Bill Romanowski was called a lot of things in his seven combined seasons playing linebacker for the Raiders and 49ers. He was called one of the Ten Dirtiest Players of All Time by ESPN, in a list that encompassed all major American professional sports. He was not ever called a role model.
But he may be soon, as Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports that Romanowski interviewed for the strength and conditioning coach position on new coach Mike Shanahan's Washington Redskins staff.
Yes, as a matter of fact, it would be a little awkward for an NFL team's "strength and conditioning" point person to have been a major long-time steroids user and primary figure in the BALCO scandal. But Romo did get the interview, so he must have a reasonable chance of landing the gig.
Romanowski's on-field antics were legendary. In 1995, he kicked Cardinals running back Larry Centers squarely in the head, right in front of the refs. In 2003, he attacked Raiders teammate Marcus Williams in a scrimmage game (a scrimmage game!), busting Williams' eye socket and ending his football career. In 1997, he spit in 49ers receiver J.J. Stokes' face on-camera during a Monday Night Football game.
In Romanowski's defense, a lot of 49er fans disappointed in Stokes' crappy production for a tenth-overall pick would probably not object to spitting in that guy's face.
Romanowski has expressed interest in head coaching in the past, and this may be his first step. I am already dreaming of seeing Romanowski coach against Tom Cable's Raiders, and the two head coaches bum-rushing one another at midfield and throwing down an MMA-style brawl. Man, that would be sweet.
Don't laugh at the entry-level sounding position of strength and conditioning coach. Bill Cowher's first position was as a strength and conditioning coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, and he moved upward nicely.
But God help the first Washington Redskin who makes a steroids wisecrack to his strength and conditioning coach.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who always thought Bill Romanowski was a tough guy until I saw his Thanksgiving dinner tips video.