Ed McCabe- I'm not a football hero
Another story from the wild and wacky world of Florida.
JUPITER — For years, Ed McCabe has worn the No. 29 jersey of the Oakland Raiders to raise money for charities benefitting sick children and cancer research.Florida's new cottage industry- You can fool other people into thinking you were a former professional athlete. We had the story of a person who died in central Florida last year who claimed to be former MLB Bill Henry. The real Henry was still alive in Texas.
As a volunteer, he organized fund-raising golf tournaments for Palm Beach County's NFL Alumni chapter while passing out autographed photos of No. 29 sprinting down a football field.
Ed McCabe Did volunteer work with NFL Alumni while passing himself off as a former player for the Oakland Raiders.
Jean Fischer, president of the Cancer Alliance, with a signed photo that says, 'Ed McCabe '80 AFC Champs.' McCabe handed out autographed photos at a 2006 event at Jupiter High to benefit the charity.
"Ed McCabe, 29, '80 AFC champs," he signed them.
Thirteen players have worn No. 29 for the Raiders during the team's storied seasons in Oakland and Los Angeles. But Ed McCabe, a local mortgage broker who once peddled BMWs on Okeechobee Boulevard, isn't one of them.
McCabe fooled people for over a decade. Are people that gullible to believe it was him in the Raiders photo? Take a look at the two photos in this post and share your thoughts.
Today we find out more about the photographs McCabe would autograph.
When Ed McCabe masqueraded as a retired professional football player, he lifted the image of one of the most colorful and controversial characters of the NFL.When you're going to steal, steal big my father taught me. McCabe did just that. Romanowski had a quite a reputation when playing in the NFL. It wasn't for being Mr. Nice Guy. Romo promised not to beat up McCabe but did say the whole incident is sad.
McCabe, who organized charity golf tournaments while pretending to be a former Oakland Raider, downloaded a photograph of Bill Romanowski, who played for the Raiders from 2002 to 2003.
Ed McCabe altered a photo of former Oakland Raider linebacker Bill Romanowski, changing the No. 53 to the No. 29 that accompanied his autograph.
McCabe altered the No. 53 to his fantasy league No. 29. And, voilà, Romanowski was transformed into Ed McCabe, who claimed to be a member of the Raiders during their 1980 championship season.
I agree. Romanowski also made this nice gesture.
Romanowski said he wants to turn a negative into a positive, and is inviting anyone with a McCabe autographed photo to contact him on his blog (billromanowskiblog.com), and receive a free autographed copy of his book Romo.Sounds like a good deal to me. The rest of today's Palm Beach Post article is below.
Last week, McCabe acknowledged to The Palm Beach Post that he never appeared in an NFL game and did not play college football, but maintained that the photo was taken during a 1980 tryout with the Raiders. Oakland has no record of McCabe ever trying out for the team.
The photo actually was shot more than 20 years later. Romanowski was a 6-foot-4 linebacker, while McCabe, at 5-foot-10, claimed to be a safety.
McCabe chose a photo of a distinctive player to alter.
During Romanowski's 16-year NFL career, he appeared in 243 consecutive games, an NFL record for linebackers, and won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.
But he made just as many headlines off the field. He was ejected from a game in 1995 for kicking an Arizona Cardinals player in the head, and was fined $20,000 in 1997 after breaking the jaw of Carolina quarterback Kerry Collins in a preseason game.
In 1997, Romanowski spat in the face of San Francisco wide receiver J.J. Stokes. Other on-field altercations would follow.
In 2005, Romanowski appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes, saying he spent more than $200,000 a year on supplements, which included steroids.
On Tuesday, McCabe wouldn't discuss the faked photograph.
"I'm not saying a word about that," he said. "I have to get my life together."
Romanowski, who sells nutritional products on the Internet, recounted an instance in which he had been impersonated. Once, a man pretended to be Romanowski to pick up women and try to embezzle money.
"I think it's pretty sad that someone would have to do that," he said of McCabe. "At least he could have changed the number to 58. It would have been a lot easier, just change the 3 to an 8."
The NFL is investigating.
Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of corporate communications who is in town for owners meetings at The Breakers in Palm Beach, said he is passing along the photo to the league's legal department.
McCarthy said that McCabe's use of the Raiders and NFL logo on the photo is a violation.
"He's using the marks of the club and the NFL shield," McCarthy said.
NFL Alumni President Frank Krauser, who was also at The Breakers, couldn't believe that McCabe had gone to such extremes.
Krauser, and NFL Alumni board members Randy Minniear, a former New York Giants running back, and Lee Nystrom, a former tackle for the Green Bay Packers, were stunned to see the doctored photo.
"(McCabe) better watch out," Nystrom joked. "Romanowski might kill him."
Romanowski said he will use restraint.
"I'm not going to beat him up," Romanowski said. "I don't want to waste my energy."
Krauser said that while McCabe can remain an associate member of NFL Alumni — a rank for non-players — he's no longer allowed to run tournaments.
McCabe, who said he was just trying to help charities, said he's done.
"There's no reason for me to get involved with anything," McCabe said. "I'm done. Finished. After this, why would I even want to try help anyone?"
McCabe apologized to each of the eight owners at Group One Mortgage, the company he works for in Jupiter.
"I deserve it. I'm a big boy, and I'm doing some damage control," McCabe said.
McCabe's bio was removed from Group One's Web site on Friday evening, but his boss said he still works for the firm.
"My first thought was to terminate the guy, but I feel really sorry for him," Group One majority owner Jim Douglas said. "If it was myself, I wouldn't have even shown back up to work. I would have gone in Sunday, cleaned out my office, and caught a train somewhere. ... But he's apologized to every single person within the company personally."
McCabe said he wants to maintain friendships with former NFL players and that he's trying to make amends.
"I've talked to every past player that's a friend of mine, and some are a little upset because I was so stupid, but they're all behind me," McCabe said. "They're still friends because of the good things I did."