Tom Janik
No. 27
Position:Safety, punter
Personal information
Born:(1940-09-06)September 6, 1940
Poth, Texas, U.S.
Died:November 21, 2009(2009-11-21) (aged 69)
Poth, Texas, U.S.
Career information
College:Texas A&I
AFL draft:1963 / Round: 3 / Pick: ?
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR

Thomas Alvin Janik (September 6, 1940 – November 21, 2009) was an American football defensive back and punter.

Early career

Thomas Alvin Janik was born on September 6, 1940, in Poth, Texas.[citation needed] He played one season of college football with Texas A&M and three seasons with Texas A&I.[1] He was an all-conference running back and punter. He was inducted to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.[citation needed]


Janik was a safety for nine seasons of professional football.[citation needed] He played eight seasons in the American Football League. He played with the Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills.[1] On August 27, 1969, he was traded to the Boston Patriots.[2] He played one season with the New England Patriots after the AFL–NFL merger.[1] In his career, he had 21 or 25 interceptions, sources differ, and 6 touchdown returns.[1][3] In 1967, he tied the record of 10 single season interceptions held by Billy Atkins. In 1968, he broke the record for longest interception return (100 yards) after an interception from Joe Namath of the New York Jets.[3] He was an AFL All-Star in 1965, when he played for the AFL Champion Bills, and again in 1967.[citation needed] In April 1972, he retired.[4]

One of Janik's biggest games was the September 29, 1968, contest at home against the New York Jets, in which the Bills' defensive backfield picked off Joe Namath five times, three times for touchdowns as Butch Byrd and Booker Edgerson had 53 and 45-yard TD interceptions within 1:02, and Janik had one of two picks go for a 100-yard score. The Bills won a barn-burner, 37–35, which was Buffalo's only win of the season. The Jets went on to finish 11–3, and won the AFL title before going on to defeat the Colts in Super Bowl III.[citation needed]

At the time of his death in 2009, he was third in interception return yards (495), behind Butch Byrd and Tony Greene. He was 11th in interceptions (21).[3][citation needed]

Personal life

Janik died on November 21, 2009, aged 69, in Poth.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tom Janik dies at 69". The Post-Star. 2009-11-26. p. 21. Retrieved 2024-02-01 – via access icon
  2. ^ "Tom Janik Traded to Boston Patriots". The Buffalo News. 1969-08-27. p. 71. Retrieved 2024-02-01 – via access icon
  3. ^ a b c Gaughan, Mark (2009-11-29). "Favre's great supporting cast gives him a boost". The Buffalo News. p. D15. Retrieved 2024-02-01 – via access icon
  4. ^ "Pats Lose, Gain". The Austin Statesman. 1972-04-26. p. 43. Retrieved 2024-02-01 – via access icon