Tony Gonzalez and 10 Guys Who Would Love a Free Hit on Bill Romanowski

Ben Heck@@benheckONContributor IIIMay 25, 2011

Tony Gonzalez and 10 Guys Who Would Love a Free Hit on Bill Romanowski

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    OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Bill Romanowski #53 of the Oakland Raiders gets ready to move at the snap during the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 20,  2002 at Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chargers won 27-21 in overt
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Bill Romanowski?

    Is it the fact that the former NFL linebacker, who played for four different teams from 1988-2003, was known around the league as one of the dirtiest players in the history of the game?

    Or perhaps you think of when he admitted to taking steroids and numerous others drugs during his playing career once he hung up his cleats for good?

    Or are you one of the few that actually remembers him as one of the most intimidating linebackers the game as ever seen? And know how great of a player he truly was?

    Career stats: 962 tackles, 39.5 sacks, 18 INT, 16 FF in 222 starts over 16-year career

    Of course, I think most fans and fellow players would agree with me when I say he will be most remembered for his on-field antics and admittance of steroids and other performance-enhancers throughout his prolonged career.

    Here is a rather long list of former players who would likely agree with the above statement, and may even want a piece of Romanowski after what he did to them during his playing days.

Larry Centers, Arizona Cardinals

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    23 Nov 1997:  Running back Larry Centers of the Arizona Cardinals moves the ball during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Cardinals won the game, 16-13. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger  /Allsport
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Incident: 1995, Eagles vs. Cardinals

    One of Romo's first huge incidents involving another player on the football field.

    Playing for the Eagles at the time, Romanowski kicked fullback Larry Centers (pictured), of the Cardinals, in the head.

    This incident, like most of his others, could be seen as a result of what is known as 'Roid rage, but there has been no proof of that being the case in any of the incidents.

    He was ejected from the game immediately, and was later fined a sum of $4,500 by the league.

Eddie George, Tennessee Titans

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    Bill Romanowski
    Bill RomanowskiDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Incident: 2002, Raiders vs. Titans

    As one of his last on-field antics, Romanowski, in his black and silver uniform in Oakland, grabbed Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George by the facemask, ripped off his helmet, and jabbed his fingers in to his face.

    Again, you would suspect perhaps 'Roid rage? But again he was simply fined $5,000 by the league.

    What do you say, battle-to-the-death cage match between Romo and Eddie? I'm sure Mr. George would be game for that.

Roland Williams, Oakland Raiders

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Tight end Roland Williams #86 of the Oakland Raiders is in motion during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 12, 2004 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Raiders 24-21. (Photo
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Incident: 2001, Broncos vs. Raiders

    This one was a little more serious then the previous two on Centers and George.

    Before I explain, I would love to point out that Romo and Williams ended up being teammates the following season when Romanowski joined the AFC Champion Raiders in 2002. They fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, but had a great run nevertheless.

    Now, on to the incident involving the two future teammates..

    Basically, Romanowski knocked him out with a very obvious late hit, and Romanowski was subsequently fined, yet again, by the league. This chunk of money adding up to around $7,500.

Trent Dilfer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    24 Oct 1999: Trent Dilfer #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moves back to pass the ball during the game against the Chicago Bears at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Bears 6-3.
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    The Incident: 2001, Broncos vs. Buccaneers

    Hits on defenseless quarterbacks in this game are already dangerous enough as it is. They just get even more deadly when a juiced up linebacker practically beheads a player, much smaller in physique, when they are defenseless.

    Well, that's exactly what Romo did to Trent Dilfer, then a Buccaneer.

    Romo was hit with a hefty $10,000 fine from the NFL, and deservedly so. It wouldn't surprise me if Dilfer still has whiplash from that hit.

Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 21:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Kansas City Chiefs lines up for a play during the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Incident: 1999, Broncos vs. Chiefs

    Tony Gonzalez, 35, will go down as one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game of football once he decides to walk away from the game. The 11-time Pro Bowler has put up Hall of Fame numbers since entering the league in 1997.

    One moment in his career, however, I'm sure he'd love to forget.

