Bill Romanowski

Bill Romanowski

In the last month he has appeared on 60 minutes, The Today Show, and many other national media outlets publicizing his book Romo My Life on the Edge. One month later he sits down for an interview with myself, and is talking about life after his sixteen year career in the NFL. Bill Romanowski did what he could to get an edge in football. Many people thought his behavior was out of line, but he continued to act the way he wanted.

Listen to the Bill Romanowski Interview

Chris Yandek: First off how are you?

Bill Romanowski: “I am doing great. It’s a pleasure to be here.”

CY: You say in your book that with all your concussions and injuries that if you never took all the supplements that you did you would be worse off. Tell me about why you believe that and what supplements have kept you together the best through your NFL career.

BR: “The things that I tried to do to offset the pain and trauma was that I took a lot of antioxidants and a lot of natural anti inflammatories. Later in my career I got into Vitamin C IV’S and Glutathione IV’s that go directly into the bloodstream with these antioxidants that are very powerful in helping me recover.”

CY: You talk about this in-depth in your book, but what do you remember most about August 21, 1999 and how it affected you and your wife that involved a Phentermine prescription not written in your name and how much do you regret the whole situation that caused your family legal trouble?

BR: “I definitely regret it. It was a situation where working with a doctor and him actually telling me that we should put this prescription in another name to protect your anonymity. I listened to the doctor and I shouldn’t have. It is something I wish I could take back and I wish I didn’t do, but I did it and hold myself accountable. That is a lot of what this book is about. It’s about me holding myself accountable in not offloading the blame on the other people. There is a very healing effect in taking responsibility for the decisions you make good and bad.”

CY: What do you think about Marcus Williams knowing that his NFL career was ended because a fight he had with you during an Oakland Raiders practice on August 24, 2003?

BR: “Marcus Williams was a fringe player that didn’t want to play football anymore. The fact that people say I ruined his NFL career, I didn’t ruin his career. He tried out for the Miami Dolphins months after the incident. He was cleared to play football two months after the incident. A lot of people want to say that I ruined his NFL career when he was cleared to play football by the doctors in Oakland. In that process I think he thought he could make more money in a lawsuit claiming against me that I ruined his NFL career versus actually working hard to play the game.”

CY: What memories do you have of going to five Super Bowls and winning two with San Francisco, two with Denver, and going to one with Oakland?

BR: “The ultimate high is being the best in the world. There is so much that goes into playing football. There is so much that goes into a season. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears. It’s the sacrifices. It’s the going to battle with one another. It’s the ultimate team sport and coming together. There is a special energy involved in that when you take the field and know you are going to win if you play your game. At the end winning the pinnacle and being at the top of the mountain saying I am the best and I am a world champion. I was fortunate to have done that four times. I missed out with the Oakland Raiders and didn’t get the job done. I climbed the mountain, but didn’t stand on the top.”

CY: What do you remember about the San Francisco 49ers atmosphere when you were there from 1988 to 1993 and being around Joe Montana and Jerry Rice and how good do you think those teams were that won two Super Bowls?

BR: “The second year that we won the Super Bowl in 1989 was probably one of the best teams ever. The atmosphere was so incredible that we went into football games knowing we were going to win. Usually when we played our game we won. You have a lot of confidence when you have players like Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana. There is a level of confidence in your locker room and there is a feeling you get out on that field that you are going to win the game. That’s what the game is all about. It’s about winning. I was very fortunate to be able to play on those teams and to have the experiences I have.”

CY: What did you think when Victor Conte, someone you have known for years, went on the ABC TV show 20/20 in December of 2004 and said he helped you and Marion Jones and other athletes with different types of performance enhancing drugs?

BR: “As far as him doing that, that was his decision. I didn’t have that much to say about it at all. It was what Victor decided to do. Victor helped me during much of my career. A lot of people don’t realize this, but the Balco Labs was a mineral testing lab. I was deficient in many minerals being zinc, magnesium, copper, and chromium. I was supplementing with those minerals with the help of Victor. It truly did more for my career than any supplement I took.”

CY: Have you talked to Victor Conte lately or still consider him a friend through everything?

BR: “Absolutely I consider him a friend. I am not the kind of guy that just because something happens to somebody I throw him out of my life. Victor is a friend of mine. He helped me. He helped my family. He is still helping millions of people with his supplement ZMA to help people rest properly, get a great night sleep, help their immune system, help their joints, and help regulate blood sugar- all the positive things that happened from mineral supplementation.”

CY: What coach did you enjoy playing for most?

BR: “I enjoyed them all. I can’t say that I enjoyed one more than the other. Some of the better experiences I had were in San Francisco and Denver in that I won four Super Bowls with those two organizations. Then there was my career as an Oakland Raider and to be on the oldest team in the NFL, and to have other organizations say these guys are too old to play the game, and to come together and go to a Super Bowl was a pretty special feeling.”

CY: You had an opportunity to be part of The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler. What did you think of the movie role and can we expect more movie and TV roles from in the near future?

BR: “Absolutely. My experience in the Longest Yard was phenomenal. There will be another movie coming out this spring called Bench Warmers which I was also in. It was a really great experience. I enjoy that business. I enjoy being in front of the camera. I enjoy getting to know those people and a different business. I have a great respect for that. Adam Sandler is an icon. He is truly a wonderful person to be around. You realize soon enough why he is as successful as he is. It’s because of the work and dedication he has put in to be one of the best in the business.”

CY: What do you say to high school and college football players who might look up to you and some of them considering trying to get ahead by taking steroids or any other performance enhancing drug from someone who’s been there and done that?

BR: “There is a price you pay for everything you do. You can’t get away from hard work. You can’t take a supplement and think you are going to end up in the NFL or playing professional baseball, basketball, hockey, track, or a gold medal. It’s hard work and dedication that will get you there.”

CY: How much do you think THG and steroids helped your performance on the football field?

BR: “Well, it’s how much do you think THG. At the end of the day with all the things that I did I don’t know if it really helped me that much. When I took it, it wasn’t on the banned list. Still to this day they don’t know if it’s an anabolic steroid.”

CY: Finally, how do you want to be remembered and do you think you will be inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame regardless of everything?

BR: “I want to be remembered as one of the hardest working guys that have ever played the game of football and a tough football player that you wanted on your team and played every play like it was his last. When he walked off the field at the end of the game you know or you knew that Bill Romanowski gave his heart and soul to that game, season, team, to that year, and to the NFL.”

You can purchase a copy of Romo My Life on the Edge at the link:

http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060758635

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