later. He noted that Raji should have tucked the ball close when he ran. Bears’ quarterback, Caleb Hanie, easily knocked the ball out of Raji’s hand but not before he made it into the end zone. “He got two minuses on the play - one for holding the ball out, and one for the dance,” McCarthy joked. McCarthy was being generous.

Raji has been impressive with the defence and now he has a touchdown. He might not be the most recognised of the Packers defenders but his role has been pivotal on the secondary. The Packers have faced many injuries and don’t have enough depth for Raji to be able to leave the field often. However, the nose tackle is undeterred by the work load and continues to improve as a defender.

As farfetched as it may sound, ‘the Freezer’ actually wants to play as a runner. Raji said, “If Coach feels he's giving me the ball to win, I'm very ecstatic about that. If Coach feels he needs me to block so he can run play-action stuff or run the ball, I'm fine with that as well.” He added that his primary concern was helping the Packers to victory in whatever way he could.

He will get his chance soon enough. On 6th February the Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. “He's a very big guy,” Raji said speaking of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “We played him last year and we had trouble bringing him down. I think we missed about four or five sacks on him just because he eluded us.”

Next Sunday, if Raji can’t take down Big Ben, maybe he can intercept the ball.

 

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