First, USB Joysticks work just plugged in. So, absolutely no problem for them.
For analog joysticks, you have to load Joy(4) driver
unfortunately, Micro$oft Sidewinder joypad, even if connected equally to midi port like other ones, is NOT really an analog joystick ( actually is digital ).
About Linux joystick drivers, is not correct: for my experience is not possible using them in FreeBSD. The only thing you can do, is using a "driver-wrapper" called "linux_js" that NEEDS a FreeBSD joystick driver ( USB or analog ) already working, then, ABOVE IT, it creates a device /dev/input/jsX, only to make some linux games (needing such device) work.
By the way, I wrote a joy(4) driver modified to make it work with 3 axes and 4 buttons ( original one is only for 2 axes and 2 buttons )... if anyone is interested, contact me at e-mail in my site