Bill Romanowski was not a nice guy. He was an undoubtedly talented football player, but there’s a reason he’s near (or at the very top) of most lists concerning the dirtiest players in the history of the NFL.
Over the course of the 16 seasons he spent in the league, Romanowski cemented himself as a certified lunatic. It takes a special kind of person to be a linebacker in the NFL in the first place, but the fact that he managed to set himself apart from a pack filled with some notable psychos really tells you all you need to know about him.
Romanowski was known as a cheapshot artist and one who was repeatedly accused of exhibiting racist tendencies by opponents and other people who crossed paths with him at some point in time.
Some of his behavior could probably be credited to his well-documented steroid use, but it was also probably just the nature of a man who was known as a hard-nosed killer on the field and didn’t really flip that switch when the final whistle blew.
There are plenty of photographs featuring Romanowski sporting a bloody nose, which was sometimes the result of his hard play but largely stemmed from the fact that he usually cut the bridge of it on his own to strike fear into his opponents. He said that when he stepped onto the gridiron, he was legitimately trying to end other people’s lives, and his play was a testament to that mindset.
You didn’t even have to be playing against Bill to draw his ire. Take, for example, his 2003 fight with/assault of teammate Marcus Williams where Romanowski tore off his helmet, fractured his eye socket, broke his nose, and knocked out his teeth in an incident that brought the former’s NFL career to an end.
However, that wasn’t the only time someone on his team was subjected to his rage.
The Time Bill Romanowski Threw A Microwave at A Teammate
As the aforementioned story should make very evident, Romanowski wasn’t really afraid of getting into it with his teammates.
Anyone who played with him knew they had to tread very carefully in order to avoid rubbing him the wrong way, but it was also very easy to trigger his infamous temper—as evidenced by the time he chucked a microwave at someone he shared the locker room with.
That altercation transpired in the early 1990s when Bill was a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He had decided to heat up a sandwich in a microwave at the team’s facility, but the machine was apparently known for struggling to do its job when there was too much food inside.
That didn’t stop 49ers running back Dexter Carter from deciding to piggyback on Romanowski’s reheating session by throwing his own sandwich in the microwave along with Bill’s, and he quickly discovered he’d made a big mistake.
After seeing a second sandwich had appeared in the microwave, Romanowski strongly urged Carter to take it out until the one he’d put in first was ready. However, the RB declined to remove it, and after Bill took matters into his own hands, the two engaged in a spirited war of words.
The verbal altercation soon transformed into a physical one when Romanowski picked up the microwave and hurled it at Carter. While he (thankfully) missed his fellow player, he escalated the situation once again by grabbing his neck, pinning him up against a vending machine, and screaming “Never again! Do you hear me?”
So, yeah, Bill Romanowski was a bit of a wild card.