American Football Wiki
Bill Romanowski
Romanowski in December 2006
Personal Information
Jersey #(s)
Born April 2 1966 (1966-04-02) (age 58)
Vernon, Connecticut
Career information
Year(s) 19882003
NFL Draft 1988 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
College Boston College
Professional teams
Career stats
Tackles 1,116
Sacks 39.5
Interceptions 18
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

William Thomas "Bill" Romanowski (born April 2, 1966) is a former American football player. He was born in Vernon, Connecticut. A linebacker, he graduated from Rockville High School in 1984, Boston College in 1988 (with academic honors and Scanlan Award Recipient), and then went on to a 16-year career in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers (1988–1993), Philadelphia Eagles (1994–1995), Denver Broncos (1996–2001), and Oakland Raiders (2002–2003).

Romanowski played 243 consecutive games, an NFL record among linebackers, won 4 Super Bowl Championships, and is the only linebacker to start 5 Super Bowl Games (Super Bowl XXIII, Super Bowl XXIV, Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl XXXVII). During his 16 year career, Romanowski compiled 1,105 tackles, 39.5 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, and 18 interceptions, which he returned for a net total of 98 yards and 1 career touchdown. Romanowski was a Pro Bowl selection twice, in 1996 and 1998, both during his tenure with the Denver Broncos. He was also known as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL.


Romanowski has been involved in numerous altercations with both teammates and opponents. In 1995, while with the Eagles, he was ejected from a game — and subsequently fined $4,500 — for kicking Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Centers in the head.[1]

Two more incidents occurred during the 1997 season while he played for the Broncos: In the first, he was fined $20,000 after a helmet-to-helmet hit on then-Carolina Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins in a preseason game resulting in Collins sustaining a broken jaw;[1] in the second, Romanowski spat in the face of 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes in a regular-season game played in December on a Monday night in response to Stokes' taunting.[2] Two years later, while still with the Broncos, he was fined a total of $42,500 for three illegal hits plus a punch thrown at Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, and was also fined an undisclosed amount for throwing a football at Bryan Cox of the New York Jets, the ball hitting him in the crotch area.[3]

In 2003, Romanowski attacked and injured one of his teammates, Marcus Williams, during a scrimmage. Williams, a backup tight end for the Oakland Raiders, was forced to retire after Romanowski confronted Williams after a play, ripped off his helmet, and crushed his eye socket with a punch.[4] Williams sued for damages of $3.4 million, arguing that Romanowski had been suffering from "roid rage" when he attacked him. This argument was later rejected by the judge on the grounds that Williams could not prove that Romanowski had actually used steroids on the same day as the attack. Williams was awarded $340,000. Williams was quoted as saying he and his lawyers "just wanted to prove what was right and wrong about football".[5]

Involvement in the BALCO Scandal[]

Off the field, he and his wife were investigated for prescription drug fraud, though the charges were later dropped.[1] Records seized by the government belonging to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), later discovered to be the source of a designer steroid, indicate that he had used the anabolic steroid "The Clear" and synthetic testosterone ointment "The Cream" provided by BALCO since 2003. In an October 16, 2005 appearance on 60 Minutes, Romanowski admitted to using steroids and human growth hormone that he received from Victor Conte, BALCO owner.[6]

Post-NFL career[]

Romanowski appeared in movies such as The Longest Yard, The Benchwarmers, Weiners, Bedtime Stories and Get Smart. Bill released an autobiography in 2005 titled Romo My Life on the Edge: Living Dreams and Slaying Dragons. The book became a New York Times best selling book in 2005. It chronicles his childhood, college, and his playing times in the NFL. He is also featured on the cover of the Midway Games title Blitz: The League and adds his voice as Bruno Battaglia, a linebacker in the game who wears his 53. He also appears in NCAA Football Series indirectly as LB #53 for the 1984 Boston College Eagles. In 2006, he founded Nutrition 53, a nutritional supplement company dedicated to optimal life performance. The company's name is derived from Romanowski's football jersey number, 53. Romanowski is active in the internet community and media through his personal blog, Facebook page and regular appearances on The Rick and Bubba Show and The Young Guns on WWZN in Boston.

In 2008, Romanowski was the defensive coordinator for the Piedmont High School (California) Highlanders Freshman Football team, where his son plays.

In January 2009, Romanowski threw his name into the search for Mike Shanahan's replacement as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Bill reportedly sent a 30-page PowerPoint presentation to team owner Pat Bowlen outlining his credentials and the new ideas he would bring to the team. The job was ultimately given to Josh McDaniels.

In February 2010, Romanowski was called in by Mike Shanahan to present to the Washington Redskins. Romanowski was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame on June 23, 2011, in Troy, Michigan.

In Media[]

Romanowski starred in the remake of The Longest Yard as one of the prison guards, and voiced linebacker Bruno Battaglia in Blitz: The League, where he appears on the cover with Lawrence Taylor. He also was one of the baseball coaches in The Benchwarmers movie. On February 4, 2010, Romanowski appeared for an interview on The Jim Rome Show

He also had an appearance in the Spike television series "Blue Mountain State." In the second season premier episode, Romanowski plays coach Marty Daniels' ex-brother-in-law and team consultant on dirty playing tactics.

Romanowski also regularly appears as a guest on Ferrall Radio (Sirius channel 101, 8PM-12AM M-F).

Bill posed with his wife Julie for the 2000 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.[7]

He also appeared in an episode of Comedy Central's Tosh.0.


External links[]