The Terrifyingly Dirty Savage of the NFL

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Who’s Invoice Romanowski?

Many NFL followers wouldn’t acknowledge the identify Invoice Romanowski in the event that they had been to see or hear it in passing. And even those that did in all probability aren’t conscious of the antics and controversy that the once-great linebacker bought himself into.

brawling with teammates, allegedly threatening to finish opponents’ careers

Think about a participant surviving the unrelenting hypothesis and criticism of the social media period whereas brawling with teammates, allegedly threatening to finish opponents’ careers, and utilizing steroids to gas two Professional Bowl appearances and 4 Tremendous Bowl championships.

That is the story of Invoice Romanowski: the hard-hitting, unforgiving menace of the NFL.

Invoice Romanowski: the early years

Born within the city of Vernon, Connecticut on April 2, 1966, Invoice Romanowski was pushed into sports activities from an early age by his father, a standout baseball participant. “Romo” developed his sport from a younger age and was picked for his faculty’s varsity soccer workforce as a freshman.

Nevertheless, standing at 6 toes, 170 kilos, the person who went on to turn out to be a thumping linebacker knew that he wanted so as to add weight to his body. He spent the subsequent two years bulking up and placing on his “man physique” whereas taking part in with an unmatched fireplace on the sector.

“He had an impressive work ethic and performed each down as if it had been the final down in a championship sport,” mentioned Tom Dunn, Romanowski’s former highschool coach. “At occasions, we needed to attempt to tone him down a bit in order that he wouldn’t expend all of his vitality earlier than the sport was over.”

That zeal was put to the check throughout Romanowski’s senior 12 months. He had a fever and was significantly sick on the time of one in every of his video games, however he performed by it and completed with double-digit tackles. He was at that time one of the vital sought-after recruits in America and finally dedicated to Boston Faculty over Notre Dame.

Making a reputation

At Boston Faculty, Romanowski anticipated an extended, powerful street. His solely hope was to make the touring workforce and spend a while on particular groups, but it surely wasn’t lengthy earlier than he noticed common snaps at linebacker, and by the top of BC’s 10-2 season, he was the full-time starter.

He introduced his arrival on the nationwide scene in the course of the Eagles’ Cotton Bowl matchup in opposition to the Houston Cougars when he racked up 13 tackles (11 solo) in a 45-28 win. 

chosen eightieth total within the third spherical of the 1988 NFL Draft

Romo’s subsequent few years at BC had been up and down, however even in a 5-6 senior marketing campaign, he amassed a then-program-record 156 tackles. His efforts had been finally sufficient to see him chosen eightieth total within the third spherical of the 1988 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

He entered the NFL with the same mentality as he did in faculty of hoping to make an affect the place he might. Even he in all probability by no means would have anticipated that affect can be swiping an interception within the Tremendous Bowl because the Niners received the world championship 20-16 over the Cincinnati Bengals, or profitable the entire thing the subsequent 12 months, too, in a 55-10 blowout over the Denver Broncos.

Romo’s skilled profession couldn’t have began off any higher. However it wasn’t till he suited up for the Broncos (after a one-year pit cease with the Philadelphia Eagles) that he would make two Professional Bowls and win two extra Tremendous Bowls and his profession would actually take off.

Stark controversy 

Romanowski stayed with the Broncos from 1996-2001 after which performed one 12 months with the Oakland Raiders in 2002-03 earlier than lastly stepping away from the sport.

An awesome profession, however not one which needs to be remembered in historical past on its floor. No, the way in which he performed the sport and the conditions that he bought himself into is why his story is so fascinating.

After his retirement, ESPN named Romanowski because the fifth-dirtiest participant within the historical past {of professional} sports activities. That’s the place the story takes off.

kicking Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Facilities within the head

Bear in mind the pit cease with the Eagles? Properly, he was finally traded in order that Philly might signal all of its draft picks, which they may not have carried out due to the wage cap with him on the roster. However in hindsight, they may have cited him kicking Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Facilities within the head as a sound motive.

A few years later as a member of the Broncos, Romanowski broke an unstated rule of “taking it simple” in the course of the preseason when he went helmet-to-helmet with and broke the jaw of Carolina Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins. Later in that very same season, he spit within the face of 49ers wideout J.J. Stokes.

Two years later and whereas nonetheless taking part in in Denver, Romanowski made three unlawful hits on after which punched Kansas Metropolis Chiefs tight finish Tony Gonzalez, which led to him being fined $42,500. That very same season, he launched a soccer into an undesirable area of New York Jets linebacker Bryan Cox’s physique.

Ex-Minnesota Vikings extensive receiver Cris Carter additionally admitted to placing a bounty on Romo after he claims he instructed him in the course of the pregame that “I’m gonna finish your profession, Carter.”

Overwhelming controversy

Romanowski’s profession ended on the sourest of notes in 2003. Throughout a scrimmage, he bought right into a combat with teammate Marcus Williams and delivered a nasty blow to his face that crushed his eye socket. Williams was compelled to medically retire from the NFL and sued Romanowski, who he mentioned was inflicted with “roid rage,” for $3.4m. 

Romanowski was accused of being racist on account of his run-ins with Middle, Stokes, and Williams. These claims got here up once more after he referred to Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton as “boy” after Newton was very brief with the media in a post-Tremendous Bowl loss press convention. 

Romo and his spouse had been investigated for prescription drug fraud as a part of the BALCO scandal, which concerned skilled athletes utilizing steroids. 

fessed to utilizing steroids and human progress hormone

Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Marion Jones had been all victims of the scandal going public. The Romanowskis had been by no means charged with against the law, however Invoice fessed to utilizing steroids and human progress hormone equipped by Victor Conte, the proprietor of BALCO, throughout a 2005 interview on 60 Minutes.

Romanowski later despatched a 30-slide presentation to the Broncos as to why he needs to be their head coach when the job opened up in 2009, however they didn’t grant him a proper interview. He has made a number of tv appearances, together with with former teammate Shannon Sharpe on Undisputed, however remains to be acknowledged as one of the vital controversial and outright soiled gamers to ever contact the gridiron.


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