With so much spare time on my hands lately, I've been reading some great, awful and interesting books. I've just started to read Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball (only 260-something pages into the monster of literature), but previously read former NFL linebacker, Bill Romanowski's autobiography.
ROMO : My Life On The Edge : Living Dreams And Slaying Dragons took me a few chapters to start to get into it and then ran through it night after night quickly as the story continued and got deeper and more personal. I expected Romo's book to go down a similar path as Jose Canseco's two books about steroids in professional sports, who did and didn't and more insight into the NFL's issues with performance enhancing drugs. I was way off. The first half of the book was a straight forward autobiography about his childhood, his acceptance to Boston College and his struggle to outwork the rest of league and compete in the NFL.
I don't want to come off the wrong way, Romanowski's story was what everyone expects from the feel-good perspective. A young man did everything he could to reach every goal that he set for himself. You wanted to root for him. The PED information that I was stretching to learn about just wasn't what I expected it to be. Romo told us about his involvement with Victor Conte and BALCO, his partnership with EAS and how he and the Denver Broncos helped put them on the map and every single shred of supplement that he put into his body, legal and illegal. Contrary to what you may think of Bill Romanowski, he may have used steroids (namely THG), but never used a banned substance once throughout his entire playing career. Now that may sound confusing, Romo used THG (a steroid) but never used a banned substance. Romo used THG before it was a banned substance in the NFL, therefore, never used a banned substance.
The man trained insanely. The description of his workouts, summers and seasonal weight training, stretching, yoga, sprinting and anything else you can think of, this man did it harder than anyone and everyone else. I think Bill was absolutely certain that nobody was going to outwork him ever. The saddest part of the story, yet a somewhat silver lining for the protection of the players in the league today are the medical reports, hospital notes and other admissions of his concussions throughout his playing career that finally put an end to his playing days.
I do recommend Romo's book, but possibly not for the $14 that I paid for it. Try to find it used, borrow it, find it online, do something to get it for $5 or $6, but not full price. The only downside to this book is the fact that that pompous ass, Adam Schefter helped Bill write it, other than that, it's a slow developing story that gets better as it goes along and turns into a very quick read.
Thanks to Jack Nealy for the photo of the Oakland Raiders Commitmen to Excellence banner.