Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Nov 2005

FO Interviews Bill Romanowski

Here's my interview with Bill Romanowski, the NFL bad boy turned author. I asked him about THG, concussions, J.J. Stokes, Sheryl Swoopes, drinking urine, and the injuries he inflicted on Kerry Collins, Dave Meggett and Marcus Williams.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 15 Nov 2005

19 comments, Last at 16 Nov 2005, 3:12pm by Michael David Smith


by Ray (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 7:32pm

Congrats on the interview, MDS. You're hitting the big-time now! But why didn't you ask him just how much his presence on a defense affected the team's DVOA?

by MHS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 7:37pm

I have to say that I'm somewhat disappointed in this article, simply because I don't want someone like Romanowski to get any unnecessary publicity he can use to push his book or his line of supplements. I felt the same way about Jose Canseco.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 7:47pm

Then don't read the article. Or buy his book/supplements.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:04pm

Great interview. Everything aside, who wouldn't want this guy on your team? He was crazy... but you need to have people like that on your team.

Why no questions about TO?

by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:10pm

Actually, I conducted this interview a couple of weeks ago, before the suspension, and T.O. didn't seem like a worthwhile question. If I were interviewing him now, I'd definitely ask.

by Josh (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:11pm

and I was hoping this was an interview with the Cowboys backup QB Tony Romo about competing with Henson for the #2 QB spot jk:)

by James, London (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:16pm

Great work getting the interview and nicely done to boot. FO joins the major leagues!

How was Romanowski as a subject? If the reports are to be believed, he's 18 feet tall and eats the still beating hearts of running backs around the world. Did he want a side order of journalist or not?

by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:29pm

Nice interview; I really enjoyed it. There are a lot of points worth discussing, but one thing really leapt out at me: his performance coach was Phil Towle! This was the same guy in "Some Kind of Monster" who tried to keep Metallica together when the bassist quit and Hetfield went to rehab. If you haven't seen the movie, picture a balding snake oil salesman in a Bill Cosby sweater reciting New Age therapy platitudes to a heavy metal band dumb enough to take him at face value. Not only did the band buy into him, but Towle got so caught up in the band's issues that he thought he was one of them. Now it looks like Towle can add 16 years as NFL linebacker to his resume.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 8:49pm

Re #7: From what I hear from the Denver press, Romo was one of the most likeable guys in the locker room for journalist types. Which is one of the reasons why you always saw negative stories about Randy Moss, but not as many about Romo.

He seems pretty smart. If you're going to be a jerk, at least be nice to the media.

One question for MDS. You obviously can't mention it when writing an article, but did he sound sincere at all?

by Browns Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 9:20pm

"Some of my best friends are black!"

by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 9:40pm

Romanowski seemed like the type of guy a beat writer would like -- he's articulate enough that you can always expect a good quote, and he seemed more than willing to spend time answering questions (although obviously he's trying to plug his book). Toward the end of the interview, though, it became clear that he thought I was focusing too much on the negatives. As for whether he's sincere, I really don't know. My guess is that the Meggett thing is one he really regrets, but he thinks guys like Stokes and Marcus Williams provoked him and he was justified in responding. But that was just the sense I had, and it's possible I'm reading him wrong. Ultimately, the best I can do is transcribe the conversation and let others decide.

by Theo (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 9:55pm

Hey MDS.
I love the way you ask for an answer a second time.

In about every question you chalenge him to answer the original question.

A sign of great interviewing. Compliments.

by Joey (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2005 - 9:59pm

Re. 7 & 9
A friend of mine was Romo's personal chef for a while when he played for the Broncos. She said he and his wife were wonderful people. They even hosted a bridal shower for her.

by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 12:49am

I was hoping we'd get to hear Romo's take on intelligent design vs evolution. Otherwise, a good interview. Congrats.

by jo (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 9:55am

great interview. he really sounds like an interesting guy.
it's great to see an interview without any BS. everything to the point, all meat no bones.
kudos MDS.

by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 11:08am

Did you ask him if he was a Romo-Sexual?


by Adam H. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 12:02pm

I liked how you segued to asking him about a career in politics in the middle of all his dissembling.

by mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 2:52pm

Hey great interview, exceeded my expectations by quite bit. I am on record here on FO as saying that I thought Romo was a clinical psychopath (back when Peter King tried to sweep the Marcus Williams incident under the rug in his column), so it comes as a pleasant surprise to hear him talking reflectively on his moral choices.

I wish you would have asked him more about how the Raiders, and Callahan in particular, handled the Williams fight. Here in the Bay Area it was written about extensively, and it seemed that it was Callahan's reaction, more than Romo's action, that sundered the team.

Here's hoping you get a regular gig, though. Would you care to tell us how this one came about & if it is an opportunity you'll likely have in the future?

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 11/16/2005 - 3:12pm

I'd love to do more interviews in the future. The problem is that most big-name interview subjects are only willing to take the time to sit down with an interviewer when they're trying to sell something. I'm hoping that if other publishers are looking to have their athletes/authors give interviews, they'll get in touch at mike-at-footballoutsiders.com.