Sunday, November 20, 2011
B.J. Raji: 'The Freezer' legend grows
By Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- As fun-loving and entertainment-oriented as he is, B.J. Raji couldn't fathom it. There would be no Lambeau Leap, not on Sunday or any other day, after Raji scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of the Green Bay Packers' 35-26 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
B.J. Raji celebrates following his 1-yard rushing touchdown for the Packers.
"I thought about it for, like, less than a split second," Raji said. "Then I used my better judgment."
Listed generously at 337 pounds, Raji is nevertheless one of the Packers' better athletes and an obvious candidate for a backfield power formation. He long ago nicknamed himself "The Freezer" in homage to former Chicago Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry, but Sunday was the first time he got a chance to emulate Perry as a ball carrier.
The play came at the end of the Packers' first offensive possession, part of a goal-line set that included three tight ends. Raji lined up offset as a fullback, with John Kuhn as the tailback. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers handed it to Raji on dive play behind right guard. It took a while for officials to unpile the players -- "B.J. was lying on top us," said center Scott Wells -- but eventually they awarded him a touchdown.
After passing on the Lambeau Leap, Raji launched into a modified midsection gyration of sorts. But he said he's considered some other touchdown celebrations as well and doesn't think Sunday will be a one-time deal. Asked if he would recommend his pickup to fantasy owners, Raji laughed and said: "I think it would be in their best interest to."