    In a game between rivals Denver and Kansas City back in the 1999 regular season, Bill Romanowski kicked Gonzalez in the head after a play was whistled dead. He was fined $10,000 for the ordeal.

    Anger management, anyone?

Fred Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Fred Taylor #28 of the Jacksonville Jaguars carries the ball before the game against the Houston Texans at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on September 28, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Imag
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The Incident: 1999, Broncos vs. Jaguars

    Fred Taylor will go down in history as the Jacksonville Jaguars' best running back (unless Maurice Jones-Drew surpasses him by the end of his career, at least).

    But he was victimized in a matchup with the Denver Broncos in a 1999 regular season game. Romanowski executed an illegal hit on Taylor, and was docked $15,000 because of it. The hit was in a losing effort, as the Jags dropped Denver to 4-9, defeating them 27-24.

    This was the second of two illegal hits performed by Romo that season (first was on Gonzalez vs. Chiefs).

J.J. Stokes, San Francisco 49ers

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    The Incident: 1997, Broncos vs. 49ers

    Probably one of Romanowski's most famous on-field feuds happened to be between San Francisco 49er receiver J.J. Stokes.

    The third of three incidents during the 1997 season, this one came on a Monday night, and cost him $7,500 in fines.

    In response to trash-talk coming from Stokes' mouth, Romo famously spit in Stokes' face. He may have had a coming (truth is, we may never know) but spitting in another man's face is likely one of the biggest insults one man can give to another. In the game of football, at least.

    Stokes was not appreciative, and I'm sure he would love to get a free hit on Romanowski.

    (Note: I was unable to find videos of most of these incidents, but I did happen to find one of the spitting on YouTube. So I included it, rather than simply a picture of J.J. Stokes in action).

Kerry Collins, Carolina Panthers

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    14 Aug 1998:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #12 of the Carolina Panthers in action during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at the Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Panthers defeated the Bills 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allspo
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Incident: 1997, Broncos vs. Panthers

    Do you know how the preseason means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, and it's merely used as a chance for backups to shine and prove they deserve a spot on the roster, while everyday starters get back in to the grove of things?

    Yeah, well, apparently Bill never got that memo.

    In an August preseason exhibition match between Romo's Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, he executed an illegal hit on Carolina quarterback Kerry Collins. The hit broke Collins jaw and cost Romanowski $20,000.

    I just have one question: Was breaking another person's jaw worth $20,000?

Two More for Kicks...

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER  8:  Bill Romanowki #53 of the Oakland Raiders moves on the field during the game  against the Seattle Seahawks on September 8, 2002 at Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Raiders won 31-17. (Photo By Scott Hall
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    I was unable to find much information on Romanowski's on-field incident with New York Jets' Bryan Cox, in which he supposedly threw a football at him and hit Cox in the crotch area. The amount he was fined was undisclosed, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Romo is likely on Cox's hit-list for that shenanigan.

    If you thought Romo only terrorized his opponents, you thought wrong.

    In 2003, Romo had a confrontation with teammate Marcus Williams during practice. The former backup tight end for the Oakland Raiders was forced to retire way earlier than expected (he signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent the year before) after Romanowski broke his eye socket with a punch.

    The two got in to a quarrel on the practice field as Romanowski preceded to take of Williams' helmet and throw the punch.

    Whether Williams brought this on himself or not, Romanowski was wrong in his actions, and Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott (both there when it happened) backed up Williams.

    Williams took Romanowski to court for $3.4 million, though he only ended up getting $340,000 after the judge's ruling. Williams said it wasn't about the money, he just wanted to prove "what was right and what was wrong."

What We Have Learned...

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    8 Oct 2000:   Bill Romanowski #53 of the Denver Broncos gets ready toi move at the snap as he is guarded by Fredie Jones #88 of the San Diego Chargers at Qualcom Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Broncos defeated the Chargers 21-7.Mandatory Credit: S
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    I think it's safe to say that Romanowski, arguably the most controversial player in the history of the NFL, will go down as one of the most hated players in the game.

    And if he isn't one of the best cheap-shot artists out there, then I must not know what the term is truly defined as.

    Watch your back, Romo, you may be on a few players' hit-lists.

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