How does a violence dispenser like Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski play 15 years in the NFL without ever missing a game?
Something like this:
7 a.m.—Romo arrives at Raiders headquarters. He's well-rested, maybe because he takes ZMA, GABA and/or melatonin—all legal supplements—to help him sleep. Few athletes in the world are as obsessed with reading about, thinking about and spending money on their bodies as Romo.
Who else do you know who has physical trainers, chiropractors, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, Pilates instructors, Reiki therapists and other consultants, about 20 in all, on his payroll? Or owns a hyperbaric chamber? Or has injected living pancreas, brain and adrenal cells of pure-strain Scottish sheep into his body?
Who else do you know who regularly sends out samples of his blood, feces and urine to a North Carolina laboratory to check for mineral deficiencies in his diet? (Hey, who's the lucky UPS guy?)
"People who call me a wacko," says Romo, "can look at all those games I've played in a row." That's 240 straight, the most ever for a linebacker. Or a wacko.
7:32—Romo hooks up one of his two electrical microcurrent stimulators to his body. The sessions last 20 to 30 minutes and are repeated on various parts of his body several times a day. "Each part of your body has a certain electrical frequency," says Romo, "including emotions. I can put it on the JOY setting, and I can't help but crack a smile."
Wait, there's Al Davis. Can we get him hooked up to it?
9:55—After team meetings Romo downs one of three power shakes he'll drink today. They're crammed full of unpronounceable stuff and count toward his colossal intake of 250 grams of protein a day. He'll also gulp between 100 and 130 pills throughout the day, depending on what his feces sample, his consultants and his body are telling him.
He carries his pills in a plastic container the size of a welcome mat—about 500 colorful vitamins and supplements divided into dozens of tiny compartments. Inside it looks like Willy Wonka's briefcase. One time, he dropped it. "It took me three hours to pick the pills all up and sort them again," he says.